Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which your body starts attacking your own healthy thyroid cells. Your thyroid becomes unable to produce optimal levels of thyroid hormones and it sends your body into a spiral that can affect your metabolism, yor cardiovascular health, and even cause issues with clarity and cognition. Women with Hashimoto’s report higher instances of both depression and anxiety and many women also experience sleep issues.
Make no mistake, HashiGirl’s have their work cut out for them when it comes to finding a healthy balance—in their routines, in their diets, in their bodies, and in their lives.
Smart supplementation can help.
Supplements are designed to do what their name says—SUPPLEMENT. This means we should be eating whole unprocessed foods and keeping an eye on common Hashimoto’s trigger foods like gluten, dairy, and soy.
But for some HashiGirls™ it just isn’t enough.
Four years ago I was eating right and working out. I was taking my medication on time and at a proper dosage but I wasn’t where I wanted to be.
I was still having breakouts, not as many as before but still way too many for a non teenager! Like if my skin is looking like a teenager’s then why aren’t my abs?
I was going to bed early and just lying awake.
And it turns out lying awake doesn’t count as sleeping so I was still so low energy during the day.
Finally, with all the work I was putting into my body—eating real, whole foods and exercising—I wanted something for myself and my clients that would really take those results to the next level.
It didn’t seem fair. I was doing what I was supposed to but I still felt like something was missing.
And, duh—it needed to be supplemented!
A few quick disclaimers: You can’t out supplement a terrible diet. You have to be working toward being healthy for supplements to work. Two, I am not a medical doctor. You should always consult a doctor before you start supplementing. I’m just a regular Hashi Girl and this is what worked for me. Lastly, the links you’ll see below are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small portion of the sale if you buy through my links. Using affiliate links allows bloggers to give away research and information at no cost to the reader.
So, what are my game-changing supplements?
Let’s find out!
Zinc for Skin Health
For my skin, I started using Zinc. It turns out most people in the US are zinc deficient. Zinc has been used in topical medications but I’m a certified nutrition coach and super passionate about the fact that healing from the inside out gives real, sustainable results. Zinc has been shown to help with eczema, rosacea, melasma, and other skin issues, but I started taking it for acne. It took about 30 days for me to start noticing a difference but once it kicked in—it was a total game-changer! My skin was suddenly clear again. I didn’t change cleansers, I didn’t get a harsh prescription, I didn’t have any fancy facials. I started taking two pills in the morning—that’s it!
This is the brand of Zinc I use https://amzn.to/3gjxZyZ.
Magnesium for Sleep
My skin was looking amazing but the bags under my eyes, not so much. I had to figure out what to do about sleeping. I talked to another nutritionist friend who had been taking magnesium and she swore by it. Magnesium is needed for every process in your body. I’m not kidding. Magnesium is super essential! It also has a profound effect on sleep. It binds to the same receptors in your brain as sleep drugs like Ambien. Magnesium also helps regulate the sleep hormone melatonin.
Deficiencies in magnesium have been related to sleeplessness and even insomnia in scientific studies! Oops.
The first day I used magnesium I noticed a difference in my sleep. Most supplements take 30-90 days to notice a real difference, but for me this one was almost instant! I must’ve been really deficient!
One of the major symptoms of an underactive thyroid, which is very common in Hashimoto’s due to the damage caused to the thyroid, is fatigue. And this fatigue is no joke. I know first hand that Hashi Girl’s need their rest, so finding something to help you sleep is HUGE!
I use this brand of magnesium capsules https://amzn.to/3eTfO2X (affiliate). 500mg is the dosage I use for therapeutic treatment. 360mg is a common dosage, too.
To note: magnesium also has some laxative properties, so don’t try to make yourself extra sleepy by taking more than the recommended dose, unless you like sleeping on the toilet.
B- Complex for Energy
I don’t know about you guys, but I have 3 boys, a husband, and my own small business and keeping up with all of that is A LOT. I could always use more non-caffeinated energy sources and in walked B vitamins.
Deficiencies can cause fatigue, irritability, muscle issues, among other things but what resonated with me as I read more about B vitamins is how common deficiencies are in people with autoimmune disorders.
As someone with Hashimoto’s I know energy is at a premium. The changes I experienced from starting a complex B vitamin were subtle at first. I didn’t really notice any big differences in my levels until Amazon ran out of my favorite brand. I decided not to try another brand because I just didn’t see a difference.
Then I had one of my worst weeks ever energy-wise! It was so pronounced, I thought I was coming down with a cold. I was lethargic and just couldn’t focus.
It took almost 3 weeks for me to figure out what had changed. I added back B vitamins to my daily regimen and back to normal.
This is my favorite brand of B-Complex vitamins https://amzn.to/38qL5rt (affiliate). This form seems to be the most readily absorbed by the body.
Berberine for Enhanced Insulin Response
I read about Berberine while I was researching for a client and was struck at the efficacy levels. It. Just. Works. You have to talk to your doctor about using this if you are on Metformin or blood pressure medicine as this stuff is powerful. It decreases insulin resistance, one of the reasons Americans tend to be overweight. When you become insulin resistant your body becomes less sensitive to insulin. It basically stops paying attention to your blood sugar levels causing you to overeat, raising those levels even higher. High blood sugar can cause organ and cellular damage. It also makes your pants too tight.
With Berberine we lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. This activates metabolic hormones and tells our body when we are full. There is also new evidence supporting the claim that Berberine stops fat cell growth on a molecular level.
Personally, I’m now at a place in my fitness journey where I am really happy about how my body looks and feels. I think Berberine played a role in how quickly I was able to get here. Don’t get me wrong, I worked my tail off, but I do recommend Berberine to my clients struggling with weight loss and to my Hashi Girl clients because insulin resistance is really common with us.
This is the brand I use and recommend: https://amzn.to/3gmLWvV (affiliate)
Vitamin D for Mood and Bone Health
Almost half the population of the US is deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, higher risks of heart disease, blood sugar issues such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, dementia, and cancer.
I didn’t figure this one out on my own. My doctor prescribes it almost universally as most of her Hashi’s patients have low levels. Vitamin D helps your body absorb phosphorus and calcium and can also help with depression. Leaky gut is also very common in women with Hashimoto’s so adding in vitamin D ensures we’re getting enough.
This was another supplement I added and the changes are subtle, but I know what it is doing for my body and I trust my doctor.
This is the Vitamin D supplement I use https://amzn.to/3ntXzpY (affiliate). The sun is more fun, but this let’s me know my levels will be consistent. If you want to learn more about how Vitamin D can be super beneficial for HashiGirls…
Supplementation cannot counteract a terrible diet. There’s no magic pill that will let you abuse or neglect your body and still walk around as the picture of health. Most HashiGirls I know, walked around for years before their diagnosis. They just assumed that gaining weight and feeling exhausted were just part of aging. I lived with those symptoms and MANY others for more than 10 years. Once I had a diagnosis I became more proactive and I’ve now been in remission for the last 2.5 years. I still take my medication, but I feel like I’ve gotten my life back and I credit adding supplementation to my arsenal.
Remember, as you start to find supplements that work for you fine-tuning becomes more important. The changes might not be as dramatic, but that should be encouraging because it means you’re closer to optimal levels of vitamins and minerals for a healthy body and lifestyle. I added a few other supplements to the bottom of this post if you’re interested in seeing everything I take or have taken in the past and felt was effective. Note some supplements are good for cycling or are helpful for transitions and even just seasons of life. Don’t be afraid to tweak your routines and try other brands. The goal is to become an expert in your own health and your own body.