#44 Hashimoto's Disease - Symptoms, Causes & Cures

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast


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"I generally wouldn't encourage someone to go straight on to Thyroid hormone replacement. You have the opportunity to use diet, lifestyle and supplements to help balance and control your immune system, and I see massive changes in clients from these alone."

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In Episode 44 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas and Kate Callaghan discuss whether Hashimoto’s disease can be cured and how Hashimoto’s disease is diagnosed.

  • What is Hashimoto’s?
  • How can you get tested properly
  • Clinical signs/symptoms of Hashimoto’s
  • Dietary approaches to decreasing thyroid antibodies
  • Supplements to help reduce thyroid antibodies and promote thyroid function 
  • Important lifestyle tweaks
  • What happens if none of that works? What else can be at play?
  • Brief summary about Nat’s Thyroid Rescue program coming soon

Intro 0:00
Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast where you’ll find the inspiration and answers to how you can become the healthiest, happiest version of you using whole food nutrition, smart supplementation, movement, and lifestyle hacks. Your host, Natalie Bourke and Kate Callaghan, a degree-qualified Dietitians and Nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors with extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the wellness industry. So sit back and enjoy the show.

Kate Callaghan 0:38
Welcome back to the podcast everyone. Nat, how are you?

Natalie K. Douglas
I’m good, Kate. How are you?

Kate Callaghan
I’m good. I feel a little bit weird doing the introduction.

Natalie K. Douglas
I know. We swapped roles, everybody.

Kate Callaghan
With the backflip?

Natalie K. Douglas 0:51
I know, was it fun? Did you have a good time?

Kate Callaghan
It was fun. I feel accomplished.

Natalie K. Douglas
Excellent. That’s what I like to hear. You can do it again next time if you like.

Kate Callaghan 0:59
Thanks. So what’s new with you?

Natalie K. Douglas 1:02
Not a lot. Well, probably my capes, but not a lot. I don’t know what people don’t know. Well, actually, I’m going through a rebranding process, everybody. So I will be sharing more about this as it progresses but just to be aware that I am actually changing my business, from Health by Whole Foods to Natalie K. Douglas, Thyroid Healer. So it’s not happening right now but it will be coming in the next month or so. So just if you start to see Natalie K. Douglas written in places, then you’ll know that’s me and hopefully. So yes, my name is Natalie Bourke, I am getting married at the end of the year, which is why. I’m not just changing my name to something random. You know what? I thought about it. And if I was changing my name to something random, I would be Natalie Love. I just love the word love. I tried to convince Bowen, who’s my partner, that we should both change our last name to love but it didn’t work out for me.

Kate Callaghan 2:01
Do you know when I was 12? I changed my name to Anna Cowen.

Natalie K. Douglas 2:10
What? What the hell? No offense to anyone that if someone listening and that’s their name but like, it’s not even like, what made you want to do that?

Kate Callaghan 2:18
I think she was a character in like an R. L. Stine book or something. And I’m like, yeah, I really liked that name, and then just took it on and started signing Anna Cowen everywhere.

Natalie K. Douglas 2:28
That’s hilarious. Well, I actually shouldn’t laugh because I wanted to be a boy when I was little and I used to call myself Bradley. And when I was in the supermarket, I wouldn’t come unless my mom called out Bradley. So she had to, like and if she if she if someone at the checkout was like, because they used to have a boy’s haircut. This was when I was like, I don’t know, about five, six or so. Anyway, if the lady at the checkout was like, oh, what a cute little boy I used to like nudge her to make sure she didn’t tell him I was a girl. She’s like and they’re like oh, what’s his name? And she had to say Bradley. What a tough mom. Thanks, mom if you’re listening.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
Brad, when I’m being cool.

Kate Callaghan
That’s good.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:12
I know right. Anyway guys, my name is written not being changed to Love or Bradley. It is going to be changed to Natalie K. Douglas. So I will as I said, put more information out there just be than just this but I just thought that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ve been rebranding and it’s a long process. You don’t realize how much you actually set up when you set up a business but now I’m like too far in to be like, yeah, now scrap that.

Kate Callaghan 3:37
I’ve contemplated it but no.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:41
No, you’re already, well you’re already your name too and.

Kate Callaghan 3:44
But I’m not. I’m not my name.

Natalie K. Douglas
Well, you are holistic nutritionist.

Kate Callaghan
People know me as the holistic nutritionist.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:49
Yeah, that’s true.

Kate Callaghan 3:51
I wasn’t Kate Callaghan, I’m a person.

Natalie K. Douglas
I know you’re a person maybe you should just.

Kate Callaghan
Anywho, speaking of the rebrand kind of ties into what we’re talking about today, we are going to be talking about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. And so a couple of weeks ago, Nat, you interviewed me kind of in a when we’re talking about prenatal or preconception care. Sorry. So today because you are a thyroid specialist, I’m going to be interviewing you and jumping in on some but you’re going to be taking the lead lady.

Natalie K. Douglas 4:26
Sounds like a plan.

Kate Callaghan 4:29
So I think probably the best place to start is to tell us a little bit about what is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

Natalie K. Douglas 4:37
Cool. So I’ll try and keep it simple but if you so, Hashimoto’s is basically when your body starts to develop antibodies to your thyroid gland it starts to attack your thyroid gland. So when that happens, you see elevated antibodies. And you’ll also eventually, when there’s been enough attack on your on that thyroid gland, you will start to see a decrease in thyroid function, because that makes sense because your body is actually attacking part of your thyroid gland, which means that its capacity to actually produce adequate thyroid hormones is going to start to diminish. So that’s basically what Hashimoto’s is. It is an autoimmune thyroid condition. You can have low thyroid function without having Hashimoto’s. The Hashimoto’s is more referring to the fact that the root cause of your low thyroid function is an auto is autoimmune related.

Kate Callaghan 5:36
Very good, very succinct. And so if someone wants to find out if they have Hashimoto’s, rather than say hypothyroidism, or just in general, to see if they have it, what is the diagnostic criteria and and how can people go about getting tested?

Natalie K. Douglas 5:53
Yeah, so you’d think it would be super easy, and it can be if you have a really good doctor, or if your symptoms are just really obvious, but in a lot of cases, that doesn’t happen. So for someone to be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s there has to be an antibodies present. So the most common, so which means you have to get them tested. The most commonly elevated antibodies in Hashimoto’s are called thyroid peroxidase antibodies or TPO for short, and this is an antibody to the main enzyme that’s responsible for making thyroid hormone. The other antibody that can be elevated and can also be tested in Hashimoto’s is a thyroid globulin antibodies. And this is an antibody to the iodine-rich protein that’s a precursor to thyroid hormones. And these tests can be done through blood in order through your the GP. However, it’s not going to be the first test that gets ordered by your G by most GP’s, if you just walk in and say that you think you have a thyroid issue or you start to describe some low thyroid symptoms, which will go into shortly, they’re likely just going to order TSH, which is which weren’t indicate if you have autoimmunity or not, it may hint at it, but it won’t be an indication like that you have antibodies. So the scary thing is, is that thyroid antibodies can actually be elevated 8 to 10 years before your TSH goes out of normal range. Therefore, if you go to your doctor, and all they test is TSH, but it’s still within normal range, you could still have thyroid antibodies 8 to 10 years before that gets picked up if they’re not doing a comprehensive test. So my advice is to insist that thyroid antibodies along with TSH free T4 or free T3 and reverse T3 are done. Not every doctor is going to agree to this though. So you may either have to try a few or get it done privately through a nutrition through a nutritionist or holistic dietitian or naturopath that does functional testing because we do those who do practice functional medicine. Do you have the capacity to order that? It isn’t covered by Medicare but in most cases when you go to the GP, neither is like if there’s no indication for testing a comprehensive thyroid panel, then your doctor will also not put it on Medicare. So you will still have to pay anyway. So in my opinion, if you just want a really fast answer, and your doctor is being difficult, it’s easier to pay the money to get it tested comprehensively. Generally speaking, you’re looking at about 200 ish dollars to get it thoroughly tested through some nutritionists or naturopaths or holistic dietitians if they do thyroid testing, give or take though, because it depends on the lab that they use. And also prices do fluctuate from time to time, depending on what the what that lab kind of does. I have actually written a blog post about all the different thyroid markers. So I’ll link to that in the show notes as well. If anyone’s interested or wants a recap on that, Kate, did you write one as well or?

Kate Callaghan
I think I did.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, I’ll have a look. I’ll stalk your site but yeah, that’s basically how you get tested.

Kate Callaghan 9:15
Yeah, and I think it’s definitely. I agree with all of that. I definitely always push for all of those markers with thyroid, it’s so important to get that well-rounded view of what’s going on. So you can actually know how to treat things. So definitely worth spending that money. So you get those the full picture and all of those answers. So what I want to know as well when your thyroid antibody levels come back, so if you’ve got, if there’s some level of antibodies there, do you still treat that as an autoimmune condition? So for example, so you know, I’ve seen antibodies in the thousands, which is full-blown Hashimoto’s, but then I see people who might have antibodies let’s say at 60, or even at 30, or 20. What are your thoughts, then?

Natalie K. Douglas 10:00
Yeah, I would still treat the immune system, because you’re seeing the start of an immune immune system starting to be dysregulated. I wouldn’t like at that stage, I would, I wouldn’t encourage someone to go straight on to thyroid hormone replacement. Like, I would never say, definitely don’t do it. I’d say you can discuss it with your doctor but my personal opinion is this, they probably won’t put you on it at that stage anyway but you have the chance to use diet, lifestyle, and supplements to actually control the immune system and that’s what you would do first. So I wouldn’t treat it from a or I wouldn’t advise someone goes and treats it from a medical perspective, necessarily straight away without having tried anything else. I would see it as a great opportunity to stop that progressing into more of an autoimmune attack because you’ve kind of caught it early on.

Kate Callaghan 10:55
Cool. I agree. Yeah, prevention rather than cure. I had someone who came back with a TSH of four and I think the cutoff is 4.1.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
No, no, you’re normal,

Natalie K. Douglas 11:07
You’re fine. Don’t worry about it. I know.

Kate Callaghan 11:09
They don’t actually look to treat until you’re really sick.

Natalie K. Douglas 11:13
Yep. And on that TSH note, like, the reference ranges are stupid, that’s that’s my that’s my technical answer like like, it’s too large, like someone with a TSH, of even like, I, I don’t like to see it above about 2.2 to 2.5. If it’s over that, then that’s an indication to me that the thyroid is struggling. And I would, I would start to wonder or I would start to treat that I would start to treat that with, as I said, diet, lifestyle, and supplements, because you’re really looking for somewhere between that, you know, 1 and 2.5 range for TSH and everyone’s going to be a little bit different. Like some people at the upper end as in at about 2.5 level of TSH, they will actually function fine. Everyone’s body is a little bit different. So that it’s important to recognize that these labs are a piece of the puzzle but your your symptoms are also really important in assessing thyroid function because there are some cases where your labs might look normal, but you’re still experiencing low thyroid function and there and there is instances where the reason for that is, is because your thyroid uptake or your thyroid receptors have become resistant in some way to thyroid hormone and it usually it’s because of inflammation or too much cortisol, and you need to address that. So it’s really important that you don’t. If you have low thyroid function or low, like low thyroid symptoms, but your lab tests are normal, it’s not a reason not to treat, it just means you need to treat it differently.

Kate Callaghan
Great. So on that note, signs, and symptoms, what are we looking for?

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, gosh, there are so many. So I’ll start with a few and then you can add any if you if you think of any obvious ones that I’ve that I’ve missed. So one would be kind of weight loss resistance. So you’ve tried you feel like you’re doing everything right, but you can’t seem to shift weight. Another one would be weight gain, again without having changed to anything else too dramatically. Hair loss. Dry skin. Constipation is another big one. Cold hands and feet or just feeling like you seem to be always the coldest person in the room like everyone else is, you know, doesn’t have a jumper on and you’re the one that’s running for the jumper the fastest. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be another one probably not as commonly listed, but it is definitely one of them. Can you think of any other really obvious one or I’ll probably say water attention. So, there’s these kind of look of like, puffiness that thyroid patients often present with. So if you feel like particularly around the face, you’ll look at someone in their face will look quite puffy and the feeling of it. So I’ve had I’ve had low thyroid function before the feeling of it is it’s like you’re always about to get your period. So it’s that feeling of just feeling like heavy. So that heaviness, fatigue, is a huge one. And fatigue that lasts like that it isn’t sporadic as in you’re you’re just constantly feeling like you can’t get out of first key. So you just really struggling to to get through your day and you wake up tired. You don’t wake up feeling refreshed. With sleep, it can kind of go both ways. Sometimes people will have excessive sleep, and sometimes people will have insomnia. So they’re they’re probably the main ones that I can think of off the top of my head that are most obvious. Kate, do you have any more to add?

Kate Callaghan 15:06
I’ll say depression.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
Brain fog, menstrual issues, or infertility.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yes. Awesome.

Kate Callaghan
Thinning out of thirds of the eyebrows.

Natalie K. Douglas 15:19
Yep. Yeah. And, you know, just to mention that infertility one, that’s something that I have a really huge passion about picking up. So, Kate, I mean, you wouldn’t you know about this as well. But you know, there are so many women that are struggling with infertility and it’s such a huge issue. And I’ve seen cases where people are just not being screened for thyroid issues and they’re going through looking at doing IVF and all this kind of stuff or they’ve had recurrent miscarriages and thyroid and Hashimoto’s. Like thyroid autoimmunity is actually the root cause of, of why they cannot sustain a pregnancy and it’s, in my opinion, every single woman that wants to conceive should be screened for Hashimoto’s and should have their thyroid thoroughly assessed because thyroid health during pregnancy is super, super, super important.

Kate Callaghan
Absolutely, I had a friend who went through three rounds of IVF with an undiagnosed Hashimoto’s, raging Hashimoto’s condition.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, it’s just it’s so it’s just wrong. Like not only the emotion like the emotional toll of of going through that but also like the financial toll like that’s it’s not.

Kate Callaghan 16:43
It’s about 50 grand.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, exactly, like it’s absolutely ridiculous.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas 16:44
And, you know, that’s why, you know, as occasionally I do have clients that are like, oh, I just don’t know if I want to pay the money to get it privately tested because they’re doctors aren’t, aren’t testing it. And I’m like, whoa, like, this is worth it. Like, this is one time where I will be a bit like.

Kate Callaghan 17:01
Do it.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
You’re going to pay. You’re going to pay eventually.

Natalie K. Douglas 17:05
Yeah, yeah.

Kate Callaghan
Right now or pay later.

Natalie K. Douglas
Absolutely and it’s yeah, so important and so important to be monitored throughout pregnancy as well. And on that note, so important to also test your urinary iodine before looking to conceive because it’s really important that your iodine levels are optimized before that as well but we can talk about iodine in another podcast because it probably deserves a podcast of its own but yeah, they’re the main kind of signs and symptoms of Hashimoto’s. The other thing I actually did before we move on, I want to mention is that it’s really common for people with Hashimoto’s to feel depressed. And it it’s very, very, very common for Hashimoto’s to be missed, and for people to just be diagnosed with depression and given an antidepressant. So, that’s, that’s not. That’s really, really it’s again heartbreakingly common that that’s that that is what happens. So that’s why you really need to be an advocate for being like, no, I want you to test this. And if you don’t test it, I’m going to go somewhere else, or just go somewhere else. I mean, I don’t advise going into the office and being demanding like that was more an internal thought, but try and get what you want, and if you don’t, find another doctor, or find someone that will order for order them for you privately, because it’s too important not to.

Kate Callaghan 18:29
Yeah, I agree. So if someone comes back and they’ve got Hashimoto’s where to with diet?

Natalie K. Douglas 18:36
So it’s very exciting that diet can actually have quite a profound impact. So the thing to remember is that food is really powerful. And when you have any kind of autoimmune condition, including Hashimoto’s, what we need to do is reduce as much inflammation and potential triggers to the immune system that we can, you know, as a therapeutic intervention, and then you can kind of go through a reintroduction protocol, the biggest ones for me, so let’s say like they haven’t started on anything. So the biggest ones for me as a starting point would be gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and industrial seed oils, so, if you haven’t started that already that would, excuse me, be my advice to start there. If you’re already avoiding all of those, then the next step is eliminating grains and legumes followed by a trial elimination of nuts and seeds, eggs, nightshade. So at this stage, basically, if you want to put a label to it, it’s an autoimmune paleo protocol. Is it necessary for everyone? No, and certainly not long term. However, is it a really effective way to hit reset and to calm your system down? Yes, absolutely. And it can feel really overwhelming. So what I often encourage people to do is to work with a practitioner, who can actually support them along the way. And I am actually working on a very, very comprehensive program to do just that. But I’ll I’ll chat a bit about that at the end of the podcast. So in terms of why kind of we are eliminating gluten as as a big one, because that’s one that people often question is because that the proteins found in gluten actually mimic the protein structures that make up your thyroid gland. So we call this molecular mimicry, it kind of like a case of mistaken identity. So when the body is developing antibodies to attack the gluten that you’ve just ingested, sometimes it mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland at the same time, not because it is trying to work against you but because it, it just doesn’t realize that it’s the wrong thing to be attacking. So that one is something that’s really important to be strict with. And as I said, it really depends. Like, my advice would be know yourself. So if you know that you’re a bit of an all or nothing person, then go for it go straight to the autoimmune paleo protocol. If you’re already feeling super overwhelmed, and you haven’t even started eating paleo, or like you haven’t even started, like, I really don’t like putting labels on things but that’s the easiest thing to call it. If you haven’t started doing any of that kind of stuff, then just start eliminating one thing at a time. And probably the the feeling of starting to feel a bit better will be motivated, it will be a lack of motivation to keep going. But just know it can take a little bit of time. But often, people start to feel better quite quickly when they start to make some dietary changes. And then as I said, once you’ve kind of gone through that autoimmune type protocol, for I would say, a minimum of four weeks is, is going to be super important. If you can do it for a bit longer, awesome. But a minimum of four weeks, then what you can do is start to reintroduce the foods that you have eliminated in a really strategic way. So it’s very important that you don’t just start eating all of the things after you finish the protocol, because then you’re going to have no idea what you’ve reacted to or what is causing an issue. And you can there is the potential to cause an autoimmune flare from introducing so many things at once that you potentially aren’t tolerating at this stage. So it’s really important that someone, someone you work with someone to actually reintroduce them strategically or if you just really own it yourself, then you can do that. But generally speaking, you want to introduce one new food every kind of three to four days, because it can take that long for a reaction to happen. And the goal is is to have is initially to calm your system down by doing a therapeutic intervention and elimination protocol but the end goal is to have the most liberalized diet you can while being symptom-free, but it like you have to put in the hard work to calm the system down to kind of hit reset to get to that place but it’s it’s definitely worth it.

Kate Callaghan 23:03
Agreed. I’m probably a little bit more brutal than you.

Natalie K. Douglas 23:08
Probably. Well, I try sometimes but some people would just so, everyone’s a bit like different.

Kate Callaghan 23:12
Yeah, no, I agree. I agree. Yes, yes. Also, I also add in you know when you’re taking all these foods out, just be sure to be adding in all these wonderful superfoods like liver, because if you’re doing the autoimmune protocol, you’re gonna be taking out things like your eggs and nuts and seeds, and things that aren’t quite healthy for you. These are not reacting to your body or, you know, your body’s not reacting to them. Sorry, so making sure that you’re getting you know, these traditional superfoods in like your organic liver, like your sea vegetables, your fermented foods, your bone broth that are going to promote that optimal health.

Natalie K. Douglas 23:50
Yeah, really good point because that that is really important because you need a lot of micronutrients to heal as well and often in Hashimoto’s there will be some deficiencies some nutritional deficiencies. And one of the fastest ways to correct those is a combination of a nutrient-dense diet, and also supplementation. So yeah, good good points. Don’t just focus on what you’re not eating, focus on what you should be eating too.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah. And it can it can be overwhelming. And it is not an easy protocol if you’re doing the full autoimmune protocol, but as Nat, as you said, it is really, really effective. I’ve had some amazing results with clients doing that. So don’t discount the power of food.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
But moving on, supplements, can we use any supplements to help reduce thyroid antibodies and promote thyroid function?

Natalie K. Douglas
Yes, absolutely. So probably the first, the the two that come to mind. Well, there’s a few that come to mind but Selenium would be my number one choice. So about 200 to 400 micrograms of selenium has been shown to significantly reduce thyroid antibodies and actually, a combination of selenium and myo-inositol also produces a significant reduction. So that was, that would be something I would recommend starting with, if you I would probably encourage you to get your Selenium levels tested. You could probably start on 200 micrograms without any issues, but I would get your levels tested, you know, within a month of studying that to make sure that you’re not causing yourself to have high Selenium levels, and it is just a blood test that your doctor can order. Other things that can also be really helpful are Vitamin D, vitamin D has a really significant impact on regulating your immune system, as well as zinc. Zinc can also be really helpful in Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. There’s lots and lots and lots of other things that can help with Hashimoto’s and bringing down antibodies, but those would probably be my top picks and the ones that are I would start someone on. As soon as I can, as soon as I saw those levels of antibodies were elevated, I would initiate that kind of treatment. That’s kind of specific to treating thyroid like the the antibody side of things. There’s also lots of things that you can use to treat the actual low thyroid symptoms or the difficulty with conversion of thyroid hormones. So that’s probably another another topic of its own but a good B vitamin and good magnesium would also be really, really indicated in this kind of situation, it’s it’s kind of B vitamins and magnesium, do so many things in your body that it’s hard to just be like, well, it’s for the specific thing, it’s really for a number of reactions to happen, they’re what we call co-factors, or little helpers to the reactions that have to occur in your body in order for your body to function optimally. So if you’re not already on like an activated B complex and a good quality magnesium, then that would be something that I would definitely recommend adding in as well. The last thing that I would mention is bringing down inflammation in the body can also be helpful. So looking at a good quality, fish oil can sometimes be beneficial. And same with some curcumin in some people, not always does it work for Hashimoto’s quite, some people can react to it just because of the way the immune system responds to it. So I would start with the nutrients first, and see how you go from there and you’ll find that doing the nutrients in combination with the diet will be really, really effective in changing how you’re feeling particularly. Kate, was there any additional ones that you wanted to add to that?

Kate Callaghan 27:50
I think the only one that I would probably add would be L-Thyroxine which is an amino acid which is important for creating thyroid hormone, would you?

Natalie K. Douglas 27:59
Yeah, I wouldn’t in in some situations but yes, you you are right. Like that could be really helpful. And sometimes you can actually get B complex that have some L-Thyroxine in them depending on like it’s not a B vitamin, it’s amino acid but sometimes if you kind of get an amino acid and B vitamin complex combination you can find that in them. So yes, you can definitely use that one but it’s it is really important to to work with a practitioner as well, when you’re kind of starting to introduce a lot of these supplements so that you can get the correct doses. I’ve obviously given you some idea about dosage there. But I don’t know, I don’t know you like I don’t I’m not your labs aren’t sitting in front of me, I don’t have your symptoms, so if you know, you’re not going to do too much harm with B vitamins and magnesium or even, you know, 25 to 30 milligrams of zinc, generally speaking but when you start to go down, you know a bit further than that, or you want to optimize the levels. And it is really important to work with someone. So they can optimize that for you and also know when to reduce it or to take you off it because often people start on supplements, and they don’t know when to stop and they’re too scared to stop. And sometimes it’s going to be better for them to stop than it is to continue.

Kate Callaghan 29:20
Definitely, definitely. So okay, so we’ve got supplements, we’ve got diet, what about lifestyle?

Natalie K. Douglas 29:25
Yes, so two simple words, stress management, and sleep. So three words, so, I was gonna say stress and sleep, stress management, and sleep. So already your body is obviously going through quite a stressful period. If your body is attacking its thyroid, its own self. So it’s really important to actually manage your stress and get enough sleep. Lack of sleep is a huge stress on your system. The other thing to note is that stress or a stressful period in someone’s life, can actually trigger autoimmunity it can be the trigger for someone developing Hashimoto’s and that’s why it’s super important too, as me and Kate always, always go on about have daily stress management practices, and prioritize your sleep as much as as much as you can. So we probably don’t need to go into what managing your stress or getting adequate sleep looks like because if you’ve listened to any other podcasts we’ve talked on, we’ve talked about it all the time. So because we’re running close to the end, I won’t go through all those but yeah looking after your stress, looking after your sleep, and also reducing your toxic load is another huge one. So we always talk about this as well, using essential oils to start replacing a lot of the chemicals that you’re using, either through personal care or through just cleaning your house or treating minor cuts or wound or those kind of things really starting to delve into the world of essential oils to start replacing a little those things because again, a high toxic load can also be a trigger for autoimmunity, or like something that makes it worse too.

Kate Callaghan 31:09
Absolutely. On that note, just a little shout out to Alexx Stuart and her new book, Low Tox Life, which is fabulous and beautiful and very easy to read and easy to implement the changes. So go and check out her book. It’s amazing.

Natalie K. Douglas
Awesome. We’ll link to it in the show notes, good tip.

Kate Callaghan
So what about if none of this works, what else can be at play?

Natalie K. Douglas 31:29
Okay, so let’s say you’ve gone through the elimination and reintroduction and you’ve taken some basic supplements and you’ve looked after lifestyle side of things, then, and still you don’t feel better. So those are few things so the most common reason I see someone not getting results is because of an unaddressed gut issue like SIBO, parasites, or Candida. Untreated viral infections such as Epstein-Barr virus or glandular fever, toxic overload, or heavy metal toxicity, particularly mercury. So if you’re someone, someone who has had like amalgam, mercury amalgam fillings, then that’s like you have a mouthful of mercury, then that’s something important to work with a holistic dentist to get removed. And I’m actually, Kate I haven’t even told you this yet but I’m actually setting up an interview. Hopefully in the next month or so with my holistic dentist from Sydney, holistic dentist at Sydney Holistic Dental. And I will definitely chat to him about about the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings. And the other thing, the last one would be poor liver function. So it’s really important to really address any and all of these, because that’s going to give you the best chance at healing. So, one other one that I didn’t mention would be mold sickness. So if you’ve got excess mold in your environment, that can also be preventing you from healing. So yes, there are there are quite a few things that could also be preventing the healing process but all of those have treatments. So you’re not you’re not stuck like there is, I know it can sound overwhelming and feel overwhelming when you hear that even after doing all that there might still be things that stopping you from healing, but all those things are treatable. So that’s the good news and that’s what you should focus on. But going through the basics is really going to get you get most people most of the way and then it’s just about okay, what else could be still impacting my system and and how do I go about treating that. So, yes, important.

Kate Callaghan 33:48
Awesome. Okay, finally, two minutes. Tell us a little bit about your program.

Natalie K. Douglas 33:53
Okay, so.

Kate Callaghan
In a nutshell.

Natalie K. Douglas
Okay, in a in a really tiny nutshell, I’m really excited that I’m developing so it’s a, it’s a thyroid program and the reason I developed the reason I’m developing is it because I know it really sucks to have low, low thyroid function. I’ve had it myself and had so many clients going through that journey and it really feels like a bit of the silent suffering sometimes, and often people just don’t get their fatigued, and how should you, you can feel and it’s also.

Kate Callaghan 34:24
Do you know, I was just about to say we got through a whole podcast about swearing.

Natalie K. Douglas 34:34
Oh, sorry.

Kate Callaghan
Don’t froze.

Natalie K. Douglas
Anyway, it’s often dismissed. As oh, you must be tired or stressed or maybe have depression, it’s, you know, and it’s just not good enough, in my opinion. And I also think the internet is a place of too much information and really, people just need simple steps. So the program will help women with low thyroid function and Hashimoto’s reclaim their energy and their thyroid health in 90 days with expert diet, supplement, and lifestyle advice from yours truly. And you’ll basically be guided through my step-by-step process to rebalance thyroid health, we go through all aspects of health that affect thyroid function in a really big way. So gut health, adrenal health, liver health, and we also look at what other triggers. It could be preventing you from healing that I mentioned above, and I will treat you for those. All of this information is out there, as I said, but I really want to make this a streamlined program where we reduce all of the information overload and just get practical and super supportive. Half the battle of healing our health sometimes is staying the course and it’s so much easier to do if you’ve got a group of like-minded people looking out for you. So that’s in a nutshell, I will talk more about it as it gets closer but if you have any questions or inquiries, or you need help right now, then I am still taking one-on-one clients. So you that is an option. Otherwise, if you just want to hear more information, just stay. Looking stalking me on Instagram, because that’s probably where I’ll put the information.

Kate Callaghan 36:05
That is very exciting.

Natalie K. Douglas 36:06
I know, it’s so exciting.

Kate Callaghan
Whoo-hoo. All right, any final words?

Natalie K. Douglas
No. I think that’s it. I probably rambled way too much. So thank you for interviewing me, Kate. That was that was fun.

Kate Callaghan
I like interviewing you.

Natalie K. Douglas
Excellent. Well, have a lovely day. Well, do you have anything else to say before I just close off?

Kate Callaghan 36:27
No, no, I don’t think I do.

Natalie K. Douglas 36:30
All right, everyone pray for Kate’s nipple while she feeds because if you haven’t followed her on Instagram, her son has taken.

Kate Callaghan 36:38
Taken a chunk out of my nipple. I was saying to Nat before we got started with on the call. I was a little bit late because I was putting cream and essential oil and a bandaid on my nipple.

Natalie K. Douglas 36:48
Yes. So everyone good vibes for Kate’s nipples. And on that note, all right, I’ll catch you in a couple of weeks time. Thanks, Kate.

Kate Callaghan 36:58
Take care, Nat.

Natalie K. Douglas 37:00

Kate Callaghan

Outro 37:01
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. So, if you have any questions or topics you’d like discussed on the show, simply submit them to [email protected] or [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends and family too. Need more personalized nutrition advice? Why not invest in a consultation to accelerate your journey to your optimal health. You can find Nat over at HealthByWholefoods.com.au and Kate at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time guys.


The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!


Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.


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