Help For Hashimoto's Episode 3

I have been eating nothing but raw vegetables and water for 6 days. I have gained 3 pounds. I am at a loss. I have taken more D3 and B12. I have added magnesium to my diet. I am exercising even though I am exhausted all the time. I have resorted to taking sudafed because it makes me have energy.......please help. I have been to 2 different endocrinologists and they refuse to help. I have been gluten free for 6 weeks. What else can I do?

 

  1. with raw veggies only for 6 days…. How much were you eating. It could be that you were not eating enough and your body was starving and holding on to weight.
    1. If you were not eating enough it could deplete the adrenals and then you have an issue with cortisol. This is our main stress hormone and when it is working normally it can be anti-inflammatory and key for fat burning. It also helps keep our blood sugar and our blood pressure up. So, if you were not eating enough, your blood sugar would be low and cortisol would be released to save the day. This can be a problem if it is constantly working to help manage your blood sugar whether too high or too low. Cortisol is supposed to be low in the evening to get us ready for sleeping and higher in the morning so when we wake up we feel ready for the day. If this is not you, then you probably have an issue with your cortisol being out of balance. When cortisol is low it can affect your ability to tolerate your workouts, meaning you are exhausted after a work out.  Exercising too hard can wear out your adrenals and to work on healing them and getting them working properly again you need to slow down the workouts to basically just walking up to five days a week for an hour. 
        1. If you have low cortisol you will have symptoms like: 
          1. needing a pick me up in the morning or afternoon to keep you going such as coffee or in your case, sudafed to ramp you up. 
          2. cravings for salt in general, or sugar or starches between meals
          3. you feel burnt out or don’t handle stress well
          4. you feel like you need sunglasses even on a cloudy day
          5. Your blood pressure is low or you get dizzy when you stand up quickly from a sitting position
        2. If you have high cortisol
          1. you might have extra fat around your mid section
          2. you feel tired even after sleeping a full night
          3. you have poor digestion
          4. you might wake up tired and achy
          5. you have trouble falling asleep
      1. High cortisol issues and low cortisol issues can happen at the same time. They can sort of wax and wane. It is higher when we are dealing with chronic stress which can be physical or emotional and physical stress can include what is going in internally with your body and thyroid issues. When stress is chronic (and the diet and exercise you describe would be very stressful for you right now) you can get puffy, wired and tired, and you may gain weight. 
    2. This could have been detoxifying to your body and released something that your body couldn’t get rid of so you gained weight because we store toxins in our fat tissue. 
      1. If your detoxification pathways are not open (liver, skin, lungs, eliminations) and this diet of raw veggies over the last 6 days really cleaned things up internally but those toxins had nowhere to go then your body could have shuttled them in to your fat tissue. 
      2. All raw veggies can be hard on our digestive tract too. You might consider starting with some bone broth and cooked veggies before continuing with all raw veggies. You can steam veggies, cook them in broth (the most soothing to our digestive system), roast them, grill them or satue them in some healthy fats like coconut oil or olive oil. Broth will have minerals and collagen that are soothing and even healing to your digestive tract, especially the small intestine. 
    3. Were you avoiding fat because you were worried it will make you fatter?  This is not always true and consuming a small amount of healthy fats everyday is necessary for our cells to be healthy. Each cell is made of a layer of fat and we need healthy fats to make up the building blocks of our cells. This helps waste be removed from our cells and get nutrition in to our cells. 
  2. It would be nice to know amounts of D3 and B12 you are taking. 
    1. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin with defieciency being a contributor to autoimmune disease. We make vitamin d from cholesterol in our skin cells when we absorb UVB radiation from the sun. We need vitamin d for many processes in the body including the regulation and absorption of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium and for our bones to mineralize and grow. It plays a role in regulating the release of serotonin which we need for our mental/emotional health and for good digestion. It also helps us heal and helps to regulate our immune system but it doesn’t work on it’s own and supplementation with a high dose is not in and of itself a solution. WE need to take it with other fat soluble vitamins (A, E, K —-D protects against A toxicity and A protects against D toxicity and large amounts of A&D increase the need for K—-consuming liver is a great way to get all of these from food.) and we can’t use or assimilate our fat soluble vitamins with out taking them with fat.  There was a study done around 1980 with Wheat Bran showing the possibility that it can prevent us from absorbing vitamin d, creating a possible deficiency. 
        1. food sources of vitamin d besides liver are: 
          1. salmon
          2. sardines
          3. tuna
          4. eggs (if you tolerate them)
          5. shiitake mushrooms
    2. B12
      1. we need this to help with the metabolism of carbs, proteins and fats in our cells and it is really important in making and regulating DNA, making fatty acids and in energy production. 
      2. We need good gut bacteria to be able to use most of the B12 we take in so getting it from food is always best. Also, you can only get B12 from animals (unless you supplement) like shellfish, and meat products and it is produced by the animals gut bacteria. 
        1. sardines have the highest amount of B12 per serving 
        2. then salmon, tuna, cod, lamb, scallops, shrimp, beef
  3. Exercise- if you are exhausted, then don’t exercise. Go for a walk. This will help your adrenals heal. Anything you do while working on healing your adrenals should not be debilitating, grueling or super competitive. Yoga, tai chi, kick boxing, swimming, walking, even dancing. Do something enjoyable and start slow and work your way in to it. Most important is to do it at your own pace. You might be overexercising. 
    1. Again, when the adrenals are off this can lead to weight gain. 
  4. You have been gluten free for 6 weeks. This is great. Gluten is not the friend of someone with Hashimoto’s or thyroid issues so staying off it is a good first step. What else can you do, you ask?
    1. you can eat at least one pound of veggies, cooked and raw, remember I said cooked will be gentler on your digestion. Eat a wide variety keeping in mind the autoimmune protocol and nightshades (peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, etc) being inflammatory for some of us with thyroid issues. 
    2. consume about 25 grams of protein each meal for four meals or work in 100 grams of protein in a day. 
      1. one serving of salmon should have around 22 grams of protein and a small chicken breast should have around 28grams
    3. Get some healthy fats in your diet
      1. avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, olives, coconut oil, coconut milk, nuts if you tolerate them, ghee if you tolerate it. 
    4. Fruits in small amounts and stick to berries mostly but get a variety. 
    5. Spices and herbs are also great. Be mindful of pepper and seed based spices if you are doing the autoimmune protocol. 
  5. Avoid
    1. gluten and grains
    2. dairy
    3. sugar
    4. alcohol
    5. Coffee won’t help your adrenals 

 

 

I’m trying to find the limits/dimensions of my food sensitivities and figure out how to navigate eating out and would like to start introducing nightshades but am a little confused because my dietician says if you’re sensitive to one nightshade, you’re sensitive to them all. (I am gluten, dairy and sugar-free. I was full AIP for months, but have started reintroducing foods.)

 

For context, my three exposures:

1st and 2nd - I ate 1/4 of a fresh tomato and about 20 hours later felt extremely anxious (8 or 9 out of 10) and one of those times I had heart palpitations.
3rd - I took a chance and ate meat marinated with bell peppers. No reaction, which was great. Maybe being in the marinade isn’t enough exposure? Or maybe because the meat was cooked? Curious what is going on. 

 

 

  1. Nightshades: 
    1. contain a couple thousand different species of plants, most are inedible and poisonous. Eating too many of these can kill off our cells and contribute to a leaky gut and really eating too many can actually be poisonous. It is thought that low level exposure can contribute to health problems over time. 
    2. Which foods are considered nightshades?
      1. bell peppers, hot peppers and spices made from them
      2. tomatoes
      3. ground cherries/gooseberries
      4. eggplant
      5. goji berries
      6. pimentos
      7. potatoes
      8. tomatillos
      9. ashwaganda (a popular herbal adaptogen for adrenals)
  2. Reintroducing foods. 
    1. How many months did you do full AIP?
    2. Waiting until you are in feeling your best and your labs look good to do reintroductions is ideal. This gives your gut a chance to heal and bring down any lingering inflammation. 
      1. also making sure stress is well managed is important. Don’t do reintroductions during a stressful time in your life. It can likely set your recovery/remission back quite a bit. 
      2. If you have been aip for a month or longer you can consider reintroductions if you have good digestion, you are not getting worse rather than better and you can manage your hashi’s/thyroid problems well. You may still need medication and that is okay. 
      3. Don’t start with foods you know you have an allergy to. 
      4. If you have a reaction to something, it is likely you need to work on healing your gut more. 
    3. How to reintroduce a food
      1. Start with one food, you pick it but here is a suggestion of where to start: 
        1. egg yolks
        2. legumes (green beans and peas)
        3. spices
        4. oils made from nuts or seeds
        5. ghee
      2. Eat the food you pick 2-3 times in one day and then don’t reintroduce another food for about a week. 
        1. start with less than a teaspoon or so of the food you picked and then wait for about 15 minutes. If you notice any symptoms immediately, stop and wait a week or so to try again. 
        2. no reaction, have a small bite, wait 15 more minutes, then a slightly bigger bite, wait for a couple of hours and pay close attention to how you feel. 
          1. symptoms can be digestive, changes in energy, cravings, sleeping issues, headaches, dizzy feeling, runny nose, more phlegm coughing, clearing your throat, itching, aches, skin rashes, mood issues. 
          2. you can eat a bigger portion at a meal on the day you reintroduced it if this reintro went well. 
        3. wait 4-7 days before introducing another food if that went well. 
        4. If reintroducing a spice, you can reintro it in smaller amounts than I just suggested as it is consumed in small amounts. 
      3. You might find that you can tolerate a food on a rotation type basis or just every once in awhile but not everyday. This is okay- it helps ensure you get some variety in your diet. 
      4. Keeping a food journal can be very helpful to try and pinpoint where something went wrong. 
  3. I have not read anywhere about all or nothing with nightshades. Based on the way reintroductions are suggested in the autoimmune protocol community though, it looks like sweet peppers and paprika are introduced in stage three and the rest of them in stage four. 

What to Expect When you Go On a Sugar Detox

 

Locally I teach a class called RESTART®. It is a five week long nutrition program with a three week sugar detox built in to it. I am a sugar addict and have been toying with the idea of giving up sugar for at least the last nine years. I used to work at a fitness center and one of the instructors there didn’t eat any sugar at all except for what was naturally occurring in fruit. None. At. All. I just could not get over how happy she was about it. It was a mystery to me at the time because sugar and sweet treats were my life. I baked almost every week and ate whatever my family didn’t finish. Muffins, cookies, cakes, bars. You name it and I baked it. Except croissants. My neighbor and friend made those and I never got around to making them before I gave up gluten. I always wanted to try to make them though. That and marshmallow’s from scratch. My husband thinks I am crazy but I find it almost meditative to bake. I loved it. Sugar became such a problem for me that I could not make any treats because I would end up eating the whole pan of whatever it was I made. 

So, this idea of giving up sugar sat with me and marinated in my head for nine years. It nagged at me occasionally especially when I started to look at how diet can affect well being. When I started to see a Naturopathic Doctor for my Hashimoto’s, she told me I needed to cut sugar out of my diet. I always said I would try or that I was trying but as Yoda says, “Do or Do Not, There is No Try.”. He was right. I did not give up sugar and didn’t even really try to do it until I was put on a specific diet to heal my gut. No sugar allowed. It wasn’t even that hard to do it when I was told specifically to stay away from it. That lasted for 3 weeks and the chiropractor that put me on it said I didn’t have to be on it anymore. That was all I needed to give myself permission to indulge in something sweet. I don’t remember what it was but I know I went off the deep end and ate too much sweet because my psoriasis came back with a vengeance. When that happened I got so mad and frustrated with myself for “screwing up” that I caused a flare. 

Fast forward a year and I became a RESTART® instructor leading a group of people to detox from sugar and learn about nutrition. I questioned how I could walk through a sugar detox if I didn’t give it up too. 

I gave it up with my first class. I went through the whole detox with them and for me, it wasn’t so bad. I had already given up most refined sugar but was getting my fix through potatoes and a lot of fruit. Yes, you read that right. Potatoes. I replaced my need for a sugar high from sweet treats to potatoes and other starches like sweet potatoes and plantains. Sugar is sugar and your body treats all sugar the same really. It converts the sugars in potatoes and fruits in to energy just like it would a piece of candy. Of course there are nutrients in the foods I was eating so it wasn’t all bad but my body still needed a break and RESTART® gave it just the break it was looking for.

It allowed me to regain control of that demon I had been dealing with my whole entire life. 

If you are wondering if the program is right for you, then keep reading.  On the RESTART® program, you will be cutting out all forms of sugar including most fruits. Preparation will be key to your success. You will be prepping all of your meals for the 3 weeks you are cutting out sugar. There is no way to do this while eating processed junk foods or convenience foods with some exceptions that we discuss in class. You will be given a list of what is allowed and what is not allowed on the plan. We will also share ideas of how to plan our meals so we aren’t left in a jam where we are starving and there is nothing to eat. 

A great tip to remain successful is to tell your friends and family about what you are doing so you can have lots of support. Better yet, enlist a friend to do it with you so you can support each other and be accountable to one another. You will also have the support of the other class participants each week as well as my private Facebook group that is just for RESTARTers. 

The RESTART® program is about adding lots of real whole foods to your diet and replacing all the processed foods in your life. We all have our go to’s and we can all give them up for 3 weeks. 

I am an emotional eater. When I am feeling down or stressed I want to sooth myself with a treat. It might even be a coping mechanism for me. This program forced me to take a look at the reasons I turned to certain foods like sweets. The RESTART® program has helped me learn and to develop a new relationship to food and my reasons for turning to sugar. It is an uncomfortable place to be at times but I came out okay on the other side. 

I have regained control of my sugar addiction. 

Treat yourself in ways that don’t involve food. Hikes or walks, relaxing baths, massages or a yoga class. All of these things can make you feel just as good as a pint of ice cream (better in the long run) without the guilt that usually follows. 

When you cut sugar out of your diet, you will likely experience the “sugar flu” or detox symptoms. It usually happens within the first two weeks and lasts for a couple of days. Mood swings, depression, issues with digestion, skin rashes, muscle or joint aches, less energy. This is the result of toxins leaving your body. You will feel so much better in the end. 

You will also find that things that didn’t seem so sweet before will taste sweet enough to you after the three weeks are up. I had a private client recently who I put on this diet and she did not like green apples. She refused to eat them while on the program because they were too sour. I encouraged her at the end to just try one before she had a naturally sweeter apple. She found that the green apple was significantly less sour to her after the three weeks and she actually enjoyed it. Most of us consume things that are extremely sweet and when we give those things up, our taste buds have a chance to reset and we are able to really taste our food. This reset allows our brain to reset too. It won’t crave the crazy sweet stuff like it used to. 

Real whole foods will be enough. 

We all slip up. It’s okay. There is no guilt in RESTART® about slipping up. Just move on. it doesn’t mean you have to start over. Be kind to yourself. Nobody is perfect. Our motto is “Whatever I eat, I choose it consciously, I enjoy it thoroughly and then I let it go.”

You will see positive changes. Everyone is different but you may experience weight loss, more energy, improved digestion, clearer skin and a clear mind. You just won’t believe how negatively sugar was impacting your whole body. By the end you will feel so great about how you have impacted your health for the good. All in only five weeks. 

Are you feeling ready to give your health a RESTART®? Classes do run regularly but sign up for my newsletter here to stay on top of when the next class is. You can even host one in your home or we can do one via the web. Contact me for more information. 

In Health, 

Stephanie