Surely a little gluten with Hashimoto’s can’t harm things?

Gluten & Hashimoto's
Can going gluten free help with Hashimoto’s?

Do you really need to be gluten free with Hashimoto’s?

I’m often asked if just a little gluten here and there is ok when you have Hashimoto’s.

I’m going to be straight up with you here, no sugar coating things!


Even a tiny amount of gluten can tip the scales and it can last much longer than you anticipated.

Here’s what happens when gluten is eaten:

Gluten increases levels of something in your digestive tract called zonulin (1).

Zonulin when increased affects the tight junctions between the cells in you gut wall. The tight junctions act like gates keeping food and bacteria, etc in the gut and out of the rest of your system.

These tight junctions open more when zonulin increases (2). This increases intestinal permeability and allows food, bacteria, etc to pass into the blood stream.

Once in the blood stream your immune system treats them as foreign as they shouldn’t be there and tags them. They’re then taken to your liver to be processed and eliminated.

Increased levels of zonulin and intestinal permeability have been found in those with Hashimoto’s thryoiditis (2).

This process can result in the auto-immune response being triggered, in molecular mimicry and in chronic inflammation (2).

Gliadin contained within gluten is similar in structure to transglutaminase, this enzyme is abundant in the thyroid.

The immune system can attack transglutaminase as well as gliadin and cause continuing damage to the thyroid, a process known as molecular mimicry (3).

So what are the consequences?

The chronic inflammation, auto-immune response and the molecular mimicry take much longer to calm than it takes for symptoms to disappear.

So even after a little gluten, some may have no symptoms others may be severely ill for days.

However, whether you have symptoms or not this process is still going on in the background, driving the auto-immune attack on the thyroid and causing systemic inflammation.

So stopping gluten will stop the auto-immune attack?

For some the answer is that simple!

For others there are other factors at play too which need to be addressed. Either way removing gluten will be beneficial, even if you don’t feel it.

Other than removing gluten what other dietary interventions can help calm the auto-immune attack?

Gut dysbiosis can also trigger increased levels of zonulin (2).

So addressing gut health is critical. You need to look at what you are and what you aren’t eating!

Inflammatory foods that can lead to dysbiosis need to be eliminated, ie sugar, refined carbs (many of which contain gluten) and processed foods.

Processed foods themselves have also been shown to increase intestinal permeability increasing the auto-immune response (4).

Gluten free desserts can be just as delicious!

Sugar and sweeteners can both alter glucose homeostasis and change gut microbiota composition (5).

A continued dysregulation in blood sugar can increase inflammation due to continued raised cortisol levels. Inflammation is a major driver of autoimmune disease so needs to be controlled wherever possible.

Focus on real foods that your good gut bacteria love such as fibre, ie vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, pseudo grains and naturally gluten free wholegrains.

Is there anything else other than diet that can help?


Stress has a profound effect on digestion, especially if it becomes chronic.

Stress reduces blood supply to the digestive tract, limits the release of digestive enzymes, bile, stomach acid and other digestive secretions, resulting in poor absorption of nutrients (6).

But it also slows motility, leads to intestinal permeability, slows repair of the digestive tract and upsets the delicate balance of the microbiome as well as up-regulating the release of mast cells and inflammatory cytokines (7).

So stress can be a major driver in the auto-immune process if it is out of control or even low grade but constant!

Introducing stress management techniques can be hugely beneficial in getting control of your Hashimoto’s, yet it’s an area that is often overlooked in favour of dietary interventions alone!

Need a little help getting things back under control?

No problem, I’m happy to help.

You can drop me a message at

Want to find out a bit more about me, what I do and how I can help you recover your health with Hashimoto’s? Then head over to my website!

Or book a free 30 minute Hashimoto’s Health Discovery call Here!



Gut Health Retreat – in the stunning French Alps!

“Bad digestion is the root of all evil” – Hippocrates 400BC

It seems a little extreme to call bad digestion the root of all evil, but Hippocrates was way ahead of his time!

Gut health really is the key to good health! Get your gut health in order and everything else will fall into place!

Digestive issues such as bloating, cramping, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn, reflux are so common these days.

But its not normal to experience these symptoms on a daily basis.

Its your body’s way of trying to warn you that something is not right.

Yet is so often gets dismissed as just one of those things and nothing to worry about!

If you don’t get it under control it can lead to a whole host of health issues!

Believe me I know the price of ignoring it and its not worth it!!

Which is why I’m collaborating with the lovely Marie Nordling-Stewart and Nikki Shields and hosting a Gut Health Retreat Day up at the beautiful Chalet Savoie Faire.

So that you can get rid of those digestive symptoms and start to feel great again!

If you haven’t already paid a visit to Chalet Savoie Faire you’re really missing a trick.

Chalet Savoie Faire is situated in the most tranquil location.

What you can expect on the day

To get the day started you’ll be welcomed with a lovely cup of tea.

Marie will then guide you through a specifically tailored yoga sequence designed to improve your gut health.

You’ll have worked up an appetite by the end of the morning!

You won’t be disappointed with the delicious food that Nikki has prepared.

Nikki really has a flare for preparing the most beautiful, tasty food. Not to mention making you feel right at home!

Lunch won’t be rushed! You’ll have time to relax, savour the flavours and get to know your fellow retreat members.

Post lunch we’ll relax in the comfy seats by the roaring log fire to discuss gut health.

I’ll be teaching you exactly what triggers those annoying and often painful digestive symptoms.

As well as how to fix them for good!

There’ll be time set aside before the end of the day for questions about everything you’ve learnt.

We’ll finish the day off with meditation and breathing techniques.

You’ll leave feeling relaxed and ready to make those changes to get your gut health working for you again!

Ready to reserve your space on the Gut Health Retreat Day?

The Gut Health Retreat Day will take place on Sunday 21st November 2021

Cost for the day is only €90

You can reserve your place here

Find out more about Marie, Nikki & Chalet Savoie Faire

Follow Chalet Savoie Faire on Instagram or Facebook you can also find more information on their website

You can follow Marie on Instagram too

Organic food: more bang for your buck!

Organic food can have great benefits for Hashimoto’s symptoms. Since starting the AIP protocol nearly 5 years ago, I have made a huge effort to eat Organic food wherever possible. I seem to be extremely sensitive to chemicals. Both in my beauty products and in what I eat. So for me its definitely worth it. Plus its something I recommend my clients try and follow if they can.

I often hear that organic food is too costly and that there is no noticeable benefit.

Organic food has great benefits for hahsimoto’s symptoms. Homegrown tomatoes & sage

But there are various benefits of buying organic food, especially when it comes to improving Hashimoto’s symptoms. Not only the lack of chemicals from pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in the meat we eat. But also the environmental impact, the animal welfare and the nutritional value.

Still not convinced? I’ve explored some of the research specifically in the area of nutrition and have discussed it briefly below.

Nutritional Value:

2 recent studies conducted by the University of Newcastle show that Organic food has huge benefits when it comes to Nutrition.

The study below compared organic crops to non-organic crops and showed that organic crops are upto 69% higher in a number of key antioxidants than non-organic crops. Organic foods provide additonal antioxidants which are equivalent to eating 1 to 2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day! There was also a significant increase in minerals and vitamins in organic crops compared to non-organic crops.

Another study compared organic milk and meat vs non-organic milk and meat. It showed that Organic Milk & Meat contained 50% more Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Plus it showed a clear difference in the concentrations of essential minerals and antioxidants.

Why are antioxidants so important? They help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and certain cancers.

Organic, homegrown blackcurrants, packed full of antioxidants

And Omega 3 Fatty Acids? They help reduce inflammation which drives autoimmunity. So lowering inflammation can only be a good thing when it comes to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Are pesticides really that bad for us?

The health of our gut bacteria directly influences the health of our immune system. So the healthier your gut bacteria the less severe your Hashimoto’s symptoms are likely to be. Pesticides can affect the delicate balance of our gut bacteria, leading to dysfunction and overgrowth of “bad” bacteria. Causing inflammation, leading to leaky gut, food intolerances and an over taxed immune system. Which makes you more susceptible to developing autoimmune diseases. Or makes your autoimmune disease symptoms worse.

Whats the end result?

Our liver has to work hard to detox all of these chemicals. But has less antioxidants, vitamins and minerals with which to do it. This can have a huge impact on Hashimoto’s as a large proportion of our T4 hormone is converted to T3 hormone in the liver. The liver prioritises detoxing over hormone conversion. So less T3 will be produced. Which leaves us with all the classic hypothyroid symptoms – fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, dry & itchy skin, weight gain, feeling cold, etc.

So is it really worth it?

YES! For me organic food is worth every penny!

Wild caught salmon with a thai coconut broth packed full of vegetables, spices & herbs, not to mention omega 3 fats. Variety is key to healthy gut microbiome!

Where to start when buying organic

If you can’t stretch to organic for everything, make sure your meat is organic. Or at least grass fed and finished. Go for wild caught fish or organic, as pesticides are heavily used in farmed fishing. After that you can avoid the fruit, vegetables and grains that are most heavily treated with pesticides. And buy non organic for those products that have the least amount of pesticide traces detectable. The EWG in the USA and Pan-Uk both have a great list called the dirty dozen. It lists the most heavily pesticide treated fruits and vegetables. So you know which ones to definitely buy organic.

The EWG also have a clean fifteen list of the fruits and veg with the least amount of pesticide traces detected. So you know you can buy these non-organic without too many worries.

Do you already eat organic? Has this article tempted you to give it a try? I’d love to hear your thoughts on organic food, drop me a comment and let me know what you think.


Check out my recipe for AIP Ginger & lemongrass green vegetable soup.

Ready to take back control of your health? Then get in touch!