If you are like myself and have hypothyroidism you are constantly looking for ways to help outside medication. Those that don't have it probably have a family member or friend who does. Hypothyroidism can cause fatigue, weight gain, umm oh yea memory loss, and in some depression and anxiety. What I keep hearing is that gluten is the cause of hypothyroidism and cutting out gluten will solve our problems. I was a little skeptical of this since it seemed very convenient that this information would be ever where during a diet fad of gluten free. Since I am somewhat of a heretic when it comes to popular health things I decided to do a little research. I probably looked in the same place most of you did google. What I found was a plethora of information all saying the same thing, some by doctors others by thyroid blogs. A few things I noticed in all of them; they mentioned hypothyroidism most likely to really be an autoimmune disease such as graves or Hashimoto’s, the gliadin which is the protein part of gluten is often mistaken for thyoid gland. This mistaken identity causes our bodies to attack our thyroid thus out thyroid imbalance, which of course can be fixed by eliminating all gluten for at least six months. Each article I read gave different percentages and talked about studies done. I was having a hard time seeing these studies they were referring too, so I went to google scholar and looked for studies. What I found was interesting most of the articles stated that those with celiac disease were likely to have autoimmune disorders as opposed to the reverse that was stated in the earlier articles. In one study in Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology they found out of 100 participants 2% had celiac, they determined "thyroid autoantibodies did not positively correlate with dietary habits." The Journal of Pediatrics reported research that out of 90 patients with celiac disease "we found that the prevalence of diabetes and thyroid-related serum antibodies was 11.1% and 14.4%, respectively". They did find that the gluten-free diet did seem to help them. What I have noticed is that most of the research done is in regards to those with celiac disease. The American Journal of Gastroenterology found 22 out of 976 with celiac disease. My question is should everyone with thyroid problem assume they have celiac disease and eat gluten-free diets to eliminate their thyroid problems? In my opinion if you believe you are one of these 3% see your doctor and get your blood tested, you may not need to join in with everyone else only to find out it did not work for you.
September 11, 2013