Years ago, I studied with a guy by the name of Datis Kharrazian. Datis’s specialty is thyroid disorders and in particular Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is the autoimmune version of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
According to Dr. Kharrazian, Hashimoto’s disease makes up some 90% of hypothyroid cases.
When the average person is diagnosed with hypothyroidism using a simple TSH test, they are simply put on a thyroid hormone replacement such as Synthroid or Armour. These may marginally help at the end point (the thyroid), but they don’t get to the root of the problem. As a holistic-minded practitioner, it is important to delve deeper than others so that the root cause can be supported and the body allowed to function unencumbered. Completely neglecting the underlying causes of a thyroid problem is the main reason why many people seeking thyroid therapy are unable to find complete relief or lose weight. Diagnosing Hashimoto’s is more than just performing the standard TSH test which most doctors look at. It involves a complete, expensive (sorry!) battery of test to look at other ways in which the thyroid functions, such as the T4 to T3 conversion test, as well as other supporting gland such as the pituitary and adrenal glands. But when it is diagnosed and treated properly, you can finally begin to feel like a normal human being again. The first thing any knowledgeable practitioner working in autoimmune diseases will tell you is that you MUST COMPLETELY eliminate gluten! This is because gluten closely resembles important hormones at their receptor sites therefore blocking hormones from engaging. At least half of all Hashimoto’s sufferers will notice remarkable improvement from just this, while others remain asymptomatic and/or need to dig further.
Where gluten intolerance is other food intolerances, sensitivities and allergies follow.
Dairy intolerance is a huge issue for most gluten intolerant people — even raw dairy, of which I am a huge proponent. Other foods that must be avoided by the Hashimoto’s sufferer are the nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers), eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes (especially soy) and of course all processed vegetable oils and foods. Also be sure to avoid those foods which may contain these items. Lecithin, for example, is derived from egg in the US or sunflower seeds in Europe. Table salt and pre-ground pepper contain trace amounts of wheat.
Even one bite of bread can set you back 6 months in healing time
Instead, it is recommended to focus on the very diet I typically recommend: meats (including soups and stews), fermented vegetables, other fruits and vegetables, coconut and coconut oil, herbal teas and limited amounts of raw honey. When I met Datis, we butted heads over the soy issue. He was not convinced that it played such a significant role, while I knew it did — especially given the fact that Americans have been using it increasingly as a replacement for EVERYTHING. Seems that he (like so many others, to pat myself on the back) has finally recognized the connection. Interestingly enough, he himself appears to have shed several pounds since following this advice. Another win for the Nutrition Heretic!
Following this diet seems expensive, restrictive and impossible, but to date, I have not seen anything else work nearly as effectively. Of course, it will take some time to get used to and your relatives and friends who survive mainly on junk food, soy and grains will give you a hard time, but it’s your health and you deserve a shot at feeling great all the time! So do what is necessary to get the wellness you deserve.
Datis has published a very good book on the issue of Hashimoto’s disease. In it, he reveals darn near everything that I learned from him in weekend seminars including what kinds of tests to order, where to order from and how to interpret the results. If you have been suffering with thyroid disorders and are not satisfied with the results, then I highly suggest you pick this up. Got questions? Have comments? Leave them below!