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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have Hashimotos and now possibly Hasitoxicosis, I have been trying to find out if I can change my diet to help, but I am very confused with all the stuff I am reading especially about iodine and gluten.

Is iodine good or bad and how much is too much?

There is a list of foods to avoid in one of the articles on this site but to me they all seem to be the things that I should be eating on a basic healthy, varied diet. (beans, brocolli etc.)

I have read lots about gluten free, but I am not fully convinced that I need to make such a drastic change. I do not have other auto-immune problems, although I had my gallbladder removed just a month ago. I make my own sourdough bread now, so I have stopped using yeast and it has been shown that the very long raising and proving times reduce the amount of gluten in the bread.

Has any reasearch been done about gluten and Hashi's ?

Premium Member
7,065 Posts
What I have done and continue to do normally. :) Do I avoid goitergenic foods? No. Do I eat them in moderation? Yes, as with anything else. I don't do gluten-free. It's never bothered me and I don't think thyroid disease automatically means you have a gluten sensitivity. But, if you do, by all means, avoid it.

I'm a believer in fresh food, trying to minimize the processed stuff, and sticking to high protein, low carb, low-ish sugar diets.

Super Gold Veteran
1,550 Posts
I haven't found that food alters the state of the thyroid or the disease. Just eat normally.
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Veteran Member
407 Posts
I have done a lot of researching into this question - regarding - what should I eat for my thyroid if I have Hashimto's? Can anything make a difference?

First I will answer you with the most reliable answer from the most knowledgable source. My endocrinologist (he's been one for about 40+ years) told me that it is true that some people with Hashimoto's do truly have a gluten problem which can be a problem. He also has me taking 200 mcg selenium, as I have a hyperemic thyroid. 500 C, 2000 D. He also is very clear -- no iron within 4 hours. of armour. No soy anytime near it, no calcium anytime near it.

Next on this subject, we get into the land of information wars and truth wars and experience wars - from what I've found. There's the whole thing about not eating "goiterogenic foods" such as raw foods from the brassica's family but that cooked they're fine -- Dr. Kharrazian debunks this "naturalist idea of the past" -- however, whether it's evidentially proven or not - I am unaware -- however I did read that for people who have a goiter -perhaps there could be something to it. So what did I find when I tried it? Nothing. No clear difference.

So some friends of mine gave me a naturopathic diet for the thyroid. It's based on the "Ray Peat" diet. So I added liver to my life - and that gave me extra energy. I added raw milk. I started juicing oranges. I gained a few pounds but I didn't care. Now during this time -- I rested daily. While I still struggled, I did find interestingly - that my tsh went down substantially - and this was when I had never yet had a thyroid hormone.

So where am I today? I've learned so much!! I'm kinda all over the board. In my heart/mind I sortof lean toward "The Abascal Way" diet by Kathy Abascal - this is specifically "to quiet inflammation." This is not a weight loss diet, but a likely side-effect. This diet is about balancing the body, taking out allergic triggers -- specifically - removing triggers that make your immune system over-respond -- trying to quiet inflammation. I'm not on the diet all of the way yet.

I'm also heading toward low-carb (not including all those m&m's I ate yesterday... woops -- see we all slip...) and almost everything I eat is "whole foods" - for the utmost nutrition (like those nice whole smiling m&m's). Seriously though, it's mostly whole foods for me.I also think about pomegranate for the free raidcals, there really is something to those.

So I've posted the thyroid diet that is from a naturopath somewhere on this forum -- I hope that kindof helps you -- as I really looked into this for quite awhile.

Take care, feel better, and stopping all gluten is a GREAT place to start if you're really having trouble -- it doesn't hurt to give it a try.

The easiest way to do that... Simply eat mostly whole foods.

Bob's mill gluten-free oats for breakfast (add frozen blueberries & cinnamon - the blueberries will melt into the oatmeal and this is so delicious without sugar that it's almost like eating a blueberry muffin.)

Snack of either a gluten free yogurt, some nuts and an apple or orange.

Lunch of a plate that is 2/3 greens (cooked broccoli, salad with no dressing or gluten free dressing or squeeze your orange on it), avocado, chicken breast...

Snack -- fruit & veggies & nuts

dinner -- like lunch...

healthy, yummy, you can add more to this, juiced oranges, pomegranate seeds on your salads, & other things that are gluten-free -- it would be interesting to see if your system calmed down in a week.

Regarding IODINE --

I have delved DEEPLY into the iodine question. I spent many many many many many many many (did I say many?) I mean MANY hours looking into this!!!

Here's the bottom line from what I have found: (Here are the facts picked out of all the claims - I tell you that weeding through this is very difficult. If you do so, I suggest you beginning literally with google scholar, your own doctor, and pubmed.)

Fact: If you are in a country or location in which there is a known iodine deficiency, the introduction of iodine into your diet can be helpful for people in some various ways.

Fact: Iodine has been shown to be helpful in some breast tissue issues.

Fact: If you live in the USA, you are not believed to be in an iodine deficient region.


Now Here is the problem that I found: There are NUMEROUS NUMEROUS NUMEROUS STATEMENTS and claims regarding iodine, books written about it and all sorts of information flying around -- so I wanted to know if these statements were true -- if they were true - then perhaps I should try iodine - which I did, and after three days on a tiny dose I got a SPLITTING headache like never before. Yowza.

So what about those statements - who makes them? What are their sources? Are they true? Did all that swimming in chlorine and chemicals block my thyroid receptors and iodine can blow out the halogens and make me well? Is it true that a Hashimoto's hyperemic thyroid is actually the exact same thing as a goiter and that iodine can shrink it (they are different things in my case - I do not technically have a goiter such as in the case of iodine deficient groups of people who take iodine or have it placed on their goiters and they shrink-- I have an autoimmune condition which has impacted my thyroid and receiving the proper amount of thyroid hormone should help that return to normal size. (Mine is not even visible to the eye).

Discoveries that I made: I found three main guys in my searching - Dr. Brownstein, G. E. Abraham, (appears to be Guy Abraham), and Dr. Flechas.

Dr Guy Abraham is a huge proponent and writer on iodine - is associated with the company "Optomox" and they sell iodine, called IODORAL. Let me be clear here -- Optimox also sells liquid Gold. In my research, I did not find Iodoral FDA approved - and I searched.

When reading things that Abraham wrote, I found that he quoted his own writings at times. I found no "peer-reviewed" journals with his data in it, (that doesn't mean there aren't any, it means - if there are - I can't find them.)

I found that J. D. Flechas also quotes Abraham, and things are often cited from a publication called "The Originial Internist." I picked up my phone and called that publication and asked, how does one get their article printed in your publication? You send it to Virginia at and they have editors who can usually work with it. So what does that say for quoting iodine information in this publication that Abraham or anyone else has submitted? If I were an ND and a good writer, I myself could submit something and very easily find it in their publication. This is clearly not what I would call a peer reviewed journal nor is it an evidencially proven resource - although it may be at times - who is to know?

Here is a sample (please scroll to the bottom of the page) and look at who this guy is quoting for his resources: Nearly every single entry includes Dr. Abraham, a couple include The Original Internist and some include -- HIMSELF! (Flechas!)

I have read SO MANY STATEMENTS on iodine and yet it keeps coming back around to three main guys. Please don't get me wrong -- iodine is important and has some important uses.

However even in the "natural world" - meaning the world of natural medicine - there are NUMEROUS warnings about comsuming iodine if you have Hashimoto's. To read that check into Dr. Kharrazian who appears to have reversed his view and now is concerned about it.

I cannot find ANY FACTUAL PEER REVIED NON-SKEWED VIEW on iodine regarding the specific statements that I'm interested in. I cannot prove that their claims are based on evidence that is scientific - meaning -- scientific evidence means it is a study that can be repeated and proven over and over again using the same conditions & factors etc - it is repeatable.

So I joined what appeared to be the "Stop the Thyroid Madness" yahoo group on iodine and I sat in the back for awhile. Talk about disgusting. The main lady there is basically telling people how to take their vitamins, iodine and more... She has not met, seen personally or even taken the temperature, history or heart-rate of most of the people on the board!! I remember the lady who wrote in who had been "doing it right" she'd been doing the "iodine protocol" for ONE YEAR and was NOW developing a lump in her throat!!! Talk about disgusting! (snake oil!) Then there was the guy who took a MEGA (did I say mega) MEGA dose of iodine and started having symptoms - should he go to the ER? -- His dose was so huge are you kidding me -- then there was the old man who wrote in, so sad, his wife had cancer. They were treating it naturally (which of course is their choice) but he was getting iodine advice. If I remember correctly, her cancer was a treatable kind -- and I felt so sad that he was getting advice from someone who was not an MD, someone who is giving advice based on experience and more, but never once saw the woman in her office - absolutely disgusting to me. I'm not 100% sure it was related to STTM but I'm pretty sure - if they do not have an iodine yahoo group then I'm definitely wrong. I still think STTM can be helpful - with regard to understanding through experiences what has helped some or many regarding various things.

Anyway -- so -- ask your doctor -- and realize that the doctor (MD) answers from "scientific studies" concerning their experience. I still go to a doctor who leans toward natural. There are still MD's out there on the web who believe some of the statements made which are not evidencially proven.

My journey was exhausting. I talked to a physician, a lab assistant, looked at multiple studies, many statements, and I just could not find the evidence. I did learn from the lab assistant, that usually the iodine studies are not focused on "single person" results - but a group of people in an iodine deficient region. I also learned that the current test used for iodine by the natural world -- does not accurately reflect the amount of iodine used - as it comes out in sweat, feces, and over a period of days following the testing period -- that it is innacurate.

Hope this helps.

Super Gold Veteran
1,666 Posts
(Hey Swimmer, thanks for that awesome and informative post! Always love to see research and explanations and what other folks are doing.)

To the OP -- Hashimoto's is named after a Japanese doctor who discovered it in the early 1900s -- and of course, folks there eat a ton of soy and iodine (seaweed) in their diets. I haven't yet come across a doctor in my appointments, whether western- or eastern-medicine leaning, that recommended iodine. I try to steer clear of iodine and soy as much as possible. Sure, your body needs *some* iodine, but I wouldn't go out of my way to supplement with it. In fact, some salt is good for you, but we've switched to sea salt ("pink", aka Hawaiian or Himalayan-types are good) in our household.

As far as the goitrogenic cruciferous veggies go (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), I've heard it both ways. Some advocate steering clear, some say cooking it helps remove some of the risks. I fall into the latter camp. I'll eat them, but they need to be cooked or steamed. Having a pile of broccoli has to be better than a pile of fried onion rings. Speaking of onions, both them and garlic are good for you.

The beans... well, same sort of thing as above. Some feel that they contribute to gut inflammation, or cause problems in the digestive tract, and some folks don't feel that way. Oats are another hot topic -- even "gluten free oats". On one hand, some feel that oatmeal is a calming food/substance, but others think that certain grains may trigger inflammation, especially if you are gluten intolerant or with something like Hashi's. So, I eat minimal beans, and don't have my every-day morning oatmeal anymore. Which is okay -- I switched to bacon and eggs. :)

Dairy -- we could go on and on with that one, too. I try to not eat much of it (But I'm sorry, I need to have a little bit of ice cream now and then!). We use real butter or ghee instead of margarine and synthetic butter products. And olive oil or coconut oil is far, far better for you when cooking than canola or vegetable oil. If I need milk, it's going to be full-bore Vitamin D whole milk, not the watered down stuff.

Gluten is a tough one. Lots of people here don't have a problem with it, and many do. There are about a zillion opinions, blogs, doctor's approaches, articles, and such on the gluten <-> inflammation link. FYI, they can do a blood test for Celiac disease, which might be wise if you suspect it. And they can do a saliva test for gluten sensitivity -- and you can have a nasty case of that without truly being a "Celiac" (that's what happened to me). You are right-on about the trend of having lots of overly-processed and ready-quick breads and foods. Not only that, but wheat (and soy) are in darn near everything, from ice cream to salad dressings. Oh, and things like barley and rye fall into the gluten category, so beware. We slowly replaced things in our kitchen with gluten-free offerings, and it took a long time to go truly "gluten free". In my case, I can say that it absolutely, positively, 110% helped me. Not only that, it fixed my digestive problems that were lingering for a good decade. Whether going "GF" works for you, well, everyone has to kind of do their own evaluation and see where they stand.

Bottom line is that we, as a society, have been fed (pun intended) a lot of BS over the last few decades by government recommendations, food manufacturers rolling in subsidies, lobbyist groups, shoddy medical research, biased doctors with conflicts of interest, pharmaceutical companies, and so on. Some types of cholesterol are not necessarily "bad" for you. Salt is needed by your body -- as are healthy fats and oils (coconut oil, avocado, animal protein/fats, nuts, olive oil, etc.). For sweeteners, use honey or real sugar if you must, avoiding things like synthetic sweeteners. Eat a varied diet, with plenty of veggies and some fruits. Avoid foods that might cause inflammation for you or your condition(s). Essentially, feed yourself like it's 1914, not 2014. My humble opinion is that our ancestors knew what they were doing. For more info if you want, look into going "Paleo", which is really a lifestyle change, not a diet plan.


Active Member
248 Posts
Many of our foods, including table salt, both in the US and in many parts of Europe have Iodine in them and supplementation is not needed. As one Endo told me "As long as you're not out eating handfuls of iodine replacement or huge amounts of iodine rich foods you're fine".

Both Hashimoto's and iodine deficiency can cause goiters. For the former, thyroid hormone can halt and even shrink the growth. For the later, taking in enough iodine can do the same.

I personally don't feel that drastic diet changes necessarily help those with Hashimoto's. Some people do have confounding autoimmune diseases and need to do this while others on this board only have Hashi's and don't have issues with diet. While having Hashimoto's does elevate the risk for developing other autoimmune disorders like Celiac I don't necessarily see that as a reason to cut things out. Eating healthy, especially since Hashi's has a weight gain and cholesterol factor is far more important in my book then worrying about certain food groups.

9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for the information.,.WOW.

My decision is to stick to my healthy, balanced diet. I grow my own spinach, chard, garlic and onions and I do have the young leaves of all in salads. I guess moderation is the key to this.

We are very lucky to have a daily fruit and veg market where we can buy fresh, local grown produce straight from the growers, its great as we buy seasonal veg. We grow the few things we cannot buy in Portugal, just because our UK tastes are different and I use lots of fresh herbs. Broccoli and Cauli are always available and fresh, I have in the past had these raw in salads but will stick to cooking from now on.

I bake my own sourdough breads now, using various wholegrains and do not plan to go Gluten I will stick to that plan.

So far I feel well and healthy, although I do get tired easily.
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