Yep, I said before that I might return to being gluten free, and the time has come! I went gluten free again a week or two ago. It’s been bugging me since I stopped last time, because of all the information I see everywhere about why it’s so beneficial as a Hashimoto’s patient to be gluten free.
This is apparently due to proteins in gluten being similar to the thyroid and confusing our body, so it can lead to increased antibodies and further destruction of the thyroid gland. Gluten can also cause damage to the gut (leaky gut), causing acid reflux, low vitamin levels, migraines and fatigue.
My recent full thyroid panel showed a drop in my Free T4 which alarmed me, and my eyebrows are thinning again. I’m concerned I’ve had another Hashimoto’s ‘flare’ and lost some more of my thyroid function, so I’m on even more of a mission to protect my thyroid (well, what’s left of it!).
With that in mind, I’ve decided to go gluten free again.
I don’t actually find it that difficult; avoiding gluten (most the time). When I eat at home or prepare my own lunch to take with me on work days, it’s simple. A problem arises when I eat out with friends or on special occasions, or round a friend’s house. I feel paranoid about gluten lurking everywhere, and since I’ve been told by other thyroid patients that after eating even a little bit, the gluten hangs around in the body for as long as six months, I guess I’m paranoid that I’ll try really hard to be gluten free and then inevitably fail when cross contamination occurs, such as eating out, anyway. But, unless I refuse to ever eat outside my house again, or to always take my own packed lunch, I think this is something I just have to live with.
I’ve been told by other thyroid patients that a very minimal amount of gluten is ‘fine’. So who knows which is correct?! Not much research has been done on this topic yet, so it’s all a bit up in the air.
Consciously going gluten free and trying my hardest with it is at least a big step for my health on its own. My hypothyroidism is no joke to me, and I think I owe it to my body to try anything that might help.
I’m hoping being gluten free might also help the stomach troubles I’ve been having the past few months, my stubborn high cortisol, acne, fatigue, brain fog and of course bringing my thyroid antibodies down to preserve my thyroid gland for as long as possible.
So how have I found it?
I find that gluten free for me is actually quite simple, in terms of the foods I can and can’t eat. The last time I did it, I realised I could cope just fine without bread, pastries, pasta, pizza etc. and whereas I thought I loved those things, not having them was actually quite easy. Even when I went back to eating gluten, I never craved or wanted those foods.
So the second time around isn’t as daunting. For me, its the gluten in things like soy sauce, salad dressings, condiments and gravy, that are harder to avoid. The things you commonly don’t think about as having gluten in. But, if anything, it makes you much more health aware and conscious of what you’re putting in to your body. You’re less likely to use processed foods and actually read allll the stuff that goes in to the ingredients of what you buy. You make more from scratch and appreciate food more.
I’ll give you an update in a few months time to let you know if it helps my symptoms of stomach issues, brain fog, fatigue, high cortisol, acne etc.
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Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism
Rachel is a Thyroid Patient Advocate and Expert with Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites 2018. Currently studying for relevant qualifications and certificates in Life Coaching, Diet and Nutrition, Reflexology and more, she has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Dr. Hedberg, Thyroid UK and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well recognised as a trusted and useful contributor to the thyroid community.