Friday, June 5, 2015

{7 QT 12} - Eating with Hashimoto's Disease

So, I was diagnosed this week with Hashimoto's Disease. It's an autoimmune disease (like diabetes) that affects the thyroid. Now, it's not horribly serious; I've evidently had it for a very long time - my thyroid problem has always been caused by this disease, but until now, no doctor has ever thought to check me for antibodies.

According to my sources on the internet and my doctor, there's no "treatment" or "cure" for this, just like there's no cure for diabetes (yet - but I'm sure someone's working on it!)

There are some things you can do to make it better, and I'm starting to work on at least some of it. There's a diet. Apparently, cutting all gluten and (this is the part that stinks...) all dairy really helps most people's thyroid function.

So... here are seven things I've learned about cooking and eating with this disease.

(I'm trying to stay positive about this, so please don't take this as "complaining.")

According to my doctor, when I was pregnant with Pitter Patter, the thirty-or-forty-some-odd pounds of water weight that I gained was because of inflammation from this autoimmune problem, so, for my next pregnancy, if I eat for it, I can expect to not gain as much water weight.

That water-weight figure is not exaggerated. I gave birth at 270-something and change. Figure that Baby + Placenta + Amniotic fluid is around 15lbs that you lose immediately, that's 255 left. By the time 3 weeks had gone by, I was at 215. (I did NOTHING to lose this weight - I mean, I know breastfeeding helps, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to make me lose 30lbs in 3 weeks!)

Not retaining as much water for the next pregnancy will be nice - I got pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome because I was retaining so much water. It was so bad that I literally could not sign my name for half of the pregnancy without my fingers going numb.

So - that's a great incentive to learn to eat with this - it'll mean that my next pregnancy is a LOT more comfortable, and I'll be able to make some of the crochet items I couldn't make for Pitter patter.

Gluten and sugar are not the same. (YAY!)  This means that it's not quite as bad as eating with diabetes, as most diabetics aren't allowed sugar either.

This means that the hardest thing for me (in terms of gluten) is going to be figuring out how to make a roux for my etouffees and gumbos, which, as you probably know, is made with flour. (And if you didn't know it before, you do now!)

I can still have pretty much any wine I want, and most distilled liquors. This includes Port wine, which is my favorite alcoholic beverage. Basically the only alcohol I need to "give up" is beer, which I don't like anyway.
Saw XKCD's comic for today after I finished my post. It was just too perfect.

The thing I'm most bummed about giving up is drinking milk; it's one of my favorite "healthy" beverages.

This was, in fact, the first thing I started researching "what to do" about, because I REALLY love milk.

The good news is that I'm not in the first generation of non-dairy eaters, so I have a lot of options to check out. Did you know that there are four different "genres" of dairy free milk alternatives?

Of these, I've tried two this week. They're "okay", but I'm not excited about either one of them. Almond milk tastes like liquid almonds and soy milk tastes like liquid soy beans, neither of which tastes like real milk.

Whoever said that almond milk and soy milk taste better than cow's milk obviously didn't actually like milk.

"Non-dairy" apparently doesn't mean "no milk" in every context.

The "non-dairy creamer" that I've been using for a while now contains... you guessed it... something derived from milk.

(Be outraged with me. Non-dairy should mean "no milk".)

Making pretty salads makes them more fun to eat. Check out this awesome salad I made myself for lunch on Tuesday:

This has in it about 2 cups of spinach, 1 Roma tomato, half a cucumber, and half a cup of chickpeas, an undisclosed number of olives, and an also undisclosed amount of my homemade viniagrette dressing. Looks tasty, right? It was.

They make soy cheese and gluten-free flour! That means that, if we get a bread machine, I can still have grilled cheese on Fridays. So... yeah, that's pretty cool, too. It just sounds like a lot of work!

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  1. I know changes to diet can be hard...I'm trying low FODMAP for IBS and taking thyroid meds twice a all people taking thyroid meds have to limit dairy? I think I can eat some for a couple of hours each day...but it says to not eat dairy for 8 hours before each dose. Thanks, and I wish you the best.

    1. As far as I'm aware, dairy limitations aren't consistent for everyone on thyroid meds. It might depend on your particular medication; I know that my prescription didn't have that restriction. I have read that a significant portion of people with hypothyroidism also have Hashimoto's, but I'm not a doctor, so - talk to yours before changing things on him!

      I think having to schedule dairy might be more difficult as far as knowing how much to buy. I'd probably be that person who gets to "within 8 hours of my next dose" and then kick myself because I haven't had my milk yet.

      Good luck with your diet changes. I hope they help! Thanks for reading!