Hashimoto's and gluten free

First off can anyone confirm if a person has positive antibodies does that DEFINITELY mean Hashimoto's? Two 2 GP's have told me not necessarily while a third said yes so I am confused. My antibody level when tested was 267.

Secondly, I have read a lot of info suggesting that going gluten free can help with Hashimoto's and am considering given it a go. Has anyone here tried gluten free with this condition and did it help?

I was on 25mcg of Thyroxine since diagnoses for the last 7 months and just got dose upped to 50mcg this week but possibly feeling worse than before.

I am really struggling feeling rubbish most days and need to try something.

8 Replies

  • The antibodies measured are very specific to the thyroid - anti-thyroidperoxidase and anti-thyroglobulin. These are only raised if you have Hashi's, although it's possible to have Hashi's and NOT have any raised antibodies, so the first two doctors don't know what they're talking about.

    I've gone gluten free (since July) and although I don't know yet whether my antibodies have reduced at all, I have gotten rid of a couple of annoying symptoms, dizziness on getting up/lying down, and my BP fell back to a healthy level. Haven't noticed much in the way of an improvement in Hashi symptoms otherwise, though, but will stay gluten free from now on. Like you I am on 25 mcg, hoping to go up to 50 mcg Levo at the next assessment. It is entirely possible to feel worse before you feel better and it does take some time for the higher dose to have an effect in your body (can be weeks) so don't lose hope!

  • Some doctors don't know that Autoimmune Thyroiditis and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis are one and the same disease, so to be generous, maybe that's where yours are confused. Removing gluten from your diet can reduce the antibodies attacking your thyroid gland, (which can cause really unpleasant symptoms similar to feeling 'hyper' thyroid - sweats, palpitations etc) because the molecules in gluten and thyroid tissue are similar. In the long run, this can mean preserving your thyroid, so that it doesn't become completely destroyed by the antibodies. Your thyroid will work for longer and carry on producing the hormones you need. I wish I had known this information years ago when I was diagnosed. I doubt I have much thyroid gland left now, although I gave up gluten this year. There is a really good book by Dr. Barry Durrant-Peatfield called 'Your Thyroid and How to keep it healthy'.

    By the way, if you have only gone up to 50mg this week, you won't feel any better for a while, until it gets in your system. Make sure you get tested in 12 weeks time and ask your doctor for TSH, T4 and T3, if you have not already done so. You can post your results on this forum for people to advise you on. You shouldn't have had to wait 7 months before the dose was increased if you were feeling so bad.

  • Some doctors don't think we have a dysfunction of our thyroid gland when the TSH doesn't rise high enough. They haven't a clue about thyroid antibodies and it's the cause of the commonest condition Hashimoto's also Autoimmune Thyroid Disease.

    One doctor, Dr Toft who was President of the BTA, says that when antibodies are present to prescribe levothyroxine.

  • Thanks all for the replies and info and confirming what I thought was right. Rubbish that we have to question the doctors when they are the ones who are supposed to help us feel better. I will update if going gluten free has any benefits!

  • I went completely Gluten Free almost a year ago, I have Graves Disease which is autoimmune but I also have several other autoimmune conditions so I thought it was worth giving it a try.

    Over the year my antibodies have come down from

    Antithyroglobulin was 537.9 <115 on 2/12/14 to 74.3 <115 on 27/9/16

    AntiPeroxidase was 31 <34 on 2/12/14 to <5 <34 on 27/9/16

    I don't know whether or not it was going gluten free that helped or whether it would just have happened but I am going to stick with the gluten free diet.

    I also ditched chocolate (argh!) and junk food - even gluten free junk food - and I gave up diet drinks. I now no longer have to take omeprazole for heartburn and I put that down to cleaning up my diet.

  • Really encouraging to hear that Fruitandnutcase glad that you are feeling better. Will be hard to give up the choccie I have a sweet tooth!

  • I still have the odd square of 85% dark chocolate that is gluten free. I just don't buy myself two bars of fruitandnut from the store round the corner, open one as I get in the car, finish it by the time I drive round the corner hand have the second bar with a cup of coffee.

    I tell you the fruit and nuts were two of my 'five a day' for a long time. No wonder I was prediabetic then was tipped into T2 diabetes with steroids I was given for my arthritis. The cleaned up diet has meant I'm no longer T2 thank goodness.

    I should have added that if you are going GF it's well worth joining the Coeliac Society, you don't have to be Coeliac to join and when you do you are sent the most amazing handbook with practically everything you can buy to eat that is gluten free, that plus SO much information. 😊

  • Fab thanks for the tip the handbook would be handy. Gosh your old choccie habit sounds like me can't just have a bit need to scoff the whole bar!

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