Hashimotos and Gluten

I have Hashimotos and all my test results are in normal range (I have posted them before - TSH lower end, FT3 and FT4 high end of normal, but I am still very symptomatic on 125 Levothyroxine). My main symptoms are exhaustion and brain fog/lack of concentration. I'm don't have any symptoms (such as bloating or discomfort) after eating gluten and I'm so I'm not keen on going gluten free. I am going to try some gluten free products but how quickly will I notice an improvement in my exhaustion and brain fog if I partially go gluten free if I have a sensativity to it. I have been tested for celiac and it was negative.

34 Replies

  • Foggy,

    Gluten sensitivity is caused by molecular mimicry when the molecular structure of gliadin (the protein portion of gluten) closely resembles that of the thyroid gland.

    When gliadin breaches the protective gut barrier (leaky gut) and enters the blood stream, the immune system (antibodies) tags it for destruction. If you don't have symptoms it is unlikely you have an intolerance.

    Blood tests will only detect gluten antibodies in the blood stream where the gut is so permeable that gluten can easily pass through when it is in a relatively advanced stage of disease.

    Are your nutrients and iron optimal ? Have you considered your cortisol levels ?

    A deficiency in any of these can interfere with good thyroid function by decreasing TSH, inhibiting T4-T3 conversion & increasing T4-RT3 conversion. Also gut issues like candida & H. Pylori (amongst many others) will disrupt hormone balances by interfering with the production of T4 and so conversion into T3.

    Tired compromised adrenals may be low on cortisol after propping up failing thyroid hormones & interfere with the HPA axis which in turn suppresses thyroid function and weakens the immune system. Cortisol is required to receive T3 from blood into cells where it is active (giving you energy). That is why people with high or low cortisol (poor adrenal health) often have T4 to T3 conversion problems.

    Iron is one of the key nutrients required for conversion of T4 to T3 and a deficiency increases the body’s tendency to produce more of the inactive reverse T3, rather than the active T3 hormone. 

    Have you tried supplementing 100mcg Selenium to aid T4-T3 conversion?


    Thyroid needs iron, cortisol & selenium.



    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • Thank you for your reply Flower.

    How do I know if I have had my selenium, cortisol and iron levels checked (what are they called on the blood test print out that I have)?

  • Selenium is rarely tested by a doctor.

    Cortisol will need blood drawn by 9am and be called cortisol.

    Iron will be called ferritin (as serum iron is usually only taken for blood disorders or iron overload. )



    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • Thank you Flower

  • Foggy,

    Is Vit D up to optimal levels now ?

    Are your thyroid antibodies low ?


  • I thought you might like this link:-


  • Thank you for your reply Shaws

  • Never take the word 'normal' 'fine' 'o.k' from doctors with regard to blood tests. Always get a print-out with the ranges for your own records.

  • I have had print outs with ranges for a year now. I am going armed with my results over the past few years and other info when I see the Endocrinologist for the first time

  • The last blood tests you reported here were from 4 months ago - have you got any more recent ones? 125mcg of Levo may no longer be enough.

    If you are sensitive to gluten going partially gluten free won't help. It's one of those all or nothing things to do I'm afraid.

    Your ferritin was a bit low in the last lot of tests (that's one of the iron tests). Being low in ferritin can affect conversion of T4 to T3.

  • Thank you for your reply Jazz.

    My last tests were 4 months ago. I have been battling for years with GPS but I they have finally given in and I am seeing an Endocrinologist on 9 March as it's really affecting my life with 2 young children.

  • Thank you Shaws

  • May be worth trying an autoimmune protocol like this one:


    You may feel worse for 4-5 days before you start to feel better, but should know if it's helping within a few weeks.

  • yup, just cutting down on gluten won't make any difference. Don't waste your money.

  • Thanks Aspmama

  • Gluten free products often have other ingredients that are not good for the body. Best to eat clean and cook from scratch.

  • Thanks Marz. I do as much cooking from scratch as I can.

  • Hi. I'm on 100mg if thyroxine - just been reduced from 125mg. All readings better than they've ever been but I felt awful when it was reduced. Went back to doc- he went through all readings with me, said thyroid function has never been better. I felt exhausted, brain fog, emotional etc

    Doc mentioned it maybe low iron so I tried some iron tablets and now feel fine! Energy back, brain fog etc- gone.

    Need to take with vit C so properly absorbed.

    Obviously I'm not a doc so I'd check with yours but it worked for me.....maybe with a go?

  • Thank you for your reply SBT3200

  • I have Hashimotos and I went gluten free at the beginning of November 2015. I had similar blood results to what you describe. I was cynical about whether it would work but within 3 weeks I noticed less brain fog and a change for the better in my energy levels (Very aware that it could be psychological) I persevered and have continued to improve to the extent that I now know it is not a psychological improvement. I had been getting weaker and less able to do exercise but I am now finding I can do more and my concentration levels are better - less forgetful and more alert. The people around me have also noticed the improvement. I still have some symptoms and haven't had any recent blood tests but see an endocrinologist in 3 weeks so hope to have further tests and an intelligent conversation about it then.

    I would say that a partially gluten free diet would be a waste of time given the molecular mimicry theory. Any amount of gliadin in the blood stream would stimulate the auto immune response so I would say it has to be all or nothing,

  • Thank you for your reply forrests123. I think I will leave it until I see the Endocrinologist as I can't face changing my diet to that extent as I even found wheat in Bisto gravey granules.....it's going to be too difficult for me to remove it completely

  • It's not as difficult as it seems once you get into it. Gravy was an interesting one! Knorr do gf gravy granules in a big tub which I got on Amazon. Not seen a small version but they last a long time and are very nice!

  • v interesting.... were your nutrient levlels low before going g free, and did u rule out celiac before starting?

  • Hi. Prior to going gluten free my B12, ferretin and folate were all ok and coeliac blood test was negative. Vitamin D was a bit low so I started taking 1000iu daily and a general vitamin supplement as well as going gluten free. In theory I suppose the vit. D and vitamins might have made the difference but I think it more likely to be the gluten free diet. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in 3 weeks so will be discussing it with him. Problem now is I'm reluctant to stop the diet in case I go back to feeling as ill as I did.

  • I think you should stay off gluten for l ife. I am. I went g free before I found I had antibodies, but I was feeling v ill at that point. I too would say that it removed brain fog. Which must surely mean that it reduces something that is causing havoc in the brain.

    I think it also probably had other good effects, but it is a bit difficult to be sure which.

    Very interesting that your nutrient levels were fine already, so its effects are not due to better absorption of nutirents. Hmmm.

    When I eat gluten by accident now I bloat up and feel bad, it affects sleep too.

    I would guess we many be in a sub section who can't tolerate gluten. It maybe doesn't apply to all hypos. My daughter can't either, she has stomach pain when she eats it. I merely bloat, and my guess is that the difference is because I've had two pregnancies, so my stomach just pops out to accommodate the gas, whereas for her it can't easily expand and it hurts.

    It's an immune, not an auto immune reaction to the gluten, according to Alessio Fasano's ground breaking research, but you probably know that.

  • Thank you for your reply. I can't face gluten free at this stage.....if I had a reaction such as bloating and pain after eating it I would but for now I will see what the Endocrinologist says

  • Thank you for your reply

  • PS despite everything Foggy, I can't say I've felt ill with my Thyroid or other conditions - I've had a couple of episodes where I just felt unwell for a while. Mainly when I once forgot to take my Levo for about 3 days and the other was not that long ago after I'd messed around with my dosages - so for now till proved otherwise I'm sticking with the 112.5 I've been on since Dec or Jan - didn't mean to imply I'd started that dose today - just that dosage from then till today when replying to your post. Ive been content to put most of my neural effects down to BI as that happened almost 3 yrs ago then got worse or different when other meds didn't agree with me, so I stopped taking those others.

  • I'm going to ask the Endocrinologist if I can change from Levothyroxine

  • Hi foggy, I don't or didn't appear to have a gluten intolerance until 3/4 days ago when I started supplementing Vit D, something my doctor and pharmacist didn't want me to do when I enquired about it last Autumn. My doc already Prescribed for several months, a once monthly liquid dose of Vit D3 100 000 and still does.

    I started messing about with my dosages of Levothyroxine to see where that took me instead from last Autumn I.e+\- It played havoc with my TSH results so I gradually put my dosage back to 100mcg daily having been as low as 50mcg. Today since Jan blood test result after Dec one my doc has me on 112.5mcg where as before during last summer I'd been on 87.5 and that played havoc with my mind (confusion) also, although I wasn't fatigued. Now I'm on 112.5 I find myself more fatigued, but I do have other health conditions, so have started takes taking a supplement again that is classed as fortifying and stimulating - so that helps with the neural effects, Except my short term memory which I know was caused by my brain haemorrhage 3 years ago.

    In fact I think sorting out my thyroid is or was giving me more hassle than any thing else. I know I currently have underlying infections through 2 other causes going on and affecting me/ my endocrine system as a whole. Basically my metabolism was up the creek from childhood looking at pictures of me, till I got pregnant, then afterwards I was fine till I was sterilised, came off the pill and stopped producing Oestragen and then the weight slowly piled on again, no matter what I did or didn't eat!

    There are just too many different factors in everyone's life than can affect the HPA axis, which I inadvertently referred to as the adrenal axis in a different post this morning. My autoimmune condition was likely caused when I was a baby and I was not tested or treated for Thyroid problems till I was 53! 15/6 years ago.

  • Thank you for your reply SAMBS

  • Foggy, an update for you today.,tonight more than 12 hours after breakfast, 2 lemon curd sandwiches for,lunch, the bread was of the half brown/ white mixture - a beige colour - they call it 'pain de mie' Complèt here, (complete bread of life?) but I think Hovis or another UK well known brand whose name I now forget, have something similiar. So I had my weetabix, honey and milk, and some sliced banana, without my Vit D today, taking my similiar to Arko Royal Fortifiant supplement instead in a glass of orange juice, midway between breakfast and lunch, which I ate at 2pm here, watching UK TV 1 pm news. All times I say are local here for me

    This evening I didn't fancy a cooked meal so had another bowl of weetabix. I previously had a glass of wine in the bar cafe about 7pm, returning home 8pm, eating at 9. No reflux,,no indigestion no nothing. So with today's food intake, I guess I'm totally gluten tolerant - it was the no Vit D today that made the difference. The fact I didn't have meat/ 2 veg for one day, doesn't matter! Tomorrow it'll, probably be fish for dinner. My head? Clear and focused all day, no fatigue, I've relaxed and watched tv this evening from 9, evening so I'm not grumbling.

    Today was what suited me, it worked, it started with my Thyroxine taken with a large glass of water, will end with a large glass of water, bathroom and then to bed, after News at ten. A window open slightly to keep the air fresh and breathable, hopefully minus mold spores! So go with what suits you and doesn't harm you food wise - yes take a revitalising supplement, see if it helps and the neural problems disappear.

    I'm not a medic, just explaining in detail a day in my gluten inclusive life, on 112.5 mcg Thyroxine daily now. Except yesterday I forgot to take the little 12.5 bit!

  • First unless you have had an upper scope the celiac blood test is not 100% sure. Been through all of that with my son. Getting away from gluten is the best. I have slowly done it and you see a different almost immediately. Even if you are not celiac patient, going gluten free is important for all auto immune suffers. I did dairy too. My brain fog and concentration changed immediately after i got Cytomel added.

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