Bonus Ep: Hashimoto’s Protocol and Thyroid Wellness w/ Dr. Izabella Wentz

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Welcome to The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast Season 2!

Bonus Ep: Hashimoto’s Protocol and Thyroid Wellness w/ Dr. Izabella Wentz is our first episode in nearly 6 months (!) and we’re treating it as a little surprise introduction to Season 2. In this episode, we interview our close friend Izabella Wentz, also known as the thyroid pharmacist. We dig into her experience hacking her own thyroid disease, as well as the ways in which she is now giving thyroid disease patients the power to take back their health.

Topics we discuss include the uniqueness of Hashimoto’s in the chronic illness world, the importance of self-care, and most importantly, the multiple root causes of Hashimoto’s (Izabella’s specialty). This is a powerful episode with one of the foremost voices in the Hashimoto’s community, perfect for folks with thyroid disease who are looking for answers. Scroll down for the full episode transcript.

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Full Transcript:

Mickey Trescott: Welcome to the Autoimmune Wellness podcast, a complimentary resource for those on the road to recovery. I’m Mickey Trescott, a nutritional therapy practitioner living well with autoimmune disease in Oregon. I’ve got both Hashimoto’s and Celiac disease.

Angie Alt: And I’m Angie Alt, a certified health coach and nutritional therapy consultant, also living well with autoimmune disease in Maryland. I have endometriosis, lichen sclerosis, and Celiac disease. After recovering our health by combining the best of conventional medicine with effective and natural dietary and lifestyle interventions, Mickey and I started blogging at www.Autimmune-Paleo.com, where our collective mission is seeking wellness and building community.

Mickey Trescott: This podcast is sponsored by The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook; our co-authored guide to living well with chronic illness. We saw the need for a comprehensive resource that goes beyond nutrition to connect savvy patients, just like you, to the resources they need to achieve vibrant health. Through the use of self assessments, checklists, handy guides and templates, you get to experience the joy of discovery; finding out which areas to prioritize on your healing journey. Pick up a copy wherever books are sold.

Angie Alt: A quick disclaimer: The content in this podcast is intended as general information only, and is not to be substituted for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Onto the podcast!

Topics:
1. Introducing our guest, Dr. Izabella Wentz [2:36]
2. Hashimoto’s Protocol book release [9:58]
3. The uniqueness of Hashimoto’s [16:41]
4. The liver support protocol [19:36]
5. Self-care: You cannot pour from an empty cup [26:20]
6. The multiple root causes of Hashimoto’s [31:09]

Mickey Trescott: Hey everyone! Welcome back to the Autoimmune Wellness podcast. Mickey here, and Angie and I are super excited to be back with you guys. We’ve taken 6 months off from our podcasting adventure. Can you believe it’s been that long, Angie?

Angie Alt: No, it feels like it was just a few weeks ago that we were releasing everything.

Mickey Trescott: Seriously.

Angie Alt: I mean, honestly we don’t really know how podcasters who have regular shows do it; putting all of this content, editing, and all the details. It’s kind of a lot of work, you guys! {laughs} We do much better producing and releasing our podcasts in batches and seasons. And we hope you guys are enjoying the seasonal format, too.

We’ve actually already recorded our entire second season, which we can’t wait to share with you guys. Because the format is going to be a little bit different this time around, we wanted to bring you two pre-season bonus episodes featuring interviews with two incredible women doing great work in our community as a way to whet your appetite for what’s to come. Mickey, do you want to tell your listeners about our first incredible woman?

1. Introducing our guest, Dr. Izabella Wentz [2:36]

Mickey Trescott: Yeah; so, our guest today is none other than Dr. Izabella Wentz, also known as the thyroid pharmacist and leader of the root cause rebels. Lest you guys think that is a clever band name; it actually stands for community of people who have successfully hacked their thyroid disease. Izabella has made quite a splash in the thyroid community in the last few years since the release of her bestselling book; Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Finding and Treating the Root Cause. And the release of The Thyroid Secret documentary series, which you guys, probably, if you’ve been following on our email list or have been on the internet at all in the last 3 months have heard about; hopefully you guys participated in. It was a really incredible experience for everyone. So informative.

And Izabella’s newest book that came out this week; Hashimoto’s Protocol. Izabella is definitely a lady on a mission to spread the word far and wide about healing from thyroid disease, and we feel absolutely blessed to call her a friend and have her in our community. Welcome, Izabella!

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Angie, Mickey, I’m so excited to be here with you ladies today. How are you?

Mickey Trescott: We are awesome.

Angie Alt: We’re great!

Mickey Trescott: Yeah.

Angie Alt: Even better with you on the show. So maybe we’ll just kind of get started. Izabella, you are fresh off the launch of your Thyroid Secret documentary; woot, woot! We promoted it and heard from our followers that it was one of the most thorough and informative resources on thyroid disease they had ever seen. You interviewed literally hundreds of experts as well as patients all over the world; it was really incredible. Can you tell us what inspired you to do a project on such a massive scale?

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Of course, and thank you for being a part of The Thyroid Secret, as well. We, of course, interviewed Mickey as part of that, and it was fantastic to have her share with people how effective the autoimmune paleo diet can be, and how important it can be as part of a healing protocol for people with thyroid disease.

Really, my big passion is ever since I got my health back; I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2009 after almost a decade of some pretty debilitating symptoms, and kind of mystery symptoms, and I was told they were all in my head and all that good stuff. Until I actually took charge of my own health and was able to recover my health. From that point on, I wanted to spread the message to the world that recovering from autoimmune disease is possible, and that you can feel like yourself again, even if you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease. And really just trying everything that I could do to get this message out there.

The documentary series; I’ve written a book about Hashimoto’s; Hashimoto’s, the Root Cause was my first book, and I have Hashimoto’s Protocol which just came out this week, which is a protocol based book. But I wanted to get together with a group of like-minded individuals; so health care professionals and experts like you ladies, as well as patients who have taken back and recovered their health to create this community and create sort of a movement to share the best practices, to share our stories; to share our research, and inspire and really get the world moving and excited about health recovery, and giving them; raising that awareness and giving people and opportunity to understand and see that people are recovering from thyroid disease every day.

That was really my big motivation behind it; I wanted to get this message out into the broader world; and I know some people with thyroid disease, the brain fog prevents them from reading wonderful books such as ours, and even reading blogs, but sometimes just watching something on a screen can be really helpful in helping people absorb the information.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah; Izabella, I think that the documentary format is just genius because it’s really visual. A lot of people are really visual learners, and seeing you interview and ask these questions, and seeing all these experts and hearing from all these patients; it’s so much more moving to a certain type of person; a certain type of learner that I think that connection is a lot deeper. And then it spurs action, not only in people’s own lives, but then the conversations that they’re having with their friends and family; maybe that’s even sharing the documentary and getting some validation in what they’re going through. And then going into their doctor’s offices and being informed; and saying, you know, “you’re not the only doctor on the planet that doesn’t believe in this. Look; there’s a whole movement of people out here that are fighting for our care,” and it just really empowers them. So it’s really, really awesome; they loved it.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Yeah, my goal is to create 10,000 success stories with The Thyroid Secret documentary and with my Hashimoto’s Protocol book, and it’s been really, really exciting to see the ripple effect of this. As your listeners know, nutrition is a really, really important part of recovering your health. I was really excited about one story; it was a woman who watched The Thyroid Secret; in episode 5, we focused on nutrition. Right after that episode, she changed over to the autoimmune paleo diet, and by episode 9, she said shew as feeling completely transformed. She had gotten her energy back, and joint pains, and all these symptoms started shedding away from her. And it’s like; the more we can spread awareness about all of these interventions that can change a person’s life, change how they feel, and prevent the progression of autoimmunity; then let’s get this out in a big way, right?

Angie Alt: Yeah, I love that. Those kind of stories; they don’t get old for me. It still gives me goosebumps to hear it, it still makes me; you know, I’m a crier, but it still makes me on the edge of tears. It’s dramatically changing people’s quality of life is such an awesome way to spend your life work, you know? You’re doing a great job on that massive scale. I love it.

Mickey Trescott: And you know, the social media, and implementing this kind of online business stuff; you and your husband have been really, really good at leveraging that tool that I think a lot of us get really burnt out and exhausted trying to get the word out through the online environment. It can be a little bit toxic at times; so you guys really figured out how to kind of hit that where you got people’s attention, you got a lot of building this massive community and people really excited about it, because this is what we need to change the symptoms. You know, we need a large movement of people that are ready to kind of go to battle and get that awareness out there. So it’s awesome.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely. We’ve reached 500,000 people with the documentary series; and it’s all a collaboration of our work together, and we’re all sharing our best practices with that.

2. Hashimoto’s Protocol book release [9:58]

Mickey Trescott: That’s just incredible. So, right on the heels of this massive launch, you also have a new book out. You sound like the same kind of crazy person cut from the same cloth that Angie and I are; called Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-day plan for reversing thyroid symptoms and getting your life back. So for any of you guys who are listening who may have read Izabella’s first book; you will know that she is very detailed, and there is a ton of information there. I remember when I first got my hands on that book, I was like; holy cow. This is a lot. So what inspired you to write the second book, and how are they different from each other?

Dr. Izabella Wentz: {laughs} So it was a reader, a Pilates teacher, and a discovery of liver support; plus all of my experience with working with over 1,000 people with Hashimoto’s.

To make kind of a long story short; my first book, Hashimoto’s, the Root Cause; it was me recovering my health, and the book was about my story and all the research that I did to help myself. And I just wanted to put it out there for people and say; “Hey, I don’t know every single root cause, and I don’t know what triggered your condition. Here are some things that worked for me, and these are some additional things that may work for you. These are all of the different things that I researched that could potentially help with autoimmune thyroid disease. Some of them work for me; others did not.”

So that was my first book. And I started speaking about Hashimoto’s after that point, and I started working exclusively with people with Hashimoto’s, and just really made it my life’s work, and my focus, and of course, my passion. And I was speaking at an event in Chicago; this was in 2014, early 2014. And I met this wonderful woman named Teresa, and she said, “You know, I really love digging for my health.” My first book talked about the dig at it approach, where you figure out what your individual triggers were, and you kind of dig for these triggers. I try to create a funky acronym, right? {laughs} For it, where it was digestion, infections, gut, adrenals, toxins, inflammation, so on and so forth.

And she said, “I really enjoy digging for my health; but I really wish you would just give me done for me protocols where you tell me exactly what to do. Tell me what I need to eat; tell me what I need to change. Can you give me a plan?” And at first I was like; yeah, I could give you a plan, but I don’t want people to think I’m biased, or I have all these competing interests or whatnot. And I’m like, I think maybe it’s best for people to learn as much as they can, and then pick out what works for them, right?

Then, a little bit after that I had a Pilates session with a pretty intense Pilates instructor who kept telling me which muscles I was using; she gave me Pilates homework, she tried to quiz me in anatomy. And at that point I was like, “oh. Well I don’t want to be a Pilates expert, I sort of just want to be in good shape.” Right? And then I realized that maybe not everybody wanted to necessarily be a Hashimoto’s expert, which my first book sort of taught people to be their own experts. The second book focuses on giving people protocols; so this is exactly the steps you need to take to recover your health.

And the steps I developed came from my work with clients, and these are the protocols that have worked for about 80% of people; we saw very positive significant results. One of these protocols is actually the very first of my fundamental protocols in Hashimoto’s protocol called the liver support protocol. This focuses on helping people support their liver through removing the low-hanging toxic fruit, adding specific nutrients to help themselves detoxify better, and removing specific foods, as well as adding other types of foods into their regimen, and what I’ve found is within 2 weeks of doing the liver support protocol, people see significant difference in their symptoms.

I first discovered this when I was working with a client that was really just reactive to everything; so I would recommend a B-vitamin to her, and she would say, “oh, I had a negative reaction.” Or a probiotic, and she had a negative reaction to that. And she had multiple chemical sensitivities; a lot of joint pains, very high thyroid antibodies and brain fog, and even depression. I wanted to figure out how I could help her right away and very quickly without necessarily doing protocols to rebalance her gut, which can take some time, or get rid of infections; that can actually weaken people in the short term.

So I started doing a little bit more research, and found that a lot of times when people have multiple chemical sensitivities, and a lot of sensitivities; it’s because their liver is overloaded with toxins and they’re not properly getting rid of them. So I put her on this liver support protocol hoping that it would help just a little bit, but I got a message from her within a week that said, “Oh my goodness! I’m at the shopping mall with my kids. I haven’t been able to walk past a Yankee Candle store in years because of my chemical sensitivities. And my joint pain is better; my headaches have resolved, I have more energy; I’m not as depressed.” And her thyroid antibodies also reduced the next time she had them done. So this is something that could help people within two weeks; and I really wanted to get this out into the world, as well as all of the other protocols that I discovered in working with over 1000 clients over the last few years.

Angie Alt: My gosh, I love that. I think the reality is that for all of us who write books, there’s probably kind of multiple threads that lead to that inspiration. But I love that you have pinpointed the three; you knew exactly how you got there.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: {laughs} Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun working on getting this information out into the world, and just trying to summarize everything I’ve learned since that point. I’ve uncovered additional protocols, and additional triggers that I didn’t know about a few years ago, just learning so much from my clients as well as some of the latest research that’s come out since my first book was published.

3. The uniqueness of Hashimoto’s [16:41]

Angie Alt: Right. So, we’d love to dig into some of the topics you cover in your book. Early on you make the distinction that Hashimoto’s disease has some unique symptoms compared to other thyroid disorders, including the ability to fluctuate between what is commonly known as hyper and hypothyroid symptoms. Can you tell us more about this, and give our listeners some background on this concept? I think it might ring some bells for some folks.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Yeah. I know when most people are diagnosed with a thyroid condition, the doctors tell them the thyroid is sluggish, or underactive; right? Or that it’s overactive. But with Hashimoto’s, what it is is an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. And definitely in the early stages, or when the attack is severe enough, we start seeing a rush of thyroid hormones into the blood stream. And this rush of thyroid hormones produces kind of a transient overactive thyroid or hyperthyroid; and we can feel like we’re on an emotional and physical roller coaster. Because we’ll have this influx of thyroid hormones, and we might feel anxious. We might have palpitations. We might feel really irritable. We might be losing weight.

And then once that gets cleared out of the body, we start having hypothyroid symptoms, so we may have depression, we may be really tired, we may have brain fog, we may feel really sluggish. So this is a part of Hashimoto’s that not many people are aware of, and in some cases they feel like they’re crazy. They don’t know why that’s happening to them. And this can happen for at least the first 10 years of when a person has Hashimoto’s, that they fluctuate between overactive and underactive.

Mickey Trescott: Izabella, I have a question too, as a thyroid patient who has definitely experienced this. It seemed to me, also, that it wouldn’t swing back and forth as clearly; sometimes I would have those hyper-ish symptoms, like the crazy heart palpitations and the anxiety along with that bone-crushing fatigue. Can you maybe talk a little bit about that, too?

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Yeah, absolutely. And that potentially could be because we might have too much thyroid hormone in one place, where as other parts of our body are not getting sufficient thyroid hormone, right? So, it’s not being distributed evenly, and then you end up with; and I say this sarcastically, but the best of both worlds.

Mickey Trescott: {laughs}

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Because you end up with having hypothyroid and hyperthyroid symptoms all at once. You’re like; “Really, I’m anxious and exhausted?” I know certainly that was my experience, too, where I was like; how. How is this possible when I first got diagnosed, because I’m like; you’re telling me I have this, but half of my symptoms are on the over-active side. And this can be very confusing and frustrated, and that’s definitely a part of the condition, to understand.

4. The liver support protocol [19:36]

Mickey Trescott: So, Izabella, in your book you present three main protocols that those with Hashimoto’s can use to get their health on track. You already talked a little bit about liver, your liver protocol, and I want to talk about it a little more.

So, I will admit I was a little worried when I saw that you recommend a liver support protocol as a first step, because I personally was hospitalized because of a detoxification protocol gone wrong in the early days of my recovery. I was actually prescribed a smoothie based detox by my naturopath, and it did not end up well for me.

That being said, when I actually read that chapter in your book, I was so relieved and actually really impressed to see how on your recommendations are with kind of a gentle approach, not to overwhelm people. I think there’s a lot of detox crazy going out there right now that is really inappropriate for a lot of autoimmune people, but your four-step liver support protocol; I’d love for you to talk about it a little more. Because I think a lot of people are confused and don’t think they are detoxing unless they’re doing something that is really harsh and really producing even some really nasty negative symptoms, and what you’re proposing is actually very gentle and very level-headed, and a lot of people wouldn’t even consider it detox.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Right. And that’s why I call it the liver support protocol, and not the detox protocol. And some people; they don’t really understand the difference between the two, and I certainly didn’t when I was first starting on my healing journey. So detox is something that forces toxins out, right, and so let’s say I like to use the analogy of an over-worked kind of office worker at maybe a government job, right? And what’s happening to her in Hashimoto’s, is she just have way too much stuff to do. Way too many toxins to process. So if you could imagine her desk, it’s covered. Piles and piles of papers; and she has to process out all these papers, and somebody comes up to her with just one little thing to do, and she’s like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t get this done for weeks!” Even though this one task would take her just a minute to complete.

And that’s sort of the same thing with Hashimoto’s; when you have a congested liver; the liver is so over-burdened with all these different things that it doesn’t have the right kind of nutrients or capacity to get rid of the toxins, and it doesn’t have the stamina. So a toxin that should normally leave your body in a relatively short amount of time sticks around for a really, really long time and just goes through your body and recirculates rather than getting removed properly. And then we end up being sensitive to things in our environment, like benign chemicals and what not. So that’s sort of the problem that you have.

Now, there are a few different ways that you can address this problem, and one of the ways is through liver support where you would bring in, like a support person, that could help this woman process and get all of her papers done, right? So you’re helping her a long, you’re making sure that your kind of doubling her workup. And that’s what liver support is, right?

What detox would be is if you were to come into her office in the middle of the night while she was at home, and just started cleaning all of her papers up and try to put them away in different places, and maybe threw some of them out. So that’s sort of what happens in detox; and as you can imagine, things can go crazy if you don’t have the right systems in place. I know some of the detox protocols out there, like doing chelation for example; this basically removes toxins from where they’re sitting in your body, and sort of recirculates them. And then you need; if your liver was perfectly fine, your liver would maybe get rid of them; but what happens in autoimmune disease is that these toxins can recirculate and get into another part of your body.

Now, this happened to me when I tried to take spirulina, which is a detox kind of molecule or whatnot. I tried to detox myself, and I ended up having a new autoimmune condition. So I ended up with giant papillary conjunctivitis; which was giant pimples on my eyelids; not fun, don’t recommend it. And what happened was the toxins were getting redistributed in my body; in my eyelids, specifically, and not getting cleared out.

There are other protocols, like coffee enemas. These can be really, really great for really healthy people; but a lot of people with autoimmune disease are very much debilitated and those can actually be potentially problematic. High dose iodine can detoxify, but that ends up stirring a lot of things in the meantime, and it can actually be inflammatory for people with Hashimoto’s.

With the liver support protocol, what I do with my clients is I give them nutrients and some liver supporting herbs to help them process that backlog. And it’s very, very gentle where we just kind of speed up your own body’s natural ways of getting rid of toxins. So part of that is moving them out of the liver but using specific liver nutrients, like milk thistle and various vitamins and amino acids that support those pathways. By introducing more sweat into your life. So the skin is our largest detox organ, and most people with an underactive thyroid don’t sweat enough. It’s not something they complain about, but it’s something that’s definitely deficient. So getting more sweat happening is going to be really, really positive.

The other big thing is removing those low-hanging fruits. So removing the foods that aren’t going to be potentially toxic; removing fluoride from your everyday use; that starts to free up the liver to start getting rid of that backlog, right? And then of course, I love utilizing supportive foods, so things like hot lemon water, green smoothies, so on and so-forth to help your own detox pathways; not do a forceful detox.

Angie Alt: Love it. I think Mickey and I were sitting over here in our nutritional therapy offices going, “Yes, yes! Totally right on.” I just love it. And your example of how this works; your office lady. This really gives a great illustration to people to understand why gentle is probably better.

5. Self-care: You cannot pour from an empty cup [26:20]

Angie Alt: Let’s talk a little bit about the surveys you did over your 2,000 Hashimoto’s patients. One of the not surprising but interesting results was in the adrenal recovery protocol, where you report your findings about lifestyle habits, and situations that make them feel better. I just want to read a few of these off. So, sleeping, 74%; spending time with loved ones, 73%, being in nature 71%, walking 66%; compared to things that make people feel worse. So, lack of sleep 95%, being stressed out 93%. For those of us with autoimmune disease, this may seem obvious, but it’s really interesting to look at the numbers here. Can you talk a little bit about the disconnect between what we know is better for us, and the lifestyle habits we actually engage in on a regular basis? And I think we’re probably all a little guilty. {laughs}

Dr. Izabella Wentz: You know, this is kind of a big passion point for me. I recently shared a meme to my Instagram page; and it was basically, I think women are especially at risk for this, and it said, “Calling a woman high maintenance is a great way to put down a woman who cares about herself.” And there’s this stigma around women caring for themselves. Our, I guess our value is derived in how we care for other people, and our accomplishments. And self-care, self-love, self-compassion is seen as selfish. It’s like, “Oh, well you’re spending all this money on yourself, and you’re resting when you could be volunteering somewhere and you’re doing all of this and all of that.”

I know for me, that was a huge reframe, where I was like; wow, maybe it’s ok for me not to take over the entire world and do every little thing by myself and actually let other people help. Maybe it’s ok for me to; I ended up working part time as part of my healing journey. And that, for me, I feel good because I felt like my accomplishments were what brought value to my life.

I think, for me, the big way to reframe that is thinking about how an empty cup can never fill another cup. So what we want to do is we want to fill our cups so full of self-love, self-care, and self-compassion, that we can just give from our overflow. Because then it’s not such a burden.

I know for me, if I’m ever not taking care of myself, I end up being resentful towards other people. I’m not the best Izabella to my loved ones; I’m not the best Izabella to anybody in my life if I’m not taking care of me first. And so I know this is a really big, big habit change. It’s one of those things, like stress; changing how you respond to stress and how much stress you take on, it’s one of those things that doesn’t require a fancy doctor or fancy supplements, or even necessarily a lot of money, but it’s one of the hardest things to do. It’s also one of the most important things.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah; I mean when you look at these numbers, it’s like out of the 2,000 people that responded to your survey, 95% of them said lack of sleep they know make them feel worse, and being stressed out 93%. Those are 2 things that; not everything, but a lot of those things are within their control. They can set a bedtime, they can troubleshoot those sleep issues, they can acknowledge that stress and make a plan for trying to dial it down or manage it better. But it’s still surprising knowing how much better that makes us feel how high those numbers are, and it really tells me that; you know, everyone is suffering from this. Everyone is having a hard time. I think part of it is just cultural; what you said, Izabella, about women just over-doing it and not really taking that time for self-care because the stigma is totally spot-on.

Angie Alt: Maybe we need to start a girl’s club, ladies, where we cheer each other on for putting ourselves first and really diving into these self-care practices.

Mickey Trescott: Yeah, I think that’s a great thing, maybe an action item for anyone listening. You know, if you notice someone else in your life taking some time to take care of themselves, cheer them on, you know! Say, “you know what, I noticed that you’re trying to take care of yourself,” and applaud them. They’re going to be a better friend, or a better wife, or a better teacher; whatever they do because they’re taking that effort, and I think we should acknowledge it more.

Angie Alt: #Selfcare.

Mickey Trescott: Yep.

Angie Alt: Right.

6. The multiple root causes of Hashimoto’s [31:09]

Mickey Trescott: So Izabella; a big misconception I’ve noticed kind of floating around our Hashimoto’s community is that there is one underlying magical root cause to anyone’s personal particular disease. And in the advanced protocol sections of your book, you provide a lot of self-tests people can use to uncover different areas they should look at. So maybe you could speak to those people who seem to be tirelessly looking for this one root cause; instead of looking at that bigger picture, and how to narrow that down with some of the advanced protocols you’ve given.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Sure. So, the 6 categories where I would put root causes are going to be food sensitivities, nutrient depletions, impaired ability handle stress, impaired ability to handle toxins, intestinal permeability, and chronic infections. And when I really thought about what all of those different root causes have in common; when you go back to it, all of them; whatever, if it’s toxins, or having food sensitivities, or not enough nutrients on board, or even stress in our lives. All of those messages send a signal to our body that we’re not safe. And that we need to conserve energy, and conserve resources.

Now, I consider this an adaptive physiology kind of genius development of the body where the body knows that in time of famine, where we might have nutrient depletions and a lot of stress, that we need to shut certain things down. The fastest way to shut down energy expenditure is going to be through slowing down thyroid function. So my kind of interpretation of what’s going on with thyroid disease and what’s going on in Hashimoto’s, is basically our bodies response to our current environment, right? So our body is interpreting these signs. So eating foods that are inflammatory to you; right now that seems like it’s a normal part of life. But if you were a caveman, there was never going to be a time that you would eat grass; which let’s face it, grains are; unless you were absolutely starving. Unless there was a famine. So this sends a signal to your body that you’re not safe, right.

Same with any kind of toxin. So the toxin within your body, or within your environment, it sends a signal to your body saying, “Hey, we’re not safe. Not a good time to be utilizing all of our resources. We need to conserve our resources.”

So how you back away from that is sending your body safety signals, and convincing your body that yes, it is safe. Right? That’s how you start rebalancing autoimmune thyroid disease. And you do that through making sure that you’re nourishing yourself; avoiding foods that are inflammatory to you; you’re addressing your stress, and then supporting the liver and supporting the adrenal glands. Supporting your gut is also going to be helpful for sending your body those safety signals to make yourself feel better.

As far as the root causes, a lot of times, it’s going to be a whole lifestyle overhaul when you have autoimmune thyroid disease, where you dial in all these moving pieces. Like the nutrients, and you want to dial in the food, and so on and so forth. And the liver, adrenal and gut protocols; my fundamental protocols actually result in improvement 80% of the time, where people feel significantly better and some people can even go into remission once they get these 3 elements dialed in.

Beyond that, there are various types of root causes. And some of the root causes we can absolutely figure out what they are and we can remove them. Gluten is a root cause for some people; once they get off of gluten, everything else comes into balance. The world comes back, and birds are singing everywhere, and you’re in complete remission, until you eat gluten again. For other people, breast implants may be an autoimmune trigger. They get their breast implants removed, and they no longer have autoimmune disease, right?

For other people, it might be a combination of different things. So they might have a few different infections, they may need to really work on rebalancing their stress response. For others, it might be things that we can’t necessarily get rid of. If a vaccine or immunization triggered their thyroid disease, it’s not like you can un-vaccinate yourself, right? So a matter of what you need to do when you have Hashimoto’s is you need to support your fundamentals, you need to work on building up your body, you need to work on that resilience to get yourself to feel well. Often times you also need to address hormones, and making sure you’re on proper thyroid hormone replacement in conjunction as you’re doing these lifestyle things.

And there’s fundamentals that I recommend, and I also recommend figuring out and addressing any kind of root causes or known triggers that you may have, and that’s why I have a root causes assessment in the second part of the book that goes through all these potential triggers that could be contributing. But what I’ve found is it’s oftentimes wiser to get the lifestyle and the strengthening protocols up, such as making sure you’re properly nourished, as you ladies know, before you start really going heavily after the different root causes.

Mickey Trescott: Awesome; love that approach, and I love you putting it together through all of the spectrum of root causes and things that can be combined, instead of a lot of practitioners now will go out and say, “Epstein Barr is the root cause of Hashimoto’s.” I can’t tell you how many people in the last week; it’s almost on a daily basis now that are coming up with this. And for some people; yes, dealing with a chronic infection is a part of their journey, but for a lot of people, it’s not, so you presented a really wide range, and you present even more in your book of things that some people wouldn’t even think of; like the breast implants or various thigs that people could be reacting to in their lifestyle, you know. Toxic mold in their house; whatever it is that they’re having trouble with.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Yeah, absolutely. And in some cases, there are somethings that you can’t get rid of necessarily out of our environment, so you can’t leave our planet and our planet really is full of toxins. So we have to do our best to survive in this world. And it’s a matter of sending safety signals to our body, and that’s going to be making sure you’re really nourished and well taken care of.

Mickey Trescott: Mm-hmm. And not having too much fear about that, too; because I’ve seen a lot of people go off the deep end in that area, too; where when they start hearing stories, especially of other people where someone is having a problem with something really specific, they start to kind of get this bubble living, and afraid of the outside world. I think that really impacts our ability to live vibrant, healthy lives if we’re constantly afraid of everything we’ll come into contact with. So we have to have a balance there.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Yeah, I agree. And I know for myself, when I first started on the path to healing; I made a lot of mistakes, and that’s probably why I write about it all because I don’t want people to make the same mistakes I did. But I was on a dietary protocol; I was on the GAPS diet, which just wasn’t right for me. It works well for some people, right? But for me this diet wasn’t right because I was very sensitive to nuts, and nuts make me accumulate copper. My body tends to accumulate copper just in general, potentially because of some undiscovered genes that I have. And you can get into a place where you feel like you lose that connection, and you lose that communication with your body. And you’re no longer perceiving your body’s messages, and you become very fearful.

I know I became concerned when I was going; about eating sweet potatoes. And I was like; well they’re not GAPS compliant, and are they going to harm me because I lost that communication and that, I guess inner dialogue with my body. And that’s really what it is; and recovering, in my opinion, from Hashimoto’s, is remaking that connection with your body where you listen to its signs in terms of what foods are working for you, what foods aren’t working for you; what’s working in your life, and for most people being isolated and keeping themselves away from their community; that’s definitely not on the list of things that makes them feel better. So really going through and creating that little list for yourself; “things that make me feel better, things that make me feel worse” and doing more of the better and less of the worse is probably the most important thing you can do for your healing.

Mickey Trescott: I don’t know if this lady could be singing to our hearts any more clearly, you guys. We are always preaching the balance in this process, and she’s just really speaking some wise stuff here. Izabella, thank you so much for spending some time with us today. We know our Hashi’s brothers and sisters listening in will learn a lot from this episode. You guys, please pick up a copy of Izabella’s new book; Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-day plan for reversing thyroid symptoms and getting your life back. Izabella, can you let our listeners know where to follow you and what’s in store for your community of Root Cause Rebels?

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Yeah, absolutely. My website is www.ThyroidPharmacist.com, and as we talked a little bit at the beginning of the interview, I’m always coming out with new and exciting things for people with thyroid disease, and trying to get more information out into the world. One of these big projects was The Thyroid Secret, and if you want to be notified about if we ever do re-release that you can go to www.ThyroidPharmacist.com/gift. I also have some helpful things to get your started on your journal, including a guide on nutrient deficiencies, which are one of the fastest ways to get back your health. And I always keep; I’m sending out up to date research every week or so or every two weeks, if I’m in a book launch, to let people know about what all the different potential things that can be helpful for them to recover their health. And Hashimoto’s Protocol is available wherever books are sold. So if you go to Barnes and Noble, if you go to Amazon, if you go to any kind of bookstores you should be able to find it there. And I hope that you pick it up, and I hope that it helps you on your journey.

Mickey Trescott: Awesome; thank you so much, Izabella, for spending some time with us. We really appreciate it.

Dr. Izabella Wentz: Thank you so much for having me; it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you ladies.

Mickey Trescott: Bye guys.

 

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About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a cook and one of the bloggers behind Autoimmune Paleo. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, a guide and recipe book for the autoimmune protocol, and AIP Batch Cook, a video-based batch cooking program. You also can find her on Instagram.

4 comments

  • Kristen Clark says

    I just finished listening to this podcast and was interested in the specifics of Dr. Wentz’s liver support method. Which of her books contains that specific information? I have had RA for about seven years now and been doing the AIP for about 4 years. While I think there has been some improvement I’m not having the results I read about and dream of experiencing. After hearing this podcast I’m starting to think there is more going on in my body than I had thought.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Kristen! The latest book, Hashimoto’s Protocol (linked up above) has all the info you are looking for. Wishing you luck!

  • Cecilia Anderson says

    THANK YOU so much for providing a full transcript! I am one of those people who doesn’t like listening to podcasts or watching video clips. I much prefer to read something. BTW, I couldn’t find this episode from your menu drop-downs. I had to come at it from the email (I am on your mailing list). Season 2 will be added to the menus, right??

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Cecilia! Thanks for the feedback! Yes, this podcast will have it’s own navigation, but since we have to link them in it takes a little while to get there. You can always use the searchbar to find anything you need on the site. Wishing you the best!

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