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Hashimoto's and Auto-Immune diet

(75 Posts)
mumat39 Sun 01-Jun-14 08:00:34


I have Hasphimoto's thyroiditis, which was diagnosed about 6 years ago, after the birth of DC1.

I have only recently learned that I should not be eating gluten, after seeing a nutritionist, and am annoyed that I wasn't told this when I was first diagnosed. Anyway, I know now, so have been eating gluten free for the last 4 months. I think I have had the odd exposure, but on the whole have managed to avoid it.

The nutritionist has given me details of an auto-immune diet, and I was wondering if anyone else is following one of these and whether you'd be happy to share some food ideas with me.

At the moment I feel like an elderly person. My joints ache. I have no energy. I have had my annual blood tests done and they show my TSH and T3 levels are at a good level, but I still feel like poo!

I don't eat well which I know is the problem but I spend most of my time just completely lethargic and lacking in any interest or motivation esp when it comes to food for me, so we live on cheap ready meals, like risotto. I'm stuck in a rut and need some hell from a real life person who is actually going through, or has gone through this.

My pnutritionist is lovely and I will ask her for help, but thought I'd ask here first.

Many thanks in advance.

mumat39 Sun 01-Jun-14 08:01:07


Apologies for the typos.

fivecupsoftea Sun 01-Jun-14 18:54:02

I'm following a gluten free diet. I cook some quinoa or rice and add it to some chopped onions, carrots, courgetes, and other veggies (which I have previously fried up together) added with some garlic, turmeric etc. I have this with my salads in place of bread. It's not easy avoiding gluten. I've just read a book on the Paleo diet which is a very strict autoimmune diet, you have to avoid all grains. It seems to hard for me at the moment.

thereinmadnesslies Sun 01-Jun-14 19:10:32

I'd love to know more about this diet. I have hashimotos and I've found I definitely feel better on a wheat free diet.

thereinmadnesslies Sun 01-Jun-14 19:13:47

Have a look at the low carb bootcamp threads in the diet section - there are loads of recipes and meal suggestions that do not include gluten, as obviously wheat etc is high carb. Following the low carb bootcamp made me realise that I'm affected by gluten.

ForeskinHyena Sun 01-Jun-14 19:19:00

I have Hashimotos too. I've recently done a month low carbing and must admit (although I love cake and bread etc) I did feel much healthier without eating so much starch and sugar. I fell off the wagon big style just finishing off the last of the Chinese takeaway and feel much more bloated and still hungry all the time.

I hadn't heard of it as an auto immune diet though, that's interesting. DP also has an auto immune condition and has cut out gluten for the past year or so as he said it made him feel dizzy and ill.

It's hard and does impact on meals and snacks, but it's obviously enough of an issue for him that he truly believes that's the cause even though he doesn't have an actual diagnosis. His specialist said that if you feel better cutting something out then stick with it regardless of testing/diagnosis.

ForeskinHyena Sun 01-Jun-14 19:19:56

Fell off the wagon a week ago, not just the Chinese!

QueenofWhatever Sun 01-Jun-14 20:24:48

Autoimmune diets are a more hard core form of paleo. Look at the Paleo Mom's website and there is also a very good Facebook group called the paleo approach (which is actually AIP, not paleo).

I have fibromyalgia and have been eating paleo for 18 months and would definitely recommend it. I'm also seeing a herbalist and have stopped my prescription meds which all gave me side effects. Lots of people with Hashis seem to have a lot of success with these diets. It can sound daunting, but just take it bit by it. There is a very supportive community online.

mumat39 Mon 02-Jun-14 19:39:41

Thanks for replying everyone.

I did try the low carb diet for a while, but I just find it difficult to eat meat all the time and on top of that I'm a terrible cook and completely lack any sort of imagination, so stuck to the same stuff and hot so so bored, I fell off the wagon and decided to stay off.

I'm annoyed at myself really. I have had issues with gluten for years, but I put up with it as I enjoyed all gluteny goodies. Now I have this and feel like poo and am thinking, why didn't I listen to my body. I get so so confused about what to eat that I end up just sitting and staring into space and eating crap. I've just had a bag of haribos chamallows. I feel slightly relieved that they're gf but totally disgusted with myself for doing it.

Why is it so hard for me to look after myself. I was on anti depressants for about 2 years for anxiety, and came off them about 4 months ago. I felt like a zombie on them, but now I cry at everything, but am still unable to just sort myself out. It's mad!

I also have issues with various food items such as eggs, lentils, beans and things like onions and garlic don't sit well with me.

I asked for help on here as I feel like I'm an alien and have just landed here and inherited this body and head and haven't got a clue what to eat or where to start. Sorry for whinging. I'm annoyed at myself for being so clueless and lazy. But also, I have no energy, at all, I ache, I feel just rubbish and I want to change but can't get moving on this. I'm stuck in a catch 22 if that makes sense.

Has anyone else felt like that? If so, how did you get yourself out of the rut I find myself in? I am well read on some things, but still missed the avoid gluten message.

Thanks again and sorry for whinging so much.


mumat39 Mon 02-Jun-14 19:42:46

Queen, the Paleo Mom site sounds interestingly so I'll definitely check that out. Thankyou.

ForeskinHyena Mon 02-Jun-14 19:54:28

I know that GF and low carb/Paleo are becoming more popular but I certainly hadn't heard about it in relation to autoimmune disease until now either.

Just do your best (I read about Whole30 last night, which was quite inspiring and seems manageable being a limited 30 day thing, after which you can start to reintroduce certain foods.) I also know that I need to up the exercise a bit, but again easier said than done.

Having a nutritionist is a bonus, but a support group of like-minded people would probably help you too. I stopped posting on the low carb bootcamp threads as they move so fast and just become lists of what everyone has eaten, when I prefer a bit of emotional support and encouragement.

Maybe we could start a Hashimotos AIP or Whole30 group?

mumat39 Mon 02-Jun-14 23:00:08

Thanks for chatting to me. thanks

A support thread sounds like a great idea. The low carb threads are great, but like you say very fast moving. Also, my sole purpose is to feel better, and not just to lose weight. If I lost a few stone along the way, that would be great, but I just want to feel more human and better, so that's the goal.

It is mad paying to see a nutritionist, but if I can help myself with what I eat, it will be money well spent. I still can't believe my GP hadnt told me about gluten, or that I didn't come across this myself.

I found this AIP protocol last night so it might be helpful as a heads up and is basically what my nutritionist gave me.

I now need simple ideas for simple things to eat. I say simple because otherwise I know I'll fail again.

Thanks again, I really appreciate knowing that there are other people in real life who maybe understand what it's like. thanks

ForeskinHyena Mon 02-Jun-14 23:42:35

Yes, that was the page I was reading! It does sound very restrictive, but that's why I liked the whole30 idea, as restricting everything for a solid month should be doable, whereas thinking that's it FOREVER just seems totally impossible.

I need to read up on the different allowable veg (not sure on the whole nightshade thing!) and try to find some good recipes. Breakfast will probably be the hardest though, with no eggs and no yoghurt, even my two boring low carb options are out!

Catsmamma Mon 02-Jun-14 23:50:56

i've never heard of the autoimmune diet either, but have low carbed inthe past and felt so much better.

I may look at this in more detail! Esp as the paleo gives back the fruit which is what I miss most.

ForeskinHyena Mon 02-Jun-14 23:56:22

Me too Cats, I never eat fruit usually but as soon as it's denied I really crave oranges and even apples (bleugh!). I do eat berries on LC but I only like them with cream and yoghurt so not sure how that will work without dairy.

cutefluffybunnes Tue 03-Jun-14 00:13:48

I have Hashimotos as well, and the autoimmune diet is news to me, too. Have you asked your GP about gluten? Or your endocrinologist? Is it possible they haven't mentioned it because there is little evidence that it has any effect of your thyroid condition?

I fully support you eating whatever makes you feel better and more energetic, and if gluten free works for you, that's brilliant. But I feel fine eating gluten. I find the Hashimotos makes it hard to keep weight off, but I 5:2 and exercise daily and that works (mostly).

You sound like you are really suffering, and you should certainly go back and see an endocrinologist about this, in case your thyroid levels are somehow to blame. Ask them about gluten, and any other diet tips they might recommend.

Keep insisting that your GP help you!

Oh, and good luck with the gluten free diet. It might do the trick - I would just hate to think of you 'failing' at what is a fairly restrictive diet, and then feeling worse because of the 'failure'.

QueenofWhatever Tue 03-Jun-14 07:06:04

I agree with cute that throwing yourself into a restrictive diet could be difficult. Whole30 is a diet - you cut out all gluten and sugar for 30 days, feel great but then what?

If you have a long term condition, the key is finding a better way of living your life and that includes food. Sleep, Vit D and stress management are equally important.

I think there is huge value in these nutrient dense diets, but they are not a magic cure. I also think so many people feel better because they switch from carb heavy processed foods to something fresh and varied. It would be hard not to feel better.

The important thing for me has been that a good diet (plus the other lifestyle changes) have helped me keep going and reduces my meds. The medications that mainstream healthcare prescribes so widely take a heavy toll on your body. I transitioned going via Mark's Daily Apple (primal, 80/20), then paleo and then stricter paleo. I don't do AIP, it's too hard and I work and have a child. I very much like Terry Wahls work and she is now doing clinical trials. She is a US doctor who had progressive MS and was wheel chair bound, but by introducing a nutrient rich diet (nine cups of veg a day) and a better lifestyle is back at work and cycling her bike.

QueenofWhatever Tue 03-Jun-14 07:10:15

Food wise (if you're at the packet of Haribo stage!), I would focus on having one better meal a day. Then one better day a week and so on. Menu plan and don't go to supermarkets, they are the devil's work!

There is lots of stuff on Pinterest. This is my food board:

Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Tue 03-Jun-14 07:26:51

I have hashimotos too, also aneamia. I feel ok if I can find and keep a balance of eating just enough (and low gluten does seem to help) exercise, sleep, optimum dosage of meds (especially iron) and keeping positive.

I have just been noticing that I feel much worse on gluten if I'm not exercising much. I started running recently and felt great doing that, and was able to eat a bit more sensibly (I tend to live on coffee and fruit and have one meal at night when more sedentary. Not an ideal solution long term.)

I can completely relate with how you are feeling op. It is amazing how it can all change pretty quickly though. The one things I find makes the most difference is if I forget to take either my iron or Levothyroxine for a couple of days. I've just realised that could be why I've been feeling rubbish this week, as last week i ran out of Levo on the bank holiday and then forgot to take the iron some days.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Tue 03-Jun-14 07:30:58

Sorry, that was long! Just wantwd to add, is it just your thyrois they check with the blood tests now, or does the doctor still test your iron and Vitamin D levels and othwr things that can make you feel terrible?

I also found I wasn't being prescribed enough iron and felt much better when I increased the dose, especially when running. You describe exactly how I feel on the right Levo dose, but low iron.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 03-Jun-14 08:28:13

Hi OP, I recommend a wee bit of ready, MarksDailyApple blog, it has a searchable archive so you can look for info about your particular Heath problems, and Robb Wolf Paleo solution (there a blog,

The thing about gluten free, is for a lot of people, it's not enough. I mean if you just replace gluten containing junk with gf junk, you may be cross-reacting to other proteins in the grains, or additives used to make the gf products look and taste like the real thing.
The fact the you are in pain now, on a gf diet, suggest to me you may be reacting to other things in your diet. The autoimmune protocol on the blog sites I've mentioned are designed to find out what (if anything!) you are reacting to. I'm not going to lie, it's hard to do especially in the beginning as your mind/mental state/sense of wellness is one of the things which diet can have a huge impact on... That can make it hard to get motivated to start an elimination diet. It is very much worth it tho IMO.

Ime, in addition to all grains, I was also reacting to the nightshade family (potato, tomato chilli pepper, sweet peppers)... And these give me joint pain for days if eaten in any great amount. It is not unusual to react to nightshades in this way.

It does get easier to eat and cook paleo/primal especially when you see the health improvements (if it works for you). It does mean a radical shift away from what "typical" people eat, but at it's heart this is a natural human diet (most of what is in the supermarket isn't!).

Reacting to things like eggs, milk, nightshades, doesn't mean you can't eat these things ever again. Remove gluten/grains from the diet, heal your gut and your intolerance to those things may disappear over time.

You are unlikely to get any help or info about immune protocol off any nhs hcp, they are barely coming around to the fact that lots of diseases/conditions are autoimmune and diet is a big trigger for autoimmune conditions.

Despite the lack of approval from much of the medical establishment a clean, natural whole food diet isn't going to harm you in any way, and it may help you a lot, so worth trying maybe smile?

2madboys Tue 03-Jun-14 09:28:41

Not sure if it's any help (and may be a bit drastic!), but have you seen Sarah Wilson's book 'I quit sugar'? She had Hashimotos and quitting sugar (mostly fructose) seems to have cured it.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 03-Jun-14 10:13:34

That should be "reading" not ready!

Unsurprising that avoiding sugar including fructose may help with autoimmune conditions as by avoiding it you are cutting out a lot of processed grains and additives from the diet at the same time... The sugars themselves may also be derived from either wheat or maize and are very highly processed but may still trigger an immune reaction in people who are very sensitive.

"No added sugar" is probably a good starting point for that reason! Just remember sugars name is legion grin! Not just the obvious sugar, fructose and glucose, there are many names such as dextrose, maltose, sucrose, dextrin, maltodixtrin, crystallised cane syrup, dehydrated cane syrup...

mumat39 Tue 03-Jun-14 12:07:22

Hi everyone.

The gluten thing is interesting. I have always been 'odd' with wheat and have known that deep down, but have enjoyed eating those things too much so have always just 'suffered' the consequences. Also, i think I am also funny with quite a few of the nightshade family foods, btput again, just always ate them.

From what I've read in the last couple of weeks, it seems that if you are intolerant to gluten, your body make antibodies to deal with that. From what I understand, The thyroid, gland I think, and gluten molecules are almost identical, and this confuses the antibodies, so they try to deal with both, ie the gluten molecules and the thyroid gland as they can't tell the difference. Basically the antibodies try to clean away the bad stuff, but in dealing with gluten they also attack the thyroid. An autoimmune condition is where the body attacked itself, so in Hashimoto's, gluten causes more problems. Or something like that. I feel better on no gluten, so will carry on with that, but I do need to start eating better.

I have just found a site that has some quite good recipes for breakfast. It's HERE

The stuff I've read on AIP suggests that you eliminate all those foods for a time, and then reintroduce some, and see how you feel. I guess, if you feel better after eliminating those foods, then why would you introduce the stuff that makes you feel bad again. I can't imagine what it must feel like to feel 'normal', as it's been so long since I felt like that.

Diet is a funny word, as itto me suggests shirt term for weightloss, but I guess it's just what I need to eat forever.

Thankyou again for all your replies and suggestions.

Queen, 'don't let perfect be the enemy of good' Very wise words!

YeGods, I am low on iron, so will try and get more in, although I have trouble with iron supplements affecting my stomach. Can I ask what you take and how, please?

Thanks again everyone. thanks. You're all wonderful for taking the time to 'talk' to me.


mumat39 Tue 03-Jun-14 12:09:15

short term. Not shirt.

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