Hashimoto’s and Gluten Intolerance: Know the Link

Hashimoto’s and gluten intoleranceIf you suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, you know that it can be difficult to treat. Your thyroid function can alternate between underactive and overactive, and medication often seems ineffective. That is because Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid disorder, meaning the immune system attacks the thyroid itself, causing damage and inflammation. Reducing inflammation and the frequency of this immune reaction are key steps in treating Hashimoto’s. One of the most important steps you can take is to eliminate gluten from your diet, as Hashimoto’s and gluten intolerance share a clear link. 

What is the Link Between Hashimoto’s and Gluten Intolerance?

The role of the immune system is to protect the body from foreign invaders. When a harmful substance enters our bodies, the immune system attacks and destroys the foreign cells to prevent them from harming the body. An autoimmune disorder is when the immune system mistakes the body’s own cells for foreign invaders and begins attacking healthy cells. In the case of Hashimoto’s and gluten intolerance, the problem lies in the similarities between gluten and thyroid tissue. Gluten’s molecular structure closely resembles that of thyroid tissue, so the immune system can mistake one for the other.

In other words, if someone with autoimmune gluten intolerance (Celiac disease) ingests gluten, their immune system could also start attacking their thyroid, causing Hashimoto’s. Autoimmune disorders can often lead to more immune dysfunction. In fact, roughly 25% of patients with one autoimmune disorder will develop another.

Likewise, if a patient with Hashimoto’s ingests gluten, the immune system could mistake it for thyroid tissue and increase its attack on the thyroid, causing further damage. The best way to control inflammation and other Hashimoto’s symptoms is to follow a gluten-free diet. 

Foods to Avoid When You Have Hashimoto’s

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and certain grains, such as rye, barley and spelt. It is found in bread, pasta, cereal and baked goods, but it can also be found in processed foods and certain candies. It is important to carefully read ingredient labels to avoid accidental consumption of gluten.

Some Hashimoto’s patients need to cut other inflammatory foods from their diet, such as dairy and sugar. Unknown food sensitivities could be causing inflammation and stressing the immune system, making your autoimmune condition worse. At Anchor Wellness Center, we check for any food sensitivities and help you develop a personalized nutrition plan.

Find Relief from Hashimoto’s at Anchor Wellness Center

While autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s can’t be cured, they can be successfully managed through diet and lifestyle changes. Many people are able to see a remission of hypothyroid symptoms by following a diet that eliminates gluten and other trigger foods. We also use bioidentical hormones to treat your thyroid disease more effectively – and with almost no side effects – compared to traditional synthetic medications.

For help treating your Hashimoto’s, call Anchor Wellness Center today at (832) 246-8437 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM. As a Board Certified physician in Family Medicine, as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra can help you reduce your symptoms and improve your overall health.

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