This time of year, it can feel like everyone around you is getting sick. Whether it’s a cold, the flu, RSV Covid, Strep, or some other virus – it can feel a bit like it’s impossible to stay healthy during this time of year.
This is especially daunting for those who have autoimmunity, Hashimoto’s and thyroid issues because the standard advice about boosting your immunity could actually lead to a flare up. This is certainly the case for those with Hashimoto’s.
Staying up to Date on Immune Protocols
I’ve shared my immune protocols that are safe for Hashimoto’s and other autoimmunity in the past but there are always new ways of looking at things, new research, and new ideas to consider. So, in this episode, I’m sharing my MOST up-to-date Hashimoto’s-safe immune protocols to help you stay healthy this winter.
It’s important to stay on top of things and I’m thrilled to be sharing these Hashimoto’s-safe immune boosting strategies with you.
Don’t Follow Generic Immune Advice
Anyone with Hashimoto’s or autoimmunity has an immune system that functions differently than a normal immune system. Many people don’t realize that this means you can’t follow standard immune boosting advice.
When you have an autoimmune disease the immune system is already overactive. Most immune boosting supplements stimulate your immune system. For anyone with autoimmunity, this extra stimulation could put your issue into overdrive and make you feel even worse.
It seems logical – if you are fighting an infection, you want to boost your immune system. But, for those with autoimmunity, you don’t just stimulate the part of it that fights infections, you stimulate the whole thing, even the part that also fights your own organs!
Immune Boosting Herbs and Supplements to Avoid With Hashimoto’s
Some of the most commonly recommended immune-boosting supplements that those with autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s should avoid include:
- Reishi (and other immune supporting mushrooms)
Be extra cautious because some of these herbs are included in different immune formulations. It’s always best to read the ingredients to double check that they’re not present in a formulation you’re considering.
Green Light for These Immune Supporting Supplements for Hashimoto’s Patients
You might be thinking, if I can’t take these or anything with them in it, how am I supposed to stay healthy this winter? Don’t worry! There are other nutrients that are not only super effective but also very safe when it comes to both autoimmunity and preventing immune dysregulation.
Here is my go to list of immune-boosters safe for Hashimoto’s:
Many of us know about the power of vitamin C but I feel it gets overlooked. I’ve been using this for years with great results. My recommendation for general immune support for a typical 150 pound adult is 1000-2000 mg of vitamin C per day. I personally use the C+BioFizz from Designs for health which makes a yummy fizzy drink. However, capsules like Stellar C are also great. If you have digestive issues, vitamin C can cause loose bowels. If that happens for you, Liposomal Vitamin C is a wonderful solution to this problem (just remember to keep it refrigerated!)
If you are already symptomatic, you will want to increase your vitamin C significantly for 7-10 days. I suggest doing this in divided doses. For example, take 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C every 30-60 minutes until you get diarrhea (this is your body telling you it’s saturated).
Vitamin D is important for everyone as we go into the winter. The dosage is going to vary for each person so it’s a good idea to do a lab test to get your levels so you know how much you actually need. I like to have my patients in the range of 50-80. If you don’t know your levels, 5000 IU of vitamin D would typically be recommended. Vitamin D really helps balance the immune system so it’s key for anyone with autoimmune dealing with a virus or infection as it will prevent upregulations.
Keep in mind that Vitamin D should ideally come with vitamin K to prevent calcification of tissues and organs. I use Emulsi-D3 Liquid (great for anyone who struggles with fat soluble vitamins). Vitamin D Supreme capsules work really well for those who don’t need a liquid. One more recommendation. If your levels are really low and you can’t seem to get them into optimal range, you may want to try the Hi Po Emulsi D3. It gets levels up quickly but make sure you are getting vitamin K from another source (like a multivitamin).
Zinc + Quercetin
This is the dynamic duo. Zinc is excellent for a short period of time however, it stays outside the cells unless it gets a bit of help. Doctors will prescribe medication but I recommend taking Zinc with Quercetin. Quercetin is completely natural, no prescription necessary and does not have any controversy around it. Quercetin is great at getting zinc into the cell. I use the DFH Quercetin and Nettles and recommend 250 mg daily for prevention. If you are sick, you can up the dosage to about 1000 mg of quercetin. Zinc and quercetin is definitely a power couple and I see great results with both prevention and also healing from infection.
There is one big caution with zinc and that is that it will push copper out of the body. You want to keep these minerals in balance and the best way to do that is to either limit extended use of zinc or take a supplement that has a bit of extra copper. Check your multivitamin for this or you can take copper separately.
I love garlic because it works so well, so quickly and I typically don’t see many side effects. Garlic naturally has antiviral and anti-microbial properties so it can work on bacteria, yeasts, and other bugs. Even though I’m a big fan, I don’t recommend taking garlic long term or for general immune support. I use it when I’ve been exposed to someone sick, if I feel something coming on, or when I’m symptomatic. You want to keep it to these times because it’s so powerful it can affect your microbiome negatively if you don’t give your body a break from it. Plus, you could build up a tolerance and decrease efficacy when you really need it.
My go-to favorite is Allimax. I like it because it’s a patented allicin extract with high potency. And, it’s odor-less. I recommend 4-6 capsules a day for the duration of illness. This is also the dose if you’ve been exposed or feel something coming on.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and an immune balancer. You can use it everyday (1 tsp per day) but if you are sick, you can double the daily dosage. This will really help support the immune system while it is fighting off the infection or virus. I use the Apex Trizomal Glutathione, or the Therasomal Glutathione from Quicksilver.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators (SPM)
SPM is also fantastic for balancing the immune system and taming inflammation which is so key for anyone with autoimmune issues when they are trying to fight a bug. There are two options that I really like. Metagenics’ SPM was first to the market and is the most potent however, it is the more expensive option. Designs for Health’s SPM has a slightly lower price, but you will need to take more to get the same dosage as Metagenics’ SPM. Both are good options.
BONUS – My Exact Protocol for When You’re Sick
I normally save this kind of extra information for my newsletter subscribers, but it’s so helpful I wanted to also share it with you. (Make sure you get on my newsletter list so you never miss out on these kinds of bonuses).
Use the below for 7-10 days or until you feel better:
Vitamin C 5000-6000mg per day in divided doses. I personally use C+BioFizz which you pop in water for a fizzy drink, but if you prefer capsules, the Stellar C is great). Please note that if you experience loose stools when taking vitamin C, you may want to try Liposomal Vitamin C because it helps the body absorb through the mucous membranes in your mouth first (just remember to keep this one refrigerated.)
Vitamin D Supreme – 10,000 IU per day. If you have trouble absorbing vitamin D, you can use the Emulsi D Synergy or the Hi Po Emulsi D
Zinc – 1 capsule twice per day with any meals.
Quercetin and Nettles – 3 capsules twice per day with any meals. This helps zinc get into the cell to deactivate viruses.
Allimax – 3 capsules twice per day with any meals.
SPM Supreme – 3 gel caps twice per day with any meals. The higher dose is extremely helpful when sick to lower inflammation and I have seen great results in preventing post viral complications and autoimmune flares.
Therasomal Glutathione – 4 pumps first thing in the morning and 4 pumps at bedtime. This is great to help balance the immune system and prevent post viral complications and viral mediated Autoimmune/Hashimoto’s flare ups.
Remember, you want to follow this protocol for 7-10 days. Not only should this decrease your sick time, it should also help you prevent Hashimoto flare ups.
Designs for Health’s SPM Supreme
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