Hashimoto’s: Reasons for Being Dairy & Gluten Free
Q: I consume about 6 ounces of milk per day, 4 to 5 ounces in my coffee once a day and the rest around 2 to 3 tablespoons in my oat cereal.
Yogurt is my staple food since I was a kid. Without that, I have digestive issues. Is yogurt off the table, too? What about your alternatives?
I’m not sensitive to gluten, but I am hypothyroid and have Hashimoto’s. How exactly will going gluten-free help me in positively improving my thyroid disease and fertility?
A: On drinking Coffee see my answer to “I can’t live without coffee”
The dairy question, particularly in relation to Hashimoto’s – which is an autoimmune thyroid condition – what happens is that gluten and dairy both have an impact on your immune system.
Many people are sensitive to both dairy and gluten without even knowing it because the level of sensitivity differs for each individual. Some people have just a minor sensitivity while others are completely intolerant to gluten and dairy, yet in either case, it can impact on your fertility by creating inflammation.
Even if you don’t feel like you have a sensitivity to dairy or gluten, given that you have Hashimoto’s which can increase your risk of miscarriage, you don’t want to be having dairy or gluten because it is another factor that can compromise your immune system.
Avoiding dairy and gluten is going to help ensure that your immune system doesn’t overreact to an embryo once created and then, of course, help you to carry a healthy pregnancy to term.
If yogurt helps with your digestive issues, it’s very likely due to the good bacteria that you will find in the yogurt, not so much the yogurt and certainly not the dairy element. What I would recommend is that you take a tablet or powder probiotic to resolve your digestive issues.
From the experience that I’ve had all these years, I know that these two diet changes make a huge difference to a vast majority of couples we help. Sometimes, for our patients, being gluten and dairy-free is the thing that makes the biggest difference to their whole well-being is.
If you’re worried about how do I get my calcium and all of that and you don’t have a copy yet of my book, Eat Your Way to Parenthood, go and get one. Page 41 includes a table that will give you the calcium intake of different foods.
It will help you to understand that calcium can come mainly from your green vegetables. It can come also from your sidings with bones, from sesame seeds like tahini, for example, broccoli is one of the highest sources of calcium, even higher than milk, believe it or not.
However with Hashimoto’s you should be avoiding brassica family – cabbages, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, and turnips – You can have them from time to time, but you want to make sure that they are definitely cooked. You don’t want to be having these foods raw if your thyroid is impacted in any way.
If you have been struggling to conceive and with decisions about your fertility then we encourage you to register for the next #FertilityChallenge, an education and activity series designed to help you make better, more informed choices.