Low Thyroid, Slow Metabolism

September 9, 2018

Low Thyroid, Slow Metabolism

In today’s show, we are discussing low thyroid function, including autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease. Learn what happens when your thyroid is inflamed as well as the symptoms of Hashimoto’s. We’ll also look into causes of Hashimoto’s and some nutritional solutions.

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Transcript

KARA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. This is brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. My name is Kara Carper and I'm co-hosting today's show. I'm here in the studio with Shelby Hummel. Shelby is a licensed nutritionist and has a master's degree in nutrition. I'm also a licensed nutritionist with a master's degree in holistic health and we both have a passion for practicing nutrition therapy. Shelby, it's great to be back with you. It's been a little while. And so Shelby, how many years have you been practicing nutrition?

SHELBY: I've been with Nutritional Weight & Wellness for three years, that seem to have gone by in a flash.

KARA: That's excellent. Well, congratulations on your anniversary.

SHELBY: Well, thank you. Not quite the years that you've spent.

KARA: Not quite the tenure. I go way back.

SHELBY:  Well, actually, you may not remember this, but one of the first people that I talked to in Nutritional Weight & Wellness back when I was still in school was actually you!

KARA: Was it like an information interview?

SHELBY: Yeah. I had kind of cold called you and you're like, yeah, this is what I love to do and I teach classes and I do counseling.

KARA: You never told me that. I am glad we brought you in.

SHELBY: Yeah. Well and like you, Kara, I do really have a passion for real food nutrition, so I love being able to share our message not only on Dishing Up Nutrition but with clients one-on-one and teaching nutrition classes. But I have to say a fun part of my job is to be able to create recipes and write some articles for our website so you can go to weightandwellness.com to check any of those out. I'm just giving you a heads up. I did finalize some pumpkin recipes. It is false. It is Fall.

KARA: Anything pumpkin spice is very trendy right now.

SHELBY:  Exactly. So if you're not on our mailing list, this would be a great time to be added to that. You can do that at weightandwellness.com. You'll get all the pumpkin recipes that you want. So one of the other things, Kara, that I think is interesting is we actually have a spot on our website where people can submit questions and just this past weekend I had a question coming in, very timely question actually about thyroid function. This woman was wondering if any of our nutritionists have worked with people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, so it was something that she hadn't heard of, but was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's and unfortunately has gained about 30 pounds in a very short amount of time and sounds like she's struggling with a lot of fatigue.

KARA:  Okay. Well, Shelby, that was a very timely question because today that is going to be our topic. We're going to be talking about thyroid function and listeners, did you know that almost 10 percent of adults have hypothyroidism? So hypothyroid means low thyroid function and more women have thyroid problems compared to men. So a lot more common.

SHELBY:  Yeah. So before we get into a little bit more about hypothyroid Kara, I just want to give our listeners kind of an idea of where the thyroid gland is located. So if you feel the base of your neck, that is where you will find that butterfly shaped gland. It's pretty small, but it plays a really big role in controlling the hormones in your body. It's kind of that big connection site between the brain and the body. Many practitioners call the thyroid the master gland because it helps us control the production of hormones. One important thing I think in terms of this gal who is calling with weight gain is that our thyroid actually controls the process of turning nutrients from our food into energy. So definitely that slow metabolism connection.

KARA: Right, so that makes sense that if the thyroid is not functioning properly, we're not turning our food into energy as efficiently as we could be. And you know, we do hear that from a lot of, particularly women clients, “Gosh, I gained 15, 20, 30 pounds,” like this person you were just speaking about. And in a short period of time, so you know that it's not just food or just like, oh, I'm not doing the right exercises. There's more to it than that.

SHELBY: Yeah. It's not that they had a weekend where they were eating more processed food or junk food. It's really, there's an underlying problem with production of hormones. So yeah. And like you had mentioned with Hashimoto's, Kara, the most common type of hypothyroidism is that autoimmune type called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. And we've talked about this before on the show, but any condition that ends in “itis,” that goes back to the notion that there is inflammation. So Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, we have inflammation of the thyroid and research actually points out that about 90 percent, 80 to 90 percent of thyroid cases today are due to that autoimmune condition. So of course, my answer to this woman calling in was of course, yes we've worked with many people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and you know, really being able to reduce inflammation is one of the key ways in which we support our clients.

KARA: So that's really interesting. So pretty much if someone is diagnosed with a low thyroid or hypothyroid, what Shelby just said is that 90 percent of that population, it's stemming from Hashimoto's, the inflammation of the thyroid. So we have to address inflammation. So on that note, we're going to start the day talking about a little bit more about Hashimoto's and it basically just means that a person's immune system gets confused, turns against its own body and attacks its own tissue and cells. That's what an autoimmune condition is. It's like there's this internal attack going on in the body. So in the case of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, the immune system becomes confused and attacks the thyroid and that results in the inflammation of the thyroid gland. So you might be thinking, well, what happens when my thyroid is inflamed? Well, when your thyroid is inflamed, it's unable to make sufficient thyroid hormones that your body really needs to have adequate energy, positive moods, and also to be able to maintain your weight. And you know, if needed, lose weight, it's just more difficult for all those things to happen.

SHELBY: Yeah, and when we think about that master gland controlling the production of hormones, we know that some of those hormones help to regulate brain chemicals or neurotransmitters for mood. So people with hypothyroidism, specifically that Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, they may struggle with anxiety or they may struggle with depression. So, if you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's, the damage to your thyroid is extensive enough that the thyroid can't do its normal job. So you may feel tired, you may have sensitivity to cold, you know, always having those cold hands, cold feet, you may actually have a puffy face. I had a client recently where not only was her face, she felt like she was retaining a lot of fluid, but she actually had facial pain all around her cheeks and her jaw. You may be constipated if your thyroid isn't working properly. You may have dry skin, you may experience weight gain, joint problems, and joint pain. Depression, unfortunately, things like memory problems or even heavy menstrual bleeding. That’s one thing that we hear sometimes that can be a red flag for people as to why they would want to look a little bit deeper at those hormones.

KARA:  And Shelby, we hear people talk about brain fog. I don't know if anyone can relate to that. That's another, you know, if you are listening and a lot of these symptoms resonate with you, you know, that's another one, brain fog, just not being able to focus, not feeling clear, like your brain isn't working. So all of those things that you just discussed, all those symptoms, if you think about what they all have in common, it's like the body and the brain, the metabolism, the bowels, everything has slowed down. The circulation with cold hands and feet, so everything in the body has slowed. Well, we know that the usual therapy for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is typically a prescription medication, but our job today, we want to look deeper into, first of all the possible causes. What are the root causes of this autoimmune condition? And we want to offer some nutritional solutions.

SHELBY:  Well, we're going to have to talk about some nutritional solutions on the backside of break. So if you are just tuning in this morning, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are planning to take our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss Series, that's our 12 week series on building better healthy habits. I want to let you know that this fall we will be offering our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series only one time. We actually have many other classes that are scheduled and so we want to make sure that you reserve your spot. This 12 week fall series will start the week of September 17, so right around the corner, at all seven of our Nutritional Weight & Wellness locations. The Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series not only will get you help, we'll help you get prepared for the holiday season, but you're really going into a new transition, right? I call September the other January. People want to establish healthy habits, right? And we’re actually pleased to say that we have a location and a time that will work for you. Don't hesitate. If you're like me and you love a good deal, I recommend you sign up for that class by Monday, September 10; you can save $50. We all love a good discount. So call 651-699-3438 or you can go online to sign up at weightandwellness.com. We'll be right back.

KARA:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Many of you know that the cost of a weight loss program at most of the commercial weight loss companies can be $2,500 or even more. Whereas at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, the cost of our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program is only $399 for 12 weekly classes. Plus you receive two one-hour personal nutrition consultations with one of our Weight & Wellness nutritionists. So you get all of that for under $400. And like Shelby was saying before break, when you take advantage of our early bird special, you're going to save $50. So your cost ends up being just $349.

SHELBY: And the date for that was sign up before September 10.

KARA: So merge it in your calendar to get that early bird special where you save $50. Now we're talking about thyroid today, hypothyroidism. If you have a thyroid condition, let your nutritionist help you to get your metabolism working again and we want to make our program affordable to you because we understand that you need to learn and then you need to put things into practice. You need to learn some more, then you need to put that into practice and it's a process. It doesn't happen overnight. Healing and getting healthy can take some time. It also requires some support.

SHELBY: Yeah, definitely. And on that note, I just want to share a client that I have been working with.  Initially, she signed up for Nutrition 4 Weight Loss with her mom, which I thought what a great way to connect with your mom and work on some of these healthy habits together. But this client of mine, one of the things that she was frustrated with is she was gaining weight. She knew that she had a low functioning thyroid, but she didn't really know what that meant for some of her other seemingly unrelated symptoms. And just to give listeners an idea of what she was experiencing, she was actually the one who was having a lot of fluid retention, not only in her ankles and her legs, but also in her face and extreme fatigue of course, which I think lots of moms out there can relate to, but this was to the point where she couldn't keep her eyes open in the afternoon.

KARA: You hear about a lot of people feeling like they need multiple naps just to get through the day even though they may have slept eight hours at night.

SHELBY:  Yeah. Well, and unfortunately for this particular client, she was also dealing with insomnia.

KARA:  Which actually can be related to a thyroid condition.

SHELBY: Yeah. And she was saying to me, I am so tired in the afternoon and I'm so tired at the end of the day, but then I go to turn out the lights and she kind of gets that sensation of being really tired, but her brain is going. She has that wired sensation and I know you've probably heard of that term. People are feeling tired, but wired. They can’t turn their brain off. And then of course something that she has dealt with her whole life is constipation. So when we think about low thyroid function, lots of things that are slowed down in the body and that can also be related to the bowels to. So I'm happy to report that after she went through the 12 weeks of the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series and she had a couple of appointments, she actually, both her and her mom decided it was well worth the investment of scheduling follow-up appointments. So I've been working with them and we have to break this down into smaller, sustainable pieces. And she's sleeping better, therefore she has better energy during the day. She's not constipated and she's not puffy anymore. She came back to me and she goes, “Look, you can see my chin, you can see my cheekbones!” She was so excited that we're starting to move the dial. And I think that's just a great testament for Nutrition 4 Weight Loss, and actually implementing some of those changes that we recommend.

KARA: Yeah, I mean those are just phenomenal improvements and I'm sure that she will continue to have more improvements with those follow-ups meeting with you. Before break, we were just kind of starting to dive into a little bit more detail about what Hashimoto's Thyroiditis looks like and many clients don't even realize that they may have an autoimmune condition of the thyroid. And here's why a lot of doctors are not testing for Hashimoto's and the reason that doctors typically aren't testing for Hashimoto's is because really there's only one type of prescription medication for thyroid and it's not always effective for Hashimoto's. So sometimes it's like, well, if we don't know how to treat it, we're not going to test for it. That's why as nutritionists, we look for the root cause. We're going to talk about what the research has found, but before we do that, just in regards to that testing, I just want listeners to know if you are listening today and you suspect that you might have a hypothyroid condition and might be stemming from Hashimoto's, I would encourage you to get some testing done. What you want to ask for is a complete thyroid panel, including antibodies.

SHELBY: And actually, Kara, that's how I helped this client dig down a little bit deeper. She's been on the different forms of thyroid medication, but once we determined that it was that autoimmune, then we could go on some key nutrients, look at food sensitivities. I mean, having that information, having those antibodies tested, tells us if we have inflammation going on. It's that thyroiditis component. And so, you know, we have to be able to look at some of those additional tests to say what's really going on here?

KARA: The most common test is TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, and it's not bad to test for TSH, but it just is not a complete picture. That's why Shelby and I are recommending if you suspect an issue, you want a complete thyroid panel with antibodies.

SHELBY: And if that is something that is kind of out there for you, maybe you hadn't thought much about that, just give the office a call and any of our Nutritional Weight & Wellness nutritionist can talk to you and kind of see maybe it makes sense for you to make an appointment and sit down and get some more personalized recommendations for what sort of testing would be helpful. I get that question all the time and I love to be able to empower people to say to their doctor, you know, I would like my antibodies tested because of this or I want my vitamin D tested because you know this connection to immunity. So if you do have a question, feel free to call our office. The number is 651-699-3438 and the front desk staff are so helpful. They'll be able to connect you with a nutritionist that can help you.

KARA: So why is the immune system attacking the thyroid gland? There's been a lot of studies linking this attack on the immune system to eating grains containing gluten. Now gluten is a protein found in several grains like wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Gluten triggers an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland in many people. And what's rather astonishing is that most of these people don't realize that they have a gluten sensitivity.

SHELBY: Yeah. And actually, there's a good amount of research and a good amount of resources that are coming out. One that I think is a great resources is Dr. Amy Myers. She wrote the book The Autoimmune Solution. She's actually a functional medicine doctor, but she recommends in her book to get rid of gluten, grains and even legumes, citing that these foods contribute to chronic inflammation. So I want to be very clear, going gluten free is not a fad. It's not something that you do just to lose weight. But it is a true fact that many people, gluten can cause chronic inflammation. And unfortunately, we are exposed to gluten in so many different ways. Of course, the cereal, the bread and other baked goods, but I often think of pizza, you know, a staple in the American diet. Gluten is found in nearly every processed food item. So, you may even find gluten in salad dressings, condiments like barbecue sauce, which was a big shocker, canned soup, even soy sauce and deli meats. So you know, it's not just the breads and the rolls. We also have to be looking at that label to see if there’s gluten.

KARA:  Is there gluten in your deli meat, your ketchup, your barbecue sauce? Well, it's time for our second break. We're going to talk a lot more about this after break.

SHELBY:  Yeah. Thanks for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you have listened to Dishing Up Nutrition for any length of time, you know that we love the research. So here's a study from Binghampton University published in August of this year, actually August 27, 2018 in the journal Science News. This study found that women need a more nutrient-dense diet to support a positive emotional well-being and no surprise the Weight & Wellness Way, which is based on eating animal protein, real vegetable carbohydrates and natural fats, is designed to be a nutrient-rich diet, not only to give you energy, but also that sense of well-being. It's not a fad diet, it's a real-food, nutrient-rich diet.

KARA:  It is so nice to see when the research supports our eating plan.

SHELBY: Right? So, when we get back from break, Kara is going to share some practical tips from that research. We'll be right back.

KARA:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We're going to continue our discussion on the research that Shelby was talking about before break. It was reported in Science News and the research said that diet has a bigger impact on the emotional well-being in women than in men. And this study found that men are likely to experience good mental well-being until nutritional deficiencies arise, but on the other hand, women are less likely to experience good mental well-being until a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle are followed. So it's kind of like, this sounds so sad, but for women the default is not good mental well-being, like we have to work at it, we have to really try to have that balanced diet, the healthy lifestyle, avoid the bad stuff, make sure we're eating the good stuff.

SHELBY:  But if you're a guy listening, you're not off the hook. I mean, it still is important to be eating those real proteins, the vegetable carbohydrates and the healthy fat. But it's interesting.

KARA: It is really interesting because I do think women are more likely to experience a mental illness or depression, anxiety. Biochemically, there's a lot of factors, hormones. So just something to think about. But the author of the study found that women need a larger spectrum of nutrients to support good moods in comparison to men, and what we call the Weight & Wellness Way of eating, which is just a balanced diet of eating real food, that's the kind of diet that supports good mental health for men and for women.

SHELBY: And kids. So, Kara, before we went to break, we were talking about places where gluten may be hiding and I had mentioned things like salad dressings, barbecue sauce, deli meat, even frozen meals, canned soups.

KARA: Just to be really careful with a gluten sensitivity. And I don't know if people are aware that even personal care products can potentially contain gluten. It could be absorbed through the skin. Now recently there was a client with severe migraine headaches and we discovered together, she discovered with her nutritionist that she was getting gluten from her shampoo, so there are actually gluten-free shampoos and she switched over to one and she no longer gets migraines. So who knew?

SHELBY: It’s crazy to think that gluten is hiding and all of those places and I'm actually, I'm thankful I don't actually have the autoimmune disease Celiac, gluten intolerance. But I do have a gluten sensitivity and I know that I have autoimmunity that runs in my family. I actually have an immediate family member with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. So it is very important to me to keep my immune system strong, so some of the foods that I avoid because they contain gluten, of course things like traditional breads and rolls and cakes and things like that. But I also have to be very careful reading the labels on condiments, like I said, barbecue sauce, candy, which this nutritionist does not eat a lot of candy, but you know, always looking at the label on that. But I was just looking at finger paints and play-dough for a niece of mine and they have gluten in them, too.

KARA:  So it's like you have to think of everything.

SHELBY: Yeah. Really reading the labels, being a detective on that.

KARA: Right. And you know, I feel like not everyone is so sensitive that they wouldn't be able to touch play-dough and get through their day. But it is something to be aware of because some people do have a severe sensitivity and need to be thinking about all of those different items.

SHELBY: And for me, I know I don't have a lot of digestive complaints like someone with Celiac would, but I know that when I eat gluten or if I'm exposed to gluten unknowingly, my immune system is not working very well.

KARA: And we're going to talk more in the last half of the show about how it's not all about digestive problems. You know, sometimes there are other symptoms.

SHELBY:  Gluten, you know, making that connection for gluten and thyroid. So why don't you tell us a little bit more about why gluten is connected to low thyroid and Hashimoto's.

KARA: Yeah. So you might be thinking, why are you talking about gluten when you're talking about a show on thyroid? Well, the scary fact about gluten is that there are more than 55 health disorders that have been linked to gluten and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is one of those diseases. So if you have a thyroid problem or an autoimmune disease, some statistics indicate that 30 percent of that population has a gluten sensitivity. So I'm just going to repeat that. If you have an issue with your thyroid or you have an autoimmune disease, there is research showing that 30 percent of you may have a gluten sensitivity. Some researchers believe that it's higher. If you have an autoimmune condition or a thyroid condition, you're just going to kind of assume that gluten would be the first thing to look at to stop eating and Shelby and I are just going to quickly go through the biochemical reason that gluten might be causing your thyroid to become inflamed and shut down. And again, you know that's going to just result in a slow metabolism, more fatigue. You might just be too tired to exercise. You could be craving sugar and caffeine and that's because your energy's so low that your body is just kind of searching for a pick me up. It might be soda, coffee, candy, like you're saying, or just any kind of sugar because that gives just a temporary kind of a quick boost. But then that's a vicious cycle because the metabolism has already slowed and those types of foods are just going to make the scale, the number of the scale, keep going higher.

SHELBY: And a food that will definitely make the number on the scale continue to rise is pizza. And many people say to themselves, I ate pizza on Friday night and I didn't have any bloating or gas or it didn't give me diarrhea. So gluten must not be a problem for me, but the hard truth is a gluten sensitivity triggers those inflammatory antibodies which may not actually even show up for at least 72 hours. So antibodies are actually like the little army of your immune system and when you have gluten that triggers those inflammatory antibodies, that's how that gluten sensitivity is going to bog down our thyroid or inflame our thyroid. So, you know, Friday night pizza may actually be showing up Monday morning as a migraine, skin problems like acne, gas, joint pain, and even the eventual breakdown of your thyroid. So eventually that pizza, that gluten in the pizza, bogs down the thyroid. Your thyroid won't work properly, so you feel tired, maybe depressed, you look at foods and the number on the scale seems to increase all the time simply because you had to feed that weekly pizza habit.

KARA: And many of our clients will say, yeah, but I only eat gluten once in a while. Just, maybe I'll get it at a restaurant if I go out to eat. I only have pizza once a week or maybe like a couple times a month I'll have a roll from the bread basket. That's not going to hurt, is it? Well, unfortunately, yes. It can absolutely create inflammation in the body. Antibodies to gluten target your thyroid tissue, which could ultimately create Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. So when you're eating foods that contain gluten, the molecules of gluten can leak through your small intestinal tract. Your immune system views that as a foreign invader, like it's on attack and it's making antibodies to attack this foreign invader. That's actually just gluten leaking through the gut. And so it's kind of like your body looks at it like it's a virus or a bacteria.

SHELBY:  And we have to remember that we have immune cells that line the intestinal tract, so if anything is leaking through the intestinal tract, it is inflaming or kind of creating our immune system problems. It's telling our immune system that we're on high alert. So you know, Kara, I think we have to go to break.

KARA:  Wow. This show is flying by.

SHELBY: I know, so you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you want to learn the foundational practices of nutrition, I want to encourage you to take our six week Weight & Wellness series. If you want to learn how eating the Weight & Wellness Way supports your brain, not only to have good emotional health, but to have fewer cravings, to have better sleep, the Weight & Wellness series would be a great option. We will be offering that in our Lakeville location on October 1. It’ll be starting in Maple Grove on October 2 and even in our Mendota Heights location on October 4. So we've got all of you Twin Cities listeners covered. Here's what Peggy, one of our previous class members said on her evaluation sheet. Peggy said, “This class changed not only my health and life, but it changed my family's health and life. My kids love the meals I'm cooking. Best class I've ever taken.” Take advantage of our early bird $50 discount when you sign up for our Weight & Wellness series by September 24. Again, you can call the office at 651-699-3438 or you can register online at weightandwellness.com. We'll be back.

KARA: Welcome back. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and today we're talking about Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is a low thyroid condition. You know, every single day we are asked what supplements should I be taking? So before I answer that question, I must inform you that you cannot out supplement a poor diet. So that being said, we like to have people understand and follow the Weight & Wellness Way of eating real food. That just means you're saying goodbye to process foods. Now, if you've already gotten rid of processed foods and you're eating real food, we recommend six key supplements that cover a lot of bases as far as having a nutritional deficiency, so the first one is Bifido Balance, a probiotic, and we suggest three to six capsules a day of this probiotic. Bifidobacteria can reduce the risk of colon cancer up to 50 percent and reduces sugar cravings. The second one is a mineral called magnesium. We recommend we recommend Magnesium Glycinate, three to four tablets that's going to help with sleep and it relaxes muscles. Number three is vitamin D3, a very common deficiency and you probably will want to take 4,000 to 5,000 international units to prevent something called seasonal affective disorder.

SHELBY: Vitamin D is also very important for our topic today. Low thyroid function, too.

KARA: It definitely is. I know we're probably going to run out of time with our topic today, but vitamin D is very important for the thyroid. Number four is Omeg-6, which is GLA (gamma linolenic acid), and we recommend three to four soft gels a day to support healthy skin, hair and nails, and thyroid, by the way. Number five, Omega-3, your basic fish oil. We want a high-quality fish oil three to four soft gels per day to reduce inflammation.

SHELBY: Kara, I have to say, I heard the other day, people saying if you get the fishy burps from your fish oil, that's a sign that it's poor quality and the way this practitioner explained it was so great. If you buy fish from the fish market and it smells fishy, that's how you know it's not a great quality. Same is true for a fish oil. If you get that fishy burp or it smells rancid, that's actually a sign that it's poor quality.

KARA:  Throw it away.

SHELBY: Yeah, so our fish oil that we're recommending, like you said, the Omega-3, EPA, DHA, high quality, great for inflammation.

KARA: Contaminants have been removed.

SHELBY: No fishy burps.

KARA: Yeah, you want to get a good, high-quality fish oil, which we do have in our office. The last one, number six is called Twice-A-Day. It's a really high-quality multivitamin that is also high in B vitamins. People typically don't need to take a separate B complex. You just take two capsules per day and you know, we just recommend that you are looking for quality professional supplements, but of course start with that balanced diet first and all of the supplements that I just mentioned, they are on our website weightandwellness.com and we also carry those at all seven of our local offices.

SHELBY: Absolutely. So before we went to break, Kara, we were talking a little bit more about why gluten is such a dangerous molecule for our immune system specifically as it relates to our topic today, the thyroid, so we were talking a little bit about those antibodies, those inflammatory markers that attack the thyroid. But what's interesting about these antibodies is that our immune system can get kind of confused and not only treat gluten as an invader, but it also treats thyroid tissue as if it were gluten. We call that that sciency term, it's molecular mimicry, but that essentially just means that your immune system begins to get confused and destroy your thyroid. And like we said earlier, when your thyroid slows down, so does your metabolism. So low thyroid function equals a slow metabolism and maybe you're thinking to yourself, good to know. If I have a slow thyroid, I'll just start exercising more. You know, if I have a poor metabolism, I'll just add on a few more miles to my regiment. Unfortunately, we cannot out exercise a low functioning thyroid. Just like you had mentioned we can't out supplement a poor diet, we can’t out exercise a poor diet either. So here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we encourage all people with hypothyroidism to avoid gluten. And that means gluten avoidance all the way. On hundred higher percent, not just a, well, when I go out to eat, I don't worry about it. This is the tough love part of our segments where we say no gluten, it's just not worth it.

KARA:  Dr. Tom O’Bryan, he equates a little bit of gluten in the diet to being a little bit pregnant, which, I mean he is Dr. Tom O'Bryan, I mean talk about tough love, but he just wants people to get better. So he says no gluten.

SHELBY:Yeah. And when we think about absolutely no cheats, that's because those cheats potentially lead to more damage and it's  kind of like we're chipping away at our thyroid function. So even a small amount of gluten can raise those antibodies for up to three months. And Kara, you're right, Dr. Tom O'Bryan is a great resource because he gives it to us straight.

KARA:  Yeah, it's because he wants people to have results.

SHELBY: And we don't want that small amount of gluten to be triggering your immune system once a week or once a month, you know, because we don't want your immune system to be confused and attack your own thyroid cells.

KARA: Just a couple more. I can't resist a couple more Dr. Tom O'Bryan quotes on that note. He says look at your pinky finger now, if you have that amount of gluten, that can trigger the antibodies and the autoimmune response for up to several months. Another quick thing, Shelby, we hear a lot of people say, well, I'm so glad that I don't have a gluten sensitivity. And we asked, well, how do you know that? Well, I don't have diarrhea or I don't have constipation.

SHELBY:It doesn't make my stomach hurt.

KARA:  I don't get stomach aches. So you know Dr. O'Bryan with all of 30 plus years of research has found that if someone has a gluten sensitivity, only one in eight of those people will have any sort of digestive issues. The seven out of eight people are going to have other issues like thyroid problems, issues with their brain.

SHELBY: Brain fog is a huge one.

KARA:  I’ll just kind of leave it at that. But I find that really interesting and clients often will come into our office and say, well, I actually was tested and found that I don't have a gluten sensitivity, but we know that not all tests are accurate. So if you're looking for the most accurate test, it's your body. Your body will tell you through symptoms, you know, it might be digestive concerns, it might be diarrhea or constipation. It could be brain fog, like Shelby said, acne, migraines, joint or muscle pain, neuropathy, tingling and numbness, especially in the hands and feet or legs, could be fatigue. It could be anxiety and depression. So we recommend taking gluten out of the diet for six weeks to see if you feel better. If you do, if you even feel a little bit better, you can be certain that gluten is a problem for you. You know, a three month test is a better indicator, but six weeks is a great place to start and many of our Hashimoto's clients feel so much better within three weeks.

SHELBY: And wouldn't that be a great experiment just to be able to say, well maybe I don't have digestive complaints, but what if your brain fog that you've been struggling with for months went away just because you stopped eating gluten?

KARA: It’s so worth it. It's a very motivating thing to feel better. Even one little thing. If one little symptom goes away.

SHELBY:  And it doesn't cost hundreds of dollars, like some testing can. Kara, as we’re just kind of wrapping up, we've got less than a minute here, what would be some foods that you would recommend if people are not eating gluten? What would be some ways that we could still get some great food on the plates?

KARA:  Sure. I know with one minute left, it's hard, but you know we want to start with a good quality protein. We want to get our carbohydrates from vegetables and some fruits.

SHELBY:  And some healthy fats. So our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and make it a healthy day.

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