Feeling well with Hashimoto’s low thyroid can require extra care with diet, stress levels, exertion, and sleep, but that doesn’t mean travel isn’t an option. Many people with Hashimoto’s low thyroid travel flare-free, using some extra prep time before hand to set the stage for success.
Some times travel can be busy and distracting. This means self-care must be a priority. Be mindful to go into a travel experience with the mindset for a slow and steady marathon and not an all-out sprint. It is vacation, after all.
Here are some tips to manage your Hashimoto’s low thyroid while traveling. If you take command of these self-care travel basics, you will be better able to relax and enjoy your trip. That way, you can come home rejuvenated instead of needing a vacation to recouperate from your vacation.
Plan ahead for safe and delicious food options.
The autoimmune diet, or some version of it that works for you, will prevent flares and crashes due to your Hashimoto’s low thyroid. Some pre-trip research and planning goes a long way toward making sure you stick to the plan during your travels.
For instance, find out where there is food you can safely eat. Where are health food stores in the area, or larger groceries that now carry gluten-free and natural food products? Where are gluten-free friendly restaurants that serve foods allowed on your dietary protocol?
If you’re staying in a hotel room, make sure it will include a mini fridge or ask them to have one in your room. Some cities even have hotels with small efficiency kitchens. If that’s not available, you can bring your own mini crockpot or hot plate to heat up pre-cooked frozen meals such as stews, curries, and stir fries.
If you’ll be on a plane or on a long road trip, be sure to bring safe snack foods — if you’re stuck waiting, then you’re more likely to avoid the temptation to make food choices that bring on a flare. Ideas include coconut chips, beef jerky, celery, sardines, olives, nuts and nut butter packets (if you’re ok with nuts), and other filling snacks.
Travel is stressful; glutathione to the rescue.
Travel includes many stressors, such as long days, time zone changes, sleep deprivation, jet lag, new environments, crowds, and so on. Stress is hard on the body, but glutathione is a great support factor that works well for many people. Glutathione is the body’s main antioxidant and it helps keep inflammation and Hashimoto’s low thyroid flares under control. It helps to protect cells from stress- and toxin-induced damage.
Glutathione is not absorbable orally on its own but you can get the benefits from glutathione precursors such as N-acetyl-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, cordyceps, and milk thistle. S-acetyl-glutathione, liquid liposomal glutathione, and topical glutathione are also helpful.
Check for hotel room toxins
Avoiding toxins can help prevent Hashimoto’s low thyroid flares. Call your hotel and ask whether scents are used in the rooms. And don’t be afraid to ask for a different room if you find you can’t tolerate a scent. Some hotels offer room options for extra sensitive people, such as air purifiers, allergy-free bedding, and windows that open.
A mask is your friend.
Sometimes you just can’t avoid toxic exposure, whether it’s from pollution, exhaust, perfumes, or that person next to you on the plane sneezing and coughing. It’s more common nowadays to see people wearing a face mask when flying or in polluted cities. It’s a good idea to have one with you on your travels; a good face mask is comfortable and is easy to breathe through reducing the load of airborne toxins. This can help prevent Hashimoto’s low thyroid flare-ups and glutathione depletion. Some companies even offer face masks especially for children and babies.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.