For the third part of our series on healing Hashimoto’s with author and holistic nutritionist, Elissa Goodman, we’re exploring the significance of our daily toxic load on this increasingly common autoimmune condition.
We’ve discussed what to do first after a diagnosis and why an emotional cleanse is just as important on a physical one. Next up, Elissa explains the impact of our cumulative toxic load and what we can do to lighten it…
There’s a common culprit at the root of so many of today’s health issues. It is the toxins that we have been exposed to over our lifetime, such as pesticides, heavy metals and viruses. The one virus that I’ve been really focused on is Epstein-Barr, the same virus that causes mononucleosis (AKA the “kissing disease” that was always going around in your high school and college years). It’s a sneaky virus that nearly 95% of the adult population has. Even if you haven’t had mono, the virus could still be living in your body. But here’s the good news: You can heal yourself from it and, at the same time, lower your toxin load overall, and by doing so, heal your body of the illnesses it causes, including Hashimoto’s.
The Role of Epstein-Barr (EBV)
The Epstein-Barr virus is also occasionally known as the “thyroid virus.” This virus has been tied to a number of diseases, including certain cancers, like the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma I was diagnosed with at the age of 32, and autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s. One study found that of all the people with Hashimoto’s tested, 81% of them also had EBV. Anthony William, the medical medium, estimates that approximately 95% of all thyroid problems can be attributed to this virus.
It was William who actually introduced me to this idea that this virus could be causing so many of my health problems. As a kid, I was always getting sick: I had chicken pox, strep throat, tonsillitis, mono, shingles, herpes — you name an illness and, chances are, I had it. I never realized that they could all be interconnected until I saw William and he explained that I likely had EBV living in my organs, and that was the cause of so many of my maladies — including Hashimoto’s.
Most of the time, Epstein-Barr lays dormant in the body and shows no signs, but the virus can spread. Here’s where the Hashimoto’s connection comes in. If the virus spreads to your thyroid, and enters the cells there, the immune system may try to attack both the virus and the thyroid cells, thus causing the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s. Plus chronic infections, like EBV, begin to wear down your body’s stress and immune response, therefore making you more susceptible to disease. If you think you might have Epstein-Barr you can ask your doctor to run a standard EBV test, but if it’s been a long time since you had a flair up, it might not show up on a blood test. Also, if it’s living inside your organs, there are no tests to detect it.
The Role Toxins Play
What really sets the virus off, and can lead to it becoming more than just a dormant intruder living in your body, is exposure to toxins. The Epstein-Barr virus essentially feeds off certain toxins, so the more you have in your body, the higher the chance the virus will spread. These toxins can be anything from pesticides and heavy metals in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods we eat, to bacteria in our makeup and beauty products. Additionally, many of the environmental toxins that we are exposed to can contribute to low levels of thyroid hormones, AKA hypothyroidism. Heavy metals, in particular, love the pituitary gland, which is in charge of producing some important thyroid hormones. So when that’s out of whack, your thyroid most likely will be too. Most of the time, we are not even aware of the heavy metals and toxins that we are ingesting because it happens in everyday life. But when you know how to recognize the sources of your toxin exposures and how to detox yourself from them, you can heal your body and prevent the progression of EBV.
Ways to Lower Your Toxic Load
Drink water. This might seem like an obvious suggestion to some, but making sure you’re properly hydrated can do wonders for your body. Most people are not drinking enough filtered clean water, and if you’re dehydrated, your body can’t properly flush out toxins. For an extra toxin-removing boost, try adding some freshly squeezed lemon into your water. And if you really want to take it to the next step, add some aloe vera to the mix. Aloe is a strong antiviral and can help remove toxins from your liver and bloodstream.
Add barley juice extract and spirulina. When it comes to detoxing, if you really want to take your daily hydration routine to the next level, try adding some barley juice extract powder and spirulina.
Vimergy Barley Juice Extract Powder is packed with thyroid-supporting micronutrients, and is great for removing heavy metals like mercury from the body and detoxifying the liver. It has a protective effect on the thyroid, particularly when it comes to the Epstein-Barr virus.
Nutrex Hawaiian Spirulina Powder is another favorite green powder of mine. It’s extremely supportive for the thyroid. It contains iodine, which acts as an antiseptic against EBV and it has important nutrients and antioxidants that can help to remove toxins from various organs, essentially removing EBV’s fuel and stopping it from spreading. Spirulina can reduce the growth of nodules and tumors.
Boost immunity. You want to make sure that your immune system is properly prepared and strong enough to fight off the toxins and viruses. For this, I recommend supplementing with Nature’s Answer (alcohol free) Goldenseal/Echinacea and Astragalus; Eidon Ionic Zinc Sulfate Concentrate; and LipoNaturals Liposomal Vitamin C (made from sunflowers not soy). Making sure you get enough sleep is vital for good immunity, so try to get 7-9 hours per night.
Be aware of toxins in the products you’re using. For women, this is a common source of toxin and bacterial exposure. Beauty products, like makeup, hair products and lotions can contain toxins that can seep into your body through your skin. Try to stay away from products containing parabens, sodium sulfates and other chemicals that may bring you harm. Be mindful of the products you’re using, from those in your cleaning closet to your bathroom cupboard, and try to find products with natural (and pronounceable) ingredients.
Add celery juice to your diet. Celery gives your body certain mineral salts that work against EBV. Celery helps to give the adrenals a little extra support; it cleanses your thyroid and boosts the gland’s hormone production. It also aids in the liver’s production of bile to make sure food is broken down efficiently. I juice straight organic celery and drink it on an empty stomach.
Supplement with cat’s claw, licorice root and bioactive silver. These are all great natural supplements to help reduce your viral and toxin load. When starting supplementing, begin with one thing at a time to test your sensitivity. Start with the recommended dose on the bottle and then once your body has adjusted, double it. And always be sure you’re using an alcohol-free supplement.
Hawaii Pharm Cat’s Claw (alcohol free) contains important phytochemicals that can destroy certain viruses that cause inflammation. It stimulates the immune system and can help remove toxins and waste. And it can reduce tumors and nodules in the thyroid and the liver.
Nature’s Answer Licorice Root (alcohol free) can help to remove the Epstein-Barr virus from the thyroid, liver and reproductive system and helps to restore the adrenals and kidney (don’t take this supplement if you have high blood pressure, try licorice root tea instead).
Finally, supplementing with Sovereign Bioactive Silver too can boost your immunity and kill all kinds of pathogens. To read more about the supplements that can help you heal, read the first part of this series here.
Eat sea vegetables and wild-caught fish for iodine. Iodine is a great antiseptic, meaning it immediately kills germs, and it is a great antiviral and antibacterial. Wakame, kombu and nori are all great sources, but stay away from hijiki because of the possible high arsenic.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help your body reduce its levels of toxins and viral load, particularly when it comes to the Epstein-Barr virus. Healing your body from Hashimoto’s is not something that happens overnight, but with time and careful consideration to your health, you can gain control of the disease and feel better than ever.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.