Many people with Graves' Disease have a gluten sensitivity problem. This not only can exacerbate their condition, but for those looking to restore their health back to normal through a natural treatment protocol it can make it difficult to accomplish this.
Gluten sensitivity is becoming more and more common. When I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease and followed a natural treatment protocol, for the first 30 days of the protocol I avoided gluten-based foods. I recommend for my patients to do the same thing, and some people will need to avoid these foods for a longer period of time. And of course some people do need to avoid gluten-based foods on a permanent basis.
How To Determine If Someone With Graves' Disease Is Allergic To Gluten
In order to determine whether someone with Graves' Disease has a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, the proper testing needs to be performed. There are different types of tests which can do this, and chances are you will need to consult with a holistic doctor in order to receive the appropriate testing. What's important to understand is that while many people who are sensitive to gluten react to it and have noticeable symptoms, not everyone will have overt symptoms.
So does this mean that I test every person for a gluten sensitivity? Actually, I usually do not recommend for every new patient to obtain such testing. There are a few reasons for this. One reason is because such testing is expensive, and there are usually other tests I find to be more important than this which I recommend. A second reason for this is because regardless of the test results, I still have people avoid gluten for at least 30 days upon following a natural treatment protocol. I find that some people who are gluten sensitive or even intolerant can begin eating gluten again after restoring their digestive health. So for many people it actually makes sense to do this type of testing after they follow a natural treatment protocol. Of course different doctors will have different approaches, and so I do not disagree with those doctors who recommend such testing for everyone immediately, as this is just the approach I take.
Should You Avoid Gluten For The Rest Of Your Life?
Some "experts" will recommend for anyone with a gluten sensitivity or intolerance to avoid gluten for the rest of their life. In fact, many will recommend that EVERYONE avoid gluten on a permanent basis, regardless of whether they are sensitive or not. Once again, some people will need to avoid gluten for as long as they live. But to tell every single person to avoid gluten for the rest of their life is in my opinion a little bit extreme.
When it comes to Graves' Disease and other autoimmune conditions, some suggest that gluten is the primary factor causing the autoimmune response. Of course gluten will trigger an immune system response for someone who is allergic to it. This is the case with anything else someone is allergic to as well. Without question gluten can exacerbate Graves 'Disease, but this does not mean that in most people with Graves' Disease it's the direct cause. While the focus these days seems to be on gluten because it is in many different foods and many people react negatively to it, one also can not neglect other allergens as well.
This is why I not only have people with hyperthyroidism and Graves' Disease avoid gluten-based foods while following a natural treatment protocol, but other common allergens as well. As I mentioned earlier, the only surefire way of ruling out such allergens is through the proper testing. For example, I've had patients who obtained an ELISA test and found out that they had some allergies to healthy, whole foods. Some people are allergic to certain nuts and seeds, which can potentially cause problems while following a natural treatment protocol. Some people are also allergic to poultry, and even certain fruits and vegetables. The point is, gluten is not the only thing people are allergic to, and therefore it's not the only factor that can cause a condition such as Graves' Disease to flare up.
How To Cure A Gluten Sensitivity Or Intolerance Problem
Some people wonder whether it is possible to cure their gluten sensitivity or intolerance problem. Some people can overcome this problem, but not everybody. For those who successfully overcome this problem they usually need to avoid all gluten-based foods for at least three months, and frequently longer than this. In addition to avoiding all gluten-based foods for a prolonged period of time, it is also important to eat well, and to avoid other common allergens. It also might be necessary to take certain nutritional supplements and herbs to help restore your digestive health. After this period some people can consume gluten-based foods again without a problem, although not everybody.
Sometimes a gluten-sensitivity or intolerance problem can not be cured, but can managed by taking certain enzymes, such as those containing papain. Once again, not everyone will be able to eat gluten-based foods when doing this, but some people claim that taking these digestive enzymes before they eat gluten-based foods will allow them to tolerate these foods.
In summary, people with Graves' Disease who have a gluten-sensitivity or intolerance problem can sometimes overcome this problem by avoiding these foods for three to six months, along with incorporating other dietary changes. For those who can not cure this problem, they will definitely need to minimize, and in some cases completely eliminate gluten from their diet for the rest of their life. Sometimes taking certain digestive enzymes can help people better to tolerate gluten, so this is definitely worth a try.