Thyroid UK
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Gluten Intolerance - tested positive. What can I expect?

I am hypothyroid and have often felt I have an sensitivity to gluten. My aunt who is also hypothyroid has just been diagnosed with coeliac disease.

I however do not think I have that. One of my main problems is inability to lose weight and with coeliac I realise that losing alot of weight is one of the tell tale signs.

I have had instead, a test for gluten sensitivity and have just been diagnosed as positive.

It has been suggested that I exclude gluten from my diet to see the effects and Im wondering what effects I might expect to see?

Is it worth doing and could this be the answer to my arthritic conditions I seem to be suffering with and inability to lose weight?

Many thanks.


14 Replies

Hello Susan

Suggest you look at this site (link below) and fill out the digestive symptom's the first bubble on this page:!manag...

This page lays also out a process you can follow to address any other digestive issues you might have.

This deals with the link between digestive disorders and autoimmune disease.

I've got Hashimoto's and also exclude gluten (and other carbs that I discovered I have a sensitivity to). I'm on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (there's a link to this diet and others that address different digestive issues further down).

Chances are if you've been suffering from this for a while you may have damaged the lining of your digestive tract leading to leaky gut. If you have leaky gut and a predisposition to get other autoimmune conditions you need to know.

Good news is you can heal your gut by removing irritants, following the right meal plan and taking certain things like glutamine, vitamin C etc to heal the gut.

I've done this and my autoimmune symptoms have gone (its taken 8 months) also my need for thyroxine has gone from 100mcg/day to 25mcg/day. I'm hoping to come off it all together by next February.

Long story short(ish!) - autoimmune conditions seem to me to be more like symptoms of underlying, untreated digestive disorders.

The site also has meal plans and shopping lists that you can match to your intolerance...!meals...

Jayne Wilson is offering tailored free advice at the moment and can help with diets and supplement programs etc.

If you contact her mention I referred you and she'll prioritise...!wh360...

If you want to you can inbox me!

Good luck...


Very helpful post - thank you.


The problem we have with wheat today is that it is not the same as the wheat our parents and grandparents ate.

The Food industry is as bad as Big Pharma when it comes to making money and not always caring about the people. Wheat has been hybridized to such an extent that it is a completely new wheat - as it has to be pest and drought resistant to ensure the crop never fails. This is causing gut problems throughout the world.

Datis Kharrazian covers this issue in his book - Why isn't my Brain Working ? He advocates being gluten free for a healthy brain - which after all controls every thing in our bodies. It is the inflammation that results from gut issues that causes so many problems.

I have Crohns - daignosed at 27 - and Hashimotos at 59 - and FM some 14 years ago.....all doing well :-) I have not been completely gluten free - but have decided after reading the above book that it has to be a priority. I am sure you will feel an improvement in your health - as many others here have reported.

In the area of Functional Medicine the testing for Coeliac is far more thorough that the mainstream single test. This again is described in the book - sadly it's American. Am off now to read all skyfall's links.....


I strongly suggest that you also cross over to the Gluten Free Guerrillas site here on HU where you will get lots of info on what you are asking. There is of course a connection between autoimmune Thyroid Disease and Celiac and also a hereditary link with Celiac Disease so you would be very wise to stop eating Gluten.

Im not sure I understand you when you say you were tested and were positive. Have you been tested for CD??? Because if you have not I think you should be and before you stop eating Gluten because once you have stopped you can't be tested again.

Many people can have CD and not even know it which is why it can do a lot of damage. You don't always have to lose weight either - 50% of people don't.

It most certainly can be connected to your arthritic condition too.

Here is a very good and straight forward explanation of CD from the Mayo Clinic:


There are some good answers here.

You should definitely get tested for coeliac disease before excluding gluten from your diet.

The classical symptoms of coeliac disease are often not present, and many coeliacs have what is termed "silent" disease. In any case, your thyroid condition might mask any potential for weight loss.

I'm curious about the gluten intolerance test. What exactly was it?


It was a private test that tests for 600 different intolerances plus nutritional deficiencies. Interestingly, re coeliacs, Im very low in iron and folic acid and I believe they are parts of the diet that has a problem absorbing with coeliac disease. I am going to go gluten free for a while though just to see if it makes that much of a difference. I can then start eating it again before testing.


I too am intolerant to gluten. My symptoms were, heartburn, diahorrea, bloating, stomach cramps, since becoming wheat free and then 6 months later, dairy free, all the symptoms have gone and I lost four stone in weight. I am now trying to go sugar free. Partial success as I can be really good, and then fall off the wagon, but hey, you need some joy in life, Right? A gluten free diet is fairly easy if you do your own cooking and baking. Ground almonds in cakes instead of flour, even mashed potato. I haven't mastered pastry yet, but there is a company that makes gluten free pastry. I thicken things with cornflour, gravy etc. once you get your head round it, it's really not that bad. The only thing is bread.......the best gluten free one I have found is Asda own brand brown sliced bread. But don't expect it to taste like the real thing.


I have numerous health problems and my gastroenterologist found me to be severely intolerant of gluten and wheat but not coeliac. Working with a dietitian I have landed what is described as the most severe exclusion diet: FODMAP. I can have no gluten/wheat, no diary and no sugar in any form that leads to the exclusion of most fruit and many vegetables. I have to prepare everything from scratch and will even take my own food into hospital when I go for surgery later this year (at lest they admitted upfront that it would be difficult to feed me). Once I started the full diet having been gluten-free beforehand, the bloating, pain etc (similar to the description above) have settled. My inflamed joints settled down and I did loose weight. Being diagnosed finally as hypo really helped too with a bit more weight off.

I can break the rules re sugar once in a blue moon and with all other health issues being normal but this amounts to a small amount of honey from my bees in soya milk (unsweetened) cocoa. Given how ill I am I think that my system deserves a bit of help with no substances that I know cause it problems.

So food recommendations:

Waitrose seeded loaf (sliced) and DS brown ciabatta rolls are my occasional treats (once you look at the ingredients you realise that your food has become a chemistry experiment and will want to limit bread products);

Brown rice especially basmati ;

Potatoes in any form you like.

But do sort this out with a gastroenterologist and a knowledgeable dietitian as unless you can afford private care for your whole life you will come up against NHS care at some point (I have nightmares about when I need hospital care/carehome).


I commend you on your approach - just one small thing - do you know if your soya milk is made from GM free beans ? I have read that the majority of soya beans grown today are GM....


Everything I have is organic and therefore clearly states non-GM. The exceptions are the bread products I listed. I am also aware of the soya issue for hypo etc.


Is there a way that i could test myself for gluten intolerance, because I`m afraisd that if I ask my gp for a test, he might dismiss the idea.


There are tests - the best one (I think) is a full food intolerance test as there may well be other things that are irritating you...also you need to load up with gluten before you do the test

There are a range of tests...the celiac tests may not reveal gluten INTOLERANCE

Here's a review of some of the common tests.

Some are expensive but will tell you exactly what's going on - especially the IgG Food Antibody Test.!diges...

Alternatively - at no cost - you could adopt one of the diets on here that excludes gluten...(they come with matching shopping lists)

The idea is to do the meals for a couple of weeks then try reintroducing gluten etc...!meals...

The bottom 4 meal plans - Gluten Free/Casein Free, Specific Carbohdrate, Paleo and Comprehensive Elimination all remove gluten (and other things eg. Dairy). You could decide how far you want to take this.

There's also a Where to Shop page that helps source organic food cheaply online with links to the gluten free sections for major supermarkets.

I did the diet first and the tests later (more as a cross-check and after I'd got over the shock of the cost). I test negative for celiac but positive on the IgG Antibody Test for gluten (this test also revealed sensitivities to other things eg. onion!) That's because it's a good Ab test.

Hope this helps...lots of words & suggestions




I was under the impression that anyone with an autoimmune problem should avoid gluten as it feeds the antibodies.

I can't recall where I read this but believe it to be on an American site earlier in the year, just wish I was told this at 5 when I was first diagnosed with psoriasis.


Sort of right.

There's only a recognised link between celiac acting as a trigger for other autoimmune diseases at this stage, not gluten intolerance.

This link explains the differences quite well...

Celiac causes damage to the digestive tract leads to leaky gut which is now a recognised trigger fro autoimmune diseases.

Basically anything that leads to gut damage can trigger autoimmune diseases but...

importantly - to get an autoimmune disease you need to have a genetic predisposition + the right trigger.

I don't have the faulty gene that causes celiac but I do have a predisposition for Hashimoto's and psoriasis. I have Hashimoto's. But my gut damage was caused by an enterobacterial infection. After that I got a leaky gut and later, autoimmune conditions; one of which was anti-gastric parietal cell Abs that damaged my stomach. Then I became sensitive to a bunch of foods that irritated my already inflamed gut eg. gluten. The order's quite important because if you have gluten intolerance or sensitivity it's more of a flag of leaky gut that may have had another cause. It could be celiac but it's important to know which it is.

I've been healing my gut by avoiding foods that aggravate my gut and giving my body stuff to help heal it. The average turnover time for a gut cell is 5 days. Removing the triggers can allow healing.

My autoimmune symptoms (and need for thyroxine) have reduced significantly as my gut health's improved. It's a long fight though.

In summary - it's all chicken and egg.

The important thing is the link between gut health, leaky gut and autoimmune disease.

If you have an autoimmune disease really useful to check gut health and address any imbalances...

Sorry this is long and convoluted ...



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