Foods and Supplements for Thyroid Disease

The Thyroid Secret Summit

These are my notes from the speakers in this summit. For further information please visit their web pages linked below.

Healing Thyroid Disease With Food

Dr. Izabella Wentz PharmD, FASCP
web page

We seem to live in a day and age where health ailments and suffering are perceived to be normal. Headaches, fatigue, skin breakouts, bloating, upset stomach. Everyone seems to have these symptoms and many even carry around their favorite go to drugs in their handbag to quickly remedy their symptoms. There is a better approach and one that doesn’t only look at medicating symptoms, an approach that looks for the root cause of our health issues. This approach to healing doesn’t start with the drug store it starts in your own kitchen. Are you willing to go against the grain to get your health back? Nutrition is absolutely vital, getting this factor in balance in your body is totally life altering.

In people with autoimmune thyroid disease 80% of people felt better off gluten, and these people did not have celiac disease.

Some of the symptoms that suggest you’re sensitive to dairy are gas, bloating, acid reflux, IBS, asthma, sinus congestion, skin breakouts or ear infections. You may not realize you have been sensitive until you have been off of it for 3-5 days, because when you’re eating it around the clock your body is going to be chronically inflamed. It’s like drinking small amounts of poison everyday and you won’t necessarily feel it all at once.

Soy is another common reactive for people with thyroid disease. Soy proteins can cross react with thyroid tissue and cause an increase in thyroid antibodies, getting off of gluten, dairy, and soy are the first three things I recommend for people with thyroid disease. In some cases we can see a complete turnaround in a persons health in as little as three months, we start seeing symptoms melt away within a few days. I’m talking about lifelong challenges virtually disappearing. Even my carpel tunnel went away when I removed these foods. I’ve seen this happen a thousand times with my patients when we remove inflammatory foods.

The most common deficiencies of people with Hashimoto’s are going to be selenium, vitamin D, B12 and thiamin. We find that when we replenish these nutrients people can see a reduction in their symptoms as well as a reduction in their autoimmune markers. With selenium supplements we’ll see within a couple of weeks they will start having lower anxiety and their thyroid antibodies will also reduce by about half, which is quite impressive. Thiamin is very important for a person with Hashimoto’s or thyroid problems because it can restore their energy level in as little as three days. Selenium deficiency has been listed as an environmental trigger for thyroid disease. Numerous studies has shown the benefits of selenium in use for thyroid conditions whether you have Graves Disease, Hashimoto’s or Post Partum Thyroiditis. A dose of 200mcg per day has been shown to reduce thyroid antibodies by about half within the course of three months. Patients will report that they have more energy, are less anxious, and have a reduction in palpitations soon after starting the supplement.

J.J. Virgin CNS, CHFS Weight Loss Expert
web page

Energy and pain are huge problems for people and we’re taught that these are normal, we don’t think that these are signs that foods are not working for you. What blew my mind when I started to do this and when I pulled it out and started to look at this I realized this should actually be the foundation. We should really figure out what foods work for you and which foods don’t. If you’re trying to loose weight and you’re eating a food, and even not much of it, because it takes just a little bit that doesn’t work for you. It creates an inflammatory response that can make you gain weight and you can also crave the food that’s hurting you, it’s crazy. It’s really not an allergy, we have to move away from that and call it an intolerance, and you really have to look at these things. I hear people say I don’t have that, because their idea of normal is to have low energy or unstable energy, struggle with some skin issues, there’s some gas and bloating, or maybe they have an autoimmune disease. But they’re taught that’s just a normal thing or that’s genetic and so the first line of defense for me is you’ve got to start with diet. You have to figure out which foods work and which foods don’t.

One thing I was interested in is people who have tried everything and they still weren’t loosing any weight. I tried a food sensitivity test, these people had energy issues, gas and bloating, joint pain, headaches, fatigue, skin problems. And told they’re just getting older or it’s your genes, it’s normal. People were walking in with those symptoms that would go away in a matter of days. They would start to experience rapid weight loss, then they would level off. Loose the bloat, the inflammation and the craving and it was always the same foods. Finally I went, maybe I don’t have to actually test these foods. I started them right away pulling those foods out and that fixed it. There’s a lot of different ways we become intolerant to a food, one of them is through this delayed immune response that’s the most common. That’s what I saw with dairy and eggs, 70% of the people were reacting to those. The second tier after that were corn, soy and peanuts. A different kind of response for some people was more genetic and that was to gluten, and then there’s hormonal issues that could come up too. The first six they were obvious but there’s no way you can do a program and not avoid sugar. What happened when I made the Virgin Diet people were having crazy results it was mind blowing to me.

Dr. Tom O’Bryan DC, CCN, DACBN
web page

We all have a problem with wheat, the question is where do we cross the line. Wheat is not a poison it is a mild toxin to the body and there’s something called oral tolerance. Every forkful of wheat we take in, every swallow that goes down, the immune system just on the other side of the stomach is checking it out just to make sure there’s no bad bugs or bacteria, mold or fungus. Wheat is a mild irritant, so the sentries that are standing guard called the dendritic cells will say you’re an annoyance but you’re fine go ahead. But at some point you could be 2 years old, 22 years old, or 62 years old, you cross an imaginary line and now you loose oral tolerance. So that anything that’s an irritant the immune system is hypersensitive because it’s been fighting so many toxins that were exposed to now. Even the minor irritants you have no tolerance for and it fire’s a chemical bullet to destroy that wheat molecule and that’s what antibodies are. When you cross that line and you’re making antibodies to the different pieces of the wheat molecule that aren’t broken down thoroughly, not just gluten but many others. When you cross that line you make these antibodies they go through the bloodstream looking for gluten and the most common piece of wheat is 33 amino acids long, it’s called alpha gliadin.

The blood is a highway there’s no lanes of traffic everything’s bouncing around in there and these antibodies with high powered rifles are going around firing their chemical bullets whenever they see the amino acid alpha gliadin. Their being bounced around and sometimes there’s collateral damage that can occur. What also happens is the surface of the thyroid facing the bloodstream as the bloods going by the surface of the thyroid is made up of proteins and fats. Those proteins including that piece of a fragment of amino acid alpha gliadin. The thyroid is hundreds of amino acids long but it includes that alpha gliadin and you’ve got the antibodies looking for the alpha gliadin from wheat. They fire their chemical bullet called cytokines at the thyroid cell, you damage the thyroid cell.

We have a “normal” reference range of thyroid antibodies when you have a blood test. Why is there a normal range? Because you get damaged cells, old cells. You have to have a system to sweep out the old stuff to get rid of it so there’s room for new cells to come in. But now you’ve got damaged cells and now you have to make more thyroid antibodies to get rid of the damaged cells. Not a problem but you had pancakes for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for diner. 132 pounds per year, per person of wheat consumption in the U.S. I don’t eat any and some others don’t eat any, so that means there’s people out there eating 265 pounds. And every meal the soldiers come out to attack day after day, week after week, until it’s firing that chemical at the thyroid until you cross that imaginary line and you can’t handle it anymore. Now your body is self perpetuating making thyroid antibodies on it’s own and now you get those elevated thyroid antibodies on their own. Now many times when you get the irritant out of there that triggers the production of those antibodies in the gut, wheat, if you get it out of there now the whole thing starts to calm down.

Shannon Garrett RN, BSN, CHLC,CNN
web page

When I give a diagnosis of an autoimmune condition especially Hashimoto’s, so many protocols are prescribed and people don’t know where to start. If you start with basic nutrition it’s number one with me, get rid of all the foods that are creating inflammation in your unique body. Many of us are subscribing to blanket diet programs and those can be great especially if you’re eating KFC and potato salad everyday. Then moving to one of the blanket programs is an improvement, it all depends on where you’re coming from. But we still need to focus and address our underlying food sensitivity, the foods that cause inflammation. We need to remove gluten, I have seen so many patients to actually go into remission just by removing gluten if they were diagnosed early enough.

Dr. Elena Koles MD, PhD
web page

There are several types of allergies, one where you definitely should know that you’re allergic to something you eat. Eggs for example, get a rash, itching, hives, it happens because our body makes histamine and doctors have treatment for it, they have antihistamine drugs. With food sensitivities it’s a little bit different because this type of antibodies don’t develop right away, there is no histamine production, you don’t have these symptoms. You have a lot of different symptoms but they are not directly connected with possible eating of something. For example if you have a violent patient it’s very difficult to imagine that you know he has eaten a peanut butter or something like that yesterday and today he becomes very angry at his teacher. It’s difficult to imagine but it’s a reality and probably why we have all these kid problems. Teenagers who are very violent, they have rage against their parents, teachers, friends. Because we do not believe in this type of antibodies, this type of antibodies actually exists. There are tests that could tell us the level of each antibody to each food and if you accept it then you begin with the diet and you see the result. The problem with this is you need to follow the diet there is no pharmaceutical drug. Some doctors will only test IGE allergy, prescribe a medication, but the problem is still in the body. But it’s really just lifestyle and the food that you eat, after you eat this particular food. Headaches could be gone, arthritis pain, weight could go down, a lot of problems could be eliminated. Even infertility now could be connected to antibody production and food sensitivities.

Dr. Peter Osborne PACBN, PScD
web page and

Gluten is like what we discovered first. Don’t get me wrong a lot of people that are gluten sensitive they experience miraculous recoveries from autoimmunity and particularly with thyroid conditions. But it isn’t just gluten, gluten is not the only trigger, it’s not the only antecedent for autoimmune disease. We have gluten yes, as a protein, but there are other classes of proteins that we have discovered in grain. Not just wheat, barley and rye, one group is called ATI’s, amylase trypsin inhibitors. These are proteins that inhibit little receptors in our gut, they trigger a different kind of immune response. In 2010 there was a group of researchers out of Australia that discovered four hundred new forms of gluten. Ten percent of those four hundred were more toxic than alpha gliadin. How many of those are tested by commercial testing labs because even the best labs only test for thirteen, it is estimated that there are close to one thousand forms of gluten. Really when we use the word gluten we shouldn’t say gluten, we should say glutens with an s. It’s the family of storage proteins found within the seeds of grass, any kind of grass. The one that’s been studied the most is alpha gliadin and that’s why it gets all the credit, that’s because of celiac disease.

It’s limited, and if we don’t expand our minds to understand there are other possibilities we end up with these big question marks on our patients. We tend to throw our hands up and say we can’t help you, and to me that’s never an acceptable answer. If the doctor isn’t always asking why, then who’s going to ask the question. There are other classes of proteins, ATI’s and compounds like lectins, that are know autoimmune triggers that are found higher in grains than in certain other foods. We also have the way the grain is processed and particularly even the gluten free grains. Even the ones that are called gluten free technically they’re not gluten free like rice and corn. They process these grains using an industrial enzyme in processing because it makes things stickier. Trying to make a gluten free product it holds things together making it easier. This enzyme is called MTG, microbial transglutaminase. As with all things in technology and development we tend to learn more about how bad they are as the more people approach it, use it for a length of time. We know that MTG can cause leaky gut, we know that it can bind with other proteins and make them look like gluten. So we get people who are reacting to these foods that are processed with MTG in a very similar fashion to the way they might as celiac might react to gliadin found in wheat, barley and rye.

These MTG’s are not only used in other grains their also used in dairy products and processed meats, so it goes beyond grain. But just sticking to grain we get the processing with MTG, we’ve got the pesticides use, glyphosate or roundup. This chemical that is commonly used that the crops generally get a double dose, this particular chemical has been shown to trigger leaky gut. It’s now thought that this chemical is triggering a severe mineral and enzyme disruption within the gut and within cells. So it can effect selenium, manganese, and some of these nutrients are important for antioxidant function, thyroid function, how do you convert T4 to T3 without selenium. We have this glyphosate piece and we have other pesticides, one is called atrazine. Which is an herb and weed killer and it’s also used, this particular chemical mimics estrogen. We get a dose of this and now we’re mimicking estrogen which has an influence on our thyroid hormone production. So now we’ve got artificial hormones coming in from the grains that are manipulating our other hormones. We’ve got pesticides that are interfering with enzymatic and mineral absorption, and we’ve got proteins that are non-gluten proteins that we know can trigger leaky gut and autoimmune disease.

Mickey Trescott NTP
web page

When you change your diet all you have to loose is some of your symptoms pain and suffering. All things considered that really doesn’t seem like too much for a chance to see if it will make you feeling better and feeling healthy. Health can be boosted by the addition of nutrient dense foods, these are foods that have a greater amount of nutrition than the average. Those with autoimmune disease have a greater need for these nutrients because our bodies are trying to lower inflammation, trying to repair our tissues. So things I like to recommend to people to eat are things like bone broths. This is like a super stew that traditional cultures have been using for centuries by boiling or simmering meat, water and a little bit of acid like some lemon or cider vinegar. It really breaks down the bones and you can use that broth for cooking so bone broth is at the top of the list.

Organ meats are something that a lot of people don’t really enjoy eating because culturally we have grown away from eating them. But things like liver, kidney, heart, all of them are among the most nutrient dense foods you could possibly eat. For people like me that might be anemic they’re a great source of iron, omega3 fatty acids, especially if you get grass fed and pasture raised animals. And also some other minerals like zinc, CoQ10 and more, and they’re affordable. A wide array of fruits and vegetables, on the autoimmune we avoid night shade veggies which is a family that includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes. But, excluding these just having a lot of color really shows how much nutrients, how many antioxidants are in the foods. These are things that help our immune systems be regulated and help prevent other diseases and cancer. Help our bodies detoxify so color is good. Also fermented vegetables, these are foods that are going to nourish our gut flora. We can do some fermented beverages that are non-alcoholic like kombucha, kefir, then there is sauerkraut, fish and shellfish are really nutrient dense. They have the highest concentration of anti-inflammatory Omega3 fats. They also have a high concentration of minerals that are otherwise difficult to get, things like zinc and selenium.

Suzy Cohen RPH
web page

The things we drink can be a problem, coffee is a big one because it can deplete our body of minerals like magnesium and zinc and we need those for healthy thyroid function. Alcohol is a big one that can not only deplete thiamin, which is B1 that we need for healthy nerves and healthy carbohydrate metabolism, but also manganese, iron and zinc. So that cup of wine maybe isn’t such a good idea and if you can’t get off that then at least supplement. People with chronic disease, autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s once they started on a thiamin supplement their fatigue went away. With autoimmune disease we get depleted in thiamin levels so it’s not just people who are heavy drinkers. If you have a drink and you have thyroid disease you’re going to be worsening that thiamin deficiency. You don’t have to be a chronic alcoholic it could be just a couple glasses of wine that could deplete you. One of the first signs of thiamin deficiency is in the brain, brain fog, it’s the same mechanism of alcohol like a hangover. If you wake up like a hangover that could be thiamin deficiency as well as other things. 600ml a day was recommended for people with Hashimoto’s or thyroid disease and that was very helpful.

Iron doesn’t help you if you’re iron deficient. Get a cast iron pot/pan and cook everything in them because the iron leaches just a tiny bit. Drink a small amount of fresh juice everyday. Butane with pepsin to raise stomach acid, you have to level up by starting with a small dose first by starting with a capsule with a meal. If your iron is low manganese is lower, having your iron and manganese in the correct ratio is huge. Add one capsule everyday it will allow you to better absorb your iron, you will need less iron and maintain the iron/magnesium ratio. When you have low stomach acid it will prevent absorption of iron from our food. The acid in the stomach activates the minerals so your body can absorb them which is why good acid levels is important. People think they need to bring down the acid.
This information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems you may be experiencing.

M. Scherker medical researcher