Nutritional Deficiencies Caused By Gluten Can Impact Thyroid Function
It’s clear that there is a link between celiac disease (and NCGS) and thyroid dysfunction, and that a gluten free diet can help manage thyroid conditions. However, there is another important link to discuss. That is that many of the nutritional deficiencies caused by gluten can impact the thyroid and its functions. Below are some common malabsorption-related deficiencies found in those with celiac disease and NCGS and how they may impact the thyroid:
- Iodine: Iodine is a key player in thyroid hormone health and studies have shown that proper levels can support thyroid function. One study looked at pregnant women in particular, who, like those with celiac disease, are commonly deficient. The study found that a daily supplement containing 150 μg of iodine improved the iodine status from mild iodine deficiency to iodine sufficiency, which had a positive impact on thyroid hormone levels.
- Selenium: Selenium has been implicated in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis and many studies have shown that selenium supplementation may decrease thyroid antibodies in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.
- Iron: Adequate iron status is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and research has shown that patients with subclinical hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis frequently have lower serum (blood) iron concentration and a higher prevalence of iron deficiency than do healthy controls. In fact, low iron stores may contribute to symptom persistence in patients treated for hypothyroidism in 5–10 % of whom symptoms remain despite being treated with levothyroxine (synthetic thyroid hormone).
- Vitamin D: The influence of vitamin D on autoimmune thyroid disease has been widely studied. Most of the existing data support a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and a greater tendency for development of antibodies linked to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, and/or postpartum thyroiditis.
- Magnesium – this mineral helps your body make TSH (the hormone made in your brain that tells your thyroid gland to make T4).
- Zinc – like magnesium, this mineral also helps your body make TSH