31 Mar Thyroid and Gluten: Should You Avoid Gluten With Hashimoto’s?
You might’ve heard about the thyroid and gluten connection + you might have had a practitioner in the past tell you to avoid gluten if you have Hashimoto’s. Are you thinking that’s crazy talk? Let’s talk about the research that is found with this connection + why the heck this is even recommended?
Thyroid and Gluten Connection
Let’s start off by looking at a study because you know that recommendations we give are often derived from studies….
A study of 34 women with Hashimoto’s divided them into 2 groups: 1 group consuming a gluten free diet + the other group consuming a normal diet. They followed this diet for 6 months. In the women that remained on a regular diet, they had similiar antibody levels compared to their baseline levels.
In the women that consumed a gluten-free diet, their thyroid antibodies were decreased + even saw an increase in vitamin D levels.
You might be asking why is this? There is a something called molecular mimicry, which is where when someone consumes wheat that contains proteins like gluten + gliadin that is similiar in molecular structure to transglutaminase (an enzyme that is found in the thyroid) + it will trigger the immune system + it can increase the damage to thyroid.
Hashimoto’s and Celiac Link
Now, there is also a link between someone having autoimmune thyroid, such as Hashimoto’s or Graves, and having celiac disease too! There is a much higher prevalence of autoimmune thyroid in celiac patients.
Other observations that are found is that out of 79 celiac patients in a study – 13.9% of patients had autoimmune thyroid and 10.1% of patients had subclinical thyroid issues. There was also a decreased response in the thyroid during ultrasounds in 73% of celiac patients. These ultrasound results are associated with positive thyroid antibodies.
Should You Avoid Gluten If You Have Hashimoto’s?
In short answer, yes. I think it’s very beneficial to tweak your diet to avoid proteins, gluten + gliadin, that is found in wheat, rye, + barley. Usually when people switch from wheat, they choose more nutrient dense options of foods in common wheat products. Such as chickpea pasta, almond flour tortillas, etc.
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