Food Sensitivity with Hashimoto’s: Why Testing Doesn’t Work

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Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Transformational Mindset Coach here to help you get to the physical and emotional root causes of chronic health issues.

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Living with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be challenging. Food sensitivities can be a key part of why you are dealing with symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, and weight gain, among others. But food sensitivity tests are usually expensive and oftentimes don’t work.

This blog post will explore why food sensitivity testing is not effective for most of my holistic nutrition clients and the best place to start if you want your Hashimoto’s to go into remission.

What is a Food Sensitivity?

Before we jump in, I just want to break down what a food sensitivity is and how it’s different from a food allergy. Food allergies trigger an immune system response, leading to potentially severe symptoms like anaphylaxis. For instance, think about kids with peanut allergies and how no one is allowed to bring peanut butter to class because they may need to be hospitalized or use an epipen. That’s a true food allergy. Food sensitivities typically cause milder reactions like bloating, joint pain, brain fog, etc.  While not as severe, food sensitivity reactions can exacerbate Hashimoto’s, which is why it’s important to identify them if you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and want to feel better.

Why Food Sensitivity Testing Doesn’t Work

You may wonder if food sensitivity tests work for people with Hashimoto’s. Whether you’re using an at home test or going to a practitioner, testing often falls short. Here’s why:

  1. Inaccuracy: Food sensitivity tests have false positives because they measure something called IgG antibodies. These are not reliable indicators of adverse reactions. High levels of IgG may just mean you are eating these foods frequently and you have a leaky gut. In fact, many people look at a food sensitivity test and feel overwhelmed because everything they eat shows up on it! A flagged food doesn’t mean you have to avoid it all together.
  2. It doesn’t identify the WHY: Food sensitivities don’t just *poof* appear. They are a result of things like stress, a malfunctioning digestive system, gut imbalances, toxicities, and pathogens like parasites, bacteria, and mold. While KNOWING your food sensitivities can help your gut begin to heal, you can’t stop there or you will continue to have issues.

Story time: I had a new client come to me with a food sensitivity test she had spent a good chunk of money on. She was really overwhelmed because it seemed like every food, ever, needed to be avoided by her. What was left of “green/allowed” foods hardly made a meal, but she had been eating those foods daily in hopes she might get some relief from her Hashimoto’s. This was not only very stressful for her but her thyroid symptoms were not improving.

How to Start Healing Hashimoto’s :

The first thing I do for my Hashimoto’s clients is have them begin a temporary elimination diet like we teach inside Mindful Autoimmune. Elimination protocols help you calm down inflammation so you can understand how certain foods impact your thyroid symptoms. It is the fastest way you can improve hashimoto’s symptoms. I have had some clients feel better in under two weeks on this protocol.

this is a picture of a client whose watch has started to fit after just a couple days on a hashimoto's elimination protocol

Healing and Sealing a Leaky Gut

Do not stop at dietary changes alone.  Research suggests that gut permeability (aka leaky gut) is a top contributor to chronic health issues like Hashimoto’s.  Once you’ve begun your elimination protocol you can start to heal your leaky gut through food and supplements.

Steps to Heal a Leaky Gut:

  1. Improve digestive function: If you are struggling with low stomach acid, insufficient digestive enzymes, or congested biliary pathways, your body won’t be able to properly break down food and you’ll continue to struggle
  2. Identify pathogens/gut imbalances: You can do this many different ways through gut testing, functional symptom assessments, bio-resonance testing, etc
  3. Supplement: Consider supplements that improve your digestion, rebalance your gut bacteria, and heal your gut lining

Story time: After working through our elimination protocol and *more importantly* optimizing her digestion, and healing her gut, our client with the food sensitivity test was able to reintroduce a wide variety of foods — even things like dairy and gluten on occasion. She no longer felt bloated, could quickly solve problems at work, woke up without an alarm, and even had more meaningful relationships. That’s what you want, right?

You can get more information inside our free class, Reverse Hashimoto’s Naturally. I break down 10 years of research into a 30 minute class so you can start implementing strategies that will help you feel better today.

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Hi, I'm Whitney. Your Holistic Nutritionist and Hashimoto's BFF

Whitney knows what it's like to suffer from crippling fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, and to feel like there's no hope. As a certified holistic Nutritional Therapist, she has helped thousands of people with thyroid disease reverse their symptoms naturally, and she's sharing her root cause approach with you for free! 

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