Looking for some guidance on a thyroid problems diet? To achieve a healthy thyroid diet, it is often necessary to eliminate gluten. A vast majority of people suffering from thyroid and autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s, Graves’ or Celiac’s have a problem with digesting gluten.
What is gluten? It’s a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, couscous, and kamut grains. As you can see, since it’s found in wheat, this means you would need to avoid: pasta, bread, cakes, cookies, pizzas, etc.
Many doctors and patients are dismissive of gluten intolerance — which is different from a gluten allergy. (A gluten allergy is an immediate negative reaction, whereas a gluten intolerance is a delayed reaction occurring anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 days later.) Just because a person tests negative for Celiac’s, it does not mean they do not have a gluten intolerance. Many doctors have a limited perspective on this topic, and it’s important that you read the paragraphs below to fully understand it and manage your health.
There are two main wheat protein compounds: gliadins and glutenins. (They are the ones that give bread its elasticity and ability to rise.) Within the gliadin class, there are four different types we know of: alpha-, beta-, gamma- and omega-gliadin. When we eat food containing gluten, our digestive tract produces enzymes called tissue transglutaminases (tTG) to help to break down the wheat protein.
Now, for people with Celiac disease’s, we know that they react to one specific type of gliadin, alpha-gliadin, and a specific type of transglutaminase, tTG-2, and this what the conventional lab tests check for. However, people with wheat and gluten intolerance (including the ones with Hashimoto’s disease) can also have a reaction to the other types of gliadins. The Celiac’s tests do not test for them. This is why many of us are told that as long as you test negative for Celiac’s, you can eat gluten. This is a very dangerous and inaccurate piece of advice.
Many people experience an understandable reluctance – perhaps even denial – about giving up gluten. They can’t imagine living without it! Let me assure you that it is possible to experience a wonderful and complete life without gluten, once you give yourself the permission to give it up for just a couple of weeks in order to see how you feel. I recommend for you to do an Elimination Diet (I cover it in the www.CookingforBalance.com free workshop.) by removing gluten together with dairy, eggs, corn, soy, and sugar for just three weeks. You will then re-introduce them one by one to see how you feel. Your body will never lie. Most people with autoimmune conditons and thyroid problems who reintroduce these foods report symptoms ranging from feeling tired, depressed, and anxious to having poor sleep and putting on weight.
The bottom line is: most people experience significant improvement in their health when they reduce or eliminate gluten.
There are many substitutes available today like rice pasta, gluten-free breads, crackers, etc. Even mainstream chains like McDonald’s and Subway are now offering gluten-free menus. Having said that, many of these products are loaded with additives and sugar, so watch the product labels. It is best to transition to a whole food diet consisting of real food.
Speak to a nutrition coach to help you develop a transition plan complete with meal plans and shopping lists. You will be on your way to establishing a healthy and nurturing thyroid problems diet!