something interesting...relation of hypothyroid and gluten intolerance
Hey all! Dang, it's been since last September that I've poked my nose in here...I just wanted to post something that may help many. About 2 years ago I gave up on western medicine Drs (who had stamped me as a typical "fat, forties, premenopausal female) and went to a quality Naturopath (who consulted with an open-minded endo.) It was the best thing I've ever done. I had joint pains, cold intolerance, irregular bowel activity (unexplained bloating and diarrhea) and menses, trouble sleeping, mood instability (can you say "Dragon Lady"?), heart palpitations, heart burn, and chronic fatigue. My naturopath ran a myraid of tests, found a very low vitamin D level (10) and Hashimotos antibodies. It took 6 months of taking 10,000 units/day of vitamin D-3 to bring it to normal ranges and about the same amount of time (adjusting Synthoid levels) to get my thyroid levels in a happy place. He also had me try an "elimination diet" to see if anything in my diet was causing gut/systemic irritation. I discovered I was very sensitive to wheat gluten. With the elimination of this from my diet, my thyroid antibodies dropped to almost zero, and all of my chronic pain, fatigue, and gut issues also resolved. I know this is key to my system as, when I "fall off the wagon" and give in to horking a couple slices of pizza or a donut (or three...), it all comes right back with a vengeance and my thyroid antibodies skyrocket. The resulting gut irritation causes me to absorb medication and vitamins less and increases the "leaky gut" threshhold (proteins escape into the blood causing inflammation), thus making the hypothyroid symptoms recur.
I have not seen any solid research connecting Hashi's and gluten intolerance, but if my experience is any testament, I suspect many "chronic fatigue" patients may actually have undiagnosed thyroid/ gluten intolerant issues. ~MM
This comes up on occasion here. But no one ever has actually said their antibodies dropped to near zero, until now. Wow. Some have just talk about feeling better with minimal details to share.
Which antibodies are near zero may I ask?
Thyroid or ANA?
And these were once above the threshold limit?
This is important info. If thyroid antibodies dropped below the threshold, technically you no longer have Hashimoto, if you once did. This is why I'm asking. This is rare.
Food group allergies or intolerance can cause widespread problems starting in the gut leading to other issues from microscopic food particles leaking into the whole body. It tough to prove what symptoms it can cause, but there is a Intestinal Permeability test from Smokey Mountain Labs that is supposudly accurate.
I went gluten free, 4 to 6 months at one point, for correcting digestive bacterial overgrowth commonly termed intestinal Candida. You need to stop all sugar to correct this too. Gluten and sugar are food for Candida, and low stomach acid from hypo set up the perfect scenario for it.. When the Candida goes away I can eat gluten with no digestive issues. So I'm guess I'm not gluten intolerant myself.
Dairy Milk, I can not tolerate at all anymore, but eliminating it has no effect on my thyroid that I can tell.
It is interesting how many "chronic fatigue" and Fibro patients are not interested in looking at a cause even suspecting "in range" TSH levels. I'm generalizing here, but many are, unfortunately focused on taking man made pain drugs. Had a Dr say I had Fibro once, I didn't buy it, since its a condition or set of symptoms of unknown causes. That was before I got sucked into all things thyroid and learned about natural T3.
There are other new theories that many autoimmune conditions can be started from internal body infections, parasites, viruses, even common ones years ago like chicken pox ect that trigger the rise of the various antibodies that are naturally in us, but at below 'threshold' levels.
You would be interested in the article by Chris Kresser called "The gluten-thyroid connection." The comments under the article are very interesting as well.
"Several studies show a strong link between AITD (both Hashimoto’s and Graves’) and gluten intolerance. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] The link is so well-established that researchers suggest all people with AITD be screened for gluten intolerance, and vice versa.
What explains the connection? It’s a case of mistaken identity. The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have AITD and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid.
Even worse, the immune response to gluten can last up to 6 months each time you eat it. This explains why it is critical to eliminate gluten completely from your diet if you have AITD. There’s no “80/20″ rule when it comes to gluten. Being “mostly” gluten-free isn’t going to cut it. If you’re gluten intolerant, you have to be 100% gluten-free to prevent immune destruction of your thyroid."
Would you mind posting your actual antibody results "before and after" going gluten free?
Also, did you have your antibodies retested following eating food with gluten (pizza or donuts)? Have you had them (antibodies) tested each time you fell off the wagon? If not, how do you know they went back up?
Once autoimmune damage has been done, going gluten free won't repair it.
Link between AITD and gluten intolerance.... (Autoimmune Thyroid Disease) for clarity.
"Screening for gluten intolerance" - That is the tricky part. The Celiac blood test will not screen for gluten "intolerance" or sensitivity. Holistic Drs do this only by elimination diet from what I've heard. Then upon certain food group introductions is this more clarified. Do they do this differently in Auzzie land?
ANSWER to the possible link ?- If anyone is suffering symptoms or thyroid symptoms directly from gluten intolerance then gluten is leaking thru the gut lining, thus, the Intestinal Permeability test (leaky gut test) from Smoky Labs should catch this.
This makes sense to me - If one does not have Leaky Gut, then they cant be experiencing thyroid symptoms from Gluten.
I have asked a few that say they are gluten intolerant, (here and in real life) and they say symptoms are aggravated soon after gluten ingestion. That is the confusing part, as some of us could have a gluten meal and feel the same the next day.
I'm just tring to fill in the blanks. If all this is that simple, these books written by holistic Drs about gluten causing thyroid issues should be 30 pages max, and spell it out like it is - but they don't do that for some reason.
"Once autoimmune damage has been done, going gluten free won't repair it."
- Yes. So if gluten where to be the cause in thyroid disease in some people, their ability to recover depends how bad the thyroid is destructed, as its all about early detection. So, at best, continued thyroid destruction will halt only if antibodies are lower than the threshold.
I have confirmed with some of these folks that they continue to take thyroid med once gluten free, but with less symptoms. So even if it were to be the cause with some people, gluten elimination is not a cure once the thyroid is wrecked. A long time physically wrecked thyroid as we all know is now dependent on thyroid meds.
We know that people with out autoimmune hypothyroid can have similar symptoms of autoimmune thyroid - body pain, weight gain, bogy brain. But if gluten intolerance people claim these symptoms disappear with out gluten, that means these symptoms can be from both low thyroid hormones AND gluten intolerance. So if someone has both of these issues they might have the same symptoms but twice as worse...? Also some people with gluten intolerance have always had good thyroid levels, so they just have tougher thyroid..?
I'm just trying to be thyroid geek pointing out clear the facts with all this as no one ever does, and is really confusing for those that recently get introduced to this new theory. There is even a Dr up hear that has a book on this, once again, it's not as concert as it should be, with a lot of emotional worded fluff to make the book bigger. I appreciate facts, and if these guys truly know them, then they need to hire real technical writers to write their books.
Hi LazyMoose. Yes it makes sense why some respond with great success to a gluten free diet and others don't notice much of an improvement. I'm not sure what blood tests are available in Australia to test for gluten intolerance. I wouldn't mind having a Intestinal Permeability test done. However, tests are available in American may not be available in Australia as i've found out!
Understand. The Intestinal Permeability test here in the US is now offered by more than one lab. The Smoky Mountain lab I refer to has changed their name, but goggling will still get you there. These labs kits are then sent via express mail back to the labs. So long distance (time wise) most likely will flaw the results.
I did see a quote from a holistic Dr on the web touting to get this test before going into his whole gluten free 'system'. Wow, seems to honestly not ROB people of their money. Customers can spend as much as $5,000 on these holistic thyroid-gluten "cure" systems sprouted from certain Dr's that write these books.
An Intestinal Permeability test from whatever Smoky Labs now calls themselves is under $200 USD I think. I might do this.
For the record, I tested negative with the Celiac blood test recognized by medical U.S. Dr's a 4 years ago. This was when I was absolutely miserable on only T4 med and was told by one Dr I had Fibro (which I do not buy in my case).
My thyroid antibodies were the ones that dropped. My ANA was always borderline or "normal range" -probably because when I'd go in to the Dr. for a complaint, it was after I'd suffered a while and had reverted back to eating gluten-free. I was told the ANA wouldn't show obvious gluten sensitivity unless I'd been recently eating a gluten-rich diet.
I'll dig up my labs results and post the before and afters. I did not know about the permeability test. I know I'll probably always have to take thyroid meds as not only am I positive for Hashi's, but nearly 4 years ago I had interferon induced thyroiditis (from chemo for my liver), experienced a thyroid storm, and when the inflammation died down, my thyroid flipped to hypo and never completely came back to normal. So, damage done. Looking back, I believe I had unrecognized gluten issues before the chemo and I think the interferon ticked off my immune system, triggering the dormant Hashi's and worsening the gluten sensitivity. It took a while to isolate the causes of symptoms, but like you, I WAS NOT going to accept chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as "'Dear, this is something that just happens" from my doctor. Grrrr.
Thank you SO MUCH for the info on the gliadin and leaky gut. I'd briefly read something about it, but had not made the attack of the thyroid tissue connection prior to my Naturopath's theory. It's like I have been given final pieces to a puzzle.
I know the gluten sensitivity diagnosis is right on as I can reproduce my symptoms -to the day (sometimes hour) by eating certain foods. (I was REALLY reluctant to give up gluten! LOL)
For example, just before Christmas I just flung the gluten avoidance to the side and ate whatever I wanted (I was having a bit of a pity party.). For two solid weeks I happily munched cookies, sandwiches, crackers, pizza, etc. I ignored the warnings of increasing episodes of explosive diarrhea and abdominal bloating, edema in my legs, feeling tired, and the weird tiny fluid bubbles forming on the insides of my fingers and toes. Then the full force of my transgression hit. Pain everywhere. Joints, back, gut, headache, kidneys. And I was so cold that even with my mattress pad heater on high, I couldn't sleep. My brain felt like oatmeal and my energy level was so low that even getting up to go the bathroom was a chore. I even began having hot flashes (no temperature) again (none for 1 1/2 yrs prior) as even my female hormones seemed to feel the effect.
The worst of this lasted a full two weeks after I'd returned to abstaining from gluten (yup, made me a believer!). It took 6 weeks to return to normal. At least my Naturopath showed concern rather than a more appropriate "didn't I tell you?" response.
He explained his theory on the gluten-thyroid antibody connection (as discussed here) as gluten sensitive + gluten ingestion =immune system triggers = increased thyroid antibodies =increased in attack on thyroid tissue. He explained any thyroid meds, vitamin D, and other supplements, are more effective when absorbed through a non-irritated gut wall than when they zing past it (and out). Which also means that a person who is solely gluten-induced hypo may be able to eventually lower their dose or go off thyroid meds all together. Yah, it does make sense, eh?
This is already a long thread, and as Moose pointed out, we've been through the arguments periodically, so let me just pick up on one little thing you said in your last paragraph.
"He explained any thyroid meds, vitamin D, and other supplements, are more effective when absorbed through a non-irritated gut wall than when they zing past it (and out)." Agreed.
"Which also means that a person who is solely gluten-induced hypo may be able to eventually lower their dose or go off thyroid meds all together." How does that follow? It's only thyroid MEDS, not naturally produced endogenous hormones, that have to be absorbed through the gut. Endogenous hormones go direscly into the bloodstream. All I see happening here is that patients sometimes lower their INTAKE due to better absorption, but not how much they require. More meds make it into the bloodstream. Period.
It seems I misspoke as that is what I meant -the thyroid patient may get to reduce their med intake because the meds are being absorbed more efficiently.
Theoretically, if a person combats an autoimmune response by removing that which triggers their immune system to attack tissue (specifically thyroid in this case), AND that tissue has little to no permanent damage, then it is possible they could reduce or go off meds. I have seen this work in diabetes, hepatitis C, arthritis, and kidney problems. It would be interesting to see formal studies that address the3 thyroid/gluten angle. I don't think this is the "Holy
Grail" of all thyroid cures, but I do wonder how my thyroid/chronic pain patients would be helped...
"All I see happening here is that patients sometimes lower their INTAKE due to better absorption, but not how much they require. More meds make it into the bloodstream. Period."
- In other words thyroid symptoms being controlled better from better med absorption (same as higher dose) as a result of the gut wall healing after gluten elimination. Makes sense if excessive gut permeability exists in the patient.
But, as I pointed out, leaky gut can have some of the same symptoms as hypothyroid, in people with out hypothyroid. So this can possibly be a combined or independent group of symptoms, which particular holistic Drs do not point out very clearly. Seeing TgAb and TPO before and after results will be interesting.
I have fooled around with taking Erfa natural thyroid digestively and sublingually, with little difference in T3, T4 hormone test results, or symptoms. This would suggest that I dont have an Intestinal Permeability Issue (leaky gut). If I had money to burn, I'd do that leaky gut test just out of curiosity.
"has little to no permanent (thyroid) damage, then it is possible they could reduce or go off meds."
- if thyroid antibodies are reduced under the threshold, then yes. Which is a point I brought up in people with many years of Autoimmune thyroid disease, their thyroids are wrecked and even look weird / beat up/ disfigured on ultrasounds - speaking of which, I'm getting another one next week. (another utrasound not thyroid LOL)
Every time we get off onto this subject it seems there are many more questions than answers. For example, why should we assume that going gluten free was the cause of reduced antibodies? We have heard many times of patients who have experienced reduction of antibodies, just as a result of getting on thyroid medication.
Another question is why is it that all the information supporting the concept of "leaky gut due to gluten intolerance" causing thyroid antibodies seems to be anecdotal and, rather than statistically valid scientific studies. Where are those studies?
Another question is if thyroid antibodies are produced by the autoimmune system because of gliadin in the blood from "leaky gut", why are there two different antibodies that are recognized as causes of Hashimoto's, both TPO ab and TG ab?
I always ask questions on these posts for answers to the unknown, and try my best to remain somewhat neutral in the process.
There are a lot of gray areas in health that scientifically, that may never have answers sought. Money has a lot to do with it.
Autoimmune in general might have a much larger picture than we are currently aware of. Personally I do not doubt the possibilities of leaky gut which is only a relate subject, and can supposedly be caused by many foods. Why I believe this could be an existing problem paralleling Hoshimoto, as they both can have the same symptoms. The 'parallel' possible issues is what these holistic Drs do not mention. Because they obviously don't know the answer.
If someone does have thyroid antibodies that drop under the limit and stay there, something would be going on.. I have yet to see this, but continually ask.
So far, no one has ever been willing to actually post before and after antibody results; we've only ever gotten the anecdotal "my antibodies dropped as soon as I quit gluten; this is what everyone needs to do"........ testimonials don't carry much weight.
Will be most interested in seeing medicmommy's actual test results, with reference ranges; will also be interested to know if antibodies were retested after eating gluten to show that the antibodies did, in fact, rise again, and have they been retested to confirm a drop once g/f again?
Another thing that bothers me - kind of carries gimel's question a step further: "Another question is if thyroid antibodies are produced by the autoimmune system because of gliadin in the blood from "leaky gut", why are there two different antibodies that are recognized as causes of Hashimoto's, both TPO ab and TG ab?"
From my research, the antibodies that attack gluten/gliadin are not even the same ones as those that attack the thyroid. The antibody tests for gluten sensitivity/celiac are IgA and IgG - never seen anything that indicates that those antibodies attack the thyroid. If the molecular structure of the thyroid is SO close to that of gliadin, that the antibodies can't tell the difference, why don't we routinely have IgA and IgG tests done for thyroid issues and why wouldn't those results possibly indicate Hashi or Graves, as well as celiac/gluten sensitiviity?
Moose - if my antibody level drops to below the limit and stays there, I will assume that what's "going on" is that my thyroid has finally been "killed" - i.e has no more healthy tissue for the antibodies to chomp on and they've gone into remission. My endo says I'm close.
Good questions! I can only attribute my findings to myself as, I can reproduce the results consistently and my medical history is not the norm.
I cannot offer an explanation as to why the leaky gut and thyroid connection hasn't been better researched. My assumption is that the dollars for research win profits if the researching agency comes up with a "magic pill" rather than drawing the conclusion that the patient could control or combat their illness if they simply changed their diet. I don't imagine there is a lot of money to be made like that. -But there is a lot of profits to be lost...And a lot of doctors (and drug companies?) would be out of a job...
I'm researching the reason for the two thyroid antibody tests...
Your post about the loss/decrease of antibodies provoked further thought...Currently, I have an annual titer test for Hepatitis B as I am in the health care field and I had a vaccination for it in 1984. The titer shows positive for antibodies which means my immune system will still recognize Hep B and hopefully fight it off if I am ever exposed to it. So, with this thought going, if my thyroid antibodies were ever to drop to zero, does that mean my immune system no longer recognizes my thyroid tissue as a hostile, or does it mean I don't have any thyroid left for my immune system to attack?
Hmmm...Or, taken a step farther, if I calm the gliaden response down (too much opens the intestinal wall ports too far and lets partially broken-down gluten (and other!) proteins into the bloodstream), will the antibodies against the gluten (and it's look-alike thyroid tissue) fade away with time? It does appear that some antibodies stick around longer than others...Sigh, again, more questions than answers.
I, too, worked in a field in which I had tests/immunizations for Hep B.... I've been through the series of shots for it twice, but when I did the titres, I had no antibodies to it, so I was told that since I don't have antibodies, I wouldn't be able to fight it well and should be extremely careful. However, it seems that Hep B antibodies is not a good correlation with thyroid antibodies, because those for Hep B would fight/destroy a disease not normally present, whereas thyroid antibodies actually attack and destroy an essential organ of our body. No scientific basis on that last comment, just my thought, which could be totally wrong.
I do have thyroid antibodies, but don't have gliaden antibodies. Have you ever been tested for IgA or IgG?
I haven't really seen scientific evidence that thyroid and gliatin molecules are so closely related. I wish someone would post links to some good scientific studies that actually "prove" this.
Once a person has been dx'd with Hashi's, it doesn't go away. As far as I know (barring scientific evidence to the contrary), the only thing that would cause thyroid antibodies to drop to zero would be if there were nothing for them to attack....... i.e. no healthy thyroid tissue, and they'd go into remission.
As I stated in my previous post, the tests for gluten sensitivity and celiac are IgA and IgG; there's no evidence, that I know of, that these antibodies attack the thyroid; nor is there scientific evidence (that I know of) that TPOab and/or TGab attack gluten/gliadin.
As to "My assumption is that the dollars for research win profits if the researching agency comes up with a "magic pill" rather than drawing the conclusion that the patient could control or combat their illness if they simply changed their diet. I don't imagine there is a lot of money to be made like that. -But there is a lot of profits to be lost...And a lot of doctors (and drug companies?) would be out of a job.." Wrong......
There are doctors who have started treating thyroid disease with a protocol that is not recognized by standard medicine (I know, you said you abandoned Western medicine); there's never been scientific proof to show that the protocol works; it's not covered by insurance and generally, very expensive -- but people who are desperate to feel better and will try anything that sounds good...........there's your money trail.........
I'm not sure how long after you were dx'd with Hashi (or what your antibody counts were) before you went gluten free, how long you were gluten free before you before you tested again; or how long you were gluten free before you cheated; nor do we know whether or not you retested each time you cheated to verify that your antibodies skyrocketed.
It was mentioned in a previous post that repercussions from eating gluten could last up to six months...
As stated before, will be most interested in your "before and after" antibody results, as well as results after you cheated that show your antibodies went back up - if you retested.
Yes, there's always the money trail to Big Pharma making big profits on the magic pill. However, don't discount the food industry making big profits on very expensive g/f alternatives. After all, everyone deserves a piece of the pie...g/f or not! LOL
From what I understand, antibodies are merely the "byproduct memory" of the immune system's having successfully fought off an invader. I'm not sure why some represent lifelong resistance (e.g. chicken pox, measles, mumps, hepatitis B) and why some only represent an ongoing attack in varying intensities ( as in autoimmune diseases).
I am sure that the celiac antibody is not the same as the thyroid ones, but it does make me wonder at the connection between the two. If it was merely from the immune system becoming stressed by the effects of gluten intolerance (or whatever), then each person with Hashi's would get some sort of thyroid instability each time they became seriously ill.
My Hashi's wasn't discovered until just over a year ago -just before I was tested for celiac antibodies/ gluten intolerance. My prior doctor and endo both had blown off my hypo symptoms and did no further testing than TSH tests, a standard blood test, and a glucose tolerance test.
It was then I went to a Naturopath who tested for a variety of antibodies and found Hashi's and "high normal" celiac antibodies. He was skeptical about the celiac results and had me do an elimination diet for a month. Many of my hypo symptoms decreased. When I reintroduced wheat back into my diet, they came back with a vengeance -along with a few other non-hypo symptoms.
I'm compiling my labs of before and afters to post them -you'll see what I mean about the effects. I really appreciate the info everyone has posted. I always learn more than expected, and it generates more questions to be researched. You just never know -it may be a group like us that trips over the "Holy Grail" of ultimate answers...
In this free video, which I want to watch again, I saw that there is a connection of gluten intolerance with many major illnesses and it said that gluten intolerance was actually the cause. I actually already knew that gluten intolerance was not the same thing as Celiac, because I have definite gluten intolerance but may or may not have Celiac. I also have at least two of the illnesses on the chart that are said to be caused by gluten intolerance. Many think gluten intolerance is the equivalent to Celiac, but this isn't correct.
Interestingly, too, many who have diagnosed Celiac also have thyroid conditions. Usually, Hashimoto's is mentioned. I see this when I read posts in the Celiac forum.
One of the other major illnesses connected with gluten intolerance, according to this video is RA. This doesn't surprise me at all, because those with Celiac are at a higher risk of developing RA at an earlier age than the general population. Also, a friend of mine who has RA also has Hashimoto's, so it's clear that there has to be a common connection. This video is saying that the common connection is gluten intolerance.
It also explains why some with Celiac still have major symptoms even when they are compliant with their diet.
No, I'm not confused at which forum this is. But, there does seem to be a valid connection here, because everyone I know who has some sort of auto immune disorder also has gluten intolerance. Some also have Celiac. Many in both groups have thyroid issues. And, usually, it's Hashimoto's. Sometimes it's Graves, but it's usually low thyroid rather than high thyroid.
Many find out about the gluten intolerance via elimination diets, as was already mentioned here. Often that is necessary, because the "gold standard" for testing for Celiac antibodies (the blood tests) is antiquated and provides a lot of false negatives. But, a person can have gluten intolerance without having the Celiac antibodies. Anyway, the video did mention thyroid disorders, such as Hashimoto's, as being linked to gluten intolerance.
There is important information that applies to both the thyroid and the Celiac communities about why you can eat a compliant diet and still have issues. We know about the big four grains that are said to be the problem grains, but there is newer information that other grains are bad guys, too. Gliadin is the name of the gluten in wheat, and the big four do have definite links to gluten intolerance. But, other grains have been linked to this gluten intolerance, too. That's why this is an important video for both communities to watch.
You don't have to shell out the $69 that the website hopes you will. I couldn't do that myself, but there is very good information in the free video nevertheless. I plan on watching the video at least one more time, because there is excellent information in the video.
Thanks for that info! I will pop over in the celiac forum as I'd like to ask more questions concerning gluten intolerance vs. celiac and the physiology of their effects. Many things I've read seem a bit contradictive. ~MM
"Antibodies, also called immunoglobulins, are large Y-shaped proteins which function to identify and help remove foreign antigens or targets such as viruses and bacteria. Every different antibody recognizes a specific foreign antigen. This is because the two tips of its “Y” are specific to each antigen, allowing different antibodies to bind to different foreign antigens."
Antibodies actually destroy the invader, they're not by-products.
Isn't the common connection between celiac, Hashi's or RA, the simple fact that all of these are autoimmunes and it's well known that once a person gets one autoimmune disease, the likelihood of getting another are greater?
Thanks, Barb. I stand corrected. :) So, a thread of confusion remains...Aren't "immunities" and antibodies considered the same thing? If a person has the antibodies to a certain invader, then their immune system recognizes it immediately and ideally combats it before it becomes a problem, correct? So, if a person's immunity fades over time (say the kind you get from a vaccination), then their system is slower to recognize that particular invader...So, (last one, I promise) if a person had autoimmune antibodies and those antibodies were to decrease in number, wouldn't that mean the damage from the autoimmune disease would slow down? ~MM
No, immunities and antibodies are not the same thing.
From Wikipedia: "mmunity is a biological term that describes a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. In other words, it is nothing but the capability of the body to resist harmful microbes from entering the body. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide range of pathogens irrespective of antigenic specificity. Other components of the immune system adapt themselves to each new disease encountered and are able to generate pathogen-specific immunity."
Also from Wikipedia: "An antibody, also known as an immunoglobulin, is a large Y-shaped protein produced by B-cells that is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses."
If you're immune to something you won't get it. If you aren't immune and you do get it, antibodies will target and destroy it.
Yes, if antibody count were decreased, activity would, presumably, slow down; however, any damage that's already been done, can not be repaired, no matter how low the antibody count goes. In other words, if the reason the antibody count went down, was that the thyroid has no more healthy tissue, nothing is going make it function again.
"So, if a person's immunity fades over time (say the kind you get from a vaccination)..." It does, but remember we are not constantly exposed to the antigens for which we get vaccinated. We get vaccinated for smallpox; we're seldom, if ever, exposed to it, so the immunity fades over time. We're constantly exposed to our thyroid tissue, so the "immunity" is constantly reinforced rather than fading. In fact, it's a vicious circle. Antobodies go down (for whatever reason), TPO and/or TG production increases as a result, this gets the antibodies riled up again, antibodies kill off more thyroid cells, repeat ad nauseum...
Hashi's becomes more manageable after the thyroid is, in effect "dead" and we're on 100% hormone replacement. I guess I fail to see where slowing the degeneration down has any real positive effect...unless, of course, you feel a "cure" is imminent. The quicker the "dyING" phase to some extent, the better.
Ah, the confusion clears and what you both say makes sense....Sigh. No, I didn't feel a cure was imminent, but I was hoping I had something to do with the decrease in my thyroid antibodies. Poo. Ah well, at least (for me anyhow) observing a gluten-free diet helps diminish the symptoms that mimic hypothyroid. -And it makes it difficult to eat fast food! ;)
As I've always said, and I stick by it (it's my story after all)...If it makes you feel better for whatever reason, do it. If you're doing it in hopes of lowering your antibodies and or "curing" your Hashi's, you're probably going to be diaappointed. What works for one of us doesn't work for the other. Glad to hear you're feeling better...
Avoid the fast food no matter what...
A doughnut? OMG, I haven't been able to look one of those in the face in YEARS...nope, wait a minute...decades.
Yes, without a doubt, avoiding gluten is key to my feeling better. I was warned prior to getting chemo for my liver, that the Interferon in it works by ramping up the immune system and it could bring any dormant health problem to the surface. Prior to that (3 1/2 years ago), I did not have detectable thyroid or gluten intolerance issues...It appears that my immune system has remained pi$$ed off since then and I've been seeking a way to get it to calm down since. Interestingly enough, my Mom, sister, and her daughter also have Hashi's...
Yah, I've accepted that the Hashi's is with me for life. But not a life without donuts! I have found a way to make a g/f knock-off! I hike my leg on the gluten-containing world and laugh! HA! HA! HA! :)
I was diagnosed with Graves disease in the winter of 1998 at age 12; received a total ablation of my gland by RA I131 three weeks later. Since then, being on Thyroxine I have experienced hyper and hypo transient episodes with the related elevated antibody levels specific for each type of occurrence. In 2011 despite my consistent & somewhat high dose of Thyroxine taken daily, my TSH was through the roof with extremely low free T4 and free T3 levels; Hashimoto antibodies skyrocketed as well. After 3 months of absolutely no gluten, dairy, soy, or on non-organic foods my TSH dropped to .02 and both my T4 and converted T3 levels were up in range, allowing me for the first time in my life, to lower my daily dose of Thyroxine.
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