Yes! I have started using the Ashwaganda. I've been having half a teaspoon of it in a cup of tinned coconut milk with honey at night before bed. One of its benefits if recovering the adrenal glands and helping cope with stress. It must be helping because i have suddenly been completing a bunch of tasks I've had on a list for a few weeks now. Just seems that I can't figure out what's been holding me off getting them done before now! Usually, I just feel overwhelmed and stressed I guess. Now, I feel calmer and in control.
So in regards to lowering meds, I probably shouldn't have suggested it was that simple. I think I was excited to see it was having an effect on someone. I must also stop the autoimmune issues which the Ashwaganda won't address, but small amount will help recover my overworked damaged glands to prepare them to work normally again. I am taking enough thyroxine and NDT to completely suppress my thyroid which means it won't be under attack by my immune system. If I do anything to stimulate my thyroid into action, my system goes nuts.
My next step in healing my gut will be having my last bit of gluten tomorrow. Just something in the cupboard I couldn't bring myself to bin. I feel ready this time as I have tried giving it up before. It feels like when I quit smoking fifteen years ago. I knew it was good for me and I was finally ready, even though I had tried to quit before, it felt different that final time.
If you have autoimmune Hashimotos, you most likely have a leaky gut. Though, you could also have a chronic bacterial or viral infections, like Epstein Barr for example. An infection could weaken you digestive juices and allow large food particles to get into the intestine and start upsetting things. I did a vitamin C flush followed by megadoses of 18g vit C daily for just over a week now to deal with any suspecting chronic infection.
As for testing, it's a bit complicated from what I understand at the moment. You can get an IgA test which suggests a coeliac allergy or there is an IgG test which means your body is reacting to something. A gut biopsy is a definite answer, but isn't usually tested. I know I have a leaky gut, because I have reactions to foods that aren't supposed to cross the gut barrier full stop, and I have all these issues listed in this article: healthywomen.org/content/bl...—and-how-heal-it
I will be getting thyroid tests in next couple of weeks, and hopefully get the thyroid antibodies checked to see if diet changes are having an effect. Once those go down, i can start lowering meds and increase Ashwaganda to help cope through the adjustment period.
That's my plan mostly. You had so many questions and I definitely don't think stopping meds prematurely is a good idea at all. It could set you back when you have to recover from a period of being hypothyroid.
Hope this helps with anything you are thinking of trying.