Hypothyroidism and gluten free diet.
July 10, 2013 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Looking for resources about gluten intolerance and hypothyroidism.

I'm 34, female, and got diagnosed with hypothyroidism last year and after a few adjustments, my current dose of Synthroid is 175mcg/day. I also exercise at least 4-5 hours a week and have been doing that for about 18 months. I have been reading up on hypothyroidism and discovered a supposed connection between hypothyroidism and gluten intolerance. I have not had any gluten or sugar in over a week as part of a clean eating challenge I'm doing and I feel fantastic, although it's obviously way to early to attribute my higher energy levels to that.

Not seeking medical advice here. I already have an excellent doctor who I'm scheduled to see early next week. But I am hoping you guys can point me to some reliable resources about this and I would like to hear from other hypothyroidism sufferers who have attempted to completely cut gluten out of their diet. Thanks!
posted by futureisunwritten to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Chris Kresser -- if you google "Chris Kresser thyroid" you should get a fair number of hits. He advocates a Paleo approach to eating and health, so lots of support for gluten-free living there!
posted by Bebo at 11:57 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Thyroid disorders are correlated with untreated Celiac disease. See also here. My mom was diagnosed with hyperthyroid about 5 years before they finally diagnosed her with Celiac disease. To diagnose CD, there is an initial blood test (which has a pretty high false-negative rate IMO), followed by a biopsy, then if they suspect CD you go gluten free for some number of weeks and have another biopsy to see if your intestine is healing. If you're interested in diagnosis, your GP can order the blood test or you can go straight to a gastroenterologist (some GPs are well-educated about gluten, some are not). Since you are hypothyroid, you may not have had the typical weight loss that makes doctors suspect CD.

You can try a gluten free diet on your own, but if you are interested in a CD diagnosis, you will need to be eating gluten for the biopsy (and possibly blood test?) to be accurate.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:25 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few months ago and my endocrinologist's medical opinion is that there is absolutely no correlation between food and the disease. I however, have long suspected that I am gluten intolerant - even with a negative CD result - so I encourage you to keep digging on this and I will watch this thread closely.
posted by gillianr at 8:37 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Since we're trading anecdotes, I'll share my experience that, although I have hypothyroidism, I am not all all gluten-intolerant and in fact feel best when eating wheat and dairy. I tried a gluten-free, dairy-free diet because everyone says you should, but it didn't do anything good for me.

Hypothyroidism is usually an autoimmune disease. People who have one autoimmune disease are at higher risk for any other autoimmune disease, probably for genetic reasons. Celiac disease is commonly regarded as an autoimmune disorder. So, if you have autoimmune thyroid disease, you are at increased risk of celiac disease, but also of other autoimmune diseases. It seems pretty random whether you get just one, or two or more, autoimmune diseases, and, if you get two or more, which ones you get.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 8:43 AM on July 11, 2013

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