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Hypothyroidism and gluten sensitivity

A number of studies have shown that eliminating gluten from our diet can normalize hyperthyroidism and prevent its progression. Eliminating gluten reduces inflammation and helps restore the balance of organisms in the intestine, which in turn brings an improvement in the absorption of nutrients and the balance of hormones.

Researchers have shown that what takes place is a case of mistaken identity. The molecular composition of gliadin, the protein part of gluten, is very similar to the thyroid gland.  When gliadin passes the protective barrier of the intestine, and enters the blood system, the immune system marks it to be destroyed. These antibodies also cause the body to attack the thyroid tissue. This means that if we have AITD and we ingest foods which contain gluten, our immune system will attack our thyroid.

AITD includes a specific set of thyroid pathologies because the antibodies that work against the thyroid intervene directly in the growth of thyroid related illnesses. Anti-thyroid antibodies (ATA) lead to AITD: auto-immune hyperthyroidism, including Hashimoto thyroiditis and post-natal thyroiditis.  (tiroiditis de Hashimoto y tiroiditis atrófica) y la tiroiditis postparto. The main autoantigens active in these cases are thyroid peroxidase, (peroxidase iodide, TPO), thyroglobulin (Tg) and the thyrotropin receptor (TSH-R).

But what is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located just above the collar bone. It is one of the endocrine glands that produces hormones. The thyroid hormones control a wide range of functions in our bodies. These include the rate at which we burn calories and how fast our heart beats. These activities form the metabolism of our bodies.  

The main symptoms related to thyroid problems are:  

  • Depression and apathy.  
  • Reduction in libido.
  • Constipation or hard faeces.  
  • Swollen hands feet and face.
  • Fatigue, lack of energy and somnolence.   
  • Inflammation, muscle and joint pain.  
  • Low blood pressure and cholesterol.  
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles and fertility problems.  
  • Dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails.
  • Weight gain, regardless of diet.
  • Reduction in cardiac rhythm, irregular heartbeat and arrhythmia.
  • In children, growth rate is slower than normal, and may lead to physical and mental growth retardation, children often lose appetite and sleep too much.

The different types of thyroid problems include:

  • Goiter: increase in thyroid activity
  • Hyperthyroidism: The thyroid gland generated more thyroid hormones than the body needs
  • Hipothyroidism: The thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Nodules: small lumps on the thyroid gland
  • Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland

Of interest: If thyroid illnesses are related to gluten consumption, following a gluten-free diet could help restore correct functioning of the thyroid gland. If we do not consume gluten, our body will not need to generate antibodies to deal with it, and therefore there will not be the problem of these antibodies confusing the thyroid gland with gluten. As a test, it is worth excluding gluten from our diet for a few months and then observing the results to see if there are improvements in our health. Should these improvements be evident, continuing with a glute-free diet could help resolve thyroid problems.

And remember – to maintain the correct balance in your intestinal flora, FLORA DIEZ will be your best ally. Furthermore, FLORA DIEZ has proven its effectiveness for people who are coeliacs and gluten or lactose intolerant and who are consequently suffering from intestinal inflammation, digestive problems, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, etc. FLORA DIEZ is resistant to antibiotics and survives passage through the digestive tract.

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