Not surprisingly, if you are struggling with Hashimoto’s I would suggest taking a look at your nutrition first. I believe that many of your symptoms can be alleviated with some dietary changes. Anecdotal evidence indicates the same – the individuals who reported changing their diet in the comments section of my post on Hashimoto’s and gluten definitely have experienced the most symptom relief.
(That’s right, hypothyroidism: we are kicking you in the face!)
So what to change? Well, I can’t promise that these are easy changes, but they are simple. Get ready to cook for yourself because almost nothing in a package can meet these standards!
1. Go Gluten-Free – I have dedicated a post to the science behind why eliminating gluten can bring relief to Hashimoto’s symptoms here. I have also given a step-by-step approach to removing gluten from your diet here. I know it is tough. I know it is everywhere. But, the fundamental concern with Hashimoto’s is to stop the autoimmune attack that is occurring. Removing gluten will help in BIG ways. (And, by removal, I really mean, REMOVAL. Decreasing gluten consumption by 60% is not going to cut it. To stop the body’s autoimmune attack you will need to remove it entirely.)
2. Eliminate Dairy – Dairy does not have as much research behind it as gluten. However, it is a known allergen. It is extremely difficult to digest in its pasteurized form. Dr. Datis Kharrazian, author of Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? found that often patients needed to remove dairy along with gluten to see marked improvement. If you aren’t convinced, perhaps reading the Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. McBride or The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf would give you more conviction that dairy can trigger autoimmune attacks.
3. No Sugar in 2012 – OK, so that is what I am doing this year (see here). Care to join me? I have done enough reading to be convinced that thyroid issues will continue to plague me until I balance my blood sugar fully. Specifically, research has shown that insulin surges can drive tissue destruction in Hashimoto’s patients. (Kharrazian, 97) Of course, it is difficult to quit sugar because it is delicious! And, addictive! And, in everything! That’s why I would suggest that you follow my journey of being sugar-free this year. I hope to share some strategies as I learn them.
There you go! Now that you have nothing to eat, you have the perfect diet for thyroid health. 😉 Obviously, that isn’t true, but I know it can feel that way at first. Perhaps you would want to conquer one of these steps at a time? And, be patient and kind with yourself in the process? I have been making these changes for well over a year. It takes time! It isn’t easy, and it might take awhile to change, but I am convinced it is worth it…