Why Changing Your Diet is Always the First Step in Treating Hashimoto’s


This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see the other articles in this series, click here.

Dr. Kharrazian has written an excellent post over at his blog about the importance of proper diet in the treatment of Hashimoto’s. He covers all the bases: the importance of going gluten-free, why gluten-free isn’t enough for most people, how to identify and address food sensitivities, how to balance blood sugar, and how to deal with the psychological and emotional resistance that may arise when making significant dietary changes.

The main obstacle most Americans face in implementing dietary changes, as Dr. K points out, is their addiction to the idea of a “quick fix”:

Americans are infatuated with pills, thanks to decades of conditioning from the pharmaceutical industry. It doesn’t matter whether they come from the pharmacy or the health food store, we have a cultural fixation with finding that magic bullet. It’s no wonder—making genuine, lasting changes to your health takes hard work and discipline, the two last things you’ll see advertised on commercials during your favorite television show.

As long as this mentality prevails, we’ll continue to suffer from increasing rates of disease and morbidity, and our “disease-care” system will continue to buckle and, eventually, collapse.

Dietary and lifestyle changes aren’t easy, but they’re the key to promoting health and preventing disease. And that’s just as true with Hashimoto’s as it is with type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Debbie Alpert says

    I was diagnosed with Hoshimoto about years ago. Six years ago I had a nodule that came back ax a possible positive for Herthel thyroid cancer. When they removed my thyroid, it turned out no cancer, just a symptom of Hoshimoto. During surgery it was discovered I only was born with 1/2 a thyroid, so now I have none and am on full replacement Synthroid. My question: Do I still have Hoshimoto without the thyroid gland? If so, I just became aware of the gluten issue today, as my endro has never mentioned it. I will try it if I’m still considered a Hoshimoto patient.

    • Onema Stewart says

      From what I have been told, you will still have Hashimoto’s even without your thyroid as Hashimoto’s is NOT a thyroid condition, it is an autoimmune condition that attacks your thyroid. The issues with the tyroid are just one symptom of Hashimoto’s.

  2. Nicole says

    I was diagnosed after having my son (gaining 85 pounds). I feel awful and could lose 1 lb. aside from the fact I felt like I had mono and my joints were frozen along with debilitating muscle fatigue. It was to the point I was on a walk and had to stop a half mile away from my house to sit down. I was afraid I couldn’t get home. It was awful!
    I now had baby number 2 and same thing is happening again. Not quite as bad because I’m on 190mcg of synthroid. This is the worst!
    Any suggestions of a functional med that specializes in this that is located in Charlotte, NC???

    • Vincent says

      This a partial list and resource for finding functional medicine doctors who have studied with Dr. Kharrazian. I have taken his thyroid seminar and do believe you can get some help with this condition. If you can’t get a practitioner nearby you can make some phone consultations. They will probably direct you to a place to get a full thyroid blood panel and can interpret your results and make suggestions.
      You can also pick up a copy of Dr Kharrazian’s book.
      “why do i still have thyroid symptoms? when my lab tests are normal” at amazon
      Hope that helps.

    • Sabrina says

      I see Dr. Rolband in Charlotte NC. He has been treating me for over two years. My lab work always falls within the normal range.

      • Sherri says

        my daughter has just been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s she is 17. I’ve been in the low normal range for years with several symptoms of a thyroid disorder. How did you get a doctor to discuss this with you when your labs were within the normal range? When I have addressed this my doctors, they look at me like I am crazy, but I know my body and I know what I am feeling and with my daughters recent diagnosis I have no doubt it has some genetic component.

  3. Erin says

    I am so thankful to have found this. I have just been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and my primary complaint is exhaustion. I can’t believe the lack of information available. This has been very helpful. I did not even realize that gluten free could make things a little better. Reading all the comments have helped tremendously.

  4. Rebecca says


    I am reaching out because I’m really overwhelmed and can’t find clear answers online.
    I recently found out through an ultrasound that the right side of my thyroid shows signs of disease but all of my blood tests (including antibodies) are normal. They said it could be the very beginning of Hashimoto’s.
    I have decided to try going gluten free, however I am terrified by everything I’m reading and I’m not sure just how careful I have to be. I also have OCD so that is making me completely paranoid about cross-contamination but I’m not sure to what level I need to be. For example, if I go to chipotle do I need to tell them to put on new gloves before they touch my to-go bowl? Should I avoid eating out at restaurants altogether? I am terrified of the idea that microscopic particles of gluten are damaging my thyroid and I don’t even know it because I don’t have overly obvious symptoms.
    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.



    • sheryl says

      Hi Rebecca
      Yes there is a lot of alarming information out there. And there are a lot of celiacs who don’t even go to the lengths you are going to (weather they should or not is another discussion :>). There is more to getting hashi than what you eat, but an important component. From what I understand removing gluten from your diet is a sensible move to make, but I don’t think you have to anxst over it (I have high thyroid antibodies and chose to do this). There are also lifestyle factors which are important eg managing stress and taking good care of yourself. Given you level of concern, I would recommend that you work with a functional health practitioner or a reputable health coach who can help you check in with the overall balance of your lifestyle and food. Wishing you all the best and a reversal of symptoms x

  5. cyndi says

    New to this site, I was just recently diagnosed with Hasimotos Thyroiditis, and told to go on Gluten free diet. I feel like crap (sorry) I am on (just switched) 50 mg of Synthyroid daily and my Endo says my lab test says that is enough. My TPO is 294 and am frustrated as I still feel very sick but don’t know what to do?

    • Nancy says

      I too struggled until I went from Synthroid the Endo was prescribing to another provider and Armour. That along w dietary changes to include avoidance of gluten have made a world of difference. Many educated opinions out there, keep searching until you find the right one for you. There is hope, and a wonderful quality of life living with “”Hoshi”!

    • says

      Rebecca, I can promise you that the level of stress you are putting on yourself over gluten particles from cross contamination is far more damaging to your thyroid than eating a gluten loaded bagel. Relax! Remember that you are not dealing with a terminal disease. Hashimoto’s is not a death sentence. And if your antibodies are not sky high right now, you have plenty of time to figure things out. I have had Hashimoto’s and a Goiter for 15 years with Antibodies in the 1500’s and I still occasionally consume gluten (mostly organic/non-gmo forms). I don’t have an allergy or even a sensitivity to it, so if I had those I might decide to do things differently. But an occasional piece of normal bread makes me happy and gives me the ability to live in the world. When I was in Paris a few years ago for my 40th Birthday I ate crepes and french baguettes and it made me feel so free and happy! If I had been GF I would not have enjoyed that vacation at all. So try to think long term and what will give you the least amount of stress :) Keep a food and exercise log from time to time so you can see what is working/not working. Hashimoto’s is different for everyone.

      • Rebecca says

        Thank you so much for your response! I tend to wayyy over-analyze things when I’m anxious so I know I should just do the best I can and not worry quite so much. I appreciate the comforting response : )

        • Heidi says

          Rebecca. I have the same feelings as you, I get overly anxious and worry but I have decided from reading everything that to feel healthy again going gluten free is the answer. Eat veggies , fruit, and fish and meats. No sugar. We can do this together ok. I’m also going to see a counsellor to help me with the anxiety I get with worrying about this Hashimotos hypothyroidism that I have. Hugs to you.

      • says

        I’m sorry but that reply was irresponsible. Ple with Hashimoto’s suffer to a greater degree. DON’T eat gluten if your doctor told you not to. To say, “I eat bread, because it makes me feel good.” That’s like saying, “I think kids get autism from a measles vaccine”. I’m a third generation Hashimoto individual with siblings who also suffer. I was diagnosed many years ago and have found that illness which may take the majority of ple to recover from take me twice as long. This is an auto immune disease and it effects the immune system. I also have celiac which is very common among ple with Hashimoto’s. Both are genetic. Trust me – if you want to eat bread, try one of the vast number of GF bread options there. Or, get a bread machine and make your own. My motto is when in doubt do without. This is not an allergy where you take a pill if you have a reaction. Think more carefully responder before you say to someone “Yeah, eat wheat you’ll be fine.” Every body is different. Err on the side of caution and be safe.

        • Gretchen says

          Jill, please scroll up and read Rebecca’s post. She never said her doctor told her to go gluten free OR that she is allergic or sensitive to gluten. Her antibodies are not elevated and she doesn’t even know that she definitely has Hashi’s! Your response is making a whole lot of assumptions. Rebecca is a smart woman. I’m confident that she can make the right decisions for herself and there’s no need for her to be in any sort of panic.

        • Rebecca says

          I’m definitely planning on being 100% gluten free, I’ve thoroughly cleaned my kitchen, gotten new utensils etc. I just need to know if, since I don’t have celiac, I need to be as anxious as I am about cross contamination. Because I don’t have a strong reaction that I know of to gluten and my blood tests are normal (I was only diagnosed with Hashimoto’s via an ultrasound and family history) can I stop being so absolutely terrified about eating at a restaurant or will unknown particles of gluten be causing me terrible harm?

          • Beckie says

            Rebecca – I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in July. I had already been gluten free for years and find it really does help. I do not have celiac but have a sensitivity to gluten. I personally don’t worry about cross contamination. I have friends who have celiac and don’t either. It all depends on how sensitive a person is to gluten. My friend and nutritionist told me not to worry about trace amounts which is usually all you would get from cross contamination. Hope that helps. Try not to panic. There is sooo much information out there, good and bad, that it’s hard not to panic and feel overwhelmed. Good luck!

          • Janey says

            Rebecca – you only have to worry about cross contamination if you are diagnosed as a celiac. Stop Worrying please. I have been diagnosed with celiac disease and if you had that you would know about, I lost a stone and half in one month because I ate a flour based sauce and was always anaemic. so NO do not worry about a crumb your making a diet choice . If you gave up chocolate would you worry about a crumb of it ,,no. So stop worrying and start to move forward xx

    • Lauren Rawlings says

      I had the same issue until my endo switched me to nature thorid made of pig hormones . It’s not really for people with hashimotos but it’s worked wonders for me. I use ti go without my synthroid because it didn’t work but if I go 1 day without thus I can tell big time. Hope this hepls

  6. Paulina says

    Hi I have been diagnose with Hashimoto on January 1st, my TPO test result are 389 High and my TSH 6.160 High. Can someone educate me I am already on Levoxyl (25 mcg) daily. What are the things I need to know, change in my daily life.
    From a single mother.

  7. Rebecca says

    2 years ago I was running 5k+, 2-3 times a week. I also played an extreme, high contact sport 2-3 times a week. I was very healthy and active. My symptoms began with knee and hip pain, I attributed it to running too much. Then came the fatigue, and brain fog and weight gain. The latest symptoms to appear were daily headaches and vomiting, accompanied by acute pain in my left abdomen, right below my rib cage. It put me in the ER at one point, Dr said it was a ruptured cyst. This was a year ago. I might add, I had a terrible stressful job that also attributed to my decline.

    8 months ago I pressed my Osteopath Dr. to test me again, because besides anemia, everything kept testing normal. She ran an autoimmune panel and found antibodies, indicating Hashimotos. My Grandma has graves, my Aunt has hashis. So it makes sense. She put me on a gluten, soy and dairy free diet, and after about a month, I started the AIP diet, and was so diligent on being adherent. Headstrong and determined to get back to my active lifestyle.

    8 months later, I had a complete relapse, right in line with financial and other health problems. She retested and my levels had increased. Every symptom returned including some weight gain which was odd since all I was eating was meat and veggies, with a few carbs. The diet is not working as planned. I definitely felt better for a period of time, but am crushed that I still have a cycle of relapse.

    I think stress and diet are key factors. They work in tandem together. I have not started a medication regime…should I push for it? What am I missing?

    • Shirley says

      All you need to do is address your stress levels. thats the crux of the problem. I have been there. You may think you can’t change things and that life has its stresses but you are more in control of your life than u realise. Be proactive and sort thise things that stress you. Finances, job, people. Make some changes. Then most importantly change your attitude. Things are not actually stressful, it’s our minds that make it so. Meditation, more sleep, more fun, more vitamins and minerals, more chatting to friends, more friends, deleting toxic people out of your life, laugh at everything. Make life a joy rather than a serious chore and don’t alliw your mind to worry. Anxiety eats away at health.

    • Heidi says

      Make sure you take medication. I take natural stuff prescribed by my naturalpathic doctor. It’s called thyroid substance and 2 kelp pills. My thyroid is slowly improving. Good luck.

  8. Lit says

    I’ve been told by my Dr I’m “at risk” for Hashi because my TSH is “normal”. My antibodies were at 25, outside the range but clearly low compared to so many posts I’ve read. And my TSH is 3.2 (though I’ve read higher than 1 or 2 can cause issues). I need advice, I have fatigue, my hair is falling out, and sleep poorly. Are my numbers possibly the cause and I do have Hashimoto’s? Should I be proactive and change my diet to prevent further damage? Is my situation worthy of medication? Help!

    • says

      Listen to your gut and do what you think you should do. Everyone’s situation with Hashi’s is different. Trust that you can figure out what’s best for you. My only advice is to keep a food/sleep/exercise journal so you can see for yourself what is working and not working.

    • Sheryl says

      You may have candida which can also give you those symptoms and can be a trigger for hashimotos. You can do a smile salvia test to see if you have got it. Not sure if Chris refers to it anywhere, if not go check out Christa Orecchio at the whole journey. Best

  9. Gayle says

    I have Hashimoto’s & am taking synthroid for last 15 yrs & isn’t working & I found an M.D./N.D.. My question is should I see him for only the thyroid issue (as clearing this up will correct many other issues associated with thyroid like hair loss, can’t lose weight even on weight watchers, foggy memory, insomnia) or should I see him as my primary doctor? The cost is high & not covered by insurance. Just trying to decide what way to go. If I see him for one issue and later take him on as primary the cost is much higher versus having him be primary at the start. Any advice would be helpful.

    • says

      Before you pay for a visit with any ND, I would ask him/her to provide information on the number of patients they have helped who had Thyroid Disease or Hashimoto’s and what their plan of treatment looks like. They will do a free consult with you to go over this info and you should consult with 3 or 4 of them so that you can make the best choice for yourself.

    • Kimberly says

      When I witched from synthroid to armour, it changed my life My doc said people with Hashimoto’s need T3 and T4. Synthroid does not have that.

  10. sheryl says

    Hi tested positive for Thyroid Antibodies (Hashimoto) in Feb this year (Ab just over 1700). My TSH/T3/T4 in ‘normal’ range however I was not feeling ‘normal’ (tired/low energy/brain fog/ hair loss). Through adopting an Auto-immune Paleo diet and looking at/addressing lifestyle issues I am feeling so much better (tho still not 100% yet) have dropped my Antibodies down to 133 in 8 months. I am now addressing Candida, continuing to work on lifestyle, and hope to have increasing energy and vitality get below the ’40’ next test.

  11. Jennifer says

    I was able to lower my TSH from 6.9 to 1.2 by strictly following the low thyroid diet. http://www.lowthyroiddiet.com

    I don’t eat the broccoli even though it says you can eat it if cooked. I take my synthroid every other day now 0.5mg and my doctor was ok with that. I am also working out only 30-45 minutes a day/6days a week with heavy weights and cut out all of the running.

    My Hashi’s started from doing p90X/Insanity (50-65 min workouts) and 6-8 mile runs 6 days a week. It was hurting my body. I was only eating 1200 calories too. This was pre-gluten and soy free as well. Since easing up on the workouts and changing the diet, I have feel so much better. I lost 67lbs, I no longer have swollen hands, legs and feet. And my face and hand puffiness only comes on occasionally when I eat something I from the “no” list….usually soy.

    If I could get more sleep, I think I would be 100% – unfortunately, my life will not allow me to.

    • Emily says

      Jennifer, I’d like to hear more about your journey and progress. I am trying to find ways to deal with my Hashimoto’s, and your results sound like a dream to me!!

    • says

      Hello to all,

      My name is Seebe and I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. This has been extremely hard for me to deal with as I was a very active individual cycling, running marathons, etc. In Nov 2013, I underwent a complete hysterectomy. A few months prior to that surgery, my doctor placed me on bio-identical hormones and Armour thyroid for low thyroid to help with the transition of surgical menopause. From March of 2014 until present, I have experienced extreme body changes internally and externally. I continue to train even though my level has decreased considerably due to low energy. My diet is completely gluten/dairy free. I am now taking Nature-throid instead of Armour. I just want my life back! I have not felt myself for quite sometime and I just need to know there is a positive to all of this. Has anyone lost the weight they have gained? Does anyone feel they have regained their energy? Please whatever advice you can offer is so greatly appreciated!! Thank you.

    • Chani says

      can you tell me do you only eat 1200 calories a day sonce you switch to the gluten free diet i am doing the paleo diet starting to feel better but I am not loosing weight

  12. Robin says

    p.p.s. to the admin of this site:

    I’m well aware of the fact that breast cancer and thyroid issues are connected and that my risk of thyroid cancer is high. It’s possible I’m already beyond the point of no return in that regard. I’m a well educated patient who does extensive research on all treatments. If you feel the need/desire to further educate me, please feel free to do so in private, via the email address I’ve given you. Thank you. Robin

  13. Robin says

    I went gluten, soy, and dairy-free in May of 2014 because it just “felt like the right thing to do” to lose some weight and to help my body prevent further breast cancers (I’d had three of them over a 14 year time frame). In July of 2014, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. I went off all alcohol, sugar, eggs, dairy, tomatoes and other nightshades, and stayed off gluten, soy, and dairy. By early November 2014, ere’s what happened:

    • I had a painful flare-up of candida during a detox to reduce inflammation, so I stepped back from that; and
    • I lost my appetite and my ability to sleep, and after 2 days of this, I had a severe anxiety attack that landed me in the hospital for mega-tests, one of which spotted a mass beneath scar tissues in my left breast; and
    • I’ve now been diagnosed with a 4th breast cancer in the left breast, which was irradiated 14 years ago.

    Based on my experience, I’m not convinced a strict “Paleo” (or similar) elimination diet is right for my body (particularly limiting veggies which help prevent breast cancer … which is recommended by some, even if they’re cooked). I AM convinced that eating foods that don’t agree with you is unwise (I know what they are … my body let’s me know pretty quickly). There are a lot of anecdotal stories of success on the elimination diets (SAD, GAPS, AIP) and if they’ve worked for you, great! For me, I had to step back and take control of my own “rules” about what I eat. I’m 65 years old and have been dealing successfully with my health for a long time. Despite the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s, I didn’t begin to get symptoms until I want on an elimination diet. In other words, I didn’t get any sense of relief. Instead, I got what’s listed above. This posted isn’t to offer a way out of healing yourself. It’s important to give all options a try. But it’s foolish to keep on trying if your body balks, and by that I mean REALLY balks. My body balked at the authoritarian manner in which some prescribe their elimination diet. I tried one of the most popular (AIP). If it had made me feel better, I’d still be on it. The point is: above all, listen to your body and be honest with yourself about what you’re feeling. Then be as responsible with your health as your possibly can be. Good luck to each of you.

    • niki says

      I’m curious about your diet. Can you tell me what you eat in a day? I have to be gluten, oat and dairy free, but I’m having trouble figuring out what to eat.

    • Jennifer says


      I just got diagnosed with Hashimoto’s less than a month ago. It’s been a nightmare as I’ve been unable to work for the past 2 months. I’ll do anything to recover; but, I can’t buy in to all these websites recommending special elimination diets and supplements. A lot of these so-called experts are making a pile of money exploiting this disease and taking advantage of the misery and despair experienced by Hashimoto’s sufferers. I sift through the overwhelming amount of on line information with a critical eye and basically, to entertain myself while I’m recovering enough to get back to work.

  14. Ula says

    You need to understand that sometimes it can be very dangerous to mess with the diet and everything you do needs to be carefully studied. If you are ill and decide to go gluten free you need to eat carbs from other sources, but in small amounts because in some cases carbs are also undesirable. I have crohns disease and I successfully cured it with diet. I avoid gluten by all means and I made a list of foods that I can eat and avoid everything else. it took me two years but now I just know by even looking at the food and I’m very disciplined. This is why my MRI shows no traces of disease any more. I carefully studied and made a list of groceries necessary to keep my body healthy and that included all the necessary ingredients.

    My healthy diet habit:
    Juicing every day with more or less organic ingredients – one liter of slowly pressed juice from spinach, cucumber, carrot, parsley, celery, apple, salad, orange, blueberries, ginger, grapes and beats
    Coconut, proso millet poppies, almond milk, acai, cranberry, chia and goji berries meal for breakfast
    Salmon and fish (steamed in wok) for lunch
    Asparagus, fresh goat cheese
    Coconut organic virgin oil for baking (chicken breasts are amazing with it)
    Wraps from brown rice flour, avocado and vegetables
    Wild rice
    Maca root
    Cumin and hemp oil
    Fresh ginger tea

    My favorite meal:
    Chicken breasts with soy cooking cream, king bolete mushrooms and truffles serving with rice pasta

    And this is me my junk food treat :)
    Rice tortilla pizza with goat cheese and grinded mushrooms
    Gluten free rice flour (Schar) pancakes with goat milk and St. Dalfour raspberry jam
    Mein fun rice noodles when I’m out

    Milk and dairy products, alcohol, spicy food, tomatoes, sugars, beans, cabbage, broccoli, red meat, junk food, gluten avoid at all cost.

    • Jennifer says

      It is amazing how food can heal the body. There are things on your list I miss so much, but avoiding them had healed me and reduced my inflammation. It’s worth it!

  15. Dorothy Hughes says

    I’m just beginning to research Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis because my husband has recently been diagnosed with this condition. We are in our early 60’s and he has been successfully (20 yrs.) managing Multiple Sclerosis with diet and exercise … now this!

    Two years ago we began the Eat to Live diet by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Since it’s basically a ‘beans & greens’ diet, I’ve begun to wonder if this is the right path for him… he is worse, now. Does anyone have input to give regarding this??

    • Vicky Mitchell says

      Hi Dorothy, I have been eating an excellent diet (organic every thing) for years but was just diagnosed with Hashi’s last month. My dr. has taken me off all dairy, eggs, nuts, legumes & beans, sugar, soy, gluten and all grains (the last four I didn’t eat anyway) but he says that we have to attend to the inflammation first and “put the fire out”. We will eventually test to see if we can add items back. I think it would help if he saw someone who understands the inflammation component to Hashi’s as well as the digestive/malnutrition side of this disease.

      • Stefanie says


        What do you eat then? Im assuming its more meat and veggies? I am very interested in knowing your diet plan because I have yet to find a doctor to help me so Im trying different things on my diet to see what makes me feel better. I have extreme inflammation.

        Thank you.

        • says

          Hi Stefanie,
          What Vicky is doing is called an elimination diet. See a holistic nutritionist. We are specifically trained in food and all issues associated with inflammation, elimination diets, etc. Even Naturopathic Doctors don’t have the same kind of training in food that a holistic nutritionist will have. Find a good nutritionist or you can check out my website, I work with people long distance as well. Livinggreennutrition.com

  16. says

    Chris is right, the diet is the # 1 priority with Hashimotos. I’m way more concerned with those who drink alcohol regularly, or those who eat poultry or animal protein often containing antibiotics – and who THEN point the finger at…gluten! Folks, seriously, if you are going to try and be ‘gluten-free’, first get rid of the main junk out of your diet. Cow’s milk, alcohol, commercially raised animal proteins and foods like this. A gluten free diet is the icing on the cake, not the cake’s foundation. I’ve seen plenty of auto-immune hypothyroid patients who are fine on gluten, and these are generally the ones who pay particular care to the quality of their proteins, drinks, as well as their vegetable and alternative grain intakes.

    • teressa says

      I understand that gluten is the new evil for many, perhaps, without cause, but I am surprized that a professional in your field would make that sort of remark. I’ve tried (and many others, I am sure) to be “fine” on gluten, with none of the other evils you’ve mentioned in my diet – and for me, and many, gluten in THE key. Do you really think people would want to remove it if it wasn’t the case for them as well? Contrary to your post – if I remove it completely, over time, I seem to be able to do just fine with some dairy, etc. It does seem strange that is seems be such a problem these days, but it DOES seem to be proving to be a huge issue.

  17. Samantha says

    I have had 3 blood tests in march, April & May each time the thyroid antibodies in my blood were through the roof ranging from 2,700 – 5,200. I have a regular GP who treats me with bio identical hormones and a holistic doc for other health issues. My regular regular GP noticed the antibodies so we have been playing with T3 & T4 from a compound pharmacy which costs me a fortune. I was feeling so ill recently with a multitude of symptoms including depression, uncontrollable crying, weight gain, exhaustion that my holistic doctor insisted I see him on a Sunday over Memorial weekend (thats someone who really cares about someones health to me) My regular doctor couldn’t even call me. After testing me he took me off the T3 completely and I’m taking 1 of my T4 compounded. He put me on GTA, DHEA, Hypothalmax, a herb he mixes for hormones, HCG spray, Adrenal Max, and another mixture to kill yeast. I can not tell you the difference I felt in 24 hrs. I have been on his program for a week the weight has stabilized but I haven’t lost any. He suggested I stay away from Gluten so i’m working on it. I am like so many of you Its hard to find something to eat especially on the run. I’m allergic to Soy and corn. Any other help here would be appreciated. I have figured I have Hashi but none has mentioned it. I learnt about it by reading an article from Molly Simms ( the actress/model) I’ll look forward to your comments.

    • Gretchen says

      Your doctor sounds amazing!!! Could you please share with me his contact info? I will travel anywhere to see such a great doctor. Thanks!!!

  18. says


    • Allen Sutton says


      You mentioned a Meniere’s disease feeling. I have been battling some constant dizziness for a full month after I had this crazy attack thing that felt like what they say happens when you have Meniere’s disease. Is what you’re describing a normal occurrence with Hypothyroidism?

  19. SHARON FARMER says

    OK…..does anyone know the answer to how much exercise is enough without developing Hashimoto’s or making it worse…..The new news marathon runners developing Hashimoto’s from overexercising…I know that is how mine developed from running 6-8 miles every other day and playing tennis 3 hrs a day with only a 1200 calorie diet….could not understand then how I could be gaining weight{body thought I was starving I guess and started saving calories} and at the same time period went into extra early menopause…

    • says

      I ran 3 marathons after my Hashi’s diagnosis. I had no idea I was further damaging my body. The fatigue and pain was unbearable. I don’t run anymore. I walk briskly, do Ashtanga Yoga, and some weights. Low Calorie diets are dangerous especially if you are exercising for hours a day. It will definitely lower your metabolism. So definitely eat a lot more food! And read some of Matt Stone’s ebooks on metabolism.

    • marie says

      This is sooo interesting… I think we should have a website where Hashi people list things that they think may have caused this disease like: I ran 6 miles per day or I took ibuprofen everyday for 30 years or whatever, then we can see patterns of what helped to cause this disease… very interesting. thanks!

      • Jennifer says

        I think I have always had a gluten intolerance that eventually led to Hashis. I started having extreme fatigue in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. I started having extreme GI issues in my late teens, early 20’s and was diagnosed then with IBS. Continued to eat whatever the heck I wanted, also drank and did other things to my body…late 20’s…got sober, BAM. Thyroid went crazy. Diagnosed with hypo. had first baby, diagnosed with hashi’s. had second baby, changed the way I ate, went gluten free…still battling but better. Gluten played a major role in the decline of my health. I know it.

  20. Di says

    I have hashis and nodules that have been growing for 8 years and now need to be tested. The nodules grew more this last year then before. I thought I was doing the right thing by juicing everyday, kale, spinach etc and I even started to make sauerkraut, cabbage of course. I was so tiered of feeling tiered, depressed and not being able to focus. But actually I wasn’t feeling better. Then I came across some info that said no gluten, soy, and KALE, SPINACH and CABBAGE, is this for real?! I also read women taking thyroid meds increases risk of breast cancer by 50 percent, I’m suppose to have my third biopsy for that to. I wish I know what to believe.

    • penelope says

      Di Check out the Thyroid sessions that are currently being offered by Sean Croxton. I watched Chris Kresser’s interview and also Dr Tom O’Bryan. Both answer your questions with both sound evidence and clinical experience.


      • Di says

        Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I was able to listen to them earlier this week and I hope other people do to.

  21. Kristy says

    Does anyone with Hoshimotos Disease also have migraines with aura. My thyroid was high in my last appointment but the dr said it wasn’t a concern and leaving there would help lose weight. I gained 25 pounds after having my second child. I have had migraines throughout my life since puberty but only maybe 1 or 2 a year. I’ve had 9 in the last 4 months

    • says

      Yes. I just learned I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and I’ve had migraines with aura since I had my first child sixty-four years ago. I have other type headaches now too.

  22. Heather says

    “Eat to live, not live to eat.”
    People need to STOP complaining about what they can and can’t eat. Most of the world lives in poverty and don’t have access to 1/10000000th of the food we have in this country. I have learned sooo much about food and am actually glad I have Hashi’s because at least I’m no longer in a fog about the CRAP we eat in this country. It always amuses me that we spend $1000.00 on a t.v. that cost $50 to make and will be obsolete in two/three years and then we complain about how much healthy food costs to fuel the body we will need for 80+ years. Our priorities in this country are so out of whack. We are turning into a country of Augustus’ (think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) One day we are just going to explode from the crap we are eating just because it tastes good.

    • Sharon Farmer says

      I have been gluten free for a year now…all my knee problems and aches and pain and BLOAT have gone away….I didn’t know I had I B S because the Dr said it was from meds…that is gone also…but ….what stresses me is not being able to eat chicken or eggs out because you cannot depend on the chicken being grain free…I have found out I cannot even eat chicken fed vegetarian diets.. that means they are eating grains and it hits me with severe sinus problems or racing heart…bought the wrong eggs and had them yesterday and my ears are still plugged…when accidently consumed it does bother me more but I know I have to be more careful and realize its not me as much as they are feeding the cows and chicken what they should not be eating just to fatten them up…. II think Corn should be considered as bad as wheat!…. our food supply isn’t what it used to be!!…Frankenfoods For sure…

  23. Kay says


    I am 9 weeks pregnant and my first set of blood tests show that I have a high level of anitbody peroxidase. It should be less than 60 and my level came out as 75. The endocrinologist I saw today prescribed Levoxyl (25 mcg) daily. I REALLY don’t want to have to take this medication and am trying to find alternative methods of treating this problem naturally. Any recommendations? Thank you.

    • Jennifer says

      Hi…I guess you would be in your 2nd trimester still, seeing that you made this post in April. I hope things are working out for you. I was on Levothyroxine (synthroid) with both my pregnancies, and I have 2 healthy kids. It is important for thyroid levels to be managed during pregnancy, and thyroid hormone replacement is not harmful to the developing babies. It would be more harmful not to take medication if needed. I hope you have found the best solution during your pregnancy. It’s quite a miracle how the babies are protected though, so just know that I am living proof, and my precious children are also living proof, that someone with a thyroid disorder (I have Hashimoto’s) can have healthy pregnancies and babies!! :)

      • Zorah says


        I have Hashimotos since 2007. I took levothyroxine during pregnancy. And unfortunately I am still taking it.
        Are you still taking your meds? I saw a new doctor the other day and she recommended to go on Paleo diet .
        Anyone tried?

  24. John says

    I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism which was then diagnosed as Hashimoto’s. My T3 and T4 have always been normal, my TSH is high (but fluctuates) and antibodies are high. I DO NOT want to take Synthroid, I never feel right on it and I’ve been up and down the dosage scale.
    From everything I’m gathering going Paleo or as least gluten free and dairy free could be the ticket. Also when I’m tested with high tsh and antibodies its always at a time when the stress in my life is peaking.
    I don’t have any of the symptoms of hashi or hypo but weight gain (which could just be not correct diet, lack of exercise and just the natural process of aging, I’m 47)
    I guess what I’m looking for is what to do when…your tsh and antibodies are high, t3 and t4 are normal and the only symptom you suffer from is weight gain. Very disappointed when my last two doctors told me concerning the weight gain…to join weight watchers and my current one who told me diet has nothing to do with tsh and antibody numbers and that I just need to stay on synthroid. Any info would be great…thanks

    • GIGI says

      I can not take Synthroid either. I feel like a cat trying to scratch out of my body. It is horrible actually. I was switched to armour thyroid and it is much better with no side effects.

    • DLFaubert says

      Hello John.
      In 2003 I had a weight of 128 lbs, which was completely normal. I’d always been a tiny female that was super active, into many sports, rock climbing, biking, working out daily, full time job, two young children, eating a lot of various fruits and vegetables daily, with poultry and occasional red meat.
      In 2004 my weight increased to 145 lbs. (more than I had weighed at full term for either of my pregnancies), no change in diet, no change in hobbies or habits. I went to my GP, who in turn sent me to so called specialist. The specialist nagged me constantly about working out, eating healthier and eat less. I argued my diet was mainly fruit and veggies, I didn’t eat fried foods at all, didn’t consume alcohol at all and I ate one meal a day (which I had been doing since public school). I asked him how I could eat healthier and eat less with the diet I was already doing. He just replied that I had to reduce how much I ate and go on a diet. QUACK is all I could say.
      In late 2005, during a physical, my GP was concerned about my massive weight gain, by this time I had sky-rocketed to 187 lbs, was exhausted, and my blood pressure was dangerously low. He asked about the specialist, I told him about the issue, he said that…well I won’t repeat it. He sent me for a complete blood panel, called me with urgency to get in to him immediately. He was panicked with how far out my levels were (suppose to be no higher than 5 but mine were 48). It’s been 9 years since being diagnosed with Hashi’s and hypo and I’ve only passed 5-6 blood tests. I did lose a lot of weight about two years ago, this is when I passed 3 tests in a row, my weight went down to 149 lbs. Now I battle again, haven’t passed a test in over a year, I go for blood work every 6 weeks now because it won’t level out, and my weight is back up to 171 lbs with all the symptoms. It’s completely frustrating.
      I work 10-14 hour days, so it’s been hard to keep an exercise regiment lately, that is the only thing that has changed, otherwise I still eat a ton of fruit and veggies with some meat and no fried foods or alcohol.
      From what I read here and on other websites, there are some veggies that I consume a fair amount of that I should avoid (cauliflower/broccoli/spinach are my favourites), plus I consume a lot of dairy every day. So I think I will try reducing them to see how things go and eliminate the gluten from my diet (breads/crackers I eat). Plus I need to reduce my work hours and get back to exercising, even though my job has me walking a lot during the day, it’s likely not enough.
      One thing I have noticed, almost every time my synthroid meds. have been upped, I have had some stabilization in my weight and energy levels after a few weeks, but it just never seems to last.
      I feel your frustration John. There is so much information out there with different suggestions and every doctor will tell you something different. Let’s hope science catches up on this autoimmune disease and finds something for us that really works.

  25. Ava says

    4 months ago I was told I had Hashimoto’s with an TPO/AB of 106. My TSH levels, along with my t3/t4, were normal. I have been strictly gluten free for 4 months and I feel so much better!!! For the first time in years my body is digesting food the way it should. Along the way I have discovered other foods that are difficult for me to tolerate, such as almonds, dairy, sugary foods, etc. I have been on a strict paleo diet for three months. The only symptom I have had still lingering was a strange nummular type headache that would come and go. I decided to give up eggs ,something I had been eating everyday, to see if it changed anything. I haven’t had a headache since. I’m hoping my system will calm down so I can enjoy some of the foods I’m missing. Gluten is out forever, there’s no way I’m going back, but I really miss almonds and eggs!

    • Kimberly says

      You might try eggs from grass fed chickens. If they are fed grains, you might still have symptoms from eating gluten. Same goes with meat.

  26. Howard says

    I now have Hashimoto’s and I think gluten-free is just depressing. I have been hypothyroid for 17 years, but now the antibodies are attacking the thyroid…with the stress filled society we live in ya think??? Yes, I am following it, but it is very basic food because I don’t have a grand salary to make it all tasty and yummy, and I don’t have 5 bucks for a loaf of sawdust flavored GF bread. I still don’t find any concrete evidence GF is the way to go, but that will just bring on a stream of flames from all the docs, would be docs, and alternative docs…so let me just say this. The most depressing part of GF is that it isn’t like a weight loss diet where once in awhile you can have the “offending” foods (if indeed they are offending), you must give them up forever. Medicine and science and even dietitians are constantly changing the rules and finding out things they thought were problematic no longer are and vice versa. I am giving it a year…if I don’t see any noticeable improvement, the vans of gluten are coming back to my residence. Also, I am NOT giving up Diet Coke…Never. YES! I know all the studies and all the “data”, blah, blah, blah, and while the gluten must go, the Diet Coke is staying. Have a good day!

    Another thing, I love how everyone always recommends things to me that are “very good” but they don’t tell me they are $$$$$$. A pint of coconut ice cream for 6.50 (I did splurge on that one and it tasted like paste), so I got my money back for that. HOWEVER, Almond milk is my new friend. Love it. Very sad to give up Greek yogurt, but hey, ya gotta be GF!

    • pensa says

      Hi Howard, I’m not going to comment on the cause of your “depression” but I do agree that actual real food can be expensive. But rice is no more expensive than wheat and its so easy to cook. That’s just off the top of my head. What I’m most concerned about is that you think that “Greek yoghurt” has gluten in it. It doesn’t. So that’s one less thing to be sad about.

      • says

        Yes! Some yogurts have gluten, they get them thickened with gluten!!! Eating whole foods is the healthiest! Think: your grandmother and grand grandmother styles and east European countries style of foods from small towns!!!! Many foods have hidden gluten even mustard!!!!

  27. Chris says

    Have been dealing with these symptoms for 20 years. The depression and brain fog completely clear up on a raw food vegan diet in a matter of a few days. I did a 10 day juice fast and every symptom cleared with the exception of some lingering fatigue. If your depression is bad, go raw. Check out Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. It could potentially change your life.

    • penelope says

      Chris, it strikes me that this is a very strange forum for you to be posting this. Either you are not aware yourself or you are a troll… Hard to tell. Nevermind, I wonder whether Chris Kresser will even respond to your post. I’m Australian and I’m aware of the video you are talking about. It’s a far cry from the evidence based, intelligent nutritional information that Chris Kresser shares about health on his website and in his book…

      • MrsBradley says

        I have to agree with Chris on his point regarding juicing. Not only do I have Hoshimotos I also have severe RA. I go through bouts of being a devout juicer and when I do ALL symptoms go away with out meds. As soon as I fall off the wagon all symptoms come back. My issue with juicing is that it is time consuming. My husband travels every week and I’m at home with my 4ry old working a high stress 60+ hr a week job. I just don’t have the time to stay with it.

  28. Nicole says

    I have hashimotos and have been doing Paleo for several months- completely changed my lifestyle! My levels evened out…and i have been feeling a ton better! This month i was very sad when my blood work came back with a low Free T3 . I don’t feel bad. But we are trying to get pregnant so i know these levels need to be solid. My doc is suggesting i go on Nature-Throid. Any suggestions are much appreciated!! i feel frustrated. Not really wanting to go on meds, but will especially if it will help me to get pregnant!

    • caroline Nowak says

      I have hashimotos and went gluten free. After 6 months, my T3 plummeted as well :( I have reduced my synthroid and will get more blood work in a couple of weeks.

    • Niko says

      make sure you get treated primarily according to symptoms, which is more important than labs.
      How is your FT4 and your rT3?
      You may have some cellular resistance perhaps because of a nutritional deficiency, or because of prolonged stress (beware of hidden stress) If you have an open minded doctor, you should try to get a complete hormonal (saliva tests are more accurate usually) & nutritional panel including tissue minerals.

  29. Lisa says

    I am 52 have Hashimotos and am pre diabetic. I am also vegetarian. I love eating fake meat products in order to get my protein because the thought of eating a dead animal is something I prefer not to do. How can I get the protein I need without going back to meat, or is that my only option?

    • Kimberly says

      You don’t have to eat meat to get enough protein. I am confused by some of the anti-inflammatory food recommendations, because things like tomatoes, soy, and nuts are supposed to be anti-inflammatory.

  30. Caroline Nowak says

    After reading your site, I went gluten free. (I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos for 15 years.) I lost 17 pounds and I feel that I am now somewhat Hyper (heart racing, shaking disrupted sleep). I re-took blood work and my t3 has fallen into the low range (83 ng/dl from 106. It has always been near 106. T4 is the same but TSH fell from 1.46 to .52 ) Is this a normal expectation?

    I wish your site had more information re what to expect and what to do with your meds once you go gluten free and things start to change. Also, how do you know the difference between the effects of weight loss and the effects of gluten removal when it comes to regulating thyroid meds?

  31. Kimberly says

    Great site. I just learned of the gluten connection and am eliminating that. My doc yanked me of Naturethroid because my Antibodies were elevated – near 1000. I’m seeing higher numbers here. According to stopthethyroidmadness.com, I am having hypo symptoms. Is it wise to eliminate T3?

  32. Theresa White says

    Hello, I just found out I have hashi and 2 thyroid nodules, but yet my thyroid levels are normal, how is this possible? I’m an working on changing my diet. I’ve been sugar free for over 30 days and have lost 10+ lbs. I exercise daily whether I feel like it or not. I have days when I feel good and days when I don’t. I’m currently working on becoming GF but haven’t been free long enough to see any difference. I’m currently taking d3 2000mg and selenium 200mg, vatamin e and a b complex. I haven’t been to an endo yet my apt is next month. I was so hoping to have a handle on this before going to see the endo but im beginning to understand this fix isn’t going to be easy. Any advice, encouragement is appreciated.

    Theresa :(

    • Alicia says

      Is sounds like you are doing a lot of things right so far (as far as some of the vitamins you are taking). Have you read the book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?” by Dr. Kharrazian. This book will explain how one can have normal lab tests for thyroid hormone yet still feel exhausted from having Hashimoto’s. It also touches on gluten and its triggering of an immune response. The book is a must read for anyone with Hashimoto’s. My Hashimoto’s has gotten worse since the beginning of the year. I just started taking thyroid glandular for about a week now, it helps in ways but I don’t think I have reached an optimal dosage. Also, I just know my adrenaline glands aren’t functioning at all for the most part, so will be looking into a good Ashwagandha product with a generous amount of B5. How much vitamin E are you taking? B5 and B6? Vitamin C and Magnesium? Best regards, Alicia

  33. Susannah says


    I have this.. well, “cute” goiter that really can’t be seen, but I sure feel it when I try to swallow! I’ve been struggling with Hashimoto’s since 2003. I am trying taking fish oil with the Liothyronine. At last blood test found that my electrolytes were off, and that there could be adrenal problem. Energy really fluctuates. have MONDO cravings for carbs and sweets. Have gone wheat free, and then I suffer from piles. Normal course that my GP told me was to increase fiber intake.

    Trying to find alternatives to [raw] carrots, but have found that the sources, websites, research is SOO controversial. Help?

    thanks so much.

    • Alicia says

      What kinds of grains and legumes can you eat? Do you include any legumes in your diet? Can you eat sweet potatoes? Brown rice?

  34. Stephanie Colmery says

    Hi everyone, my husband was just diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in June of this year. Does anyone else know of other men who have this? It just wrecks havoc on his overall well-being and it hurts me so much to see him this way. He is currently seeing an Endocrinologist and is on meds but I see that diet really affects him. Meds aren’t enough. Any thoughts, suggestions, advice? Thanks!

  35. Ginny says

    Wow. Wow. Wow.
    This morning a Facebook friend shared a status of one of her friends talking about gluten and thyroid problems. I took note. My thyroid has been one cranky mess for the last 15 years. I did have a three year period where things were going well and my levothyroxine was significantly reduced. But eventually things started going back the opposite direction. For the last year and a half we have been increasing and increasing and changing from generic to brand to Armour and increasing some more. Every time I go back for my labs, it’s still off.
    So this Facebook post was mentioning gluten. And a light bulb went off! You know those three great years? Those years, as part of my attempts to lose weight, I ate clean and had very little gluten. I wasn’t trying to be gluten free, it just sorta worked out that way. But I eventually stopped eating that way.
    And now I find this series of articles and it all makes sense! I see light at the end of the tunnel!

  36. Lizelle says

    Hi, got diognosed with Graves’s in Jan and now with Hashi. Please advise as I am so confused with what to eat and what not to eat as the comunication from my specilist has been very vague.

  37. Sandy S says

    I am confused. I was told in September that I have Hashi’s. When I was 17 I had several growths removed from my throat. I never took any type of medicine after the operation. Now, 50 years later I discovered the nodules were back. I had them removed and my left thyroid because it had several cysts on it. I am now on daily medication for the rest of my life. My doctor only told me to cut back on my carbs. I don’t feel , no joint issues, or tiredness. After reading info about Hashi’s, I went on a gluten free diet. I saw no difference in how I felt after a month, so I went off of it. I continue to read that I should go gluten free, and there are many foods that I shouldn’t be eating. Both of my grown children have Celiac Sprue. I was tested at that time and told that I do not have it. I am not sure what I hold be eating. Any thoughts? I feel like I should see another doctor for guidance or can you help me?

  38. Karen says

    A recent xray discovered two internal hernias at the top of my stomach! Could this be termed leaky gut? I have been taking medication for hashimoto disease for four years and also require a vitamin D supplement. Should a person take iodine supplements to assist?

  39. Sandra S says

    I just found out that I have hasitmotos. It started with nodules on my throat which were removed. I am in my 60s and had some removed when I was 17. Both times, no signs of cancer. The doctor removed my left thyroid because of a large number of cysts. Both of my adult children have celiac spruce. I was tested and told that I did not have it. I have read about so many people going gluten free, so I went on a gluten free diet. I can’t see any difference. I don’t feel bad and am not tired all the time. I was only told to cut back on my carbs. I walk two miles a day, at least six days a week and go to the gym three times a week. So, my question is….. Does everyone with Hashi’s disease need to go gluten free?

  40. Becky says

    Hi Kim, you are so right!
    I’ve had Hashis diagnosed for 12 years now. Taking Synthroid helped feel normal after two years. I’ve had Different doctors, endocrinologists but no one had ever addressed my diet. Recently I saw a Naturopath for frozen shoulder, when he found out about my Hashimotos he forgot about my shoulder and began to address my gut. After 13 blood sample tubes for testing, he said I have a Leaky Gut Syndrome and wants to put me on a strict cleansing for a month. That means Colonics, diet, herbal supplements and PT of some sort. He wants me to take a month off work, drink more water, go to bed by 10pm. Reduce stress is what the goal is. I think he wants to jump start my gut. We tested for Celiac and I’m negative for that. But I’ve been reading a lot in the Internet and I’m blown away with all the info. Like Kim says, educate yourself and take care. There is hope.

    • Stephanie Colmery says

      Thanks for your story, it is helpful. My husband has hashi’s and I’m trying to figure out what to do about his diet…

  41. Lisa says

    I have just been told this week by a physicians assistant that I have Hashimoto’s. She wants me gluten free for 6 weeks, repeat labs, and then return to see her in 8. I was diagnosed around 7 years ago with hypothyroidsim and have been taking Levoxyl (75mg). My family physician has checked my thyroid yearly and said it was doing fine even as recent as 4 months ago. His lab work showed that I had a very low vitamin D level that concerned him; however. Could this latest lab work be skewed due to a high volume intake of dairy, raw broccoli, raw carrots, peanuts, peanut butter? All of the things I have been eating prior to seeing physician’s assistant are so called “no-no’s”. Four weeks ago, I had a hysterectomy and actually was seeing this p.a. for hormone replacement when she found this new diagnosis. Or could my lab work be inaccurate due to a recent hysterectomy? Guess I do not want to accept this. Is there any chance people with Hashimotos can ever return to eating normal? In the last two days, I have found myself eating “nothing” as to eating “gluten free”. Are there any good websites that show diet suggestions, foods, etc? Any help appreciated…thanks!

    • Kim Jennings says

      Hi, I’d like to make a comment to Lisa. The normal standard American diet is crap. Our food is not natural, it’s genetically modified. Thank your corrupt politicians during the next election. If your child was sick you wouldn’t treat them like you do yourself. Be kind to yourself, take the time to educate yourself. The Internet is the greatest change to mankind since the printing press. Try Dr Mercola, or the book wheat belly. Their is a lot of great info out there. Did you know most people end up with some horrible disease. You have a great opportunity to go into your kitchen, and heal yourself with a healthy diet. Take up some meditation, watch some funny movies. Reduce your stress, teach yourself to cook and eat really healthy. Your life will never be the same you have a serious challenge! It’s not fair, well life’s not fair. Life is hard. be good to yourself, become a health nut, it’s a lot more fun to be a nut than always feeling icky.

  42. Kim says

    I have Hashimotos I had a large goiter. I asked my endo if a diet change would help she said she has never seen it help. My goiter got larger I couldn’t fall asleep at nite so uncomfortable. Endo told me the only treatment is thyroid removal surgery, consult with a surgeon. Boy was he eager to cut my throat. I decided to try something different. I changed my diet, and that changed my life! I quit glutin in all its many forms. My thyroid is its normal size. My neck is small again and beautiful. I feel healthy and happy. I saw my endo she was mean and rude to me she never even asked what I did. I won’t see her again. Be your own advocate. I hope I can help others recover the most beautiful gift in life. Health and Freedom!

    • Marie says

      I too have Hashimoto’s and I’m just starting my journey to trying to recapture my life through a healthy diet. Your recommendations and encouragements were very helpful to me. Your comments about your endo doctor bear out a statement my supportive husband uses. “A patient cured is a customer lost”. Sounds like this doctor is more concerned with her pocketbook than your health. Sadly, her kind is all too prevelant!

    • jen says

      Does this mean you cut out all grains, even rice? My daughter was just diagnosed and has many symptoms. She has pretty much been gluten free but not free of all ‘cross reactive’ gluten foods. Do you eat any cross reactive foods like coffee, chocolate, oats, etc..

    • Karin Mez says

      Hi Kim, Your comments really connected with me and my families beliefs on how and what you feed your body being one major component to overall health. Also rest, no stress and a positive happy frame of mind greatly affects health as we’ve been told many times. My son is a retired Micro Biologist and heavily researches foods and how they interact with the body. And positive vs. negative thoughts and how it changes your cells. I believe food is our medicine or can be if we chose that path. He has been following Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. and his recommendations for a Nutrient -rich eating plan. At the same time I was worried about not getting enough leafy greens and other veggies in my diet daily. Who wants to cook all of that and make the time. I didn’t and wasn’t. So after ready JF’s “Eat To Live” cookbook and buying a Vitamix, I now throw everything raw Organic, but the kitchen sink and feel great My son’s science and research, along with adding these delicous drinks made good common sense for me. I’m at the gym 4 days a week, dancing, stretching and light weights at 67 yrs. old and feel great and no one can believe my age. I have been recently diagnosed with Hashimotos and just started getting into the swim of it. I don’t have many symptoms and have always eaten a healthy regular diet of organic meat, chicken more fresh fruits and veggies. Pretty simple and I cook. My downfall is wine, so I’m monitoring it carefully. I’ll share later what is going on, when I know more. Oh, check out JF Youtube. I think you will enjoy it. Good health, vitality, peace and happiness.

      • Kimberly says

        If you want more greens and a nice snack, I like to make chips from them. I buy huge bags of pre-washed and cut greens (especially kale) and lay them on a baking sheet. Don’t cram them on but they can touch. I leave them out for a while so they are nice a dry. This is mindless and requires no effort Just leave them sitting out. When they are dry, I spray them with a bit of oil, sprinkle on salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and nutritional yeast (you can use Parmesan cheese instead.) Bake at 300 for 25 minutes if you want them fast. Eat them warm from the oven. I prefer to do oven drying instead of cooking, and go low and slow. I like about 200 degrees for an hour or so. If you have two cookie sheets in the oven, you have to rotate them, putting the one on the bottom rack on the top rack after 1/2 and hour for the long cook method.

        Some people like to buy a flatter kale in a bunch, rinse it and dry it, remove the stems, and cook it in larger pieces. The instructions are the same otherwise.

    • melanie says

      My Endo would not look at my enlarged hurting joints. Kept her fingers on her keyboard facing her screen. My hashimoto antibodies went from 500 Nov ’13 to over 2200 in April’14. The Thyroid meds i have reactions to. So im told. Im complicated, they will just keep running blood samples every few months . not treating me.
      So i asked her ‘So basically im screwed ,i cant be treated’? She said “yes”
      I havenot been back…my new book Doctor do Little…(charge alot and dont give a damn)

  43. Kim Jennings says

    I have hashimotos I had a large goiter. My endo said only treatment thyroid removal. I asked her about diet she said she’s never seen it help. I quit glutin in all it many forms. My thyroid shrunk to normal my neck is beautiful I feel happy I feel healthy I’m still on levothyroxine. Saw my endo she was rude and mean to me. I won’t see her again. Please educate yourself your family and friends any one who will listen about the dangers of genetically modified foods. There in all processed foods. And they have never been safety tested. Thank your politicians for taking bribes and endangering everyone’s health with this gm garbage. Obama and his family only eat non gm foods and organic vegetables.

  44. Amy says


    I hope you can answer a fairly simple question. I went on an elimination/low acid/anti-inflammatory diet of no soy, grains (except brown rice), dairy, nightshades, citrus, refined sugars to try to address my fatigue and to lose weight. I did it perfectly for two weeks, then had some imperfect days during the holidays, but basically stuck with it for 6 weeks and have noticed no improvement in anything. In fact, my mood has been terrible, my fatigue is worse, an my mental clarity has suffered such that I’m burning half the meals I cook now and dropping things. Is there any explanation for this sort of diet not working? I thought it was supposed to help anyone.


    • Cathy says

      I went through a similar experience. I’ve since discovered that I do much better if I try to eat a fairly well-rounded diet with an emphasis on optimizing thyroid metabolism. Make sure you get enough iodine and selenium. Gluten-free didn’t help me at all. (I ended up with low t3.) In fact, whole grain breads and pasta, paired with a source of protein, have helped my mood and energy levels. I also eat lots of fruits and veggies, a small amount of dairy, and a handful of nuts now and then. I’m almost 50 and I’m in perimenopause, but I feel much better than I did for the years I tried to go gluten-free. I truly believe we’re all different and what works for some may not work for others. I do try to stay away from junk food and think that’s a good idea for everyone. Good luck!

    • Karen says

      Hi Amy

      Just to say that you have taken the words right out of my mouth!

      I have read Dr Mark Hymans great book Ultramind and was quite excited that it would help my Hashimtotos. I followed the diet eliminating sugars, gluten and dairy only to find my weight crashed by half a stone (I’m not a big person) and my energy has been in the basement ever since! I have all the hyothyroid symptoms like you and am soooo disappointed as I really thought this diet would help and the reverse seems to be true! I wonder what the reason is?

  45. Kris says

    Simple Truths organic products are wonderful! Also eggs have Soy if there not Organic shop at a health food section or store..get the right vitamins and protein powders! Vitamin D3 is crucial I take 2000 d3 and it’s also in my supplement 2600 is average. Detox and get on Paleo diet! Distilled water helps but do not drink for months as it can remove good minerals u need. Do not eat foods like fish with Mercury or shower without a filter!

    • Lisa says

      I have Hashimotos also along with celiac disease and pernicious anemia.just wondering what kind do protein powder is good for us?

  46. Jennie says

    Hi they say you shouldn’t have soy or corn with hashis
    Mostly everything gf has soy and some stuff is made with corn flower. Is this bad? What can we eat?? Thanks Im so depressed and lost on this new diet!

    • Rachael says

      I think it’s easier to manage this by just avoiding “Gluten-Free” foods- those that are manufactured to resemble a product typically made with wheat. When I went GF, I started suddenly eating GF cookies, cakes, etc.- items I wasn’t eating much of in their gluten form. That wasn’t the healthiest option! When I switched to Paleo, where I am avoiding grains altogether, I seem to have an easier time. I am limiting my GF treats to those I can make myself, for special occasions, which gives me a lot more control over the ingredients.

    • Kim Jennings says

      I have Hashimotos, I’m sure I have celiac, I’ve thought about this a lot I’ve read a lot, I’ve seen standard doctors, I’ve seen alternative doctors. I think we autoimmune suffers are the yellow canary in the mine. My opinion is we should take the best vitamin supplements available. And avoid any genetically modified foods like there the plague. Can anyone say enough about organic, or clean water that’s not poisoned by our friendly government with fluoride. Use fluoride and glutin free toothpaste. And if you have any amalgam mercury dental fillings be very careful and have them replaced by a dentist who knows what their doing so you don’t swallow any. And also very important is probiotics I believe gut health must be healed, You have to take medication so you don’t die, but you don’t have to feel alone, sadly theirs a lot more of us out their. P.S. Wikipedia Monsanto. And as far as what to eat try meat , potato, and vegetables, especially grass feed meat, and organic vegetables, and fruit. Everyone wants to eat birthday cake try Betty Crocker glutin free cake mixes, they have recipes on their web sites that are better than any thing with flour, because they won’t make you sick. It takes a while to get used to never eating glutin but I got used to it, I tell myself nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels. I google glutin free recipes all the time, and my whole family loves them. And my meringue cookies are so good my adult friends want them for Christmas gifts. They were my grandmothers recipe, Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookies, Preheat oven to 350* beat 2 room temp egg whites till stiff, add 2/3 cup sugar gradually one tablespoon at a time till glossy add 1/2 tsp glutin free real vanilla extract, and 1 package chocolate chips. Fold in gently. Drop on lightly greased cookie sheet. Place in oven and turn off oven, leave over nite.

      • Kim Jennings says

        I have another comment, glutin free treats full of sugar and grains, are shouldn’t be a main part of your diet. If home made you can better control the quality of ingredients, if your healthy only eat them occasionally and in small amounts. Make your diet as healthy as possible. Such as organic fruits and vegetables grass fed meat, organic milk, at the very least no bgh ect, clean water, herbal teas, and if your immune system can’t handle glutin be careful with other grains, when grains are ground they become inflamitory, if you have murcury fillings, have them safely replaced. And take quality probiotics and vitamin mineral supplements. Remove as many toxins from your environment as possible. Especially anything you put in or on your body. Take care of yourself and care for yourself.

    • Sharon Farmer says

      When I first went Gluten free I replaced wheat crackers etc. with Gluten Free crackers and other gluten free processed….My hashi’s got worse!!!…I saw they replaced wheat with corn….It is maddening….in most gluten free processed foods there is corn syrup corn oil
      corn flour or other technical names which really mean corn…Even chickens fed corn and steakhouses who advertise corn fed beef I ate and went into severe asthma attacks when most of my life I had no asthma…so i watch chicken and beef and only eat grass fed….Corn is genetically modified and we didn’t have that when growing up!!! I was vegetarian for 20 years eating whole wheat and lots of grains….That is what started my Hashimoto’s….diet means everything…I guess Paleo is the way to go for me …

    • says

      When I first went Gluten free I replaced wheat crackers etc. with Gluten Free crackers and other gluten free processed….My hashi’s got worse!!!…I saw they replaced wheat with corn….It is maddening….in most gluten free processed foods there is corn syrup corn oil
      corn flour or other technical names which really mean corn…Even chickens fed corn and steakhouses who advertise corn fed beef I ate and went into severe asthma attacks when most of my life I had no asthma…so i watch what I eat chicken and beef and only eat grass fed….Corn is genetically modified and we didn’t have that when growing up!!! I was vegetarian for 20 years eating whole wheat and lots of grains….That is what started my Hashimoto’s….diet means everything…I guess Paleo is the way to go for me … after the allergic asthma I developed menieres which for me is caused by allergic reactions to wheat corn etc……….read where it might take 2 years before all is well and the damage that took a long time to my brain will take at least 2 yrs to repair the damage….From Atkins diet to vegetarian to the diets of the time Atkins worked best for me…I hope they do not find anything wrong with juicing…..I now have lost a lot of weight without trying just by going Gluten free…now I am trying to gain weight back.

  47. Melissa says

    I need help, please. I have suffered from Hashimoto’s, untreated, for over ten years. Was finally diagnosed this year, but due to the fact that I live in a domestic violence women’s shelter, have no insurance and am currently (though not usually) unemployed, I cannot get a prescription (have tried) and have some but not total control over what I am eating. I am really suffering. My anxiety and depression are getting to me – what can I do to lessen my suffering? Thanks for any help, Melissa

    • Kristina says

      Hi Melissa – have you tried applying for Medicaid for yourself if you are currently living in a shelter and have no form of income? Often you can qualify for this assistance in the interim. If you go to a hospital for help in this area, they can often find resources too. Additionally, have you talked to a social worker or case worker at your shelter? They should also be able to locate low cost or free medical care (they may even have someone who comes to the shelter!) to help you. Hashimoto’s is nothing to mess around with – I can’t believe you have managed this long without treatment. I wish you much luck and strength ~


      • Melissa says

        Hi Kristina, Thanks for replying- yes, I have struggled and suffered awhile. I have been to two clinics- and yes, a Dr. recently came to the shelter and he is one of the ones who said I have to have an endocrinologist for treatment. There is free medical /dental care for the homeless – bu tis is ver very generic and basix. They have insurance called Access here – and I was told I could not apply because I have no children. Budget cuts and new restrictions. Yes, I have talked to a case worker and also a therapist about my frustrations. I think, my best hope is to finally get a job and get real insurance.

    • Gina says

      Armour Thyroid medication is not that expensive even without insurance coverage. In fact, its cheaper for me to buy a three month supply and not use my insurance card, than to use it. If you can get a doctor to write you a prescription, just fill it and pay cash.
      Good Luck!

  48. Jodi says

    Diagnosed with Hashimoto 3 years ago. All Gluten tests negative but I dont believe them it makes me sick. My problem is that I’m allergic to ALL fruits and ALL vegetables plus add in Dairy, tree nuts and eggs. I cant even be in a room while they are cooking or steamed or touch them or I have to use an epi pen. No allergist, health & wellness or endicr has an answer. We have our own organic garden and just walking through the garden causes shock. I dont have a “go to” food like fruit. I cant get my carbs from gluten or fruits and veggies. Very depressing situation, battling each day. So I just eat minimal items and feel miserable or get sick. Immune system is getting worse…HELP

    • Cynthia says

      Hey when I first found out a year ago about having hashis and having to take levoxyl and cytomil everyday for the rest of my life I was upset….i would suggest staying on the medication, give it a chance to work. If you still, dont feel good maybe your dose isnt right. Ask doc to check free t3 and free t4. Being gluten free has helped me so much. Email me if u need more info

      • Jodi says

        Thanks Cynthia. I have been on my meds for 3 years and they check every 3 months a full thyroid panel and its always normal. I have went Gluten free before but I cant stick with it because the only other foods to substitute Im allergic too. So I have a hard time getting carbs then my blood sugar drops.

        • Nicole says

          Hi! Jodi, I am in the same boat as you and really struggling. I have intolerances to phenols — which are natural chemicals in most foods — and in almost all fruits and vegetables. I’m not allergic to them per se, but for some reason (maybe the hashimotos) my liver can’t process phenols right now at all and so I get very sick and have gallbladder attacks from eating most vegetables and fruits and lots of other foods like chicken, tea, chocolate. I find that I do much better with cruciferous vegetables than any other type — that includes broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. These are usually the only ones I can eat without a reaction, but sometimes they give me a slight reaction too. Otherwise, my safe-food is brown-rice. I never have an attack from brown rice, so I eat rice cakes, cooked rice, brown rice protein, rice porridge, etc.

          • Jodi Tarkovich says

            Thanks Nicole. You are the first person who has come up with a possibility of the cause. Can we exchange emails and try to figure this out together? Your email gave me hope!

            • Johnna says

              Amazing! I’m 24 and found out when I was 14 I was hypothyroid.. Not until this week did I find out its Hashimotos… I’ve always had a reaction to certain fruits and vegetables and until I broke out in hives everyone would think I was crazy saying that! Just thought it was a strange connection after reading some of these comments

      • sherry says

        hi i just found out i had hashimotos this year just 2 months ago and i really dont no how to trat it or what to eat specailist just told me come off my steriod meds when cam up here to work and my throats been soare ands till have the lump and feel shitt every second day and i wanna work out so bad anyway u can help me let me no some things be great:)

    • Nick says

      Jodi, look into NAET. It might be worth your while!
      The other thing you can check is cross reactive foods. Look at Cyrex Labs website, as they have
      tons of info on this stuff.

    • kj says

      If you are so miserable, I suggest you go to another country may be India and try auyerveda. Sometimes envrionment alone will help you get out of these symptoms

    • jan helton says

      have you ever spoken to your doc ab out infusing IGg, i have severe allergies and now take Xolaire and IGg. and feel much better but now to the Hashis….

    • Fred says

      To the person allergic to all fruits and veggies
      Have u tried the Naet allergy therapy?
      Some acupuncturist deliver it
      It helped me a lot on a lot of allergies

  49. Alice says

    Thanks for the information. I have been taking synthroid for about 4 years and cymotel for about 1. I feel so awful and I want to go off the meds and try to cure myself by changing diet. My doctor says dangerous to do that and she’s had patients who have got very sick going off them. I have been on a mostly gluten free, organic diet for about a year now and need to get off dairy. Can’t buy grass fed butter and milk here but do buy organic and don’t have much. Can I ask what the worst thing that can happen if I go off the meds do you know? Any help is appreciated.

    • Kelli says

      Going off your meds is not the right answer. Your body cannot function without T3 and T4. Changing your diet isn’t going to magically make your thyroid produce more hormones especially if it has already mostly stopped functioning. What it will do is decrease the immune load that you are laboring under. You end up with more energy and a clearer mind because your immune system isn’t battling everything that is sneaking in through your gut. Over time it is possible that you may be able to reduce your medications but you should be feeling much better before you even think about that step. My experience says that cutting out the possible inflammatory foods 100% is way more important than buying organic. Try a 30 day trial with NO wheat, dairy, grains, or sugar and see how you feel then make more in depth decisions.

      • alice says

        Kelli, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer and for your advice. I’m not having grains, sugar or wheat and will stop the dairy and hopefully see if that helps.

        • Robin says

          Yes! Kelli thank you. I won’t go off my levoxyl but will do a gluten free sugar free diet for 30 dAys straight and see how I do. Even if my nodules are still there I know I’ll feel better.

          But what about my nightly red wine??? Where does this fall on the gluten free scale?

  50. says

    How does it feel being gluten free over a month? I have some friends, who are diabetic, and all I know for preventing this is eating gluten – free foods. Is Hashimoto the same with Celiac Disease?

  51. momon says

    i am suffering from diabetes since 6 years but recently also found having hashimotos disease.i suffering from fatiqueness since its hard to choose diets. please advice me foods what to eat and what not to eat for these 2 disease.

    • Chris Kresser says

      There are varying statistics, but they’re based on inaccurate tests. Clinically the correlation is very high. I suggest all HASHI’s patients be off gluten.

      • Kim says

        I agree with Kris, I have hashimotos and a blood test and biopsy came back negative for celiac desease. But since I stopped consuming glutin, my goiter shrunk, and I feel better.

        • Marie says

          What is the difference between a thyroid goiter and a thyroid cyst? I have been diagnosed with a cyst that has gone from 10mm to over 20mm in five years and is getting larger now. Doctors want to remove it. Is diet a safer, better alternative?

  52. Jen says

    I just found your blog and I’m scouring it to the best of my ability to get a feel for all that it offers.  I have to ask one question:
    What reason is there for not considering removal (or killing) of the thyroid altogether?
    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t really consider that, but I just have to ask.
    Jen- Concord, CA (diagnosed w/Hashi’s in 2008)

    • Chris Kresser says

      Lots of reasons, Jen, although it is appropriate in some uncontrolled cases of Graves’ disease. Management with supplemental hormone isn’t a perfect science. The body is complex and utilizes mechanisms for hormone regulation we’re only beginning to understand. Replacing the function of sophisticated, living tissue with a pill is much easier said than done. By the way, I will be starting to see clients in early October in Berkeley, CA if you need some additional help figuring this stuff out. You can contact me through the blog.

      • Marie says

        Did not feel jen’s question was answered. Why is removal or killing the thyroid not a wise idea? Please give more facts and details for those of us being told to consider it. Also, what are the dangers of having thyroid cysts removed?

        • Karen says

          I have Hashimotos & I no longer have either thyroid lobes. They were both removed because of large non cancer nodules, that were affecting my swollowing. I held off as long as possible when I had them removed (2 different surgeries) I have relatives that deal with trying to regulate the meds that I didn’t want to deal with it. Needless to say they say my meds are right but I still am not myself, I have now energy especially.
          I’m on levothyroxine & Liothyronine (cytomel). Which my blood test show my levels are in the range, but I still have so many symptoms of Hashimotos. In the end your thyroid plays an IMPORTANT part in your body!

  53. gabriela says

    Gluten stays in your system for 6 months??? I thnk you may be right about the gluten. I avoid it mostly but notice the symptoms after I consume it and the horrible roller coaster begins again. I have hashis and am on bio-identical dessicated porcine extract but I think the fillers include gluten. Looks like I’ll have to cut gluten out altogether and request gluten free medication, which is double the price.
    The paleo diet sounds great. may have no choice but to try it.

    • Jamie says

      Gabriela- where can I find info on Bio-Identical dessicated porcine extract? Is it the same as natural dessicated thyroid? Thanks-Jamie

  54. says

    Paleo is short for Paleolithic, eating like a hunter gatherer, pre-agricultural.
    No grains, no legumes (including soy and peanuts) no dairy, no sugar, no artificial sugar, no additives, no chemically altered fats, no refined foods.
    I eat fresh seafood, poultry and grass fed meat and organ meat, lots of vegetables especially the colourful non starch ones, (but not potatoes), some fruit especially berries, natural fats like raw nuts, olive oil, avocado, coconut, and sometimes a little grass fed cream or butter, natural flavours – herbs and spices.
    If you can hunt it, or if you can gather or pick it – you can eat it.
    This diet changed my life

    • Tallene says

      Thanks for the information on paleodiet diet. I have Hashi’s, just been diagnosed. I am having a hard time finding the correct food to eat.

      • penelope says

        Tallene, since you are on Chris Kresser’s blog already, I suggest you look into how he approaches “Paleo” and nutrition.

    • jay says

      Actually there all MANY types of foods listed on the paleo diet you should NOT be eating if you have Hashimotos. Not really sure why that website is recommened here, the first sample meal listed there has items you definitely shouldnt eat. Such as tomatoes, peppers, flaxseed, any oils except for coconut oil, any type of nuts, all of those are no-no’s for Hashis sufferers. Just because its found in nature does NOT mean its ok to eat for those of us with Hashis.

  55. Barbara says

    I have Hashimoto’s, and I’m a mess.  I don’t feel my synthroid/cytomel is working, although the docs, even endocrinologists, say my TSH is low/normal.
    What’s Paleo?

  56. says

    I also have Hashis with no symptoms though – just sky high anti-bodies. I have been on a lowish carb diet for 14 years – low gluten and grains, maybe 1 serve day if that.
    It wasn’t until I went Paleo that my niggling issues cleared up.
    Now – no more joint inflammation, no more PMS or bad Menstrual cramps. Ganglion cyst went away. Weight more stable. No more mild constipation. No more dishydrotic eczema.
    Hashis is an auto immune issue – I’m sure meany other people like me have other auto-immune issues brewing even if not diagnosed.
    Paleo is awesome – I have just started switching my clients that direction – it is so much more effective than a diet with grains and legumes.
    If you have Hashis – go strictly paleo for 30 days – then see how you are

    • Audrey Falck says

      I have Hashis too and I did the Paleo experience for 30 days. I noticed a huge difference with my level of energy. My stomach feels better too. I am sticking with it!
      I am replacing milk with Goat’s milk, Is that ok? I don’t want to have calcium deficiency.
      Is riz ok in this diet? I thought all grains were out but I saw yesterday on a blog (in France) that they included rice. Is this right?

    • JC says

      Hi – I was diagnosed with Hashi and Celiac. My TSH is 14.8; FT3-2.6;FT4-0.76; TGB AB 176 and TPO Ab – 12,666.
      Were your antibodies above 10K? I also do not have any symptoms and am following the autoimmune paleo protocol (no dairy, eggs, nuts, grains, etc), however, the antibodies (TPO) are not dropping. They were 13,249 in March and currently at 12,666. Could something else be driving the TPO AB?
      Thank you in advance for getting back with me as I am very worried and doctors are not helping.
      I am not taking medication – only supplements (selenium, vit e, zinc, copper, magnesium, fish oil, vit c)

      • Dayna says


        It sounds like you are hypothyroid. Your TSH is way too high and needs to be lowered. Natural Thyroid meds such as Naturethroid, Armour, etc. are what most thyroid patients find work best after being on a synthetic such as Synthroid. There is a website called Stop the Thyroid Madness that may help you as well.

        • Shar says

          Morning I have all the same problems with meds and food intolerences my endro jusr ran a new test its human anti mouse antibody (hama) if you carry this antibody you tsh come s back with false reading n you goibg on your free t3 and free t4 levels…

      • Howard says

        Did you say 13,000+??? I thought I was doing bad at 1000+ and TSH 5.8. I have been hypothyroid for 17 years, but discovered last summer my antibodies were high and TSH is elevating out of the range she would like, i.e., at least below 3.

    • Olivia says

      I’m a personal trainer & struggle with weight. I’ve been diagnosed with Hashi’s. However my numbers are too low for meds. My TSH levels are in the normal range. However, I have symptoms: fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, arthritis in my hands, sugar effects my body like crazy.
      I’ve gone GF and many of my symptoms have gotten better. I can’t lose weight to save my life. Frustrating considering my profession. I train 6 days aweek. Do you think Paleo will help with weight loss?

  57. says

    My family has been gluten free for two years now and it’s made such a big difference in my husband and my stepson’s health. I haven’t really noticed any difference for me, though. I’m just sticking with it because it’s easier if we’re all gluten free.

  58. Mary says

    I have Hashi’s and am very overweight but I don’t have any digestive complaints – no gas, reflux, constipation, diarrhea…and when I did a saliva test for cortisol levels had no issue with the anti-gliadin antibodies.  Is it still likely that gluten is causing or exacerbating my auto-immune thyroid issues?  Also – I’ve heard that some well-fermented wheat may be OK for celiacs – would this also apply for those gluten-sensitive in other ways?

    • Chris Kresser says

      Gluten intolerance can manifest in many different ways, depending on the specific subtype of transglutaminase being attacked by the body. The saliva test is inadequate for testing gluten intolerance. Fecal IgA is a more accurate marker, which is why I recommend enterolab.com. That said, the prevalence of gluten intolerance is so high in Hashimoto’s patients that I tell any patients with that condition to avoid gluten. Even the best testing methods aren’t completely accurate, and the risk of exacerbating the autoimmune attack on the thyroid is just not worth it. Fermented wheat is not okay – in the studies I’ve seen, there is still gluten in it even after significant fermentation.

      • Vicky Mitchell says

        When my dr tested me for Hashi’s, he told me he could do the test for gluten sensitivity also, but, he said it was so likely to be positive (he was 99% sure) that he encouraged me not to waste my $$.
        If I understand it correctly Chris, some of the proteins (in gluten) that set off the immune response are so similar to thyroid tissue that gluten is probably the catalyst for many Hashi sufferers.

  59. Chris Kresser says

    Denise: I don’t know the answer to that question.  If I had to guess, I’d say addressing the underlying imbalances may stop the growth of the nodules and prevent new ones from occurring, but not dissolve the existing nodules.

  60. Denise says

    Chris, I’m a 46-yr-old female, recently diagnosed with multi-nodular goiter but have “normal” blood results (including autoimmune); needle biopsy of a large nodule which I was told revealed “nothing abnormal” (although my mom, who is a physician, said didn’t look like a very good sample as it was “mostly blood with a few follicular cells”). I have what I feel are hyperthyroid symptoms upon waking (racing thoughts, OCD, fast heartbeat, palpitations) and hypothyroid-related symptoms throughout the day (lethargy, constipation, depression, low Vitamin D, unexplained high cholesterol, long periods, hot flashes). The tightness in my neck from the goiter is very uncomfortable. My question is this — After reading your articles I’m going to try to address leaky gut, gluten intolerance etc. — Is there a chance that will help me with the NODULES, or are are those only going to go away with thyroid hormone and/or surgery?

    • Olya says


      My nodules shrunk once i went completely gluten free AND dairy free! So i believe if you are very strict , you can healh yourself. I also brought down my TSH(it is in perfect range now) just with diet.
      I was following Dr. Kharrazian’s book.

      • Keggy says

        I too went gluten and dairy free for the past year and a half. My thyroid numbers have been normalized for once and my nodules have gone. I also am no longer taking medication and feel great! Having said that I am still being monitored by my doctor. I am just learning all of the connections recently and am excited of the results :)

      • Taylor says

        That’s amazing! I didn’t think Tsh could go down with diet alone, I was always told it couldn’t!?! My hashimotos has been going on gor 5 yrs now, I can’t take meds, can u tell me what you did?

        • Caroline says

          My tSH fell just from going gluten free. However, I think it took a good six months of being diligent. I am also dairy free.

    • CD says

      I have over 14 nodules when I was diagnosed with Hasi’s. I started on synthetic thyroid medication (synthroid, etc.) and it did nothing for me. I switched to Nature Throid and ALL of my nodules are GONE! Don’t have surgery. Keep reading! Try the natural desiccated thyroid meds and give it time to work, then re-check nodules with ultrasound. You will be pleasantly surprised, I hope!

      • LK says

        CD, I also have thyroid nodules…8 to be exact. I have been on Armour thyroid for about 4 months. Recently had two nodules biopsied…benign. How long did it take your nodules to shrink? Thanks. Doctor has provided zero info on how to get these things to go away. Ridiculous…

  61. says

    Regarding Chris’ statement about gluten, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve known a number of people who have said they have reduced the amount of gluten in their diets, or that they try to eat a mostly gluten-free diet. But when an individual is gluten intolerant, it seems to be an all-or-nothing solution because just a small amount of gluten is enough to begin flattening the villi of the small intestine. Further, complete abstinence allows yesterday’s gluten effects to resolve tomorrow. If you eat it now and then, you are only continuing a cycle of negative effects without allowing your body to heal.

  62. says

    My field is whole food supplementation, which isn’t the same thing as vitamin pills or herbs, BUT my contention has always been that to combat any disease or symptom, the first place to begin is with the diet. There is no substitute for the nutrients one needs from nature’s foods in order to address any health problem. Over the past twenty years I have seen “miracles” happen only by adopting a rational, whole foods, natural diet.

  63. Chris Kresser says

    As Dr. K said, 90% gluten-free is like 90% pregnant.  Even a small amount can provoke an immune response.  You can use gluten-free tamari instead of soy if you want that flavor.

    • linda says

      Do you think tamari is ok to use when you have Hashimoto’s? I have read that one should avoid soy as well as gluten if you have an auto-immune disease but was wondering if that applied to fermented gluten free soy as well?

  64. Daniel says

    Thanks for sharing the link. The post by Dr. Kharrazian is a treasure trove of good information on Hashimoto’s and how to repair the gut. I agree that we should avoid gluten and sweets if we have an auto immune disease.
    Quote:”This immune response to gluten can last up to six months each time it’s ingested.” I am surprised about this fact. Does this mean we should be 100% free all the time? I sometimes cook with soy sauce (with flour in it) so i am wandering if a small amount is also bad.

    • Howard says

      This is why GF is not possible. You cannot steer 100% clear of it unless you go live in a mountain resort and drink spring water and eat mangoes. And there are no concrete, long term studies that going GF heals Hashimoto’s…it may heal your gut, as in celiac, but not Hashimoto’s. But Dr. K and other chiro and holistic docs like him are making a lot of fuss and in some cases money over the gluten issues. I am not saying I want to lay in a bucket of gluten, but it is impossible to live gluten free. And this business of if you eat 1 gluten containing food and you go back to square one is enough to make you feel defeated before you even start. I gave up bread, cookies, pies, cakes, and all the obvious gluten offenders, but that is as far as I am going. Thanks!!!

      • says

        I agree with you Howard. Avoiding Gluten 100% is not practical if you want to live in the world. Especially if you travel a lot. Elimination diets in general set the body up for greater sensitivity and stress when the food(s) being avoided are accidentally consumed. And the stress of having to worry about avoiding certain foods does more damage to the body than consuming it occasionally. In the 15 years I have had Hashimotos, I have found limiting highly processed foods, cooking from scratch most of the time, and eating plenty of wholesome locally grown food to be the best solution.

        • Lisa says

          I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I actually diagnosed myself then had bloodwork done to confirm it. I have had hypothyroidism for over 10 years. Over a year ago I started having an itchy scalp, then small itchy bumps appeared on my scalp, then hives on my back, legs, arms and backside. I was prscribed doxepin and they cleared up. I stopped taking it and the rash is back! I am starting a glutten free diet by eating no processed foods or anything with gluten ( I am trying anyway). Its seems nearly impossible, but I will try it to see if this rash goes away by eating gluten free. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated.

          • Olivia says

            Try Pamela’s products. I purchase them at Amazon & find that it can be cheaper. I also like Scharr pasta products.

            I hate seeing people rip a GF lifestyle when it can be easily accomplished. It’s mind set.
            Once I went GF I noticed the pain in my fingers from my arthritis diminished tremendously. I’m only 43. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s 2 yrs ago. I prob had it for 10yrs. Symptoms just got worse. I feel so much better on a GF diet. You can’t control 100% if the time, but you can only do what’s in your power.

            Hang in there… I’ve never had the rash issue, but had several others. I feel ya & good luck.

            • CD says

              I have been gluten FREE for over a year. Hashi’s patient. My inflammation and pain has disappeared. I am 100% gluten free…..as hard as it may be, it is not impossible. Don’t forget about all the great fruits/vegetables you can eat! Trust me, I was the WORST carboholic ever. I do not eat anything with gluten anymore. If you say it’s impossible, either you haven’t done your research or you don’t want to commit to that lifestyle. I understand…it was really tough for me. But, it’s well worth it for MANY more reasons beyond your thyroid health and Hasi’s. Good luck to all who endeavor.

        • Helen says

          HI: I’ve had hashimotos for 52 years. Drs didn’t know anything then and maybe not much now. I did learn on my own that it was best to eat whole foods and as little processed foods as possible. Of course, I had primary lymphedema as well, and eating this way helped both situations. I’m very tired and sometimes depressed. I have a new DR who seems more knowledgeable than any I’ve had all through the years. I would like to know what IS recommended for us to eat!

        • Helen says

          Gretchen: I think you’ve got it. Eat only whole foods; leave the processed stuff on the shelf. Processed meaning everything in cans, bottles, bags, boxes, etc. I’ve had hashimotos for 54 years (started at 16). I learned by trial and error what you know. Doctors didn’t know and maybe don’t know now, but we who have had this for awhile have figured it out. Good days to you.

          • Christine Morrison says

            SOOO everyone! I am 74 years young and have been under a doctors care for almost 2 months for chronic health healing for hashi and fibro, etc. Have had a hard time getting over the sugar cravings and carb addiction. But have tried so hard to stay on the restricted diet of just meats, vegies except for tomatoes, potatoes (night shade vegies). I have fudged alittle here and there. Have seen some success but because of my age and how long I have let this go 25 years with my doctor steering me wrong, I wonder if I will ever get some of my life back. Love all your comments.

      • Jennifer says

        I avoid it 100% of the time. I have, inadvertently, ingested it a few times, and it wreaked havoc on me, but I do live a 100% GF lifestyle. And it’s not hard (as long as I eat at home). I have vast improvements in the Hashimoto’s symptoms. Not perfect, not healed, but better. I will never go back to eating gluten, because long before I was ever diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I had severe GI issues, which have pretty much subsided. I truly believe i had a gluten intolerance my whole life and eating gluten kept weakening my body to get me to where I was a year ago before eliminating gluten. So, yes, it can be done.

    • Howard says

      And medicine and dietary advice changes like the wind. What was harmful yesterday is not harmful anymore and vice versa. I cannot wait for the day they come up with vegetables and fruits are causing diseases LOL. That is a day I WILL REJOICE. Veggies I love, but you can have all the fruit off my plate.

    • Christine Morrison says

      What is up with the diet for Hasimotos! I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimotos. I am now in the care of a chronic healing clinic as of last week. They said Broccoli was very bad for hasimoto patients and on an internet site I read that spinach, cabbage and etc. was forbidden also. I have a saliva test coming back and my doctor at the healing clinic did not want to put me on a diet until the saliva tests come back. In the meantime (since I loved my green drinks) I don’t know what to eat. What I read here from all of you it sounds like all I need is the GF diet. Any suggestions????

      • alisa neely says

        I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto this month of August. I am currently attempting gluten, dairy and soy free. I found a website living without.com that gives you alternatives for these products and more in ways of allergens, including recipes to make your own flours to make breads, pies, cookies and so much more. I am 28 married with a 3yr old I have found this site very helpful and can already feel results. My goal is 6mths free of all and then trying to add the things I truly love back one at a time to see if they trigger anything. I hope this site helps you as it has helped me.

      • Jess says

        Reading It starts with Food, whole thirty program…looks like a good place to start! Waiting on blood results for Hoshimotos.

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