The Kay’s Naturals blog will be dedicating three of our bi-weekly articles to understanding autoimmune disorders. This is important because, like allergies and food sensitivities, the prevalence of autoimmune diseases are increasing. Creating awareness is essential if people are to receive adequate treatment as soon as possible. Autoimmune disorders remain largely underdiagnosed. Currently, there is no comprehensive or universally agreed understanding of why autoimmune diseases are increasing. Hopefully research will shed light on this pertinent global health concern in the near future.
Our first article is about the lesser known Hashimotos Disease. According to Womenshealth.gov, Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid, a small gland below the Adam's apple. Hormones called T3 and T4 are created by the Thyroid to regulate how the body uses energy. Hashimoto’s disease causes the immune system to make antibodies that harm thyroid cells and inhibit with the cells capacity to make thyroid hormones. Over time, this can cause an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) that produces low thyroid hormone levels. This is a health concern because low thyroid hormone levels cause “every function of the body to slow down, such as heart rate, brain function, and the rate your body turns food into energy.” An underactive thyroid is frequently caused by Hashimoto’s disease.
Diagnosing Hashimoto’s disease is difficult in part because many have no symptoms for years. A goiter (an enlarged thyroid) frequently is first sign of Hashimoto’s disease. The goiter is mostly painless, but may “cause the front of the neck to look swollen. If large, it may cause a feeling of fullness in the throat or make it hard to swallow” (Womenshealth.gov). Symptoms frequently remain unnoticeable or mild initially, but worsen over time. Below are some symptoms of an underactive thyroid from Womenshealth.gov:
● Weight gain
● Pale, puffy face
● Feeling cold
● Joint and muscle pain
● Dry, thinning hair
● Heavy menstrual flow or irregular periods
● A slowed heart rate
● Problems getting pregnant
According to the Mayo Clinic, “treatment of Hashimoto's disease with thyroid hormone replacement usually is simple and effective.” However, Dr, Kharrazian believes that a gluten-free diet is a critical first step for individuals with Hashimoto’s. According to his blog, “Numerous studies from several countries show a strong link between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s. [...] Every time you eat gluten, your immune system launches an attack not only against gluten but also against the thyroid gland. This immune response to gluten can last up to six months each time it’s ingested [...] I continue my research and practice in neurology, I never cease to be amazed at how profoundly one’s brain health, a concern for all those struggling with hypothyroidism, can be impacted by removing gluten from the diet.” Additional advice about what to eat with Hashimoto’s disease can be found on his blog.
Kay’s is committed to increasing the health and well-being of the public by provide high-protein, low-sugar. gluten-free snacks and cereals that are convenient and accessible. Making significant changes to your diet can be overwhelming. Kay’s Naturals is here to ensure a smooth transition into healthy and transformative eating habits.