So you now know how to be truly gluten-free (at least at the foundation) but what is next? I wish I could tell you that gluten-free was the only thing you need to do to feel better. For many of us, there is significant symptom relief. If you are one of these people, please stop by the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group and let others know what you had to do before you were truly gluten-free and what symptoms were relieved by this change! Remember to give your gluten-free transition a good 6 weeks to 3 months before determining how it has helped you. Izabella Wentz describes this process well in her article here (excerpt below):
A gluten-free diet is necessary to heal the intestines and symptom resolution can be seen within 6 months to 2 year of following a strict gluten-free diet. But healing takes time….and even a small amount of gluten can be a huge set-back. Other foods may also need to be eliminated during the healing process.
And even more importantly, remember that the longer you are truly gluten-free, the more healing takes place over time! But if you cheat, it’s important to understand what is actually happening when you do. For that, I think Dr. David Clark says it best:
But from here, there are many other lifestyle interventions to consider. Some of these may have already been addressed in your life. Others may still need more research. In my review of Izabella Wentz’ book, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause (or her eBook for immediate use), I discuss my journey in video form because going gluten-free was one giant piece of my “puzzle” but I am still moving towards putting more of those pieces together. There is one major thing that came from a truly gluten-free diet for me and that was that there was now hope! I finally felt there was a possibility of feeling better!
As many of you know, my most pressing and scary symptom was what was happening in my brain. I really truly felt brain inflammation after eating and it was like a miracle to be able to see this symptom resolve after so many years of being tormented – not knowing how bad this would get and if I actually had something else, like a tumor or something, going on inside my brain! But after going truly gluten-free, and then sugar, dairy, and grain free, I can now say that those symptoms are gone unless something triggers them and as I said, it is always traceable to an accidental gluten exposure or severe food sensitivity. For those who also fear symptoms in their brain and want to really understand the connection, see this video by Sean Croxton from Underground Wellness:
As you all know by now, I then added to my gluten-free diet, the GAPS diet, and this is when the healing just took off! I am now moving towards the Autoimmune Protocol and for this, I am using Mickey Trescott’s wonderful cookbook to help me along the way! I am looking forward to more healing as I continue my journey. If you have taken this journey already and would like to encourage me on my way, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. I am thrilled to know that Sarah Ballantyne is going to release her extensive guide for the Autoimmune Protocol, The Paleo Approach, by December and this book will be my “must have.” I can’t wait for this book to come out!
It’s really important to understand the whole body healing that is needed and although diet is a huge part of this, Dr. Marc in his article here talks about how it takes dealing with all the major systems of the body that are proven to need help, and additionally, each one of us need to figure this out individually or even better, with a qualified Functional Medicine doctor (if you need more info on what this doctor does, see this link) which you may be able to find in your area through this search here. And for doctors trained by gluten expert, Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, you can find a Certified Gluten Practitioner here.
You will not regret this important step in helping your autoimmune disease. You may need to look into further action with other lifestyle interventions, but between a strict gluten-free diet, and Izabella Wentz’s book, you have the best chance to see speedy results! You can find gluten-free and nutritional resources in my Hashimoto’s Resource Center to help you on your way.
Update July 2014: I have found a supplement that has done wonders for my symptoms beyond what going 100% gluten free has done for me. I am getting my life back from this once a day drink! My whole story is on the front page of my brand new blog here. One thing I had not done well enough was to balance my blood sugar even enough (this article helps explain why this is so important for this condition) though I was on a very strict grain and sugar free diet. This supplement is changing my life and my symptoms for a new level of over-all health and wellness! You never know, it may help you too! And with a 60 day money back guarantee, there is no financial risk. I am so glad I finally tried it after 7 months of thinking about it!
I hope this series has been helpful in some way for you! If so, please drop me a comment. Thank you!
The whole “Let’s Go Gluten Free” series can be found here.
Disclaimer: All posts are describing my personal journey through health issues and are in no way meant to guide anyone towards any method in particular. I am not a medical practitioner or have a dietary or medical license, and this blog is not intended to be taken as authoritative advice. Please see your doctor, or health professional before making any drastic diet changes! Also, occasionally I find others to partner with whom I have had tremendous help from and therefore, there may be paid advertisements and links to support them and help me financially run this website.