This is actually a post I’ve been busting to write for a while. As many of you know, I first quit sugar because of my autoimmune (AI) disease. I have Hashimotos. And a big part of why I’ve stuck to the sugar-free program is that it’s made such a damn big difference.

Image via
Image via

So the simple answer is this: Quitting sugar has had the biggest impact on my AI, more so than my medication or any other medical fix (and, trust me, I’ve tried everything). In the past three years, I’ve been able to better manage my AI, but also – yes – reverse a lot of the damage.

  • I have zero thyroid antibodies now.
  • I’m on the most minimal dosage of thyroxin.
  • My hormone levels have fallen back into the right range (more on this soon!).

It’s taken years to get to this point. I put it down to the massive change to my diet that quitting sugar precipitated. And to breaking the clusterf*ck cycle that autoimmune disease invariably locks you into.

But why? And how? Let me explain…

Warning: Like most of my AI and thyroid posts this is a long one. And as I always remind people, even if you don’t have an AI, you’ll probably find it helpful because the advice I share relates to all of us. Or you probably have a loved one who has an AI…please share this with them.

Sugar mucks up your gut

Blood sugar imbalances inflame the digestive tract, causing leaky gut (literally, a perforated gut lining). In turn, leaky gut triggers the development of AI. Toxins are able to pass through the perforations into the bloodstream triggering an autoimmune reaction as our antibodies head out to attack the foreign invaders. These little antibody soldiers can then get confused and head off to attack parts of our bodies, such as the thyroid.  Gluten, for instance, has a very similar molecular structure to the thyroid gland.

Sugar causes inflammation

The process above obviously creates inflammation, which compromises immune function. In addition, sugar compromises the ability of our white cells to destroy toxins. This effect begins within 30 minutes of eating the stuff and lasts for five hours.

Insulin spikes destroy the thyroid gland

As many of you know (yeah?), sugar causes our pancreas to secrete insulin to move excess sugar from the blood into our cells where glucose is used to produce energy. But over time, the cells lose the ability to respond to insulin. Our poor little pancreas responds by pumping out even more insulin, leading to insulin resistance.

Studies have shown that these repeated insulin surges increase the destruction of the thyroid gland.

Also, this: we’re programmed to see low blood sugar as a threat to survival. Thus our adrenal glands respond by secreting cortisol. Cortisol then tells the liver to increase the amount of glucose available, bringing blood sugar levels back to normal.

As you know, again (um, yeah?), cortisol is the “flight or fight” hormone,  reserved for special occasions (like being chased by a tiger or some such). It causes an increase in heart rate, oxygen, and blood flow while shutting down digestion, growth and reproduction so all energy can go to our brains and muscles.

Problem is, if cortisol is over-used ‘n’ abused (from eating sugar daily), this all suppresses pituitary function. Um, which is vital to thyroid function (the hypothalamus, thyroid and pituitary work as a threesome).

And around and around and around we all go, right?

Flipside, a bung thyroid can then cause insulin issues

How’s this work? Our thyroid function depends on blood sugar being kept in a normal range, and keeping our blood sugar in a normal range depends on healthy thyroid function.

How so? Low thyroid function slows down the way we process sugar – in our cells, guts, the insulin response and the clearance of insulin. Which means…

We might even have normal levels of glucose in our blood, but because we’re slow to respond to it, and to absorb it we very easily get hypoglycemic (and thus clutch at sugar)…know this…

Anyone with thyroid issues has a much harder time with sugar than everyone else.

You have to break the clusterf*cky cycle… yourself

It’s been shown an increased frequency of thyroid disorders in diabetics, and a higher prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome in people with wonky thyroids. It’s hard to say which comes first – metabolic issues or bung thyroids… chickens or eggs. But does it really matter? At the end of the day, my friends, it all comes down to sugar. And the solution really is to quit it.

For me, I’m certain that my AI issues stem back to a sugary carb addiction in my late teens. It led to gut issues, insomnia, addictions, hormone issues, nervous disorders, adrenal collapse… and then Graves (another form of thyroid disease) … and then Hashimotos.

So how did I break the cycle – and eliminate both the trigger and exacerbator?
I quit sugar. 

Anyway, I reckon that’s enough for now. It was quite a rant. Got any further questions?

If you’d like to quit sugar, why not sign up for the next round of my 8-Week Program

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Mary

    Sarah, thankyou for the bottom of my heart. Finally, I have been able to reverse all my issues with Hashimoto’s. I was finally diagnosed 20 years ago after hounding drs that something was seriously wrong with me. I suspect I had symptoms the previous 10 years to that, but they were largely ignored! You have put me on the right track, and now aged 60, I feel like I am 40…… I have been off sugar for the past 6 months, have lost weight, my skin and hair are beautiful again, my hormones in check and I have great energy levels. You are an inspiration. 🙂

    • Hey Mary, I love your feedback. Would you be happy if we shared it on the testimonials section?

    • Hi Mary, I thought I’d replied to this amazing comment…is it possible to publish your comment on the IQS site…and perhaps get a few more details from you?

      • Mary

        Hi Sarah

        DONE…. posted and I added on a few more details. Hope it is o.k.

        Mary x

  • Michelle

    Do you think it’s possible to heal your thyroid completely so that you no longer need to be on medication?

    • Lauren Raso

      Michelle, do you have a Hashi’s diagnosis?

      • Michelle

        Yes. I do Lauren. Diagnosed 2 years ago.

        • Lauren Raso

          Yes Michelle with time, patience and of course the best steps and info.

    • Vasiliki Didaskalou

      Hi Michelle, what test do they do other than the TSH? My TSH result is 0.21 and I am worried and want to get further tests done to see if there is anything wrong with my Thyroid.

      • Di Elliffe

        Hi Vasiliki, you should get results for

        Hormone Healthy Range

        TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) 0.5 – 4.5

        Free T3 3.0 – 6.7

        Free T4 (thyroxine) 10.0 – 21.0

        These “healthy ranges” are as determined by your local pathology service.

        Hyperthyroidism is indicated by: high Free T4, low TSH.

  • Kat

    Sorry if have you mentioned this and I missed it but how did you first think of reducing sugar as a management strategy for AI (.e.g., read about it, doctor told you etc)? And do you think health professionals (i.e., GPs, endocrinologists) are passing on this info to their patients with AI?

    • Shannon

      Doctors unfortunately don’t know about nutrition and diet change to fix/heal issues of the body much. They know how to prescribe stuff though….although my Dr gave me a coupon for some Becel margarine when my blood tests came back a little hight for cholesteral!!! LOL

      • Lauren Raso

        Ekk magarine is shocking for you!!!

    • I agree with Shannon!

    • Dolly Levi

      From memory Sarah did it as a 7 day experiment for her Sunday Life Column based on David Gillespie’s book; ‘Sweet Poison’.

    • Lauren Raso

      Many Dr’s don’t understand the process of the disease for Hashi’s, and have little nutrition education, additionally they are trained to prescribe.

  • Shelly

    Thanks Sarah, that sums it up! I gave up sugar last April as I embarked on the AIP (AutoImmune Protocol Diet) then transitioned to Paleo in October. I am so passionate about being sugar free I fear I can be a bit tedious to all my friends now!!! Have you tried the AIP Diet? It would be great for you to blog about it to raise the awareness for Thyroid month.

    • Shelly

      Thank you for bringing the discussion of ‘SUGAR’ to the mainstream table. It is finally being recognized and discussed across many disciplines and no longer thought of as a fringe dweller fad. The message is getting out!! I was so excited when I saw your article ‘Sugar Free Xmas’ in a mainstream magazine. It’s not just us AI folk who need to quite sugar. It’s our kids, our parents, our neighbors, our supermarkets, our schools. Many friends still are skeptical but there is a groundswell of support out there. Your book made it in the top three requested at my library – It was a heart warming moment when I read that. You are a marketing genius!

      • Shelly

        and just a little more…. For anyone who thinks that giving up sugar is inconvenient… I say having Hashimotos is actually quite inconvenient, having a job is most inconvenient, even my kids are sometimes inconvenient …but changing my diet for optimal health, well, like my kids, it is worth it!

    • I haven’t tried it strictly but I follow a lot of the principles…a bit hard given my gig to be toooooo strict.

    • Vasiliki Didaskalou

      Do you have a link to the AutoImmune Protocol diet? I am thinking it may not be right to refer to it in public so please send me a private email if that is easy for you. Ps. was it difficult to follow?

  • Dani

    Hi Sarah, great article!! Just don’t quite understand how eating sugar triggers a spike in cortisol levels. I didn’t get the link in your article.

    • Yeah, it’s complicated..taken me a while to get my head around it. Keep researching. Dont just take my word for it!

      • Mary

        Sarah, what about gluten. Does this affect insulin levels? Also, I suppose we should cut out fruit from our diet as certain fruits can spike insulin levels.

      • Carmen

        Your article is very interesting! I have bee diagnosed with Hashimotos 8 years ago and been struggling with it since. My thyroxin pills were upgraded 3 times already. I quit sugar 124 days ago and it did wonderful things for me. I lost 15 pounds and my skin and hair looks so much better. Only I have not gotten my Energy back and I just had to upgrade my thyroxin pills again. I am under a lot of stress at work and know I need to work on that. I just started the Paleo diet and hope it will increase my health.

        • Terri

          Some of the tired could come from your adrenals. My Thyroxine was upped and upped High dose 200. Still felt like crap. Low sugar and grain diet. Felt Terrible.. Went to a naturapath homeopath. She came up with adrenal fatigue. Taking some support for that and my thyroxine is being dropped slowly.

    • Renee

      Hi Dani,
      It doesn’t. Eating sugar suppresses cortisol levels.

      • Dawn

        I was reading a study which said eating increases your cortisol levels. I am adrenally insuffient and I am not aware that carbohydrates and sugars suppress cortisol? I shall have to research 🙂

    • Dawn

      Eating always increases cortisol no matter what you eat.

  • Corrina Tough

    Can you just come live with me for 6mts and help me get back on track? I am a wreck, exhausted, don’t sleep, can’t lose weight, hair falling out………. list goes on have had lots of blood tests and everything has come up normal- except for my liver function- feel very overwhelmed with my health and am raising kids, husband etc making diet changes more difficult One child is gluten/dairy intolerant so always focus on him and his needs. Sorry for ranting just over myself if that makes sense! A really good read! I love your posts you seem to do a lot of research and have had to for yourself so thanks for sharing xx Corrina Tough

    • Oh you poor thing!! I really do feel for anyone with this disease and also juggling kids…it’s kind of why I wrtie up this stuff…to help those who don’t have the resources I do. What about taking gluten out of your whole family’s diet? Easier that way. Don’t tell them you’re doing it…just starting cooking diff stuff. AND BE KIND TO YOURSELF. EVen if just for 5 minutes each

    • Serena ‘Debbie Orcutt’ Lembach

      I like what Sarah wrote. I have been feeling much better since I dropped gluten entirely from my diet. I was having heart arrythmias, which would keep me awake all night and leave me shot for a couple of days.) and that seem to do the trick. Always tired..bad sleep cycles,.
      .Drs. never suggested dropping gluten. They kept doing tests (expensive) and told me there was nothing wrong with my heart or valves..Next step; sugar..

    • Gi from Brisbane

      Corrina have you had a liver biopsy? Do they think it could be Autoimmune hepatitis at all? I felt very tired and my joints were sore, took doctors over a year to diagnose me with AI hepatitis when it was staring them straight in the face from my bloodwork! Hope you feel better soon x

  • ely

    Hi Sarah. Great blog. I too am in the hashi’s boat. It sucks.
    I have a question, when you decided to make dietary changes, did you get a food intolerance test? Is this something you would recommend? My antibodies were up over 1000 and my dr said I can’t change this. I want to prove him wrong!

    • dirtygirl

      You can so prove him wrong!! My anti-bodies were 1359 in August 2010 and in Nov 2013 am down to 350. I still have a long way to go to be in the normal range but what a difference! It has been a combination of things (including taking thyroxine) but very reduced gluten and sugar in my diet over the last 5 has really helped me along, the doc was so impressed with the results of my latest blood test. You can do it!!

      • Guest

        You can def do it! I was found to have Hashi’s about a year the birth of my first daughter. But that’s what started the ball rolling for me. I found out I had a ovarian cyst the size of a football by the time I had to deliver! It was out 10 days after I had her and then it all was discovered… Been on medication for a few years now and the thyroxine needs to be in your system in order for you levels to be higher so you carry to term. My specialist has told me this. Good levels = smarter babies. I have been told. And I actually think it too. I too changed my diet after the birth of my second and have dropped a huge amount of weight. I always wonder if I have had Hashi’s prior to kids.
        Change your diet and then check your levels again. Then you’ll see a difference 🙂

  • Elena

    Thanks Sarah, in my early 20’s I had all the symptoms & when I went to see a thyriod specailist he basical told me to get lost, for more then a decade I would tell the dr but still nothing even though it would show up in my blood test, it wasnt until my twin sister fell pregnant at 29 & it showed in her blood test that the dr suggest I get a blood test at that stage I was changing dr’s and my current dr took action straight away no ifs or buts. I had blood test every 3 months for a year & Ive got a great natropath. Its going to take a while to heal.
    Hashimoto’s doesnt discriminate with age.
    If you get a bad dr keep finding one until you get the care you deserve, even a thryoid specialist.
    I am 33 now and finding that there is so much more information. Starting to elimate sugar from my diet now

    • Lisa

      Hi Sarah im 15 days in and noticing more anxiety (that flight or fight) feeling although i have cut gluten too. Do you think it has anything to do with the decrease in sugar or reduction in grains? Had flu like symptoms for a few days and the runs but starting to feel more like me despite the wired feeling.

      • ChiaSeed

        Hi Lisa I’m no dietary expert, but in my experience, when I make a big change in my life, e.g. diet, my defence mechanisms kick in and anxiety increases temporarily. I see it as that protective part of me (my inner protector aka my IP aka the primitive part of the brain) freaking out and upping the ante because I might not need her anymore. My IP fears all change and tries to stop me. Thing is, she doesn’t have all the facts so her perspective is skewed. As the change turns out to be a good thing, my IP eventually calms down 🙂 Whatever the cause, I hope you feel better soon.

      • Lauren Raso

        Hi Lisa, symptoms you are experiencing are from removing gluten, because glutenacts as an opiate on the brain!!! So withdrawal symptoms are common.

      • Linsey

        It’s pretty normal to have withdrawal symptoms when going off sugar. I did the first IQS 8 week program back in August (and straight after the 8 weeks found out I have Hashimotos!) and I know my anxiety did go up in the first few weeks, as well as more skin problems and bloating. But once sugar is out of your system, all of that goes away and you feel much much better. I can’t recommend highly enough enrolling in the 8WP. You get all your sticky questions answered by a large number of experts who are monitoring the online forums. Plus there is heaps of support from other sugar quitters. I’m a Uni student so $150 wasn’t cheap for me but it was soooo worth it! Good luck 🙂

      • Hi Lisa, don’t be too alarmed. Many people quitting sugar/carbs get “carb flu” for a bit. Also, I’ve read before (can’t recall where just now) that carb flu very much emulates the symptoms of thyroid disease – in feeling and and at a biological level. Nothing to be alarmed by, but I would suggest going slow (keep eating some solid starches like sweet potato) and respecting the process your body is going through.

      • Paula

        Sugar withdrawls!

    • Yep, I posted a link to a wonderful article in the New Yorker a few months back…the journo mentioned it takes a hashi person, on average, 5 years and 5 doctors to find someone who can actually help.

      • Paula

        I found the GP thought he could treat me with Thyroxine and wouldnt give me a referal to my specialist. I had to push for it. Being sugar free and on thyroxine has done wonders for me. I am almost at my weight when I was married 9 years ago. Cutting sugar out of my diet has done wonders for my waist line and health. Everything is linked… Hashi’s to falling pregnant/miscarriage, weight gain/loss…

  • Daniel L

    Thank you for your great blog Sarah. Every single article that you wrote is wonderful… I used to be sugary carb addict in the past too and I can fully appreciate the benefits since I quit with sugar…

    Now, I am very addicted to your blog and I feel great 🙂 …

    This blog and other things that you publish, are real cornucopia of many fantastic ideas and great inspiration for many, about better and more beautiful life… I love your work !

    “…because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do” SJ

  • SharlzG

    As an addition to the no sugar debate, there is a lot of research on the affect of sugar on cancer which suggests that cancer cells actually feed on sugar and suggesting that the most important response to s diagnosis of cancer is to remove sugar from your diet. unfortunately the pharmaceutical are trying to dispute this so the message is not being passed on which leaves it to regular everyday people like yourself to find these things out on their own and try to spread the message in an attempt to help others through what they’ve been through. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • Holly

      I don’t have cancer but a year ago was diagnosed with mild/ moderate cervical abnormalities (pre-cancers). I started overhauling my diet and have been following IQS for the last 6 months. I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve been OK with it. Yesterday I found out the abnormalities have regressed to the lowest level and I no longer need surgery. I’m so thrilled, and am certain it comes down to improved nutrition. Sarah, I can’t thank you enough for the IQS programme and your work in this area – you’re a great person 🙂 Alison xx

      • Sara

        Alison, firstly that’s great news that your precancerous cells have gone – please know I’m certainly not detracting from that. Also congrats on quitting sugar – also know I’m in no way suggesting to get back on it. It can only do you good. I just wanted to point out however that for most women these precancerous cells do disappear without treatment (or diet changes). This is the norm as opposed to the exception. However monitoring these changes is crucial and in some cases medical intervention is required (sugar free diet or not). Sure, diet may have assisted but I just like to be clear on these things as I’ve had a friend who decided that she could cure herself rather than see her doctor and it lead to not great results (she’s fine but could have saved herself a lot of unnecessary pain). Stories of triumph over cancer are great but be sure to tell any friends that they should still see their doctor even if they quit sugar and that the cells not disappearing is not a failure on their part 🙂

        • Holly

          Hello and sorry to hear that your friend went through unnecessary pain. Yep completely agree that monitoring is crucial, and I’d definitely advise anyone with cervical cell changes to be vigilant about that, regardless of any other steps she might be taking. Good point. Very best wishes to anyone dealing with this at the moment. xx

          • Sara

            Thanks Alison. I’ve been through it too and it isn’t fun, even if it regresses by itself. Sounds like your plan of action is the best possible one – all the best for your continued good health!

  • Hi Sarah, love your blog and your work.

    I think the confusion about cortisol and sugar lies in the following,

    “we’re programmed to see low blood sugar as a threat to survival. Thus our adrenal glands respond by secreting cortisol. Problem is, if cortisol is over-used ‘n’ abused (from eating sugar daily), this all suppresses pituitary function”

    This indicates that when blood sugar drops (not rises) our adrenals are taxed, releasing excess cortisol over the longterm. Can you clarify how excess dietary sugar causes cortisol release?

    Keep up the great work.

    • Ebs

      Doesn’t your blood sugar drop after consuming too much sugar?

  • Ebony

    It’s also important to remove Gluten and Dairy when recovering from Hashimoto’s. I would also recommend seeing a Naturopath that is experienced treating this disease. I went around several Dr’s and Endocrinologists and none of them had any idea of how to treat this to the point where their misinformation was extremely detrimental to my health. There is also a FB group called “Hashimoto’s Australia” where you will find others recovering from this and get lots of advice and help.

  • mw

    Great, informative read. Particularly like the reference to being chased by a tiger as a “special occasion.”

  • Amber Viejo Cambridge

    Do you cut out all sugars…maple syrup, raw honey, fruit, coconut water? What about fermented foods like kombucha?

    • Yep – for the 8 weeks, then introduce a bit of fruit back in. Coconut water is fine on the program. And fermented foods are fantastic, but fermented drinks that use sugar as the fermenting agent…I suggest these after the 8WP…and stick to other ferments that use salt and whey during the quit process

      • Cassie

        Hi Sarah

        I’ve actually been meaning to ask about kombucha and other foods fermented with sugar. I’m really getting into fermenting at the moment. I did the 8 week program back in August. I’ve been drinking kombucha daily plus also made a lacto fermented chutney last week that had pineapple paw paw and sugar in it. Do you know if all the sugar is fermented out or does it leave residual amounts? I don’t want to mess up all the good work I’ve done eating and drinking these sugar fermented foods if they’re still full of sugar! Any advice would be appreciated. I’ve also signed up for the next program because I loved the first one so much. I’m looking forward to someone else telling me what to cook for 8 weeks 🙂

  • Penny

    I lived in Japan for 12 months and couldn’t get over the lack of sugar in their diet. I believe it is indoctrinated deliberately from childhood.

    I ate fresh Japanese school lunches every day, which were cooked on site at each school. There were never any sweets – except for a teeny sachet of jam once a month with bread.

    All the kids ate everything served to them for lunch – there were no allergies, no special dietary requirements. number of people who explicitly displayed disgust for sweet foods. I took over a number of Tim Tams, chocolates, biscuits etc, as gifts, but found they often sat uneaten.

    As such, the kids all develop their stomachs – their bioreactors, if you like….and cultivate their taste buds. Once they are teens/young adults and free to make their own food choices, they continue to reject sugar….simply because they do not like the taste. It is not an addiction they fight.

    • Sara

      Very interesting Penny! Someone turning down a Tim Tam because they don’t like the taste is a first and surely something to learn from!

  • Nyree

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos earlier this year. I’d been feeling strange for a while – eye sight going, head aches, dry skin and hair, itchy face, itchy inner ear and I have become a complete anxious idiot, etc, etc. Reading your blog and other peoples comments reminds me I am not going insane!

    Tomorrow I am starting your 8 week program… Wish me luck!
    Love your work!

  • Francesca

    I was diagnosed with hashimotos last year, and it’s been pretty crazy… I’ve toyed around with cutting out gluten, dairy, and sugar but never for very long. I really want to fully change my diet to help heal my thyroid and my gut, but seeing as I just started college and have a meal plan, it’s a real challenge to find things that I can actually eat =(

    Good luck to all in the process of trying to change their lives!!!!

  • Ash

    Hi Sarah,
    I have recently discovered your blog.
    I’m 21 and I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease early in 2010. I have been using medication, and even went off it for a year before my symptoms came back.
    I really want to avoid the radioactive iodine.
    I also suspect that I have some seriously out of whack hormones.

    I was wondering, everything that you write, does it also apply to people with hyperactive thyroids?

    Thankyou, Ash

    • Hi Ash, it sure does. Graves is seen by many as being on the spectrum of hashimotos. And many bounce back and forth. I healed my Graves with a no-sugar, no gluten etc diet for 5 months when I was 21.

  • Cheryl Malandrinos

    Wow! This is really fascinating. I started following your blog a week or so ago, but as someone who has a sister with Grave’s Disease, this post really caught my eye. Thanks.

  • Alanna

    Im 22 and have been suffering constant health problems for about 15 years. It always seemed like once i got one problem under control another one popped up from constant sickness, IBS and more recently arthritis. Doctors seem to either dismiss me or treat my systems but aren’t really concerned with what May be causing this constant chain of illness. I started reading your blogs and IQS a few weeks ago and it was just like reading about myself. It was so good to finally feel that i wasnt imagining all my symptoms & that there was a way to start feeling better. A homeopath was the first person to suggest that all the problems could be linked and that i should cut out sugar and a few other trigger foods. These seem to be helping but i still cant actually get a specific diagnosis. Just wondering if anyone can suggest any type of specialist that may be able to actually give me a diagnosis?


    • Serena ‘Debbie Orcutt’ Lembach

      Your symptoms sound like mine when I was your age. They told me I had Krohns disease and put me on cortisone, which really screwed up my body. Drop sugar and wheat and see if you feel better..(for me, the real culprit turned out to be wheat, but Drs. never found out the correct diagnosis, and I want as little meds as possible).Look up Celiac Disease,,you may well see your symptoms. Arthritis society also says to drop wheat and dairy,.

      • Alanna

        Thankyou both so much wheat has been something that I have noticed has a negative affect on me if I have too much. Serena I have the same view on the medications I currently have a doctor that has put me on medication just to see if it works because he really isn’t sure what’s wrong…Thankyou Lauren I might just do that 🙂

    • Lauren Raso

      Hi Alanna, I would love to help you out. I am a physiologist & nutritionist. I have also traversed a path of disease and illness from IBS, asthma, allergies, eczema, food intolerances, depression, anxiety, adrenal fatigue and more. I would love to connect and find out what has been going on for you, I’m at [email protected] xx

  • Lee Davy

    Hi Sarah,

    I decided to quit sugar after reading “Fat Chance’ by Robert Lustig.

    It was a great book because it really made me see that sugar offers zero benefits (with the terrible exception that it tastes so damn nice).

    I hope others can also use this book to help them because it really helps you to associate a lot of ‘pain’ towards sugar instead of the usual ‘pleasure’.

    Keep up the good work

    Lee Davy

  • Megan

    This is amazing. I have been tiptoeing around the idea of finally quitting sugar for a while now. I also am an #autoimmunewarrior with Hashis (among others..) and bought your e-book 2 days ago. This was spurred on after watching Gabby Bernsteins journey to quit sugar too. I already eat paleo and very clean to begin with. As you said about yourself in your ebook, I hardly have any sugars as it is but I certainly have room to go and a few ‘crutch’ items I still lean on. This post has inspired me to finally kick it. THANK YOU.

  • Meg

    Thanks for another great post, Sarah. I second everything you have said. I also have hashimotos and have been battling with it for over 16 years. Last year I started clean eating – no gluten, barely any sugar or dairy, and nothing processed. I also made sure I cut back on unnecessary ‘busy-ness’ and spent a bit more time resting and taking care of myself.
    It has made such a difference! My energy levels & mood picked up, I was able to lose 10kgs and that grey look to my skin is gone. The best bit was when my hairdresser asked me recently what I had changed in my life in the last 12 months as I had all this beautiful hair regrowth!

  • Renee

    May I correct a few medical misunderstandings? I think it’s great to encourage people to eat healthily and be empowered to take control of their health. I’m sure a diet that’s low on refined sugars is good for everyone! (Though as I munch on my cadburys it’s probably more a case of wishful thinking for me).
    However, I’ve never come across good evidence that suggests that denying yourself sugar will cure an autoimmune disease. Unfortunately the medical reasoning given here is wrong. The pituitary is more sophisticated than Sarah gives it credit for – if your cortisol is getting too high it receives a signal, and switches off just cortisol production. Thyroid hormone production is mostly independent of cortisol and has its own negative feedback system in the pituitary.
    As Sarah already pointed out, cortisol is in fact stimulated by low blood sugar levels. Denying yourself dietary sugar makes it more likely that cortisol production will be switched on. Keep in mind that cortisol is also the natural version of prednisone (the tablet that is given to control many autoimmune diseases), so cortisol isn’t all bad.

    • Lauren Raso

      Hi Renee, you are correct in that cortisol is not bad, it is essential for our existence. But as in the right circumstance it is essential; in others it is damaging.
      Sugar produces advanced glycation end products which are implicated in almost all neolithic disease and aging.
      Also if you become a successful fat-burner, not a sugar/carb-burner like most of the world; you by pass the cortisol switch on you mention here.

      • Monkeyfish

        But there is still absolutely zero evidence that any dietary change will reverse or cure autoimmune disease. It’s wishful thinking, much like saying dietary changes can regrow a limb you’ve had amputated.

        I wish someone had told me that when I first began my Hashimotos journey. I wish I had aimed for wellness, instead of a cure. That would have spared me a lot of unnecessary stress from hoping for something that was never going to happen. I don’t think people like you realize the damage you do when you offer false hope.

        • Lauren Raso

          I would appreciate not being thrown out with the bath water, when you say people like you. You don’t know what I do in my practice or what I have been through in my health.

          I never said diet is key, it is important but it is not key in disease, obesity or auto-immune! When (if) the world grasps this we will be slowly heading in the right direction! But not until then!!!
          Many practitioners focus solely on diet. I do not. In the world we live in now, diet plays lesser role than ever. But many find it hard to understand or wrap their head around that, because media and dogma has made them believe the food they eat is the key to health.

          • Monkeyfish

            So your’e a different Lauren Raso that said, above, that Hashimotos could be cured?

  • Gemma

    Hi Sarah, does this also apply to an over active thyroid? I had some blood tests done after a recent miscarriage and the dr told me all was fine but when my naturopath had a look she said that just because they are in normal range doesn’t mean they are fine. My TSH is 0.57 so only Just in the range so I am told…
    I am now determined to get to the bottom of this and have managed to fall pregnant again (very early) but I have a strong feeling it will not progress as I have started spotting…. I had an uncomplicated first pregnancy with my little boy is is now 18 months old… I can’t help but think its my thyroid causing all these issues… I’m hoping the program will help me get my body back into a more normal range ….

    • Paula

      My specialist has clearly told me that I lost my 2nd pregnancy due to not having enough thyroxine in my system. I am not sure if I had Hashi’s prior to my first pregnancy but the Dr thinks so. I had a few issues after my first which brought to light that I even had Hashi’s. He has said it appears after the birth of a child (to the mother) and the health system should put in place a simple test to test all new mums to pick up on it.
      Diet has def helped me. I would look into this further if I were you Gemma. I would agree with you 100% that it is your thyroid that is leading to miscarriage.

  • Corinne

    Great info, but please drop the “Bleeped out” Potty mouth. It detracts from your writing and makes me apprehensive to share your posts with my 70 yr old mother who has thyroid issues…

    • Thyroid girl

      Totally agree. The swearing completely detracts from an otherwise interesting article

  • Turbo

    It is good to finally find an Australian source talking about Hashimoto’s disease. Like many of the other respondents – I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 14 years ago and suffered with a range of problems for many years before that. It wasn’t until I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s – look up ‘myxedema/myxoedema madness’ to see how low I was. I keep dreaming of a day when I might feel ‘great’ again. Sometimes I can accept that this is as good as it gets for me from now on, other times I return to the bookshops, blogs and other sources to expand my ‘self-help’ book collection. The latest additions are the diets that might work for me. The only winners seem to be the publishers.

    I have been trying to quit sugar for years. The last holdout has been tea. Strong good quality black tea, a little milk and 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar. I used to drink copious quantities of the stuff. Finally, I have been off of it for two weeks now replacing it with green tea. I feel a lot better! As much as I miss my morning cuppa, I won’t be going back to it.

    • Lauren Raso

      Turbo, congratulations on your progress and continuing to ask questions and aim for better. Would love to connect and learn more. If that is something that interests you, pop over to my site (my name).

  • Tiff

    1year on gaps diet and sugar n grain free and my thyroid antibodies r normal 🙂 1 month off thyroid medicine n I’m going well so far, fingers crossed!

  • Jo

    Well written Sarah. I’ve got stinkin’ Hashimotos. Now just need to quit the stuff ….

  • Feliss

    Thank you 1000 times, Sarah, for your blog. I won’t go into detail but you have helped me so very much, as you have so many others.

    I have recently been re-reading a book by Lelord Kordel published in 1950 called “Health Through Nutrition”. Kordel was a Polish- American nutritionist with a background in biochemistry and basically he wrote about the same kind of issues we’re discussing here: how we are stuffing up our bodies by eating too much sugar and crappy stuff (and actually just eating too much), being too sedentary and allowing ourselves to experience too much “nervous tension”.

    So we knew it them – or at least the info was out there.

  • Kath Tonkin

    Hey Sarah, thanks for this post and all that you have shared so far. I first heard of you when I found out I had Hashis and did a google search. I then did a quitting sugar search when I thought it might be a good idea and you popped up again and I was happy to think it might help my Hashis too. I lapsed a bit over Xmas and am now trying to get back on track. It’s made more difficult for me as I look after my elderly mother in her house so there are always chocolates and icecream around. I gave up initially when she was in respite care and I went away for a week.
    I was wondering if you had done any research in genetics. Specifically MTHFR gene. Look up MTHFR net and you may find some more interesting info on why these things affect some people more than others.i am doing the basic protocol while waiting for my genetic results from 23&me. It’s $100 for a fairly comprehensive profile (plus $75 for postage in Australia)
    Thanks for sharing all you have found so far.

  • Lauren Raso

    When I work with people with Hashi’s we also focus on diet, but glutathione also, dairy too, and sleep is huge!
    It is dynamic and changing disease. There is progress and it is possible to reduce symptoms.

  • Gi from Brisbane

    Sarah, thank you thank you thank you!

    I too have an autoimmune disease (Autoimmune Hepatitis) and have very recently tried to quit/very very heavily cut down on sugar. I can tell you right now, not only have my energy levels stabilized (no more slumps) but they’ve also increased as well!

    I was scared to cut sugar, thinking I would experience an all time energy low because of no more sugar hits, but it was the EXACT OPPOSITE; even the first day I felt better. I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner, it’s obviously been causing problems for me. I am so thankful I did this for myself and am overcoming the fatigue that comes with the dreaded steroids.

    To anyone reading this comment of post with an autoimmune illness, I do urge you to at least try cut down your sugar intake to see how you feel.

    Thanks Sarah! Keep writing, it’s a pleasure to read your thoughts on AI and how you cope.

  • victoria

    Hi Sarah, I’ve only just begun researching this but I am finding a lot of exciting things about the benefits of resistant starch for gut health, might be worth looking into?

  • Michelle

    Hey Sarah and ladies … I just love hearing how you are all taking charge of your own health 🙂 We are all on a journey so blogs like this gives everyone who is suffering …Hope… 🙂 and hope is the last thing to die 🙂 xx

  • Kay

    Hi Sarah, I have a question about iodine and hashimoto’s. I thought that people with hashi’s were supposed to avoid it – does that mean they should largely avoid fish and seafood? Thamks

  • beehivehoney

    Hi I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease at 18 years old. I am now 40. I am scared to death to quit sugar! I know that this and regular yoga would benefit me and maybe even change my life. I am still scared to death. The very thought of it really screams NO! Any help there?

    • Beanjelly

      My daughter was diagnosed with Graves when she was 18 tried all medications . They could not get her levels right, so she had her thyroid removed. She has since found out that her thyroid medication was not being absorbed properly because she is celiac. We have follow Sarah advice and love her books. My daughters health has improved and she is working everyday now. You can only try, can’t do any harm. As soon as she goes of the healthy diet, and has any sugar she says it makes her feel crazy and unwell physically with inflammation.

  • Lidice Lehtola

    Dear Sarah,
    I am on a 2nd week of your program and loving it! My hubby is on the 3rd 🙂 he was diagnosed with a AID 4 years ago and sugar was never mentioned to us until I saw your book and article @ GOOD magazine, in NZ. As we tried different diets, none of them seam to make sense, until yours! So, I bought your book and we’re enjoying every page, every recipe!
    Thank you for doing what you are! Passing all this along and inspiring and helping so many!
    Quick questios though: our daughter is 15 and she is also doing the program with us and feeling great, but our 12 year old “loves” sugar!!!! Any tips in how can I help him quit it too?
    Many thanks and wish you a life of happiness and success! Namaste, Lidice

    • feliss

      Hi Lidice,
      I have two 18-year-old sons and worry that they eat too much sugar and wheat.
      The best advice given to me comes from my naturopath who is an old school friend, a former investment banker and, most importantly, the mother of a young adult son. She told me not to worry too much but just to keep on doing what works for you and providing healthy meals.
      She said it takes a while for young men to take on the responsibility for what they eat and how it affects their health but, given the right environment, they usually do.

  • Sarah

    Hi Sarah, my sister and I have found your website by accident at the same time … I was researching earthing and she was looking at your AI information. I have had Hashimoto’s for 13 years and continued to push myself until I became really sick and was diagnosed with POTs syndrome (an orthostatic intolerance disorder). Many people with thyroid problems also have POTs syndrome and do not know about it. Most GP’s and specialists are not familiar with it and people go undiagnosed and can become so sick they can’t get out of bed. I am going to try your IQS diet and hope that I will be able to function at 50%. Thank you for offering hope and support for people with AI conditions.

  • Katrina Myers

    Hi Sarah, thanks so much for your blog, it’s been really useful this week as I’ve been researching AI diets. I have coeliacs disease and now it looks like I have developed Graves’ disease during the pregnancy of my second daughter. Help to know that others are also wading through the nightmare of diagnosis and treatment in a world where drs wont ackowledge that diet influences health!!

    I’m interested in whether anyone has tried the AI protocol diet vs the no grain, sugar dairy diet? Dropping eggs, dark chocolate and nuts and seeds sounds like torture. I’m breast feeding as well so need to make sure I don’t jeopardise milk supply.

    I also have a MTHFR gene mutation, which can contribute to thyroid problems, a naturopath can test for it using Healthscope functional pathology. It’s just a matter of supplementing to enhance methylation, on top of lifestyle changes you already recommend. Thought I should mention this as it may be your missing 20% 😉

  • Nancy

    Hi Sarah, for 2 years now I have been in denial about my Hashimoto’s, I made excuses as to why I was so tired, fatigued and overall why my lapse in memory or my hair falling out had to do with other factors but NOT hashimoto’s. I was convinced there was nothing wrong with me and off I continued, eating my sugar drenched cereal or drinking my cups of tea with 5 teaspoons of sugar and atray iof biscuits. The doctors weren’t convinced anything was wrong because I deal with anxiety and OCD and although I had gained 5 kg’s in two years, when I never used to gain weight at all, the amount of hair loss and overall tiredness caught up on me. Then on New YEars even, 3 weeks ago i did a bit of research, I read your site, I read what you had gone through and I bought the book with the recipes and guide. It became VERY clear to me what needed to be done, I needed, my thyroid needed and my body needed me to quit sugar. The first three weeks has been exhausting, I cried a few times when I had to pass on the maple syrup and having no banana and nutella on toast for breakfast. But I have already started feeling better, come 3pm, I am not slumping, my eyes aren’t as puffy and I’m not losing as much hair as I was before. Just have two words which I can express very clearly to you. Thank. You.

  • Dominique

    I’m so excited I’ve found this blog. I’m 27 and have battled my whole life seeing doctors who still cannot diagnose me. I pretty much just pick up viruses every 4-6 weeks. I find out tomorrow if I have glandular fever for the second time and I am pretty positive I have some form of Adrenal Fatigue, but doctors don’t really recognise this. My mum also has Addison’s Disease and was 7 months pregnant with me when she was finally diagnosed. I think this might have something to do with my health issues. Anyway I am so excited to be here and get started on a path to good health. Thanks for all the wise words and inspiration xxxx

  • disqus_4RkHDqkSpW

    I have AI disorder Alopecia Areata,,over the past 2 years my hair has been falling out. It has grown back and last year started falling out again. Sarah do you have info relating to AA specifically regarding quitting sugar? Can any other readers relate to this? Thanks

  • Ava

    Sarah just wondering your thoughts on post partum thyroiditis- which I had, which caused the inflammation leading to hashimotos as i didnt recover to normal thyroxine levels- my endocrinologist describes it as most of my thyroid has died due to the inflammation and I am on 100mg thyroxine indefinitely (srable for 3 years). Have you read anything about thyroid repair via diet for post partum -hashimotos? Assuming the stress of sugar didn’t cause my hashimotos but a pregnancy? I know that’s quite specific but maybe you have come across info somewhere?
    Will start the diet changes anyway, but I don’t know whether there’s a hope for my thyroid. I’m 30 with 3 kids.
    With thanks

  • Lexy

    Hi Sarah,
    I hope this question isnt too intrusive, i’m simply asking out of curiosity. Why do you take thyroxine over armor? Is there a particular reason for this? I have armor so much more effective for hashi’s. Lexy xx

  • Enlightened

    Is Xylitol ok? What else do you use to sweeten things as a sugar substitute?

  • Caroline

    Don’t know if this is the place to ask this but I’m feeling very confused and at a loss at what I should be doing with my diet. I have hashimotos, PCOS, high uric acid ( though never had gout), leaky gut and over production of acid in the stomach. From various Drs, naturopaths, Chinese medicine professionals I have been advised not to eat/ restrict protein, legumes, nightshades, bananas, gluten, dairy, sugar, grains, capsicum, eggs, all nuts except macadamias and pecans, shellfish, lentils, all raw foods and that any food I do have should be slow cooked. All the advise I have been given make logical sense as to why I should avoid them but I’m left going what can I eat and left feeling confused and dishearten on how I can possibly do this and have any sort of social life, I’m also breast feeding so concerned about doing such an extreme diet. Does anyone have the same issues? If so what have you done with your diet/ what’s helped? Would welcome any suggestions/ support. Thanks in advance, Caroline

  • Janette

    Hi Sarah I am excited to begin ‘I quit sugar’. I suffer from Coeliac’s disease and was diagnosed 13 years ago, however I have been suffering from my symptoms all my life. In my late teens a naturopath took me off sugar and yeast and I have never felt so awesome in all my life! But I didn’t keep it up. A strict gluten free diet keeps me well enough but I have no energy and never have so when my daughter bought your book I started reading up on it all and I am convinced this is for me. However one question – my daughter is 19, an elite athlete and has been following your book for a month now. She looks great BUT is suffering from blackouts and light-headedness. I have looked on all your sites and information and can’t find out if she should be taking her amount of training into account and alter her sugar intake slightly. I am worried about her wellness and safety atm. Any advice would be great!

  • Shannon Stirone

    Hi Sarah, I am curious do you have a list of food that you just don’t eat? Do you follow Paleo or Gaps aside from being sugar free? I am excited to buy your book but am feeling worried about the practicality of eliminating so many foods. Thank you for your blog, it is hopeful to know that someone with Hashimotos has been able to feel so much better.
    Shannon – California

  • Jamie Schull

    I wonder what affect this would have on healing the ai attack for a type one diabetic. My 9 year old son has been type one for 8 years now.

  • lara

    Sarah, from age seven to sixteen I had an autoimmune disease called ITP (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura) which is a blood illness that affects your ability to clot and heal (essentially the immune system attacks its own platelets mistakenly and thus bleeding becomes an issue). The Western hospital system was amazing and was necessary but my mother being an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner had her own views which they were simply adverse to hearing. This meant we spent years with alternative therapies, many of which were great but slow processes which didn’t always get to the root of the ‘idiopathic’ problem. Not knowing the cause is the most stressful part especially from month to month having platelet count successes and too many disappointments- or dangers for eg. when levels got to 1 (350 for a normal person) or when I had accidents like breaking my arm or simply leaning on the wall and I had a blue bruise all over my face or brushing teeth and having to spit lumps of blood.

    I believe that certain herbal medicines I took slowly cured me- a batch made specially in America raised my levels slowly from my chronic illness. I also believe it was a range of other things including the rowing training I began to do so rigorously after years of inactivity due to danger (this was particularly frightening for my mum to watch and my determination to get off the steroid chub and to feel ‘free’ and in control at about 14 was highly proactive) which helped me sweat any toxins or issues out. In adjacent I finally realised my dietary health as I matured and got so surprisingly successful with my sport- (and no accidents the whole time- phew). My mum always wanted me to eat organic and super clean and healthy and avoid sugars, wheat and yeasts etc but as a child I of course opposed this idea- craving horrible amounts of bread and sugars (I partly blame the medicines I had to take). As I matured and did more elite training I chose to eat healthy, lost all the chub (and a bit more) and my platelets rose gradually over years to the point where my blood specialist said, ”Lara, you are in remission. Though It’s been a pleasure for all these years, I’m so so glad- that I simply don’t need to see you anymore from now I hope”.

    At that time I was eating so little sugar to accompany my training and I really believe that sugar was only feeding the cause of my illness. Helping it exist (whether it began as a virus or external complication that triggered my autoimmune response or not). So, another testament to no sugar. Recently after a few years of normal levels but moments of forgetting my journey – forgetting the sensitivity of my body to food (and a subsequent life long dodgy immune system) I have been off the band wagon with my health sadly. But last year I read all your books and I remembered that us autoimmune sufferers simply need to follow a sensitive, mindful life to keep on track. I don’t hate my body anymore for failing me- I love it for its strength now and for what i’ve learnt through that journey so young just a few years ago. I quit sugar last June and never felt better after the initial withdrawal. I realized my addiction was controlling my mind and that irritated me. Now, in 2014, I’m less obsessive with the program and try fruit again and believe I can, and need to chose this as a life path. No regrets, only thanks

    Thanks Sarah

    Lara B X
    19 years old. Uni student

  • Melissa Martino

    Hi Sarah I just purchased your latest book and I’m loving it ! Unfortunately I had my thyroid removed due to mulitnodules but I’m still going to follow your advice because I feel like crap even with my thyroxin. Wish me luck 🙂

  • amy

    Sarah, I loved this post. I can’t explain to you how much my life has change since I’ve changed my eating habits. I had my son in June 2012, nursed him until the fall when he started weaning and noticed a HUGE increase in symptoms and I was miserable. I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be. I got on medication but I wasn’t feeling great, I actually tried something called, Greens and it curbed all my cravings for sugar that I immediately changed my way of thinking about food AND also cut it out. I can’t say I’m 100% sugar free but from where I was, it’s life changing. My body isn’t aching all the time and both my family and I are much happier (oh man was I CRANKY!!) I would love to send you some to try if you’d like. It’s a whole food supplement full of veggies and fruits and I am so passionate about how it changed my life, I’d love to share it with anyone else with Hasi’s.

  • Lisa

    That was such a great read Sarah – thanks so much for sharing!! I only recently found out that I have hashimotos after struggling for years with feeling more than exhausted all the time. After telling my doctor I was tired all the time, her response was “everyone’s tired. Just change your life style” – and she didn’t even ask me anything about my lifestyle! After feeling like I was banging my head against a brick wall, I came across a great doctor and your website. I’m doing the 8 week program and loving it!!! Thank you!!!!

  • Megan

    Sarah!! I need your help. I’ve been dealing with gut/bowel issues for over a 2 years now – still not completely resolved. We’re not sure if it’s IBS or just intolerences to a number of foods. I’ve gone paleo and low sugar for a while now, which helps a lot. But I’ve lost too much weight and need to gain (plus I might have some thyroid issues as i’m not gaining very quickly). My nutritionist wants me to increase my calorie intake, and i’ve been making energy bars and balls using dates. I still only eat about 1 serving of fruit a day altogether but dates are so high in sugar. My bowel is really inflamed at the moment – swollen and painful. I’ve been reading up on your website a lot lately and it’s such a eye opener! Do you have any advice as to my sugar intake and how it might be affecting my gut/bowel?

  • Annie

    Does anyone have experience with Scleroderma (My main AI disease)?
    Has this helped you?

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  • Martin H

    I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia 20 years ago, Turned out to be my Thyroid masking the problem and ultimately hashimoto disease. Long story short, I eliminated all refined sugar and balanced my diet out with selinium an a few other goodies to turn the problem around. Concentrating on selinium and iodine was the key for me. Lumps on the thyroid have started to disappear and hormone at a normal level, Not to mention the loss of weight and a more normal existance.

  • Martin Hammelmann

    My previous post under Martin H. Combined with regular exercise my excess weight dropped some 10 kg. Even doing excess exercise and reducing food intake will not drop weight if you have an unhealthy thyroid. Since the thyroid regulates what the body actually does and can be broken down into T3. T4 and TSH levels. This is the key. Brazil nuts are so good for you as they help produce T3. The brazil nuts hold the highest level of natural forming selinium . Along with a healthy amount of iodine from foods such as fish and eggs plus a good liver detox I found that I didn’t need my thyroid taken out after all. I defied the surgeons advice. So far I am winning and others can too. Cutting out all dairy, red meat and milk products is my next step.

  • Virginie

    Hello Sarah, I too have Hashimoto and struggle with different symptoms. I have been diagnosed last year and I am trying to find things that work for me on top of my compound meds. I read lots of different things but a lot of them come back to point A which is heal your guts! A lot of people advise a paleo diet, no grains, no dairy, no soy and of course no sugar. My question is: on top of the no sugar diet that you have, do you also have eliminated grains, dairy and soy?

    • Virginie

      I have another question. Have you dropped all kind of sugar or natural sugar such as honey, maple, stevia or especially (the best) Agave?

  • amy

    Hi Sarah, I’m sorry if I’ve missed this in a post elsewhere but I can’t seem to find it.. Does the sugar in coconut water cause an insulin spike? And is it to be avoided when going cold turkey? Thanks

  • lifelover

    interesting, they came to the conclussion that my thryoid CAUSED my dibities and loosing weight has been so hard, thank you for this

  • sharon

    wow makes perfect sense to me especially the leaky gut thing, which I have felt I have for some time.

  • chenke

    Great article! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • noran

    what do you mean exactly by no sugar? u mean white sugar or fruits included too? thanks

  • Jessica Gonzalez

    Thank you, for this information! !!

  • gina

    Even “natural” sugars in raw fruits?

  • Kimberely

    Thank you so much for this article. You essentially encapsulated all that I have struggled with much of my life. But never realized it was thyroid – until finally diagnosed this year with Hashi’s and adrenal insufficiency. I’ve gone off sugar before, but now more than ever I see clearly the connection to this issue.

  • Because_Me

    I wish it was this “easy” for all of us. I quit sugar, gluten and most processed foods and am still suffering. Diet is a HUGE part of dealing with autoimmune disease but sometimes you really do need a good doctor and medical intervention. I am glad this works for many though.

  • alevi7

    Hi Sarah – I’m interested to know what the minimal amount of thyroxine is? At the moment, I have normal T3 and T4 levels but my antibodies are sky high. I’ve been told that I should take minor amounts of thyroxine to deal with this. Thanks.

  • Deston

    I’m 18 yr old guy with Hashimotos hypothyroidism. I’m super active and maintain high grades and try to be active. I weigh 155lbs but I’m tired and I feel like my head is constantly foggy and slowed down. Seeing this kind of gives me hope that I can play sports and not rely on a adrenaline rush to wake up.

  • Stephanie

    By quitting sugar, are you talking about 0 grams or do you manage to certain macros each day like 50 grams or something? I don’t see how you can quite sugar entirely and ever eat out again, since sugar is in just about everything.

  • Darlene Crist

    Did you just cut out sugar or other things ..pasta , bread, potatoes. You know Carbs.

  • ria

    hello i would like to aks if just quitting sugar is effective or if u have to quit gluten as well?also if u quit sugar but eat substitutes such as aspartami it is ok??

  • ria

    forgot to tell i have hashimoto from 10 years old (so the last 20 years) and many many antibodies

  • Jenny

    I agree sugar is not good! I’m assuming you mean white sugar? What about coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey…? Same effect? Are you off those, too? (I have Hashi’s, too).

  • Kirsty

    When you say “quit sugar,” are you referring to refined sugars only. I consume about 3 or 5 tablespoons of raw honey each day in different forms and I’m wondering if this is holding me back from healing. Any thoughts? This is the only “sugar” I consume apart from fruit.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • itsjustme

      Honey, particularly honey derived locally, has many medical wonders attached to it.

  • Delia

    What about artificial sugar? I know it’s a no no for many things, but does it fall into the category of sugar where this is concerned?

  • Dawn

    I believe ‘adrenalin’ is the fight or flight hormone? Which makes me worry about the accuracy of the other comments. Shame I thought it was an awesome article apart from that.
    I know it isn’t a scientific review but a few refs. about where you got the info (time of immune function activity after intake of sugar for example) would be useful.

  • itsjustme

    So what did the author quit?

    White sugar? Refined sugar? Anything with sugar added, even if it was something with honey?

    I thought the consensus was that nobody knows what causes autoimmune diseases. It’s theorized it’s anything from stress to a “who knows why it happens?”

  • suzanne

    When you say you don’t have sugar does that mean no Stevia or Monk fruit either? Or fruit? I am assuming you don’t have honey or maple sugar but curious about fruit. Have you given up fruit too? Thanks!

  • Sandra E.

    I think it’s important to mention (since I have blood sugar issues, hypothyroidism, severe weight gain and gut issues) that “sugar” is not just the granulated thing or a syrupy thing…but many other things like carbs…that our bodies convert into sugar. I think that’s why going sugar free/carb free/gluten free go hand in hand. Carbs and gluten are ultimately processed as sugar by our bodies. I agree, sugar is the ultimate evil for these disease issues.

  • Mary W

    So does quitting sugar actually mean NO sweetener period? Is there any acceptable sugar substitute or are you saying stay away from it all?

  • Janice Hammond Webster

    Do you have to quit all sugars, like fructose in fruit?

  • Jamie

    I’ve been hypo-thyroid since I was 18 (now 48) and was given synthetic replacement which helped minimally. I am so thankful to have information, now. Back in the day, you had to just trust your doctor. Thank you!

  • do you mean ALL sugar? honey? fruit? sweet potatoes? “sugar” is just such a “broad” term. I follow AIP for my Hashi’s, but, struggle with too much fruit or sometimes “honey”.

  • Stephanie Robbins

    When you say you quit sugars do you mean refined sugars or ALL sugars? I guess what I am really asking is do you still eat fruit? I just started on no refined sugar. Giving up fruit is really hard for me. I also have stevia because I heard that doesn’t spike your sugar levels. What do you think?

  • Jennifer McKillip Smith

    I wonder if similar results would appear for those with other AI diseases?

  • Chelsea

    Hi Sarah, I very randomly came across your book and article and what you’ve written is giving me so much hope! I ordered your book and am going to give this my best shot. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Hashimotos 6 months ago. In that time that I’ve started medications, I’ve contracted daily headaches, 15 pounds of weight gain, and mild to severe depression and mood swings. Also my TSH has jumped from 5 to 16. To say the least, I’m frustrated with drugs and doctors. Thank you for giving me hope that there are others out there who feel like I do and that this might get me out of this awful ditch.

  • Hi Sarah I have an AI but not Hashimoto’s (I have dry eye syndrome and a high ANA). Do you have a view of gluten and diary in affecting AI too?

  • Carmen

    Would love if you could cover graves in a post one day. Heaps on info on hashis and diet etc but not much info out there on graves.

  • Niki

    Hi I have just been told to go on medication to bring my levels right. This is so I can have a baby but I don’t want to take the medication. Just started reading your posts and would love to know if it’s just sugar that I need to quite or a variety of different foods?

  • TheUtubekaz .

    that just clarified so many things for me in terms of my reactions to sugar. Wish I had this info a long time ago!! But also glad I found it now 🙂

  • Fran Flossy Clarke

    Hi Sarah , I have been on the I quit Sugar trail for a year now and am also passing on the good news to my patients ( I am a dental Hygienist). I am finding it hard to convince my boss to look into the effects of sugar, and when I suggested that sugar is as addictive as smoking , he was very defensive saying that I didn’t know what I was taking about and where are the studies. I need some help in finding an avenue to approach this with him !! Any Ideas ??

  • Shanon McQuitty

    I was wondering how you did it… Did you do it gradually? Follow any sort of program?

  • Dr Harry Math

    Hi Sara,

    Wonderful concept thank you very much for the great initiative. Btw just wondering what is your perception of Sugar with relation to other forms of its existence like Jaggery (Available in Indian food store) and honey? do you suggest they are equally harm full? any comment is highly appreciable!

  • Deb J.

    Last year (Jan/13), as a New Year’s resolution, I made the decision to quit sugar and gluten. I was not diagnosed with Graves or Hashimotos specifically but was put on thyroid hormone replacement. I went cold turkey on sugar and gluten. I read your book Sarah and was determined-I am a Taurus so used my stubbornness to advantage. At first, I did not feel great. I went to see my physician and she increased my dose of medication (after my TSH had returned slightly elevated). I was not feeling better as I saw my dosing rise and my TSH stay pretty much the same. Over one weekend, my dose was doubled and I started getting a racing heart and palpitations. I had been doing a lot of research into the function of the thyroid and knew something obviously was wrong. I took my own health into my hands, and found a new physician as well as saw a naturopath. It was actually my new physician who came out and asked if I had considered going off the medication altogether which I did. Like most people, I had been told once you start hormone therapy, you are on it for life. In the end, it is now a year later and I have noticed such a change. With careful attention to my diet and with regular exercise, I have noticed more energy, more clarity etc. All of the things that are expected. I was so grateful to have a physician who was supportive and open to helping me. I would not recommend making changes to medications without seeking a physician’s help. I am so grateful for your book and website Sarah. I still get days where I do not feel 100% but I usually can look back and link it to something I should not have eaten earlier. It takes patience and willpower but it can be done. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!!

  • laura

    I am all for quitting sugar (I bought your books over a year ago but need to get back on the bandwagon) but curious how do you know it has helped your thyroid issue when you are still on medication for it?? I recently fell pregnant and it was discovered I have an under-active thyroid so was put on the lowest thyroxin too which after a couple of weeks has balanced my levels. I want to test the sugar theory but how do you know it really improves the AI disease whilst still being on the medication?

  • Breanna Hendricks

    Although I have not been officially diagnosed with an AI, I have had symptoms of Hashimotos and was diagnosed with hypothtroidism almost 12 years ago. I quit sugae 8 weeks ago prescribed by a naturopath who said I had candidiasis. Two months have made a world of difference. Like Mary, my skin is clear, hair is thick,healthy and shining , I have lost 15 pounds effortlesly, my gut is healing fast, and I dont remember feeling this good since I don’t know when. 30 is the new 20 for me!

  • Jane Augsburger

    I am just so gutted that I started taking thyroxine. I am now on 100mp’s a day and I have been told I cannot get off it. I am a hypo, not a hippo!!! Although sometimes I wonder for my addiction to sugar rules over me!! Its been two and a half years and even if I miss even one day of thyroxine my Hashimotos madness comes back to bite me and my family on the bottom, ouch!! Last year I went very strict sugar free for about 6 months and then easing off, slowly until Christmas came and I could not get that sugar down faster enough. Started again sugar free this year but not so strict, I can eat a small amount of fruit and I add tomatoes, onion, carrots, pumpkin, beetroot etc to my dishes, which I never would have done last year. I want to be sugar free but i feel so disillusioned, the diets I have done have helped me but they have not been it, I still need thyroxine and I wanted to get off it. I take lugol’s iodine and my diet is fairly ash alkaline. My body aches as soon as I use it, and yoga and stretches make it worse. I am fine most of the time but that is because I don’t do anything, the odd bit of gardening, I never run or go on long walks…. I am taking big hunk of space here!
    I have been following you a bit and admire what you do, I did not know that you were a hashimotos woman too!

  • Lauren

    Sarah, what a breath of fresh air! I have been following you for a while, I even began my own quitting sugar journey two years ago with your PDF program. I have thyroid issues and have been on a journey to heal it for a while. I have been told by more than one professional that I will never remove the antibodies in my thyroid. What a sense of relief when I just read that you have heal all of yours! Thank you for speaking out, thank you for showcasing your journey. I am do grateful. I have one question for you, maybe you can point me in the direction. I really want to join your 8 week program and quit sugar with a support team to help keep me inspired. I would like to know the average cost of the weekly shop when following the menu? I know it will be a rough figure, but any kind of idea would be good for my budgeting purposes :).

  • Kath

    Thanks for the post. It does explain a lot. I have given up sugar for over 4 months now, and defiently have more energy, clarity of mind, clearer skin and brighter eyes. I am able to focus better and do things I wouldn’t have had the energy to do before. It makes a lot of sense as when I was having blood tests a few years ago, trying to seek an explanation of why I was always fatigued and getting sick, the doctor did mention something on the blood test about my thyroid. At the time he said to come back in 6 months, which I forgot to do. Further tests with another doctor found I have hypoglycemia. Plus I have recently discovered I have a slow metabolism. Just reading this blog confirms to me the link between all these conditions and symptoms and reminds me that it’s best to eat a healthy, natural, low sugar diet. So thanks for the reminder and inspiration! I wonder if there is also a link with these conditions and the amount of processed foods (additives and preservatives) we eat? Do you know of any good research information on that?

  • Dear Sarah, I was really struggeling with my health feeling really tired and aching joints. I deceided I had to cut bcak on sugar and while searching my hardrive on my computer I found your I Quit sugar ebook. After reading your first page I remembered that I fogot that I was diagnosed with Graves 6 years ago, my heart was in AF and shock treatment had not been effective in assisiting my rythem to reset. So 6 years ago I left the toxic
    relationship and quit sugar, I was powering and forgot all about it, then over the years I have fallen back into old habits. Soooo THANKYOU for shaing your story 🙂 now I am getting back on track, I also publish a bi-monthly magazine called Wellbeing Guide in the Newcastle region and am going to focus on addiction for the upcoming July/August edition. I would really love to use your program as a guide. My phone number is 0411 483 895 or email is [email protected].

    Thank you for your time,
    Karen Burge

  • Mara Zampariolo

    Sarah I dunno how i can thank you enough. i suspected this after observing my symptoms and the weird reactions I got every time I ate sugar, but you confirmed it and now i have a reason to be completely sugar-free. I am just wondering if fruit is allowed or not? it has a lot of sugar in it..

  • Irene

    I am 4 months sugar free and feeling great! I have not yet had new blood work for my Hashimoto’s but my rheumatoid factors have all dropped. I have my life back and it’s due to sugar free.

  • Sarah

    Hi Sarah, Thanks very much for your ongoing focus on thyroid and Hashimotos. I have been through quitting sugar, gluten, eating clean etc, but my health has not improved after a year. In fact, I am showing great TSH levels now via euthyroxin, but other health symptoms such as infertility, weight gain and sever mid back pain get worse each month. I believe my healthy eating has kept me going through it all which is great, but I wondered what your view is on T4 tests vs T3 and if you have experienced ongoing complications?

    Interestingly, I have several girlfriends who have thyroid also. All experience ongoing problems long after quitting sugar, although we all agree it is a positive difference and we feel better than before.
    Looking forward to any advice or information you may have seen, it seems difficult to work out how to manage pain and live life fully without some further changes- hopefully natural!

    My best regards

  • Rhonda Schantz-Ward

    Hi. I was wondering about quitting the sugar. I have gone off of sugar and all grains recently. But am also off of fruit, and natural sugars. What does being off of sugars mean to you? Does that mean fruit and other natural sugars as well? Thankyou!

  • Christopher Singleton

    Hi Sara,

    I admire you for seeing what the true reality really is!

    I strongly agree with you that sugar is very much a culprit not only with auto-immune disease, but also many other diseases. I have cut out sugar from much of my life’s diet and I also feel much healthier.

    People like to avoid the truth, but the truth will set you free.

    My mother has an auto-immune disease and she still eats sugar. I keep telling her to stop and think what she is doing to her body, but she insists it is not as bad and enjoys her luxuries of having an ice cream or other type of dessert every once in a while. She has diabetes also, hence, go figure!

    I think doctors want to keep you on the line with these types of diseases and keep coming to the hospital (money issue). I am sure there is a cure and a way, but breaking your body’s immune system is not a good start to finding it. That is what sugar really does; breaks your body down in many ways! We should begin by changing our habits with sugar.

    Thank you so much for being an inspiration! Your awesome! I wish you the best!


  • Vasiliki Didaskalou

    I have been trying to be a sugar free advocate since July of last year. I successfully participated in the Quit program last year and I felt wonderful. Just as I was getting things in order my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and died earlier this year so the unexpectedness of it and related responsibilities pushed me to neglect myself, again (not as bad as before but nonetheless). Have not been feeling well lately and had a general check up and my Thyroid results are SO low I am devastated. It appears that it might be Hyperthyroidism and looking at some of the other Haemotology results I have a strong suspicion I could have Hashimotto. Because I am diabetic, however, the Doctor was only focused on the HbA1C results and about insulin control and did not cover the other results … Whilst my mind is in a whirl this morning I do need follow up tests to confirm this but I am grateful I have this Blog to fall back to, and Sarah’s experience, to guide me IF it turns out that I do indeed have AI issues. Worried.

  • Laura

    I have been a yoyo dieter and over trainer since my early teens after a bout of anorexia. Just after I turned 29 I had an unexplained (still to this day) stroke. I had never been on the pill (and never had been) & had a cholesterol count of 4.1 at the time. I also developed vitaligo and severe hormonal pigmentation in my mid 20’s. Finally at 30 I realised something had to change. My first step was cutting out artificial sweeteners, gluten and switching from low-fat to full-fat products, which has mentally been incredibly challenging. Then, a few weeks I decided to read one of your books (I Quit Sugar for Life) and boy was it an eye opener. I have since purchased a second book and my journey has begun. With the guidance in those pages, I have stopped counting calories for the first time (honestly) in over 16 years. I am up to four consecutive days now without counting! I am going into this with patience and love for my poor body. I am so glad I picked up your book that day. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Thank you.

  • Again thank you.

  • LT

    Wow – I haven’t met/known anyone else with both Graves and Hashimoto’s diseases. I have both – it has led to serious issues and chronic fatigue etc. Everything you say about weight gain and insulin resistance is so true and on the money. I have just bought your two books from the best bookshop in NZ, Emma’s at Oxford, and am just about to embark on the journey myself. Can’t wait and thank you for sharing your story. Means a lot to read other’s experiences that reflect your own.

  • Nikki

    Hi Sarah, thank you so much for this post. I’m struggling with a number of issues I believe are linked to my Hashimoto’s. I’ve been experiencing a slow decline in my health for a number of years where little things just stop to pop up so now I’m trying to treat a number of conditions at once. 1) the Hypothyroidism, and trying to get the dose of thyroxine right, or find a good alternative or supplement to it 2) IBS diarrhoea dominant, started one day in 2011 and my gut just hasn’t functioned “normally” since, and western medicine hasn’t done much in terms of thinking about my overall health 3) abnormal menstrual cycles where they’re so heavy and my hormones yoyo causing severe mood swings, sickness, hot sweats, extreme pain. 4) low iron, my current levels are at 26 as a result of having an iron “push” or infusion. The lowest they’ve been this year is 8 instead of 60. Along with all of this I still exhibit signs of hypothyroidism, slow metabolic rate, depression, fatigue, weight gain, the IBS, yoyoing hormones. I just found out that my TSH is at 4.3 up since April from 3.5 so the current dosage of oroxine isn’t doing enough and shocker, my GP didn’t want to review my dosage. Antibody count >1300 (the pathology lab can’t provide a figure above that).

    I know within myself that all of these things are linked, and thankfully I’m working with a naturopath who has treated hypothyroidism in the past and gave me a greater understanding as to why I’m experiencing all of these things at once.

    I think quitting sugar is the next step. I feel at times betrayed by my body but I know it’s doing all it can to regulate what are, in large part, environmental contributors. It’s going to take some time, and I’m going to have to work ar it everday. Reading your post gives me hope that at some point I’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Thanks Sarah

  • Sarah Thorn

    Hi Sarah – I was diagnosed with abnormal antibodies but normal thyroid function after I found a large nodule on my thyroid late last year. I had a terrible diet of high sugar (I liked to call it my drug of choice) along with dairy and wheat. A friend of mine educated me about a low allergen diet and dropping Gluten, Dairy and Sugar to try and heal my thyroid and ultimately the lump – but unfortunately, it never shrunk. I was stuck in the medical model (reluctantly) with them telling me they couldn’t rule out cancer, they didn’t know why my antibodies were up the whop so they decided removing the lump with the right side of my thyroid was the best option. I was then diagnosed with Hashimoto’s following the histology of the lump and thyroid they removed. Fast forward 6 months – I stumble across your books – well into the sugar/wheat/dairy lifestyle, 12kg lighter and feeling amazing! I still have the odd off day where I feel unusual and can’t put my finger on things, but have since learnt that my thyroid is adjusting again to being half of a gland, and it throws me out. Another 6months on and my TFT’s are normal. I sincearly feel that they wouldn’t be if I was eating the way I used to before this journey. I couldn’t believe my luck finding your books, blogs and recipes that I feel like have been made for me! It’s one thing to eat clean, but to have a writer who shares the same AI is so helpful! I just wish IQS sooner! Thanks for sharing your journey with me! Sarah x

  • Jo

    Hi Sarah, I too have similar issues, but sadly I have also developed Gastritis, and thus can’t tolerate ‘typical’ healthy foods like most fruit (acidic), difficult-to-digest veggies like kale, celery, asparagus, as well as many spices. I have to take DGL, slippery elm & L-glutamine. to keep my GI tract in check (as I’m trying to avoid PPI’s). Would your 8-week program work for me?

  • Jo

    Oh and just to mention, I also have fatigue and hair loss 🙁

  • Ebony

    Quitting sugar alone will not cure AI disease as there can be many factors at play here. Such as Leaky Gut, SIBO, Food Intolerances, Lyme Disease, to name a few. My suggestion is to get yourself to a qualified Naturopath and you will see a difference. I did the rounds with various Drs and Endocrinologists and they were all useless, my health only turned around when I saw a Naturopath. All my symptoms are now in remission, however I would never say I am cured because when you have AI disease, you have it for life and only by maintaining your new healthy lifestyle will the symptoms stay away.

  • Petra

    I have had an ANA reading of 1:320 in the past, currently down to 1:160. In both instances my A1C level was 6.0 and 5.8 respectively. I can’t help but wonder if it is no coincidence that both my antibody and sugar levels are high together. That being said, I have not been diagnosed with an AI disease but am being “watched” by a rheumatologist. I started following your blog a few months ago as I have been doing research on AI diseases trying to learn more about how they work and whether one might be “lurking” in my body. My numbers have given me some anxiety and I am just trying to educate myself on the best practices moving forward for my health. Have not tried quitting sugar YET. But would love any input you might have, Sarah on my situation. I have not had symptoms of AI otherwise, I feel healthy and have two children under the age of 5 so am only as fatigued as any other working mother would be in my shoes.

  • jane stawski

    Hi Sarah I have lupus and have been sugar free for nearly 3 years. It does make a difference. No more skin rashes. No more joint ache and no more bone aching exhaustion. Thank you for your recipes and passion to help others:-) 🙂 🙂

  • kate fox

    Would love to try this but don’t know if it would work for me. I am taking 120 of thyroxine daily i have had my thyroid and the surronding nymph nodes removed. Do you think the no sugar would help with the tiredness and the resulting lack of motavation.many thanks in advance.

  • Damla

    My question is when you say sugar, do you just mean the processed white sugar or do you mean FODMAPs? Thank you

  • Kelly

    I too quit sugar 12 months ago, I think after reading this article and a lot of other research. My AID is in remission and I’m on minimal drugs too. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be on none. Since quitting sugar I’ve also gone on an elimination diet which led me to an almost paleo diet. I can get exposed to gluten, grains, dairy, legumes with mild repercussions, but its the sugar thats the killer. Exposure to sugar is enough to bring my symptoms back, and fast. I’ve quit sugar for life, and am so glad I did!

  • Dawn Porter

    a lot of it is to do with the fact that sugars gave been changed not organic mant chemiclas in it now , and way to much in all our foods

  • Vasiliki Didaskalou

    I am of the opinion that an autoimmune disease is not “healed” by quitting sugar. AI is a “symptom” of a more primary underlying cause and quitting sugar is about giving the body the opportunity to focus and redirect its energy to work more efficiently. But to “heal” requires a lot more “long term work” than just quitting the sugar … it is a component of overall puzzle pieces. (In reply to Dawn Porter not sure why it did not paste under your post 🙂 )

  • Robin J. Brown

    Sarah, my name is Robin and I am a 60 year young male who has Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, an auto-immune disease and I have been 90% sugar-free! I’m guessing 90%… for there are over 61 different hard to spell and to pronounce “different names of sugar” which have been added to our foods SLYLY by food producers for the almighty $$$. THIS is merely my story and NOT a statement that others should try, please! I have been sugar-free for close to two years now. I stopped taking ALL pharmaceutical drugs and requested to no longer have any more MRI tests because I didn’t want my body to know whether the results were good or bed. I wanted to leave that up to my body’s own reactions! I am gluten-free and 80-90% Vegan,too. I drink zero alcohol and do not smoke. I have been on a path of “healing myself” without chemicals or pharma-drugs. I went down THAT road in the first two years of this disease trying “MS protocol drugs” which did nothing except deplete my bank account. My doc thought I was nuts for wanting to go down this natural road but I told him I couldn’t do drugs for a disease which Western Medicine knows nothing about! Little did I know the “real drug” had been ingested throughout my life and was right beneath my nose every single day! I studied and researched my way and even… regained “feeling” in my two numb feet. I stopped all sugar (even fructose) and within THREE days… YES, just THREE DAYS!… I bean to feel a tingling at the tips of my toes! FEELING AGAIN! A year and a half later… which is today… over HALF of both my feet have awakened from the dead… AND with feeling in my toes! NO SUGAR! I’m sold because of this self-journey of NO SUGAR! I am closely watching how my many other symptoms will operate over time without this addictive substance of sugar in my diet and life! I have learned so much about the “SUGAR industry games” and how it plays our government with big money to keep Americans quiet to buy its product at the cost of our health! “Sugar’s karma” tells the story! Thank-you for doing what you do and may GOD continue to bless you on your journey to know the truth about this toxin… we have all learned to label as SWEET! hmmm…


    Good afternoon! My name is Dulce live in Brazil , in the city of Rio de Janeiro , I’m 48 years old. There are 4 found that I have JÖGREN DISORDER , I avoid eating processed foods and embedded , consumer very saffron land , because it is anti-inflammatory and all citrus fruits. What foods you indicate ??? I examinations every six months.

  • Amelie

    I went on the I Quit Sugar 8 week Program and then a couple of weeks after it and I was diagnosed with Hashimotos..I’m confused?

  • Steve Kelly

    Ive had multiple diagnoses of different diseases and issues throught my life such as rheumatoid arthritis (age 9) migraines (age 12) anxiety (age 18) atopic dermatitis / skin eczema (age 18) epilepsy non-grand mal (age 33) aura migraine (age 35) non alcoholic fatty liver disease (age 38) narcolepsy (age 41)

    Here’s the crazy crap I’ve learned just recently and this page only confirms it. All of my conditions had various unknown causes up until the past few years. Starting in 2014 a couple of my conditions were starting to point towards an autoimmune disorder. I always try to keep up with the latest in medicine and studies because I have so many health issues. The interesting thing I found was over the last 3 years 2014 – 2017 article after article and research paper after reasearch paper and discovery after discovery pointed every single one of my health issues back to an autoimmune disorder. Interestingly enough several articles said that some of my previously diagnosed conditions were often a misdiagnoses whete it was actually an autoimmune disorder.

    In terms of medications this is great because they are now working on ones that can better target the true cause with less side effects. For instance now that they understand that it’s an autoimmune disorder responsible for eczema they have now developed a new drug that is safer than the typical steroids I am currently on and works better as well. This new drug should be available this year! 2017 Yay for me!

    Just recently after learning that sugar and gluten exacerbates conditions associated with autoimmune disorders I have decided to cut sugar out of my diet. I’m already seeing great results with all of my issues. Almost as soon as I stopped drinking sugar energy drinks my aura migraine disappeared completely.

    Sugar is a poison! I know that sounds extrem but you’d probably be surprised that the sugar industry employed the same tactics as the tobacco industry when scientific and medical studies started raising questions. This has been documented. I would suggest anyone who is interested to watch a documentary called “Sugar Coated” on Netflix and also check YouTube for a lecture from the University of California called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”

    Be healthy and have a blessed day!

  • Brian Doyle

    I have hypercoagulation and autoimmune, it’s quite the opposite for. I NEED sugar compounds, simple sugars. All kinds.

  • Andre Lee

    What a beautiful and wonderful testimony, some time things you don’t believe can just happen.
    My name is Selena Crystal, Am from United State am 29 years old,i suffered Heptitis for more than 2 years,my illness was getting worst and worst,I have spent all i have just to cure this illness
    but all to no avail i cry and i cry seeking for helpmy husband packed out of the house and he was no where to be foundi discussed this with a friend because i could not hold it to my self anymore
    and she promise to help me. she told me of a man called Med Lab Tec,he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and he is capable of curing any kind of disease with his herbal medicine
    that is why they call him Med Lab Tec. I contacted his email address at( medlabtec(AT)mail(DOT)com) And i told him everything about my illness,He told me i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me he will prepare a herbal medicine for me which was delivered to me, he said after 5 days i shall testify and it really happen i was very surprise when i did not feel any pain,i went to my hospital for test and the doctor said i am perfectly fine,i now live happily again.
    So my advice for you now is to contact this same email
    This are things Dr told me he can cure
    {1>PBP Virus and ALS
    {2}Genital Warts
    [5]Bubonic plague

  • Jeanne

    Is sugar from fruits bad for you also?

  • marrie

    Hi Sarah,
    I have Lupus,and I put into google ” does eating sugar hurt my Lupus “,and this site popped up.I just ate berries,all kinds,and grapes,and now my hands and feet is hurting me,and this is why I googled it.
    Can this be so?

  • Lobna Ismail Abd Elazim

    Hi Sarah … can this be useful with someone with Chrons disease as well? and can you please give a lsit of the other names of sugar .. Thanks

  • Carrie-Anne

    I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in October 2011, at the age of 44. I woke up one morning with numbness in my lower back and legs, I couldn’t feel my feet touching the floor. I saw my doctor and had an MRI to see if I had a disc problem, it was negative and she told me she feared MS. I was sent to a neurologist, had two more MRIs, and was told that night that I have four lesions on my spine MS. I tried every shots available but nothing worked. In 2015, my neurologist and I decided to go with natural treatment and was introduced to NewLife Herbal Clinic natural organic MS Herbal formula, i had a total decline of symptoms with this treatment, the numbness, terrible back pains, stiffness, body weakness, double vision, depression and others has subsided. Visit NewLife Herbal Clinic official website ww w. newlifeherbalclinic. com or email [email protected] newlifeherbalclinic. com.

    This treatment is a breakthrough for all suffering from Multiple sclerosis, i am strong again!

  • Blake

    Question: if trying to get better from autoimmune disease, should you give up honey and natural sugars like date sugar in addition to cane sugar? I heard from a naturalpathic doctor on YouTube that honey is okay.

  • Yellowgirl1965

    I know this is an old Post. Hope you’re still out there and still have a handle on this. I have had Hashimotos since 2015 and have almost completely removed sugar from my diet. Home made preserves seems to be my weakness and is easy to at least make them low sugar but not with zero sugar. What I’d like to know is if you’ve any idea the affects of pure monk fruit sweetener on Hashimotos.

  • Auli Khoironi

    Hi Sarah, great article, my doctors and I recently are considering the diagnosis of AOSD on me, because most of lab readings are negative but I have many autoimmune symptoms, could you please share what your daily menu usually looks like, maybe i could try to mimic it, thanks in advance, hope for the best for everyone here..