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Hashimoto's, Post-Partum Thyroiditis, and Healing After Childbirth

Food As Medicine with Dr. Anh

Release Date: 01/04/2016

Welcome! My guest today is Jolene Brighten, who earned her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine. She also received her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science and completed the coursework in Molecular Nutrition from Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo. Jolene has had extensive training in integrative women’s health and autoimmune disease management and is a practicing Holistic Pelvic Care Practitioner. Because she developed Hashimoto’s disease during her pregnancy, she has become a strong advocate for the Hashimoto’s community, with a special emphasis in fertility, pregnancy, and post-partum thyroiditis. She is the author of Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth: The New Mom’s Guide to Navigating the Fourth Trimester. She has a lot to say about these topics, so join us for more!

Dr. Brighten talks about the following:

  • Dr. Brighten was always a “sick kid” with digestive issues from age 7-17, which eventually led to her specialization in Hashimoto’s.
  • She studied nutrition, became a vegetarian, and began to investigate the Paleo diet.
  • “Paleo” has the misconception of being about “eating lots of meat,” but it really focuses on whole foods, fruits, vegetables, fats, and meats—while eliminating processed foods.
  • While the Paleo diet improved her blood sugar and hormonal balance, she still had inflammation, allergies, and food sensitivities that worsened during her pregnancy.
  • Dr. Brighten has the perspective of having tried several different diet approaches along with her extensive nutrition education.
  • Dr. Brighten’s current diet includes lots of vegetables and grass-fed meats. She avoids dairy, gluten, soy, and limits eggs.
  • Despite her best dietary efforts, her continued symptoms included fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, and depression.
  • Dr. Brighten explains why pregnancy and post-partum brings an increased risk of Hashimoto’s disease, based on the immune system and adrenal gland response.
  • To reduce the risk of autoimmune disease and Hashimoto’s , women should focus on omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D levels, gut health, and hormonal health.
  • Other issues that are important for women are stress management, proper sleep, and blood sugar regulation.
  • Even though a healthy mom doesn’t guarantee a healthy baby, Dr. Brighten recommends loading up on antioxidants and healthy fats before becoming pregnant.
  • Autoimmune disorders are largely genetic and there are tests that can be done to assess your risk.
  • There is a relationship between your diet’s fat content and your libido! Curious? Dr. Brighten explains.
  • Regular meals make good blood sugar levels, which make happy adrenals, which make happy sex hormones! 
  • Find out why you should add garlic, cayenne pepper, and ginger to your foods.

How to reach Dr. Brighten and more:


Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth by Jolene Brighten, ND

www.healingafterchildbirth.com  (Check it out for home remedies, recipes, and ways to optimize health and healing.)

Now it’s your turn!


WHAT changes have you made in your diet? 

HOW have those changes affected your health? 

WHAT has been your biggest challenge while implementing a healthy lifestyle? 

WHO do you want to hear from?


Let me know in the comments below and I will try my best to get them on the show!  I want to answer your burning questions and for YOU to add your thoughts to the conversation.  So go ahead and leave a comment now.  


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Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, remember to eat consciously, because the world needs a healthy and vibrant you!


  • My free gift, “The Clean Eating Rules.” It’s my #1 guide for how to eat to lose weight, improve your biometrics, and get more energy.
  • Summary of Pearls shared on the show
  • Occasional Love Letters from Dr. Anh, where I share my favorite recipes and products, upcoming events, new information I’ve learned, and other goodies ☺