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Nightshade foods and thyroid symptoms

Along with having problems with foods like gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar has anyone been told to eliminate nightshade vegetables (tomatos, white potatos,eggplant, and all peppers-sweet and hot including products made with them -hot sauce, paprika, etc). I have heard that some people have problems but the research I have done seems anecdotal and 50/50 pro and con. I love these foods but if anyone has had problems and symptoms please share. Thank you. irina😕

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If I was to eliminate every food told to on this and some other forums I'd be eating DUST.

You do the math for yourself.


I think you have a point. I think sometimes in our attempts to feel better we will give even off the wall things a try.


Or grass🐗🐄


Hehe, I'm pretty sure grass is not allowed on the autoimmune protocol ;)


Maybe organic grass-fed grass? LOL😁


Technically you can have a food allergy to anything irina1975 . It's a process of trial and error and your wise to play around with various food groups. Find out what agrees or disagrees with you. My mum personally has a problem with nightshade and it flares her arthritis. I'm sure the issue with nightshade foods affecting some people was mentioned on an arthritis website.


If something doesn't agree with you, you will either know about it from your reaction when you eat it, or because you feel better when you give it up. If something doesn't affect you when you eat it, and you don't feel better when you don't eat it, I can't see the point of giving it up. Apart from soy, of course, but that's not really food. :)


I'm not adding any more 'don't eat foods' to my list. Back to tomatos and peppers. I have been looking at the AIP food lists and it seems everyone has a different list. It does get old.


Thanks everyone for your input. There is valid info on both sides. I think I will lay off the the NS's a little while longer and keep working on my thyroid issues. 😊

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I agree. For me soy gives me an immediate reaction my face flushes red and I get a rash and some brassicas just make me feel like I have flu the next day while I can tolerate others very well. Cutting out food groups is never going to be healthy


Soy is food! Tofu. Edamame. Tempeh. Soy beans. Soy milk. Soy nuts. It's actually quite popular. ☺️


Hah, yes soy is demonised for the most spurious reasons often. I have it every day and surprise surprise, am still alive and kicking :)


But hypo?


It is hereditary in my case.....and I haven't heard of anyone recovering completely from being hypo whatever their diet :)

No, but eating soy will make it worse, because it blocks the uptake of thyroid hormone at the cellular level. So, you can have good levels of hormone in the blood, but it won't get into the cells.

For people who are not hypo and on thyroid hormone replacement, it will also impede the up-take of iodine by the thyroid gland, causing the thyroid to make less hormone.


What is your opinion of lugol's iodine and Tiromel? I have been taking both. Interesting, isn't it?

Just because it's popular, doesn't mean it's good for you. In the east, where it was first eaten, it was only intended to be a condiment, like mustard - do you eat a whole plate of mustard? - do you consider mayonnaise as food? - and made of fermented soy, to remove all the nasties. And soy doesn't contain a lot of nasties. Have you never done any research on it? For one thing, it contains nutrient blockers, so no matter how much protein it contains, nor how many vitamins, you can't absorb them. How is that food?


do you consider mayonnaise as food?

Isn't it one of the staple foods? :-) :-) :-)


Well, for some people, admittedly. I prefer salad cream, myself.


In the states most commercial mayonnaise (salad cream in the UK) contains gluten though it often doesn't appear on the ingredient list. I loved it growing up but now don't buy it. Maybe it didn't have gluten then.If I make tuna,chicken,or egg salad I use olive oil with other ingred-onion, chopped garlic,etc. Tastes fine and don't miss the mayo anymore.

I have sadly discovered commercial mayonnaise and salad dressings often contain soybean oil. That is a no-no because of my estrogen receptive cancer. I am now starting to try recipes to find a good substitute for commercial mayo.

Actually salad cream (UK) isn't mayonnaise. :-)

Heinz Salad Cream is:

Spirit vinegar, Water, Rapeseed Oil (22%), Sugar, Cornflour, Mustard, Pasteurised Egg Yolks (3%), Salt, Colour - Riboflavin.

Am pretty sure that they have adjusted the recipe - e.g. using riboflavin as a colour rather than whatever they used to use! Also suspect that they didn't used to use rapeseed oil back in the 1950s/60s.

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I never eat anything 'just because it is fashionable'...I use organic non GM soymilk and have done for many years, in place of the white stuff intended for calves which is disgusting stuff containing growth hormones...not something I'd fancy even if not vegan ! I also buy 'burgers' and pretend sausages made by dragonfly, which use only organic ingredients and soy curd forms the base of both. All the 'information' out there about soy being bad for you is propaganda funded by the dairy industry so no matter how much 'research' you do you are probably being misinformed. The idea that a human body recognises plant 'hormones' as human ones and acts accordingly is scientifically proven to be wrong but guess what...much of the data showing this is suppressed. Industries with massive financial vested interests dont want you to know these things....clearly if you stuffed soya all the time and precious little else it would make you sick, but the same applies to most things. No idea what this thing about nutrient blockers is about but all I can say is that whilst consuming plenty of soya several years ago I had a full blood work done and I was above average in all vitamin levels with the exception of iron which was around average, but I've always been low in iron so...............


I certainly wasn't suggesting you consumed soy because it was fashionable. Presumably you like it. And it's your choice. But, it is a goitrogen, whatever you say. I don't think propaganda has anything to do with that.


If true, in what quantities, what proportion of one's total diet would be problematical....it's these sweeping generalisations that bother me. Anyway, outside of being hypo, for me not being complicit in the terrible cruelty involved in animal and dairy farming is paramount and probably why I dont bother myself overly much with the things I consume....as long as I am functioning and dont have a huge goitre I'm fine. :)

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There are many many vegan alternatives that don't include soy!

I've tried lots of them, prefer soya mostly. ! :)

Hi Greyjaybee, I just wrote a post here telling you off, and you'll have seen it in an email if you have that enabled.

I felt a bit mean, so have deleted it, and I apologise for it.

It's unpleasant seeing you be so argumentative, though!

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I saw the first sentence of what you said.....that's fine, free speech and all that. I dont think I am being argumentative however...I am just stating my experience and what I believe to be the case. Firmly perhaps but I have read so much about the soy issue and it galls me when so often it is dissed as somehow dangerous. Btw, yes I did join this forum fairly recently and yes I do have an underactive thyroid and no I dont believe I have specifically posted about that, although might have done in a response to someone else's post. I hope this helps !

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Thanks for your courteous reply Greyjaybee, I think it would be much more useful if you mentioned some of the reading you've done, either summarise the issues or give some choice links if you have any.

At the moment it just comes across as your personal opinion, and its much nicer to make posts on the forum that can be a resource for everyone.

The view you're expressing is the mainstream one, I believe if I asked my GP if I should avoid soy, they'd never have heard of any issues. But many thyroid writers now agree that the emerging evidence is that soy is dangerousand should be taken in moderation or avoided - human studies are only just beginning, but animal studies have shown big problems. This is why I think we need a bit more evidence, or at least an outline of what the argument is so that people can we follow up on your leads. Otherwise it sounds like you're repeating the mainstream view in a forum where we tend to discuss the more critical viewpoint.

I've never heard anyone before defend soy by saying plant hormones can not pass into or affect animals. In the past when we've had people on the forum defend soy it's by arguing the hormones have an HRT-like effect. And if you search online for soy and hormones you will find decent numbers of papers and review articles arguing in both directions (both that soy gives HRT-like benefits, and that it acts as an endocrine disruptor through similar mechanisms).

I think the more unusual or controversial your claims are the more there is a need to provide a good explanation to back it up.

If there is a good argument that this story has been puffed up or that its the result of commercial groups pressing the issue I think people here would be really interested to hear it.

I do apologise if I've been rude to you earlier Greyjaybee, this discussion really wound me up, I'm not sure why and its not fair on you! I looked back at your comments and saw that you've contributed generously to several other threads, and we've interacted on some of them, so what I said was particularly unfair!


Thankyou for your gracious reply...I certainly will try to find some sources to back up what I say...sadly however, as mentioned earlier much of any evidence in this regard is not easy to find as it doesn't support or even show the dairy industry in a poor light. As such it would be extremely difficult to provide evidence to show this has been occurring over time. I did find one yesterday but have now lost it again..I have to go out this morning but will try to find it again and post it here later on. But I will say this.....blanket discussion of soy, as I believe I also did mention before, is too generalised. For instance I only ever drink organic non GM soymilk and any other products with soy in will be the same . The piece I'm looking for suggested that as with many foods, taken in excess CAN cause issues, particularly if you have thyroid disease, but then, few people would I would suggest wish to consume such large quantities. The way it has been grown and processed is paramount and I just think if you dont find out about those things and eat a lot of the stuff then perhaps you might get into trouble down the road....I've tried all types of milk in black tea, which I love, and the only palatable one for me is a good quality soymilk. So I always defend it when it is bashed in a generalised kind of a way !

Hi, I agree with SilverAvocado re adding sources-websites, articles, books, etc. I like to go there and save/print the info to help me when I have to 'argue my case' at a visit with a sceptical doc. Whipping out written support for my views when they act like I don't know what I'm talking about can be very satisfying! 🐱

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Hi GG. A question: If foods are consider goitrogenic and I effectively have no functioning thyroid tissue would I need to avoid goitrogenic foods? Would they also affect my pituitary (TSH source) or my adrenals? Or are they no longer a problem for me? Thanks. irina 🐱

No, you wouldn't - except for soy.

Goitrogens act by impeding the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland, thereby limiting the amount of thyroid hormone that can be made. They don't affect the pituitary (or the TSH directly) or the adrenals.

Soy, however, also acts at a cellular level. So, would affect your thyroid hormone replacement.

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Thanks GG. That's what I wanted to know. So no soy for me.🐱

You're welcome. :)

I love all of those things except soy milk yuk 😨but my body hates them. My son is vegan and he makes some amazing dishes with tofu such a shame!

Tempeh is fine, as it is fermented.

Why take a risk with a food that is found to be dangerous for your hormone system?

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Some people are now saying that fermented soy is even worse, because instead of getting rid of the nasties, it intensifies them. I don't know how true that is, but I've stopped saying that fermented in fine, just in case it isn't. :(


Oh no :(

Nothing makes me fancy some tofu more than hearing I'm not allowed it, but now they might take away our Kikoman, too :(

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Sorry about that. :(


Besides all the other info available re soy on this thread much of which is new to me my main concern is that most of the soy available in the US is GMO. That's enough of a dealbreaker for me.


Doubt you will ever go to the US so not a concern for you. If you find this offensive, don't worry. I am finished with this site. You are mean.

deannajoy, I live in the US.

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One problem here in the US is that virtually ALL our soy is GMO (along with corn). They are the 2 top GMO foods here. So we have to be careful and buy non-GMO soy. As soy is added to so many processed foods, we have to be careful about hidden GMO soy also. Fortunately non GMO tofu is widely available and not expensive.

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Unfortunately soy is a source of estrogen and I have had estrogen deceptive cancer so for me, soy is toxic.

me too. My uterine cancer in 1999 was estrogen receptive so couldn't take hormones after. No great loss and have remained cancer-free. 🐱

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😊i dont ever get reactions, wish i did really as would make life easier id imagine xxxxx

I haven’t eliminated anything 😂


Good enough for me. #@^%& the nightshade ban. Besides who can eat pizza without tomatos and bell peppers?

The foods you mentioned are high in oxalates, a substance found in certain foods. I find monitoring the overall amount of oxalates I eat helpful. Green peppers have a higher oxalate content than red or yellow, so I go avoid green if I need a pepper.

Oxalates in people with certain intestinal disorders that decrease fat absorption can cause calcium (in the intestines) to bind to fat instead of oxalate. Oxalate instead absorbs into the bloodstream causing renal damage. Should this become your problem you will know it!


This makes sense-just monitor the oxalates. I understand that raw spinach is high in oxalate and as I have one tiny kidney stone-not bothersome, just seen by chance on a gallbladder xray. Don't want problems so I eat less spinach and I steam it. I used to love spinach salad and used it like lettuce. Moderation in everything? I like red peppers best.

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The auto-immune paleo diet does ask you to cut out nightshades, as do a lot of intolerance/elimination diets. It's nothing to do with intolerance, but it's because our digestion can struggle to break nightshades down. If you cut them out, it's simply to give your digestive system a break until it heals, then you get to reintroduce them.

I'm doing AIP, but decided not to cut out nightshades because they're a staple of my diet. I am restricting my intake, but that's it!


why don't you try cutting them out for a couple of weeks then re introducing to check your reaction? :)


good plan. I really miss tomatoes. And never noticed sx from them. Not sure about the eggplant-just eaten it in other dishes. 🐈

Yes, I think this is the simplest way to deal with these possible things to cut out. Do a trial and see if they impact you. Don't just cut things left and right and keep going with it forever.

Or do something like the autoimmune protocol and do things in a focused way with a plan about trying to reintroduce, or evaluate how things have improved.

I think the most important thing with everything thyroid is to systematically test things out, and have a plan from the start of what you're trying to find out. This saves from flapping about in the dark trying things out but not finding out any trying.

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I have mild psoriasis and you’re supposed to cut out nightshades, but I love hot chillis, aubergine, tomatoes etc 😭 Gluten free was easy for me but I struggle with nightshades because I don’t want to give them up.

Whenever I peel the skins off tomatoes I have a reaction on my fingers to them, so I’ve convinced myself it’s the raw version that is an issue.

Potatoes have a devastating effect on me and make me almost comatose.

What I like about elimination diets is that you get to reintroduce food stuffs and see what doesn’t work for you.

I do wonder if instead of the autoimmune paleo it would be possible to run a blood test that tests you against all the common allergens?


Yes. Nightshades are inflammatory. I have Hashimoto's and am hypothyroid, so I don't want to encourage inflammation. I've eliminated nightshades because the last thing I want to do is consume anything that will cause inflammation within my body. So I don't and I'm not puffy faced, water retentive and my hands aren't stiff.


I didn't know they were inflammatory. This puts them in a different light for now. My CRP was elevated and when I was tested for thyroid antibodies by my new endo in early april one test was 0 and the 2nd was 16. Low but I also found out my thyroid was very shrivelled from the radiation so my thinking today is this: I believe I could have had Hashi's but because there's no thyroid tissue functioning my antibodies are not there. I have been trying to eat anti-inflammatory and using lots of good spices like turmeric so maybe stay away from the nightshades for a while longer- at least until my thyroid is optimal. Then maybe try tomatoes again. This might be flawed thinking on my part. If I may have had Hashi's when my thyroid was still functioning would it still be a problem now even tho antibodies are down? I also think if we can have one autoimmune illness we are possibly prone to having others. So maybe an anti-inflammatory diet is the best way for me to eat. Thanks.

Yes I've seen the Autoimmune Paleo diet... I bought a book on it... Just can't survive without potatoes! However, it did seem to make sense. Interesting, as there was a post on here recently saying it was good to eat things like tomatoes as they had good antioxidants. The same antioxidants that are also inflammatory! We can't win!

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That's my point; so much conflicting info. I guess thru trial and error we find out what works best in our own case.

I think it's' quite possible to drive yourself nuts over these things and wind up eating one or two things and making yourself ill that way !

I ignore all of it, I'm vegan and so dont have any dairy and avoid sugar for the poison it is, but otherwise eat and drink soy in fairly high quantities, eat my own gluten loaded home baked bread every day and white potatoes are just about my favourite staple. Honestly my opinion for what it's worth is that if you have a genuine problem with any particular food or group your body will tell you about it, otherwise I think the best approach is to just get your meds right and get enough sleep and exercise and dont pay too much attention to these usually unproven suggestions.


I eat everything in the nightshade group except high carb and I have been fine . I am on a keto way of life so am naturally gf and sugar free. Hope that helps

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Hi Irina. I believe you would have to try an elimination diet to find if they are bad for you.

I am seeing a naturopathic therapist and that's the first step of the treatment: to understand which foods trigger inflammation on my body.

Hope it helps.


I has keniesioligy testing which iv found helpful - like it as you actually feel weak if not agreeable, Doesnt mean never will

Nightshades were all a no, tomatoes ok when cooked for some reason, gluten was big No and a couple of obscure things, im sure i feel kind of addicted to the No things!!!!

Stuck to it like glue last year and hardly any sugar, lost two stone very slowly

Back to it!!!!

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Started the AIP diet a few weeks ago so eliminating a huge range of foods before reintroducing them.

I was really reluctant because when I feel ill I want to eat most of the eliminated foods - and having a rubbish thyroid I have felt ill for years!

Took the plunge and within 24 I started to see improvements. Still on the remove and replace phase and look forward to seeing what reactions I have when I slowly reintroduce different foods. Although obviously something I was eating was causing me trouble as improvements have been so rapid.


Thank you. I am trying to follow AIP eating but there are different lists of yes and no foods depending on whose website I read. Is there a particular practitioner whose advice you found more effective? Interested in getting the best advice. Thanks.🐱 irina PS. Encouraging that you noticed inprovements so soon.

I've read lots and lots after casually mentioning the diet to my Endo and he said that many of his patients who had tried the AIP had seen very positive results.

I'm also doing a degree in nutrition so that helps.



autoimmunewellness.com/ and their book from amazon.

The Wahls protocol

And this book was my starting point as it was simple and straight forward BUT doesn't discuss reintroduction:


In terms of different food lists I have mostly stuck to the lists in the two books. There seems to be consensus on most things but Wentz has excluded mushrooms and I have ignored this. Also some have excluded all legumes including peas, green beans, runners, sugarsnap etc some don't but I have.


Thanks Kes. This is helpful. These are the 2 main books I have looked at.

Hello Irina - yes I have come across it; in fact I am eliminating these at present (3rd week). Not easy, but what is? And to be honest not quite as hard as it sounds.

It is part of Phase 3 in Izabella Wentz' Hashimoto's Protocol; this is a 12 week programme aimed at detoxing, strengthening the liver and adrenals before doing this 3rd phase - which is aimed at Gut Healing.

I do not know yet whether eliminating "nightshades" is helping - I just need to be patient guess. :)


What occurs to me about anti-inflammatory foods (or meds) that contribute to inflammation has to do with not only my thyroid but also with my atrial fibrillation. My AF is extremely well controlled and rarely have problems or any sx at all. However, even when asymptomatic if I go to the hospital for anything because of my cardiac status they always want to check cardiac enzymes. I think sometimes they are slightly elevated due to inflammation elsewhere in my body and my AF is fine. But the elevations make the ER docs crazy and they want to make a bigger deal over results with unnecessary tests. I'm pretty good at staying on top of my AF and have to do battle not with my cardio docs but with others who don't understand my history. I have recently seen articles about elevated troponin levels being useful for evaluating other problems besides cardiac which is what troponin tests were originally developed for. If it ain't broke don't fix it!

I had not heard of nightshades being a problem, until I ate some olives stuffed with pimentos. Thought I would die but knew I was NOT having a heart attack. Blew up like a balloon within 5 minutes.

So after I recovered from the GI issues, which took about an hour, after ingesting Gaviscon to help, I took to Google. Immediately decided to forego nightshades, which are in the Solanaceae family.

After two days realized that I did not have arthritis in my knee joints but inflammation caused by nightshades. I also could no longer forecast what the weather would be.

Apparently only 10-15% of the population is sensitive to nightshades. If they do not bother you, then don't avoid them. But one needs to test that theory by avoiding them for a few weeks and then, checking by adding one at a time to your diet for several days. I have read that sometimes one can eat one or two but not all nightshades. Individual.

Yes, this is anecdotal info. But for me, despite missing baked potatoes, and beefsteak tomatoes and paprika!!, I won't endure the discomfort they cause. I walk better without the nightshades, and have less joint pain, (okay, almost none!). So it's a personal choice.


Thanks msb. Your reply is very interesting to me as I have a lot of pain involving my knees. My ortho doc is pushing for knee replacements but I believe I can reduce the knee pain with food. Maybe this is another piece of the puzzle. I'm not in the mood for knee surgery right now!

Thanks. Really helpful. I use a cane and sometimes a walker. Would like to lessen joint and knee pain.

Hi msb. You know, people dismiss anecdotal information but I believe much of effective scientific (proven) medical information started out as anecdotal information. As more people see value in anecdotal stories soon funding may become available that enables the lettered professionals to be paid for research and scientific info is born! Also Big Pharma, etc isn't funding anecdotes so maybe it is more truthful. Just a thought. 🐱

I was told to follow an aip diet with no nightshades for a month. After the month I had to slowly add foods back. Now I just stay off the food'sI reacted to.


Sensible plan. The only nightshade I really miss is raw tomatos in salad. But not worth the knee pain if they are connected.

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How did you reintroduce?

I added a new one every 2 or 3 days to see if I reacted.

After some extensive online research on the AIP diet, I decided to just go for it a week ago and I’ve decided to cut nightshades for a month with a view to reintroduce. Just to get a full view of what my intolerances are. I accidentally had some peppers the other day and I puffed up like a balloon so I know they might be an issue for me going forward. Also, I am such a big fan of potatoes, so this is how I’ve managed to work around to continue eating them (my only AIP cheat). I boil up a big pan and let them completely cool down over night and then reheat them with my meals. I find that my body is able to digest them this way and they don’t cause me an issue:



I also read somewhere that cold potatos aren't as bad. Can't remember why. Maybe potato salad would be a way to get a 'potato fix." I think the reason for chilling the potatos was it made the starch more resistant. But don't take this as gospel. Maybe this just lowers the glycemic load for diabetics. I love to learn as much as I can but sometimes feel I'm suffering from information overload. Same with the news. Once in a while I don't watch the news for a few days just to have a break from all the extraneous junk info and talking heads that accompany news. Years ago we watched Walter Cronkite or whoever for 30 minutes and found out what was happening in the world. No opinions from experts, no fighting between parties,etc. I feel like I'm smart enough to actually understand the news without the experts with their overtalking explaining it to me. I bet all of you are just as capable. Esp CNN. I really like Anderson Cooper and a few others but hearing the same news blurbs 10 different ways gets old fast. Just my opinion. In some ways news programs are like doctors that don't think we can understand the internet by ourselves. Very condescending!

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I read that too, about cold potatoes allowing the starch to become more resistant, therefore causing less spike in blood sugar (it was in Clever Guts if that helps)

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I was told to avoid nightshades, they were singled out as a possible cause for bloating and stomach upsets. I eliminated them for about two months then gradually reintroduced everything except aubergines (as I don’t really miss them). The bloating has recurred a couple of times but not as badly and I just limit my intake of potatoes if it does. What works for me might not work for anyone else though - I think it’s different for everyone.

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