Naturopathic Doctor Q&A
Topic: Understanding Hashimoto’s Disease & Diet Strategies
Where do I start?
You will probably come across a lot of conflicting information on thyroid-specific diets — more than you would be able to digest and effectively apply to your daily life. The good news is that you don’t need an immediate, complete overhaul of your diet to see change and start feeling better; change can be introduced at your own pace to help you gradually take a step forward in your health journey.
What kind of diet should I follow?
There is a spectrum of diet changes that can be made from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to Autoimmune Paleo (AIP).
There is no one-size-fits-all diet that has been proven to treat everyone with Hashimoto’s. You may find yourself on a different spot on the spectrum than others or it may take more/less drastic dietary changes to see results — that is why a personalized approach is necessary to fit your individual needs.
Some diets that have helped individuals with Hashimoto’s:
- sugar-free diet
- Paleo diet
- grain-free diet
- dairy-free diet
We often recommend a gluten-free, anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean-style diet that promotes:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Refined sugars
- Gluten-containing grains (wheat, barley, rye)
- Variety of fruits and vegetables
- Nuts, seeds, and beans
- Gluten-free grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice)
- Red meat (1-2 times per week)
- Seafood (salmon, trout, whitefish)
- Healthy oils (olive, avocado, coconut)
How long should I follow this diet?
You may start with a trial of 4-6 weeks while monitoring your symptoms:
- Energy levels
- Joint pain
- Brain fog
This will help us establish a baseline — after that, we may start reintroducing certain foods as a soft test. This phase will require you to work closely with your Naturopathic Doctor, as it can be a delicate process.
Is this my only option?
Absolutely not! If you don’t quite feel ready for this kind of commitment to a fully anti-inflammatory diet — you can try a simple gluten-free diet first.
A large portion of patients with Hashimoto’s notice a significant difference in their symptoms after following a gluten-free diet — so this could also be a great place to start.
We do recommend taking a celiac test prior to removing gluten from your diet, as there is a significant overlap between celiac disease and Hashimoto’s — ask your Naturopathic Doctor about this!
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Dr Tasreen Alibhai, ND
- Evidence based approach to Hashimotos Disease; Dr Katie Rothwell, ND