Should I be eating gluten if I have hashimotos? I mean, really?
Oh, it’s a hoary one. I’ve swung a bit on the subject over the years. Here’s where I’ve arrived, but I’d like to get your thoughts, too. Did you watch ABC TV’s Catalyst program last night on the topic? Do so. It fleshes out the issue simply. Catch it on iView.
My reasoning, however, goes like this.
* If you’re coeliac, you should never ever eat it.
* There is a connection between coeliac and Hashimotos. In a recent study by Alessio Fasano, MD, a recognised celiac disease expert, one half of the people newly diagnosed with celiac disease also had thyroid disease.
* I did the coeliac test – I’m not coeliac. FYI it’s a tricky test. It entails going back onto gluten for several weeks before doing the test. I’m not coeliac and I don’t carry the gene.
So, where does this leave me given I have Hashimotos?
Is there anything further to be concerned about? Yes.
* Gluten is toxic. Humans didn’t “evolve” to digest gluten – we don’t have the “molecular scissors” to break it down in the gut. Most people can tolerate it in moderate amounts, however. And can cope with the fact the villi in their gut is being compromised when they eat it. We are pretty tough little things.
* But if your health is compromised, you might not be able to cope with the havoc gluten causes.
* First, the leaky gut is a problem. The leaky gut that gluten is said to cause then allows gluten to pass through the gut wall and into our blood stream. An autoimmune reaction can then occur.
* Our immune system confuses gluten with our thyroid gland. Weird, but seemingly true. Our immune system then attacks the thyroid, too. I’ve written about this before.
* Gluten damage can lead to AI, AND make it worse.
So do I eat gluten, given the above?
* For several years I didn’t eat gluten. This healed things a lot, I feel. I’m aware it was possibly because when you cut out gluten (like sugar) you cut out a lot of crappy food, and food additives.
* But now I do. Just not too much. I suspect most of the planet’s issue with gluten is the amount we’ve been exposed to over the past few decades. It’s a tolerance issue. I don’t get symptoms very often now.
* I figure the angst of avoiding foods is worse for my health than being chilled about it all. I really do.
* I’ve also worked out stress and lack of sleep are far big contributors to my AI symptoms. I‘m better off focusing on these factors.
* Ditto sugar. So given the choice between avo on toast or an acai bowl dripping in sugar, the former is the far better pick.
* But I listen to my body. When I’m run down, or I’ve got on a bad spiral of eating, I back off from gluten for a week or so.
* I eat sourdough. The fermenting breaks down a lot of the gluten. And the stone-milled flour used is said to also make a difference. Some say the bleach and chemicals used in processed flour might be the problem.
* It might not be the gluten. The Catalyst show explains this well. The thinking now is that there are OTHER things in wheat that people react to that have NOTHING to do with gluten. e.g…agglutinins, amylase trypsin inhibitors and of course, Fructans (FODMAPs). I’ve been looking into the FODMAP thing and will report back soon.
What about you? How do you tackle the gluten issue?