Gluten free for a year and TPO antibodies falling - can anyone advise if this is what I should expect?

I was diagnosed with Hashi in 2011 and at the time my TPO antibodies were 258 iu/mL (0-59). Two years later, and on levo, they'd climbed to 478.8 iu/mL (0.00 – 5.61) and although I was feeling quite well I decided I didn't want this to continue and went gluten free to see if I could halt and perhaps reverse the condition. 12 months on I had the test repeated yesterday and the result was 390.16 iu/mL (0.00 -5.61). So going in the right direction, albeit slowly. Does anyone know if this is good, bad, indifferent? Given how long it took me to get my diagnosis I now realise I had been ill for many years, so could quite appreciate that it might take years to go back the other way. In addition to my levo I also supplement with vitamin D and Selenium. I'd really apprecite your thoughts on this.

17 Replies

  • Hello Pinkbear, My brother had a blood test after a lot of nagging from me as most members of our family have thyroid problems. He was astonished to learn that he had very high TPO's. He too went on a non gluten diet, and his antibodies are slowly going down. So clearly this is the way to go.

    Good luck!

  • Hi

    200mg selenium is also good for combatting antibodies. You could also consider the autoimmune paleo diet to further reduce inflammation but I'd start in January as it's pretty hardcore. I did that for a long time and now eat a broader paleo diet (ie grain and dairy free).


  • 200 micrograms might be acceptable!

    Even then, I am not 100% convinced that is acceptable on a long-term basis - probably fine for months but questionable over years. Possibly reduce to 100 mcg after six months or a year?

  • I meant micrograms - they generally come in 100s or 200s. I've read nothing to suggest it's not safe long term. Here's a good place to start.

  • This paper is an overview of selenium toxicity (among other aspects) and identifies that 300 micrograms has been claimed to have toxic effects. And possibly far, far lower doses of inorganic selenium compounds:

    So, in my book, with toxic effects at 300 micrograms, 200 micrograms is sailing far too close to the wind. It allows for very little additional intake of selenium in the diet.

    I am well aware of stop the thyroid madness. I am also aware that there most certainly have been mistakes and wrong-headed ideas there at times.


  • Plenty of wrong headed ideas everywhere Rod which is what makes navigating the internet a nightmare. So many armchair experts.

  • I definitely think you are on the right track going completely gluten free, I so wish more patients were made aware of this.

    I had very elevated anti-thyroglobulin antibodies when I was diagnosed a year ago. My antibodies have decreased so much my test results show them “negative”.

    Going 100% gluten free has been key, but there are other things that can help. Based on my experiences I would highly recommend:

    Check food allergies thoroughly. Gluten is key for anyone suffering from autoimmune thyroiditis, but there can be many others, it is worth checking food allergies in detail. Just to illustrate the point, I found out I am severely allergic to black pepper, blueberries and onion… all of which used to be very regular in my diet. Gosh, black pepper is in EVERYTHING when you eat out and in all ready meals… it is a real challenge to stay away from it. I can only ever eat food I cook myself…. Any foods we are allergic to contribute to feed the fire of autoimmunity so it’s worth investing in finding out what they are, as it is very difficult to know. For many people dairy and eggs are a real problem… strangely, it does not seem to be the case for me, but they are also very common allergens for thyroid sufferers.

    Intestinal treatment. The immune system is in the gut… so really it is the gut we need to focus on to get our immune system into balance. A balanced intestinal flora is key to health, so prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes can greatly complement the treatment and help you further reduce antibody levels. In spite of never suffering from digestive symptoms whatsoever other than mild constipation every now and then, I found out I had severe intestinal dysbiosis (meaning fungal and bacterial mess going on in my intestines, completely imbalanced flora contributing to the autoimmune response… intestinal yeast overgrowth is quite common and this also contributes to the development of autoimmune problems).

    Vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Obviously Vitamin D is key as it regulates the immune system, but addressing any other deficiencies can definitely help to modulate the immune response.

    I have been following a strict paleo diet since I was diagnosed, which has been quite a journey… I am now introducing a few legumes and some quinoa, as I was missing some kind of fiber really and so far my blood tests still improving…

    All the very best!

  • Bit confused about this as I have been gluten free for years due to IBS and gluten intolerance----but I have still developed tpo antibodies and auto-immune hypothyroidism this year. Shouldn't being gluten free for almost thirty years have prevented this?

  • No. Sadly I don't think that it does.

    Even if gluten has a causative role in some people, lack of gluten certainly doesn't prevent anything from happening. Who knows - you might have deferred it for a while by being gluten-free - but I don't think that the who chain of cause and effect is fully understood.

  • Hi read up on the paleo diet and the role of grains, not just gluten, on autoimmunity. xx

  • Hi girlscout,

    Had a look at the paleo diet and looks interesting but I don't' think I would be able to follow it as I am not able to digest meat, gluten, eggs, nuts, various fruits (esp. Apples, apricots and citrus fruits), some vegetables and various other things.

    If I also have to avoid nightshades as suggested on the forum and also have to cut out beans, chickpeas, lentils and quorn on the paleo diet I really don't see what would be left for me to eat! I think the danger of malnutrition would probably be worse than the thyroid problems LOL.

    Thanks again, though, for your help.

  • Hi there, no probs, yes I ate a very restricted diet for a long time, it was very dull. Do you have allergies? Reason I ask is Dr P told me that low adrenal reserve ie) low cortisol can cause allergy like symptoms as cortisol is anti-inflammatory (ie nature's own steroid). It might also be worth looking into candida too and also if you can take any supplements to help mend a leaky gut without going on such a strict diet as the paleo autoimmune diet. Digestive aids etc can also help such as mother cider vinegar, betaine HCL and digestive enzymes.

  • Good to hear things are improving, I had raised TPO abs and doubt I'll get another test, but when I boosted up my Vit D my TSH came down (and I felt much better) I also avoid bread, cereals etc but not strictly gluten free. As I'm not on any medication, it can't be that! J :D

  • I was recently diagnosed with Hashis and told its fairly aggressive as TPO level 952 (range 0-35). My doctor told me to go gluten free immediately, and ran tests for food allergies - the results of which just came in, so as well as gluten I need to eliminate all dairy, chicken, salmon, haddock, tuna and certain nuts. I've also been put on Vit D, pregnelone and B12. My new way of eating only started 3 weeks ago, so I will be interested to see how quickly those antibodies come down

    I'm guessing that the gluten free thing must be very relevant, although I hope the levels come down a bit quicker than you're describing (maybe too optimistic?)

    Maybe you also have some food allergies that need to be addressed........

  • Sounds like you have a good and sympathetic GP. With mine it's a battle to be taken seriously - I haven't even told him I've given up gluten. When I told him I was taking a vitamin D supplement and feeling better for it, he replied "good for you, it's a placebo". I know its early days, but I hope you'll start to feel a bit better soon. There is lot of info about the benefits of going gluten free on this site and on the internet generally.

  • My UK doctor diagnosed me hypothyroid back in 2005, didn't check for Hashis, nor did they mention that the repeated bouts of vertigo could be related to T4 only treatment. Moved to US this year and my whole system was totally out of whack - I was lucky enough to find a brilliant doctor recently and it's made a HUGE difference, and I've also switched to NDT

    I now look back and just feel angry that all the different things going on were put down to other illnesses even though they all seem to be part of Hashimotos.....

  • That's brilliant, really pleased for you. I'll just keep searching and fighting.

You may also like...