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Hashimoto's and recovery

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    Right so I’m trying to recover from 20 years of anorexia. I have Hashimoto’s and I have the gene for celiac. I understand gluten, with or without celiac, and dairy/casein are common autoimmune triggers. I don’t think I really have any digestive symptoms when I eat these foods, but I don’t eat them because I don’t want to make my autoimmune condition worse. Recovery is presenting as quite the challenge because it’s hard for me to mentally recover with such restrictions.
    I think I’m going to have to recover without gluten or dairy for now, so I don’t totally freak out when the inevitable recovery symptoms appear because I’m pretty certain I’d end up attributing them to intolerances/inflammation and worsening of my thyroid disorder. The most logical plan is to eat bunches of gfdf foods for now and then maybe try adding gluten and dairy in later on when things have stabilized. But then I feel like it’s hard to even do recovery because i don’t feel free with food anyway and it just triggers me back to the ED.
    I could also go balls to the wall now and eat anything and everything to gain the psychological benefits of normal/FREE eating and deal with the elimination game down the road, but I’m really not sure I can manage the prospect of extra inflammation and unnecessary weight gain due to increased autoimmunity
    I realize it’s most important to get my ED into remission and then deal with food intolerances and possibly celiac later on, but I really don’t want to set myself up for gaining extra weight or settling at a higher weight than if I kept out the triggering foods.
    Everything I read in regards to Hashimoto’s is about people who were fat and inflamed
    until they got rid of their triggering foods. It seems whenever I’ve tried to eat these foods again, I gain weight and/or water, but I usually only try when I get really fed up and am trying to increase calories too. It would probably be better to eliminate variables, but then I feel like I can’t recover.
    Can anyone break this circle in my head?


    Hey tamu,
    You’ve probably noticed the forum is no longer that active, so you might not get a ton of replies. But here are my 2 cents…

    1) Are you working with a therapist who specialized in EDs? Having a therapist in your tool-box could be very helpful while for you while trying to recover.

    2) From the tone and style of your post, you sound very anxious. This is totally understandable. It’s also pretty common for those with EDs. I know, I was there (and still sometimes am). I point this out because it might be helpful for you to try some anxiety reducing techniques (whatever that may be for you… meditation, more rest, stretching, watching funny movies, smelling the roses… whatever does it for you). The more relaxed you are, the better your body will digest all these new foods. Maybe you can try and tell yourself: “my body is totally fine with dairy and gluten” and/or “these foods are nourishing my body.” Sometimes our mental/emotional outlook can really affect our physiology and how we react to foods and situations.

    3) I would go ahead and eat start eating gluten and dairy. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you could incorporate them in small amounts and then increase. You said you’re not having any immediate noticeable symptoms from either– so I think it would really help your peace of mind to just go ahead and incorporate all the food!

    4) My understanding is that there are no scientific studies showing that gluten or dairy are bad for hashimotos or other autoimmune diseases (except, of course, celiac). Food intolerances are also kind of “woo.” Yes, people can have reactions to foods, but it seems once people recover from EDs and lower the stress in their lives, they have less and less reactions. So overcoming your ED and fixing (or rather, improving) metabolic function might eliminate/improve any food intolerances you have.
    You mentioned that everything you are reading about hashimotos says people need to get rid of their intolerances in order to lower inflammation and heal. Well, again, there aren’t any scientific studies showing that food intolerances cause inflammation and lead to hashimotos (if there are, please point them out). These claims that food can lead to inflammation in that way are kind of vague and unscientific… how does it cause inflammation? What is the specific physiological pathway in the body?
    It might actually help for you to stop reading some of the online blogs and forums for hashimotos that discuss the disease, especially those that discuss it in non-scientific ways. I’m not saying you have to avoid those online forums and communities forever… but maybe you could take a break from them for a month while you re-feed just to give your mind a rest. You can let yourself know that in one month, those same forums or online blogs will still be there and you can catch up on anything you missed. Continuing to convince yourself that food is causing inflammation in the body will be unhelpful in your ED recovery.

    5) Try re-feeding for a month or two and then reassess how you feel. Has your body temp increased? Has your digestion improved? How about your mood and anxiety? etc etc.
    If you feel things are getting worse and you’re gaining weight but not getting better, then you can always stop.
    Also, depending where you’re at physically, you might need to consult your doctor about re-feeding. People with severe anorexia can experience re-feeding syndrome. You also don’t have to increase calories all at once on day one. For instance, if you’re used to eating 1000 calories a day, maybe increase by 300… so eat 1300 calories for several days, then add another 300 and so on. That way you don’t go form 1000 calories to 2800 overnight (2800 is just a random number… i have no idea how many calories your body actually needs).

    This was way more info than you requested, but from the tone of your post, I thought some of these thoughts would be helpful.

    Good luck to you! And breathe =)


    I have Hashimoto’s as well as some other autoimmune diseases, and I don’t find any negative effects from dairy products versus when I avoid them. Grass fed dairy products even have antiinflammatory nutrients, so I load up on them.


    If you have the celiac gene, then it makes sense to avoid gluten, but I personally would eat everything else.

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