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Thyroid UK
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How do you know what foods, if any, to give up when you have Hashimotos?

Hi everyone - love this forum! Hope you're all having a good day wherever you are in the world. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos last year but was fortunate in that it was detected early enough that I don't appear to need any medication as yet. However, my thyroid is enlarged and I have multiple nodules. I had a FNA last year and was given the all clear but my last ultrasound didn't look so great so am having another FNA soon. My mother had thyroid cancer so am not feeling confident that I'll keep my thyroid in situ for the term of my natural life! Anyway - my question really relates to the gluten, soy, dairy debate - although any advice regarding nodules is more than welcome. When I was diagnosed I did some of my own research and ended up deciding to give the Hashimotos Protocols as outlined by Dr Izabella Wendtz a go. So I've been supplementing with Glutamine, sublingual B12, B Complex, liquid Selenium, Magnesium, Liquid D/K2, Adrenotone and Vitamin C. I've also been on the Auto Immune Protocol diet for four months and can feel the benefits - no more dizziness or joint pain, improved mood and I dropped 15 kilos without even trying. I've probably had more honey and fruit than recommended on the AIP but have a terrible sweet tooth! But my question is - having given up dairy, soy and gluten - how do I know which ones I need to give up for life? And what would happen if you indulged occasionally - ie once a month? Thanking you in advance - Holly :)

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Soy should definitely be given up for life - not just by hypos but by everyone. Unfermented soy is not health food, it is very bad for you. Fermented soy is ok in small doses.

Do you feel any benefit from giving up dairy or gluten? If not try eating them again, and see what happens.

If giving up gluten made you feel better, then it needs to be 100%. Cheating could set you well back in your recovery.

Dairy, I don't know. I don't think everyone needs to give up dairy, only if it affects you badly. Try eating it again and see what happens.

There are no hard and fast rules. You have to play it by ear. Eat what agrees with you, give up what doesn't. All except soy, and that really has to go!

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Thanks greygoose - you're such a wealth of information and so generous with your time and knowledge. Am not at all fussed about giving up soy - but it's good to hear that fermented soy is okay in small doses as I loathe the thought of coconut aminoes on my sashimi! Sounds like I'll just have to try gluten and dairy again some day - not both at the same time obviously - and see what happens. I guess if the dizziness and joint pain return then I'll know for sure.

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I've never tried coconut aminoes, are they really awful?

Be careful with soy sauce. It's supposed to be fermented, but isn't always! Make sure before using it. :)

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Just checked my bottle in the fridge and although it's made in Japan it doesn't say whether it's fermented or not! So thanks for pointing that out to me. The label also lists wheat as an ingredient - if you're only having a splash with sushi (I'm not one for stir frys) would that amount of wheat cause a problem? From memory Tamari is supposed to be wheat free? And yes - coconut aminoes are THAT awful! But then I don't like coconut unless it's hidden in a curry :)

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I can't answer that question, because I'm not gluten-free. But, I think some people would say yes, that could cause a problem. Depends how sensitive you are to gluten, I suppose.

For me, curry is the last place I want to find coconut! I like my coconut in a cake! lol Maybe I'll stay off the coconut aminoes, then... Thanks for the heads up!

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Dessicated coconut = desecrated coconut in my books ha ha! When I said I like it in a curry I should have clarified that it's only the milk I like - as in a lovely hot Thai Green Curry or a Sri Lankan fish curry - scrumptious!

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Yeah, I don't like Thai food, I'm afraid. :(

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🥥 in cake and curry for me!

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You can't use soy sauce if you're gluten free - it has too much gluten in it. Tamari is close enough, and is GF.

I tried coconut aminos at the weekend, they weren't quite the same but did the job (I used coconut oil though, so maybe assumed any coconut flavour was because of that). A bit of lime juice helps!

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Will stick with the Tamari! Thanks for that :)

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Yes Tamari is gluten free. I'm coeliac so I replace it for soy sauce.

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I too started on the AIP diet (auto immune paleo), which is very drastic. But I needed to do something mega drastic. It has helped to change my life. Diagnosed 36 years ago with hypothyroid, but I discovered myself via private blood test just over a year ago that I have/had thyroid antibodies = Hashimotos. Basically I'm going to stick to the rule that if my great grandmother wouldn't recognise it - don't eat it.

As greygoose says, never ever eat soy - the Asians apparently consider it poison. As far as all grains go, I don't eat any at all ever now, as even porridge oats were giving me a pain in my bowel that felt like a piece of concrete. I've also learnt that even gluten free bread etc is no good as there are other poisonous additives included. So great caution is needed. I personally seem to be ok with cow dairy.

I think each person has their own weak points regarding foods, and it's a case of carefully and slowly re-introducing each food at least 5 days apart. It takes that length of time for your body to react to food it doesn't like. Good luck

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So glad to hear that the AIP diet has been of such a help to you. It's been hard because my family think I'm nuts - and boring! But stories such as yours help me to keep going - that and a handful of grapes!

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Not only horrid additives it taste like cardboard too!! Why suffer the double whammy?

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Hi Holly. I have successfully reduced my thyroid antibodies to 0 and it no longer says I have autoimmune thyroid disease on my blood tests. My multunidular goitre has reduced also. I'm not sure if I am supposed to name the functional doctor I am seeing. He's done tv series on the BBC and comes on breakfast news a lot. Anyway I've had to go totally gluten and dairy free. I was treated for sibo initially also. He wasn't overly concerned about soya for me as I don't eat a lot anyway. I was vegetarian before so I'm virtually vegan now. I have increased the amount of vegetables I eat and I have supplements and probiotics that are tailored to my needs. I haven't had to exclude nightshade vegetables. Hope this is helpful, Jenny

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Sounds like you've got a great functional doctor supporting you! Being In Australia I can't guess who you're referring to as the only British doctor I can name is Dr Michael Mosley. Wouldn't it be wonderful if he made a series on auto immune conditions and leaky gut! Am hoping I can reintroduce mightshades - love my tomatoes and potatoes. And chilli - missing that heaps!

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Dr Michael Mosley won't ever do a programme about hashimoto's - it's too political. I was an extra a while ago on a health programme for tv. My brain is bad right now but I think it was about the withdrawal of T3 by the NHS and/or the various types of T3 available as meds. The female director (or programme collaborator) admitted to me she has a dodgy thyroid so knows the problems we have inside out, but that she has to tread extremely carefully or presumably she would lose her job.

Everyone who could make a difference is too scared to mention the T3 phrase, for fear of losing their job,

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What a shame Hashimotos isn't contagious! Sounds like some people deserve to have a taste of it ;)

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I helped towards a programme with Dr Michael Moseley - trust me I'm a doctor - 8 of us from my thyroid support group went to be filmed and we took our thyroid medications which were photographed. The researcher on the programme takes NDT.

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That is really shocking to know but well worth loosing ones job to get the truth out. Who are these crazy control freaks suppressing the real story of the scandal that is thyroid medicine? Is it big Pharma - it must be.

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Hiya it's Dr Chatterjee that I see. He has Facebook page. His main advice to me was to cut out gluten and dairy and processed food. Hope you go on ok.

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I'm on the last phase of the AIP diet, so will be reintroducing foods in 3 weeks time. Introduce 1 new food then wait 3-4 days before introducing another to see if you react to it. It can take 3-4 days to react to something we are intolerant to. You'll start to get symptoms like feeling bloated, brain fog, energy dips.

That was the one thing I felt the Hashimotos protocol lacked in - any information on reintroducing foods!

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Good luck with the reintroductions - hope it all goes well!

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Forgot to say, only have a small quantity as well, equivalent to a couple of forkfuls of rice.

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Hi Holly,

I find I can tolerate proper Greek yoghurt as Southern European milk has different proteins, A2 as opposed to A1. Also you may find you can tolerate sourdough bread as the gluten gets broken down by this form of yeast fermentation.

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Hope I can have yoghurt like yo eventually - it's one of the things I miss, along with kefir and feta cheese. Am going to try buffalo milk first and see how I go when the time comes! And if I try bread again I'll make sure it's a sourdough - thanks for that tip :)

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Thanks everyone for your comments - it's great to hear that some of you have had success with the AIP diet. I'm nervous about reintroducing foods as I worry that I won't realise which ones cause problems for me! Think I'm being overly cautious as I ended up with salicylate sensitivity some years ago after taking low dose Asprin for an extended period of time and that was a nightmare to figure out and deal with.

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The easiest way of testing how you are reacting to any food/substance is by muscle testing (kinesiology). And sometimes you need to treat the anxiety about food first before reintroducion as this can skew your body's response too. Good luck with your diet 8-)

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What I have learnt about gluten and hashimotos (from functional medical doctors and nutritionists) is that gluten is very similar looking at a cellular level. Gluten is a foreign body (there are no humans who can digest it) so our antibodies attack the gluten and some of our thyroid too.

I think Dr Amy Myers book called the autoimmune solution is excellent, as is her thyroid connection book and also the books by Dr Isabella Wentz.

When I was first ill many people said that I would need to be gluten free, to be honest then I thought it was too much like hard work. I am very pleased to say that I feel even better following a gluten free, dairy free, clean diet. With all autoimmune diseases it would be ideal to stop as many toxins as possible, so not just gluten and dairy but also artificial sweeteners, preservatives and choosing good quality fats.

Its not just food either, I have reverse osmosis water which is heavenly. Over the past few years I have also stopped all toxic toiletries, laundry and cleaning products. I stopped having my hair dyed but there are some natural hair dressers out there who use natural products. The more that we can reduce toxins, the better our liver and kidneys can concentrate on their job. Also painkillers and prescription drugs lower our immune system too.

Yes organic food and natural products are more expensive but I find that I cannot unlearn what I have learnt. I have some fabulous recipes for gluten free bread too.

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Sounds like you've had great success with your healthy lifestyle protocol which is great! Just wondering where you found your gluten free bread recipes? Would love to try my hand at baking more gluten free products :)

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Hi the paleo bread recipe I use is on a blog that I follow and has many lovely recipes, called bellagracewellness.

Or dr sarah myhill makes gf bread too.

Sue

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I have given up gluten and soy and feel loads better for it. I think a degree of trial and error is needed unless you want to be a purist and just ban them for good based on recommendations. I have never wanted to try reintroducing any of them as I think I eat more healthily and have reduced a lot of junk in my diet. Why would I want to put those things inside me?

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