Why changing your diet is always the first step in treating Hashimoto’s

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  1. Daniel’s avatar

    Thanks for sharing the link. The post by Dr. Kharrazian is a treasure trove of good information on Hashimoto’s and how to repair the gut. I agree that we should avoid gluten and sweets if we have an auto immune disease.
    Quote:”This immune response to gluten can last up to six months each time it’s ingested.” I am surprised about this fact. Does this mean we should be 100% free all the time? I sometimes cook with soy sauce (with flour in it) so i am wandering if a small amount is also bad.

  2. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    As Dr. K said, 90% gluten-free is like 90% pregnant.  Even a small amount can provoke an immune response.  You can use gluten-free tamari instead of soy if you want that flavor.

  3. Vic Shayne, PhD’s avatar

    My field is whole food supplementation, which isn’t the same thing as vitamin pills or herbs, BUT my contention has always been that to combat any disease or symptom, the first place to begin is with the diet. There is no substitute for the nutrients one needs from nature’s foods in order to address any health problem. Over the past twenty years I have seen “miracles” happen only by adopting a rational, whole foods, natural diet.

  4. Vic Shayne, PhD’s avatar

    Regarding Chris’ statement about gluten, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve known a number of people who have said they have reduced the amount of gluten in their diets, or that they try to eat a mostly gluten-free diet. But when an individual is gluten intolerant, it seems to be an all-or-nothing solution because just a small amount of gluten is enough to begin flattening the villi of the small intestine. Further, complete abstinence allows yesterday’s gluten effects to resolve tomorrow. If you eat it now and then, you are only continuing a cycle of negative effects without allowing your body to heal.

  5. Denise’s avatar

    Chris, I’m a 46-yr-old female, recently diagnosed with multi-nodular goiter but have “normal” blood results (including autoimmune); needle biopsy of a large nodule which I was told revealed “nothing abnormal” (although my mom, who is a physician, said didn’t look like a very good sample as it was “mostly blood with a few follicular cells”). I have what I feel are hyperthyroid symptoms upon waking (racing thoughts, OCD, fast heartbeat, palpitations) and hypothyroid-related symptoms throughout the day (lethargy, constipation, depression, low Vitamin D, unexplained high cholesterol, long periods, hot flashes). The tightness in my neck from the goiter is very uncomfortable. My question is this — After reading your articles I’m going to try to address leaky gut, gluten intolerance etc. — Is there a chance that will help me with the NODULES, or are are those only going to go away with thyroid hormone and/or surgery?

  6. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    Denise: I don’t know the answer to that question.  If I had to guess, I’d say addressing the underlying imbalances may stop the growth of the nodules and prevent new ones from occurring, but not dissolve the existing nodules.

  7. Mary’s avatar

    I have Hashi’s and am very overweight but I don’t have any digestive complaints – no gas, reflux, constipation, diarrhea…and when I did a saliva test for cortisol levels had no issue with the anti-gliadin antibodies.  Is it still likely that gluten is causing or exacerbating my auto-immune thyroid issues?  Also – I’ve heard that some well-fermented wheat may be OK for celiacs – would this also apply for those gluten-sensitive in other ways?

  8. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    Gluten intolerance can manifest in many different ways, depending on the specific subtype of transglutaminase being attacked by the body. The saliva test is inadequate for testing gluten intolerance. Fecal IgA is a more accurate marker, which is why I recommend enterolab.com. That said, the prevalence of gluten intolerance is so high in Hashimoto’s patients that I tell any patients with that condition to avoid gluten. Even the best testing methods aren’t completely accurate, and the risk of exacerbating the autoimmune attack on the thyroid is just not worth it. Fermented wheat is not okay – in the studies I’ve seen, there is still gluten in it even after significant fermentation.

  9. Lovelyn’s avatar

    My family has been gluten free for two years now and it’s made such a big difference in my husband and my stepson’s health. I haven’t really noticed any difference for me, though. I’m just sticking with it because it’s easier if we’re all gluten free.

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