(Edited from 2015 on 4/9/19)
What do you think when you hear this statement? "You need to remove gluten from your diet to heal and feel better."
If your answer is, "NONONONONONONO!", you are not alone.
I remember when my Endo asked me, "Some people say giving up bread helps Hashi's. Do you WANT to give up bread?". What do you think I told her? Laughing, hysterically, we agreed that it was pretty much the silliest thing we'd heard and I went on my merry way with my Synthroid prescription.
Eventually, I gave gluten (not just bread) up on my own because, by that time, I wasn't feeling better and had read so much information about the detrimental affects of gluten, to all of us really, but especially for those of us with Thyroid and Autoimmune issues. In a nutshell why is Gluten so bad?
Hashimamas take note: The proteins of undigested gluten, the peptides, that sneak or leak into our bloodstream due to Leaky gut, which Gluten contributes to -- those gluten proteins are similar to the proteins that make up our THYROID. When these peptides get tagged for attack by our antibodies guess what gets attacked right along with or instead of the gluten? Yep! Our thyroid. Holy crap! That was an eye-opener and game-changer for me.
Giving up Gluten changed my life.
However, not right away. Not that I could tell.
I know...right? It doesn't sound very convincing. But here's my GUG (Giving Up Gluten) story.
I gave it up cold turkey. I'm talking Minnesota cold. No easing into it as some people advise. By the way, there is no point in being mostly gluten free. You've got to get it completely out of your system or you, and your gut, will still suffer.
So, it was all out. I was eating really healthy and I was taking these digestive enzymes I'd read about and I was feeling better. Lots of people asked me how it was going and could I tell the difference? I wasn't sure. I mean I felt better, yes. But I was skeptical, even though I didn't want to be. See, friends told me it was a diet fad, waiters told me it was a diet fad, I still wondered if it was a diet fad. I kept at it, anyway. (Very side note -- and now people are saying its the lectins or the chemicals not the gluten -- I was tested -- it's the gluten!)
So, I kept at it...UNTIL THE DAY. I was having a bad day, and I was a historically emotional eater, and this was about 7 weeks into my Gluten Free Lifestyle. The topic of the day is long forgotten, but the result stayed with me. Emotional eating got the best of me and ...
I binged. (cue the horror music!)
On pizza. Real pizza. As I remember, I ate as much as I could get my hands on and into my mouth. We were hosting a bonfire and because this was back when gluten free meant I could eat a sorry salad -- and I felt sorry for myself -- I gave in and allowed the eating frenzy. I didn't even have a reaction at first. When the frenzy was over...I went straight to bed. I probably thought I was fine. (take THAT Gluten!)
Until the next day. I woke up earlier than my usual early and felt like I'd been hit by a truck right smack dab in the face! It was worse than my worst hangover. It was worse than any sinus headache I could remember, and I'd had sinus headaches every day for like...ever. Bingo!
I hadn't even realized it, but over those six weeks, my daily headaches were pretty much gone. I'd read so much about Leaky Gut and how Gluten causes zonulin to create openings between the villi of our intestinal lining, thus creating "leaks"...I thought gluten caused only "gut" issues. Headaches? It hadn't crossed my mind. Until THAT DAY, the day after the very bad day.
Needless to say, the very bad day turned into several bad days. Headaches, cramping, then constipation. Major mood swings. Acne. Brain fog. Sleepless nights. Most of the things I hadn't realized had begun to subside when I was gluten free, came rushing right back. Over days. Ugh. I was finally hooked.
Gluten Free or BUST!
So, that's my story. I have never looked back. You know the saying, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels?" I DETEST that quote by the way. Skinny-Schminny.
How about, "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!"
That's how I think about it. Truly. Saying "no" to gluten really means saying "yes" to life. To a less foggy brain, to a happier thyroid, to all the good things happening in my body I can't always feel but know are there. How about saying "yes" to a much less anxious, much less succeptable-to-depression-Mom??? I'm so thankful for my knowledge about the effects of gluten and thankful for that very bad day that taught me so very much.
Now, for some of you, giving up gluten isn't the only ticket to healthy bliss. It wasn't for me as I eventually got tested and had to remove a few other foods, for a while, as well. Plus, dairy is another player, sorry to say, as the protein casein is similar to the thyroid, just like gluten. But, for ALL of you, gluten will be a game changer. If you can reduce inflammation, which is what gluten causes (as in an antibody firestorm for Hashimamas), you will be winning the battle.
So, Hashimamas! Warriors! What do YOU think? Are you ready to say "yes" to your life?
When we work together, though I will nudge you to remove gluten and dairy, I won't prescribe a specific diet program for you. We work TOGETHER to find what works for YOUR body, intuitively, and for YOUR lifestyle. We will work on emotional eating, too, if necessary. And...we do so much more than food. But, as this story shows you, food is still a key -- it's just not the only one. We work on all the parts so that you can re-ignite this life of yours that's been waiting for you!
Check out your program!
PS -- that photo of the bread above? There are many wonderful gluten free flours that can now create bread like this. It's not gone forever. BUT, once you remove gluten, you'll find that bread is no longer LIFE! You can survive without bread 24/7. And without that opiate affect from wheat -- it does affect the brain -- your brain will be less foggy and when the fog clears I promise you, the world becomes a much better place!