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Recent Discoveries Suggest a Surprising Connection Between Gluten and Thyroid Autoimmunity – Could Changing One’s Diet Influence This Persistent Ailment?

Friday, March 29th 2024 10:00am 2 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

The Intricacies of Gluten and Thyroid Disorders

Recent insights into the relationship between gluten consumption and thyroid diseases point to molecular mimicry, an immunological process where the body’s defense system erroneously targets fragments of gluten proteins due to their resemblance to thyroid tissue elements. This misdirected immune response leads to the generation of thyroid autoantibodies, causing persistent inflammation and harm that may initiate or aggravate Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

A plethora of extensive epidemiological research has unveiled this correlation, highlighting a significant link between celiac disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. However, the impact of a gluten-free diet on thyroid antibody levels and overall health remains less explored in clinical settings.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Gluten-Free Diets

In a landmark initiative in 2018, Dr. Robert Krysiak and his team embarked on a study to investigate the gluten-free diet hypothesis. The study involved 34 Polish women diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, dividing them into two groups: one adhering to a strict gluten-free diet and the other continuing their standard gluten-inclusive diet.

After a six-month period, the findings were revealing: individuals on a gluten-free diet showed significant reductions in critical autoantibodies – thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin (TgAb) antibodies – in contrast to the unchanged levels in the control group. Moreover, those on the gluten-free diet saw increases in vitamin D levels and enhancements in thyroid-pituitary axis functioning.

Experiences from Patients

Among the first to test a gluten-free regimen was a Hashimoto’s patient who learned about the pilot study via online forums. Initially plagued by gastrointestinal issues she believed were unrelated, She found guidance and support in her online “thyroid sisters” community.

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