Food allergies and sensitivities are common with people who have thyroid and other autoimmune thyroid conditions.
Because food sensitivities do not present in the same way that an allergy presents itself, most people continue eating the food they are reacting to causing continual inflammation, which not surprisingly can have a negative effect on their recovery.
An allergy is most often easy to determine. Common examples are peanuts and shellfish. If you are allergic and happen to eat these particular foods, symptoms generally present themselves immediately whereas a food sensitivity, although it also involves an immune reaction, will often not present with symptoms until perhaps a day or two later. The symptoms being less obvious such as headaches, weight gain, joint pain, digestive disturbance, exhaustion…just to name a few.
Hashimoto’s is an example of an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues attacking the thyroid. The first sign of the disease is often an enlarged thyroid, called a goiter. Other signs of hypothryoidism include fatigue, depression, anxiety, stiffness in joints, hair loss and infertility.
What most doctors might not tell you is that the root causes of Hashimoto’s disease is not just a low functioning thyroid but due to underlying conditions such as “Leaky gut syndrome” inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy, food sensitivities, stress and even nutrient deficiencies.
Where to begin healing the thyroid?
- Find out your food sensitivities – eliminating these inflammatory foods in the diet is key to supporting your immune system and gut healt
- Heal the gut – work with a Holistic practitioner who can recommend proper supplementation. In my practice, I use muscle testing to determine which remedies are right for your body.
- Clean up the diet – avoid / eliminated refined sugars and flour and processed foods
- Selenium – Brazil nuts are a wonderful source of Selenium which can help regulate T3, T4 production
- Check your Vitamin D levels – many studies show that low Vitamin D levels (below 150…yes, 150) can contribute to many health conditions
- Reduce your exposure- avoid hormone disruptors such as heavy metals, plastics, chemicals in beauty products, lotions, household cleaning products etc.
Working closely with a Holistic Nutritionist to review your family medical history, understanding your risk factors for infections, food sensitivities and toxins, as well as listening to you closely to discover how all of your symptoms are related is an essential part of getting well.
My approach to those with known or suspected autoimmune disease is to immediately place them on a comprehensive elimination diet to remove inflammatory foods followed by a systemic holistic approach to healing the gut, clearing underlying infections, detoxification and acupuncture to re balance the body.
It may seem overwhelming, confusing and scary to have a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, but by getting to the root cause of your illness is where your journey to regaining and maintaining wellness begins.