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Your thyroid, gluten and what they have in common.

Fatigue is a common concern for individuals seeing Naturopathic Medical care.  Often one area of the body, which is often the cause for this fatigue is the thyroid gland.  Hypothyroidism, or “underactive” thyroid in 90% of cases is caused by an autoimmune reaction 1.

Autoimmune reaction means that your body’s immune system is attacking your thyroid gland.  If your thyroid is being attacked it cannot make thyroid hormone, which is used by every cell of your body.

When you are having laboratory tests done for your thyroid gland it is important to test for auto antibodies – thyroid peroxidase antibody and thyroglobulin antibody.  Both of these tests are not commonly done within a thyroid workup, and if they are not much credit is given if they are elevated.   Here is where Naturopathic Medicine looks beyond the numbers and at the root cause.

So why is gluten a problem?

 A part of the gluten protein, gliadin has a structure that is similar to the thyroid gland.

In the cases of gluten intolerance when proteins pass through the lining of the gut and into the blood stream, if your immune system is reacting to gluten, it will also wreak havoc on your thyroid gland.

Contact me for more information about how autoimmune conditions can be linked to what you eat.


Image source – helpmychronicpain.com

1 Amino, Nobuyuki, Autoimmunity and hypothyroidism, Baillière’s Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Volume 2, Issue 3, August 1988, Pages 591-617 

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