• Christopher Gross, DC

Could What You Are Eating Be Affecting Your Thyroid?

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Although food can be our medicine, it can also be our poison. Not all food is healthy for every person.

Many of my patients have food sensitivities. I would dare to say that the majority of thyroid patients and almost all Hashimoto's patients have a sensitivity to gluten. Unfortunately, gluten-free is not a fad diet for those who are sensitive. And, the symptoms that it brings from eating that tiny crouton or that potluck dessert that someone at your office party said only has a little flour in it, can do some real damage. I am sure by now you have heard of Celiac's disease, that severe allergy to gluten that can send a grown man screaming down the hallway looking for the nearest restroom. However, gluten sensitivity is not the same thing. You may not "feel" the effects of eating the gluten for days and, in fact, maybe not at all. Gluten sensitivity can affect your gastrointestinal system, but it can also cause about 200 other symptoms that you wouldn't think are related from brain fog to achy joints.

When we typically think about food allergies, we think of someone that has a peanut or seafood allergy. The more severe allergies can cause your throat to swell up and the person can die. A food sensitivity is a different part of the immune system and causes inflammation throughout your entire system. The difference being a type of immunoglobulin (immuno=immune system, globulin=protein, also called Ig). There are five immunoglobulins that work for your immune system. We will talk about two of those. IgE is the typical allergy (why you can't put nuts in your kids lunches anymore). This can be immediate and can cause a release of histamine that can cause itching, hives, swelling, and even death from anaphylactic shock. IgG is a delayed hypersensitivity to a food and this can take up to 72 hours before you notice a symptom. IgG reactions don't act like a typical allergy symptom and they are hard to recognize because they are not always immediate. You may not realize that the cauliflower you ate 3 days ago is causing your headache today.

Like I said in the beginning, gluten is the most common culprit when it comes to food sensitivities, but I have seen other healthy foods like almonds cause severe fatigue for several days after consuming them, dairy cause swelling in the wrists, lettuce cause weight gain (salads aren't healthy for everyone). The best way that I have found to find which food(s) you are sensitive to is to do a simple blood test which tests up to 184 foods at one time. Again, since it is difficult to find out which foods you are sensitive to by an elimination diet, this works the best for my patients. I never would have figured out that ginger gives me severe brain fog had I not taken this simple test.

Contact our office today if you believe there are some foods that you think could be at the root of your health concerns.

#food sensitivities #thyroid

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