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hashimoto's link to gluten intolerance/celiac
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hashimoto's link to gluten intolerance/celiac

I had similar symptoms to some of the other posters last year: muscle stiffness and joint swelling, tingling in hands and feet, dizziness, and digestive issues.  I suspected some kind of autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or celiac sprue which have been diagnosed in other family members.  I was not tested for RA but have been tested twice for celiac antibodies and have come up negative.  However, my nurse practitioner suggested I try a gluten free diet and my symptoms went away almost immediately.  I have since been diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (already knew I was subclinically hypothyroid and was taking low dose meds for about 2 years which seem to be controlling it).  Because my symptoms disappeared I wonder if there is a link between Hashimoto's and gluten intolerance (which I definitely have).  Also wanted to suggest to the other people suffering from the same symptoms to try going gluten free (no wheat, barly, rye, spelt, or oats) for 2 weeks and see how they feel.


This discussion is related to Elevated TPO, what can I expect?.
12 Comments Post a Comment
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1139187_tn?1355710247
This has been discussed numerous times on here.   Some people seem to feel better going gluten free, others feel no different or sometimes worse.  Everyone is different.  I personally was GF for 6 months and felt zero difference except i was mad that i couldn't have my peanut butter sandwiches every day.   I am feeling better than i was 2 years ago when i first came here and personally i could be the Anti-glute  because I eat bread almost every meal and feel great.   Great suggestion, but it certainly does not work for everyone.
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649848_tn?1357751184
The link between Hashimoto's and Celiac is that they are both autoimmune, and once you  have on autoimmune, you are more likely to get another. This does not include gluten intolerance, which is not autoimmune.

With Hashimoto's the thyroid is destroyed, little by little and as the destruction progresses, your thyroid produces less and less of the necessary hormones.

Your symptoms are those of being hypothyroid.   You need to be tested for the actual thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  Those will tell you what your thyroid status really is.
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1139187_tn?1355710247
amen sista!   couldn't agree more.   Hashimotos also causes poor digestion, slow digestion, diareah, stomach issues, gallbladder issues (hard to process greasy foods etc).   While Gluten intolerance could be the right choice for someone, this is not a blanket statement for all.
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Avatar_f_tn
i agree...I was g/f for the better part of a year, and I saw no difference whatsoever in my thyroid condition.  I did, however, have some other problems on the g'f diet that were not so pleasant.

If it works for you, then, by all means, do it, but if you're doing it because you're expecting it to improve your thyroid condition, you might be very disappointed.

I'm kind of curious as to why you think your symptoms that disappeared were symptoms of Hashi's rather than symptoms of non-celiac gluten intolerance (NCGI)???  If your gut is not properly absorbing thyroid meds due to NCGI, fixing the gut issue can, in effect, represent an increase in meds due to more getting into your bloodstream once the gut has healed.  Perhaps you were just undermedicated?
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Avatar_m_tn
You may be right about the underabsorption of the med, or that the symptoms were not from the Hashimoto's but from the gluten intolerance.  I was just surprised to see, coming onto this site for the first time, that someone else with autoimmune thyroid had the same symptoms as me.  Especially because other places where I have seen lists of Hashimoto's symptoms do not include the ones I was experiencing (and I did not experience the ones they did list, like weight gain and fatigue).

Thanks for the replies.  And I did not mean to suggest that everyone should go gluten free, but to try it and see if they experienced the relief that I got.
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798555_tn?1292791151
This comes up a lot.

Been gluten free before. Digestively, I felt better. It did not improve thyroid function at all tough, zero, zip, nada.

And whether or not thyroid antibodies are connected to digestive health has yet to be proven.

Everything in the body is in someway connected to our digestive health, its just to what extent, and this varies greatly per individual.
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't relate my food issues to thyroid.

I can't have milk/ice cream or white bread. No I don't need to be tested, I just stay away from what I know will give me issues....
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Avatar_f_tn
I was taken to the E.R. after two months of gluten free diet.  My Hahimoto's hypothyroid cured itself 50% or more.  Was determined i had overdosed on thyroid meds i had been taking for years.  I had lab tests two months before starting my diet.  It was horrible.  Confusion, disorientation, and felt like i was being "drugged".  Please, watch your thyroid dosage if going gluten free.  That E.R. trip was expensive.  Don't think your nutritionist is a nut job, he or she is correct!  
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Avatar_m_tn
There is absolutely a connection between Hashimoto's and being gluten sensitive. If you are normal hypo or hyper thyroid, a gluten free diet will not make a difference per say, but for Hashi's patients, it can heal the condition almost completely. A friend of mine had a TSH of 64 when she had her diagnosis of Hashimoto's, and after going gluten free, her TSH is 3! So, yes, it can make a huge difference in some people.
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798555_tn?1292791151
Its good to hear your friend feels better.

Gluten intolerance, digestive Candida (from gluten) and Hashimoto can have symptom similarities that overlap in people. These can be three individual issues, yet some people have all of them.

For the record: To say someone is cured of Hashimoto would require the antibodies associated with Hashimoto to drop below the threshold and stay there. I have repeatedly asked people the last three years who claim to be completely cured to please post antibody levels before and after, but that has yet to happen. I am still waiting for this. sigh..

In the beginning of Hashimoto some people swing from hypo to hyper and labs will reflect this even though there is a time lag from labs to symptoms.

I've had hashimoto for Decades. Antibodies can physically destruct the thyroid gland in time. Per my post above, going gluten free did nothing for my thyroid lab values. Nothing for my Hashimoto.

For me, Gluten free did relieve some symptoms that are very, very  similar to hypothyroid which was from digestive Candida that feed on grains in addition to sugar. Many people do not know about this similarity and neither do healthcare professionals. This could be an added benefit that your friend has experienced. Just taking a product like NOW Candida Cure can get these symptoms under control, which, coincidentally feel like hypothyroid fatigue and "brain fog", in addition to many digestive symptoms. Once again, it did nothing for my thyroid free T3 and T4 levels or even the worthless TSH test (not really a thyroid hormone).

I wish your friend continues to feel well, If this was my case I'd test the antibody levels again.
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681148_tn?1285160820
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv5RwxYW8yA

It's a long video, but it explains enough to understand why you don't have to have Celiac to have gluten sensitivity.  It also explains another reason why gluten intolerance is connected to all kinds of autoimmune illnesses.  And, there is an acknowledgement of what LazyMoose said about the healthcare professionals not understanding the similarity.

Here, the doctor says ALL grains have different types of glutens.  And that the information about what is gluten free grain is 60 years old.

By the way, if you also have Celiac--corn is absolutely NOT GLUTEN FREE.  This video explains that part, too.  This site also says that no one with gluten issues should consume corn.  Thank goodness I don't have to convince my nephew who has Celiac to not eat corn.  There will never be an argument with him, because he is allergic to corn anyway.

Then, too, what LazyMoose said falls in line with this video because of the Candida connection.  I'm battling Candida right now myself.

He explains some differences in terminology.  I'm grateful that he is talking about how gluten sensitivity is not equal to Celiac.  I knew that, and so do many people in the Celiac community.  But, so many people outside of these forums have no idea.  And, I agree with LazyMoose that this includes the health professionals.

It's a hard thing to deal with when talking to the health professionals if you don't tolerate gluten but all those tests are negative for Celiac.  It's like they don't comprehend that you don't have to have Celiac to still not be able to tolerate gluten.  Dr. Osborne in this video was speaking about some of the issues people have that are non Celiac who don't tolerate gluten who get migraines.  And, migraines are definitely another cross over symptom that can be associated with thyroid issues and with gluten intolerance.  The bottom line is that your health professional should believe you if you tell him or her that you don't tolerate gluten, because you know how your body responds to the stuff.

Anyway, this video shows the connection of how gluten intolerance is definitely connected to all sorts of autoimmune issues.  It also shows how incomplete the tests are that most doctors are using.  

So, yes, you should definitely consider going gluten free.  If you have Candidas, you will also need to be completely carb free SHORT TERM to help kill the Candidas.  Don't go carb free long term, as it is bad on the kidneys.  You do need to eat carbs.  But, you need to eat gluten free carbs.  There are other types of carbs that are not grain based carbs.  Again, going completely carb free needs to only be SHORT TERM.  Once you kill the Candidas, you can add a little bit of carb in your diet again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for posting this.  I've been wheat, rye, and barley free for over a year and feel great!  But I don't digest corn very well and should probably eliminate that as well.  I seem to do OK with rice, millet, sorghum, teff, and buckwheat (none of my classic gluten symptoms anyway).  I'm so glad my nurse practitioner recommended that I stop eating wheat for two weeks - it was life changing, and I'll never go back!
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