I went gluten free about 2 1/2 years ago and saw a 75% reduction in the daily pain I was experiencing. Since then I’ve done my best to stick with this way of eating, only cheating occasionally. There is always an increase in pain and inflammation after cheating and that’s what reminds me to be more strict. It does not work to just reduce the amount of gluten and wheat in my diet, it has to be a total elimination for me to experience the benefit.
However, recently I’ve been in pain even though I’m carefully controlling my diet. I’ve been searching for answers for my autoimmune disease symptoms for 12 years now, and finally I’m finding information that was not published before. Seriously, I searched online and for books from the beginning of my diagnosis but there was no help or support out there. Now suddenly I’m finding diet books and blogs dedicated to the topic of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Autoimmune Thyroiditis. In the past I was told by doctors, “Oh it’s fairly common, just take this pill.” But the pill does not cure the disease nor does it prevent any of the painful symptoms or complications.
30 Days to Better Health
So I decided on my birthday a few days ago to follow an autoimmune protocol diet for 30 days. This is basically an elimination diet, eliminating all possible allergens and toxins for 30 days, and then gradually testing each potential problem food to see if there is a reaction. This could take awhile.
What can I eat? Mostly fresh fruit and vegetables and mercury free fish.Some vegetables are off limits; Nightshades like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes are known to cause inflammation. Unfortunately these are some of my favorite foods. Dairy products are completely off limits. I will also have to give up nuts, legumes, and even gluten-free grains for awhile. The nuts and legumes which have been staples of my diet since childhood are very difficult to give up.
Any form of sugar or fast food is out of the question, as well as alcohol – but I gave that up a long time ago. I can eat organic grass-fed meat and poultry, but those are not part of my usual semi-vegetarian fare. Sounds like Paleo, doesn’t it? Actually I think it’s a more limited version of Paleo; but it’s not forever.
It’s been a long time coming
Although I don’t think I’m allergic to all these foods I’m eliminating, I’m willing to go through this if it results in pain relief and long-term answers. Seriously, there have been times when I’ve considered ending my life because of the chronic pain. I’ve seen far too many doctors who’s only solution was drugs that create far more toxic conditions. I think this diet is a less drastic solution.
I’m not expecting to get off of Levothyroxin because my thyroid simply doesn’t produce the hormones anymore, but I’m hoping to get some symptom relief and find a diet I can live with. If anyone else reading this suffers from Autoimmune Thyroiditis I highly recommend reading this book: The Hashimoto’s Cookbook and Action Plan, by Karen Frazier.
Don’t expect a regular MD or Endocrinologist to give you the help or support you need to deal with this disease. Just because it’s common does not mean it’s easy to live with or that there is a simple solution. Actually this disease is usually clustered with other autoimmune issues such as arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, colitis, Addison’s disease, and food allergies to name a few.
Considering I was diagnosed with serious food allergies and colitis when I was nine years old but doctors never made the connection with a possible thyroid issue until I was 47, I can honestly say that I’m still alive because I’ve always taken my health into my own hands and followed my intuition. I push doctors for answers and when I’m not satisfied with what they tell me I find my own solutions through alternative natural health methods.
” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Here are some other resources that have really helped me improve my health: