Did I reintroduce dairy and gluten too quickly? Symptoms have returned :(

I'm taking one and a half grains of Armour as a split dose. I had been doing great for about 3 - 4 weeks - I felt I had made a complete recovery. About half way through this period of feeling very well, I accidentally ate some soy and gluten (intolerant to both, plus dairy and eggs). I braced myself for a reaction but nothing happened. I started introducing bread (artisan traditionally made which is easier to digest) and dairy milk (in cups of tea only) and still no symptoms. I have heard that some people become tolerant to foods again once correctly medicated so hoped this was happening for me.

After two weeks since reintroducing these foods I was suffering a stiff back and knee. Inflammation has been a symptom of my intolerances before, so I thought I'd better stop eating bread and milk, even though they might not be the cause of the inflamation. Apart from perhaps a little bloating I didn't have my usual cluster of symptoms.

I was due a blood test for my thyroid. I began feeling a little fatigued and so I started to think my reactivity might actually be because I needed an increase in Armour dose (I've only been on it two and a half months). The last couple of days I've been very fatigued. The receptionist has told me my test (from 5 days ago) was abnormal but I don't know details yet. My previous test was borderline TSH 4.2 but I had only been on Armour a month at that point and so was increased from one grain a day to my current one and a half grains per day. I have asked for Free T4 and Free T3 too.

My questions are:

1. Could eating dairy and bread for two weeks have caused my antibodies to flare up and give me hypothyroid symptoms?

2. I didn't take any Armour in the morning before the test. Is this the right thing to do? Could not taking Armour have made the test results abnormal?

3. Could it be that I haven't reacted to the foods at all and that my inflammation and fatigue are both due to being under medicated?

I'd appreciate any thoughts and shared experiences.

Thank you :)

7 Replies

  • Avoiding gluten and even dairy when you have Hashimotos is highly recomended and clearly you are proving that you need to return to that if you want to be free of flare ups

  • Yes, very true. I got carried away due to not having a reaction initially. What's encouraging is that my reactivity has been FAR milder. Thanks for your comment :)

  • Hellsy,

    Q1. Yes, but you may not have a problem with both. Eliminate one food group at a time for 2-3 weeks and note whether there is improvement. Similarly reintroduce one food group at a time to note whether there is disimprovement. Otherwise you may end up on an unnecessarily restrictive diet.

    Q2. Leaving 24 hours between last dose and blood draw means the normal circulating thyroid levels are measured. Ingesting NDT before a blood test will give abnormal results ie false high FT4 and FT3.

    Q3. Inflammation and fatigue can be due to under and over medication.

  • Your answer to question 1 is interesting. It seems that my reactivity has been due to dairy and potentially not gluten. I always have had severe bloating an an itchy sore when eating even tiny amounts of gluten but this hasn't happened this time. I have been coughing and had slight mucous plus the inflammation which may have been a reaction to dairy. I've eliminated both again for 2 - 3 days and am feeling much better today.

    Thanks for info re blood test, that's rassuring.

    I am curious if my abnormal result could be a very low TSH level. I can't imagine it has gone up because I've been feeling incredibly well. I'll post the results when I get them.


  • Hi there Hellsy........I don't have a vast knowledge as I have only been trialling Armour myself for approx 2 months.However,I was recommended to start on 1 1/4 grains and then after a month I increased to 1 1/2 thinking I might need more.I also took Vit D and B12 every day at lunchtime.This last week I started to get more aches than usual and had the feeling that perhaps I'd taken more Armour than I needed.

    If as I have now accepted that 1 grain = 100 mcgs Levo that meant I was on the equivalent of 150mcgT4 .I have never taken that much when I was on Levo.

    So I have now dropped down to 1 grain to give myself a rest and feel fine again.I've also reduced my Vits to every other day.

    I have also been able to have one slice of whole meal bread at tea with no ill effects.

    I don't use sauces on my food so that wasn't a problem.

    No.1 I don't know about anti body flare ups so I can't be of help.

    No.2 ....you were definitely right not to take your meds before your blood test.

    No.3 I would suggest to try 1 1/4 grains for a while and see what happens.Maybe

    1 1/2 was too much.

    It does take time to sort what is the right dose,but I would think you are on the right path if you were feeling fine for a time......that's encouraging.

    It might be worth excluding the foods you had originally given up for a bit longer and see what happens. Just make adjustments until you recapture that good feeling again and of course you need to see the blood test results to see what has happened.

    4.2 for TSH is too high.

    I do hope you soon find the right level of meds again.you seem as though Armour was originally working for you.

    I can only really go by my own experiences but it has certainly been of the most benefit for me.

  • Thanks very much for sharing your experience. I think that 1 grain = 60mg of Levo but I would check that out. I'm only adjusting my levels with knowledge of blood results via my GP so I'll stay on the same dose for now but thanks for the suggestions re altering my dose, it's always worth hearing other people's experiences.

    I'm feeling far better today. Inflammation has virtually gone and my energy has returned. It's fascinating to me that certain foods can have such a powerful effect. Even though I KNOW that I react, a part of me questions and wonders if I've been mistaken about it or it was something else (wishful thinking!). I LOVE (good quality) bread and have been eternally hopeful that one day I'll be able to eat it again. We have a local Artisan Baker who makes gorgeous bread and for a while I tolerated it very well. Apparently the gluten in traditionally made bread is pre digested when it has been proved for a long time (often overnight in Artisan Baker's) so the gut doesn't have to digest it.

    I didn't know I had a dairy intolerance until I eliminated it. I think our bodies cope very well with foods that aggravate it and then once a food is re introduced the 'clean' cells react. Just my theory but it seems true in my case. For that reason if you suffer inflammation I would keep a track of symptoms and gluten consumption (if you don't already).

    Thanks very much for your comment :)

  • UPDATE: Just had a phone call from my GP. My test flagged up 'abnormal' because my TSH is low/suppressed. My T4 was about 12 point something and T3 was around 5 I think. I'll be able to look at my online records when they're updated.

    My Doc suggested I keep the dose the same although he was aware some Dr's might suggest lowering it. I feel very lucky to have such a lovely GP. I told him I had stopped seeing the Endo because he was advising completely the opposite of what I was learning on forums etc. He explained he wants me to feel well but that he has to be a bit careful if he isn't being advised by a specialist.

    So, for now I'm OK to continue. I need to fully get to grips with my supplements and adrenal health now.

    Thanks for your support peeps :)

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