The Gluten-Thyroid Connection | Chris Kresser

The Gluten-Thyroid Connection

by Chris Kresser

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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 have been trying to eat gluten free, one problem, my favorite balsamic salad dressing from whole foods has wheat in it.
    It is refrigerated but has fish in it so I suppose the wheat is to somehow stabilize the fish.
    I love this dressing so much it makes me want to eat salads, I’ve given it up in the past and just miss it too much.
    How much wheat can really be it there and can that small amount matter?
    I have had my thyroid tested, always comes back fine but I am suspicious.

    • Try making your own salad dressing without fish (!) or gluten (!). I always get surprised how Americans think salad dressing is something that comes in a bottle from a store. You can very simply make balsamic dressing with a good balsamic vinegar, oliv oil, salt herbs and some dijon mustard if you like that. C’est tout!

  2. I have Hashimotos. I have been gluten free for 6 months and notice no difference. I do, however, believe that gluten has a direct correlation to thyroid health. I’m very thin (which is odd for hypothyroid) suffer from hair loss, poor memory and acne. I thought that my thyroid disease was a result of hormone imbalance, however when tested all my levels came back normal with the exception of my DHT. I eat very healthy- no processed foods, no sugar, minimal dairy, only spring water. So what gives? How can I get my memory and hair back? I know that its possible because when I was pregnant all symptoms went away- hair not only stopped shedding but grew back in the receding areas. Any suggestions are appreciated

    • Hi Lizzie,
      I too was diagnosed about 12 years ago with Hashimoto’s and have been on a slow course to recovery. You are absolutely right on several “key” points. First off and foremost know “your” numbers. I have been very blessed to have a wonderful GP who encourages seeking natural remedies over pharmaceuticals. That being said the real reality check for me was when I was referred to a holistic nutritionist who revealed all of my numbers, specific to me, for most of us struggling with this condition it does require a significant lifestyle change, your have to be able & willing to look inside of yourself & have the strength to make the necessary changes required for the overall health & well being of yourself. No one can do this for you but you. All for the better I assure you. In addition to lifestyle changes, Stress management is key, relaxation, quality time with family & friends, moderate excercise, & yoga are just a few of my go too’s. You must must must excercise & yes sweat to remove the toxins from your body don’t expect any miracle pills or cures here. What you will discover besides a whole new you is gentle, clean, happy, fulfilling living. Invest in yourself and the rest will fall into place. There are also some genetic factors which come into place especially with Hashimoto’s, I know my Mom had it but sadly was never treated. There are also many people in this world suffering with this condition who don’t have the means or the know how to make the change, we are truly blessed to be able to. Find a good quality nutritionist, get your numbers tested! understand exactly what your body is doing & what it is not. Don’t spend wasteless time diagnosing yourself without having the whole picture. Understand when you just go to the medical Dr. you are only getting 1 side of the picture. Here are just a few of the most important key adjustments I have made. Paleo & Meditteranean Diets interchangeably Gluten, Dairy & Soy free, Farm fresh eggs in moderation. Excercise, hiking, swimming, golf, biking, etc. whatever makes you happy. All natural good quality Fish oil, extra Vitamin C, D, good quality natural food based multi vitamin (keep your B vitamins up!), calcium, fiber, biotin, etc. no processed foods, avoid wheat, corn, soy, they are in all processed foods! if you must eat them in their natural state nothing processed. Remember the old adage “garbage in…garbage out” now live it. Natural is best & most important repeat after me “I am calm, I am focused, I am centered. Namaste.

      • Thank you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate all of your great input. I do need to get back to meditation and yoga. I agree, it makes a whole difference. Best to you.

        • I am like you with my diet, but it wasn’t enough, so I got my gut biome sequenced (Ubiome, $89). I found out that I was very low on the bacteria that facilitates mucus production (akkermansia mucosa). I have raised my levels of it through diet and supplements, and although I am not yet out of the woods, I feel very much better. I even (very slowly) cut back my asthma medicine by 25% with no ill effects. Also, you might consider eating onions every day. They are a much-overlooked miracle food. Good luck.

    • Hi Lizzie,

      Have you had your iodine levels checked? Your symptoms sound similar to mine and my iodine levels were severely deficient. I now take a supplement and get tested to keep an eye on my levels. It makes a world of difference. I had cystic acne along my jawline/chin area and it completely went away after taking supplements. I would not suggest taking supplements without being tested first as taking too much iodline can be toxic. Best wishes!

      • Thank you so much for your reply. I have asked both my primary and endocrinologist to test my iodine levels and both refused. It’s so difficult to find a proactive and thorough doctor! I also wanted to see if I have high Candida levels as I’ve read my symtoms also correlate to excessive amounts of candida. Still on the search for a good dr in the central nj area! Thanks again. I will be adamant at my next visit for an iodine test.

        • If it’s not too far from central NJ, you could try a consultation with Dr. Jodie Katz, MD, in Ridgewood. She practices Integrative medicine/functional medicine. She doesn’t replace a primary nor an endocrinologist, but adds a different perspective.

          • I really appreciate you both taking the time to reply. I will look into both Jodie Katz and Chris Butler. Im willing to drive any distance for a good dr.

        • Hi

          I have had hashimotos for YEARS. Never accepted my doctors diagnosis and only recently found the connection between gluten and autimmune disease. I only even thought to put them together when i decided to stop eating gluten as it caused tummy problems, and found that my symptoms from hashimotos significantly decreased! Even more so lately now that I have started making my own Coconut Milk Kefir to fix my gut from all those years of abuse. I really believe there is something to this and can’t wait to go check my thyroid levels with my arrogant doctor who doesnt “believe in natural medicine”. Trust me about the kefir.
          Best of luck!

  3. I’m just curious how many people are actually reading these studies:

    1. Of the 83 patients, three asymptomatic coeliac patients were found, and one patient with coeliac disease previously diagnosed, an overall frequency of 4.8%. In addition, 25 patients with a solitary nodule of the thyroid gland were examined and one of them (4%) was found to have coeliac disease.

    Very low.

    2. Twenty two patients (5.5 per cent) with autoimmune thyroiditis had positive antigliadin antibodies. Polyglandular endocrine syndrome was diagnosed in most of these patients.

    Low

    3. Anti-endomysium antibodies were positive in five of 152 autoimmune thyroid disease patients (3.3%) and coeliac disease was histologically confirmed in all: this prevalence is 10-fold higher than expected. Only one patient presented with gastrointestinal complaints, but iron deficiency was found in three and alterations at bone mineralometry in all. The overall prevalence of autoimmune thyroid diseases was significantly higher (38/185, 20.5%) in coeliac patients than in controls (19/170, 11.2%). The prevalence of both hypo- and hyperthyroidism was not different from that of controls, while the prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease with euthyroidism was 13% in patients and 4.7% in controls.

    Again, very low. Anti-endomysium antibodies were only found in five of the 152 autoimmune thyroid disease patients. Of them – all had celiac disease, which isn’t surprising. What this study says to me is that those with confirmed celiac disease have a prevalence for thyroid disease, not the other way around.

    4. Of 803 subjects, 440 came from families with more than one patient with documented AITD. Of these families, 33% had documented cases of both Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Although the subjects were in self-proclaimed good health, 3.6% were found to have hypothyroidism (overt disease in 1.3%) and 1.9% had hyperthyroidism (overt disease in 0.4%). These patients were older than the euthyroid subjects and were mostly positive for thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies. Oestrogen use was associated with a lower rate of hyperthyroidism [relative risk (RR) 0.169; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06-0.52], whereas having been pregnant was associated with a higher relative risk for hyperthyroidism (RR 6.88; 95% CI 1.50-30.96). Of the 759 euthyroid subjects, 24% had TPO antibodies. Smoking and oestrogen use were negatively correlated with the presence of TPO antibodies. In the euthyroid subjects, TPO antibody titre correlated positively with TSH levels (r = 0.386; P < 0.001).

    Not sure where you're referencing gluten in this particular study. The results do not mention anything about gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or its relationship to thyroid dysfunction, more or less. The focus of this study seems to be mostly on genetics.

    5. Autoimmune thyroid disease was observed in 13.9% of celiac patients and in 2.1% of controls (P = 0.0005); and subclinical disease in 10.1% and 3.3%, respectively (P = 0.048). The mean thyroid gland volume was 8.3 ml in celiac patients and 10.4 ml in controls (P = 0.007).

    Thyroid disease confirmed in 13.9% of those with celiac disease, and even lower in the non-celiac controls. Still low, but again, celiac disease may lead to thyroid disease. But what if you don't have celiac disease? What if you have thyroid disease and you have no celiac disease? Celiac disease has very specific markers and also specific symptoms as well….

    I recently went on the paleo diet for three weeks. It's by far the worst diet I've ever done. I genuinely did not feel better. I've been following the protocol to the letter and everyday I feel worse. At the peak of trying it a second time, I went almost four days without a bowel movement. I have put on weight in my abdominal region. I suspect it's due to the massive amounts of red meat and fat. I was eating also a massive amount of vegetables and leafy greens as my paleo "meal plan" had.

    After three weeks of doing the paleo diet, spending lots of money on food, time in the kitchen, and stress with avoiding temptation – I decided to stop doing it two days ago. I enjoyed a lovely meal consisting of tomatoes, curry, yogurt, milk, lentils, rice, potatoes, and naan. All things that paleo experts tell me are so bad for me. But you know what else I had? Vegetables. Spinach. Ginger, garlic, cardamom, fennel and cloves. I felt amazingly better and didn't have that distended "food stagnation" like belly after eating like I did with every "paleo" meal that was recommended to me on my meal plan. More over, I didn't feel like I had immense anxiety at night and was able to sleep better. And the next day, I finally had a bowel movement.

    I know of other women who have been on this diet who have missed or irregular periods, sweating, hair falling out, dizziness anxiety and insomnia. I started noticing my thyroid symptoms worsen within a week of starting the paleo diet.

    While I don't doubt that reducing or going off of processed foods is a good idea, recommending that everyone completely go off gluten and/or grains as a pathway to health is fairly misguided. Not everyone with a thyroid condition is sensitive to gluten, and having someone go on such a severely restrictive diet because of cherry-picked data is actually doing them a disservice. I think it is worth a try going gluten free for a certain period of time, as well as dairy free, sugar free, nightshade free, grain free, bean free, nut free, seed free, etc to narrow down what kind of foods might be triggering symptoms. But if it doesn't make you feel any worse, and going off of it doesn't make you feel better – then why do it?

    As for the sensitivity to wheat products – don't forget that there's a whole lot more to bread than just gluten and carbohydrates. Processed bread has, among other things, dough conditioners, over-developed gluten, round-up, anti-fungals, mold, preservatives, bleaches, dyes. Have you been evaluating any studies that reference conditions related? Because if it is just gluten you are considering, then you are telling everyone around the world who has been eating bread for millenia that it is bad for them. You are telling that eighty year old man who has been milling wheat in his family for generations on a stone ground mill and preserves the germ and the grain, the baker who uses a slow-rising sour-dough process, developing those acids and beneficial enzymes, enhancing the digestive potential of the wheat grains, the farmer who grows the wheat using traditional agricultural methods – who enjoy bread with their meals and have been for generations – that based on your inconclusive data, the paleo diet is the way we were adapted to eat (except that is also not true).

    http://insider.si.edu/2011/01/starch-grains-found-on-neandertal-teeth-helps-debunk-theory-their-extinction-was-caused-by-dietary-deficiencies/

    The discovery of starch granules in the calculus on Neandertal teeth provides direct evidence that they made sophisticated, thoughtful food choices and ate more nutrient-rich plants, for example date palms, legumes and grains such as barley. Until now, anthropologists have hypothesized that Neandertals were outlived by early modern humans due in part to the former’s primitive, deficient diet, with some scientists arguing Neandertals’ diets were specialized for meat-eating. As such, during major climate swings Neandertals could be outcompeted by early humans who incorporated diverse plant foods available in the local environment into their diets.

    http://huntgatherlove.com/content/neanderthal-diets-included-some-grains

    Some of these grains included barley – which has gluten in it. Barley is also loaded with fiber, B vitamins, copper, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin selenium (which thyroid patients NEED). It also improves insulin resistance in women, which can in turn lower PCOS, lowers cholesterol and lipids in the blood. But forget that. Eat a burger doused in animal fat and wrap it in a piece of lettuce, because that's healthier (but oh no do not put a piece of cheese on it!).

    I have an autoimmune thyroid condition. You know what helped me? Going off of sugar and processed foods/grains/soy. Fermented dairy, not processed/homogenized. Eating greens, vegetables, bone broths, lentils, beans, soups, and fruits.

    You know what didn't help me? The paleo diet. I went on it for two weeks. I felt terrible and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I was supposed to be on it for a month, but I felt so terrible that I couldn't wait that long.

    I'm telling you – that first piece of bread I had was like breathing life into my body. I did not feel any digestive discomfort or did I feel my thyroid symptoms worsen. In fact, the next day, I had more energy. Now, if I were to eat nothing but bread and potatoes and no vegetables I'm sure I'd feel pretty terrible, but bread offers a lot of good quality nutrients in the context of a diet balanced heavily with vegetables and whole foods.

    I'm sure the paleo diet works really well for many people. But I'm not convinced it's for me. Thank you.

    • thank you for this comment! Its always good to look closer at the studies.
      I am just starting to try to look into eating differently and so much is saying to go gluten free to help my thyroid.
      I know I would a lot more hangry if i just ate meat and vegetables. A lot of gluten free products are made with rice or nuts/coconuts which I have known reactions to.
      I think sugar and processed foods hurt me a lot more then gluten so I am going to try to focus on that.

      • Hi Amy:

        I agree with you about sugar — it’s absolutely TERRIBLE for you. However…

        Gluten is not in all grains so you wouldn’t have to eat only meat and veggies. I was a vegetarian before ever deciding to go gluten-free. It’s really a matter of how badly you want to get better versus how badly you want to eat white bread…

        If you have some kind of reaction to coconut or rice, you can find or use other types of flour to make bread or to use in place of breads (tapioca, almond, GF oats, corn, quinoa for example). I’m currently grain-free, per doctor’s orders, as well as dairy-free. He said “we can always add things back in” but, basically, right now we have to try to determine what is triggering the autoimmune response so we know what absolutely must be eliminated. It hasn’t been the easiest thing to adjust to =- and to be honest, I’ve considered reintroducing a limited amount of meat into my diet — but I’m finding it a lot easier to adjusting to the idea of being on meds for the rest of my life – especially meds that cause or fail to alleviate symptoms.

        I have found some awesome gluten-free recipes, even a mug cake recipe that helps alleviate my sweet tooth (maple syrup instead of sugar or artificial sweetener).

        Don’t forget to eat fruit, nuts, and beans. Pinterest and Instagram are great resources for meal ideas.

        -Be well

        • Dear Lisa Anita, I cannot believe your doctor! So he/she actually said that a food elimination is what is needed to determine the cause of your autoimmune response? As if food is the only possible trigger of autoimmune response? Actually, most experts on this topic say triggers of autoimmune are past exposures to viruses including Epstein bar and exposure to chemicals, and in some cases genetics—but never heard of a true expert saying food is a trigger–unless of course someone has actual celiac disease.

          • Hi Kate,

            Short answer: No.

            Long answer: I chose to give up gluten in October (a few days after I was ~incorrectly~ diagnosed with hypothyroidism) after doing my own research and decided to find a doctor that had knowledge in alternative or functional medicine because my goal is to put my Hashimoto’s into remission (which Big Pharma has no interest in, and unfortunately Western Medicine doctors are just not trained on). I had a phenomenal endocrine surgeon practically scoff at me when I told him about the research I had come across. Then I found my current doctor (who is a D.O.) and saw him in mid-December. Before telling him about my choice to go gluten-free, he told me to eliminate gluten and dairy, as those proteins cause a breakdown of the intestines, known as leaky gut. It was clear to him that I had this condition based on a terrible outbreak of thrush that landed me in the hospital in early October. This was my first appointment with him. He suggested I stay away from grains, temporarily, since we do not currently know what exactly is causing the trigger, and we can always add food back in later that is not causing the trigger. It’s like saying “Mosquitoes may be attracted to my favorite lotion that I was wearing the other day when I got 20 bites, so for right now, I’m not going to use my favorite lotion. And if I go out and don’t wear the lotion and don’t get bitten, maybe that tells me I should wait until winter, when the mosquitoes are gone to wear the lotion out again.” (Take it for what it’s worth; don’t overthink it.) It’s going to be a process — in other words, it’s going to take some time to determine what my trigger(s) is/are. My doctor also had me do multiple tests (of both blood and urine) which will look at food sensitivities, insulin, hormones that haven’t been tested, reverse T3, organic acids, and more than I can’t think of off the top of my head.

            I actually just got home from a Autoimmune seminar given by a doctor. He said that almost all autoimmune cases are triggered by several things. not just one. And, there are SEVERAL triggers, not just food allergies/sensitivities. Triggers are either stressors (like bad blood sugar, chronic inflammation from poor diet, hormone imbalances, low vitamin D, low glutathione) or invaders (like environmental toxins, chronic infections, food sensitivities, leaky guy).

            We all know that what we put into and onto our bodies matters. We know that fruits, veggies, nuts, and beans are generally good for us (unless you have an allergy). We all know smoking and drinking alcohol or sugary drinks or eating sugary foods is bad for us. What some people don’t think about is how much food/drink consumption affects our bodies. The majority of our immune system is in our guts. That is why alternative and functional doctors take such a big interest in it.

            Everyone’s triggers are different. My triggers may turn out to be corn and soy and high cortisol. And, the next Hashimoto’s patient may be gluten and vitamin D deficiency. The important thing is to figure out what it is, eliminate it, get your gut healthy, and go back to living your normal life. Or, you can just take meds the rest of your life and deal with the onslaught of symptoms and the worsening of symptoms. But, know this: an autoimmune disorder is not only going to attack one thing; it’s going to keep going and attack more and more and more, and eventually, it attacks your brain. Cancer is an autoimmune problem.

            So, Kate, I apologize if I missed it here, but what is your story? You seem to be very against giving up gluten or any type of alternative/functional treatment, for that matter. Do you work for Big Pharma or in the medical field?

            • You have some really good information in your post. Actually, you are saying exactly what I am saying, inasmuch as that there are probably many causes of autoimmune disease and the causes are different for different individuals. That’s my position. My only goal is to seek accuracy and valid science. I have to admit, I am kind of bugged by the gluten hysteria that has become trendy and touted by Hollywood types. I certainly believe gluten is a villain for some–but certainly not for everyone. I do disagree with your position that all autoimmune disease “keeps on going and going and gets to your brain.” I don’t know where you got that information, but in my work at a medical clinic I had access to longitudinal studies and information on autoimmune thyroid patients over time. Although some may go on to get some other autoimmune problem, the vast majority go through their lives with just the thyroid attack–nothing else. Most that go on to even have their thyroid completely destroyed by autoimmune attack still have no other autoimmune disease.

              • Kate,
                Thank you — now you have identified the problem with your objections/denial to treating thyroid issues in any way other than what you’re comfortable with — you are very stuck in your Western medicine ideals.

                Let me be clear, I’m not here for your approval. I have nothing to prove to you. Are you even a thyroid patient looking for treatment options or are you just a med student that doesn’t want to hear anything that doesn’t support the teachings of your expensive education?

                The information I’ve shared I’ve gotten from a D.O., who has helped diabetics and Hasimoto’s patients get off meds, and a board certified chiropractic physician, who has helped several people specifically identify their triggers and alleviate their symptoms (after Western medicine doctors couldn’t).

                A lot of autoimmune cases go un-diagnosed so, although you may not have reports of thyroid-related patients having other AI issues, that doesn’t mean they didn’t have them. If you think your immune system can decide to only attack one part of the body and make sure the rest of the body doesn’t get affected, you should not be in healthcare. Cancer is an auto-immune problem and we all know how Cancer can start one place and spread all over the body – that’s the easiest example I can think of to break it down for you.

                When the anti-gluten trend started a few years ago, I admit, I looked into it and decided it wasn’t something I needed to do for myself at that time; it made sense for gluten-intolerant people. Just like I eat peanuts even though many people suffer with peanut allergies. Funny thing about allergies is that there are 4 different types (some cause instant reactions – for instance, if I eat a mango I get hives on my face, and if I wore nickel jewelry when I was 5, I got an ear infection — some the reactions are only apparent over time – and it’s very possible that is what happened with me and gluten). I felt absolutely fine, energetic, no stomach issues, etc., but when I was diagnosed and read that a lot of people gave up gluten in conjunction with thyroid issues and got better, I figured I had to give it a try. As it turns out, it is most likely what had caused me to carry weight in my lower abdomen for years, that I could just never get rid of, though I ate healthy and worked out regularly. Gluten really doesn’t do much for you, anyway. We know that. We know that wheat = carbs => sugar => fat. If you want to eat gluten, be my guest; it’s not my AI system that’s being affected by you eating gluten. I never dropped weight so fast as I did what I stopped gluten. I worked out a total of 2 times between October – December and was down 16 lbs (150lb –> 134 lbs), just by cutting gluten.

                I don’t believe that all Hashimoto’s patients are gluten-intolerant, but it seems like ditching the gluten has shown improvements for mostly everyone that has tried it. **The important things is to identify your triggers** and it seems like gluten is a trigger for a lot of people, which makes sense to me because it seems like it’s something that people maybe should’ve never really started eating to begin with…

                Same with dairy — do you know that people are naturally lactose-intolerant? That’s why you don’t give newborns dairy and have to introduce it to them… and why some babies need things like Similac, etc. Our stomachs are not meant to digest dairy and it’s also known to cause other issues such as acne. But no one wants to hear that they shouldn’t eat cheese anymore!

                How can you say it doesn’t mess with your brain when some of the common symptoms of thyroid issues are “brain fog”, headaches, anxiety, depression, cold hands and feet — that’s a nervous system (aka neurological) problem!!

                Remember this: Big Pharma has a big hand in healthcare. They fund the medical research for traditional healthcare provider education and persuade doctors to use their products. Big Pharma is interested in money, not in curing patients. If people weren’t sick, Big Pharma would be out of business, as would many doctors.

                • I am concerned that you will seriously mislead people with irresponsible comments you made –including you saying autoimmune attacks always “keep on going” until they damage your brain?!! This is provably not true and you could seriously upset someone who would believe you. And you have no right to personally attack me and accuse me of being a “medical student” and make all kinds of (false) accusations based on no evidence. But I guess that just proves what YOUR problem is–you make all kinds of major judgments based on zero evidence! Guess that probably carries over to your health ideas too. So just because I worked for a medical clinic and had access to info that is more than the few anecdotal stories you base your ideas on, that makes me “the enemy?” If I didn’t simply have Hashimotos myself and am simply trying to decide what makes the most sense for treatment, why in the world would I or anyone even be ON this site? Would not a “medical student” as you paranoidly accuse me of being have more beneficial sites to spend time on than this one?

                • Kate,

                  I’m concerned you don’t read thoroughly… This is my last message in response to you. You don’t want help from real people and their EXPERIENCES; you want research (and you don’t get that researchers are paid my drug companies). So it seems to me that you’re in the wrong place, and frankly, that you’re trolling here.

                  The only thing I’ve accused you of is being close-minded to giving up gluten (regardless of so many people coming on here and saying how it has improved their situation). Again, you just want research. I asked whether you had Hashimoto’s because I don’t like to assume – you could have something else. Same with whether you were a med student – you mentioned having access so some kind of medical database, it wasn’t clear to me. Frankly, I’m not all that interested in you at this point, after the way you’ve conducted yourself on this forum. I was trying to understand where you were coming from and why you might think the way that you seem to think.

                  I explained why I said that AI disorders affect the brain and it makes total sense. Do you realize your brain is connected to the rest of your body? Go back and read my previous post, if you actually want to learn something here.

                  Calling me “judgmental” – ha! I originally came on here to see what people had to say about gluten (it’s the gluten-thyroid connection, for God sake) and see if it had helped more people than those had written blogs and articles about it. I was also looking for support — I was devastated to find out I had Hypothyroidism, and probably even more devastated to find out it was actually Hashimoto’s. Medical providers were all telling me “there’s nothing you can do, so take a pill the rest of your life, oh yeh and your hair may fall out, but basically you’re ‘looking forward’ to a lifetime of misery”. I decided I wasn’t going to accept that as an answer and I was going to seek more info and AT THE VERY LEAST, TRY other methods — methods that have worked for real people. And as I’ve learned more, and seen more AI newbies like myself come here, I’ve chosen to share what I’ve learned. There are tons of sites/blogs/books, etc out there with info on this – it the different between following traditional medicine versus alternative medicine — they’re very different.

                  So, no evidence? I have been explicit in giving my sources when I can (they’re usually doctors who are interested in finding the patient’s AI trigger and helping put the disorder into remission) or, in some posts, I have even gone as far to say that I don’t know how trustworthy a source was, but I had read XYZ… Anyone on here has a brain of their own and will decide from what they read, what they want to do with the information. I have said many times “This is what I do, but… you should find a D.O. that specializes in treating/reversing your AI disorder”. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be – do you see me signing my posts with “M.D.” after my name? Anyway, this site does not allow me to post actual links to the articles I’ve come across, but again, anyone on here has a brain and can take what I’ve said and Google their little hearts away to see what they come across and decide if they feel the info is trustworthy or anything that they’re even interested in. Obviously, anyone on here is not getting enough help from traditional medicine – right?! So, do you think I’m making this info up out of thin air?! Is this YOUR only resource? If you’re waiting for researchers to come up with a cure, maybe your Hashimoto’s has gone to your brain.

                  Kate, sincerely, I wish you the best. And I hope you find out what your trigger(s) is/are, and even more sincerely, I hope gluten is not one of them. I also hope YOU are not discouraging those who actually DO have a gluten trigger, with your doubts, from giving it up and improving their lives.

                  Take care.

                • I have Hashimotos with 1500 plus antibodies. I tried gluten free for years, but it did not work for me. That does not mean it could not work for someone else. I’d like to try calorie restriction and wonder if anyone else has heard of this? There is some research that indicates it can stop the autoimmune response. However, I am doing great on synthroid right now. Sometimes, high antibodies don’t correlate with disease severity. In case it encourages anyone — I have suffered no “brain” effects from Hashimotos. My work requires a highly functioning brain, and if anything, I am doing better than before I got Hashimotos. Lisa Anita, I do wish you the best, but how about in future to leave off personal comments, suppositions and attacks? I simply started on here expressing opinions and info about the topics alone–then you made it personal. It is much better to just talk about the ideas alone–and not get into making personal comments about strangers.

                • Thank you so much for that Lisa Anita.

                  Brain fog, dizziness, feeling uneasy, shaky hands, cold extremities, bloated stomach, rapid heart rate and constipation… these are just a few symptoms I have been experiencing over the past year and have still gotten nowhere with “General Physicians” and the others I’ve been referred to, neurologist, cardiologist and STILL waiting for an ENT.

                  The naturopathic way, is so far the only method which has come close to healing my obviously confused body. It literally feels like I’m out of body everyday of my life and the doctors will not send me for any more CT scans. They classify me healthy and shoo me away with aspirin or advil.

                  I have had to do my own research, and now I am trying an elimination diet first with my naturopath before I go through more blood testing for other underlying problems I may have.

                  I can definitely say that I have felt better since cutting out the two things I responded quite clearly to in a bad way; milk and gluten. I’m still in a long journey to find out if there is a specific ingredient, say, yeast, wheat or barley… but all I know is that since I’ve cut out the basic foods, like bread (which I used to have only grainy and seedy) and crackers etc, as well as cheese or yogurt, I have felt way less bloating, or stomach upsets.

                  Brain fog and dizziness still occur, but there are many other areas I have yet to cover.

                  Any advice for brain cloudy/foggy feelings? Head tension and squeezing?

                • Hi Lisa,

                  Unlike Kate, my brain has been affected by Hashimotos. As my antibodies continue to increase, my memory gets poorer- its very scary. I have given up gluten and eat minimal dairy but unfortunately notice no difference. I eat very healthy- no processed foods, no sugar, spring water. I had my hormone levels tested with normal results with the exception of high DHT. What do you suggest may be my trigger? Ive been to 3 different endos and a homeopathic physician, all of which has been no help. You seem well educated on the topic so any suggestions you have are appreciated.

              • I have the feeling you find it difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Gluten destroyed my health, and getting off it sent my antibodies back to zero. Why wouldn’t I be “hysterical” about the danger posed by this substance? Had you had 21 years of your life taken from you, you might be “hysterical” too. BTW, I do agree that there are many causes of autoimmune disease, and the failure of allopathic medicine practitioners to even be aware of all those causes, is a subtle form of malpractice.

                • Ed Arnold,

                  Thank you SO MUCH for sharing… My antibodies were at 70 when it was checked in November, and I’m told it should be less that 9… You’ve given me hope and it may sound funny, but even a little support, because some days especially it is still not very easy for me to be gluten free… Congrats to you!

                • You may be as hysterical as you wish about yourselves. Why would I care to disagree if you personally find gluten free helps you? That’s wonderful. But every individual is different. As many other commenters here have pointed out, gluten free does not work for everyone and there are no real “vetted” studies that prove this. Read other people’s comments here. There are many different experiences–not all like yours. You have every right to share your experience–but no right to make claims that what worked for you will work for all others. More important, my main concern is that LisaAnita is spreading false information that could harm someone ELSE who believes utter nonsense she spreads–I.E. “all autoimmune disease keeps on going and going and gets to your brain.” You two can congratulate yourselves right and left on ganging up on anyone who dares speak heresay against your cherished beliefs. But how can anyone in good conscience try to scare people with autoimmune disease by telling them it is going to keep on going and damage their brain? No evidence for that, but there is evidence of the opposite–that people with Hashimotos can “keep their brains intact” —whether they use that horrible big pharma, natural methods or none of the above. I personally want to find truth–I look at science, western medical and ALSO natural healing–as any reasonable open minded person would do.

              • I can, first hand, confirm that thyroid attacks your brain function. Since my TSH and antibodies have been elevated, my memory has become alarmingly poor. I’m only 35 and it is unnerving the state my memory/concentration is in. I have even seen a neurologist who has deemed it likely to be directly correlated to my thyroid health.

                • Hi Carina and Lizzie:

                  First, I’m so sorry to hear all that you both are dealing with, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and consider any of my posts. I’m fairly new to Hashimoto’s and have to admit, I was absolutely devastated with the diagnosis, and I’m determined to reverse it.

                  Since I tend to be long-winded, I’ll give a short answer and a long answer…

                  SHORT ANSWER: You have to figure out YOUR specific autoimmune triggers. I recommend working with a doctor or healthcare provider of some sort to help you figure this out and then guide you with the appropriate course of action for your triggers and your symptoms. To help lower my antibodies, my doctor told me to take 2 supplements: Echinacea and Rhemmani. This was only about 2-3 weeks ago; I will go for a follow-up blood test in a couple weeks – so I don’t know if this is helping me yet… Hair – mine is thin, and all the dying I do to it, I’m sure doesn’t help but it is getting longer and my hairdresser said it felt great and asked me what I was doing so maybe it is improving: I take Silica and Biotin, I try to only wash it 1-2 per week and use dry shampoo other days, I wash with an organic/paraben-free argan oil shampoo and conditioner, I also try to remember to give myself scalp massages to help stimulate growth (and because it feels nice and we all deserve scalp massages!), I incorporate omega fats into my diet – flax seed, salmon, avocado. Headaches – I was getting random head aches/pains which i described to my doctor and right away he told me it’s because I’m clenching/grinding my teeth. (My dentist told me this a few years back and I had dealt with it back then and forgotten about it; but I guess I’m doing it again, which makes sense: I have A LOT of stress.) My doctor told me I really have to work on de-stressing. He recommended a 4-7-8 breathing technique, I’ve recently given a little time to an “adult” coloring book a friend gave me for Christmas, and I’m working to sort out my other stress-related issues…

                  I plan to start experimenting with essential oils (therapeutic grade) which I’ve heard a bit about but need to do a little more research… If you don’t make it to the end of my rambling, good luck to you!!

                  LONG ANSWER:

                  1. Find a doctor that will help you figure out your specific autoimmune triggers and guide you. I have been working with a doctor of osteopathic medicine since December. However, I attended a seminar given by a doctor of chiropractic in late January that I would have loved to work with if I hadn’t already started a treatment course with the D.O. (Don’t get me wrong, I like my D.O., but the chiro gave a great presentation and just seemed like he’d also be great to work with. My point is, my doc is not the only kind that would be able to help.) Back to triggers: Everyone has their own triggers and usually it’s more than just one thing (could be a combination of foods, environmental toxins, etc.). My doc had me do 2 at-home test kits – one was an Organic Acids Test (OAT) which tells if you have any food sensitivities that could be causing the autoimmune response (mine: egg whites, soy, bananas, green beans, wheat, buckwheat, and dairy/whey/casein) as well as candida presence (which I do). Most of these things I ate on a regular basis, I didn’t get stomach aches but I had always had a FUPA (fatty upper pelvic area), which is now gone since giving all of that up! (Did you notice I do NOT have a sensitivity to gluten, after all? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. I have a sensitivity to wheat but not gluten, barley or rye!) The other at-home test was a hormone test, which showed that my cortisol levels were very low (due to high levels of stress). He also had me do a regular blood test which showed I had low vitamin B and D, high end of normal hemoglobin, and that I am producing T4 and converting it to T3, but unfortunately at a slow rate. These are all MY issues and you may have some of the same or just completely different things going on in your body.

                  2. Be willing to take action AKA make some lifestyle changes. Once you have the information, it’s on you to take action and it’s not going to be a matter of just taking a pill a day. The doctor started me off with a Rx for nystatin (for candida overgrowth – which is my worst symptom) and a couple other supplements. We have added other treatments at every appointment (we have a lot to tackle). So, currently I take a T4/T3 combination pill (which I’m hoping to get off of), multiple enzymes and probiotics (to aid digestion/repair gut), nystatin, hydrocortisone (for my low cortisol levels), vitamin B and D supplements, a women’s daily vitamin, selenium, echinacea, and rhemmania. I’m following a low glycemic diet to improve my hemoglobin levels and help kill the candida. And, I’m trying to work on my other stressors to improve my cortisol.

                  It’s a lot to keep up with so I’m actually “looking forward” to my next blood test, just to see if my numbers are improving anywhere. I can definitely see physical improvements (clearer skin, weight loss, reduced candida presence) but I want to see an improvement in the blood work results.

                  Again, I hope this is helpful and wish all of you the best!
                  -Lisa Anita

        • I gave GD and the only solution per doctors was surgery because even radioactive iodine not applicable to my situation due eyes inflammation from this disease.

          Here is a short medical history:

          I’m a male 31 years old and been diagnosed in December 2012 with Grave’s Disease … at that time doctors were afraid that any minute will get hearth attack due hearth beat, even standing on my own legs or walking been a problem … started to get so weak that jumping or running a bit on soccer field did ended up with leg twist of crack (you all are aware here that GD does remove calcium from our bones plus dehydration and nutritions deficiency is present) and most worst was the allergy on the body till blood come off and only solution was hot shower to not feel the skin.

          First thing was to put me on Propanolol (1 month and after that got bad rash) and methimazole … none about diet or supplements etc.

          “Forgot to add that endocrinologists I go are the top in nation and currently visiting 2 University professors”.

          After 4 years of Methimazole, GD went into remission but not TPO still high and never went away … but during this “treatment” I statarted to gain weight and got to perfect BMI for my 6’3 height.

          Since TPO presence this “remission” didn’t last too long and most of the brain fog still present plus the high metabolism active and after stopping the methimazole (was on 5 mg a day) the symptoms come back worse by May 2017 when decided to switch to other endocrinologists and to be research in this field with very strong knowledge (I’m myself a researcher so due that I started to trust more research professors/doctors more than simple endocrinologist ).

          So visit to professors become possible based on my requirements:
          1. no surgery because my thyroid is Healthy.
          2. No radioactive iodine.
          3. looking for research in this domain, brain storming and visits will resume only to adjustment on Methimazole dose.

          Here comes on more thing: I been recommended to Eye Graves Disease specialist professor that at middle of May come verdict that I’m required to do surgery to remove my Thyroid because I have symptoms of blindness … (this verdict took me by storm and 1 hr of explanation with research proofs provided by me linking that GD need to be cured instead removing healthy organ … proving that if you have autoimmune disorder and removing affected organ would lead to other autoimmune disorder and most frequent cases is diabetes (Professor told that is very often this case but no research showing correlation so is not a proof)) Here is the Professors from England what I was in touch regarding this clinical trial: https://www.apitope.com/clinical-trials/ , this trial is not possible to be done in USA.

          Before May 2017 I did huge changes in my diet: removed as much refined sugar and switched all sugar to honey (everything organic and raw), reduced meat and increased plant based proteins instead (70% plant based and 30% animal based what before was 100% animal based meat) also removed most of diary because skin started to get oily and itchy. Most of health was improved but not solved GD.

          Now will just talk the time from May 2017 till now July 23: saw a functional medicine practitioner and been with multiple issues related to gut, started to include more plant based raw nutritionist but scalp and leg allergy still present so decided to try elimination diet … this was hard in beginning because all the tea cookies and chocolate eating contained a lot of what was required, being a student all the sandwiches need to be removed plus I hate veggies and legumes but loved starch.

          So first started doing smoothies everyday and included kale/spinach/spring mix in diet and also in the smoothie but allergy on my legs and scalp looked like poisson ivy and this brain fog was terrible (need clear ind to can do good on my exams) so in 1 day decided to remove completely all gluten products … this was last week of May (waited for end of spring semester so can experiment with this diet) , forgot to add that I bike a lot now from September 2016 and helped to clear all allergies what I been tested for except gluten because is not tested simple, and voila`, in only 3 days legs allergy and scalp started to heal and a lot of mucus started to clear out, in 1 month eye disease reverse, all eye pressure and redness gone and most important thyroid size 3-4 times lowered …. left side become normal now and I do have only right side a bit bigger but week by week does get smaller. All shaking went away and got back stamina so can bike 65 miles in 4 hours without any issue, I run, hike, bike, play soccer now in any weather …. try to keep me moving daily and minimum time of being outdoor doing activities is 1 hr.

          Went to GD eye professor and after all the tests asked me what I did because no more symptoms and no more in risk category and put me on 6 months followup 🙂 YAY, after hearing how many miles I bike a week (~200 mile) didn’t had any question and that all I do is on the right track.

          Now stage 2: Reintroducing now into diet removed foods.
          Dairy no more a problem, can eat anything but still cautious so I just eat cheese and most goat or sheep plus kefir sometime.
          Sugar kept away since not feeling that is any good for me.
          When introduced Gluten (took a pizza eat 2 slices and next day felt so bad that went to emergency) . fatigue come back, brain fog too, trouble breathing that felt that I’m passing out so went to ER, difficulty swelling for 1 week after removing the gluten again, leg allergy come back and look not only like mosquito bite but like spider bite and inflammation plus itching crazy like feeling is inside the bones so not went gluten free completely because now for sure I know what does create all this inflammation and impact my life.

          After all this experience I know that we should listen our body and that the claim :”how our ancients did eat bread?” is completely different story: we should only look how was at that time the wheat and how is now (just check how is modified current wheat). Bread back in the days was fermented and not like now with instant yeast you have bread in 45 min (before was left overnight for fermentation only).

          Eliminating cookies, bread and pastas is not a problem … just include more wild rice, lentils, corn meal, steel cut oats (all gluten free are in the store already and organic is most important), include some home grind flax seeds(1-2 teaspoon), chia seeds (1-2 teaspoon) and eat a lot raw, drink ginger shoots, turmeric, beens and list can go on. Most hard is that you need to cook mostly everything at home if you want to have quality and full of nutrition food.

          Eat fruits and most important is apple, blueberries and bananas daily. Remove food rich in omega 6, avoid grilling or fried food, bake a bit and just boil most of all your legumes and grains (quinoa, millet, buckwheat, wild, brow rice), even now most of pizza places are offering gluten free pizza 🙂

          Is a long way for healing GD but at least this improvements does show I’m on right path because started to introduce multivitamins and eat plant capsules with kelp, spirulina, cholera, wheatgrass (raw organic and GF because gluten is present only in grains), barley (raw organic and GF because gluten is present only in grains), alfalfa , drink a lot of water and just go outside and run to take toxins out.

          2 days ago included mushroom powder to improve immune system and also dandelion root for cleaning liver and i feel fantastic !!!

          All what I can say is that all diets are wrong and is right only what your body needs so find the diet works for you and remove all inflammation food from diet.

          We eat to live not live for eat.

          • Hi SB,
            Sorry to hear about your GD and all of the troubles you’ve had that came with it and happy to hear you are finding relief. I feel lucky to read this today, as I have been losing hope and feeling low about my Hashimoto’s disease. I gave up gluten in October 2016, dairy in December 2016, and after getting my food sensitivity test results in January, I have had to give up eggs, buckwheat, bananas, soy, and green beans. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time reading ingredients labels at the grocery store. The last blood test results I got in April 2017, there was no improvement with my antibodies so I have felt like all my efforts with my diet haven’t been working, after being so optimistic that they would.

            I’m working on reducing the stressors in my life, which unfortunately are abundant. It is an important thing, though. If you don’t have good mental health, it is difficult to have good physical health.

            Thanks, again, for sharing your story. Wishing you the best of luck and health.

    • Thank you Emily for injecting some sense into the debate. There’s much too much cherry picking going on in this field. Whilst I prefer to limit the amount of gluten I eat. I have yet to find any convincing evidence for the cure-all claims made for such a diet. The reason I reduced my gluten intake was because eating bread was like taking a sleeping pill – total inability to stay awake and, if I tried, slurred speech and (honestly) hallucinations! V weird but I just avoided bread and pasta at lunchtime. I have since been diagnosed with an under active thyroid so have attempted 100% gluten reduction. I can’t however see any evidence that it has made a difference to my thyroid markers or antibodies.

      • Anne,
        It seems to me that it will take some time to see improvements in your labs after going 100% gluten-free. If you still eat some gluten products, and it is one of your triggers (which it seems to be by your reported reactions), your immune system will continue to respond to its presence. I’ve read that the immune system can continue its response to gluten for 6 months, though I don’t know if that is completely true – full disclosure.

        Also, it is likely that gluten (again, IF it is determined to be a trigger for you) is not the only trigger you have. Usually, there are several.

        Be well.

    • Thanx, I am gluten free one month and have Hashimotos. My stomach is more bloated, at least b4 it was flat in the mornings..I am craving soooooo much sugar and can’t control myself since being on this diet. I actually ate alot healthier b4 going on it. Now doing it 7 days a week it feels like a Trap!!

      • Hi Taylor:

        Gluten may not be your enemy but it may be something else you’re eating, or it may not be anything you’re eating but instead a product that you’re using. 80% of our immune systems is located in our gut (which is why I say it may be some other food(s)). Toxins also get into our systems by application (such as beauty/cleaning products) or breathing (e.g. polluted air). If you have Hashimoto’s, your body is responding to something, and it’s usually more than just 1 thing. So, if you want your health to improve, you have to be willing to go on a mission to figure out what your toxins are.

        I’ve commented on this thread a handful of times and have been meaning to provide an update. I’ve learned a lot from other people sharing their stories and hope me sharing my experiences is helpful to anyone who takes the time to read it. (I can be long-winded, I have a fairly complex ordeal going on, but consider myself pretty lucky because I’m not dealing with as many symptoms or the severity as others — so, again, I truly hope I can help.)

        (Brief history: I’m 29, female, diagnosed w/ Hypothyroidism this past October after being hospitalized for a bad case of thrush, which was painful and left me dehydrated. After a lot of searching for curative treatment and doctors telling me to basically shut up and take meds for the rest of my life, I decided to give up gluten. In November, I received the more accurate diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. And, in December, I found a Doctor of Osteopathy who told me to give up gluten and dairy (he didn’t know I already had been off gluten) and also had me start taking selenium and had me do an Organic Acids Test (OAT), which tells you which foods are causing autoimmune response, a hormone test, and other blood work.

        My OAT results showed that the following foods were causing the response: egg whites, bananas, green beans, wheat, buckwheat, and dairy/whey/casein. My hormone levels were all good except my cortisol is extremely low. The bloodwork showed that I’m deficient in Vitamins B and D, my hemoglobin was on the high side of normal, and also that I’m creating T4 and converting to T3, but at a slower rate than optimal.

        Treatment: 15mg of Thyrolar (combo of T3 and T4), Enzymes to help my digestion and heal my “leaky gut”, hydrocortisone to give my adrenals a break and improve my cortisol levels, Vitamin D and B supplements, and I’m staying away from all of the foods listed above. Also, because the candida infection (thrush) keeps lingering, I’m taking Nystatin and probiotics and staying away from starchy foods (rice, potatoes, etc.), sugar, and alcohol.

        All of this has not been easy but worth it so far: I’m 5’3 and was about 150 lbs in October; I’m now about 131 and I don’t exercise nearly as much as I used to. The adult acne on my chin and jawline has gone away. I don’t like the idea of taking all of the meds/supps I’m taking but my hope is that as I keep doing these things to help my body, I’ll get my health back and be able to go off a lot of this stuff. Once that happens, I may be able to add these foods back to my diet.

        Wish me luck – and good luck to all of you!

        • Hi Lisa-

          Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I learn more from such posts as yours than I do from my endocrinologist which says a lot!! You are very lucky to have found such a great doctor willing to work with you. Even the homeopathic doctor I’m seeing seems more interested in selling me this, that and the other instead of finding the root cause. I’ve been on synthroid, armour and am back on synthroid again (88 mg). While my TSH is now stable, my antibodies are steadily increasing. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2015. Even though I requested to be tested for it due to family history and symptoms, most doctors wouldn’t as I didn’t “fit the picture” with someone with Hashimotos- I am very thin with a fair complexion. Apparently, I’m not their textbook case. In the past two years, my antibodies went from about 200- 490.

          One supplement I’ve heard to decrease thyroid antibodies is Moducare- you should look into it. I just started taking it so am unsure if its working yet. I also take a probiotic, silica, biotin, tumeric (for inflammation), magneisum/calcium, Vit D, B- Complex, a plant based pre-natal, minerals, cod liver oil, maca root, saw palmetto and pygeum. I also recently started using Frankincense oil (for thyroid) and Clary Sage (for hormone balance).

          Like you, I eat a well balanced diet and include plenty of omega fats. I get my selenium intake from eating brazil nuts daily. I eat a tlbsp of flax and avocados daily and eat fresh water fish weekly. I also use an organic shampoo with only natural ingredients.

          I wanted to ask you about the OAT test- how does it work and how were you able to determine what you were allergic to? I’ll have to look into taking one. I, too, have wondered if I have a build up of candida as I tend to eat a lot of starchy foods but wasn’t sure how to determine if I do or not.

          What are your thoughts on Iodine? I’ve read and heard conflicting info about it as its related to the thyroid. None of my endocrinologists have been willing to test my levels which I think is absurd.

          A suggestion to get your cortisol/stress down- meditation (similar to the breathing techniques your dr suggested). I simply started by downloading the app, Calm. It has worked wonders for me.

          Best wishes to you and again, thank you for your time!

    • I believe you would be doing yourself a huge disservice to say that you won’t buy into something without there being clear scientific research and data. One of the most unfortunate things for people with autoimmunity and hypothyroidism is that there is very little research, and what research has been conducted is often flawed or paid for by pharmaceutical companies. That’s why it is so difficult for people to get proper treatment or even diagnosis. You could scoff at lack of scientific studies, or you could listen to the many, many people with Hashimotos who have lowered their antibodies and noticed an improvement in symptoms just from going gluten free. I have never tried the Paleo diet, though I have attempted a Whole 30 and only made it 2 days. My current doctor put me on a hybrid elimination/ketogenic diet. I am strictly gluten free, but I am not lacking fiber or any other essential nutrient. I eat flax meal, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, peanut butter…There is nothing restrictive about being gluten free. Except gluten. Which isn’t difficult. It’s also extremely helpful for people to follow an elimination diet to determine what foods cause issues for them. It is not saying “This food is what caused your Hashimotos”, but helping to identify what sensitivities you have and what you can do to improve your symptoms. I’ve never in my life had stomach or digestive issues. But when my hair was falling out in handfuls and my hairline receding, the simple act of cutting gluten from my diet stopped my hairloss and it regrew. Dairy doesn’t bother my stomach either, but if I have dairy in my diet it is impossible for me to lose weight. I guarantee there is no scientific evidence to back up my saying that, but it does not make it less true. I think every person in their journey has to get to a certain point before they will be ready to really overhaul their diet. I know I went gluten free several times and went back to eating it. As time went on and my symptoms continued I got serious enough to truly be gluten free. I’m not saying you aren’t serious about your journey to recovery but please do not take lightly someone else’s choices to use their diet to help their disease. We do not need scientific research to tell us that the changes we have made help us to feel better. I hope if you still find yourself dealing with symptoms down the road you will consider this whole trendy gluten free thing again. Everyone loves bread. We would not give it up because we think it makes us cool.

    • Being gluten free has really helped me with my symptoms though I sometimes cheat

      Probiotics too help my symptoms

    • I would like to add one more piece to the puzzle and that is the book “Eating for your blood type.”
      I can only share my experience and have helped many people who have problems who are “A” blood type.
      First off, the A Blood Type gets their energy from carbohydrates and grains are a part of that. A’ s are not meat eaters as we don’t have the stomach acid to digest red meat as well. More fish, chicken, turkey. We are more closely to vegetarian with little meat.

      I stopped eating grains to lose weight. I was off grains for 2 weeks and all I ate was meat (which isn’t my 1st go to for food) vegetables and very little fruit. my emotional state was a roller-coaster.
      I remember going from getting really angry to feeling emotionally upset and feeling overwhelmed and started to cry. What the heck was going on with me?
      At that moment my body knew that this diet was not good for me and I said screw this, give me some grain. I ate some bread and within an hour my body felt like I was in control and emotions were stable.
      I’m not a real big meat eater and my body really prefers meat on a salad, not a chunk of fat, which A’s don’t do well on a lot fat in their diet.
      I rotate my grains and eat barley, millet, Quinoa, wheat (which I think is a problem for me or should I say the man made gluten) not the way God intended grain to be for our bodies.
      For those suffering with stomach problems check out this book as it has changed my life. When I first started the A blood type diet I held strictly 100% and within a week my stomach problems were gone. I do have leaky gut so I’m off gluten (wheat) I know barely has gluten, but I so love my barley waffles and that’s my treat in life!!
      I’ve upped my probiotics, digestive aids and have added aloe juice.
      I have been so sensitive and react to so many foods I have to cook every from scratch. It takes time to heal the gut and staying away from gluten is a big one.
      I can say that my energy has gone up since eliminating wheat.
      I’ll just speak up and I’m sure many of you will agree that it makes us so mad that our sustenance, our bread of life has been altered so much that it has taken away the quality of life. Having to spend thousands of dollars in figuring out our basic need in life and that’s just food to feed our bodies.
      Good luck to all of you dealing with your own health issues. We will conquer!!!

  4. Hi Chris,
    Are you aware of any diagrams showing the similarity in structure between gluten peptides and that of the thyroid? Would love a visual for this 🙂
    Cheers!

  5. Hi was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 2 yrs ago and given meds. Initally i took the doctors recommended meds but slowly weaned myself off. My Hyper levels dropped and then went up again. I started taking meds but only 1 per day and not 3 like doctors recommended.After my levels began to fall in range i stopped taking medication in may.at this time i also decided to remove gluten from my diet.i had another blood test in oct and i was suprised to find that without no meds my levels actually dropped to normal range. No matter who i ask, the doctor or specialist tell me this has nothing whatsoever to do with gluten free diet. Is this co incidental? 2 yrs trying to control thyroid as soon as soon as i removed gluten, my levels dropped to normal range. Why do doctors not believe the gluten theory.

    • Angie!!

      I finally found a doctor who told me to go absolutely 100% gluten free AND dairy free. I was just diagnosed in November, still being worked up with testing with this doctor who practices integrated medicine. He’s testing me for a ton of different things in hopes of determining what triggered the autoimmune attack. It seems that I will likely need to start taking synthroid/levothyroxine but hopefully on only a temporary basis. This doctor has helped Hashimoto’s and diabetic patients get off their meds (but it does take work like giving up gluten and dairy).

      He explained it in a way that makes total sense; Gluten is a protein found in wheat products and casein is a dairy protein. The human digestive system has its limits. These proteins break down the intestines, causing what they call a leaky gut (wish there was a more medical sounding name), which basically allows stuff in that shouldn’t be in the intestines. With all of that going on, the body sends out antibodies to destroy things it thinks shouldn’t be there. Anyway…

      I wish I knew why other doctors dismiss the gluten connection. I had at least 3 say it has no relation. It makes it seem as though doctors do not want to cure you, but want to treat you indefinitely. On the other hand, a lot of people have no interest in eating the way they really should for their body – they get to keep regular pizza and adopt popping pills every day, I guess.

      • The problem is that MDs don’t like the term “leaky gut”. Because they are inflexible, it’s kind of like waving a red cape in front of a bull. You might want to use the terms “intestinal permeability” or “enteropathy”; an MD is less likely to be “set off” by those terms.

        • Some doctors are really tough to deal with. I’ve worked with them for many years and recently have dealt with a lot of them. Amazingly, I found two that “believe” in the leaky gut and have explained it, and one basically told me that is at least part of what is causing my problem…

          I’m currently taking an oral solution that contains several trace minerals, which is supposed to aid in restoring gut health – it’s called something like “Restore for Life” – I’d have to look at the bottle again, but the doctor “prescribed” it (I put it in quotes because you don’t need a Rx for it). He also told me to start taking selenium, which I had read as well but wasn’t sure if I needed, but I have started since he told me to take it. For the time being, I’m doing no gluten or dairy, and staying away from corn and rice as much as possible as well – those are doctor’s orders – and for the most part, it isn’t too difficult. He said we could always add things back in, but I guess these are all grains that can be difficult to digest. So, I’ve made good friends with quinoa and almond flour crackers.

          Ed Arnold, would you mind sharing a little more about your experience? Right now, my only symptom seems to be oral candida, which seems to come and go every other day. I’m curious if you eliminated or added anything else to your diet at any point in time, or anything you added to/eliminated from your lifestyle, and what symptoms you had or still have, or anything you’re willing to share…

          Hope to hear from you!

    • i was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 13 years ago. Consistently struggling with aymptoms eventhough my levels were in range on 100mg of levothyroxine. I maintained a fairly healthy diet and regular sleep schedule. Neither of which helped with the hypothyroidism symptoms. 3 years ago I made the choice to try and go gluten free, it was hard but worth it. Slowly I started feeling better and my sumptoms went away. A year ago I decided to go off my medication. Just recently I decided to check in with my endocronologist and take a blood test. Got a phone call today that all my levels are with in normal range!! My TSH is on the higher side of normal so I am going to try and take a low dose of synthroid and see what happens. Either way, I highly suggest anyone with hypothyroidism to go gluten free!!!! Best decision I have ever made. I finally feel normal.

  6. Hi every one
    I have just tested my TSH and T3 T4 levels my TSH was Slighly High 6.27 but t4 t4 are normal. Than tested for thyroid antibodies so antibodies are also higher means I have Autoimmune or Hashimoto.i have hight BP. With hight Triglycrides and Low HDL and i van get Fats easily within days if i dont exersice and eat bit more. I breasts from adolecent and i have fats on Belly not any where in the body…these all are syptoms of matabolic sydrome… have Blurred vission as dr said you have RNFL abnormality.. I have a little stroke found in brain came in MRI.i am suffering from digestive and gastro problems.since i was in 20s now i am 36..i cannot pass stools easily. Meshy stools not normal and having undigested foods. Hade sone colonoacopy to check IBD crohns disease or UC etc dr said u r oky u have IBS I cant digest the Wheat refined flour. Having lot of problems. Feeling depressed Anxious sad always .. lot my libido since a few months. I left for abroad since 4 months ago i have two kids. I took too much stress and the problems got worse.. i feel like dibetic dry mouth . Urination blurred vision but tested normal blood glucose. Now i am.just taking BP medicine since 2 weeks but still i am feeling down.. sleeplessness … sepressed. Dr told your thyroid is working good you dont need mediciens just see it for aome time. Actually he is a cardiologist . So i thoght i should giveup eating wheat etc.. do t have idea what to do…visit an endocrinologist or not ….:( just passing time:(

  7. Hi, I am hypothyroid and recently my 6 year old daughter has been diagnosed with Autoimmune thyroid disease. I have cut out Gluten recently out of my own diet and feel so much better already. I have done this without the advice of a my GP as my blood tests did not confirm I had gluten intolerance. However I am convinced Gluten does me no good. I have not put my daughter on a gluten free diet, partly because she is so young and growing and I’m not sure if I should. She recently started levothyrixine 50 mg. What I would like to know is, is it safe to exclude gluten from my daughters diet and should I be doing this Or should I only do this under doctors advice? I do not want gluten to do Have a negative impact on her health, however at the same time I do not want to exclude gluten and make her intolerant if she’s not already intolerant.

    • Hi sufia

      I also have been diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism and have cut out gluten to help this process. It is really important to cut any gluten out of the diet for hypothyroid patients because gluten has a similar molecular structure to thyroid hormone so when the body has an autoimmune reaction to gluten it will also start attacking its own thyroid cells (Hashimoto’s disease)

      I also suggest that you put her on the more natural medication Thyroid Erfa, its manufactured in Canada and a little more expensive but the synthetic drugs like levothyroxine are known to cause dramatic changes in mood. When I was using it I become clinically depressed and psychotic…Which I am not in like at all as a person before I took the medication. Now I’m on Erfa I feel ten times better.. And because your daughter is so young you wouldn’t want something like that to affect her.

      Look at the website ‘stop the thyroid madness’ as well

      Best of luck!

    • Hi. I can’t comment medically as such but there is no risk taking your daughter off gluten. Gluten is not an essential vitamin! We don’t need it and with current agricultural practises now it’s so harmful for the body. You are helping your daughter by her being gluten free, not hindering!

  8. I was amazed to read here about the relationship of hypothyroidism and gluten. For 10+ years I have been suffering with hypothyroidism. About 10 years ago I began taking the levothyroxine and began having symptoms of pain which was diagnosed as fybormyalgia and also interstitial cystitis. I work full time and every day wonder how I can continue to do this. No Dr. has any answers and in order to continue to work and support myself, after years of trying all kinds of things including a Medtronic interstem implant for my IC pain, I take a low dose of opioid pain meds daily. I’ve done so for maybe 8 years now, never increasing the dose and staying low due to my fear of abuse and I actually don’t like feeling kind of foggy. But my alternative was to be somewhat bed ridden and on disability. I am so confused as to why not one Dr. has ever mentioned Gluten. NOT ONE EVER in over 10 years. I’ve seen specialists and I cant tell you how many Drs, tests and med trials which I felt like a guinea pig. I feel like crying reading this because I am so tired of waking up every day feeling so many aches and pains. I wait until noon to take the first dose of pain meds so I don’t take too much in a day. Then I start not feeling like myself, not as clear headed, but it’s that or being in about level 8 or 9 pain which is unbearable. Besides that I feel like I have a slight case of the flu 24/7. I feel sad and tired too. I worry almost all the time. I work in a professional capacity and have meetings throughout the week which I have to give all I have so I can get through them and contribute what is needed from me. I’m tired.
    I have had celiac testing which came back negative. I am going to try gluten free. I just don’t know what I can eat. I do know soy makes me feel worse so how do I get my protein? Any advice or websites besides this great one that can help for food choices would be greatly appreciated.

    • I was diagnosed with Hashimotos a year and a half ago. I went gluten-free because all of the literature I read suggested that I should. Basically, I didn’t realize how sick I had been until I got better. Going gluten free got rid of my constant migraines and brain fog, it stopped a lot of joint pain, I no longer have trouble staying awake during the day, and a million other little things. Since gluten-free has become “trendy” it’s very easy to find gluten-free versions of the things you eat every day, and many restaurants have gluten-free menus. It’s hard to get off of it initially, but it’s pretty easy to stay off of it after that (especially if it makes you sick).

      • Wow, really appreciate reading this as I was just diagnosed with the same thing. If you don’t mind me asking, do you have to take thyroid medicine also? I have been put on 50mg levothyroxine and was hoping diet change would help but my doctor said no. I started gluten free today! I still have a lot to learn.

        • Toni – keep up with your levothyroxine, and give the gluten-free diet (100%), for at least six months. I’ve been gluten-free for about teo years now. About 5 months in I swung from hypo (Hashimoto’s), to hyper. I have been off meds for 18 mos or so. My Free T3 & Free T4 have stabilized pretty well. They may be off a wee bit here & there, but overall good. My TSH has remained fairly non-existent, so we keep monitoring my #s. But, I lost a decent amount of weight, did not suffer from “seasonal” allergies this year & I sleep much better. Make sure you read all labels, as you will be surprised & some of the things that contain gluten. And, everything I’ve read about being gluten free with Hashimoto’s is that being 100% is non-negotiable. Good luck!

        • Hi Toni Lynn,
          I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism earlier this month. I was devastated with the thought of being on hormone meds for the rest of my life. I’m 29, and have no symptoms of hypothyroidism, but was diagnosed strictly off my TSH level reading from one blood test. After doing some research, and learning about the complications a lot of people endure on the hormone meds, I asked my doctor about trying the gluten-free route and although she doesn’t think it’ll help, she agreed to do another blood test after a month or so to see if my TSH level improves. I have NOT started taking the levothyroxine and I have heard that once you start taking it, your thyroid eventually stops working altogether. Levothyroxine does not cure hypothyroidism; it takes over your thyroid’s job. I’ve been surprised to read that others have weaned themselves off of it (I don’t quite know how that worked out for them) or, more rarely, that others have been taken off of it. After doing tons more research, I have decided to also go soy-free, reduce/eliminate caffeine/sugar intake, and moderate consumption of cruciferous vegetables, only eating organic, hormone-free and antibiotic-free foods and avoid consuming anything with a BPA container. I will be seeing an endocrinologist in a couple weeks and I’m hoping to find out more info as far as any vitamin/mineral deficiencies I may have that may be causing my thyroid to not work properly (common with hypothyroidism, according to my research: iodine, selenium, iron, omega-3, zinc, copper, vitamins A, B, D). I’m also working on removing metals from my daily regimen (I’m now a Tom’s toothpaste and deodorant user – and it’s not bad). Finally, I started taking a multi-B vitamin, milk thistle and turmeric. My hope is to get my thyroid functioning normally again and to avoid taking hormone meds – to me, even if it means living gluten-free for the rest of my life, it’s worth it. I have lost weight from this new diet, but I’m also avoid the gluten-free substitution foods and trying to eat as much whole food as possible.
          Anyway… Best of luck to you.
          -L.

          • Hi, I have been doing the same thing as you as I also do not want to be taking meds all the time. Good luck getting an endo to test those things for you. I went to 2 and they were both so awful. They just wanted to give me meds and said diet etc wouldn’t change anything. Needless to say I never went back to them.
            I go to a naturpath women now that will test all that. I just did the saliva test and stool too see whats going on and to test the adrenals.
            I have been off gluten, dairy, most sugar, fluoride, chemicals, etc since May. when I retested in September my TSH had gone from 6.9 to 3.3..Although my antibodies went up 🙁 .
            Still doing the changes though as some say can take as long as 6 months to see results.
            I go tomorrow to hear the doctors input on the saliva n stool test so hopefully some more answers….Just want to say good luck and keep looking if your endo wont do what YOU want done…

            • Hi Lisa,
              If you don’t mind my asking, will you let me know whether you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s? And are you taking any supplements or prescription medications? Thank you so much for sharing and for your encouragement. I’m amazed (sarcasm) at how the doctors I’ve seen are so nonchalant “take this synthetic hormone for the rest of your life”, instead of “let’s figure out where the problem is coming from. Your results are so encouraging. I will be looking for a naturopath!!

              Be well,
              -L.

            • Hi Tammy,

              In the interest of getting to the point: I had a second blood test in early November when I went to see an endocrine surgeon regarding my thyroid ultrasound results, as I have nodules on my thyroid. The priority was to have that addressed – he ordered a FNA biopsy to test the nodules for cancerous cells – luckily, the nodules came back benign, though I will need a follow up ultrasound in 6 months to monitor any changes in the nodules. The 2nd
              blood test, though, came back with a higher TSH reading and also tested antibodies, which signify that I have Hashimoto’s. I have now made an appt with a D.O., who I’ve been told does a lot with diet for Hashimoto’s. So, I haven’t seen an endocrinologist quite yet. I want to see what the D.O. has to say, first.

              As far as how I’m feeling… the short answer is: I feel good, especially given my circumstances, and I now weigh 137 lbs (was around 150 at the beginning of October of this year).

              I didn’t disclose much history previously but I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism completely incidentally.

              Back story: In late September, I began feeling ill after spending a weekend at a winery (only drank on Saturday, and not to an extreme). On Sunday evening, I felt my glands swelling and developed a fever/chills. Monday morning, I woke up with the worst headache of my life, still had fever/chills, and spent the day in bed. Tuesday, I still just didn’t feel right and started feeling a little bit of soreness/tenderness in my mouth. I went to an urgent care facility, where a doctor examined my ears and throats and said they were completely clear but that I was experiencing either an allergic or viral reaction in my mouth – and that that was causing the swollen glands, etc. She prescribed a “magic mouth wash” made up of prednisone, lidocaine and Benadryl. I started the mouth wash that night. My BF and I went out for crispy crust pizza that night. The next day, Wednesday, I noticed white dots and sores on my tongue and my gums were becoming inflamed. It was painful to even drink water at this point so I basically stopped eating. Thursday, at the recommendation of my dentist, I went to an oral pathologist who told me he thought it was thrush (which can be caused by prednisone) and prescribed me an antifungal, but wanted me to keep doing the magic mouthwash for the prednisone. Finally, Sunday morning, I went to the ER. I was dehydrated and in more pain than I can ever remember being in, in my entire life. (I have 3 older brothers, I’m no sissy when it comes to pain.) My tongue was swollen, I was barely understandable when I spoke. I was given an IV and morphine as well as a high dose of antifungal medicine for the supposed thrush. They did a blood test and urinalysis and basically just had me rest, as it was a Sunday, after all. But kept telling me that it’s highly unusual for an otherwise healthy 29 year old to get thrush – and that it was more common in people with weakened immune systems such as babies or those with HIV… The following day, I underwent an endoscopy, during which they did a biopsy of the esophagus, a neck x-ray, and another blood test. Later I was told the results show it was not thrush after all but gave me absolutely no explanation of what it was. Since the swelling had gone down, they were releasing me with a lidocaine mouthwash (which I never actually used), even though it took me about another week before I could eat almost normally again. As I was being discharged, I was told I had hypothyroidism and the hospital doctor wrote me a prescription for levothyroxine, but didn’t explain what hypothyroidism was or how long I should be on this medication or anything. I was told to follow up with my doctor. I saw a PA 2 days later and was given a little bit more of an explanation but there were many questions she couldn’t answer and told me I’d have to ask an endocrinologist and just pushed the levothyroxine. I was perplexed, as I didn’t think I really had any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. That’s when I started doing my research about treatment options.

              Admittedly, I was near 160 lbs at my heaviest, in late 2013. I started cutting back on alcohol and sugar, became a vegetarian, and started generally eating better and working out and got down to about 148 – but still wanted to lose more (I’m 5’3) and hadn’t really been able to since then. Fast forward to October 2016, I’m sure the lack of eating for almost 2 weeks when my mouth was inflamed and the reduction in carbs from being gluten-free has contributed to the weight loss. Although I can’t say I really had complaints of fatigue before all this happened, I have been better about waking up in the morning and being more productive throughout the day – I can’t tell whether I feel more energized, though – again, I didn’t have complaints of fatigue.

              More back story: I’ve had a bit of a rough year. I lost one of my very best friends in late June, suddenly, to a massive brain aneurysm. Yesterday would’ve been her 30th birthday. Shortly after that, I thought I was going to lose my 4 year old doggie to cancer (but luckily, after 2 surgeries, she was considered cancer-free, though follow ups are necessary). I then started a new job position in December. As if all that wasn’t enough excitement, I have the crazy oral activity I described earlier. That was followed by a pill-pushing PA, and her ignorant call-screener nurse, a 5 day delay and miscommunication in receiving my ultrasound results (First I was told I had multiple, then that I had 2, when I read the record myself I found I have 3 – wtf!), I didn’t get the lidocaine for the FNA biopsy because I told them about the oral reaction I had and how I wasn’t sure what caused it (I’m not too squeamish about needles but I could feel the needle go through the skin, muscle and nodule and each time, it hurt worse – also, it seemed like the resident was going to perform the biopsy until they look at my vascularity and it seemed like they were nervous about potentially hitting a vein so of course that made me more anxious about the procedure). Transitioning to a gluten free diet hasn’t been the very easiest, probably more difficult for vegetarians – it gets frustrating. My friends and family try to help but don’t really know what to look for. Considering all of the above, I’ve been a bit of an emotional wreck which I think has possibly “brought on” some symptoms – I’ve felt tightness/mild pain in my neck on and off, have been easily irritable leading to a couple meltdowns.

              I have been told that the stress from all the other things could’ve “brought on” an autoimmune response and essentially led to Hashimoto’s – but that re kind of a chicken and egg scenario – but also that the nodules would’ve grown over some time. I started seeing a therapist in the interest of helping me manage my grief and frustration/anxiety better. I’ve definitely felt an improvement since initiating counseling. I don’t want to use the excuse of (and maybe don’t want to admit to) the symptoms of the disease. I know I can’t get my friend back but I just wish I could go back to being the person I was before the Hashimoto’s.

              Anyway, I will try to remember to let you all know what the doctor says next week. Hope you are well

              -L.

              • Thanks L. My TSH is borderline. going from 3 last Fall to 4 this past spring. I have all the symptoms of hypo, I also have fibromyalgia. I have not been tested for hashimotos . My pulse usually runs about 55 when I check it and my basil temp around 95. But for a few years I also have episodes of heart flutter for a few seconds. I read a few days ago that hashimotos can cause this fluctuating. My cousin has also been diagnosed with hashimotos and MTHFR gene mutation which all have a tendency to run in families. I have been trying so hard to get my weight off. Jan 2015 I did a 30 day juice fast lost 30 lbs. Then later did another week and lost 7 more. I was maintaining on my plant based diet but not losing unless I juiced. Then suddenly this summer something switched and my weight started going back up sometimes 3 lbs a week. I gained back about 15 lbs. I juiced again for 3 days.lost 3 and gained it back the next 2-3 days. I have thought about trying GF to see if this is the issue.

                • Hi Tammy,

                  I’m new to this and certainly no expert but from what I do know, since your TSH is in the “normal” range, you may want to have your T3 and T4 checked. If your body isn’t converting these as it should, it seems that could be what’s causing your problems.

                  Even though the PA I saw was not very supportive of the gluten-free diet in terms of reversing the hypothyroidism (which she admitted to being a non-expert on), she did say that people generally feel “shitty” after consuming food that contains gluten and therefore will generally notice a difference of feeling better after abstaining from gluten. Basically, gluten doesn’t really do much good for the body, but some products (such as nutrient-enriched cereals) are fortified with B vitamins, iron, etc. So if you aren’t getting those things from other foods (which you can do fairly easily), you could be missing those if you go gluten-free.

                  I’ve also see some people encourage a completely grain-free diet… I really don’t want to do that, and feel that might be a bit extreme, but I’ll see what the homeopath doctor says next week. Until them, I’m enjoying my corn tortillas and brown rice flour bread in moderation.

                  I started a separate Instagram account (@my_glutenfree_gf) where I only post gluten-free meals I’ve had. It’s been kind of therapeutic and encouraging for me (as I mentioned, I haven’t had the easiest time, mentally), if you are looking for ideas. It’s a public account, so you don’t have to follow it to see anything. I post things I’ve made as well as store-bought items and what I’ve been able to order at restaurants. I have completely abandoned gluten, and avoid caffeine, sugar, dairy and soy as much as possible; eating mostly only cooked veggies (as cruciferous veggies can cause goitres, and I prefer hot food anyway) I do still eat some fish (wild caught, fresh) and eggs (hormone- and antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed).

                  Are you taking any supplements or do you have any interest in supplements? Do you take brand name or generic hormone supplements? (I’ve heard, because of fillers and stuff, sometimes the generic brands can cause instability with your body’s response)? Are you eating enough and sleeping enough or stressed out (all can affect metabolism)?

          • Thank you for your post..there was a lot of insight and helpful information. I also have been doing things as you described and I hope to have similar results. Best of luck to you!!

    • I have been thyroidal for over 15 years and take levothyroxine.
      tjis allows me to live but as I put, not live well.
      I have constant joint pain and the brain fog has become worse. I have tried numerous diets over the years and nothing significantly works. Gluten free came along and I scoffed at the number of people jumping on the bandwagon, only people with celiacs needs to worry about gluten. Well I went gluten free three days ago, eating whatever I want otherwise. I lost 3 lbs in three days and the joint pain has all but disappeared. Now this is my story, things are different for eveybody. I WAS FLOORED by the difference.

    • You should be able to eat anything you can tolerate. Just remove wheat flour from your diet. Health food stores have tons of alternative breads and pastas using other grains. Some are great. Others are meh. It takes getting used to but health benefits more than worth while. Good news is by eliminating wheat flour you end up cutting out a lot of low value foods like cookies and cake. You end up replacing with healthier stuff like legumes and fresh fruit. Good luck!

    • This is not related to your condition but my husband has suffered with severe Allergic Rhinitis since he was 8 yrs old – he is now 50 — we have seen several specialists to no avail. Two years of desensitising only marginally improved.
      I decided enough was enough – although not coeliac – we do suffer from Non Coeliac wheat/gluten sensitivity – which you cannot be tested for. For the first time in 42 years my husband’s symptoms have reduced by 90 % – we took it upon ourselves to try this app. We do not eat any GMO foods, no wheat, grains but we do have Goats milk instead of cow’s.

      After spending $$$$$$$ of money on professional people – we have managed to work it out ourselves

    • I have had hypothyroidism since 2002. Was diagnosed with hashimotos in 2005. I was on all the synthetic
      medications such as synthroid, levoxyl and so on. I stayed tired, no drive, fibromyalgia symptons, brain fog and you name it, I felt it. About 3 years ago, I began to get hives and face swelling on a daily basis. The doctors did not know what to do. They sent me to an allergist. He could not come up with anything and said he had a couple of patients who did this in the past and it was linked to their thyroid and their levels being off. I went back to my doctor and sure enough, we had to check my levels again and they had gone up but this kept happening. We increased my meds and finally when I get to a certain level, it stops. I kept going back and forth on this. So, I am now seeing a doctor who does functional and integrative medicine. I am now on armour thyroid and cut out gluten all together and it changed everything. The synthroid alone was making me have aches in my joints. The synthetics are awful. I will never go back to them. If I wear makeup with gluten in it or eat anything with gluten, I break out in hives and parts of my face swell up. I was tested for celiacs and i don’t have that but I am intolerant. Hope this helps!

      • I was diagnosed Hashemotos 22 years ago. Only recently I have realised I am gluten intolerant. I would get severe throat spasms intestinal inflammation bloating from eating wheat eggs milk pulses.
        I now break out in hives from gluten and pulses. Yellow lentil is lethal for me. I was on deco a intravenal for two weeks…nearly had to be hospitalised.
        Thanks for sharing the connection between gluten hypothyroidism and hives swelling of face brain fog even depression and constant feeling of sadness.

    • Hi, I’ve recently gone gluten free after suffering the symptoms of hypothyroidism for many years. I eat quinoa (which I believe us high in protein), aswell as quorn, chicken, and lamb. I feel much better going gluten free, as i don’t suffer the symptoms (fatigue, constipation, ibs) associated with underactive thyroid much. Hope this helps.

    • Sue, your story sounds nearly identical to mine. I was bedridden for two years until my doctor look me off the pain relievers and put me on Meloxicam, an anti-inflammatory. That got rid of the inflammation and pain so I then began cutting out gluten. Now, not only am I pain-free, I’m also losing weight and bloat like crazy! Fortunately, I just turned 65 and am eligible for Medicare so I finally can go to an endocrinologist. My primary care giver has never really bothered to study Hashimoto’s to any great extent; the 10-year roller coaster has been a nightmare, as you well know. Best wishes!

      • I wish you the best of luck with your endocrinologist, but don’t always settle for what they tell you. It’s my experience that doctors of modern medicine don’t pay enough attention to natural healing. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 11 years ago, now have nodules on my thyroid, waited 2 months for an endocrinologist just to be told “8 out of 10 people have nodules, come back in a year”. I was floored and sadly disappointed. This led me to doing my own research and finding out about going gluten-free. I started immediately and in less than a week I feel a little better already. Good luck to all of us!

    • Protein comes from meat, eggs, cheese, NOT from gluten-containing grains. As long as you are eating plenty of meat and other protein sources, along with a variety of vegetables, your diet will be healthful.

    • I have Hashimotos and I went gluten free. It’s simple, test it out for youself even if you try it out for one week you should notice an improvement. I’ve taken all of the gluten out of my home. I looked at my spices, sauces, sweets, boxed foods, canned goods frozen foods etc. Now I eat meat, veggies, fruit, gluten free corn tortilla’s. Mostly everything except gluten. I stay away from sauces if I’m away from home because most likely it will have gluten in it. You can find so many gluten free foods now, it’s amazing but they can still be unhealthy so look at the ingredients. I keep it simple- meat, eggs, veggies, fruit potatoes, chocolates, coconut, nuts, oatmeal, tea all these foods can be found without gluten. Do yourself a favor and try it, it should change the way you feel drastically. I’m so grateful I learned about it.

  9. I agree with this one. For two years I’ve been suffering hypothyroid symptoms even if my thyroid tests show that I have normal levels. I went to a naturopathic doctor and was advised to do the following:

    – Go on a 100% gluten-free diet (doing so also eventually curbed out my sugar and fat cravings)
    – Enjoy the sun and take liquid Vitamin D
    – Take liquid turmeric
    – Do light exercises like walking for at most 30 minutes a day

    After two years of RELIGIOUSLY doing this, I am now hypothyroidism free and I am able to enjoy all the things I used to do prior to having thyroid problems. I can agree it can be SO frustrating: I went to so many medical doctors but none of them can ever solve why I was feeling that way (many also said I was just psychosomatic– well, come on!). But please do not lose hope. Just keep on doing the gluten-free lifestyle change and you will reap the rewards later on.

    At 5’2″, my pre-hypothyroidism weight was 105 pounds. While hypothyroid, I was at my peak at 130 pounds. Now, three years after being hypothyroid-free, I’m now at 98 pounds and feeling so much better and energized compared to my pre-hypothyroidism days.

    I hope the best for all of you!!! Biggest hugs! <3

    • Thanks. I shall try liquid turmeric and liquid vitamin d . I am trying going off gluten.
      Though sometimes I fail.

  10. I have been on levothyroxine for 19 years since I developed a goitre after the birth of my daughter. After the first couple of years I was set at 150/150/125 mg Levo and my bloods were always fine.
    About 4 months ago I embarked on Gluten . Wheat free diet (with the very occasional relapse) and then after routine blood test – I was changed to 125 every day and then after a retest a month later told to reduce to 100 . I feel fine – is this ok – or is going gluten free going to cause me other problems ??

    • Hi Sarah!

      I can only speak from experience on this as I am no medical practicioner. I’ve religiously followed a strict gluten free diet for two years before I became hypothyroid free (based on how I felt; not just on lab tests). It can feel weird at times. You might feel bloated, or you might feel you are gaining more weight than losing. But with any natural treatment it sure does take time. So just be ready for these highs and lows, but just follow through with the gluten-free diet and you will see the rewards later on 🙂

  11. I went grain free 3 months ago after a Hashimoto’s diagnosis. My carpal tunnel went away, severe hip pain went away and 8 lbs. went away. Unfortunately my thyroid antibodies increased. I’m baffled. Now they want me to take out soy (which I don’t eat) and dairy. Doesn’t an elimination diet involve reintroducing foods instead of JUST eliminating??

    • Depending on the severity of intolerance, once you rebuild your gut lining and your immune system a bit, you may be able to reintroduce previously eliminated foods. For more on this check out the GAPS Diet. Unfortunately, however, many people with gluten sensitivity are also highly sensitive to dairy and eggs. I’ve had to cut our all three and when I follow it to a T, I feel on top of the world.

      I encourage you to check our GAPS (gut healing to prevent, reverse disease) and The Root Cause (the intricacies and layers of Hashimoto’s and how to figure out what’s really going on in your unique body. Book by Izabella Wentz).

    • The other important factor is something I have just learned while studying our hormonal system: As a woman, we can easily be estrogen dominant, and this can cause one’s thyroid receptor cell sites to become inactive, thus harming our thyroid health. Estrogen dominance does not necessarily mean one is making too much estrogen, but it means that the estrogen-progesterone balance is off. This can mean low progesterone. Check out Dr John Lee’s book series about hormones…you will learn so much and see the link between thyroid and estrogen-progesterone.

  12. First I love your website.
    Second, I’ve been almost gluten free for a month. I have Hashimotos and hypothyroidism and have been exercising 4-5 days a week, 1 to 1.5 hours a day for three months with an endocrinologist approved personal trainer. I had not lost one pound and I was eating very healthy, following my nutritionist guidelines. So, I was getting extremely bloated to the point where people were congratulating me on my new baby when I would be out shopping. I am not pregnant! But yes, I find that I have tons less bloating and that beached whale feeling is gone. I have less diarrhea and gas as well. I’ve started losing weight (4 pounds in the last month). I even feel thinner, if that’s possible and sleep better.
    I really went almost gluten free on a whim and the suggestion of my nutritionist, just thinking that this is some fad that people are doing. But it’s not a fad. I have learned that some people, especially with Hashimotos, can be sensitive to gluten, and I am one of them. I say that I’m almost gluten free, because I’m sure I get some gluten here and there but I have cut out the obvious sources of gluten and wow! Definitely worth it. I can’t attribute everything to going almost gluten free, but a lot of my symptoms have been alleviated or disappeared. I highly reccommend anyone with Hashimotos who has issues with their stomach and bloating, to give going gluten free a try (under supervision of a nutritionist if possible). It’s not easy at first but it has made a huge difference in the short time I’ve been almost gluten free.

    • My story exactly, down to the latest letter. I really is beneficial to get rid of all the obvious gluten sources.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have been sooo depressed for months, as I have been exercising every day for at least one hour, and not losing a pound. I finally realized I just can’t sit here waiting for a doctor to fix me. It’s my battle, and have to step up to win.
      Today’s my grocery shopping day, and I’m getting gluten free foods! I pray this helps. I finally have hope I haven’t had in a long time.

      • Hi Christina, go Grain free not just Gluten free and avoid Gluten free foods, they are full of sugar and made with ingredients that raise blood sugar and promote visceral fat. See Dr William Davis Wheatbelly blog. Life changer

          • I agree with you about grains. Especially, I think when you get older, it’s also hard to digest grains and too many carbs. But what do you eat? If no grains at all? The Bill Clinton diet is supposed to be so healthy–no meat, no oil, no fat–just beans and lots of soy, pasta and grains. But if you can’t eat any of the above, what is left to eat? Soy is a known problem for the thyroid and too many beans and nuts are tough on digestion. Plus too many nuts give you excess omega 6. And you cant live on vegetables and fruits alone can you?

          • Well, some fruits are naturally high in sugars, dairy has quite a bit of natural sugars, corn is gluten free but is easily turned into sugar and potatoes are naturally higher than pure sugar on the glycemic index.

        • I totally agree. There are raw food snacks made from sprouted seeds, dried not baked, that are delicious and crunchy and quinoa that’s so much better than rice and is the only plantbased whole protein. AND you will lose more weight. Win win win.

      • Just be careful alot of gluten free products on the market contain alot of carbs some more than food with gluten .I just eliminated those food completely and eat a low carb high protein diet I lost 10 my first 2 week oh and no Gluten.

    • You didn’t read the article. The Dr. plainly states that there is no such thing as “almost gluten free.” Eating anything at all with gluten affects your body up to six months. He states you have to be 100% gluten free…all or nothing.

      • I agree. Every resource I have read regarding the connection between Hashimoto’s and gluten all state that going 100% gluten-free is non-negotiable. If you are eating gluten essentially a protein in the gluten is clogging up the thyroid hormone receptors, because your body cannot distinguish between tbe two.

        • If people want to believe charms, or snake rituals can cure them–well maybe it can help–because placebo effect is so strong. But I will wait to become a disciple of extreme gluten free theology for anyone but those who suffer from celiac or celiac with hashimotos—until any actual scientifically based study is completed. To date there is no such thing! The only “studies” that have been done are not scientifically sound or done by reputable clinicians. I choose to believe science–and it aint there yet!!

          • My doctor told me “Absolutely no gluten, absolutely no dairy”. He also explained it: There are proteins in gluten and dairy products that cause a breakdown of the intestinal walls, which leads to what is referred to as a “leaky gut”. Holes in the intestinal walls allow “leakage” into the blood stream. The “foreign objects” such as these proteins from the leakage in the blood stream trigger an autoimmune response. Your system says “gluten protein and dairy protein – whatever those are – should not be in my blood” and sends antibodies to attack. Your thyroid, unfortunately, becomes collateral damage.

            • Gluten and dairy free has reached cult/fad status. Sure SOME people may be sensitive to both–especially if you have Celiac. Absolutely avoiding these foods can be good for some. But to say EVERYBODY has this reaction makes no sense at all. People have eaten wheat and dairy for centuries with health and no harm. The way your doctor explained the inflammatory nature of the process makes some sense. But just to prove what hysteria is surrounding this, some say the proteins in wheat cause hashimotos thyroid disease because these proteins are the same as your thyroid and then your body mistakenly attacks the similar protein. This is not good science.

        • How does a gluten protein “clog up a thyroid receptor?” And if the receptors are clogged, how does this cause an autoimmune attack?

      • I just saw my new Gastroenterologist who told me that diet has absolutely nothing to do with Hashimoto’s according to newest research. I have been looking on Pub Med for recent papers on this subject but so far can’t find any new, recent, gluten-AITD research there. Interestingly, I was already taking Nettle, Boswella, and Chinese Skullcap which quickly eliminated my (autoimmune?) Osteoarthritis symtoms (and Deputrey’s contractures too) and find on Chris’s site a relationship to suppressing IL-17 involved in my Hashimoto’s!

        • My o lyrics responded several to that is that doctors don’t seem to be “open-minded” when it comes to natural or homeopathic medicine. I’d suggest doing your own research. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s over 10 years ago and now have nodules on my thyroid. Multiple doctors say come back when it gets worse. Based on the research I did, I took it upon myself to go gluten-free about 6 weeks ago. My personal experience is I feel 100% better and I can now tell the difference when I do eat gluten. Try it for a month. What could it hurt?

  13. Flouride. apart from Celiac disease..it is the Flouride.
    Most of the pesticides contain fluoride, and wheat is often sprayed in the granary..also to dry the wheat at harvest, it is sprayed with glyphosate (known carcinogen).

    Eat organic as much as possible.
    I know people who have cured their Hashimotos by eliminating fluoridated water and eating organic alone.
    The medical industry would lose credibility even faster than they already have if the truth got out.

    Flouride has also been implicated in osteoporosis, arthritic pains because the fluoride “calcifies” in joints and ligaments,, implicated also in IBS, and a host of other ailments..fluoride exposure is cumulative, so parents pass it on to their kids.

    • Good point! Illuminating fluoride and switching to organic, fresh from the Bakery without any preservatives, may be as effective for me. I know I cannot do “gluten free” products – so many have sugar, sodium and preservatives all of which I have to avoid. After 30 years of chronic migraines (puking 2-3 days 1-3x month) I am migraine free! Please do not depend solely on Medical Doctors or “the proven science”. Our own experience of improved health is a scientific fact! As my favorite doctor says, “the proof is in the pudding”! If you feel better, and your symptoms are gone, that is proof! Toothpaste also proved to be is a major problem for me, after 6 months of using “Good Gums”, my gums are healthy after a lifetime of inflammation and gum decease and receding gums. My last checkup the dentist dis not even chart the (lack) recession!

      • Eliza – Thank you for this comment. Some people seem to be very snarky & take the stance that if it works/doesn’t work for me, that it must be so for everyone. When, in fact, we are each unique to our very cores.

        I have been gluten free for nearly two years with great results, but know others who saw no real benefit from going GF. In May I went to my Mom’s naturopath. I am on my second round of treatment with her for my thyroid, with excellent results. I lost 10 pounds in aboutsix weeks, and the pounds are still slowly coming off. But, more importantly, my T3 and T4 have normalized. My TSH is still too low, but hoping to see that turn around. I am no longer symptomatic for my Hashimoto’s or Hashitixicosis. So, needless to say I am very happy with these results.

        In addition to the improvement in my weight and thyroid function, I have had no issues with seasonal allergies this Spring & Summer. I typically end up with a serious sinus infection, ear infection and bronchitis. Not this year!

        Keep trying new things & I hope your current solutions continue to go well for you!

          • Tammy –
            I finished up both sets if treatments w/the naturopath. Her testing indicates my thyroid is free of virus, mold, etc. These were determined to be the underlying causes of my Hashimoto’s. I now take homeopathic Cat’s Claw and a mix she put together to help clear GMO toxins. The only other things I take are B12 as methlycobalamin and a D3 lipisome spray.

            Since my last post I saw my endo. BTW – she is very supportive of my efforts to heal naturally – my T3 & T4 remain normal. My TSH is still non-existent, but she says it can take a long time for the TSH to normalize.

  14. I have Graves’, Hashimotos, Thyroid Eye Disease along with 6 other autoimmune issues. One of my eye specialists told me to go on an anti-inflammatory diet and after research I recently removed gluten from my diet. Soon after, my one bulging eye started looking better and my double vision improved greatly.
    There is no doubt in my mind that going gluten free is what helped my symptoms. My eye looked horrible for a year and now the first thing people say to me is how much better my eye looks. The only thing that has changed is eating gluten free.

  15. I tried going gluten free and my TPO antibodies tripled and my TG antibodies shot up in range. This makes no sense to me.

    • I was diagnosed as hypothyroid about 20 years ago, but only found out I had Hashi’s after I asked my doctor to check my antibodies in October 2009; my numbers were: TPO 143 and TG 845. I was totally gluten free for 2 years; the result: TPO 257 and TG 2006!! I stopped eating gluten free in 2011 and in August 2013 TPO was 320 and TG 3366. My last antibodies labs (had to beg my doctor to order them) was December 2015: TPO was 463 and TG 1896.

      So my TPO antibodies have continued to skyrocket but my TG antibodies have gone down. ???? My weight is almost at my all-time high and STUCK. Temps pretty good, I have energy, not cold. Have seen so many docs, spent more time and money than I care to admit = NOTHING. Eating low carb and the original Armour change messed me up and I can’t get back to a healthy weight. SO discouraged. Trying gluten free again but not totally convinced.

      • Armour caused me to go into Hashitoxicosis. I felt better, but my numbers looked terrible. I went gluten-free and now I am now in a complete hyperthyroid state. No heart palpitations, no shaking, etc. But, so tired. I do not want to give up the gluten-free diet, do not want to have my thyroid removed/ablated, but do not know what to do now to balance things out.

      • Maybe your auto-immunity involves more than gluten sensitivity? What if you tried a grain free diet just to see if it helps? I am sensitive to non-gluten items at least in my blood work.

    • Sorry to hear that. I had aTPO scores at 360. I then went gluten free for a year and my aTPO dropped to 280. I also realized that I may have accidentally exposed myself to gluten before that last test, so, I’m continuing with gluten free and will be EXTREME in my label reading to avoid ALL traces of gluten.

  16. Hi Chris, have you ever heard that fermenting breads for 24 hrs (the way breads used to be done) breaks down gluten into amino acids, no longer causing problems? What do you think about it?

      • This is false, wheat, barley and rye contain gluten whether you ferment them as sourdough or not. Sourdough is not gluten free.

  17. The studies included are about Celiac and Autoimmune. I don’t see any studies about how removing gluten improved on autoimmune with someone who doesn’t have the celiac gene.

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