So my real reason for doing this two-month gluten free diet is because on February 16th I found out I have Hashimoto’s Disease. I feel silly saying it. It sounds made up. And in the scheme of so many things a person could have, it is nothing.
Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid, most likely resulting in hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). The first opinion I got thought I already had hypothyroidism. The second opinion was that I had subclinical hypothyroidism and need to monitor it every three months since my thyroid was functioning on the very low end of normal even though my pituitary gland was pumping out excess hormones to convince my thyroid to work.
The first opinion—a naturopath—suggested a gluten-free diet to try and keep the autoimmune disease at bay and therefore minimize the attack on my thyroid. The second opinion—my PCP and an MD—said there was nothing I could do and that I would end up with full blown hypothyroidism but it could be years down the road. I decided to take the advice of the person who gave me something to do. I certainly don’t know the answer, and maybe the MD is right, but there I was asking what I could do to change the course of my life and I was told, “nothing.” I don’t believe that. And if nothing else, I at least want to think I’m empowered to make a difference in the course of my own life and body.
I’ll get blood drawn again in mid-April to see if gluten-free is making a difference. And if it’s not I’ll be open to trying something else or trying longer. I’m flexible. I’m open to research and suggestions.
Even before I was faced with potentially needing a gluten-free diet, I was intrigued by research I’d heard and read about gluten-free diets reducing inflammation, which we all deal with and may play a role in a number or autoimmune diseases.
My gut tells me that gluten-free won’t make a big difference for me. I don’t feel any change and as I write this I’ve been gluten-free for almost three weeks. I think what I really need is to eat a more well-balanced diet of whole foods. Even gluten-free I’ve just substituted my heavy carb-laden diet for gluten friendly carbs like potatoes, rice, and an assortment of gluten free products.
Time will tell, but at least I feel like I can do something.