While, yes, it is a relief to know what's happening, it is also a bit overwhelming as there is so much information out there to sift through and many different treatment protocols, depending on what doctor you talk to or what research you read. The more I learn about the thyroid and the healing process of this disease, the more complicated it feels. But alas, I have a great team of healers on my side, guiding and encouraging me. I am seeing an ND, an MD, and recently sought advice from an Ayurvedic practitioner. I've also emailed several friends of mine who are naturopaths and they have been gracious enough to give me friendly advice free of charge. In addition, I am reading a very enlightening book by Dr. Datis Kharrazian called Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? While it does contain a lot of information--some of it confusing scientific terminology--it has helped my understanding of the disease and how to treat it naturally.
This onslaught of incoming information is certainly exercising my muscles of discernment. One doctor says this, another says that. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they disagree. Ultimately, what I've decided to do is try out different ideas and see which feels better. For example, my MD suggests that I eat six small meals a day to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, while my Ayurvedic practitioner says that eating three meals a day (a light breakfast, good-sized lunch, and healthy dinner) better enables my digestive tract to heal. I like the three meals a day plus a snack. My MD reiterates, at each visit, the importance of balancing my adrenals, while a chiropractor on the web prioritizes detoxing the GI tract of parasites and yeast. I'm focusing on both by eating regularly throughout the day, practicing deep breathing, and taking probiotics. Needless to say, it's easier and far more reassuring when the advice overlaps. My ND tells me to work on "stress management" and my Ayurvedic practitioner spends an hour teaching me deep breathing exercises. The advice I received from both my ND and MD was to go gluten-free. Likewise, my three naturopathic friends confirmed that they'd seen patients benefit from removing gluten from their diet. As an aside, supposedly the molecular structure of gluten resembles that of the thyroid gland. For those patients with Hashimoto's disease, eating gluten triggers an autoimmune response in the body which heightens the symptoms of the disorder (Kharrazian, 2010).