We see a lot of patients coming into the office diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis. Hashimotos Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder where your body is attacking its own thyroid gland because it thinks it is an intruder in the body.
There is no exact determination of cause. It is suspected to be linked to a gluten sensitivity, PCOS, Estrogen Dominance, Vitamin D deficiency, environmental toxins, and chronic infections. Pregnancy has seen to be a strong precursor to developing Hashimoto’s, due to the increased activity of your immune system.
Hashimoto’s is confirmed by two antibodies labs – Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPOAb) and Thyroglobulin Antibody (TgAb). Both are recommended, many times only one is run and Hashimoto’s can be missed.
Sometimes we see people with negative antibody tests, but their symptoms point to Hashimotos. This is because the immune system may be exhausted due to overwork and is actually to the point where it is unable to produce the reaction of antibodies to get a positive test. If a patient presents with a strong clinical thyroiditis hashimoto symptoms I will often work on rebuilding the immune system for a while, put them on an anti-inflammatory diet, take them off gluten, and retest to see if the antibodies go up. They will go up when the immune system has recovered a bit and has the energy to respond with a fighting chance.
Taking a thyroiditis person off gluten is very important in the healing process. We know gluten is inflammatory. We also know that Gluten is linked with Hashimotos thyroiditis and thyroid symptoms. Even if a patient does not have digestive complaints, we find gluten is an issue for them. It is very rare to find a Thyroiditis patient who does not have a gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity is defined as any immune system response to gluten. The immune system is already imbalanced from the autoimmunity in hashimotos, we don’t want to further exacerbate it with the inflammation gluten causes. When someone with hashimotos consumes gluten we see symptoms such as inflamed joints, skin rashes, brain fog, anxiety, mood disorders, and memory loss. The list goes on and on, and can depend on a person’s genetic makeup, lifestyle, and stress level.
We do testing for gluten sensitivity in our office, I did more of it in the past and most every thyroiditis case came back gluten sensitive. Knowing this, often times most people are okay just going off it. Many practitioners do not use sensitive enough labs testing to determine gluten sensitivities and tell hashimoto patients it is okay to eat gluten. This is sabotaging healing. The only lab we trust for gluten testing is Cyrex labs. It is the industry standard and most sensitive. But again, most patients are okay with just going off it, knowing that they feel better, their inflammation decreases, and the thyroid balances easier.