I had tried several different styles of yoga and none of them were of any interest to me, friends kept encouraging me to try Bikram, but the idea of being in a hot room for that length of time voluntarily was not appealing; however when I accidentally took a Bikram class… I fell in LOVE and felt great!After about a year of regular practice, I started to have stomach issues, every evening after dinner I would be doubled over on the couch with stomach pains. It seemed like no matter what I ate, it disagreed with me; Alka-Seltzer became my best friend. The thing is that I had always eaten very healthy and now with my partner being a chef, we ate even healthier. Nothing pre packaged, nothing out of a bottle, no sodas it seemed like it was happening for no reason.
I eagerly commenced my regime and followed it to the T; so much so that we went on a week long trip to the islands and I never veered course. The thing was, that after a short period of time I started to feel great, to have energy, my mood was lifted and I finally lost those last 10 lbs. that I could not shake even after taking Synthroid (synthetic thyroid hormone supplement), exercising and eating healthily. Needless to say I was ecstatic, joyful, energized, loving life; once I completed my regime I started to reintroduce the foods I had taken out of my diet, nothing in excess; however I very quickly regained the weight I’d lost and my energy catapulted once again. This is when I started really digging in to see what the issue was and I found that it was gluten.
It turns out that the protein in gluten and the one secreted by the thyroid hormone are very similar, that if you’re sensitive/allergic to gluten or have celiac disease that goes untreated, your body eventually gets to a point where it sees the thyroid that it naturally produces as a toxic substance and starts to squash it’s secretions, which in turn leaves you depleted of this very important hormone for the functioning of your body!
Your thyroid controls almost everything: weight, temperature, mood, sex drive, energy, and sleep to name a few. Now, why it’s it that although MD’s know that Hashimoto is an autoimmune disease, they do not tell you about it? Why is it that they just give you a pill, tell you to take it every day and come back in 3-6 months to check your levels and adjust it if need be? In my research I came across a book titled “Why do I still have symptoms? When my lab tests are normal” by Dr Datis Kharrazian, where he goes in depth into the relationship between gut health and Hashimoto, emphasizing the culprit among all the intruders being gluten.
As I mentioned, Hashimoto is autoimmune, there is a direct relation with Celiac disease, another autoimmune disease, and Hashimoto and the common denominator is the allergy to gluten. The only way to make improve is by cutting gluten out of your diet; of course taking Synthroid helps and may be absolutely necessary, but if you want to truly improve: you have to change what you’re eating. As long as you continue to consume gluten your body will be put under the stress of fighting it, the consequences of acquiring additional autoimmune diseases, and also having to increase your doses of Synthroid on a regular basis, don’t seem to outweigh the immense benefit that the simple step of eliminating gluten can alleviate. I thank my yoga practice for waking my system up, and making me aware, by sending signals through my body functions so I could find further relief from this malady. I continue to practice Bikram and will do so along with my gluten abstinence. Namaste.