Why I’m Going Gluten-Free

I mentioned recently that I’m going gluten-free for health reasons. In this post, I share my reasons for pursuing a gluten-free diet and what I hope to achieve by it.

Back in 2008 when I was pregnant for the first time, my obstetrician informed me that my thyroid levels were off and that I needed to see an endocrinologist immediately as the baby could be adversely affected unless I got my hormone levels under control. At the time I was a doctoral student/graduate assistant and life was busy, so I did what my doctor recommended and began taking medicine to regulate my thyroid.

Fast forward five years and my endocrinologist informed me that I had a cyst on my thyroid that needed to be biopsied. After a traumatic experience and an inconclusive result, my doctor and surgeon recommended thyroid removal. At the time I was pregnant with my third child and I was not eager to undergo a life-changing surgery, which I did not believe was necessary. After lots of prayers and a second opinion, I decided not to have the surgery.

Thank the Lord I didn’t, too. A few months later, I had an ultrasound, which showed that the cyst on my thyroid was not growing but shrinking — a clear sign that the tumor was not cancerous as had been suspected. What a relief! After that experience, I told myself that I would do some research after the baby was born and see if I could make any dietary or lifestyle changes to control my thyroid hormone levels on my own, without medication.

However, I didn’t. It wasn’t until after my fourth child (and several God-ordained incidents) that I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to do some research and try to resolve this health issue once and for all.

Why I’m Going Gluten-Free

I don’t want to be taking a synthetic hormone for the rest of my life.

I don’t like how tired I always feel.

I don’t like how my skin is always dry.

I don’t like how my metabolism has slowed way down, and I continue to gain weight no matter how much I exercise and how little I eat.

I don’t like how I’m always freezing cold.

I don’t like how irritable and impatient I am all.the.time.

I don’t like feeling like I’m in a constant fog. I can’t think clearly nor concentrate fully on anything.

I want to see if there’s something I can do to alleviate these and other symptoms because, clearly, even with the medication I’m taking, the symptoms are still present. So, I’ve been doing some research.

What I’ve discovered

Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system has gone awry.

According to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, 90% of people with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune hypothyroid condition, whereby the immune system attacks thyroid tissue. Therefore, to cure thyroid disease, or any autoimmune condition, you have to get to the source of the imbalance; focusing on suppression of symptoms with medication is simply barking up the wrong tree. Source

There are some dietary changes I can make to treat my hypothyroidism, one of which is to go completely gluten-free. Eating gluten is believed to increase the autoimmune attack on your thyroid, so eliminating it is my first step in treating my condition.

Other steps I am taking include the following:

  • Reducing my caffeine & sugar intake. {I should eliminate both but that’s not happening.}
  • Upping my protein & fat intake
  • Keeping up with my vitamins and supplements especially Vitamin D, Magnesium, & Omega 3s
  • Practicing relaxation regularly

What I Hope to Achieve

First & foremost, my goal is to eliminate the need to take synthetic hormones (Syntheroid) to replace what my thyroid is not producing. I also hope to alleviate, if not eradicate, all of the above symptoms I feel on a daily basis. I want to have a better quality of life, which I believe is possible. Going gluten-free is my first step in getting there.

My plan is to abstain from gluten-containing foods for a minimum of six months. At the end of that time, I will have blood work done to see how/if my thyroid levels have been affected. I will proceed from there.

I am hopeful. I’ve recently learned of a few people who have been able to come up their thyroid medication through diet, and I hope I can be one of those fortunate people.

If you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, here are some links that may prove helpful:

For gluten-free recipes, follow my board on Pinterest. I hope you will follow along on my journey. To do so, subscribe today:


Have you ever been on a gluten-free diet?

Did you notice any changes in how you felt?

Keri.Signature

 

 

This Post Has Been Viewed 26 Times

Get email updates & exclusive subscriber freebies

Comments

  1. Hi Keri, thanks for this post and sharing your reasons. This is something I have been contemplating too (for some of the reasons you listed). I appreciate the additional information you included as well… More to think on, pray on…
    JES recently posted…How to Make a Tincture {Plus Printable} ~ Home Pharmacy SeriesMy Profile

  2. I am one of those weird people who actually felt much WORSE gluten free. 🙂 But I think it helps some people!!

    Also wanted to mention that many chemicals can interfere with thyroid function, including fluoride, non-stick cooking pans; and chemicals used in fire-retardants, prescription drugs, pesticides, cosmetics, fabric softeners, and swimming pools.

    Some people say soy isn’t good for low thyroid, either. I do struggle with low thyroid, and I can’t tolerate soy protein at all–maybe that’s why. 🙂

    I’m like you–I have to keep up with my vitamin D, magnesium, and omega 3’s!

    Praying things go well for you!!!
    Christa Upton recently posted…I’m Back!My Profile

    • Christa, thank you for your prayers! I’m sorry that going GF didn’t work for you. I’d be interested to know what side effects you felt.

      You are right about those other causes of thyroid problems. I didn’t know about fluoride. Interesting.

      Good luck keeping up with your vitamins 🙂

      • It was a while ago, but let me try to remember….. 🙂 Going gluten-free messed up my digestion more than it already was. I couldn’t get enough fiber because my already-messed-up stomach can’t handle “too much” nuts, seeds, veggies, or fruits. (I can eat them, just not a lot every day.) You can imagine what “not enough fiber” does–a lot of bad. 🙂 I think it made me not detox as well because of that. (That’s just an educated guess, though also whole wheat is known to be a natural chelator.) I also got more indigestion from trying to eat too much “non-gluten” stuff, because I don’t do well with “too much” meat, rice, potatoes, and again fruits and veggies. My stomach felt like rocks in it even more than normal, and stock/broth didn’t help enough. I actually had trouble getting enough calories, too (weird trouble, but it’s true). (I also can’t have too much dairy or of course sugar.) And for my body that struggles with every single body system, not enough calories for my body to repair itself is not good, and I am guessing that’s why I had even more fatigue than normal. I was pretty miserable over all, but still, I tried again months later and again another time to give it a fair chance. Didn’t go well. But that’s okay. Different things help different people. 🙂
        Christa Upton recently posted…I’m Back!My Profile

  3. I’ve been meaning to come by to comment on this post. I have low thyroid and it was recently brought to my attention that it may be autoimmune. I treat myself naturally so I’m looking forward to checking out the links you share. I did not know this, but I have been doing all of the things on your list (by the grace of God). I started Trim Healthy Mama earlier this year and went off whites (sugar, flour) and started eating mostly gluten free (just because it was in the plan!) and increased my fat, protein, omegas, vit d ~ all of the above! I’ve lost 35 pounds in 10 months and feel like I am getting my health back. I largely ignored my low thyroid until I hit adrenal fatigue this fall, so I am back on a raw thyroid supplement and essential oils for my thyroid/adrenals. I feel better every day.

    Will be looking forward to your journey! I see some great looking recipes already! Blessings to you on your journey!
    Michelle recently posted…Wild Horses of Sweetbriar {FI♥AR}My Profile

    • Michelle, thank you for your comment. I am hoping to control my thyroid levels through diet and supplements, so I am really curious as to what “raw thyroid supplement and essential oils” you are using. I’m actually thinking about going grain-free because gluten-free hasn’t been helping as much as I’d hoped, but I’m going to see an integrative medicine doctor in a few weeks and will talk to her about it first. Thanks for your insights. I may be emailing you soon for more information!

Trackbacks

  1. […] will be my first holiday since going gluten-free and I’m a little bummed because I can’t just enjoy the food. Instead, I have to make a […]

  2. […] 12 weeks going gluten-free, I still feel like there are some unresolved health issues for me. For one, I’m seriously […]