Thyoid | Integrative functional medicine blog

AIP diet and Hashimotos Thyroiditis





We are continuing our short blog series on “food is medicine” with another study to show to powerful effects a diet can have on your health.

A recent
study showed a low-carbohydrate, whole foods diet low in inflammatory foods significantly decreases thyroid antibodies — the marker for autoimmune thyroid disease, or Hashimoto’s.

Let me make a side note and be clear about something. Even though Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is often called an autoimmune thyroid disease. It is not a disease of the thyroid. It is an immune disease that affects the thyroid. There is a difference!

Hashimoto’s occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland; it is the cause of about 90 percent of hypothyroid cases. This study is further evidence you can profoundly influence autoimmune Hashimoto’s through diet and lifestyle interventions.

In the three-week study, almost 200 people with Hashimoto’s were divided into two groups.

One group followed the low-carbohydrate study diet while the other followed a standard low-calorie diet.

The results were significant: Levels of several different thyroid antibodies that serve as markers for Hashimoto’s
dropped between 40 and almost 60 percent! This group also lost a little weight, not really the important part, but a nice side benefit.

Meanwhile, the group that followed a low-calorie diet
saw antibody levels go up between 9 to 30 percent!

What the study group ate to tame Hashimoto’s

The study designers chose a curious route for their research in having their subjects follow both a low-carbohydrate, anti-inflammatory diet as well as a diet low in goitrogens. Goitrogens are compounds that lower thyroid function and are found in raw cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), soy, and other foods. So for my patients (and others) that will only eat broccoli or cauliflower because they don’t LIKE other veggies, CUT IT OUT!

Before people understood the mechanisms of autoimmune
Hashimoto’s, it used to be the rule of thumb was to avoid goitrogenic foods.

However, through the evolution of functional medicine, we have learned most people with Hashimoto’s can safely eat normal amounts of cruciferous vegetables. In fact, they contain many beneficial nutrients as well as fiber. People with unresolved small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or genetic difficulty metabolizing sulfur may not do well with these vegetables. So we don’t know how subjects would have fared in this study had they included these vegetables.

Soy, on the other hand, has been shown to lower thyroid hormone levels in studies
and is best avoided by those with Hashimoto’s.


The study diet that improved Hashimoto’s
Here is the diet the study subjects ate that lowered their thyroid antibodies:

  • Low carbohydrate diet that was 12 to 15 percent carbohydrates, 50 to 60 percent protein, and 25 to 30 percent fats. (Most people eat a diet that is at least 50 percent carbohydrates.)
I often hear the argument, “but don’t I need to eat carbs?” That’s what the food guide pyramid says right?! pppppppfffffftttt!

  • Lots of DIFFERENT vegetables. Research shows a diet high in veggies improves immune health through its impact on beneficial gut bacteria.

  • Lean meats and fish.

  • No goitrogens: cruciferous vegetables (which, if not eaten to excess, improve beneficial gut bacteria), canola, watercress, arugula, radish, horseradish, spinach, millet, tapioca, and nitrate veggies, NOT nitrites.

  • Eggs, legumes, dairy products , bread , pasta, fruit, and rice. Remember, this is what was done in the study. This is not necessarily what I would recommend and each person is different.
  • In functional medicine we know gluten and dairy exacerbate autoimmune Hashimoto’s for the most part. Eggs, legumes, and grains are inflammatory for many people as well. People with poor blood sugar stability may need to limit their fruit intake.

This study backs up and is very similar to my previous post on the AIP diet. Check that post out too. So there you have it. More evidence that food is medicine.

I’m Dr. Craig Mortensen
Be Healthy, be happy


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A new "treatment" for Hashimoto's thyroiditis?




This is a special edition extra content vlog post. Specially directed at those “subclinical” hypothyroid hashimotos sufferers.

Today we are talking about some really cool research that has come out from the “European review for medical and pharmacological sciences. 2017; 21 (2 supplements);51-59.

So here is the big news……

They found that myo-inositol and selenium supplementation can help restore thyroid function.

Did you get that? Should I repeat it?

They found that myo-inositol and selenium supplementation can help restore thyroid function.

Inositol is used for a variety of different uses. Among them it is often used for diabetic nerve painpanic disorder, anxiety, high cholesterol, insomnia, cancer, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or ADD. Some people also use it for autism, promoting hair growth, psoriasis, and treating side effects of medical treatment with lithium.

That seems like some pretty good reasons to consider taking
inositol. Now you make ask, but Dr. Craig, the study was done with “myo-inositol”.

Your right. While there are different types of inositol available (or what they call isomers), myo-inositol is the most common one. So if you buy a
quality inositol supplement you are pretty safe in assuming that you are getting them myo-inositol version. This also happens to be the most researched version of inositol as well.

And for anyone struggling with thyroid issues or has done any research on the issue they already know that selenium is a very important supplement for thyroid function.

So here are the results of the study.

There was 168 patients in the study aged from 22 to 62 years old. The patients TSH numbers ranged from 3-6 mlU/L. They also demonstrated elevated TPO and/or thyroglobulin antibodies but they had normal FT4 and T3 levels. So they were considered subclinical.

These patients were separated into 2 groups. Group one got 83 mag of
selenium, and group 2 got 600mg of inositol and 83 mag of selenium for 6 months.

Both groups noted a significant reduction in TSH levels and an increase in thyroid hormones such as FT4 and T3 (a good thing) . In addition, both groups also showed a decrease in TPO antibodies but only the group that was taking the inositol showed a decrease in thyroglobulin antibodies. Thyroglobulin antibodies are antibodies against your storage form of thyroid.

Increasing thyroid hormones and improving function can have a wide effect on your body. Some of the indirect positive effects this can have on your body include improving cardiovascular function, whether its a lower blood pressure, heart rate or more elastic blood vessels. It can also help improve digestion and increase your metabolism helping with weight loss and energy levels.

There are a lot of other factors that should be looked at when dealing with autoimmune issues. Functional medicine practitioners (or at least some) are specially trained to help you improve health by improving function.

So there you have it, a pretty exciting yet simple study that was done using supplementation to improve health without the use of drugs or medications.

I’m Dr. Craig Mortensen
Be healthy, be happy.


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Best relaxation recordings - DO THEM NOW!




Battling the scourge of Adrenal fatigue!

4 stages of adrenal fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is one of the most rampant issues that I see in my office. While generally not present as a stand alone issue, it has a very far and wide reach to your over all health.

Below I have listed and given you links to some of the recordings I often use for my own patients. So if you have any of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue listed below, scroll a little farther, click on a link and do a little relaxation to start yourself on the way to healing.
Adrenal fatigue symptoms:

  • Blood pressure:  High or low blood pressure.
  • Food cravings and weight changes:  either salty or sugary, but usually salty.
  • Energy:  Or lack there of.
  • Emotions and coping ability:  nope. Not there either. Short fused, ready to blow, can’t cope with any excess stresses in life.
  • Thinking:  brain fog, not feeling like yourself, feeling disconnected, can’t concentrate or think.
  • Immune response:  Getting sick a lot, not getting over being sick fast, or just being sick all the time.
  • Sleep:  Having a hard time falling asleep or having a hard time staying asleep. Or even sleeping well but then waking up and still being tired.
  • Hormones/Libido:  Poor sex drive, mood swings, irregular cycles, perimenopause like symptoms.


Guided Imagery - Guided imagery meditation is a gentle but powerful technique that focuses and directs the imagination in proactive, positive ways.

Guided Relaxation - Guided meditation is a process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher,[1] either in person or via a written text, sound recording, video, or audiovisual media[2][3][4] comprising music or verbal instruction, or a combination of both.

Guided Meditation - Guided meditation is a process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher, either in person or via a written text, sound recording, video, or audiovisual media comprising music or verbal instruction, or a combination of both.

Grounding - Grounding connects you to the energy of the earth or attempts to anyway. It is said to aid in healing and is a great way to connect with nature when you can’t be there in person and free your mind.

Calming your body - Pretty self explanatory.

Anchoring - Anchors are mental objects you associate with a particular state of mind, in this case meditation. By remembering the anchor you automatically recall the state of mind with which it is associated

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