The Hashimoto, Bikram Yoga, Celiac Connection – My Journey Part 2

By August 8, 2014 Blog 2 Comments
About three years into my so called Hashimoto recovery, or shall we call it diagnosis, I was missing a physical activity as an outlet.  All my life, since my youth I had always participated in some sort of physical activity, dancing as a little girl, the drill team in high school and then running as an adult.  Many things drove me away from running and for a while I’d been looking for a new outlet until I finally found it in yoga, specifically Bikram yoga.
Roselis Bikram Triangle
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.
Then one day, my now husband mentioned that my breath was odd, it seemed that he mentioned it more and more often that anyone would like; I mean who really wants to walk around with bad breath!  Of course, I started doing some research, came across some Candida websites(intestinal fungus/bad bacteria that interfered with healthy flora) and comparing the symptoms became convinced I had it, and that this was the cause of my bad breath and stomach discomfort.  Of course as I always do, determined and fueled with information, I took matters into my own hands and went on a very aggressive natural treatment to combat Candida.
This meant I had to change the way I ate; mind you as I already said I ate quite healthily but this was something all together different, this meant no sugar at all, not even in the form of fruit, no starches or gluten (I had no idea what that was) and the only condiments that could be used were lemon, olive oil and herbs.  In addition to this, a strict regime of herbs and anti fungals was in order before and after all meals AND to top it all off, I had to do this for about 4-6 months in order for it to work.

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.


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