Should I give up gluten and what kind of vitamins should I take? Should you remove gluten from your diet? What k

Q: My daughter-in-law just got diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and told to go on a gluten-free diet. I've had Hashimoto's and have never been told to change my diet. I feel like I live in the outback of some remote mountain. My doctors don't seem to know anything. Just want to put me on medications. So frustrated!

While there are no studies for hashimoto's and diet now, there is one being done and there has been one done showing the positive effect that an elimination diet has had on IBS. Gluten and dairy have proteins that are similar in structure to the thyroid and if you have intestinal permeability and those proteins get in to your blood stream your immune system can attack your thyroid tissue. So, many people with this disease and other autoimmune diseases find that starting with an elimination of those two things along with then going on a full elimination diet can be helpful to find triggers that may be causing your antibodies to be higher. It isn't forever and you will be able to reintroduce many foods but you might also find that you feel much better having eliminated some of them for good. Can't hurt to try it. 

Also, you said you have had hashimoto’s. I just want to clarify for everyone that once you have this disease you will always have it. You can put it in to remission but you will always have to manage it. 

Q: Any recommendations for best vitamins to take to help with vitamin levels ? Grace

You need to first make sure that your digestion is working well. 

Are you chewing foods 20-30 times per bite? The breakdown of carbohydrate starts in the mouth with enzymes in our saliva. Then in the stomach pepsin is triggered to break down proteins. If you are not making enough stomach acid you will not be breaking down proteins. Stomach acid also helps to release vitamins and minerals from the food you ate. You will find yourself deficient in those if you are not having enough stomach acid. Once food is broken down in the stomach then it will be released little by little in to the small intestine where bicarbonate will be released to neutralize the chyme so it doesn’t damage the small intestine and bile is released to break down fats. The brush boarder of your small intestine further breaks things down to ensure you are getting all the nutrients out of your food and it can be shuttled to the cells for use as energy and in other chemical processes and in building healthy cells and a healthy body. 

Before wasting money on vitamins check your digestion. How is your stool when you go to the bathroom? Does it float? Is it greasy or shiny? Do you see food particles? Is it a soft blob or is it like rabbit poop? Maybe it is that perfect shape and comes out with no issues and the toilet paper is relatively clean when you wipe. This is what you are striving for but if it isn’t then you have an issue with your digestion and that should be fixed before spending money on supplements, except something that will help your gut heal and maybe some betaine HCl to help you digest your food. 

Cabbage juice is supposed to be super healing to the gut. I don’t know if there are any studies on it but it is what I have been told. 

If you are dealing with hashimoto’s you should definitely have your iron levels checked in a full iron panel. You need to have good iron stores in order to heal. Iron brings oxygen to your cells. It is important.  If you don’t have enough oxygen getting to your cells, your body is going to struggle to heal itself. Make sure you don’t have anemia, including pernicious anemia which is an autoimmune disease where you don’t absorb B12. Sometimes supplementing with iron won’t help bring your iron levels up. This was the case for me. Nothing brought my iron levels up. I have not had them checked either and I should. 

If you are not absorbing iron when supplementing, you should look at how red blood cells are breaking down. 

Other things that can be helpful for someone with thyroid problems is essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA or the omega 3 fatty acids. They should be in about a 1:1 ratio with the omega 6 fatty acids which we typically get way too much of because our biggest source is from “vegetable oils”. You may want to take a fish oil supplement with EPA and DHA if you are dealing with any insulin resistance. This condition makes it hard for the body to use an EFA like flax oil, evening primrose oil, borage or black current seed oil which are popular as well. Those oils will actually become inflammatory in the body rather than anti-inflammatory when someone has insulin resistance. EPA and DHA will help your cells take in glucose better and keep insulin levels in check. 

The enzyme thyroid peroxidase helps make thyroid hormones. In order for the chemical processes to work well, you need selenium, copper, magnesium, B vitamins and zinc. 

You may or may not need these- work with someone to know for sure so you don’t waste your money. 

Vitamin A helps the receptors on cells for thyroid hormone to work better. 

Magnesium is needed if you are dealing with blood sugar regulation problems. It takes around 20 or so  molecules of magnesium to process one molecule of glucose or sugar in the body. 

What you need will be different from what someone else needs. Remember that. Bio-individuality is important.