So today I am delving into allergies and weight gain.
I tend to find that with my Hashimoto and other thyroid disorder patients, food sensitivity and food allergies can be a large part of weight gain, especially when we are adding chemical sensitivities and other outside influences to the mix.
When we have a lot of bloating issues and weight gain with thyroid, it tends to be that we have some form of sensitivity happening and our body is storing it in our fat cells – which is a protection mechanism, specifically with heavy metals.
But food sensitivities can be quite innocuous. They can be things we eat every single day and we don’t notice that they could be causing a problem. They could be things you get a craving for, or they can also be things that cause you outright disgust – they are the two big signs that there’s some kind of sensitivity happening.
When we gain weight for seemingly no reason whatsoever, we may not necessarily have an allergy symptom to give us a clue as to whether it is caused by that. You don’t have to have the itchy eyes, swollen throat, or a skin flare up, but it can turn up as additional weight on your body that no matter what you do, you just can’t lose it.
So, we investigate. We utilise a food diary to see exactly what you’re eating and then looking at what other symptoms are going on. Are you drinking enough water? Are you pooping properly? I often find patients are pooping every second or third day, and then it is more like corn cobs than sausages!
We can also run specific food sensitivity tests. which can isolate and really show us where those food sensitivities are. From there we can create a program that removes them from the diet so the body can heal, then slowly reintroduce them. This can change someone’s weight dramatically.
Then we have our allergic reactions – the ones where you eat something and have an immediate response – which is classed as an IgE response. This happens within the first 5 – 30 minutes after ingesting the food, and you may notice itchy eyes, itchy throat and sometimes even anaphylaxis, where airways start to close. There is also stomach anaphylaxis, where you just vomit and vomit.
So you have your IgG reactions – your food sensitivities. Your IgA’s – your mucosal membrane reactions, inflammation anywhere from your mouth, down. It also covers cramping, irritable bowel – you either don’t poop or get the runs.
We take all of this into account when we are looking at thyroid issues, because it is something we really need to stay on top of when it comes to thyroid healing. We’re very multifactorial, very different, but I tend to find with thyroid issues we definitely need to limit our gluten intake because it causes leaky gut and can increase food sensitivities and allergies, we need to limit or remove dairy and soy also. They are the biggest ones that will make the most impact. I have seen women remove gluten and then lose 10-15kg because that was what was causing their inflammation. I have also seen the same happen with dairy, that is the single thing they remove and they lose weight.
For me personally though, it was tomatoes. I have an anaphylaxis reaction to tomatoes, took them out of my diet and not only did the reactions cease, but so did the extra inflammation that was in my body because of them.
This is why it is so important to not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Everything needs to be tailored to the individual. We need to look carefully at how you’re functioning, what you’re doing, how your daily life looks – because when we feel stressed we can increase our immune response, and that’s another biggie. If you think a food will be harmful, then often the body will see it as harmful in some way and activate your stress response. When that stress response is activated your body may not be able to cope with the hormones and it looks to store it somewhere – you don’t want that storage for a rainy day!
So there’s the itchy eyes, itchy throat, and that typical itchy hayfever nose…but we can also get itchy ears! Have you ever had that happen to you? I tend to find that itchy ears is one of the key signs to say that you have an immune response kicking in somewhere.
We can become very hypersensitive and unless we get on top of it and reduce our sensitivity, it won’t go away. How?
- Mindfulness, which can make a big difference to managing our stress levels
- Eating foods that do not trigger an immune response
- Making sure we are getting the particular vitamins and minerals that help with immune response
- Using herbs, which can help either when we are having an attack or to reduce our body’s sensitivities.
If you’re intrigued and would like more information in regards to allergies and food sensitivities with thyroid disorders or any food sensitivity issues in relation to weight loss please get in contact!