It’s been over 9 years since I found a lump on my throat and was diagnosed with Hashimotos. I still remember that day, walking up to the local coop for groceries, hand on my throat thinking it was strange that one side felt larger than the other.
At the time, I had no idea what a thyroid even was and had never hear of autoimmune disease. I remember the endocrinologist telling me that I have a goiter with a nodule and would be on thyroid medicine for the rest of my life. I had asked him if there were any dietary or lifestyle changes I could make to reverse this because I really didn’t like the lumpy feel of my neck and didn’t relish taking medicine. He told me there was nothing that I could do.
I didn’t believe that.
When I began my journey to heal my thyroid and put my Hashimotos into remission, I was overwhelmed with all the information out there. But I found some great books that started me on the path I wanted to take. One book was The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers, MD. The other was a Hashimotos Thyroiditis by Dr. Isabella Wentz. These were published years ago but both highlighted the importance of uncovering and healing chronic infections as they could be a root cause of Hashimotos and Graves disease.
As I began to apply what I learned, I noticed my brain fog starting to clear up. I also lost stubborn weight and felt happier. But my thyroid wasn’t healed.
At the time, chronic infections seemed a bit nebulous to me. However, as I’ve gone through my own healing journey, I’ve found that these can include bacteria or fungal overgrowth, root canal tooth infections and parasites.
Parasites in particular have been on my health coaching radar as I’ve been seeing more research shared on this topic by doctors at Swiss Mountain Clinic, Dr. Todd Watts and Dr. Amy Myers. According to the CDC, millions of Americans have parasites. Not all parasitic infections, however, are obvious.
Parasitic infection symptoms can vary widely not just due to the activity of the parasite but also the toxins it produces.
Symptoms of parasitic infection that may not seem so obvious can include:
- Fatigue, depression or a diagnosis of anemia
- Gut issues (consipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea)
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Teeth grinding in your sleep
- Food poisoning in the past
As always, it’s important to work with your doctor when digging for root causes so that you can get onto the right protocol. The most common ways to test are either through an at home stool sample test (like this one from Equilibrium) or a blood test. If you request a stool test from your doctor, make sure that it uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology as this test doesn’t require parasites be alive in the sample. Conventional tests will only look for a living parasite so it misses many markers.
Healing is a journey, not an event. Remaining patient with yourself and curious will help you uncover more of your root causes so that you can take more specific action to reversing disease.