Gluten Free Guerrillas


hi. i am new and found this site through the thyroid uk HU site. i do not have CD but am about 3 months into a gluten free diet to see if it is gluten that is firing up the auto-immune attack on my thyroid which seems to leave a lot of my thyroid symptoms untreated by hormone replacement. does anyone have any experience or knowledge of this. it would be great to hear some encouraging news.

i actually love eating gluten free, don't even miss pasta, which i loved. the only thing i miss is beer. what do you think of

budweiser, which claims all the gluten is destroyed in the manufacturing process or damm estrella that claims to be less than 6ppm and suitable for coeliacs?

mmmn beer


4 Replies

Hi Jonny

Thanks for popping by and raising the question. I'll cover off the simple points then add some others.

1. The gluten in mainstream beers does vary. If you want to stick to a strictly gluten free diet I'd personally advise you check out Estrella Daura Gluten Free Beer. It is a bit pricey at around £7 for x 4 bottles but that's gluten free products for you! It has won numerous awards and I find it less gassy than some other gf options. Also look out for gf St Peter's (Whole Foods and some Waitrose's used to do this), Greens gluten free, and Hambletons in Tesco (pretty good). As far as I am aware no other mainstream beers are gluten free. Sadly.

This blog site should prove handy:

Or try Cider that is gf.

2. Pasta - Dove's farm is part rice and part corn. Around £3 a bag but worth it as a treat. Another option you may want is to try Quinoa a gf grain.

Other points:

3. When you say you are 3 mths info a gf diet can you confirm:

- what you're eating & were advised to avoid? eg are you aware of all the hidden forms or gluten?

- did your Dr recommend you give up gluten?

4. Were you tested for Coeliac Disease (via a blood test) before you gave up gluten?

5. There is a very strong medical research on the relationship with Coeliac Disease and Thyroid problems. Something along the lines of people with Thyroid problems are more than 3 x likely to also get CD which is an autoimmune disease and vice versa. There is a strong family history of thyroid problems in my family.

Unfortunately some of the symptoms of thyroid issues/ CD can mimic each other which can made diagnosis hard or mean some Drs don't consider testing for other.

6. I have seen a variety of blogs and online research which states that the thyroid can be attacked by the body as it mistakes it for gluten. So there is some link to your query ref will this help your symptoms. Some Drs esp in America believe that all forms of gluten intolerance can display differently in people eg at the most extreme becoming Coeliac Disease (where the immune system attacks the gluten and the gut, and often causes osteoperosis), or displays as thyroid problems or diabetes or arthritis etc.


If you can reply on the queries it will help me give you some handy links and steer.

I am very curious as to whether they've tested you for CD problems or whether you have any relatives with it. If they haven't you'll need to eat gluten for at least 6 weeks before the blood test.

Have your Vitamin D, B12 and Iron and Ferritin levels also been tested? Do you know what they were?

Meanwhile here's some links: do bear in mind some are American and of course we don't always do things the same in the UK.

This is a bit techie yet outlines NICE's guidelines on testing for Coeliac Disease in patients displaying these symptoms. You may find it handy to cross check with yours.



<b>Updated on Jan 7 2011 3:35AM:</b> NICE:


thanks fiona

sorry it has taken so long to get back to you!

i am consulting a chiropractor in california, i am in the uk. i was tested and do not have CD... but the chiro tested my immune system and it is raging. and i still have thyroid symptoms even when replacement gets my bloods back into the reference ranges.

i am aware of all the hidden gluten in product and find it easy to navigate my way through this.

like you, 5 members of my family have thyroid issues. none of the family have been diagnosed CD but my sister who had thyroid cancer now has developed an autoimmune kidney condition. ferritin was fine, D also, B12 has been low in the past but not tested for years.

had a gut permeability test and this was not too bad.

the CD stool test: anti-transglutaminase less than 25.. normal up to 90

antibodies...normal...positive over 100

am confused as come posts around the internet say people with CD drink beers such as corona and budweiser.

beer is my only gripe ?


the NICE stuff is very interesting, thanks


Hi Jonny

Glad to hear you don't have CD. If you can't get to the bottom of your problems do bear in mind that some people test negative for the CD blood tests. Mainly the key tests in the UK are:

Blood tests for:

>Tissue transglutaminase antibody (shortened to 'tTGA')

>Endomysial antibody (shortened to 'EMA')

Some people with Coeliac Disease don't make the usual Coeliac antibodies to gluten (as they have a IgA deficiency). So you can ask for another blood test which measures the IgG. It's often useful as an indicator in people who can't make IgA antibodies.

Re Beers:

There's often lots of 'urban myths' surrounding gluten in mainstream beers of Coeliac forums. From X brewer saying it's GF but they can't label it as such to Y saying that there's no traceable mount and it's removed in the brewing process. To bold Coeliacs drinking them and claiming no undue side affects therefore it 'must be ok' to continue drinking!

My personal view is - why risk it?! I've not yet seen any research of confirmation from any of the EU Coeliac Societies that state that any of the beers you mention is ok to drink for Coeliacs. Instead I prefer to support and buy beers from brands that pay for lab testing and certify their beers as gluten free. There's more and more GF beers on the market including:

Hambleton's Ale (Tesco's)

Estrella Dam GF (Waitrose, Asda, Ocado, Sainsbury's)

Greens (Waitrose & other supermarkets)

Whole Foods (St Peter's GF brands)

Bards (USA)

I'd urge all GFG members to make friends with their local bars/ pubs and restaurants and ask them to stock some GF beers. Plus write to the head offices of chains to ask for GF beers so that they can see there is demand. Only once suppliers and retailers realise there is a market for such products will they become mainstream (and in doing so hopefully reduce the hefty prices that we have to pay for the GF versions at the moment). I know on our Facebook page that many GFGs have successfully persuaded their local pubs and indy food places to stock GF beers so it goes to show that positive and polite pester power can work !

Like much of going Gluten Free as a Coeliac I think part of the challenge is in changing our mindsets and behaviour. For example I went from a 'can't cook, ready meal and x 4 a week pasta lover' to a 'can cook, homemade meal fan, GF pasta eater x 1 a week if that' after CD diagnosis. So perhaps viewing Beer as a treat vs a staple social drink is part of the trick? Hard I know when you really crave something.

Hope that helps.


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