What is Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s thyroid is an autoimmune condition where the body mistakes the thyroid as a foreign invader, and the thyroid is attacked. Thyroid disease is quite prevalent in the US. Many people suffer from hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid). In many cases of hypothyroidism the etiology lies in an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. With Hashimoto’s thyroid the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, gradually destroying it. This results in inflammation, and eventually leads to an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), and may cause an enlarged thyroid, also known as a goiter. Hashimoto’s thyroid is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It primarily affects middle-aged women, but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children. To determine if one has Hashimoto’s thyroid, a blood test may be done checking for thyroid antibodies.
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Cold hands and feet (poor circulation)
- Digestive problems
- Itchy dry skin
- Thinning in the outer third of the eyebrows
- Hair falls out easily
- Heart palpitations
- Inward trembling
- Night sweats
- Difficulty gaining weight
The thyroid is not easy to treat. There are many factors that come into play. With Hashimoto’s the individual experiences many ups and downs. The thyroid swings back and forth between hypo and hyperactive. It’s a balancing act, and each person is different based on their bio-individual needs and the mechanism by which the thyroid is being affected.
For those who are sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat and some other grains (many of us are sensitive to gluten and are not even aware that we are) consuming gluten actually tricks the body into destroying your own thyroid, and can trigger Hashimoto’s. This is known as “molecular mimicry.” Chains of amino acids in gluten share the same molecular structure as thyroid tissue. So when gluten is consumed, the immune system recognizes it as a foreign invader, and attacks the thyroid tissue as well. It can take several months for the immune system to bounce back and stop attacking the thyroid. Therefore just one exposure to gluten can trigger an attack for months.
Hashimoto’s is a condition associated with having a leaky gut (intestinal permeability). Many who struggle with Hashimoto’s also struggle with digestive symptoms such as IBS and constipation. Therefore following an Autoimmune Paleo protocol is beneficial for healing. Many people find relief from their symptoms by switching over to a paleo diet. However, an autoimmune protocol involves removing all difficult to digest grains and dairy from the diet, as well as nightshade vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers (certain vegetables/spices that many people with autoimmune condition react to). The focus should be on increasing nutrient dense, quality foods such as fatty meats that have been pasture raised, bone broths that have been simmered for a minimum of 24 hours, and vegetables, including fermented foods.
Paleo on the Go offers a menu of Autoimmune Protocol compliant meals and we are one of the only paleo meal delivery companies in the United States that offers AIP compliant meals.