Gluten and Hashimoto's

Celiac Disease is not the only condition that requires gluten avoidance to maintain proper health. Some gluten researchers estimate that as many as 80% of Americans are genetically predisposed to gluten intolerance, while 43% are predisposed to Celiac disease. Those figures are not even considering the affects of genetically modified gluten, which accounts for much of the country's supply. Thyroid experts strongly urge people with thyroid problems to completely eradicate gluten from their diets. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, triticale, and spelt. Countless studies have proven that gluten and Hashimoto's have a strong connection. Gluten actually has similar properties to the thyroid gland, making it a vile enemy to a Hashimoto's victim, especially if that individual is already predisposed to gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. Products containing gluten weaken the intestinal walls and can facilitate leaky gut, yet another common problem for Hashimoto's patients. When leaky gut occurs, gluten can make it's way from the intestines to the blood stream, where the immune system likely sends out it's immune system cells to attack it, exacerbating an autoimmune condition. Although Celiac disease is more of a concern because it causes greater and rapid damage, gluten intolerance is more widespread in the US.

So, just how much gluten do you consume in a day? How much have you consumed in your lifetime? The typical American diet is loaded with what's often marketed as, 'Heart Healthy Wheat,' making it a seemingly safe choice for your diet. However, concrete research and testimonies from patients has taught experts that eliminating gluten from the diet has many more benefits than consuming it.

Gluten intolerance causes inflammation in several areas of the body, including the digestive system, skin, joints, brain, respiratory system, etc. 

Common Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Unexplained weight gain
Unexplained weight loss
Nutritional deficiencies (poor malabsorption)
Skin rashes, eczema, allergies, etc.
Digestive problems (bloating, gas, constipation, gas, diarrhea, etc.)
Headaches or migraines
Neurological symptoms
Aching joints, bones, or muscles
Irritability or sudden mood changes
Dental problems
Fat in stool (inability to digest fats)
Female problems (infertility, painful periods, miscarriages, etc.)

There are multiple tests that are marketed to detect gluten intolerance, however some experts on the subject don't agree with the accuracy of such tests because it's common to receive false-negative results. Until recent years, doctors solely relied on tests to disregard gluten sensitivity and even Celiac disease. The best way for Hashimoto's patients to test for gluten intolerance is to simply avoid it for a few months and journal your experience with it everyday including any physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms or lack thereof during the gluten-free diet. Gluten is not something that you can have 'slip ups' with because even eating one piece of wheat bread can be harmful and it may take the body months to heal from, thus going gluten free is a permanent commitment and part of adopting a healthier lifestyle for managing Hashimoto's.

Avoiding gluten can help weaken the attack on the thyroid. Although I cannot personally attest to this (likely due to other food allergies that I will test for), many people find relief from their symptoms just by avoiding gluten. I have read many success stories from people, who saw less digestive problems, neurological symptoms, and fatigue. The genes associated with gluten intolerance are HLA-DQ and HLA-DR. Testing is available through select labs.

Many people with autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto's, find that following The Paleo Diet has allowed them to lose weight and have more energy throughout the day. This diet is all about eating like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did some thousands of years ago.  My husband has no complaints about eating foods made using Paleo recipes because they often contain high quality grass-fed (free of estrogen-like hormones and antibiotics) meats, healthy fats, nuts, and eggs. This is an excellent diet to incorporate in to your entire family's lifestyle.

Gluten and autoimmunity explained in about 20 minutes via Wellness Punks
Their YouTube channel includes a series on gluten and recommendations for successfully avoiding it.


  1. this was a great video! I just don't understand why it takes months to fix one mess up. Why do the antibodies still attack if there is no more gluten going in for a month or so?

  2. Quality post!!! it is a nicely written post with so many good facts ! thank you for sharing it with us !

  3. I was just diagnosed with this disease and am about to go gluten free. In another blog post, you mentioned that soy also interferes with this. What other food groups should I be avoiding, and do you know what the problem is with soy?

  4. C'est la description parfaite de mes maux sauf qu'en France tout cela n'est que hystérie et anorexie..... Lorsque vous arrivez aux urgences suite à une ingestion de gluten, vous etes envoyée en psychiatrie...