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What You Should Know About Gluten And Thyroid

By Adriana Seng | Gluten-Free Foods

Sep 28


We hear about the possible negative effects of gluten in celiac diseases and diabetes, even of how it could possibly have negative effects to people suffering from IBS. When you hear about all these things, you would start to wonder if whether or not it can prove to cause or even aggravate problems with the thyroid.

Here, we will be reviewing the correlation between gluten and thyroid. What is the relation between gluten and thyroid? We will also help you get to know your thyroid and what hyperthyroidism would entail.

What is Hyperthyroidism and AITD?


It is important to know that 9 out of 10 cases of hyperthyroidism are often an autoimmune disease, also known as autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). If you or someone you know are suffering from AITD, you should beware of gluten containing products since there have been a lot of studies showing a strong link between AITD and gluten.

People who are now being diagnosed with AITD are mandated to take a gluten sensitivity test. In case your doctor did not order gluten testing for you, you should request for one since testing for gluten is very crucial for AITD patients.

AITD and Gluten Connection


For me to explain the connection between AITD and gluten, I will have to explain the basics of gluten. Gluten is a natural protein derived from natural products like wheat, rye, barley, corn and many others.

There are still a lot of arguments claiming that corn gluten should be classified as gluten-free, saying that the type of protein found in corn gluten does not trigger the same reactions from people suffering from IBS, celiac disease and gluten allergies. However, it is important to note that research pertaining to corn gluten is still very lacking in a lot of aspects.

Why Protecting Your Thyroid is Important


Thyroid is the mother of all hormones in the body and serves as a receptor site. Our immune system protects us from getting sick by attacking viruses and bacteria, this one is very elementary but this is where the parallels of gluten and thyroid intersects.

Gluten contains a protein called gliadin which has an almost identical molecular structure to thyroid tissues. People who have gluten intolerance to gluten or have adverse reactions to gluten will have serious problems with this connection.

Once gluten is digested, it will be broken down and the nutrients will be absorbed in our intestines. Once the nutrients are absorbed, they will be transported into our blood stream so that it can be distributed and shared among the cells in our body. When an individual suffering from gluten intolerance, our immune system starts attacking the gliadin proteins since they are being perceived as villains.

When the Immune System Starts attacking Thyroid Tissues


Remember that the molecular structure of this protein is very akin to thyroid tissues? Well, since the immune system has already been triggered into identifying the gliadin proteins as unwanted cells that needs to be fought off, it will also start attacking thyroid tissues. Unfortunately, our immune system has very hard time distinguishing healthy thyroid tissues from gliadin proteins from gluten.

Think of the immune system as going on fight mode and staying like that six months after a single serving of gluten containing food. Horrible, right? It does not reset until after months of not having any gluten in the system.

Keep it Safe and Simple


A lot of people are not very aware of how being sensitive to gluten can eventually lead to worse situations. Getting tested for gluten sensitivity if you have IBS and AITD, is a necessity. Gluten is generally safe and in fact advised for most people since gluten rich grains are also rich in fiber. Unfortunately, gluten is one of the worst allergies to have. Closely monitor food labels and try to eat fresh produce as much as possible, this is the only way you can be as safe as possible.

Commonly Eaten foods and Gluten


Almost everything you eat may contain gluten. It can be anywhere from bread, oatmeal, cake, biscuits or even ice cream and beer can contain gluten.

Gluten-free food, if made from naturally gluten containing ingredients should be taken in moderation, or not at all. It is always better to be safe than sorry, in the long run.

Up to date, there hasn’t been any real way to cure a person from gluten sensitivity. Gluten has been studied mostly on how it can aggravate and trigger other illnesses.

Attempts are continuously being made to make products that are as gluten-free as possible but the technology to accurately measure gluten in very small quantities is still far fetch. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, while generally avoiding grains is a good way to start as any.

Let us know what you think and share with your friends if you have found this article useful.