After our first appointments with the Functional Medicine doctor, we made some very drastic changes in our diet. For Cierra it was recommended that she cut out gluten, which was really hard at first for her. She LOVES pizza, brownies, and almost all glutinous foods; but being the trooper she is she took the plunge. At her six week follow-up appointment it was recommended that she avoid dairy for six weeks, which was just as hard for a cereal, ranch, and ice cream loving teenager.
It was recommended that I also cut out gluten as well as dairy. I took it not just a step further, but a whole flight of stairs!! After reading Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause by Dr. Izabella Wentz, I cut out many other foods. Eventually I adopted Dr. Kharrazain’s AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet, a more restrictive form of Paleo. As the primary cook, I guess that my family adopted AIP along with me.
After being gluten free for a while we ‘cheated’ a bit one week and boy did we pay the price. Cierra instantly became very nauseous and experienced horrible stomach pains for about a day. She also became very moody. To counteract all of this we gave her 2 activated charcoal pills and had her take an Epson salt bath, soaking for over 30 minutes. Both seemed to bring some relief. We suspect she may be Celiac even though the blood test was negative. I had extreme inflammation (especially in my hands and ankles) and joint stiffness/pain. Lesson learned, gluten free for life!!
We are unsure about the effects of dairy on Cierra as she has not reintroduced it. There is a concern that dairy could trigger migraines. She loves ranch which contains buttermilk as well as aged cheeses which are high in tyramine (more about this in a later post). When I consume dairy it causes inflammation in my sinuses and if I consume it more than once within a few days I develop a sinus infection. The glands in my throat also become very swollen. Even though our reaction to dairy is not as severe as gluten, we are choosing to stay away from it.
I am not an expert on AIP by any means and really had to fumble my way through the first few weeks. However now I have a pretty good idea of allowed foods and foods to avoid. There are so many resources out there on the AIP lifestyle, and I call it that because I will follow a modified AIP for the rest of my life. I am part of a Facebook group called Hashimoto’s 411 and Elimination/Provocation Diet: Hashimoto’s 411. They have been a great resource for questions, support, and recipes! Another great resource is Hashimoto’s 411. Eventually after all my symptoms are gone, I will begin reintroducing foods every 3-5 days, watching for reactions. The purpose of this diet is to remove inflammatory foods as well as foods that trigger Hashimoto’s symptoms. The ultimate goal is to reintroduce foods and see which foods my body can handle and which ones it cannot. I will however remain gluten free.