Gluten, a wheat protein found in most grains, is not digested by the body and has been linked to over 300 diseases including thyroid issues. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease can cause many issues within the body, but the most typical issues include digestive problems such as bloating, abdominal cramping, constipation, and diarrhea. These gastrointestinal issues often lead to the malabsorbtion of nutrients and even medications.
A recent study performed in Rome revealed that individuals who have hypothyroidism, but did not have typical symptoms for celiac disease or gluten intolerance (digestive issues) required 49% more T4 to achieve treatment results when NOT on a gluten free diet, than those who went on a gluten free diet. (Results were based on lowering the TSH levels).
This study also followed individuals with known celiac disease. They found that individuals following a gluten free diet were able to maintain the same dosage of thyroid medication as those without celiac disease and reached the same TSH level in 11 months. When the celiac individuals went gluten free and increased their dosage by four times the amount, they were able to reach the same TSH level in 5 months, the same amount as the individuals without celiac disease’s’ healing time.
Conclusions: Gluten intake affects the absorption of T4 in the body. Going gluten free increases the body’s ability to use T4. Individuals with celiac disease and thyroid can achieve the same results as those without it by watching their diet and adjusting their medication accordingly.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Mar;97(3):E419-22. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-1851. Epub 2012 Jan 11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Atypical%20Celiac%20Disease%20as%20Cause%20of%20Increased%20Need%20for%20Thyroxine%3A%20A%20Systematic%20Study