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The Gluten-Thyroid Connection

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This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see the other articles in this series, click here.

In the first article in this series, I showed that hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease in 90% of cases. In this article we’re going to discuss the connection between autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) and gluten intolerance.

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.

So how do you find out if you’re gluten intolerant? Unfortunately, standard lab tests aren’t very accurate. They test for antibodies to gluten in the bloodstream. But antibodies in the blood will only be found in cases where the gut has become so permeable that gluten can pass through. This is a relatively advanced stage of disease. Blood tests will miss the many milder cases of gluten intolerance that haven’t yet progressed to that stage.

Stool analysis is far more sensitive, because it detects antibodies produced in the digestive tract that aren’t yet escaping into the bloodstream. Using this method at Entero Lab, Dr. Kenneth Fine, a pioneer in the field, has found that up to 35% of Americans are gluten intolerant.

In addition to the stool analysis, Dr. Fine’s lab uses a cheek swab to test for the genes connected with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. People with HLA DQ genes are more likely than the general population to have autoimmune disease, celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Dr. Fine’s research shows that more than 80% of Americans have one of these gene types.

When I first read Dr. Fine’s research, I was astounded by the implications. It suggests that 1 in 3 Americans are gluten intolerant, and that 8 in 10 are genetically predisposed to gluten intolerance. This is nothing short of a public health catastrophe in a nation where the #1 source of calories is refined flour. But while most are at least aware of the dangers of sugar, trans-fat and other unhealthy foods, fewer than 1 in 8 people with celiac disease are aware of their condition. I would guess that an even lower proportion of people are aware they are gluten intolerant.

One reason gluten intolerance goes undetected in so many cases is that both doctors and patients mistakenly believe it only causes digestive problems. But gluten intolerance can also present with inflammation in the joints, skin, respiratory tract and brain – without any obvious gut symptoms.

As much improved as Dr. Fine’s methods are, they aren’t perfect. In some patients with autoimmune disease, their immune system is so worn out they can no longer produce many antibodies.

Hashmioto’s, the most common autoimmune thyroid condition, is primarily a Th1 dominant condition. I’ll explain what this means in further detail in a future article. For now, what you need to understand is that in Th1-dominant conditions, the Th2 system is suppressed. The Th2 system is the part of the immune system responsible for producing antibodies. When the Th2 system is severely depressed, the body’s ability to produce antibodies is impaired. The levels may be so low that they won’t show up on a test. So, even if you have gluten intolerance, your test for gluten antibodies may be falsely negative if you have Th1-dominant Hashimoto’s.

This is why I recommend that you avoid gluten if you have AITD, regardless of whether tests show an active antibody response. This is especially true if you have one of the genes (HLA DQ1,2, or 3) that predisposes you to developing gluten intolerance. In my opinion continuing to eat gluten when you have a confirmed autoimmune condition simply isn’t worth risking the immune destruction it could cause.

In fact, the more I learn about gluten and its effects on the body, the more I think we’d all probably be better off not eating it. Mark Sisson has written extensively about the dangers of gluten and gluten-containing grains, so head over there and have a look if this is new to you.

The short version: foods that contain gluten (both whole grains and flours) contain substances that inhibit nutrient absorption, damage our intestinal lining, and – as I’ve described in this article – activate a potentially destructive autoimmune response. What’s more, there are no nutrients in gluten-containing foods that you can’t get more easily and efficiently from foods that don’t contain gluten.

The good news is that if you have AITD and are gluten intolerant, removing gluten completely from your diet will dramatically improve your health. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

742 Comments

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  1. I got tested positive on tpoab test. My count was little over normal range. Do i have hashimoto’s now? Do i have to give up gluten and dairy for good? I can let gluten go no problem but if i have to stop dairy (whey etc) too then im sad. Dairy doesn’t give me any noticable problems. Am i making my condition worse if i keep taking whey? Help me, pls! Chris, anyone.

    Thank you!

    • I do not believe dairy ( milk, cheese, butter) has anything to do with gluten which is found in wheat, rye and certain grains.

      • That’s right. I remember the acronym BROW: barley/rye/oats/wheat. Oats don’t have gluten themselves, but 9x out of 10 they will have been contaminated in the factory. Some will specify ‘gluten-free’.

        Not that simple though. Read that for ex, anything that has malt as an ingredient also has gluten. It can be tricky, but there are many blogs and apps that can steer you straight.

      • Only if the cow is fed those grains will it be an issue we drink raw milk from the pastured grass fed cows

  2. I have been diagnosed as a Hypothyroid and taking Synthroid for over 10 years now. Through another recently diagnosed intestinal disorder (SIBO) I was forced to eliminate potatoes, oats, bread, and rice from my diet. I immediately became aware of wheat and gluten and the effects it had on my gut, but I also wanted to share that since I have eliminated gluten from my diet my synthroid dose has decreased 2x already, over the course of only about 6 months. Incredibly I have also noticed I am able to grow fingernails!!! That is my favorite. I also have noticed I am losing far less hair in the shower than I used to. I am starting to believe that gluten has a huge effect on those with thyroid disorders. My mother has also gone gluten free and has not only been able to keep weight off, but her synthroid dose has also decreased significantly. The more I am researching articles discussing this matter, the more I am finding it to have validity.

  3. Hey, does anyone know if gluten does anything to thyroid medication? I was born thyroidless and I can see how gluten would hinder thyroid production, but would it affect just the meds?

    • I was wondering the same thing. My daughter had to have her thyroid removed and her diet is awful. SHe is on levothyroixin I think. I am wanting to find out more about what her diet should be since she has no thyroid. Let me know if you have found other information.

      • There is a wonderful food plan called the fast metabolism diet by Haley Pomroy. It talks about your thyroid and health. I went on it for five weeks after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was unable to lose weight and still did not feel great. I went on a fast metabolism diet for seven weeks and lost 20 pounds. I capped off most of that. I will be doing it again soon. I felt so much better when I was on it. It is not easy but it was worth it!

  4. Can Gluten Intolerance and prolactin be connected? I have not been tested yet for gluten intolerance but with in the last year, I have had my gallbladder removed and have had an unstable thyroid along with elevated prolactin (was a 78 – now down to 33 ). I have been told that these things can be linked to gluten intolerance. Thoughts?

  5. Began a gluten free diet in August 2014, just over four months, and am feeling much better than before – no more daily bloating, upset stomach or gas. My Internist recommended I do this because I’m having autoimmune conditions that seem to be expanding – all of which have been medically proven by biopsy. Have been taking thyroid medication for low thyroid for about 8 years and this has, I thought, helped until the most recent blood test showed that my autoimmune system has really stepped up the attack on my thyroid. Now also I have developed autoimmune conditions like lichen scoliosis (heavy duty skin lesions on a flare-up), even on my tongue, and frontal scarring alopecia where my body is killing the hair roots in 50 cent sized patches in the front top of my head. ( I think I’ll look like paintings of 1500 century Queen Elizabeth I of England soon.) Hair loss has continued all over my body. Problem is – every medicine my doctor has given me so far has caused an allergic reaction (current rash/etc was caused by Azathioprine when the doctor told me to double the light dose he was giving me last week). Am not just a little frustrated – has anyone had these types of situations arise in your illnesses? I would appreciate any feed back on your successful treatment programs. Thanks.

    • I’m not a doctor or anything but have you tried going to a whole food plant based diet and continue leaving the gluten out?

    • My daughter has hashimotos and is a gluten free, vegan, and eats 80% whole foods except for the occasional sugar fix. She is under the care of a natural doctor and has been doing a 7 month program which seems hasn’t really helped and she still hasn’t been able to lose weight. Her hashimotos was caused by taking the bc pill yaz for three months!
      She accidentally ate gluten today because we were misinformed at wholefoods!! The doc said it would take 6mos to reset after eating gluten! She was advised not to work out too much because it would have the opposite effect. Thats why Im searching on this board to see if others with hashimotos have had relief or found a fix! But the reason I am responding to your post, is that when I saw your post about the lichen scoliosis, I was reminded about a lady’s before and after pic I saw recently with lichen scoliosis lesions on her face. She used everything and nothing worked… until her sister-in-law gave her a product called Soothe. Send me an email and I will send you the pics.

      • The only thing that will make your daughter feel better is getting her TSH below 1. Once a endocrinologist from Keck school of medicine from USC told me that simple fact I felt much better when I increased my thyroid hormone. Hashi’s need a lower TSH. Then since I wanted my life back and to be able to exercise like I use to before my diagnosis I switched to Armour Thyroid and now I’m back operating at about 95% of what I use to be. My antibodies are very low and in the normal range, I’m not sure why exactly but I did cut out gluten a few years ago.

  6. Hi
    Can you please share references (medical studies etc) to support this statement regarding the connection between gluten and hashimotos?

    “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.”

    I have seen this quoted frequently on numerous sites, but nobody has listed any references or further explanations on this, or whether this statement is contested or not. It’s simply stated as a fact. What studies support this statement?

      • I am not questioning whether you (BrendaD) feel better on a gluten free diet (which i assume you do) but rather whether the evidence for this is based on experience (i.e. anecdotal evidence of a lot of people reporting that they feel better) or scientific.

        I am merely trying to establish whether the “mistaken identity” assertion is based on science.

        The assertion about the molecular structure sounds like a scientific claim to me, so hence there has to be some science behind it.

        I just started a gluten free diet a month ago and I think it’s worth trying – especially given fertility issues – but I also want to understand what the science behind it is. Maybe it just hasn’t been looked into, which in itself is also useful information.

        As I understand it, the studies carried out have shown that a lot of people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity also have hashimotos.

        The evidence of the positive effect of gluten-free diets is also conflicting: this one for example suggests that diet didn’t slow the disease – that said it only involved 54 people http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22126672.

        I’m certainly going to keep to a strict gluten free diet for now and see whether it has any effect. That said, I think everyone is different and what may work for one person may not work for another.

        • I am sure there is scientific evidence out there but will the medical community be accepting of it? For 4 years, I have been battling the medical community because they say “their training doesn’t support the scientific evidence”. The case study research I presented has been shoved to the side because the information was shared by a chiropractor. My PCP’s didn’t want to take the time to listen or explore further. In their medical opinion, I was lazy and fat. I have MS and Hashi’s and I am the scientific proof that there is definitely a correlation. The change of lifestyle and diet is what is keeping me out of the western meds. It works for me but you are right – what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. That’s why boards/blogs such as these exist and are helpful for those who don’t know where to turn and may need some other opinions.

          • I had a high level of thyroid antibodies when I was diagnosed with Hashi’s and papillary Thy Can. I had thyroid removed. I went GF after doing some research and determining that I was gluten intollerant even though celiac test came back neg. Thyroid antibodies have now gone away.

          • Hi Brenda-I too have MS & Hashi’s. Just found you this morning & am thrilled to find someone else who has both. I often can’t tell if I’m having issues for MS or Hashi’s. I’m going to start the non-Gluten diet w/o bothering w/ all the tests for gluten. Anything you can share for dealing with both these diseases would be helpful. Thank you for the sharing of your knowledge!

            • I am not Brenda but both diseases do involve IL-17 and therefore might be helped by herbs like holy basil, eleuthero, and Chinese skullcap. Both involve HMGB-1 which is blocked by green tea and mung bean seed coat and it involved in inflammatory diseases. Hope this is helpful to your research.

        • I too question a lot of this anecdotal evidence on the web. I am hypo and have been for years, I’m on Synthroid 137 and my TSH is perfect however I continue to gain weight and am tired all the time. I am going to attempt gluten free to see if I can lower my Synthroid dose to see if it makes a difference. I am very scientific in nature. I looked on Google Scholar and the evidence is iffy at best. There is a strong connection between celiac and thyroid but doesn’t really address gluten free (if not celiac) and thyroid. It does suggest though that gastro issues (which I have) affect absorption of Synthroid which is why when people with gluten issues go gluten free, they get better on the thyroid front. Not once in any study does it talk about gluten being a similar structure to gliadin. I’m going to try it and see what happens. Hope that helps!

      • Thyroid issues runs in my family from others having had goiter, cancer, tumors or taking synthroid but for some time I also had the issue of these gut aches with trips that ended not knowing if I should stay in B Room longer or could leave .
        My Grandson gave me a DNA kit gift when they were then allowed to give health issues and found I not only have Celiac Decease that I am also a carrier of this ( this gluten issue also listed on children’s and G kids DNA)
        No connection except for ordering and eating try Gluten Free “Personal Trainer Food” it is the best comes all packaged frozen each food separate so you can pick and choose to microwave have a meal in 5 minutes the food is fresh the taste is great with variety to choose from /people are buying this so they have healthy meals for work and home (I lost 14 lbs in 2 1/2 weeks ) I have a hard time loosing weight ,the ache in my legs had ended .
        You won’t be sorry/ its delivered right to your door.

    • Use google scholar. Google correlation between hashimotos and gluten. You will find a plethera of research.

      • FYI It’s “Plethora”, not “Plethera”. But it’s no useful information in it nevertheless. There is no single source for this assertion. Neither good nor bad . Simply nothing.

    • @COM, the “mistaken identity” is probably an incorrect assessment; the immune system is likely attacking gliadin-peptide amyloid fragments that lodge in the thyroid, similar to the Type 1 Diabetes auto-immune response: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24016298

      Hydrolized Gliadin, the component of gluten which enters the bloodstream after digestion in those with intestinal permeability disorder, is a known producer of amyloid when it reacts with amylin and adder proteins in the insulin process:
      http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bm201005k
      http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bm401815u

      Obviously, more research is needed into the exact pathology involved between gluten & thyroid, but given the above studies and the clinical link between GF diet and health, it’s a good hypothesis that this is what’s actually happening with the immune system, and not gliadin itself being directly targeted by the immune system.

    • Hey, I was also looking for evidence that was scientifically credible but don’t have the links now as were on my old laptop but I will try and point you in the right direction. I had stomach problems since I was little, then autoimmune hypothyroidism as a teenager and then diagnosed with multiple problems (IBS, idiopathic hypersomnia, chronic fatigue, frybromyalgia, pompholyx, etc etc) but still always felt terrible and could barely get out of bed. I was about to be started on insulin for type 1 diabeties and it seemed my adrenal glands were also going on the blink (addisons). I test negative for coeliac but I found a study done on diabetic rats by an american university which had found that many gentically diabtic predisposed bred rats did not develop diabeties when on a gluten free diet. I’m sure you will find this and other similar ones that have been done since on mice and rats if you google rats, gluten and diabeties. I also found another credible study looking at autoimmune thyroid problems which was done in sweden/norway/denamrk (one of them) which suggested a much much higher association with coeliac when undergoing far more extensive testing for gluten problems than is currently undertaken for coeliac and also highlighted the high rates of false negative results of coeliac blood test, problems of biopsy especially if already on GF diet etc etc. These two were enough to make me want to give it a go as no harm in trying. Basically every problem I had dissappeared apart from the thyroid as probably too damaged now but I am on less thyroid meds. It became apparent that my young daughter was going down the same lines as me but her dad who has her on weekends and school were not going to take me seriously so have spent the last two years proving this to the NHS. I have had to show them every bit of credible research I could find (so it is there but as I said – links are on old laptop). coeliac is highly associated with many autoimmune disorders and funnily enough, coeliac is the only autoimmune disorder with a known cause. From everything credible I have read, which has been a lot now and covers most autoimmune conditions and gluten, it seems basically an issue with specific and highly associated gene types (HLA-DQ2 and CTLA-4 as some examples) which seem to originate primarily from europe and gluten seems to be a major trigger for these. On a side note, I have also noticed that from the people I know with autoimmune problems including non-related, many of them seem to be rhesus negative blood type but I have not had time to actually verify whether there is actually anything to this but am planning on doing so next lol. So, basically gluten seems to trigger autoimmunity or the immune system to go crazy with those with certain genes. But there is the problem that many test nagative for coeliac! However, I have proved beyond doubt now to the NHS inthe last two years that I have a problem with it and it definately triggers my immune system – the fact that I have stopped some autoimmune diseases in their tracks, reduced my thyroid meds after 20 years but become hypo again when doing gluten trials and can bring back all of my visable/testable conditions at a date of their choice and make them all go away again for the next time I see them, they have had no choice but to finally officially diagnose me with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. The last consultant has basicaly stated it is the same as coeliac but goes through the body in a different way so cannot be picked up as villi damage in the stomach or in the coeliac blood test for gliadin antibodies (only one component of gluten) and that they will most likely have a name for this in a few years and is genetic and highly likely in other family members (aunty is diabetic/cousin is ATD plus lots of eczema(pompholyx)/asthma) etcetc. This is a new phrase for something that is becoming more and more recognised across the globe but the medical industry has not yet pinpointed diagnostic testing yet but apears likely much more research inthe nextfew years. But it probably has the same impact on the immune as coeliac so looking how that disease progresses might give you a good idea to function. Also google research on any autoimune disease and gluten, gene types and autoimmunity and hope this helps – whether I have misdiagnosed coeliac (quite possible as only on gluten for five weeks for stomach biopsy and did skin biopsy in wrong place) or gluten sensitivity as diagnosed, this appears to be how it effects me, I have not personally come across anything credible in regards to the gluten and thyroid tissue being similar in molecular structure as discribed but then I haven’t been looking into it :o)
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2111403/
      http://www.healthnowmedical.com/blog/gluten-intolerance-report-if-you-have-diabetes-read-this
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLA-DQ2

  7. This is an interesting conversation (regarding gluten-free) which I am, and for the past 6 months I have eaten organic, live low stress – (on sabbatical from job to eliminate job stress), spring water only for liquids, try to eliminate all chemicals from my life, – in short, EVERYTHING that is recommended to try to recover (take 125 mcg. levothyroxine and 5 mcg. lirothyronine daily because I’m allergic to pig thyroid.) I still have no energy and battle depression (with naturopathic remedies, don’t want to take prescription anti-depressants). I have no other health condition according to recent extensive testing. I’m just wondering if the answer is MORE T3 (up to 40-50 mcg. daily). I’ve have read some stories about T3 making Hashimoto’s sufferers feel 95 percent better. When I was taking Armour (stopped taking it May 2014 due to allergic reactions) I didn’t have energy, but I didn’t have depression – I believe that is because I was getting more T3 than I am currently getting (I was getting at least 10 mcg. T3 daily, possibly more). COULD MORE T3 BE THE ANSWER TO ALLEVIATING HASHIMOTO’S??? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR COMMENTS.

    • I struggled with Hashi’s hypo symptoms for years. I finally sprung for a visit to the Holtorf thyroid clinic here in southern California. They are very focused on T3 but they do not prescribe Armour thyroid. They give you synthetic T4 and they supply compound time release T3 capsules. They start low and up the dose by 12.5 mcgs every two weeks until symptoms disappear. It worked! I had never been able to take Armour because the jolt of T3 was shocking on my adrenals I think but this gradual TR T3 got me up to a high dose with no problem.

      I felt better than anything I had tried up to that point. Problem was that I like to work out a lot and if I worked out too much my thyroid would still gradually start going out of whack… and that meant I would feel bad with hypo symptoms and have to take a break to get back on track. I was just trying to get back to the normal amount of activities that i use to be at and I couldn’t.

      Instead of working with Holtorf to adjust the TR T3 to optimize it I left and got a prescription for Armour… actually just trying to save some money as Holtorf is very expensive to keep seeing the doctors. This time the Amour was a breeze to switch to since I was use to the T3. The Armour brought me back to 90- 95% full functioning as opposed to the Holtorf method that I was in the 75-80% range. I have switched to the Canadian brand of Armour called ERFA and order bulk (with prescription). It dissolves, tastes and is even slightly different in mgs then the American brand. Some speculate that switching brands might solve any allergy issues that you may have and that it might be fillers that are causing the allergy.

      One thing is for certain in all this is that I did not feel normal until my FREE T4 was at or above mid normal range and FREE T3 was in the HIGH normal range. The T3 is the key to Hashi’s for me! I split my dose to make sure the T3 lasts throughout the day and now I feel better than I have in 10 years and work out with not problem.

      Good luck!

      • I am 30 days into the compounding treatment to raise my T3. My graphs were off the chart. I see some improvement but not much. I understand that this can take up to 6 months of ups and downs to accomplish. I also have Epstein Barr Virus in the form of Chronic Fatigue from having a severe case of Mononucleosis as a teen. This compounded by the Hashimoto’s makes it extremely difficult just to function on a daily basis. With a full time job, being a divorced parent, and home to care for workout time is non existent. I pray this treatment works for me as well as it has for you.

        • That needs to be “time release” compounded T3. You’ll burn off the T3 dose in a matter of hours other wise. I hope you have as much luck as I did too. I also wanted everyone that can’t afford Holtorf clinic to know the secret to their success that they charge patients thousands of dollars to find out. Its just this slow increase of compounded time release T3 until blood work shows high normal range of free T3! Also for Hashi’s a TSH below 1 (sometimes way below 1). They like to keep you coming back to them for the compounded so they won’t prescribe inexpensive Armour thyroid. Finally being able to start Armour without a reaction to it was the final step to normalcy. Good luck!

  8. The article states:

    Hashmioto’s, the most common autoimmune thyroid condition, is primarily a Th1 dominant condition. I’ll explain what this means in further detail in a future article. For now, what you need to understand is that in Th1-dominant conditions, the Th2 system is suppressed. The Th2 system is the part of the immune system responsible for producing antibodies. When the Th2 system is severely depressed, the body’s ability to produce antibodies is impaired. The levels may be so low that they won’t show up on a test. So, even if you have gluten intolerance, your test for gluten antibodies may be falsely negative if you have Th1-dominant Hashimoto’s.

    Does this mean that the body’s ability to produce *any* antibodies is impaired, including anti-thyroid antibodies, or just antibodies *other than* anti-thyroid antibodies?

    • I wonder if it could affect total IgA levels as well. When I had my celiac panel done, my total IgA was really low (in the 20’s). I didn’t test positive for any of the celiac antibodies. I didn’t test positive for thyroid antibodies either, and I believe my thyroid condition has definitely improved since going gluten-free. I’m currently on half of my previous levothyroxine dosage, and I’ll be tested again next month to see how things look.

  9. Hello, just thought I’d post a little update for those that are wondering if the gluten-free diet helps with auto-immune thyroid disease.

    There have been some doubters posting here and I understand. My first post on this article was asking Chris to explain the gluten-thyroid connection more clearly, because none of the articles he referred to really did. There was a vague connection, but no studies showing clear scientific proof that going on a gluten-free diet healed auto-immune throid diease.

    I decided to try it out anyways (after reading this article and Wheat Belly and a few other online articles and reading the stories of a few people that felt better after going gluten-free).

    Almost three years ago, I quit gluten cold turkey. I have hashimoto’s and my dose at the time was 120 mg of Erfa once a day (dessicated thyroid, similar to Armour, but Canadian version). My current dosage is 15 mg, every other day and I expect to be completely off drugs soon. It takes time, but about every 2-3 months I need to lower my dosage. I am amazed and delighted every time I lower my dosage. I have made a few other smaller changes in my diet (I always ate very heathy before so it was not a case of suddenly eating more heathy), but the gluten-free diet is the single most important change I made.

    Obviously, it is not only my dosage, but my thyroid antibodies as well that have dropped enormously, Every blood test I take is better than the last and I am almost within the normal range now. I feel much, much better and I attribute it all to getting off gluten.

    I would have never tried the gluten-free diet had it not been for people like Chris Kresser. No proper study has been done, pretty much all we have is anecdotal evidence of people like me. I wasn’t going to wait for the scientific community to prove it to me. Especially since there is no harm besides inconvenience in trying it out. I am certainly glad I did.

    Best of luck to anyone who is just starting it out, it is a tough diet to follow, but it’s soooooo worth it!

    • Hi
      I have also been off gluten for 3mos since I found out last dec that I had hashimotos disease. My antibody level was 400 (normal 40) and my family md and endocrinologist laughed at me when I asked what I should do to help the disease. My tsh is around 4.78 and md said they wouldnt treat till I was around 10.
      Being gluten free has helped my digestion alot. Feel much better and helps my weight maintance.
      Recently, I found an md that deals with componding t4/t3 and just started taking a slow release since it was recommened to help the thyroid.
      My question, should I go off all grains to reducemy antibodies and how long does it take to get results.
      sonja

      • Sonja – find a new dr and endocrinologist. Your TSH won’t get to 10. With Hashi…..it tends to give your normal T3/T4 and TSH and unless an antibody test is run – no regular MD will find it nor will they care to find it. Try a holistic md. I have been gluten free and now am paleo for 4 years now and my anitbody levels are 523+. And again with Hasi, there is normally another autoimmune disease pushing it. Seriously – find different medical professionals.

    • I want to go gluten free as I was recently diagnosed Hashimotos. I am just so overwhelmed and have no idea where to start. Any thoughts?

      • I too was in this situation. Ask about a food sensitivity panel (my was through a company called US Biotek). I had the test done and found that I have a sensitivity to dairy and eggs. On my doctor’s advise I went gluten free in addition to dairy/eggs (and some other things identified by the food test). Now, 4 months later my antithyroid antibody has significantly improved.

      • Hi! My advice is to try not to replace items, just eliminate the gluten products in your diet meaning don’t buy GF bagels, just stop eating them etc. You will find there are many GF products that have too many ingredients that are not good for the body and often the replacing flour is rice, which is causing arsenic levels to increase in GF individuals. Plus, GF processed food is expensive. For items you still want in your diet, like bread, I would suggest making your own. I use Manini’s non-GMO, rice free bread mix and it is delicious. Being gluten free really is easy if you just eliminate and try not to replace. We only have bread for lunches. Breakfast is eggs, fruit, GF oatmeal and dinners are usually a meat and two veggies. It works for us. Good luck!

        • Jennifer – Totally agree with you! Replace items and mix a GF diet with Paleo or Raw. Works for us too!

    • I’m confused. Chris’ article states ” Hashmioto’s… is primarily a Th1 dominant condition. … in Th1-dominant conditions, the Th2 system is suppressed. … When the Th2 system is severely depressed, the body’s ability to produce antibodies is impaired.”

      My understanding is that with Hashis, it is the opposite; that the antibody levels are actually elevated. Therefore, how does a depressed Th2 system produce elevated levels of antibodies? Even on my own labs report, where it indicates elevated aPeroxidase antibodies (with the regular thyroid hormones all within range), the report goes on to say that this is “indicative of Hashimotos”.

      Also, for the record, I have been totally, vigilantly gluten free for about three or four years now (eg, don’t even eat foods that have been manufactured in facilities that process gluten-containing foods), and my aPeroxidase is higher than it was in 2010 when I was eating gluten copiously.

      There is more to Hashis than getting off gluten.

      • NB: I’ve just discovered the benefits of low dose naltrexrone for autoimmune conditions. Will report back on labs after trying it. It sounds amazingly effective for Hashis.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s last summer. I had the food sensitivity test done and found that I have sensitivities to dairy and eggs, but not gluten. On my doc’s suggestion I cut all three from my diet and 3.5 months later my anti-thyroid antibody had gone from high to below detectable limits. I can’t say that cutting the gluten was the key to my success, but I am glad with the outcome and don’t feel I need the scientific proof at this point.

    • Sorry to hear those of you who have a disease,I’ve been tested 3 times iam gluten intolerant no celiac Thank God!! I’m having trouble staying 100% gluten free &on the levo for my thyroid malfunction . I recently had emergency appendectomy @ 48 yrs old ….makes me wonder if gluten played any part in my appendix just shutting down???

    • Thanks for writing your update Liz, it is helpful for those seeking alternatives vs medicine.

    • Yes, just make sure they are marked as gluten-free oats. Oat do not naturally contain gluten,but they are frequently grown in rotation with wheat, so some wheat ends up with the oats. If you can find gluten-free oats, they will have been grown separately and then they are safe on a gluten-free diet. They are still a grain, but at least they don’t contain gluten.

      • Just make sure to READ the packaging as some GF oats are processed on the same equipment as wheat/barley products so cross contamination will occur.

  10. I have just finished reading an article by Sara, The Heathly Home Economist about the fact that wheat crops are sprayed with Round-up (“thank you” Monsanto for another health destroying product!!!) to excellerate the the dying, production, and harvest of wheat. And that this poisoning of the wheat crop just before harvest may be an even bigger contributor to the decline of our health than gluten. I hope someone will comment on this as well.

    • GMO wheat can tolerate roundup and I believe it is the GMO foods and GMO gluten foods causing auto immune attacks.

      • According to Wikipedia, our country doesn’t have any GMO wheat. What does everyone think of that? I was surprised and skeptical. They are not considering Round Up or hybrid species GMO, is that the problem?

    • I too have read the article by Sara the “Healthy” Home Economist. It is not true that wheat in the US is sprayed with Roundup before harvest. Roundup ready seed is designed to withstand spraying early in the growing cycle, NOT before harvest. This is typical for uneducated bloggers who write without researching. This woman
      Nor the people who worship her have ever gone to our US farms during harvest of hard red winter wheat and actually witnessed spraying during the harvesting process. Having spent my entire life around wheat harvest I have yet to see one sprayer involved in the pre-harvest or harvest process. Hard red winter wheat will not survive Roundup once the wheat heads out and the weather warms. Do your research and that doesn’t mean reading blogs. Anyone can blog but that doesn’t mean their information is accurate or correct. I challenge you if you really want to learn about how wheat is grown and harvested, visit a wheat farm and learn from a farmer. Don’t take a radical blogger’s word for it. She truly believes farmers are getting rich and if I remember correctly, suggested farmers just want to buy a new pickup each year! If farming were that profitable, manyore would be doing it, I assure you!

  11. Bread can be healthy or unhealthy or maybe it varies on a case by case basis. Maybe we don’t know enough. I don’t know the answer, so I am going to sit on the sidelines not eating bread as nutritionists tell everyone that their gluten issues “may not” exist.

    • Look into the past and how your families were raised – we ate bread…..with every meal…and it was usually homemade, yes? Not prepackaged you-can-use-two-weeks-after-expiration-date-on-the-label. But not all gluten issues are “allergies” and even on broad brush strokes….”sensitivities”. It’s how YOUR body/immune system chooses to use the items you are eating. You need to do the research and educate yourself. The food manufacturers have changed the way they are processing. It’s a business – they need to make money and if it’s going cheaply to make the bottom lines finance numbers, we as consumers suffer. I am lucky enough to have a health professional to explain the “science” behind it all. My immune system is attacking antibodies with the same chemical make up as what the thyroid produces so I need to “retrain” my system. So while I am not gluten sensitive or allergic, it’s what I need to do. And one thing to keep in mind, what works for some may not work for others. Again, you need to do what’s best for YOU. Not all health professionals have your best interests at heart…..they only go by what they have been trained and refuse to look outside the box. If you diverge from their “training”, they don’t want bothered with you. Educate yourself and do what’s best for you.

      • I absolutely agree that you need to educate yourself about yourself and your own issues. Even the most dedicated health professional is seeing up to 100 patients a week, sometimes more, and if you rely on him (or her!) entirely, you will be at a disadvantage.

        Read, research and manage – management training says that if you can’t measure, you can’t manage so find ways to measure and record what is happening to you. if you can’t afford the tests, record symptoms and develop a system, 10 for extreme pain, 1 for almost no pain etc. Brain fog – not coping at all -10 coping very well – 1.

        Record it all – what supplements and dosages, slip ups with gluten that you know about and the results, (helps when you slip up because somebody put breadcrumbs in the meatballs that you thought were gluten free) etc. It’s YOUR life, YOUR body and YOU are the Chairman of the board! Good Luck

  12. i just heard of this connection the other day. I’ve been taking thyroid medication for 27 years. I just recently figured out I was gluten intolerant. I can look back over my life time and see the gastric distress I have lived with. I’ve been gluten free for about a month and no longer look like I’m pregnant. I’m amazed.

  13. Has anyone (including Chris!) actually read the studies that are supposedly supporting the gluten/thyroid connection? Studies 1 and 2 were small studies that suggested the incidence was about 5%; studies 3 and 4 do not focus on gluten/were not designed to evaluate the connection; and study 5 was designed to evaluate the incidence of thyroid disease in those with celiac NOT vice versa. Sadly, these internet rumors/untruths spread like wildfire and most people who read these forums have no medical background to evaluate the validity of your research!

    • I’m sorry if I come off being rude! However I live this day in and day out! My family thinks I’m nuts bc I adhere to such a strict diet. I need articles like this to show my friends and family black and white proof of why I do what I do. Bc for me as I live this what is said here is 100% true and is gold! So please stop bashing and shut up. I cannot tell you the nights I have cried myself to sleep at first bc I was 23 and bed ridden with a newborn for 2 years and the drs didn’t know what was wrong with me then I find a dr who tells me the info presented here and my life is radically changed! I am alive again I hike and bike and play with my 3 kids everyday! But now I find myself crying bc I considered crazy and I’m attention seeking according to those I love them most. We who live this don’t need those who don’t to open your mouth in any negative way we get enough of that already! Thank you Chris for this wonderful piece of work!

      • Tessa – I’m glad that you feel better on a GF diet, but that doesn’t mean that everyone with thyroid disease needs to go gluten free. Fact is that lots of processed food has gluten in it – so are you feeling better because you gave up processed food (ie, white bread, white pasta, etc) or because you gave up gluten? Most people in this country eat way too many starchy foods, including bread, pasta, pizza, and so you are bound to feel better when you incorporate more vegetables and whole foods that aren’t simply empty calories. Sorry, the science still does not validate what Chris proposes and he cites articles that **do not** back his claims – try reading the studies! His article would be torn to shreds if he attempted to publish in any medical journal.

        • I too have my life change after cutting gluten from my diet. What came first… the undiagnosed gluten allergy or the autoimmune thyroid problem? I don’t really care because I have my life back. My thyroid problem didn’t improve in the least but I do know now that I don’t look like I’m on death’s doorstep. I looked and felt like I was on chemo at my worst and it was all due to gluten!

          I personally believe that the because the gluten protein is harder to break down is what starts the gluten auto-immune attack. When the weakened stomach acids caused by thyroid disease start failing to break down complex proteins and the gut gets irritated and inflamed causing leaky gut… then the real problem begins. These undigested proteins pass the gut barrier and the body mounts the attack to these invaders as they flood the blood stream. I believe Chris takes it further with the theory that circulating thyroid hormones are similar in molecular structure to gluten and the thyroid gets targeted by the bodies immune system by mistake… not sure what is the truth but its an interesting theory.

          My recovery has nothing whatsoever to do with me stopping processed foods or eating differently other than cutting gluten. I am and have been very diet conscious all my life. If I get one more idiot asking me where all us “gluten fanatics” were 5 years ago I am going to go postal on them.

        • You are right – not everyone needs to go gluten free who has a thyroid problem. And again you are right about internet rumors and untruths go viral and are misleading. But Chris makes spot on comments about the “connection” between certain autoimmune diseases and gluten and I truly think that was his point – the “connection”. My PCP’s and OB/gyne’s spent years telling me I was fat because I was lazy and didn’t want to exercise. Not one person took the time to run the correct blood tests until I went to my Chiropractor who not only found Hashimoto’s (confirmed by an endocrinologist) but found MS as well (confirmed by a Neurologist and Neurosurgeon). While you may think science isn’t backing up whatever studies and comments Chris is making…..look at the other side of the coin here. Has anyone looked up the side effects of Synthroid or why some endocrinologists want to remove your thyroid (or put you on radiation and chemo) and put you on hormone replacement treatments? I spent alot of time reading materials from every end of the world. There is definitely a “connection” where swelling/inflammation/water retention in the joints and gluten is concerned. While we have our own opinions on everything medical, please respect those who are living everyday with invisible diseases most know nothing about. We must be our own advocates because there are certain medical professionals who do not have our best interests at heart. They only look at the pharmaceutical companies so called research and studies that may fall into the same categories as you are accusing Chris of. Who knows what they are creating to sell drugs? But I do know what is working for me and that’s all I care about – fortunately Chris is bringing up very valid points and I could care less if it’s not science supported. I refuse to be prodded into using western meds that have worse side effects. I am 4 years into MS and am on no medications. I still have function in my legs – there are many people who are not and are wheel chair bound after 3 months of the injectables or following their neurologist drug of choice that week. Try a day in our shoes and I will guarantee you won’t get past the shoe strings. Opinions are like belly buttons – everyone has them. Please be respectful.

          • Thank you for that comment, I come from a family with auto-immune issues, hashimotos, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjorgrens. We know that quite possibly the science is imperfect, we also know that cutting Gluten MAKES A DIFFERENCE to the way we feel, as a sufferer, and I mean sufferer, we find symptoms diminish and quality of life is improved. It really is worth a try, so if you are looking for proof, try your own experiment and record how you feel, it does take a while to feel the difference, and don’t replace gluten with processed “gluten Free” foods, do your homework with recipes etc. You have the rest of your life to live, and you need to be the manager of your own health. Good luck and God Speed.

          • Thank you for your insight.
            I am just starting to research this. Today, I explained to my family that my doctor recommended me to go gluten free because of my Hashimoto’s , they all critisized me and told me to get a differnet doctor. She also wants to treat me with LDN (low dose naltrexone).
            Reading through some these comments can be a bit discouraging. But your comments helped. Thank you again.

        • Why are you making an argument for gluten consumption? Why should anyone on the planet other than wheat farmers (grow a more nutritious crop) and Monsanto care to promote gluten consumption?

        • I couldn’t agree with you more. The studies cited here actually show an extremely low incidence of gluten-intolerance among those with Hashimotos. Based on their numbers, conservatively 95% of Hashomotos sufferers do not have gluten sensitivity. The procesessed starch cannot be decouple from gluten easily, so by cutting out gluten one is cutting out starch, among other things. Flour and starch reek havoc on insulin and thus many hormonal and cell signalling pathways, and increase inflammation. If one has reduced symptoms due to reducing carbs by eliminating foods with gluten, it makes sense, but I would go on to eliminate all processed carbs including rice flour and potato flour (although not necessarily potatoes, as they are not processed nor are they grains). Bottom line is that a paleo diet is ideal because one eliminates all grains, potatoes and vegetables are the glucose source. My Hashimotos is definitely not linked to gluten intolerance–I have no gastro issues whatsoever, but I do have insulin resistance and therefore cannot eat processed carbs without gaining a ton of weight and experiencing high inflammation.

      • I lived in the US for many years and weighed 112 pounds. I shopped at wholefoods and everything I drank or ate was organic. My son would often cook dinner at his home and usually included white bread. I would look 6 months pregnant the next day. I often thought it was the bleach in the white bread causing this reaction so I stopped easting any white bread at my sons dinner parties. However I returned to the UK and found it increasingly difficult to buy organic meats eggs ,milk etc and so slacked off and lo and behold bloated stomach,20 pound weight gain,including a Hashimoto diagnosis. I stopped all gluten products which helped immensely but I still suffered. I thought that I was safe living in Scotland and that they did not allow GMO foods into our country. However I recently discovered that all the major supermarkets and small grocery stores were allowing GMO Fed animal products into their foods. i.e milk eggs etc. The animals eat GMO and we eat the animals. I stopped eating gluten and also any GMO riddled foods which is ALL processed foods especially corn maize etc which meant that my diet was mostly raw spinich salads avocado home made soups fruit I juice carrots and apples etc. Wow what a difference. I started losing weight and my symptoms disappeared. I have refused any meds since diagnosis four years ago and will never take them although I realize that most people need to take them. However it is my belief that it is the GMO developed foods that are causing the problem so just cutting out gluten wont do for some.. It is my strong opinion that it is not the gluten products that are causing the problem but the gluten produced products that have been genetically modified.I look and feel 10 younger. I am an acupuncturist and have seen a huge increase in IBS Crohns disease etc. Scientist have been warning us for years about GMO foods.. The FDA or government won’t hold your hand. We all have to educate ourselves and stop eating these products.

    • I appreciate that you don’t want to believe everything that you read on the internet – only a fool would, so why don’t you try it? Go cold turkey for six months on all things gluten, it really won’t kill you, although it will move you out of your comfort zone, as It has done to me. Then see how you feel, then comment. It has made a huge difference in my life, and, boy, DO I KNOW when I have eaten Gluten? Brain Fog, Cramps, aching joints, desperate to sleep and sleeping 9 hours a day instead of normal 7-8. Productivity declines, stress levels go up, I fight with my husband – (Irritability)

      Going gluten free is an easy choice for me. Won’t somebody out there do the studies so that the quality of life of so many people can be improved by something relatively simple. I stress again, YOU are responsible for your own health, you need to manage it and record it and listen to your body.

    • Dear Wendy,

      There are loads of studies of gluten and autoinmune diseases, psyatric diseases. They are all in Pubmed.

      I am not sure that all the doctors can diagnose coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity.

      The vast majority of the gluten intolerants are undiagnosed because the test aren’t sentitive or specific.

      Check the Logan’s Coeliac Iceberg.

    • I’d like to see the study that cites the molecular mimicry between gliadin and thyroid tissue?

        • You know, I have been searching the internet trying to find this, too. I’ve seen quite a few pages saying that gluten or gliadin mimic thyroid “tissue”. I don’t even know exactly what that means. Which exact molecules are they talking about? You can easily find a diagram of a gliadin molecule, but I don’t know what to compare it to. I really want to find this info to convince myself that this relationship really exists. I WANT this to be true, but have no details. Does anyone know exactly which thyroid molecule this relationship refers to?

          I have a friend with terrible hashimotos and want to tell her about a gluten free diet. But, I don’t want to do this if I’m just spreading myths from the rumor mill.

          • It is a myth—but tell your friend to try it anyway because apparently some people are getting placebo effect and think they have improvement due to that. I’m serious. Placebo can help. But as far as science? My doctor fell off his chair laughing. No there is no protein in the thyroid tissue that is just like gluten, and there has never— not once—been an accepted or reputable study that proves this.

            • kate, people’s experience is not a placebo effect. With regard to your need for studies, they may exist or they may not. Regardless, for every accurate study or advance in medicine, there have been plenty of inaccurate studies and practices. True advances in medicine have without exception been preceded by eons of ignorance at best, and more often harm. Many pharmaceuticals are pushed for years before being banned for detrimental health effects. Nevermind the side effects. We are learning constantly of unique physical features in individuals with previously undiagnosed disease states. There is no productive reason to state that others are delusional because they describe a different health and diet experience from yours.

          • Hi April – and Kate…

            I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and have been gluten-free for about a month now. I didn’t have any symptoms of Hashimoto’s so I can’t tell you that any pains or symptoms have gone away. Regardless, I feel pretty good on the gluten-free diet (minus the discouragement I feel from the non-believers and when I’m trying to make dinner plans). I will say that I’ve noticed recently I’m a little better at waking up in the early morning – I don’t know if it has any relation to the diet. Yes, I’ve lost weight (I already followed a pesacterian diet) but I also noticed my lower abdomen which was always kind of “puffy” has flattened – again, I didn’t have pain. It’s possible to be gluten-intolerant and not have stomach aches, but have inflammation (and I think this is something I never knew I had an issue with). I’ve read a lot of people saying that a gluten-free diet has helped them immensely. I’ve also read about the theory of the thyroid/gluten metabolic composition being the same – I’m not sure if that’s true – what I do know is that gluten, as well as soy and dairy, can be inflammatory. And, the immune system reacts to things our bodies don’t like. So, it makes sense to me that stopping consumption of foods that cause inflammation may help the immune system response. For me, with Hashimoto’s, my immune system is attacking my thyroid – maybe that is because my immune system is sending antibodies to fight my prior consumption of gluten/dairy/soy and my poor thyroid seems to be collateral damage. Of course, western medicine doctors are not going to tell you there’s a cure out there – and most people don’t want to live gluten-free anyway (or dairy-free, and you’d be surprised how much soy is “hidden” in food), when they make money by writing you prescriptions and having you come see them regularly for checkups on your progress. I’m looking into finding a homeopathic specialist before jumping on the synthetic hormones for the rest of my life – I’d rather give up gluten/dairy/soy than take synthetic meds forever and run the risk of things like osteoporosis, etc., but that’s just me. Your friend can find out if a gluten-free diet will help her 2 ways: 1., try it and see how she feels; 2., ask her doctor to test her for it (I believe it’s a stool sample test).

            Best wishes to all!
            -L.

            • I hear you about doctors–and I too am hopeful for alternative medicine. But, just think, scientifically—-how much sense does it make that a grain protein is “just like your thyroid?!” –and thus affects autoimmune attacks on your thyroid? Just sounds ludicrous–and whether or not you trust western medicine and doctors, there just are no “vetted” and credible studies proving gluten creates autoimmune thyroid attacks. Maybe gluten free, in some cases, helps hashimotos just because it can help your overall gut health or something. (unless of course you have Celiac, in which case, it really will help your Hashimotos and the rest of your body.) Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease. There are lots of autoimmune diseases. Diet doesn’t cure any of them–even if it helps.

              • Kate,
                Are you a scientist?

                Gluten can be inflammatory. What does your immune system do when there’s inflammation in your body? It sends a signal to your body to fight it off.

                The western medicine explanation of “we don’t know why the body attacks the thyroid” leaves me infuriated. If hypothyroidism is such a common disease, why don’t doctors want to know what causes it to try to prevent it and cure it. Why are they so comfortable with not knowing? Because it makes them money.

                The thyroid – unlike the brain – is a fairly simple body part. Come on!

                • Yes, in fact I am a scientist and come from a family of scientists. But that is immaterial. I have Hashimotos–or autoimmune thyroid disease as it is now being called. I agree with you that inflammation could affect Hashimotos–and exacerbate any disease process. My comment was focused on the theory that gluten proteins are the same as thyroid proteins–which is bunk. The inflammation theory? Absolutely valid. But then you have to realize that many things can cause inflammation–and what causes it varies among individuals. That is why there are valid studies showing Hashimotos improves on a gluten free diet for those with true celiac disease. But no valid studies that apply to those who do not have Celiac. As for there not being enough research into the cause of autoimmune thyroid disease? Well, there should always be more research. But it is one of many autoimmune disorders that seem to be on the increase —and I suspect when a cause is found for autoimmunity, there will be implications for all autoimmune disorders. BTW, one very popular theory, that has some evidence, is that autoimmune thyroid is triggered by past viral illnesses.

              • Kate, the assertion that something sounds ridiculous is scientific? Specific diets happen to work for specific people. There is no health reason people shouldn’t carefully use a diet that greatly enhances their wellness, making sure to get their essential nutrients in the process. Look at befores and afters, keeping in mind that many of these people ate a whole foods diet before, and apply standard measures of health like bad cholesterol levels, weight, blood sugar, and nutrient levels in diet. A good example on a similar diet is Terry Wahls. Presumably you would say that was coincidence. Whether grain-free diets don’t seem to provide benefit for you or you just don’t want to give up pasta is irrelevant if it works for others. If people were all in the same health state we would all need exactly the same diet, exercise, medicine.

    • The thing is, this isn’t dangerous advice. I first tried gluten free as a non-believer. I 100% did not expect it to work, I was just totally disabled and unable to live my life, so I tried out of desperation, just as I had tried many other things. It worked. When I decided it was just a coincidence and ate gluten again (two times), both times I suffered debilitating fatigue, aches, brain fog… that’s enough for me. If you can eat gluten and feel just fine, go for it. Others need to try anything safe to get their lives back, regardless of research.

  14. Hi, I am the author of the book titled, Teri’s Gluten-Free & Grain-Free Healthy Recipes. Grain-Free is much healthier than being just Gluten-Free. Also many of the gluten-free products you buy are full of sugars and other ingredients that are not that healthy. There are recipe books out there to help you.
    You don’t have to buy mine, but I would be happy if you do. (Smile)!

    Teri Paradiso

  15. First and foremost, I would like to thank you for putting this information on the web, it has acted as my bible when it comes to thyroid treatment and I recommend it to anyone who is seeking to get better. Secondly, I just wanted to ask a questions and explain my situation as I am very desperate. I showed signs of thyroid problems since about 6th grade, but it never got terribly out of control until I got pregnant with my first child. It has been about 3 1/2 years, and I don’t know what else to do to get better. I have switched from levothyroxine to naturethroid, and although there was a little difference since I was bed-bound totally before, I still have a lot of fatigue and it is terrible. I didn’t react to t3 in a bad way, so it leads me to believe that it is not adrenal fatigue. I cannot get any testing besides TSH from my doctor, and they will not do a referral and have been quite unsupportive despite me begging them to help me in some way. I know I have a slim chance of being replied to since this article is years old, but figured I would try to reach out. I just turned 22 and hate that I am physically in such horrible shape. I know that you can’t really offer health advice or anything, but if there is any way that you could refer me to possible explanations or resources that I could look into. The only testing that I have had done was for my pregnancy, which was all normal besides my red cell distribution width, which by itself is not a bad thing. Any information is appreciated and thank you. I hate trying to guess at things, but am trying to find a doctor who will help to somehow get me better. I just don’t even know where to start. Oh and years ago I did have my Free t3 and FT4 tested and they were both within normal guidelines.

    • I am a doctor myself. I say find a new primary if your ins requires a referral. If it’s a PPO u most likely do not need a referral. Another option is to find an endocrinologist You like and they can send a letter to your primary asking for a referral. By law your primary has to send you. They can not prevent you from seeing a specialist. If so they are practicing outside of their scope of practice. Get your tests and your results. You can’t treat something completely unless you have a correct diagnosis. Good luck!

      • JJ, how can we get in touch? I live in eastern Washington and I do not believe that there is any knowledge here.

    • Dear Cassandra, I am very sorry to hear about your plight. Although I’ve just started to unravel the surface of health issues regarding gluten intolerance, still I can’t help myself but advice you to Google “Dr. William Davis”. He is a practicing cardiac surgeon in Milwaukee who has produced a best seller book named “Wheat Belly” & simultaneously treated thousands of his patients. Since I myself am facing issues like hypothyroidism (don’t know which one!) & autoimmune disease called ankylosing spondylitis & a host of other related health issues I can completely understand what you are going through.

      Good luck for your search!

      Disclaimer : I’ve never met him but have researched his findings to my hearts content.

    • hi Cassandra I to struggle on a daily basis with an autoimmune disorder hasimotos and struggle to find a dr. who truly understands this disease and who doesn’t blow me off, I am so confused at all this diff research on to avoid or not to avoid gluten! anyway I hear YOUR pain and struggle and thought id reach out and possibly we can be email support buddies!? just let me know! because I know how frustrating and alone a person who deals with this can be…

      • Thank you all. Sorry it’s been a while, I just was going through my emails. And yes B, we could def help each other out through emailing. I am hoping to find another doctor who will refer me to an endocrinologist since this past one that I had would not. I did not know hat they had to refer you of you asked. Thank you jj. They said that mine wasn’t bad enough to go to an endocrinologist. I don’t understand how someone can say that just by TSH. I talked to a nurse practitioner when I asked if I could please get my free t3 taken. She said I didn’t even have it , even though I was diagnosed years ago. It’s just been a mess and most of the people that I have seen are not knowledgeable about thyroid conditions at all. It does not make sense how so many do not know anything about it. I assume I have hashis since I used to go through hyper and hypo switches (was even wrongly diagnosed as bipolar until I went fully hypo about 4 years ago)

        • (Didnt finish my last comment before pushing send). But I don’t even fully 100% know because no one will test me since “we treat it the same”. Although getting to the bottom of why we’re having these problems is very important. At least to me. Then people would know that they 100% need to cut out gluten (even though it’s bad for nearly everyone) if they knew this information. So although they do treat it the same technically, there are still many lifestyle changes that people with hashimotos need to do. I still hate saying that I have it, even though I am 99% sure that I do, I still hate feeling that I am guessing and the uncertainty of it. Anyways though, thank you all for your input and help to direct me. It has been very difficult and I am still having a rough time. Thank you very much. And I have taken both synthroid and naturethroid, and nothing has really helped. I actually feel worse even taking the naturethroid, which doesn’t make muhch sense.

    • Have you tried Hashimoto’s 411 website and Facebook chatroom, and read Kharrazian for ideas on treatment and health approaches? And I would use testing as additional info, and go mainly by how I feel longterm. Hope you feel better soon!

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