Where Do I Start
This was my biggest question and the one that caused me the most angst. Once I got started though, it became easier and almost second nature to cook within the parameters of these new food omissions. So, for starters, lets focus on gluten first. Over the next few months, I plan to post more on food allergies and intolerances, specifically gluten and dairy, so please stay tuned.
Can A Gluten Free Diet Help Hypothyroidism
Chances are, if you are reading this article, you are frustrated with the way your doctor has handled treating your thyroid condition. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common medical conditions diagnosed in the U.S. Thyroid medications account for the 4th most commonly prescribed drug. It costs patients more than 4 billion annually to treat, while the disease effects an estimated 13 million plus people. All of this medication has not been a viable solution. Why you ask? Giving thyroid medication only serves to artificially elevate your thyroid hormone levels. The bigger question to ask is Why is your thyroid gland not working properly? For many people the answer to this question relates to gluten, but before answering the question can a gluten free diet help hypothyroidism, lets discuss some fundamentals first.
Healing thyroid disease naturally requires that you understand some basic fundamentals. There are three primary types of thyroid dysfunction:
Effects Of Healthier Eating
While researchers have seen a clear connection between a gluten-free diet and weight loss for non-celiac individuals, the reason for the weight loss is unclear. Swapping out gluten-containing food for gluten-free options would not affect your weight directly.
Some experts believe that the effect is due to people eating healthier overall. Those committed to a gluten-free diet may be highly self-motivated to watch what they eat. In addition to avoiding gluten, these individuals may be avoiding high-calorie foods and limiting their fat and calorie intake. Those actions could be the reason for the high rates of weight loss. In other words, those people might lose weight even if they ate gluten-containing foods because they would still be eating healthier.
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Herbs Spices And Condiments
Some herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory qualities that can safeguard and maintain thyroid function.
For example, turmeric, green chillies, black pepper, fresh and dried herbs like basil and rosemary, spices like paprika, saffron, and turmeric, and healthy condiments like salsa and mustard may all add taste and an antioxidant boost to your regular meals.
How To Lose Weight With Hashimotos Disease
Hashimoto’s disease is associated with an underactive thyroid, which slows down metabolism, leading to weight gain.
Losing weight with Hashimoto’s disease can be hard work. Still, by incorporating various diet and lifestyle strategies into your life, you can achieve a weight youre happy at, and manage your condition, too.
Have you considered clinical trials for Hashimoto’s disease?
We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Hashimoto’s disease, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available – and be a part of finding a cure.
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How Does Gluten Affect Women With Hashimotos
A gluten-free diet is a lifestyle change suggested to many women with Hashimotos to alleviate symptoms. To understand the correlation between an autoimmune disease like Hashimotos and a gluten-free diet, we have to understand the Hashimoto womans reaction to gluten on a cellular level. When we consume gluten, our DNA is programmed to release specific enzymes to digest gluten. This is significant for those with Hashimotos because the section of our DNA for gluten digesting enzyme is adjacent to the section of DNA responsible for producing immune cells called macrophages. Research shows the overconsumption of gluten in women with Hashimotos permanently turns on the switch for both the digestive enzyme and the inflammation-causing macrophages.
The inflammation caused by gluten occurs systematically on both a genetic and environmental level within the body of a Hashimotos woman. Its important to make the distinction here between Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease in which the immune system antibodies attack the intestines.
Here are some surprising statistics released by Northwestern Medicine:
- Celiac disease is found in 1% of the population.
- Gluten sensitivity is found in individuals with similar symptoms to celiac carriers but they do not have the same severity in repercussions when gluten is consumed.
- Gluten sensitivity affects 6% of the population, and it has a wide variance of possible symptoms from person to person.
Balance Your Hormones Naturally
The good news is that you can balance your hormones naturally during perimenopause and menopause by eating more protein, eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet, exercising, ditching plastic cookware and water bottles, and choosing non-toxic body products.
One of the easiest ways to restore proper hormone balance is to fill your plate with natural, whole, nutrient-dense foods. I recommend incorporating more wild-caught salmon, kale, grass-fed beef, cherries, and maca root powder to regulate your hormones.
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Fruits For Thyroid Diet
Fruits are a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and unrefined sugars. Fruit provides our bodies with energy and nutrition by readily breaking down. You must eat fruits every two to three hours.
Most fruits are rich in antioxidants, which help clean the blood flow. Those with hypothyroidism frequently lack vitamin C. Thyroid function issues may result from this.
According to a study, since berries are high in the vitamin that supports the immune system, they can promote thyroid function by preserving a healthy immune system. Other foods to consider for your thyroid health include apples, peaches, pears, grapes, citrus fruits, pineapple, bananas, etc.
Myth No : My Weight Gain Is From Hypothyroidism
There may be weight gain associated with an underactive thyroid, but its typically only 5 to 7 pounds.
Significant weight gain beyond this has nothing to do with thyroid function, says Dr. Bakar. To avoid weight gain, I tell patients with hypothyroidism to monitor their portion sizes and calories, and to avoid empty calories from, say, sugary beverages.
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The Celiac And Thyroid Connection
Gluten sensitivity is often linked to the thyroid.
Celiac disease can co-occur with Hashimotos. In fact, studies have estimated that between 1.2 and 15 percent of Hashimotos patients also have celiac disease!
Furthermore, the antibodies produced in celiac disease can cross-react with thyroid antibodies because they may share similar molecular structures, so molecular mimicry may be one of the reasons for the common co-occurrence of both conditions.
When I first began to research lifestyle interventions that could improve my condition, I came across an Italian study focused on people who had subclinical hypothyroidism, Hashimotos, and celiac disease, but who had not been following a gluten-free diet.
As the gluten-free diet is indicated for people with celiac disease, the diet was helpful for the study participants intestinal symptoms and helped them recover the health of their intestines.
There were also improvements in thyroid function! The study found that when most of those with subclinical hypothyroidism were placed on a gluten-free diet, their thyroid function normalized! About 71 percent of people who had subclinical hypothyroidism and who had strictly followed a one-year gluten withdrawal , saw a return in normal thyroid function.
In yet another study involving 104 Hashimotos patients, researchers found that 50 percent of patients with Hashimotos also had celiac-specific genes, putting them at risk for celiac disease.
A Final Word About A Gluten Free Diet
A gluten free diet can present a challenge in regards to whole grain intake since it eliminates some of the most common sources of whole grain, including wheat, rye and barley. Fortunately, it can also provide an opportunity to eat a more whole food diet as is evidenced by the list above. While there are many refined gluten-free grain replacements such as cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch and white rice flour, the variety of nutritious gluten free whole grains is plentiful. So, rather than having the gluten free diet be a challenge, look at is as an opportunity to increase both variety and nutrient content through the incorporation of the above mentioned gluten free foods, including whole grains.
Id like to leave you with two gluten free recipes to try that will help incorporate the whole grains listed above.
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Occurrence And Causes Of Hashimotos Disease
It is estimated that 5% of the worlds population suffers from Hashimotos disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis . According to endocrinologists in Poland, problems with thyroid dysfunction affect about 22% of the population . The etiology of the disease involves genetic and environmental factors that cause the loss of immunological tolerance to the bodys own cells. As a result of this process, the human body produces pro-inflammatory mediators, including cytokines, which lead to the formation of lymphocytic infiltrates and activate the apoptosis of thyroid follicular cells and the process of organ fibrosis. In the case of Hashimotos disease, an important role is played by genetic factors, in particular polymorphisms in the major histocompatibility complexHLA and in the CTLA-4 gene . Along with environmental factors, the disease has also been linked with pharmacological treatment , chronic stress and excessive stimulation of cortisol secretion, ionizing radiation, and the patients diet and lifestyle . An important component of the diet is selenium, which, through selenoenzymes, is involved in maintaining the homeostasis of thyroid hormones. Numerous animal studies have confirmed the correlation between the appropriate concentration of selenium in the body and the appropriate function of the thyroid gland . Iodine also plays an important role in synthesizing thyroid hormones, and its slight oversupply increases the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease.
Easy Ways To Tame Excessive Gas
Doctors can find out if you have celiac by doing a blood test to look for the antibodies that are usually found when people with the disease are exposed to gluten. A diagnosis is confirmed after a sample of the small intestine lining is collected through an upper endoscopy and examined.
Being diagnosed with celiac is different from having a gluten allergy or intolerance. You may experience similar digestive symptoms, but the small intestines arent getting damaged.
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Myth No : You Should Take Iodine Supplements If You Have An Underactive Thyroid
You do not need to supplement iodine if you live in the United States or other first world countries where iodine is added to many foods, including table salt. While iodine deficiency is one cause of hypothyroidism, if you are not iodine-deficient, there is no need to take iodine supplements, commonly seen as kelp supplements.
Iodine supplements are a fallacy, says Dr. Bakar. In fact, they can start negatively affecting thyroid function if you take them without the guidance of a physician.
Healing Thyroid Disease Naturally
To overcome hypothyroid disease naturally, you have a lot to consider. It is highly recommended that you develop a relationship with a functional medicine doctor who is experienced and can help guide you.
Want to hear this article covered in more depth? Here is the live discussion!
If you have had a recovery from thyroid problems by addressing your diet and nutrition, leave a comment below. Your story might help change a life! Knowledge is power.
Always looking out for you,
Dr. Osborne The Gluten Free Warrior
If you think that this information will help someone you love suffering with a thyroid problem, please forward this along.
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What Is Thyroid Disease
Thyroid disease is any dysfunction of the thyroid gland, which is the small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck. Nearly 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and it can affect people of all ages and races. Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. The thyroid gland either does not produce enough hormones , or it produces an excess of hormones .
With hypothyroidism, the body uses energy slower than it should. People with hypothyroidism may experience tiredness, forgetfulness, depression, weight gain, dry and coarse skin and hair, hoarse voice, and the development of a goiter . Specifically, Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that can lead to hypothyroidism.
With hyperthyroidism, the body uses energy faster than it should. People with hyperthyroidism may experience irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, tremors, lighter menstrual periods, weight loss, sleep problems, vision problems and heat sensitivity. Another name for this condition is Graves disease.
Naturally Gluten Free Foods
So the big question I get from family and friends is what can he eat?. Here is a list of some more common naturally occurring gluten free foods.
- Fresh fruit all kinds
The bigger issue is with the food preparation. For example, many marinades, dressings, sauces and other condiments contain wheat. For this reason, I now make all of my own marinades, dressings and sauces, not to mention that making them myself ensures that they are free of added sugar and preservatives. Additionally, there is the issue of cross contamination during food preparation with foods containing gluten.
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Thyroid Problems Linked To Chemical Halide Exposure
The halides chlorine, bromine, and fluoride all compete with iodine for uptake into your thyroid. Over exposure to these toxic elements is linked to an increased risk for hypothyroidism, but also to thyroid cancers. Avoidance of excessive exposure to halides is recommended to maximize thyroid function. Below are common sources of exposure.
Chlorine is typically found in: plastics, pesticides, paper products, unfiltered drinking water, bath water, swimming pools, processed salt products, and Splenda . Water filters on your drinking water and bathing water are recommended.
Bromine/Bromide is typically found in: brominated flour products, citrus flavored soft drinks, chemical additive used in municipal water purification, pesticides, dyes, leaded fuel additive, brominated flame retardants: Carpet, upholstery, electronics, mattresses bromocriptine , and OTC antitussives .
Additional Effects Of Gluten
I often see articles and comments online ridiculing people without celiac disease for going gluten free to improve their health. I find this to be a very closed-minded point of view, and quite frankly, a dangerous one as well.
A growing body of research suggests that gluten-related disorders can affect an individuals psychological state and decrease an individuals quality of life and overall well-being.
Celiac disease has been associated with psychological disorders and mood imbalances. One study found individuals with celiac disease experienced a significant improvement in quality of life, anxiety, and depression one year after implementing a gluten-free diet.
A 2018 review also demonstrated that gluten can contribute to mood disorders for individuals with NCGS. The authors of this study found individuals experienced improvements in mood on a gluten-free diet.
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The Benefits Of Going Gluten Free
While the mainstream research and evidence base for eliminating food antigens like gluten in Hashimotos is still lagging, Ive seen tremendous benefits in my own personal health as well as the health of many of my private clients using unconventional methods So I decided to create my own evidence base!
I used my outcomes research training to create a little survey that went a bit viral In the summer of 2015, I developed a survey to assess the impact of various interventions on Hashimotos. Some 2,232 people with Hashimotos provided feedback as to the factors that seemed to make their conditions better as well as worse. Many food and non-food triggers were assessed, but I would like to focus on gluten for this article.
First of all, it is worth noting that out of all who responded, only 3.5 percent had also been diagnosed with celiac disease.
Yet, 86 percent of respondents who had gone gluten free reported improvements in digestive symptoms. I believe this re-confirms my earlier points you do NOT have to have celiac disease to benefit from a gluten-free diet!
Most readers said their gluten reactions had included gut issues like constipation, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, gas, and burning or burping from acid reflux, as well as brain-related symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia. And most felt better going gluten free.
In fact, 88 percent of people with Hashimotos who chose to remove gluten from their diets felt better.
Paleo Or Autoimmune Paleo
The Paleo diet attempts to mimic the eating patterns of our early ancestors, with an emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods.
Grains, dairy, potatoes, beans, lentils, refined sugar, and refined oils are not allowed. Cage-free and grass-fed meats are encouraged, as are vegetables, nuts , seeds, seafood, and healthful fats, such as avocado and olive oil.
The Autoimmune Paleo diet aims to decrease foods that may cause inflammation and damage to the gut. It begins with the basic principals of the Paleo diet but also cuts out nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
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Find Out The Root Cause Of The Disease
Treatment without knowing the actual problem is like taking a shot in the dark. While thyroid medication can help regulate hormone levels, it does not affect the basic disease process. Functional medicine involves finding out why you have thyroid problems and working on that.To find the root cause, in depth biomarker analysis of different hormones, nutrients, micronutrients, heavy metal toxins, and health history analysis is required.
Tips For Going Gluten
To go gluten-free:
Avoid wheat, barley, and rye and any foods that contain these grains.
Choose naturally gluten-free foods such as beans, vegetables, fruit, nuts, milk, yogurts and cheeses, vegetable oils and avocados.
Opt for gluten-free grains and grain-based foods such quinoa, kasha, millet, rice and potatoes.
Check out the gluten-free section of your favorite food store. Many gluten-free alternatives to your favorite foods are available.
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