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Does the perfect Hashimoto diet exist?
Let food be your remedy - The Greek physician Hippocrates formulated this statement as early as 400 BC. And you may know the experience: a healthy diet undoubtedly usually leads to better well-being.
The question arises: Can Hashimoto sufferers also benefit from a change in diet? After all, it is a disease that is generally considered to be incurable and hardly treatable. Experience shows that besides the standard prescribed tablets, something can be done.
If you want to know more about the autoimmune disease Hashimoto: We have already dealt with the basics and the symptoms as well as the diagnosis of the autoimmune disease Hashimoto's thyroiditis in other articles.
Does it exist - the special Hashimoto diet?
In this article you will learn:
- Avoiding gluten - is that the solution for Hashimoto sufferers?
- How to approach a change in diet sensibly.
- Which dietary supplements can be useful for Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
Gluten - the enemy in my gut and for the immune system?
Dr. Kharrazian, an American doctor with a lot of experience treating Hashimoto's patients, put it exciting thesis:
No other food component is as potent a trigger of neurological disorders and autoimmunity as gluten, the protein from wheat.
Alessio Fasano, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, is also studying the effects of gluten on the intestinal barrier and autoimmune reactions in more detail.
It has not yet been clearly proven that gluten or other proteins from grains are THE cause of autoimmune diseases.
The fact is that many people can feel better as soon as they avoid grains and cereal products and thus gluten. Until now, at least we still fell no reason a, who spoke against it, Grain or Just skip gluten for at least 30 days.
It will certainly be worth it for you too - be it from because of health or whether it is about discovering new foods and recipes, enjoying cooking or simply adding variety to the often entrenched menu.
It is also known that people with Hashimoto have a higher risk of other autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease. For those, abstaining from gluten is absolutely necessary. (Please note: A reliable celiac disease diagnosis is only possible if you have not already switched to a gluten-free diet.)
Why a change in diet makes sense
Hashimoto's sufferers often have digestive problems. But symptoms that manifest themselves in the skin or through other conditions can also have their origin in the intestine.
Unfavorable diet and lifestyle habits often affect intestinal health over the years. This makes it easier for allergens (often certain protein structures in food) to activate the immune system - and also to challenge it. It has been suggested that it is precisely these processes that can “fuel” autoimmune reactions.
Food contains a large number of allergens and substances that some people cannot tolerate, e.g. in the form of allergies or pseudo-allergies. The intolerance to lactose, fructose, histamine, gluten and casein are well known - but ingredients from eggs, nuts, legumes, nightshade family, fish / sea creatures or coffee can also trigger intolerance reactions.
Maybe you have one or the other food intolerance and know the problems?
Not only natural substances, but also artificial additives can cause problems. These include pesticides (with which plant-based foods such as fruit and vegetables have been treated) or antibiotics, which may be found in meat and fish. Preservatives can also make some people feel uncomfortable, even in small amounts.
The daily diet is usually so varied and full of ingredients that intolerance symptoms can rarely be directly attributed to a particular food. One often does not know that certain things are not tolerated - and the body or the immune system is unnecessarily “stressed”.
What remains: Daily malaise.
In the following, we will show you strategies to test for yourself which foods your body reacts unfavorably to or which foods are well tolerated.
Because in the long term, the aim should be to better tolerate the daily food, to supply the body with sufficient nutrients and possibly even to alleviate the symptoms of existing diseases such as Hashimoto.
Diet change - how should I approach it?
It is a big step towards avoiding many additives To refrain from industrially produced food. This goes without saying in the Paleo diet, which is based on a large number of natural foods.
The cornerstones of the paleo diet include vegetables, fruit, meat and fish - these foods contain plenty of nutrients and provide your body with high-quality protein, fats and carbohydrates. The high proportion of vegetables and fruit provides you with fiber, which is important for the inhabitants of the colon - the intestinal bacteria.
Sufficient nutrient intake, a balanced hormonal system and interaction with the intestinal bacteria are important for a well-functioning immune system and a well-functioning thyroid metabolism.
You can feel better if your blood sugar levels don't fluctuate too much from meals and meal breaks. Hashimoto sufferers have had good experience with regular, balanced meals made up of natural foods - which help maintain a relatively constant blood sugar level.
Orienting yourself to the guidelines of the paleo diet is a good introduction to a change in diet - cereals, dairy products and legumes are at least temporarily removed from the menu (30 days is often enough). They are simply exchanged for delicious meals with natural foods such as vegetables and fruit, but also meat and fish.
Nevertheless, there are other foods in the paleo diet that can be potentially unfavorable for some people, as they can trigger allergic reactions, for example. But try out the “normal” Paleo diet at first - if you still feel that you are still unable to tolerate certain foods, you can go a step further.
To test food for tolerance, you can try two strategies (we recommend the second):
One strategy would be after each other certain foodsthat are known to be not well tolerated by many people, to be removed from the menu for a few days. The problem: exist several intolerancesFor example, against eggs and nuts, the symptoms of not eating eggs hardly improve if nuts are still eaten.
Another strategy offers the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
As The basis is the paleo diet, In addition, other foods (such as eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshade plants) are used for a limited period of time (the so-called Elimination phase) excluded, the ingredients of which can potentially lead to problems.
After all, a relatively large number of people have an allergy / intolerance to these foods - and may not know anything about it. Temporary avoidance of nightshade plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants seems unusual. But vegetables can also contain certain substances (lectins) that can activate the immune system. Raw vegetables in particular can be the problem here, cooked they are often more tolerable.
Intolerance to fish and marine animals as well as (raw) celery and apples are also not uncommon. Those who are affected, however, often know about their intolerance.
In order to avoid as many typical allergens as possible, vegetables, fruit, meat, healthy fats and fish are in the foreground in the elimination phase of the Paleo-AIP.
One has the feeling the food of the Elimination phase well tolerated, you can start after a certain waiting period (in which the body has time to regenerate), gradually reintroduce food in a controlled manner.
So you don't run the risk of avoiding foods that you actually like and tolerate well in the long term. We have put together some suitable recipes for the Paleo AIP.
You can find more information about the thyroid gland and specifically about the autoimmune disease Hashimoto in our Hashimoto e-book.
Are you curious about the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol to improve your health, but it seems too difficult to do? Secure our AIP support and we will accompany youFor 12 weeks - with your ownCookbook e-book,weekly Nutrition plans, shopping listsand all essential informationIt will be educational, tasty and fun. We'll help you persevere.
Which food supplements can be useful?
It is known: autoimmune diseases and thyroid malfunctions (hyperthyroidism or hyperthyroidism) are often associated with a lack of certain nutrients.
It can therefore be useful to check the body's supply of the following micronutrients:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12 (and also other B vitamins)
If there is a deficiency, the body can replenish its stores of nutrients, short-term higher doses of dietary supplements can be useful. Because if the nutrient deficiency is very severe, even a nutrient-rich diet is not enough to make up for it.
Also herbal extracts can, according to experts, be part of Hashimoto's individual therapy. N-acetylcysteine (a readily absorbable precursor of glutathione) or coenzyme Q10 also supply the body with building blocks for the cell's own antioxidant defense - and help the imbalanced immune system.
Iodine and hashimoto
The connection between iodine and Hashimoto is controversial. Many assume that the artificial addition of iodine to salt and animal feed has unnaturally increased the absorption of the trace element - which can increase the risk of developing Hashimoto's. According to some doctors, however, many of their patients suffer from an iodine deficiency - which can be remedied well at the same time as selenium supplementation.
But too much of the two nutrients (too much iodine, too much selenium) or an unfavorable ratio (too high iodine intake, insufficient selenium supply) can have an unfavorable effect on the thyroid metabolism.
Basically: the Taking any dietary supplement should be discussed with a doctor. Hashimoto's patients in particular can benefit from not using iodine tablets.
Occasionally, foods that are richer in iodine can also be enjoyed by Hashimoto's patients. Those who know that they are sensitive to foods rich in iodine (such as sea fish, sushi, other dishes with algae) prefer to avoid them.
With the trace element iodine is neither too much nor too little good. If the body has too little iodine, it cannot produce enough thyroid hormones.Too much iodine can further “heat up” the inflammation in the thyroid gland, apparently especially when at the same time a selenium deficiency is present.
Why paleo can make sense at Hashimoto
Everyone is different - because of the individual differences It is difficult to determine the diet that can and will help everyone. Gradually approaching your individual diet can be part of the solution.
The first step can be: Try Paleo for 30 days, with our support, if you like. The Paleo autoimmune protocol goes one step further, in which other foods are avoided at least for a certain period of time.
Because cereals, legumes, milk, eggs, nuts, other seeds from plants - all these foods contain protein structures (allergens) that can additionally challenge the immune system - especially when the intestinal health is impaired.
If the symptoms improve with the change in diet and thus the quality of life, you will not regret this step. Changing your diet can be at least the first step in a lifestyle change to get the disease under control.
But stressed and sick bodies often need more than “just” a change in diet. Dealing with stress is no less important.
Even small changes in everyday life, such as regular walks with a partner or a friend, acupuncture, taking a quiet bike to work, regular meditation, or taking time to practice yoga at least once a week can help the mind and body to give more relaxation and exercise - but they are by no means everything.
We understand how important stress management can be in autoimmune diseases. However, our professional focus is on nutrition. If you are looking for support in dealing with stress and other stressful situations in everyday life, take a look at the online portal Impulse Dialog.
What was your experience with Hashimoto and an adapted diet? Does it help you to go without gluten?
Tell us about it in the comment function!
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