Hi everyone,

Following posting my blood results I have made an appointment to see my GP to ask for a trial of Levo but I would like some advice on how I can help reduce thyroid antibodies. Some has mentioned FODMAP and Gluten Free. How and where do we start with a Gluten Free diet, gluten seems to be in most foods and I don't know what to eat really.

Thanks for any help.

22 Replies

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  • I don't know anything about the fodmap diet, but gluten-free is not that difficult. I have to admit I found it very overwhelming at first, so I can sympathise and empathise.

    For info on gluten-free, you could join another community on HealthUnlocked (you can join as many as you want) and they are the Gluten Free Guerrillas :

    Go to that page and click on Follow in the banner.

    Another source of useful information is Amazon, believe it or not. Do you have a Kindle?

    If yes, you can search the Kindle store for free gluten-free cookbooks. There are a few - no idea how good they are though.

    If you don't have a Kindle you can download a free Kindle app from here :

    Then you can "buy" the free cookbooks and view them on the kindle app.

  • If you make your own fresh food gf is pretty easy, you just don't eat bread and don't add flour to anything. :-) The classic 'meat and two veg' meal is pretty simple, or eggs for breakfast, or if you like toast or a sandwich you can used gf bread. I liked the Genius brand. Soups and stews, roasts, fish pie, rice/potato dishes etc etc are all gf as long as you don't add gluten to them. I make fresh food so it wasn't a stretch, though I accept if you are used to prepared food that will be a tough curve for you (it will be harder to make the transition from prepared to fresh than it will be to make the transition to gf).

    In time you will learn how to substitute various gf stuff where you'd normally use wheat flour so you can eat foods you enjoy and still stay away from gluten. Some restaurants are more clued up than others (Carluccio's was a godsend).

    The only things I missed were cream crackers (I didn't try the gf kind although I'm pretty sure you can get them) and having a beer in a pub.

    The hardest part was having to be vigilant all the time which meant asking a lot of questions and feeling like a horse's a**e drawing attention to myself. You may feel self-conscious. But if you're working to improve your health that is a small price to pay. It is no one's business but your own.

  • Ooh, I just found out about Carluccio's! Can't believe how nice it is.

  • Yes, it was a real lifesaver. I don't eat a lot of pasta so didn't miss it but if you do I imagine it is the place to go. When you're out and about and don't want to piece together a bunch of snacks/salads/nuts, you can have a real lunch w a good coffee (and maybe even, ahem, a pudding) and order it from a menu like a normal person, lol.

  • The fodmap diet is quite restrictive, its not just about gluten, a whole range of foods (garlic, mushrooms, onions, dairy) are not recommended. My daughter has IBS and has followed this diet for a year now and the results are amazing, occasionally she slips off the wagon with a Chinese takeaway or home delivery pizza and she soon knows it. You can google fodmap diet and it will list all foods and whether recommended or not. Not one for the feint hearted but seems to work.

  • I think the key is to cook from scratch as much as possible, it's healthier and you know what's going in. GF is much easier nowadays, most restaurants and shops sell alternatives. M&S GF bread slices are pretty good. It's a good idea to change diet gradually over a couple of weeks to give your gut microbiome time to adjust. Good luck.

  • I have been GF since TPO antibodies were raised 4 years ago. Reduced the Ab's almost to zero and felt better than previously. M&S have a GF range of ready meals but some of their other ready meals are GF, just check their labels. Sausages and burgers from them mostly GF cos they use rice flour instead of rusk(wheat) You can buy GF beer most supermarkets and M&S, Curries are usually GF just ask the waiter, Carluccio's and Bistro pierre have a GF menu. I mainly cook from scratch, but I did that before thyroid probs. Cornflour can be substituted instead of flour to thicken sauces. Doves farm have a range of flours and you can make your own bread. I can't eat a lot of GF foods because many contain eggs which I am intolerant to so mostly go without puds! Don't expect instant results but many people notice a difference within 2-3 weeks. It can take 6months or more for your gut to heal. best wishes

  • I went gluten free almost a year ago. Like you I was pretty daunted at the concept. But it has been much easier than I expected & with astonishing positive results

    In the run up to switching over to gluten free, I emptied the cupboards of banned items & got in gluten free alternatives.

    Best gluten free items so far

    Bread - most are dire. M&S small brown is pretty good when toasted

    Nairn gluten free crackers - lots of different one - seeded, plain or black pepper. Great with soup

    Beer/larger - Tesco has great choices, even GF Old Speckled Hen

    M&S do lots of ready meals that are GF - read labels carefully

    They also do GF fish in breadcrumbs, macaroni cheese & lasagne

    Breakfast- I make my own GF museli

  • Have just found a gluten free cafe in Newark, everything they sell is gluten free, which is great for me as trying to avoid wheat and corn. They also sell loaves of bread, and planning to expand and open another kitchen making gluten free food only. Going gluten free is much easier today as a lot of cafe's relies customers do have allergies to certain foods. I myself have colitis and a under active thyroid.

  • Hi Christineblue

    I appreciate it seems daunting at this stage. I don't know about the fodmap diet but was diagnosed ceoliac 18 years ago ( 10 years after being diagnosed hypo )

    As the other lovely people have said there are a lot of good products around these days. I cook from scratch 99.9% of the time so don't have too much of a problem. Asda do some frozen gf ready meals I think. I occasionally get a pizza from there which is OK.

    I'd say it's just a case of ALWAYS checking the ingredients of everything to begin with. Even things like crisps can contain gluten. So certainly to begin with check ALL ingredients. You'll soon get to know what you can and can't have.

    Also be aware that oats, rye and barley contain gluten, not just wheat. EDIT - Years ago when diagnosed I was led to believe that oats contained gluten. But apparently not. See next post. But goes to show its best to read everything. I recently bought & cooked some dried green lentils. Which after eating made me quite ill. After reading the pack it did warn that they may contain traces of gluten as they were processed with wheat. ALLWAYS best to read the ingredients. So things like soy sauce contains gluten because barley is one of the ingredients ( I believe you can get a gf soy sauce now ). I'm afraid that's a bit of a nightmares if you love a Chinese take away.

    Also be aware of cross contamination. For example myself and my partner have separate butter tubs and toasters. This can also be an issue when eating out. Id say always make them aware that you are gf to help avoid flare ups. Check in detail that everything you are ordering is gluten free. For example in some places there is a crispy coating on chips that contains wheat ( always check that in supermarkets too ). So its best to have the waitress back and forth to the kitchen checking with the chef. I'm afraid I don't find it embarrassing any more just amusing lol. Also a lot of places have an allergens book which they can refer to for all the different menu items.

    As other people have mention beware of it in drinks. Orange ( & other flavoured ) barley cordials. And things like vodka and gin which can be brewed from wheat. This I've found can be trial and error. Most vodkas don't set me off but gin is a total no no.

    For more info go to the website

    Good luck and don't hesitate to ask for further help

  • Good advice Kitti1, but I'm pretty sure oats don't contain gluten, just are very commonly processed in the same machines and therefore contaminated. You can get gluten free porridge and oat cakes, but these are the same as the non-gluten free, except guaranteed to have been kept isolated from wheat.

  • Hi SilverAvocado

    I'm quite happy to stand corrected. Its many years since I was diagnosed and just remember on the diet sheets I was given they included oats. I have heard of gluten free oats and wondered how they took the gluten out lol ! Or if they were bred gluten free ? I've felt sceptical so have avoided them πŸ˜‚

    So that's very interesting to know that they are actually naturally gluten free πŸ‘

  • Haha! I'm glad I didn't come across as too argumentative. Oats are my favourite so I don't like to see them maligned :)

  • I've looked it up, and they do contain a protein that a tiny number of coeliacs can't tolerate, but apparently 99% will be fine.

    I hope you enjoy testing some things out!

  • No not at all 😊. It can be a bit of a minefield can't it. I was surprised when I read rice contains a tiny amount of gluten, but not enough to make people poorly. Hopefully I've got that right πŸ˜‚ Sure I read that on the ceoliac website years ago, but my memory is rubbish - can't think why ?

    I like oats too, especially in hobnobs πŸ˜‹ What woundnt give for a chocolate hobnob.

    Certainly back then when I read the on ceoliac website that not to worry about it in alcoholic drinks like vodka won't make you Ill because the gluten is distilled out. But things like some vodkas gin and whisky can make me very ill and mostly not from overindulgence. They may have changed their line on that I'll have check.

  • Heehee, maybe a gluten free oat cake smeared with nutella might taste a bit like a hobnob to someone who hasn't had one for years ;)

    Seriously though I do like oat cakes dipped in sweet things like honey or chocolate syrup. Although my all time favourite topping is marmite, hummus and chopped red onion.

  • Oh no SilverAvocado I thought you seemed a really nice rational person ! But marmite ARH NO ! lol. But hummus & red onion sounds good, love hummus ( well I am a women, its compulsory to like hummus πŸ˜‚ ) I'll have to give it a go, thank you πŸ‘

  • :) Oat cakes are the best :)

  • Closest thing to a chocolate Hobnob is Morrison's "Free From" Triple Chocolate Chunk cookies. They are rather yummy and I have to severely ration them! :D

  • Oh goodness they sound lush πŸ˜‹. I tend to avoid the cakes & biscuits sections because of my weight. A permanent struggle πŸ˜•.

    I do occasionally make gluten free cakes which are always very successful. I got a recipe for gf choc brownies off the net the other week. We were having a family bbq and it always frustrates me when they buy a dessert and I can't have any. The brownies were lush ( but took a lot longer cooking than they said ) But think I'll have give those bicies a good, I hungry now !

  • Hope the marmite was GF last time I bought some it wasn't but must admit that was a few years ago. Just googled it,(, says that Marmite is produced from "spent" yeast a by-product of the beer industry that possibly contains a small amount of gluten even after all the processing it goes through to make marmite, though as the amount of marmite used is so small then there would not be very much gluten in it. Whichever way I can't have it as not allowed yeast products either, before CD used to love it on hot buttered toast!

  • You can try the elimination diet which is explained in 'The Elimination Diet' book. This will show you if you have any food intolerances apart from gluten and this book has FODMAP recipes and other elimination recipes in it too. I'm 2 weeks into it at the moment and although the first week is hard, it does get easier.

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