Gluten is found in wheat and other grains such as barely and rye. It is a protein composite that gives dough it’s elasticity and also helps it to rise and keep its shape.
Gluten is often linked with people feeling bloated or downright crappy after eating. It’s also attributed with leaky gut syndrome. Many people believe that the only people who should be gluten free are those with Celiac Disease which is estimated to be about 1% of the population in Canada. I was originally one of those people who believed that.
I find it interesting to read articles that tell you unless you are Celiac than you are being hoaxed by cutting out gluten. However, there are many people out there who ACTUALLY feel better going gluten free. It isn’t the placebo affect. It isn’t necessarily that they are cutting down on gluten filled junk food. It IS that they are healing their gut. And how about the fact that gluten is actually detrimental to other diseases out there too! I find it mildly frustrating reading articles telling you that you are going gluten free for nothing.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of stories out there where doctors have told people that they have a life long disease and they will have to talk multiple medications a day in order to even survive. These people get so fed up with living this pill popping life that they turn to a natural health care practitioner who assesses them in many different ways that the doctor neglects to do (because who has time to properly assess you when the doctor has 15 min appointments and quotas to fill) and these natural practitioners help them with valuable lifestyle changes. And these valuable lifestyle changes make significant and positive changes to the patients health. Then, these people return to their original doctor who does their original assessments and are surprised to see that the patient no longer requires most (or all) of the prescribed pills and figure the first test must of been wrong. NOT that lifestyle changes could have done this. No way – it can’t be that easy in a world that is controlled by the trillion dollar pharma industry.
Here I find myself where I never thought I would. Cutting gluten out of my diet. Nope, I don’t have celiac disease, and yes, I LOVE bread. Born and raised on it – I could be called a breadatarian. 🙂 HOWEVER, recently I discovered that my hypothyroidism could be caused by, or exacerbated by, gluten! I got diagnosed 10 years ago and to find this information out now made me want to cry.
The thing with hypothyroidism is, even if you take your medication religiously every single day, you just don’t feel 100%. I know that going gluten-free isn’t going to be easy, but when it comes to cutting it out in order to potentially relieve my symptoms, how easy of a decision!
So here’s how it goes (in layman’s terms) – when your body can’t break down gluten properly and you have a leaky gut, the gluten proteins escape from your intestines into your bloodstream. From here, your cells recognize there is an intruder and start to attack the gluten (hello bloating and inflammation). The problem here is, the thyroid cells look a lot like gluten protein. So your body gets all amped up to fight off these gluten intruders, but now can’t tell the difference between gluten and thyroid and BOOM now your body is attacking your thyroid cells as well.
I don’t know about you, but that’s enough for me to cut out gluten. I do plan on visiting a Naturopath to get tested for gluten intolerance – but in the mean time – I am removing it from my diet. Even if it makes the slightest improvement to my diet, that is enough for me. On top if it all, apparently gluten can stay in your system for up to 6 months! So if I stop eating gluten today, I won’t be completely gluten free in my body until January. Isn’t that crazy?
SO, back to the beginning. Now it isn’t just 1% of the population that should think about or should be going gluten free. If gluten is likely to affect most people with hypothyroidism – think about the size of the population. It’s estimated that 1 IN 10 people are affected with some form of a thyroid disease in Canada alone!
So now I will be starting a new journey in my life. It is going to require a lot of work but it is well worth it. I have a lot of learning to do. I had no idea how many foods do or might contain gluten! I’m reading a really good book right now that has amazing reviews – called Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal. There is a lot of information piled into this book about how the thyroid works and includes many stories of people who changed their lifestyle and saw positive results in their negative symptoms. I highly recommend this book if you are suffering from hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s.
And, if you need further research on gluten and how it affects your thyroid you can go:
And lastly, if you want to read a really good interview than I recommend reading this.
If any of the following sounds like you, I suggest speaking with a health care practitioner, naturopath, or dietitian about this lifestyle change. That is my plan!
And so, for the next 6 months I hope you follow my journey in the hopes of finding better health! I plan to post information on learning to go gluten-free, different recipes I try (with pictures!), what I find works, doesn’t work and any of the struggles I encounter along the way! And of course, any results that may find their way to me.
Are you gluten-free? If so, have you noticed a change in how you feel? Any advice for someone just starting out? And finally, if you suffer from hypothyroidism, did you know gluten affects you this way? How have you made changes to see improvements in your symptoms?