Hashimoto's and Vegetarian/Vegan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-07-2014, 12:41 AM
 
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Hashimoto's and Vegetarian/Vegan

So a friend of mine told me that because I have Hashimoto Thyroiditis I shouldn't be on any plant based diets....

Even though I got the thumbs up from my doctor and the dietitian

Out of curiosity, anyone here have the same disease and noticed any difference since they went plant based?
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#2 Old 08-07-2014, 03:01 AM
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I don't have Hashimoto's but have had hypothyroidism for 26 years. My Synthroid dose has actually gone down on average in the years since I have been vegan from before. I used to average 112 to 125 mcg and now I have been at 88-100 mcg for some time.

I get nagged at by people on the internet and acquaintances and so on about avoiding gluten, soy, cruciferous vegetables, etc. and I just ignore it all. I k now my body very well and what it needs by now and how to live with my disorder.

I have tried soy free and gluten free (just came off experimenting with gluten free vegan for one month just to see how I would feel and it did absolutely nothing for me). I am fine with including both in my diet as long as I keep it in moderation and time intake to be at least four hours apart from my meds (same goes for calcium supplements). Tempeh in particular has never caused any problems and I consume it about three times a week on average. I used to have a terrible intolerance to tofu but can tolerate it now, but I do need to keep tofu and soymilk intake to three or less times per week or my TSH does tend to go up a bit for a while (I am checked more frequently than a lot of people as my levels bounce around and always have for many years). I was in the process of trying to put on weight from extremely underweight for a while and upped tofu and soymilk intake substantially and it did drive up my TSH so I cut back and it is fine now. I rely on dried beans, seeds, and whole grains for protein sources, not as much the soy stuff. I am also a bit of an exercise addict and love doing it and it helps regulate my thyroid and I think this is a piece that is often forgotten when people are struggling with thyroid issues. Exercise really does help, even if you feel tired and sluggish with your thyroid issues. If you keep your diet as whole and as little processed as possible, this helps too. It is not hard to avoid soy if need be. In fact a lot of omnivores unknowingly eat a good bit of soy as it is hidden in breads, crackers, herbal teas, mayonnaise, sauces, cold cereals, and is used in animal feed so farm animals consume it too. Even many nutrition and candy bars have it. I probably eat less soy now than when I was an omnivore, and as a label reader I am much more aware of what I put into my body than I was before. When I was trying to avoid soy for a time, I was surprised to find it in herbal teas that otherwise seemed so pure.

At any rate, being vegan has not had a negative impact in and of itself on my thyroid any more than being omnivore did. I think my thyroid works a little better because my diet is a bit cleaner than it was as an omnivore and dairy had a very negative impact on me (digestive issues, sinus issues, sluggish). I have always been low normal or underweight despite hypothyroidism so that has not been an issue either. My one major concern has always been my bones from being on thyroid meds for so many years and I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at a very young age of 34 in 2006. I started on thyroid meds at 16 in 1989. I do think it has had an effect, and I need to be more vigilent as a vegan to make sure I am getting enough of the proper nutrients for my bones. I have a history of an eating disorder (that started ironically AFTER my osteoporosis diagnosis) so that hasn't helped. I am on an osteoporosis med and supplement with calcium/d now. I try to get a little iodine from sea vegetables as opposed to salt nowadays. And I try to make sure to eat a variety of foods each day. No real complaints here.

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#3 Old 08-07-2014, 08:20 AM
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I'd go with your doctor over your friend... I have lots of family members with various thyroid issues, and they all have to be very careful about what they eat but some are vegetarians and all have blessings from their doctors.
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#4 Old 08-07-2014, 08:15 PM
 
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Oh man Hashimoto is AWEFUL! for a whole year I kid you not (warning: TMI) I was on my period every single day for a whole year and no one could tell me why. I was not in a very good mental state at that point. After my doctor did some tests, my Thyroperoxidase Antibody results was 945 UI/mL (standard range is <=35 IU/mL) and TSH was at 21.53 uIU/mL. That was back in January when it was all figured out and now I take Levithyroxine 125 MCG every morning. I've finally been normal! I was just relieved to get closure.

I'm really glad that my doctor gave my the thumbs up on plant based diets, and told me straight out it is perfectly safe to go without meat. She gave me tons of resources to go by and whenever someone gives me a hard time I just remind them I've got my doctor's approval.
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#5 Old 08-08-2014, 01:50 AM
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So glad you are feeling better now Ashlizatoin85! Wow, that is scary about the period. I was tested for Hashimotos to figure out why I am hypo but it was all negative, but I have had some insanely high TSH numbers in the past. Many years ago in college I thought I could go without my thyroid meds for a while and boy was that a mistake. I was nearly bed ridden when I learned that lesson. I think my TSH was almost 100 back then. Interestingly, I had endometriosis for a number of years and it was quite painful. I ended up having a full hysterectomy and lost both ovaries when I was 33. It was all a nightmare. But I remember doing a lot of research about endometriosis and there seems to be a connection with thyroid issues. I didn't have heavy periods, just painful.

I too have my doctors approval about being vegan. Even my rheumatologist who treats my osteoporosis thinks my vegan diet is excellent! He doesn't have a problem with it at all. He is more upset that my former gynecologist removed my ovaries at such a young age which really hurt my bones. I brought my husband to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester last March due to complications from his rheumatoid arthritis and another condition he has and it seems like a lot of doctors there advocate a plant based diet. It is in much of their literature. I often show it to people who think you need meat to thrive.
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#6 Old 08-08-2014, 08:15 PM
 
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You should of seen the look on my therapist's face when I told her about my periods. Priceless! she blinked then slowly turned to her desk and started writing lol!
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