Joint pain is very often closely associated with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s and a large percentage of the women I work with are dealing with daily persistent and often chronic joint pain.
Food sensitivities are often at the root of pain or inflammation, and it is therefore important that you try understand which foods might be adding fuel to your fire. Whilst gluten, dairy, egg and soy can often be problematic for people with a thyroid condition and especially Hashimoto’s disease, I believe that the possible impact of nightshade vegetables needs to be closely considered in people with pain & inflammation.
What are nightshade vegetables?
Nightshade vegetables are a group of vegetables that prefer to grow in shady conditions and even flower at night. All plants contain chemicals called saponins, that are known to increase inflammation and has the potential to cause leaky gut. Whilst it is really important for each of us to enjoy a diverse range of plants in our diet daily (#eattherainbow), the key to understand is whether some of these plants might be causing you inflammation or pain!? Some plants definitely have much higher levels of saponins in them, which is especially true for nightshade vegetables.
Nightshade vegetables contain a subset of saponins known as glycoalkaloids, which has been shown to contribute to autoimmunity. The glycoalkaloids feed the unfriendly bacteria in your gut, which then ultimately lead to dysbiosis (imbalance in gut bacteria). They also can enter your blood stream and cause damage to the membranes of red blood cells.
Nightshade Vegetable List
Ultimately, the key lies in trying to establish whether any of the following foods might be problematic for you. In my experience if nightshades are a problem, then you it is better to avoid them all!
Cape Gooseberry (ground cherries)
Chipotle chili powder
Potatoes (white & red, but NOT sweet)
Tobacco (chewing & smoking)
Inflammation & exclusion
If you are struggling with chronic joint pain or inflammation, you might benefit from removing nightshade vegetables from your diet for a period of 30-days to see whether you experience any change in symptoms and or pain. After the 30-day period, you can always try to put these vegetables back into your diet to see how your body responds.
Whether you are dealing with Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism, your ultimate objective is to try and establish the source of the cellular stress that is causing your thyroid to be under-active or your lymphocytes (immune cells) to attack your thyroid. Don’t stop your efforts until you establish ALL the various root causes. If you need any support on your journey to wellness, then book in for a free breakthrough session with me.