Tag Archives: heal your gut

How Spirulina Triggered my Graves Disease


After I started the AIP diet I became obsessed with explaining myself everything. Maybe because I started this healing journey that treats the root of the disease rather than the effect, so I guess this inspired me a lot in finding what made me sick in the first place.

Until 2018, my biggest health concern had been the fear of getting cancer. This was the absolute worst disease in my mind, a disease I was so afraid of. This fear was probably caused by the fact that the cruel cancer had occurred in my family, I saw it manifesting and was well aware of the grief it could cause. Whenever I heard of cancer I would remain speechless with terror.

But in my case, one fear led to another, which this time was 100% real, as in 2018 I got diagnosed with Graves disease. So my health priorities changed from obsessive cancer prevention to coping with a real autoimmune thyroid disease. I had never been seriously ill before getting the Graves diagnosis, I had only been obsessed with preventing diseases that were just in my head, not inside my body.

Now, let’s start with the beginning, with the life choices I made that triggered my autoimmune symptoms.

Unlike other Graves disease patients, I am 100% sure what triggered my disease. It was the huge amounts of spirulina I used to consume. I found out about it only after I got diagnosed with Graves, and started to look for my triggers in an obsessive way.

So knowing this for sure, with the help of my doctors who confirmed it, after I got my Graves diagnosis I even encouraged myself into thinking: “if I know what caused Graves in me and if maybe I caused it myself – the way I know it – I will certainly find a way out of it!

Before I got Graves, I used to be obsessed with staying healthy, especially given my previous fear of cancer. Used to be obsessed with keeping my immunity high and used to do all kinds of researches for it. All these studies and researches got me into buying and consuming all kinds of food supplements, some more organic than others. I used to consume A LOT of spirulina, maca powder and pollen – besides all the raw greenies I used to be crazy about. One might consider this as a pretty healthy choice, eating all organic and adding supplements to almost all the foods I prepared.

But I jumped the line.

I made two mistakes:

  1. I kind of auto-medicated myself, which I now understand is a very reckless thing to do, not having real sense of quantities or recommended combinations of supplements. I used to just add handfuls of supplements to my smoothies daily and would expect the best of my health out of doing this.
  2. I hadn’t had any blood tests done before taking supplements, so I ended up getting too much of a specific nutrient in my blood, which eventually made me sick.

And I did all of this out of a stupid fear for getting cancer.

Since I hadn’t had any blood tests done before taking the supplements, it was only after I got diagnosed with Graves disease that I started to review every action I’d done in a reversed order, to figure out what I’d done wrong. So by reviewing about everything I ate the year before, with support from two physicians who helped me reach a conclusion, I finally figured it out: the supplement that triggered my autoimmunity and that blew up my antibodies was SPIRULINA.

Here are the factors that lay at the basis of my theory:

  • I ate industrial quantities of spirulina 2 months before I got diagnosed with Graves disease. All my smoothies, shakes and desserts used to contain at least 2 tsp of this supplement, that I was seeing as the no. 1 cancer-prevention at that time.
  • Spirulina contains very high values of iodine, which in my case triggered the thyroid reactions and caused me some symptoms that were incredibly new and disturbing (extreme fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps all over my body).
  • I also consumed spirulina a couple of times after I got diagnosed with Graves, to figure out if it was really a trigger, and every time I did it, the symptoms would become worse than those of any other foods I’d eat.

So instead of acting like a superfood, in my case Spirulina brought out all its iodine into play and triggered my antibodies, making my autoimmunity speed up so much.

My advice for you would be to act very careful on what supplements you are taking and always try get an opinion from a functional doctor or at least a nutritionist.

I hope my experience with spirulina will help all the hyperthyroid and Graves patients out there!

AIP – 30 Day Reset Phase – Allowed and Banned Foods

Before adopting the AIP diet for your autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s, Graves, Lupus, Celiac or others), you may wonder what this diet can do for you and your symptoms. In this article I’m going to explain the role of the diet and the allowed foods list in the simplest words and by real examples.

Ruxandra Cuna

First things first, what is the AIP diet?

The Autoimmune Paleo diet starts from the idea that most autoimmune diseases are caused by a leaky gut syndrome. In simple words, this can be explained as below.

By triggers like eating unhealthy foods, by stress and excesses, our gut is attacked by inflammations that create small holes in the membrane of the intestine and get toxins spread out into our immune system. This way, our immune system reacts to these toxins and starts attacking organs in our body, like in the examples below:

  • it attacks thyroid in Hashimoto’s or Graves Disease
  • it attacks small intestine in Celiac disease
  • it attacks the immune system itself by Lupus

So the purpose of the AIP diet is to heal the inflammations, or holes in the gut and make it recover, to prevent these inflammations from leaking toxins into our immune system. But for this gut healing process to take place, the gut needs an initial recovery period, which is the 30 days (or even more) Reset Period, during which the AIP diet only allows anti-inflammatory foods. These specific foods are meant to heal the membrane of the gut and stop the autoimmune symptoms.

While it has ben proven that the AIP diet helps in most autoimmune conditions, there is also a slight possibility that it may not work in some cases, most likely because there are also other measures to take for healing autoimmune. These are a change of lifestyle with more rest, less stress and a gradual elimination of the triggers causing autoimmunity in general. But it’s definitely Worth trying, just considering that it’s such a healthy choice it can’t actually do harm to the body.

The AIP diet has two main phases:
  1. The 30 day Reset Phase-extended until up to 90 days if needed, or until symptoms improve considerably and antibody blood tests also back up the efficiency.
  2. The Re-introductions Phase – which follows right after the Reset Period and involves the gradual and careful re-introduction of the foods that have been banned in the 30-90 day Reset Phase.

Now let’s take the 1st phase separately, the Reset Phase, and see what we’re allowed to eat 🙂

The 30 days Reset Phase – Allowed and Banned Foods List

Like mentioned above, the 30 day Reset Phase may be extended to up to 90 days if the symptoms of your disease are not yet improved considerably, or if your antibody blood tests are not modified for the best.

I’ve been quite strict on my 30 days Reset Phase, making it 45 days Reset in my case, as I wanted to make sure I offer my gut enough time to heal by eating all organic and anti-inflammatory foods.

Here’s what you’re allowed to eat in the Reset Phase:

Meat (Grass fed or Organic)

Offal (liver, heart, tongue, kidney)Duck
RabbitFish-Seafood (moderate for Hyper)

Vegetables (Excluding Beans + Peas + Nightshades: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes)

Sweet potatoSpinachBrussel SproutKale
BeetsBroccoliButternut SquashMushrooms
RadishRed OnionLettuceCarrots
Celery + rootParsnipOkraBok Choy
Acorn SquashCucumberSquashJicama
AsparagusGreen onionCassava

Healthy fats

Olive oil (for salads)Coconut oil (high temp cooking)
Avocado oilDuck fat
Pork lardBeef tallow

Fruit (maximum 2 servings per day, non-tropical fruit recommended)





Coconut flourArrowroot powder
Cassava flourPlantain flour
Tiger-nut flourTapioca flour


Gelatin (grass fed)Tapioca pearls
Carob powderBaking powder (gluten-free)

Here’s what you’re not allowed to eat in the Reset Phase

Gluten and grains


Dairy (only banned in the Reset Phase)


Nightshades (only banned in the Reset Phase)

Red spicesGround cherries

Legumes (only banned in the Reset Phase)

Soy beans Lentils

All nuts and seeds (only banned in the Reset Phase)


Miscellaneous (only banned in the Reset Phase)


I will return shortly with the article on the 2nd phase of the diet, the re-introductions phase. Meanwhile, you can get inspiration from my daily recipes and start healing your autoimmunity. 🙂

The recipes I post on the blog are 100% AIP compliant, with special mention in case some ingredients may not be allowed in the Reset Phase, but are to be introduced in the Re-introductions phase. For example, if I use Eggs in a recipe, I will sure mention that Eggs are not allowed in the Reset Phase and suggest a replacing option for them, for example gelatin egg, which can be used in the Reset Phase.

Ruxandra Cuna

I hope the AIP foods list will help up at least as much as it helped me and I’m here to support you on your autoimmune healing journey with an open heart 🙂

You can refer to the comments section or to the AIP and Paleo Facebook page and group for any support in your autoimmune healing through AIP!