Adapted from Clin Med Res. 2007 Oct;5(3):184-92.Does Gluten Sensitivity Cause Autoimmune Hypothyroid Disease (Hashimoto’s)?

Not only do the authors of this paper discuss the need to screen hypothyroid patients for gluten sensitivity, they also discuss other common non intestinal manifestations of celiac disease and gluten intolerance: anemia, osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders, unexplained neurological syndromes, infertility and chronic hypertransaminasemia, autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, autoimmune liver diseases and inflammatory bowel disease.

“Treatment of CD with a gluten-free diet should reduce the recognized complications of this disease and provide benefits in both general health and perhaps life expectancy. It also improves glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and enhances the absorption of medications for associated hypothyroidism and osteoporosis.


Clin Med Res. 2007 Oct;5(3):184-92.

Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

Hypothyroid disease can have many contributing factors. Gluten sensitivity is a big one. The intestinal permeability or “leaky gut” created by gluten has been shown to cause “molecular mimicry” reactions. In other words, gluten allows toxic chemicals to leak into the blood stream. Sometimes these toxic chemicals resemble tissues in the body i.e. thyroid hormone, joint cartilage, muscles, liver cells, etc. The body’s immune system attacks these chemicals, and because they resemble or “mimic” the structures of the body, the immune system is directed to attack friendly tissues as well. See – Molecular Mimicry and Autoimmunity for more on this.

Once your body starts to attack it’s own tissues, it can take 2-3 years to reverse autoimmune disease. That is why going on a gluten free diet should not be sporadic. Once the internal “autoimmune fires” start, they must be put out. The only way to do this is with a strict adherence to the diet so that the gut can heal and the immune damage can cease.

4 thoughts on “Link between hypothyroid and celiac disease

  1. Pingback: Gluten Free Life Changing Testimonial wins Glutenology Cookbook | Gluten Free Society

  2. Kathy says:

    I have been sick for over thirty years to find out once I stopped eating gluten, dairy and yeast I felt the best I had in over thirty years. Why are regular doctors not telling this to patients? I then developed Hashimotos and although I am not a true Celiac patient I do know that when I had stopped the Gluten,diary and yeast I was fine. I hope that people read this and try it and I mean not even a little gluten it can set off things. To think all this time it wss the food is unbelievable. I am determined to spread the word to help others so they do not suffer like this. Just because you have a intolerance or sensitivity there is not always tests available for this I would certainly tell anyone who is sick to just stop this for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. I was bed ridden in a electric scooter could not walk all because of this. In three weeks I was better and riding a bicycle. Please try this you have nothing to loose.

  3. Diane Zides says:

    I’ve been borderline hypothyroid since childhood. Two years after my second C-section, my thyroid went. Synthroid did nothing for my fatigue, and I didn’t lose the weight I thought I would after a year on it. I decided to diet by cutting out all gluten, starches, and sugar. Five months later, no more constipation that plagued me my whole life, and I felt better and my thyroid returned to nornal and I was weened off Synthroid. Over the years gluten slipped back into my diet in small amounts since it would put weight on me fast if I ate too much of it( I was always watching my weight). I did’t feel as well anymore either. I’m now post menopausal for 6 years, and I recently lost the outer third of my eyebrows again and I generally feel like crap. If I am hypothyroid again, I hope staying gluten free will correct this in 2 or 3 years.

  4. Chaz says:

    I have been sluggish and in awful pain for over 30 years. In addition,even though I have never been over weight I always felt bloated. Extremely low thyroid affected my equilibrium at first. My thyroid was practically non-functioning. I was put on such strong dosages of Armour thyroid — they would kill most people. Over the years I developed severe fibromyalgia, joint pain, dysautonomia. Always hoping that somehow I could manage to get thru the day. About 9 yrs ago I found a product with tons of phytonutrients from fruits and veggies. Suddenly, my thyroid started working again — see my website if you like. My doctor was nervous cuz he had to monitor me closely as the meds could cause me to become hyper instead. That was about 7 years ago. Still, I had many of the symptoms listed above. Part of the battle won but it still continued at a milder pace. About 2 months ago I felt like my throat was closing very frequently after eating. I was given a nudge by my higher self to eliminate flour and yeast. Wow! No more closing up of my throat, no more bloating, much less pain, more energy, etc. I am still on half the dosage of thyroid (altho it is synthroid now cuz Armour was not available for a long time). I consume a lot of food and remain quite thin. Best of all, no bloating or difficulties breathing. Some advice, when you go to a restaurant make sure that they do not put flour in mashed potatoes. Yep, they do that for what reason I do not know. I am able to eat bread made with sprouted grains just fine. I am talking about Ezekiel. I especially like the raisin one and the sesame one is good too. I wish I had figured this out years ago cuz my life would have been changed so much for the better . . .I was usually too sick to get done what I needed to do — always pushing myself. Now I am playing catch up — but grateful. Better late than never.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.