Gluten-Free for Thyroid Health

You may have noticed my rate of posting has gone down quite a bit lately. I haven’t been spending much time on my blog or trying new recipes. The weather has been getting nicer (minus today…we woke up with snow!!) so we’ve been playing outside A LOT. Also, I’m getting ready for my 3rd annual garage sale! (It was never the plan to have three in a row…but, with three little kids, no hand me downs between siblings, and three sets of generous grandparents, we have LOTS of excess stuff in the house that needs to be cleared out. I tend to get a little stressed out with clutter (okay, maybe a lot stressed), so as soon as we’re done with something, I want it out the door and gone. Anyway, with as busy as we’ve been, sitting down at the computer just hasn’t happened much.

Well, lately, I’ve been coming across a lot of articles that discuss thyroid health (specifically, hypothyroidism). I was NOT looking for these articles, but they keep popping up in my newsfeed…it’s almost as if I’m being given a sign…

Gluten Free for Thyroid

For the last 7 years or so, I’ve been taking Synthroid (a common thyroid medication). I’ve never been in love with the fact that I started a medication at 25 years old and will need to be on it for the rest of my life. I’m healthy, right?? I don’t want to take daily medication yet! I was put on this thyroid medication when we were trying to get pregnant the first time around. We had a lot of struggles (which I may or may not discuss here someday…) and my doctor tested me for an array of issues. One of the initial tests came back that I had hyperthyroidism. I was put on medication, but then when I was tested the next time (as a follow up), the test results came back and he said that I actually had hypothryoidism! Long story short, I had thyroiditis. Basically, this means that my hormone levels were going up and down over and over and over again….but, eventually (according to my doctor), they would stay down and I would need medication to keep it in the safe range. This was a long time ago and I really can’t remember many of the details. At the time, I simply accepted this fact, took my medication daily (thinking that I would get pregnant as soon as this issue was solved… I didn’t…), but I haven’t questioned it much over the last several years. I didn’t like taking the medicine (and sometimes I may skip a dose here or there), but I haven’t given it much thought again until this past year. (I get tested once a year at my annual exam and everything has always stayed the same.)

So, back to these articles I’ve been seeing lately…

First, I found this one: 5 Foods That Can Wreck Your Thyroid and then I came across this one: How to Boost Thyroid Function Naturally. Both were written by bloggers that have been around for a while and I trust. And both say that gluten can wreck havoc on those with thyroid issues. That’s me. Darn. Really?!?! This is honesty not what I want. I don’t want to avoid certain food groups. I don’t want to have to pay more attention to the food I eat…more than I already do!! I don’t want to be the weird person at a party that can’t eat anything. (Note: if you are gluten-free, I don’t think you’re weird…this is just what’s going through my head right now. ha!) I also don’t want to change how we eat – again. I just don’t want to do it. However, I keep seeing these articles and books and gluten-free blogs popping up in front of me. Again, I’m not searching them out…they just keep showing up and then I feel obligated to read them! And they always point to one of the same facts: I need to eliminate gluten from my diet. (I did checkout one book from the library already; it said the same thing.)

Ugh.

So, now I don’t know what to do… I voiced my frustration to my husband last night. He was on board with me giving it up…if, for nothing else, at least for a few weeks to see how it goes. I am starting to pay attention to how my body reacts to food these days and I am starting to see a small connection to eating too much wheat in one day and how I feel later. (I’m also noticing I don’t handle dairy as well as I thought…though, I’m not ready to cut that completely, I just may lower my consumption.)

I haven’t firmly made this commitment yet, but I think I may try soon. Thankfully, I already follow many blogs that share gluten-free recipes, so I’m not overly concerned about finding recipes to try. I’m more concerned about what I’ll eat when we go to someone’s house or out to dinner. Thankfully, I know more and more restaurants offer gluten-free menus/options these days. I’m also concerned about how I’m going to feed my family going forward. It’s hard enough finding foods to feed my three kids (and extremely picky husband) without throwing in another challenge.

And what does this mean for my blog? I plan to document these changes just as I always have. I may still post recipes with wheat or gluten. I’m definitely not going to change to a “gluten-free blogger” overnight. In fact, as of right now, I don’t want to eliminate gluten and wheat from my kids’ diets because I don’t want them to have to deal with this. I don’t want them to develop an intolerance simply because I shouldn’t eat it anymore. I haven’t done much research on this. I don’t really know what I’m talking about yet. I’m definitely not doing this to join the gluten-free fad that’s going on right now. I’m not doing it to be popular, believe me! I’m doing it with the hopes that maybe, just maybe, I can one day completely wean myself off of Synthroid. That’s my long term goal, but, I admit, I don’t know how to go about doing that. And who do I even go to for help with this? My doctor is the one that put my on Synthroid…and there was never once any mention that I should avoid gluten or other types of foods. If you have a similar experience or know someone that stopped taking thyroid medication after years of taking it…please let me know what you did! I am slowly getting into all of this. And as much as I would love to sit and read books on the subject, I don’t have much time for reading these days.

So, anyway, that’s where I am with all of this right now. Are you as confused as I am? 😉 Are there any followers of this blog that are already gluten-free? What blogs do you look to for recipes? I’m sure there are many out there that I’m not aware of. I’m specifically looking for bloggers that are busy moms that post easy, simple, and family-friendly recipes. Again, I’m not saying I’m totally committed to this lifestyle yet, but I’m exploring it and what it means for me.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll eat if I go ‘gluten-free.’ My biggest concern is how I’m going to get energy for running long distances. I always think that I need bread and pasta two days before a long run…but I’m not sure what I’ll eat now. I was at least glad to see that my GIANT bag of brown rice in the pantry (from Costco) says ‘gluten-free’ right on it. That’s a start! Where do gluten-free people get their carbs?

I’ll figure this out…hopefully. Those are just my initial thoughts and feelings. Any direction as to where to start this journey is appreciated. Experiences to share? I’d love to hear. If you are gluten-free, do you feed your entire family this way or just yourself?

If you have thyroid issues, you can follow my Thyroid Info Pinterest board that I created to save articles that I find helpful. I only have two articles there right now, but I have a feeling I’ll be adding more as I learn more.

I’m hoping to start trying a lot more gluten-free recipes soon. Again, not sure where all this will lead, but I’m guessing I need to start making an effort to eliminate gluten from my diet. If I’m making all of these other healthy changes in my life, I probably need to be paying attention to my thyroid’s health as well. Sigh…

Now I’m off to make a loaf of bread (yes, that’s filled with gluten)… 😉 (My kids and husband have to eat something until I figure this out!)

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LeAnn Nome

Hi there! Here's a little info about me: I've been married to my husband for over 10 years and I'm a stay-at-home mom to our three young kids (a six year old daughter and four year old twin boys). As you might imagine, they keep me quite busy! In early 2013, we decided that we wanted to be a healthier family. To do this, we cut out all processed foods from our home and we now eat only REAL, whole foods. (When we're on vacation or at someone's house, we're not quite as strict.) We also try to exercise every day. Our goal is to raise healthy, happy kids...while maintaining our own health and happiness along the way! I hope you will follow along with us in our journey.