Before we can talk about the Hashimoto’s Diet, we must first learn what Hashimoto’s is. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the autoimmune disorder of hypothyroidism. In a nutshell, antibodies attack the thyroid gland which leads to chronic inflammation throughout the body. I can personally attest to the frustration of having Hashi’s with symptoms such as chronic fatigue, IBS, weight gain, bloating, dry skin, hair loss, mood swings, and feeling cold.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to learn to navigate a new lifestyle approach with this disease. One of, if not THE most important aspect of managing Hashi’s is your diet.
I’m not going to talk about “going on a diet” because that is not the purpose of this article. These are dietary lifestyle changes that may help to manage your condition and side effects and may significantly improve your quality of life. With one simple tool. A fork.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that you should always consult the advice of a medical professional before making any changes in your lifestyle with Hashimoto’s or any other illness. This includes dietary changes. We are all unique, and while the following protocol is generally recommended for Hashi’s, not everyone is the same. If you find your symptoms worsening or you do not feel well after eating certain foods, discontinue eating them and consult with a medical professional.
Your thyroid medicine is needed to help manage Hashimoto’s, but don’t discount nutrition. Avoiding gluten, dairy, processed foods, and sugar are the top four biggest game changers when it comes to a Hashimoto’s Diet, but there are many others as well. These are the top foods to eat and the top foods to avoid helping you manage this condition.
Hashimoto’s Diet: Top Foods to Eat
- Most fruits
- Most vegetables
- Salmon and wild caught and fatty fish
- Fats (coconut oil, duck fat, olive oil, avocados/oil)
- Cage-free, grass-fed and free-range meats
- Bone Broth
- Fermented foods
Hashimoto’s Diet: Top Foods to Avoid
- Grains (oats, quinoa, millet, teff, buckwheat, etc)
- Processed foods
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, goji berry, potatoes)
Top Controversial Foods
There are mixed results with these foods. Some protocols recommend eating them on a Hashimoto’s Diet, and some recommend eliminating. I would recommend eliminating these foods initially, and gradually add them back in and see how you feel after eating them.
- Seaweed (always check your iodine levels with your doctor before consuming seaweed)
- Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
- Most nuts and seeds
Now it’s up to you. I know that change is difficult. There’s no harm in trying this for a week or a month. Keep a food journal, evaluate how you feel on and off the different foods, and talk to your doctor. You may be surprised at how much better you feel!
When Someone You Love Has Hashimoto’s Disease
Rock Robbins, author of The Guy’s Guide to Hashimoto’s, learned first hand how tough it could be when your partner suffers from Hashimoto’s. He and his wife, Stacey, live in Southern California with their two children, Seth and Caleb.
Rock recalls the initial challenge of Stacey’s diagnosis: “I got married to Stacey about 27 years ago. Seven years in she got sick and a few years later was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. It changed our life, because it changed her life. Suddenly I was Married to Hashimoto’s.” We love what he writes:
“I have had times of really bringing my A game to these scenarios, where I choose to love her even though she’s not reflecting that love back to me. Other times, I’ve gotten frustrated at her, and basically given her a hard time – not so helpful. Usually I think back to the times when she helped me, and get back on track. But heck, even if she hadn’t taken care of me – I have a commitment to her that is strong that was truly tested during her many years of whacko symptoms.
So, here’s the question to you: what is your level of commitment to this person? Because, it could get really gnarly in this process before it gets better. Meds, supplements, and diet changes don’t happen overnight so, even if you’re on the right track, it still takes time for her body to respond to the good things you’re doing. You should really decide who you’re going to be now, cause it’s likely going to get bumpy, possibly for a long while as you both dial in what works for her.
I’m not trying to scare you, but if you’re faint of heart, or in the ‘till inconvenience do us part’ type of commitment, it may not go well for both of you. She’s going to need to focus her energy on getting rest, tracking symptoms, food changes, mind issues, and listening to her body to find that sweet spot of what works for her.”
He offers these excellent tips for people whose loved ones are affected by the condition:
- Realize that even though she looks ‘normal’, she’s not.
- Stop acting like this is all in her head
- Don’t be a jerk
- Be a part of the team, it benefits everyone (especially you)
- Choose to be Mr. Consistent with whatever version of her shows up
- Know that it’s possible to get her health and life back.
This amazing guest post was written by Holly Bertone, PMP, and CEO of Pink Fortitude! You can check out their website here!
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