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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UTM chapter.

I got diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis when I was a sophomore in high school. I’d had my blood tested twice for a variety of illnesses after I lost 15 pounds all at once. I was, especially at 15 years old, a very small girl. I didn’t have 15 pounds to lose.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. My immune system thinks that thyroid hormones are bad. Because of this, I get sick more often and I stay tired. To make matters even more interesting, as gluten is digested, it starts to look similar to my thyroid hormone. Instead of fighting off strep throat, my body fights off wheat, rye and barley.

After being sick and exhausted almost nonstop, I decided this semester to go gluten-free. I have read article after article about how to solve these issues. Every article ended the same way: go gluten-free. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I had no other options if I wanted to feel better.

I’m not in a place to give advice on the matter. If I were, I’d say to go easy on yourself. If you need a quick meal and need a sandwich, do it. Eat a sandwich and don’t stress. Eat some fried chicken. It is what it is. It’s a slow process. Often, unless you’re intolerant to gluten, you can come into contact with gluten. That’s my case.

I ate a Pop-Tart today for breakfast. I needed something I could take to class, and that was my only option. Rebuilding my pantry is still in progress. I have gluten free pasta, macaroni and cheese, tortillas, pizza, cookies, crackers and even flour. I haven’t ventured into bread yet. However, I haven’t had bread in a few days.

Every few days of being successfully gluten-free, I’ll wake up nauseous. Both of those days, I’ve eaten crackers or bread and found relief. I’ve started to look into fiber substitutes. Eating in the cafeteria at school isn’t the easiest thing. I can eat salads, and occasionally I can eat the main entree. I avoid sweets that aren’t gluten-free, bread and pasta.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going gluten-free unless you need to for your health. It’s really not so bad. I had shrimp pasta for dinner, and it was simply incredible.

Talk to the people around you for help. My new diet has earned me the loving nickname “Gluten-Free Cookie.” We do what we do for our health, and we make it work.


I am a sophomore broadcast communications major and theatre minor at the University of Tennessee at Martin. When I’m not in class or participating in events on campus, I spend my time reading, doing yoga, working out, or petting my cats.
I am a pre-vet major who loves to laugh (especially at myself), drink coffee, and spend time with my dog, Cora. I moved from Massachusetts to Tennessee to attend college at UTM and compete for their division 1 rifle team.