More and more doctors are looking toward diet as a contributing factor in thyroid diseases. A new study sheds light on the fact that selenium deficiency can be caused by gluten induced malabsorption. The researchers go on to say that Selenium deficiency can cause thyroid diseases and can lead to unregulated inflammatory damage…
Regarding gluten sensitivity –
the target organs are not limited to the gut, but include thyroid, liver, skin and reproductive and nervous systems…
Regarding selenium deficiency –
Thus, selenium malabsorption in CD (celiac disease) can be thought as a key factor directly leading to thyroid and intestinal damage.
Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2010;46(4):389-399.
It is no medical mystery that gluten can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Selenium is a mineral with multiple functions within the body. A short list of some of selenium’s more common roles is listed below:
- It plays a role in the production of active thyroid hormone (see chart below).
- It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps to regulate immune function.
- It plays a role in blood viscosity (reduces excessive clotting of the blood).
- It drives the most powerful antioxidant system in the body.
This study points out that no only does gluten induced selenium deficiency cause abnormal thyroid hormone production, it leads to excessive inflammation and autoimmune disease.
In previous posts we have discussed how going on a gluten free diet can lead to fat loss. One of the reasons this happens for many is that a gluten free diet helps the thyroid gland start working again. This in turn increases the metabolism.
Other Nutrients Important for Thyroid Function –
- Iodine – this mineral helps the body build T4 (the hormone that doctors commonly measure that floats through the bloodstream)
- Vitamins D and A – these fat soluble vitamins allow T3 (the active hormone) to communicate with your DNA and increase your metabolism.
- Zinc & Magnesium – these minerals help your body make TSH (the hormone made in your brain that tells your thyroid gland to make T4).
- Protein – most Americans eat too many carbs and not enough protein. Protein is absolutely necessary to form the backbone of thyroid hormone. It also carries the hormone through the blood stream to your tissues.
What Can You Do If You Have Been Diagnosed with Hypothyroidism?
Have your doctor perform the following tests –
- Iodine loading test (urine test)
- Spectracell (vitamin and mineral deficiency blood test)
- Reverse T3 and thyroid antibody testing
- Genetic testing for gluten sensitivity
It is time for doctors to start ruling out gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, and nutritional deficiencies in patients with thyroid disease. If your doctor will not investigate these areas for you, look for a functional medicine doctor who will.
If you think that this information will help someone you love suffering with a thyroid problem, please forward this along.