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Hashimoto's and Gluten Free

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Old 09-04-2013, 02:24 AM   #1
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Default Hashimoto's and Gluten Free

I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's. After much research and discussions with physicians I know that I need to go gluten free. The only problem being the cost.

First of all, I have probably about $200 of groceries that are full of gluten. I don't have a lot of money so I feel wrong wasting all of this food. Do I just eat the rest of it and then stop buying it?

Secondly, how does everyone afford gluten free? I eat a great deal of cereals and pastas. I, oddly enough, recently switched to eating more whole wheat to try and be healthy. I can usually buy a box of pasta for 99 cents. I'm seeing that a small package of gluten free pasta goes for $4! I understand that obviously you shouldn't live off of foods that are made to mimic gluten foods, but it's going to be hard for a self confessed bread junkie to go without.

Any other advice for Hashimotos in general would be great. My doctor doesn't know a whole lot about it, and said I didn't need to treat it if I didn't want to :/ Most of what I've learned is my own research.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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I'm in a similar boat. I'm gluten free, but also try to stick to a pretty rigid budget and I don't buy substitute food. Some of the things that help are inexpensive fruit for snacks (apples, oranges, bananas), sandwiches can be wrapped in lettuce, greens, or even hollowed out cucumbers. For quick breakfasts I often do mini egg muffins or frittatas, and for other meals I often eat stew, chili, or soup (which I make in large batches and freeze in individual servings) or stuffed vegetables (zucchini boats, eggplant boats, stuffed peppers, stuffed tomatoes), and I've invested $30 in a noodler to make zucchini noodles - seriously good, but before I had the noodler I would often eat a bowl of fine green beans (frozen) with marinara and cheese.

Other gluten free cheaper foods are beans, rice, potatoes, rice noodles, popcorn, tortilla chips, and corn tortillas (which I limit due to carbs). I'm able to get a lot of my foods at aldi, pricerite, and Asian grocery stores and end up spending very little.

Today's meal plan is:
Breakfast: Turkey and cheese in a cucumber "sub" with garlic mustard aioli
Snack: apple
Lunch: 1 cup spicy tomato blue cheese soup
Snack: baby carrots and cherry tomatoes dipped in ranch
Dinner: chicken stir fry with snap peas, broccoli, peppers, and scallions

Once you get the hang of it, it's really not too hard. Just a few adjustments along the way. Good luck!

Check out http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/ for some ideas. She even has a page on budgeting and is very adventurous with baking (which I am not!)

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Old 09-14-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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I'm currently diagnosed as hypothyroid, and waiting on a formal Hashimoto's Diagnosis. What was your Doctor's reasoning for eating gluten free?
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kelli21 View Post
I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's. After much research and discussions with physicians I know that I need to go gluten free. The only problem being the cost.

First of all, I have probably about $200 of groceries that are full of gluten. I don't have a lot of money so I feel wrong wasting all of this food. Do I just eat the rest of it and then stop buying it?

Secondly, how does everyone afford gluten free? I eat a great deal of cereals and pastas. I, oddly enough, recently switched to eating more whole wheat to try and be healthy. I can usually buy a box of pasta for 99 cents. I'm seeing that a small package of gluten free pasta goes for $4! I understand that obviously you shouldn't live off of foods that are made to mimic gluten foods, but it's going to be hard for a self confessed bread junkie to go without.

Any other advice for Hashimotos in general would be great. My doctor doesn't know a whole lot about it, and said I didn't need to treat it if I didn't want to :/ Most of what I've learned is my own research.
We are a GF family by necessity. Celiac disease and a host of other autoimmune disorders and allergies which are all exaggerated or downright dangerous with gluten in the diet. It is not something you can do half way...you either eat it or you don't. Cutting back won't help. You may want to try eliminating for a period of time to see if it helps. It is however; a great way to rid the diet of carbs...most of which in my case I'm better off without as well. Don't know what to say about the groceries...give them to charity? ..If you go GF Stay away fom most of the substitutes..they are carb and calorie heavy ..and cause weight problems in most people. lots of rice flour and other starch fillers. Might want to explore paleo diets...they exclude gluten but include other healthy grains and nuts. Good luck.

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Old 10-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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Any other advice for Hashimotos in general would be great. My doctor doesn't know a whole lot about it, and said I didn't need to treat it if I didn't want to :/ Most of what I've learned is my own research.
This statement makes me think you need to find another doctor, at least for treating your thyroid disease. Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid gland, causing slow thyroid failure and hypothyroid symptoms. To start with, you may be able to treat with diet and supplements (under doctor supervision) but as time goes along you will probably need replacement thyroid hormone. And you need to have a doctor that understands how to treat thyroid disease and isn't just winging it. Properly treated, you can feel largely normal with Hashi's. Improperly treated, you will feel awful.

I have Hashi's. My doctor ignored my symptoms for 9 years, even when I went in and told him specifically I wanted a thyroid test because I had every single symptom of thyroid disease and he refused to give me the test. It's a simple blood test. I even said I'd pay for it out of pocket. Ultimately, he sent me to see a specialist for an unrelated (or so he though) condition and the specialist asked if he could test my thyroid. I was definitely hypo, and further tests revealed I has Hashi's. I changed doctors for the treatment of my thyroid.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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Kelly, while you switching to gluten-free diet, also you should clean up your diet! I know you said you don't have much money to spend on food, but buying a vegetable instead of gluten-free box of pasta can be extremely beneficial for your wallet in a long run! Treating diseases can be very expensive! If you are already diagnosed with a disorder, think that something has caused it... so maybe it is just a sign that something needs to be changed... Try reading about Paleo diet (I have a blog post at www nadyapeche dot com if you are interested), it might solve many other issues that you are having! Trust me investing in your health is the best investment you can make! Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about Paleo diet!
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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Kelly, while you switching to gluten-free diet, also you should clean up your diet! I know you said you don't have much money to spend on food, but buying a vegetable instead of gluten-free box of pasta can be extremely beneficial for your wallet in a long run! Treating diseases can be very expensive! If you are already diagnosed with a disorder, think that something has caused it... so maybe it is just a sign that something needs to be changed... Try reading about Paleo diet (I have a blog post at www nadyapeche dot com if you are interested), it might solve many other issues that you are having! Trust me investing in your health is the best investment you can make! Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about Paleo diet!
Gluten free does not necessitate buying gluten free processed foods... We have simply eliminated bread, cereals and wheat containing baked items and processed foods. Fish, poultry eggs and meats prepared without flour and fresh fruit, veggies and salads make up the bulk of our diet. Eliminating wheat does not mean it needs to be replaced. Besides being expensive, most commercial GF items are full of carbs, and are high in things that are not good at all for weight control. Dairy is limited because of fat...(we do some yogurt)......but switched to plain almond milk. (30 cal per serving) Lower in cals and carbs ...higher calcium.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kelli21 View Post
I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's. After much research and discussions with physicians I know that I need to go gluten free. The only problem being the cost.

First of all, I have probably about $200 of groceries that are full of gluten. I don't have a lot of money so I feel wrong wasting all of this food. Do I just eat the rest of it and then stop buying it?

Secondly, how does everyone afford gluten free? I eat a great deal of cereals and pastas. I, oddly enough, recently switched to eating more whole wheat to try and be healthy. I can usually buy a box of pasta for 99 cents. I'm seeing that a small package of gluten free pasta goes for $4! I understand that obviously you shouldn't live off of foods that are made to mimic gluten foods, but it's going to be hard for a self confessed bread junkie to go without.

Any other advice for Hashimotos in general would be great. My doctor doesn't know a whole lot about it, and said I didn't need to treat it if I didn't want to :/ Most of what I've learned is my own research.
I have Hashimoto's and the ONLY way to get your life back is to change all your old habits. Gluten and soy are both really bad for us, you will only keep going through up and down cycles until you get off that bad track. I've just started Ideal Protein after months of going to the Endo.Dr. only being given Synthroid and the fog is lifting and the weight is finally really coming off, my plan is Gluten Free and low soy, the food is great. Good luck, do your research on the links and hope you find your path as well.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:46 AM   #9
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Hey all you GFers: I have Fibromyalgia and find that going gluten free has worked amazingly for my IBS, ligament/tendon pain, energy, and sleep patterns. I used to have a bad systemic reaction to gluten that I didn't even realize was in some of the foods I ate - asthma, skin breakouts, and of course major digestive problems. I am just very sensitive, not celiac. I have been following a low calorie and carb ketotic diet (Ideal Protein) to lose the 30 lbs I had gained since being diagnosed and that means no bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes, corn, etc. Although corn and rice as well as amaranth, quinoa, etc are allowed GFers, this has helped me lose 24 lbs since early November - 8 weeks. The trick is to focus on your lean meats and fish, eggs, tofu, minimal lo-fat/high protein dairy like greek yogourt unflavoured, and your large assortment of low carb vegetables. If you really crave noodles once in a while - use shirataki from tofu or yam starch. Once I have lost the weight, I will add in a piece of GF toast once in a while, or use quinoa again.
Remember though, that if you are going gluten free for your health and not just on a whim, you MUST be diligent with eliminating it. Even the sneaky stuff like soy sauce will blow your health. You cannot just do this kind of diet casually. You go, girls!! Feeling good and healthy is WAAAAY better than a piece of bread any day.

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Old 01-05-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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We are a GF family by necessity. Celiac disease and a host of other autoimmune disorders and allergies which are all exaggerated or downright dangerous with gluten in the diet. It is not something you can do half way...you either eat it or you don't. Cutting back won't help.
For celiac disease this is almost always true because the gluten causes tissue damage. However, the more gluten you eat, the more damage it will do, and even with celiac disease, patients have different degrees of sensitivities and the severity of symptoms and reactions can vary (but only no gluten is safe).

Children's celiac disease is usually more reactive than adults. The standard medical advice "once upon a time, but not all that long ago" was that children would or at least could "grow out of" celiac disease. It was even thought that most adult celiac patients did not have to be as strict with their diets as children.

We now know that even when symptoms seem mild or nonexistant, for celiac disease patients, there is no safe dose.

For people with other gluten sensitivities such as allergies, IBS, PCOS, hypothyroidism, rosacea, and other immune/autoimmune/digestive/obesity... issues that are aggravated or triggered by gluten; however, cutting back not only can help, it may even be sufficient.

So, how much gluten is safe for non-celiac gluten issues? That's much more difficult to say, especially since gluten grains tend to be delicious (if not down right addictive), so it's often easier from a psychological perspective to eat no gluten than reduced gluten.

Determining how much is too much for non-celiac gluten sensitivities, especially without help from doctors and dietitians can be tricky. And generally, insurance covers dietitian visits for only a very small number of conditions including diabetes, celiac disease, and some liver and kidney diseases. Even then, services are generally limited.

In my experience, doctors (especially non-specialists) undertreat endocrine and autoimmune issues, so patients need to be aggressive and even demanding in regard to seeking diagnosis and treatment to whatever degree is possible (which can be tough, especially with financial limitations).
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:46 AM   #11
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Kelli21,

I also wanted to add (and didn't want it to get lost in my last post) that you can find many cost-reducing tips in the Shoestring Meals forum, including no- and low- gluten ideas.

As you may have guessed, I am on a low-gluten, but not entirely gluten-free diet. I've tested negative (twice) for celiac disease, but am gluten (or at least wheat) sensitive/intolerant, which may or may not be an actual allergy to wheat or gluten.

I do my best to eliminate gluten, but my doctors and I are ok with an almost-but-not-quite gluten-free diet.

In a perfect world, with unlimited resources, my diet would be entirely wheat-free, gluten-free and low-carb paleo (autoimmune disease often responds favorably to a paleo and/or low-carb diet). However, my world is not perfect. My husband and I are on disability income and medicare. Our current situation is much better than it has been in the past, but we do have to be very careful in all of our expenses.

Traces of wheat (such as in a small amount of soy sauce) do not trigger symptoms, so while I read labels, I do not need to be quite as vigilant as celiac patients.

Like Munchy, hubby and I shop at Asian groceries and discount groceries such Aldi.

We also buy bananas, potatoes, onions, apples, oranges, pears, butter, eggs, milk, and frozen yogurt at Kwik Trip gas stations.

If you have Kwik Trip stores in your area, it's worth the extra trip for these staples, which are often half the price of other stores on these items.

I found books like The Complete Tightwad Gazette as well as other books on saving money, frugal living and cooking, autoimmune disease, paleo diets and cooking... quite helpful.

Gluten-free (or nearly so) on a tight budget isn't difficult but it is very time consuming, at least in the beginning as you learn the hundreds of little tips and tricks that make it possible.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:40 AM   #12
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The only reason to go gluten free is because you have coeliac disease. coeliac disease is a digestive disorder. Hashimotos disease is an endocrine system disorder.


There is a good article on about.com thyroid disease which discusses in detail hashimotos. Not a word is said about gluten free diets and i suspect this is the case on any reputable website.

I suggest that your dietary advice about going gluten free comes from a dubious source.

Save yourself the money, just follow doctors orders. And even go see an endocrinologist. Its not diet that's going to fix this.

Losing weight should be done by ordinary healthful, non faddic means. The rest is a waste of money, fuss and time.

Really the whole gluten free thing is so overblown. There is no legitimate medical evidence that its necessary for any other condition but coeliac disease.

I have hypothyroidism and my disorder is well managed by medication.

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Old 01-07-2014, 12:39 PM   #13
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The only reason to go gluten free is because you have coeliac disease. coeliac disease is a digestive disorder. Hashimotos disease is an endocrine system disorder.
I think this advice is just as extreme as suggesting that gluten-free is a cure-all.

Wheat and gluten allergies are another good reason to go gluten-free.

Avoiding gluten and gluten-like proteins is also very common, research supported advice for autoimmune disease.

When I was first diagnosed with autoimmune connective tissue disease, I read every book I could get my hands on, regarding AI disease. The vast majority recommended following, or at least trying a low-carb diet or at least the elimination of grains, especially gluten grains.

Low-carb did drastically improve my autoimmune and other immune issues, including my fibromyalgia, arthritis, COPD, IBS, and rosacea but I wondered whether it was the carbohydrates, the grains, or specific grains that were triggering symptoms, so I started experimenting.

It took about a year of experimenting and documenting symptoms to convince myself that the patterns I was seeing were not placebo effects. Large amounts of sugar or grains triggered symptoms, as did small amounts of gluten grains.

One incident in particular helped convinced me that I was not imagining my reaction. I ate a noodle dish at a restaurant that I thought was wheat-based, but I did not have any skin reaction whatsoever, which was very unusual. I later learned the noodles were rice, not wheat.

Many experiences like this convinced me that avoiding wheat and other gluten grains was essential.

Trace amounts usually do not trigger symptoms, so I do not have to be as vigilant about gluten grains as celiac patients.

I know that barley and wheat trigger symptoms. Oats do not. I have no idea about rye, because I've never found a food that included rye, but not wheat.

I could be sensitive/allergic/intolerant to the barley and wheat, rather than the gluten, but since most gluten is wheat gluten, it makes the most sense to avoid all sources of gluten.

I did not come to this solution lightly, becaus I've always believed that the best course of action is the least restrictive method that is also effective.

For most people that isn't gluten-free, but for some of us (not just celiac patients) it is.

The key to discovering whether or not it is necessary is experimenting, and by experimenting I mean a year or more of 2-month trials keeping a diet and symptom log. And by trial, I mean eliminating or adding only one food or food type at a time.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:51 PM   #14
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The only reason to go gluten free is because you have coeliac disease. coeliac disease is a digestive disorder. Hashimotos disease is an endocrine system disorder.
I would have to say I believe this statement to be incorrect. Not everyone responds well to giving up gluten, but I know a lot of people who don't have celiac disease who still felt MUCH better when they gave up gluten. Gluten is an anti-nutrient that has a cumulative deleterious effect on the body in many people. Not everyone. I also know people who simply avoid US and Canadian wheat but they can eat bread and such in Europe because their wheat isn't GMO with 80% gluten the way ours is. When you consider that saying "all things in moderation"...wheat is not eaten in moderation in the US. It's common for people to have wheat bran cereal, or toast, or pancakes in the morning. A sandwich for lunch. Pasta at dinner. They add wheat as filler in many things, including sausage and licorice, places you'd never think would have wheat. It's even in soy sauce. It's so ubiquitous in the US diet that it's not surprising at all that people develop sensitivities to it from over-exposure.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:11 PM   #15
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Great Posts. I have just gone GF too, my doctor wanted me to try it, I do have an underactive thyroid (use Synthroid) and I have Fibro. BUT the reason for going GF is to try to keep my Vit D & B12 up. For 4 years I have taken 50,000U of Vit D for 4 months and then take 3000/day for a month and then another blood test. The 50,000 get me up to about 36 (which still isn't ideal), but as soon as I drop to 3000/day, it plummets to single digits. My doctor said that some people are sensitive to gluten and don't absorb well, so I am giving it a go. TWO books I just read and recommend are: Stop the Throid Maddness & Gluten Free for Dummies, they are both excellent. Right now I am doing IP, so I don't have to worry about substitues, but it appears there are many excellent sources. Good Luck to you.
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