Most of us know someone who has a thyroid problem. Many people do not realize, however, that autoimmune diseases affect not only the thyroid gland. This type of disease also includes psoriasis, alopecia areata, lupus erythematosus, Addison’s disease, ulcerative colitis and others. 

Autoimmune diseases can make life miserable. By definition, autoimmune disease is a group of diseases in which the body’s immune system destroys its own cells and tissues. At the root of autoimmune diseases is a process called autoimmunity. We still can not cure such diseases one hundred percent; drugs mask symptoms, but often do not improve well-being and do not affect some of the discomforts, such as baldness or acne. The good news is that diet has a big impact on autoimmune diseases. What to avoid so as not to exacerbate symptoms? 

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Gluten

Gluten can have a very negative effect on thyroid function. Why? Gliadin, or gluten-building protein, resembles a thyroid. Gliadin irritates the immune system, causing the body to fight it; Regular consumption of gluten causes the body to constantly produce antibodies to fight gliadin. At some point, he may stop distinguishing between the gliadin and the thyroid and starting to attack his own organ. The effect of this may be, for example, Hashimoto’s disease. Gluten exacerbates the formation of most autoimmune diseases, not only those associated with the thyroid gland. For this reason, it is recommended to completely eliminate gluten from the diet. This means that all products containing wheat, barley and rye should be discontinued. With autoimmune disorders, it is also helpful to stop the so-called pseudozbóż. They include Spanish sage (chia seeds), buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa quinoa. 

Gluten can be difficult for another reason. Autoimmune diseases often lead to vitamin deficiencies. Gluten can significantly reduce the absorption of nutrients, which means that even supplementation may not give adequate effects. It is only after weaning gluten that many people notice the difference. 

Dairy 

Much is said about cow’s milk being harmful, but it does not always explain why. First of all, milk contains casein, which many people are allergic to. In addition, it can exacerbate the symptoms of autoimmune diseases and destroy the intestines. It is worth remembering that the health of the intestines is the key to the health of the whole body. Casein can irritate to a similar degree as gliadin, therefore it is recommended to exclude dairy products from the diet. The exception is clarified butter – it is a pure fat, which usually does not harm people with autoimmune diseases (and is great for frying). However, if you can not also eat clarified butter, replace it with coconut oil. 

The pods 

Pods contain lectins, or proteins that disrupt the body’s work. On the one hand, they reduce the absorption of vitamins, on the other hand they negatively affect the small intestine. It is worth knowing that lectins are sticky molecules that can stick to various organs, including, for example, the thyroid gland. The result of such an aggregation may be an autoimmune disease. For this reason, it is recommended to exclude pods from the diet. Lectins are also present in cereals and nuts, therefore the composition of food products should be read carefully. Even a small dose of lectins can disrupt the body’s work. 

Nightshade vegetables 

It’s a group of vegetables that can negatively affect the immune system of some people; this reaction is related to the presence of natural pesticides contained in plants. For nightshade plants, among others, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and aubergines. Not every person with an autoimmune disease must react negatively to solanaceae, but if the withdrawal of gluten and dairy does not work, it is worth to for a time to give up these vegetables and observe the body’s reaction. 

Sugar 

Consumption of sugar promotes the formation of hormonal disorders; sugar affects, among others to reduce T4 conversion in T3, and moreover, the body accumulates more androgens. In women, this results in the emergence of hirsutism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and autoimmune diseases. In addition, excessive sugar intake may also be associated with insulin resistance. Therefore, the sugar should be discontinued or at least minimally reduced. It is also worth remembering about the sugar found in fruits (fructose). It does not hurt everyone, but if you react badly to rapid glucose spikes in your blood, reach only for forest fruits (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), blueberries, strawberries and citrus fruits. 

Toxins 

Although it would seem that we live quite sterile (in comparison to the conditions of our ancestors), it has its drawbacks. Preserving all products and protecting them against mold causes that we constantly have contact with toxins, for example in everyday cosmetics. Even the usual application of body balm may result in negative consequences because the toxins pass through the skin directly into the bloodstream. This in turn makes the preservatives can affect the immune system. What to do? First of all, read the compositions of cosmetics. Avoid products containing heavy metals (lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury); most often you can find them in the so-called colored cosmetics, i.e. in lipsticks, mascaras, foundations, powders, etc. In addition, substances known as MEA, TEA and DEA should be avoided because they act on neurons and intestines, which promotes the formation of autoimmune diseases. 

Healthy intestines matter 

The connection between intestinal health and thyroid health is increasingly being discussed. Take care of the intestines – if you undergo antibiotic therapy, remember to eat a lot of probiotics even a few months after its completion – the bacterial flora needs to be rebuilt. Reach for probiotic yoghurts, sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers. It is also worth eating a lot of seasonal vegetables and reaching for fiber, which cleanses the intestines. 

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You can read also: Selenium in thyroid diseases

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