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Thyroid UK
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Hyperthyroidism and gluten, soya dairy free

Hi,

I have been following a gluten soy and dairy free diet for around 2 months. My test results state that I do not have celiac but my graves and hashi antibodies were very slightly elevated back in October (0.25 and 9 above normal range). After reading on line about hyperthyroidism I decided to cut these foods out.

For quite some years I do not have a lot of dairy in my diet because I do not like the taste but because I have been so sick with this thyroid issue I am beginning to worry that cutting these food groups out I am loosing nutrients (I don’t like to eat the pre pack gluten free alternative) I have replaced dairy with coconut/almond products

I have seen a nutritionist she is lovely but as probably with all nutritionists they do not have much knowledge about thyroid disease and because of my concerns she wants me to do a couple of days ‘gluten binge’ to see how I react.

I am reluctant to reintroduce these foods back into my diet incase I undo my healing over the last few months (or it just maybe coincidental) I just wondered what your views are with hyperthyroidism and gluten soy and dairy free diet .... should I go back to eating these to make sure I get all my nutrients or shall I steer clear?

I’d be grateful to hear your views 😊

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Hi there

My personal opinion, if you've already been gluten free for 2 months, I wouldn't binge at this point as like you say it can take 3-6 months to show improvements (coeliacs longer) so you'd be effectively having starting all over again. Once you've done it long enough, I suppose you could then try if you haven't seen many improvements. If you find your health has improved dramatically after being GF, then I would see little point in doing a gluten binge though.

Other intolerances don't seem to be so complicated or long lasting in effect so I think you could possibly try dairy. Some people, myself and daughter included find that other things they were intolerant or allergic to disappear after going GF.

If you were tested negative for coeliac, please bear in mind that the blood test is unreliable and you would have needed a biopsy to be sure especially if you have any other typical symptoms.

In regards to nutrients, if you eat a healthy well balanced diet, you are unlikely to suffer from any deficiencies simply by going gluten free - there are many other similar wholegrain or carby foods like rice, potatoes, GF oats, psuedograins like quinoa and buckwheat to make up for it. DO get some wholegrains in though as do show positive affect for hearts and good for fiber.

The problem occurs when people whom eat a bad diet simply replace what they were eating with GF alternative. This is because many of the gluten products - bread/cereals are fortified (have to be legally) with things like iron to stop the population with bad diets or eating bad quality foods becoming as ill and the gluten free alternatives are not fortified in the same way. So, yes someone who doesn't get enough iron from healthy sources are likely to become more iron deficient for example.

Some gluten free products are great though - it's just finding them amongst the rubbish. some breads are made with healthier flours rather than just rice/potato starch rubbish - like buckwheat/amaranth/quinoa. Nutri-brex (cereal) are made from almost entirely from sorghum- another great grain and only 2% sugar . I buy GF oat biscuits and GF oat cereals - just watch the sugar content - M&S GF granola is a pretty good one with low enough sugar.

I don't think you lose much from not eating soy.

You might have to be a little more careful with dairy and ensure you're eating enough other things with calcium and so on so have a check on what you're eating. For example, if you're dairy free and not eating fish, you may not get enough iodine etc. Maybe you could try things low in lactose like hard cheese/cheddar as it might be just lactose is the problem:

healthline.com/nutrition/da...

I used a website called cronometer which tracks all nutrients even micro ones if you use the site correctly where you can plug in what you're eating for a week or so and see if any major holes in your diet.

Have you any any improvements in your health so far?

Good luck what ever you decide :-)

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Oh just to add, iodine and selenium are required for healthy thyroid function and selenium can help the immune issues/antibodies. It is not advisable to supplement iodine as can easily make thyroid problems worse so just ensure you are eating enough in your diet - eat fish a couple of times a week. You can eat 2 or 3 brazil nuts a day to get enough selenium - mind many do not contain enough anymore because of growing conditions so make sure they state rich in selenium like the M&S ones. Nuts and seeds have other good stuff in them also.

You also need to eat a good amount of calories and have good levels of iron, Vit B12, folate and Vit D for thyroid so get these tested if you haven't already and post the results here.

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Here's a link to some info on iodine with a few warnings for those with graves:

btf-thyroid.org/projects/io...

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Wow saggyuk thank you for you information, I will have a read up on ur links too 😊

I had a blood test recent and also I had a colonoscopy about 2 years ago where they also checked for celiac and I was all clear thankfully. It’s just hard when your dredging through all the information on thyroid healing to decide what’s good for you and what isn’t!!

You have highlighted though I need to think about my carb intake and selenium so thank you for that too.

I started this diet about 2 months ago and I can see my health improving but I don’t know whether it’s the diet or my thyroid function getting better on its own but you have definitely given me more info for me to mull over thats great thanks 😊

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I don't think they can biopsy for coeliac with a colonoscopy - the area is too high up and needs to go down throat rather than from the other end lol!

Good luck and hope you continue to improve :-)

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Hi Lisa254, Cutting out gluten, soy And dairy will drastically limit where you can get your nutritional balance... and hugely increase the amount of home cooking you have to do...

Sometimes I feel I’ve tried drastic diets for a day or few weeks in a desperate bid to take control of this Hashimoto’s suffering. To Do Something!! Often I feel health sites massively promote restrictive diets — along with all their personally-branded “Dr” supplements and other cross-promotions — because it’s one unregulated area that can be sold to us as “medicine”.

If you have proven intolerances to gluten and dairy then of course you have to avoid those items.

Personally, I’m diagnosed Coeliac so I have no choice but to be gluten-free. I would never recommend going GF unless you absolutely have to for proven medical reasons. Case in point, GF bread has more fat and less fibre than conventional bread. And it tastes like house-bricks. Given how common Coeliac is with Hashimoto’s, maybe it’s worth getting properly tested with your GP. They don’t need to Experiment on you (what are we, lab-rats?!) but you may need to eat gluten for a little while for the blood test to be accurate; at least then you’ll know for sure, which will help motivate you to go and Stay GF if you have to. It’s a bore so be sure.

Dairy I cut out for 4 weeks following Xmas and felt so lousy by week 3 — and knowing that I’ve been checked and okayed for lactose in the past — that I’m back on dairy and feeling fine, better actually.

Soy I do avoid as it’s a phyto-estrogen and not recommended for thyroid sufferers.

Sugar! and Alcohol! are both inflammatories, they put a load on your liver (which does much of the conversion of T4 to T3 work), contain zero nutrients and can be dropped from your diet Anytime without risk to and with definite benefits for your nutritional health. I don’t drink and have radically reduced sugar in my diet over the last 3 months. This may have helped reduce my aches and pains recently. It’s certainly good for my gut-health.

Good luck with finding what works for you. Be gentle on yourself. Don’t give up what you don’t have to. Get rid of the real baddies first - sugar and alcohol.

BBxx

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Hi bluebee ... ah thank you for this, it’s funny you should say about sugar and alcohol as I really see my symptoms worsen when I eat sugar so I have tried to keep away from it (I’m a haribo and cake lover so hard for me!!) apart from honey, I also stopped drinking alcohol about 5 months ago as it hindered palps I’m hoping once I’m better i can have a glass of wine again (I’ll be a cheap date😂).

I do agree with you about these websites that encourage you to download their diets and then buy the supplements and they are so conflicting one says don’t eat peppers, the other does 🙄 they need regulating !!

😊

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I do agree with you for the most part, the restrictive calories and restrictive diets can only cause more harm than good and don't agree with them at all. And I definitely do agree with sugar and alcohol having nothing in them that will help you lol!

I do disagree with needing a proven medical need before advising trying gluten free though. There is mounting evidence that there is another condition diagnostically different to coeliacs that has a wider effect on the body rather than focused on the stomach and though some have suggested some possible diagnostic criteria, it's going to take years to resolve and have anything for the medical institute to actually diagnose with - what will these people do, just stay on gluten because there's currently nothing agreed by the medical industry. It wan't until that long ago coeliacs was unproven and nothing diagnostically to get any evidence. It was once cured completely by accident when someone started treating those with stomach issues with bananas simply because they were thought to have magical healing properties - they still didn't realise it was the lack of gluten that made them well again. Nothing was proven until 1945 - funnily enough shortly after there was a marked increase in gluten consumption. So you'd be happy to eat gluten if you happened to live in 1940 simply because you couldn't get any medical proof. It existed before then and killed people before then so medical proof or diagnosis is not necessary to have a problem - they simply haven't figured it out yet.

Gluten is also proven to be the most inflammatory food for all humans along with sugar so that simply in itself is enough like reducing sugar to reduce inflammation. I'm diagnosed by the NHS with NCGS - but this is a ridiculously hard diagnosis to get and most people won't get it. There is no harm in trying gluten free to see whether you are one of those people that may have NCGS and not positive for coeliacs. If there are no tests available, how exactly do you begin to get the medical proof before going GF unless you try it first? Never mind that coeliac testing can be unreliable.

Regardless, I still don't understand the need for gluten dietary wise, there are many rice based societies who live quite happily and healthily without it for the most part. Wheat and barley weren't even introduced or existent in the Americas until a 16th/17th century when Europe took it there and they were not struggling dietary wise in the slightest sense- they lived on amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat etc. Many of these are 100% complete proteins and contain much more iron and vitamins than their gluten counterparts so much healthier.

Until we had the ability to ground wheat into flour and spend hours doing so for little in return, we never would have eaten things like bread at all. It wasn't even widespread in europe until 7000 years ago and archaeologists found a marked decrease in dental health in skeletons since we did eat it. So basically humans were never initially designed to eat it, same as sugar in the quantities we do so why exactly do we need it?

It wouldn't even have been a large part of the english diet like every meal it's in now until the last hundred years or so and when consumption of bread and gluten increased, the health consequences of this in the early part of last century were hugely reported to be dire especially for growing children - which is exactly why they made it a legal requirement to fortify wheat flour with vitamins in the first place etc.

Why would they need to fortify something in the first place if it was already nutritionally good?

There are plenty of GF simple meals that take five mins, I hardly spend any additional time cooking - get some new potatoes, quickly shove in microwave for five mins, cover with cheese and dump on plate, with smoked fish and salad. Steak and sweet potato fries - 10 mins. Nachos - 10 minutes. Salad with fried choritzo, chickpeas and haloumi with quinoa poured over the top - 10 minutes and so on. None of the potato or rice meals take any additional time what so ever?

Sorry it's just some people fight so hard to get any recognition from their docs etc so I always feel like for those who haven't quite met the criteria for coeliacs, managed to prove NCGS enough or struggle to get it resolved for their kids and I've never really understood why eating gluten free is considered difficult as it's really not once you learn what you can and can't eat.

Admittedly, it is slightly tricky when it comes to eating at other people houses, eating out and going on holiday but not life changing or insurmountable lol :-)

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This makes such an interesting read thanks saggyuk .... it makes sense as I haven’t been diagnosed with celiac but I have always had trouble stomaching bread (like a lot of people) so there must be something that is undiagnosed as yet!!

Humans have messed around with food so much we just aren’t designed to digest a lot of our daily diet. But I agree with you I cook from scratch and a lot of my meals are cooked in half hour or so, it can be done 😊

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You might be interested in this:

gut.bmj.com/content/early/2...

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Saggyuk....Going on a gluten free diet first, to “see if it works”, is exactly the Best way to ensure Inaccurate test results for Coeliac Disease. That is why the Coeliac Society says see your doctor first. There is a proven test for Coeliac— bloods plus villi biopsy. Once you start mucking around with GF diets, it’s very hard to get an accurate diagnosis.

I disagree that going GF is not life-changing or challenging over time. It’s forever. And if you’re a foodie like me, there is no substitute for glorious gluten.

There is much of what you say that I disagree with, but that’s okay, we’re allowed to disagree.

Can I just say something in support of wheat? That glorious grain, the mother of croissants, cibata and Pasta (drool)... and Shortbread!!! (do Not tell me GF shortbread is just as good. No, it is a sad crumbling mean bag of fat and sugar.)

Grinding wheat and making yeast-risen bread meant we Could sit down, do “nothing”, think about things and come up with Western Civilisation. And while that might be looking a bit rough around the edges nowadays (global warming anyone?)... its certainly not nothing.

Wishing you well and good health,

BBxx

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Lmao - okay maybe I miss the convenience of co-op croissants and have to stop breathing for a few minutes when I have to roam past their freshly baked section in the morning - drool ;-)

Your western civilisation point is a hard one to argue too lol!

My experience was a little different - my stomach was so bad since a toddler that I could barely make myself eat and would only do so if under direct force and had little appetite even for the good stuff - so because my appetite came back fast after GF, I'm shoving food down my throat as if there's about to be a global shortage (possibly?) and drooling over every mouthful. This would make it very easy for me and never really imagined it a difficult thing to do. This is very clearly not the case for you as I don't think I've ever seen gluten described so elegantly - I literally could hear you drooling lol!

And I will never know whether the negative biopsy I had was simply because I'd only been doing a trial five weeks after being off it for years. A diagnosis would have made it a much simpler task getting my daughter sorted.

Yes, I do agree, you should get tested first if possible and I always recommend this to those who are classically coeliac and others but this is often difficult as many docs aren't aware of the issues with the blood test (if they are willing to do the test at all) and won't push for biopsy if negative and sometimes it can take so long even with referral to even get the appointment. If I trusted the docs to do their jobs properly, I would be very adamant on testing first. Often people just need to give it a go if they're that bad and have no hope left as they so often are. The outcome is the same for the most part either way whether certified or not. I suppose the big difficulty with no diagnosis is like the one I faced, which is when your children appear to have the same problem and you suddenly need the medical peeps to actually believe you.

I would have suggested testing first to be honest but Lisa254 had already been GF for a couple of months and hadn't really indicated if she was seeing improvements yet and might not want to go through the hassle of starting it again later. In my mind, worst case scenario - you could do gluten trial, be negative on coeliac test and then think well I've done two months and not much difference so not worth trying again. Whereas with a little more time and possibly feeling much better and knowing for sure if made a difference either a) no difference would mean no need to bother with GF again saving another three months or so or b) going back to eating gluten can feel so bad that nothing tempts you to ever want to eat it again lol!

I admit to be being a defensive - my excuse is it's hard not to be with the contempt some family members/docs/other coeliacs treat you with when not officially coeliac. And for those like me, medical proof is never likely so only option left is to give it a go.

We can agree on global warming for sure lol :-P

xx

PS GF shortbread is pants :-)

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Well to be accurate, I did get medical proof in the end from a skin biopsy and other circumstantial tests but my diagnosis was inexplicably hard to get and was actually only possible because things that I was diagnosed with which are supposedly incurable were cured after GF. This is not possible for many unfortunately :-(

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He he you make me laugh Saggyuk, thank you for that :- )

Yes, it’s all relative isn’t it? And I’m so glad GF works for you. You poor little angel as a kid not wanting to eat ‘cos your gut was so sore. Good that you are right onto this with your daughter!

I know what you mean about it can take forever to get diagnosed. It took my dad until he was 74 and nearly wasted away to a matchstick; and then about 12 months for my brother who had to go through every anxiety-provoking test under the sun before they nailed Coeliac. So when in passing I said “I have bad leg cramps too” in my late 40s, well it was straight off for a test and that was that. Mind you, I’d been sick all my life already. My Mum used to give me “Diareze” to take to school each day. Charming.

You defensive pah! Isn’t that just another one of the symptoms of having to grapple with all this? I know it is for me, plus rage, self-obsession, identity loss, the miseries, denial... and a crazy remnant of humour which keeps me going.

Thanks again for making me laugh.

BBxx

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Yes, I can definitely sympathise! I kept being sent home from school after lunch because of my stomach so my mum kept taking me to docs who just repeated I needed more roughage and more wholewheat! So they started force feeding me wheatabix!!!! Suffice to say, when mum asked after a year of that, I said no, stomach is fine lol!!

I have a deep distrust and hatred for doctors, they have left me so dangerously ill at times and even ended up with ataxia and myxoedema in my teens/20s because of a refusal to do any blood tests as just "depressed" so I think for the most part people are better diagnosing themselves and docs only use is free blood tests - if you can get them lol! Okay, maybe I won't yet discount the need for a surgeon should the need ever arise - don't think I'll be so happy to self treat under those circumstances lol!

Your list of additional symptoms - I can certainly relate to those lol!

I will forever remember your descriptions of gluten lol :-)

xxx

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Personally I think now is as good a time as any - you've been off gluten long enough to evoke a reaction if you are intolerant. Although your gut is still healing, it's already damaged, so it just seems better to set back your healing process a little bit than to wait til it's healthy and damage it all over again. It's just my personal opinion though.

I would worry about your calcium intake being dairy free. Most other nutrients are easy to obtain from a healthy and varied diet, but calcium is tough to make up for.

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Hi cooper yes that is what I was thinking and as the nutritionist said to ‘gluten load’ to see what happens I’m thinking she wouldnt suggest it if it would set me back.

It’s so hard to know what to do! I have been loosely off dairy for about 7 years (I naturally do not like milk butter cream etc so have never eaten it since a kid) but I do try to add broccoli spinage oranges salmon etc into my diet.

I just was thinking 2 months has been a while hopefully something must of or has healed!!

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It'll be healing, it's like a cut though, by this stage the scab may have fallen off, but you'll still see the outline of the cut, and it will take a while to fade completely.

I'm similar to you, I can't handle milk, I would take cheese sometimes though. I worry I don't get enough calcium thanks to it, but as long as you're getting it from other sources, you'll be alright.

I am on a soya, dairy, gluten and sugar free diet just now too (only 2 weeks in though). I don't see any areas my diet would be lacking, except calcium. Most ready made food is off limits, and they don't offer anything I can't get from elsewhere.

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This was meant to tag onto your last! Still getting used to the new format of the site :/

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Yes that makes sense, I have had problems with my digestion for quite some years but I just can’t get to the bottom of it as all my tests come back normal (thankfully) and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s all down to stress and then caused this thyroid problem too!

How long are you planning on doing your diet for? I think when I’m better I’m just going to stick with the no or low sugar diet and just avoid dairy products I don’t like!! hopefully by then I have introduced the other areas back in.

I didn’t realise how many foods have soya in too 😬

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It's impossible, isn't it - everything contains sugar, soya, gluten or butter.

I'm working through Isabella Wentz's thyroid protocol, so this is just the first step - next up is going full auto-immune paleo (nothing but meat, veg and nuts really). I think it will be about 3 months, and then I'll be allowed to reintroduce a couple of things...

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Yes and choccy. I dont eat choc anymore as it plays havoc with my stomach because of my hernia but i used to have Montezumas 75% choc from sainsburys it has no gluten and no soya, i am constantly reading bloody ingredients. Lol.x

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Hi there lisa as you know im gf and soya free as i have to be as i am celiac and choose not to eat soya as i think it is just poison to our bodies and can play havoc on our thyroids so i would rather get rid. I know alot of people cut out dairy aswell but i would not unless i was sure about a reaction to it, with being gf you can still get all your vitamins, vegs, fruit, meats, fish no need to suffer lack of vits but it is different with celiac as it can destroy your vitamins etc as you can have a absorption problem. Celiac is done by endoscopy and biopsy but people have different takes on whether the biopsy is a definate confirmation now as the stomach area is extensive and some people and doctors say that the bloods are enough confirmation for them but i had 2 blood lots taken for celiac and both postive, unlikley you have it if it was negative, that is what gastro told me.😊😊 hope you are ok.

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Coeliac's need more calcium than non-coeliacs (even once GF), did they discuss that with you at all? We picked it up in a coeliac UK talk.

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Hi there cooper27, i was not aware of that, dont remember being told it!! But thankyou for that, i do eat dairy no problems cant imagine being without cheese and eggs and milk in my cuppa!! Thankyou.😊😊

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Hey Michelle.... how are you doing? Hope your feeling a bit better and the flu isn’t hanging around too long!

It’s so wierd as just looked back on my medic report from colonoscopy they did 5 biopsy one for celiac but I remember the did say he had managed to get quite high up into my small intestine (I was climbing up the trolley 😂 I vaguely remember) or maybe they just did by bloods who knows! Yes I agree with you I was eating soya everyday which lead to me having the colonoscopy then after eliminating loads of things I found soya milk to be an irritant! Xx

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Hey!! Yes im feeling better than i was thanks-finished with the face to the porcelain, thank goodness.

Oooh stay of the soya it is horrid stuff-not good for us with thyroid problems either.

I had colonoscopy a few years back and its not great is it, ha,but strangley enough i would rather have it than aendoscopy, weird but more relaxing!! God thats strange .lol 😮are you ok about working 9-5 tomorrow working girl??

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Aww stomach flu is the worst u poor thing, hope ur daughters on the mend too!

No colonoscopy is not the nicest thing but my convo with nurse after coming out of sedation was very interesting for her 😂 telling her all about my nasty infants school teacher and being worried if I snored or not ha!!

I am so scared about tomoz I tried doing 9-3 Monday I was ok but went in Tuesday had to deal with a stressful situation of my colleague collapsing so of course that set me off had to come home and spend the afternoon on the sofa 🙄... I don’t even know if I can remember how to do my job it’s my first day of seeing clients fingers crossed brain fog can do one tomorrow! If it doesn’t work out at least I tried huh x x

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Good luck today dolly parton!!! Lol-working 9 till 5. Xxx

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Hey thank you so much for ur support 😊 haha I’m no Dolly Parton today.. what can I say... I tried, I had a melt down and back on the sofa 🤦🏻‍♀️ I have an appt with my endo tomoz hopefully he will say I can reduce my meds and it will make me feel better.

I’m the same situation as you I’m in customer facing private banking and I’m so scared I will do something wrong with my confusion brain!

Trying to run before I can walk (should of listened to u ha) too eager to get my life back I guess... more rest for me!... how are you doing have you got any appts through yet? Xx

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Not to worry-you have done great so far-better than me. Just put yiur feet up and rest. My next scan is 5th march at newcross but referral has come through for 13th feb with old endo but i will go as i need the scan, i would have cancelled it but being had flu that messed up appointment with scan. I have had a reasonable 3 days so far. Going to pick up my bloods today tgey have been there for a week!!

Did you go in to work then?but had to come home. It is so unpredictable this disease its so up and down isn't, try and get sick note from your endo tomorrow if they do it? I sort of knew you were not ready-when i think of work i sort of get all anxiius about it as i dont know how im going to be, its so alien to me feeling out of sorts as im usually quite gutsy about things-nerves of steel.xx

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Oh i feel nervous for you as regards to tomorrow as you have coped so well really. Hope you are ok now with what happened on tuesday-are you a first aider? Dontbeat yourself up over having to leave early and i hope your manager was understanding about it. You have made the first step of actually getting your ass to work which is great but you will be ok im sure and if you are not then just back to gp and get signed off. When i think of my return to work i have mixed feelings really of what if i cannot think properly and also will i ve able to cope with stressful situations without wanting to run off!! Lol. I am a civil servant and work within the courts service so have to be on the ball really, how do you think you are really managing at work and did they make any adjustments for you to make your job easier?

I will keep my fingers crossed for you tomorrow andvlet us know how you feel after a full day.xx

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I would not recommend returning to wheat and gluten. They are known to cause/contribute to thyroid problems, brain function, autoimmune illness, inflammation, etc.

I also disagree that eliminating wheat, gluten, soya and dairy will cause significant nutritional problems. Soya is known to cause/contribute to thyroid nodules/goitre and can, in general, accelerate tumours and cancers.

Sheep and goat products are known to be easier to digest than cow.

As for baking etc, almond is far tastier than wheat and you can easily use other ingredients instead e.g. almond, coconut, chickpea flour, etc.

Ps. I'd also switch to a more knowledgable nutritionist or naturopath.

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That’s good u have an endo appt soonish maybe he will have a change of mind and be more supportive towards you!! Hopefully it’s the drop in meds that’s helping you it’s so annoying it takes weeks before you benefit from less medication!

Yes I went to work and was chatting with my boss (he is lovely) and i had a melt down I don’t think he knew what to do!! I’m exactly like you I’m so confident at work and in life generally I have been doing it for years but this illness sucks it out of you feel like a nervous mess 😂

Oh I don’t think I could of waited a week to get my bloods (am so impatient 😂) let me know how you get on xx

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