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The Thyroid Gland and Gluten: IMPORTANT

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/14/2024


Thyroid Conditions and Gluten: A Dietary Management Guide

Exploring the intricate relationship between thyroid conditions and gluten can offer profound insights into managing autoimmune disorders.

Learn about the complex relationship between thyroid issues and gluten, exploring the various factors that can influence autoimmune disorders.

Understand how the regular consumption of gluten impacts autoimmune disorders and explore healthy keto diets and intermittent fasting as potential solutions for those with thyroid issues.

Thyroid and Gluten: A Tricky Connection

Your thyroid gland controls your metabolism, but autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's or Graves' can affect its function. A protein in wheat, barley, and rye, known as gluten, may contribute to the disruption of thyroid gland functioning.

Autoimmune Diseases and Thyroid

When your immune system attacks your thyroid gland, it can lead to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Some people may be more prone to developing autoimmune disorders due to gluten intolerance, but the cause of this remains unknown.

Gluten and Inflammation

Celiac disease, another autoimmune disorder caused by gluten, causes inflammation throughout the body, especially in the gut. Gliadin, a component of gluten, looks like enzymes in our bodies, including those in the thyroid gland.

This similarity can cause an attack on both fronts, leading to damage from celiac and potentially triggering Hashimoto's or Graves' disease if you're genetically susceptible.

If you have an autoimmune thyroid condition, gluten might cause more harm than good. Eating anything containing gluten may result in a provocative reaction, potentially causing injury to both the digestive tract lining and the thyroid.

Thyroid gland

Gluten's Impact on Your Thyroid: What You Need to Know

Watch out for gluten. This sneaky protein found in wheat, barley, and rye could worsen your symptoms.

Gliadin: The Thyroid Imposter

Gluten contains a gliadin component that looks like enzymes in your thyroid. For those with autoimmune thyroid issues such as Hashimoto's or Graves', this can be a major issue, as the body may end up attacking its thyroid when mistaking gliadin for an enzyme.

When your body attacks gliadin, it may also flood your thyroid. Talk about a case of mistaken identity. But gluten isn't the only culprit. Foods like dairy and soy can also cause problems by mimicking bodily tissues.

When Your Immune System Goes Haywire

When you eat gluten with antibodies against gliadin, your immune system goes into overdrive. It attacks the gliadin and your thyroid, causing inflammation. This inflammation can lead to autoimmune diseases and other health issues.

It is not just about physical discomforts; gluten can also have a detrimental impact on your overall well-being. Chronic inflammation from gluten can also mess with your nutrient absorption, leading to weight gain or loss.

Gluten: A Recipe for Disaster

Research shows that regular consumption of gluten-containing foods can increase your risk of developing autoimmune disorders. Given the potential for gluten to increase the risk of autoimmune disorders, it's wise to avoid consumption if you have thyroid issues.

Remember, what you eat matters. So be mindful of how different foods affect your body, especially when dealing with conditions that affect vital organs like your thyroid.

Dietary Changes for Autoimmune Thyroid Conditions

Watch what you eat. For those with autoimmune thyroid disorders, gluten-containing grains can cause inflammation and should be avoided for better health. So, go gluten-free for better health.

Going 100% Gluten-Free for Better Health

Adopt an utterly gluten-free diet to manage autoimmune thyroid disorders. Evade wheat, barley, rye, and any other related grains. Watch out for hidden sources of gluten like sauces, processed meats, and certain medications.

Effects of Regular Gluten Consumption on Autoimmune Disorders

Regular gluten consumption can exacerbate symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders like fatigue, weight gain, and depression.

Gliadin, a component of gluten, has been linked to the production of antibodies that can cause inflammation and damage in healthy thyroid tissue over time; thus, adhering to a strict gluten-free diet for optimum health is crucial.

So, stick to a strict gluten-free regimen for overall well-being. Remember, everyone's body responds differently. While some may notice improvements quickly, others may require more time.

Consistency is key. Stick to the regimen without cheat days, as even small amounts of gluten can trigger an immune response, damaging your thyroid further.

With patience, persistence, and professional guidance, you can effectively navigate the journey toward better health.

Healthy Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting for Thyroid Issues

Try the healthy keto diet and intermittent fasting. Keto is a dietary regimen that encourages the body to use fat as fuel.

Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.

How to Do a Hypothyroidism Self-Test at Home

If you suspect that your thyroid function may be compromised, there are ways you can perform a hypothyroidism self-test at home.

Understanding the gluten-thyroid connection is crucial as autoimmune thyroid disease often coexists with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Performing an at-home thyroid function test is simple and doesn't require a blood sample.

All you need is a chair and a reflex hammer. If you don't have a reflex hammer, you can use the back of a screwdriver or the handle of a butter knife.

This test, also called the Woltman test, is a neurological diagnostic tool that evaluates how quickly your muscles relax after triggering an involuntary reflex. 

Slow muscle relaxation can be an indication of thyroid dysfunction, particularly hypothyroidism. 

To perform the hypothyroidism self-test, kneel on a chair and tap your Achilles tendon with a reflex hammer or any other suitable tool to trigger an involuntary reflex. 

Observe how quickly your foot returns to its fully relaxed position. 

Typically, the muscles in your leg should wholly and immediately relax after triggering the reflex. However, in individuals with hyperthyroidism, their leg muscles may contract for some time before settling.

This delayed relaxation, known as the Woltman reflex, indicates underactive thyroid function.

Blue alarm clock in front of a salad plate

Benefits of Keto and Intermittent Fasting on the Immune System

Keto reduces inflammation by limiting carb intake and increasing healthy fats. Intermittent fasting helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduces inflammation. Both are critical factors when dealing with thyroid conditions.

  • Keto: Eat foods rich in healthy fats like avocados and nuts while limiting carbs.

  • Fasting: Try the 16:8 method, where you fast for 16 hours each day and eat within an eight-hour window.

Supplements like selenium, vitamin D3, and probiotics can also help strengthen gut health and reduce inflammation. Selenium is an antioxidant, vitamin D3 enhances immunity, and probiotics support digestive health.

Implementing these dietary modifications along with regular exercise could bring about positive change for those with thyroid issues like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism caused by diseases like Hashimoto's and Graves.

Supplements for a Happy Gut and Less Inflammation

Autoimmune thyroid conditions require dietary changes and supplements to strengthen gut health and reduce inflammation. Selenium, vitamin D3, and probiotics are essential for this.

Selenium: The Immunity Regulator

Selenium is a trace mineral that produces selenoproteins, which act as antioxidants to prevent cellular damage. Having adequate selenium levels can reduce the risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease and bolster the immune system.

So, incorporating this nutrient into your diet or supplement regimen may support overall immunity and reduce inflammatory responses.

Vitamin D3: The Immune System Booster

Vitamin D3, through its immunomodulatory properties, may help to reduce autoimmune responses by inhibiting the growth of inflammatory cells.

Probiotics: The Digestive Health Heroes

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help restore balance within your gut microbiome. Adding probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii to your daily routine can significantly improve gut health and reduce inflammation.

  • Lactobacillus: Breaks down sugars into lactic acid for healthy digestion.

  • Bifidobacterium: Inhibits harmful bacteria and stimulates your body's natural defenses.

  • Saccharomyces boulardii: Fights diarrhea and other digestive problems.

Incorporating these three critical nutrients into your daily routine can significantly enhance gut health and reduce inflammation.

This approach might prove helpful, especially when dealing with chronic conditions like autoimmune disorders where long-term management is often necessary. Remember to always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.


Did you know that gluten can worsen autoimmune diseases, including thyroid conditions? Eliminating gluten from your diet can reduce inflammation and improve your overall health.

Incorporating a healthy keto diet, intermittent fasting, and essential supplements like selenium, vitamin D3, and probiotics can support thyroid health and boost immunity.

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