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Confused About Testing And Gluten-Free Diet

4 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,


I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and recently went to a new endocrinologist due to continuing complications from Hashimoto’s.  He had suggested I go gluten-free for a period of three weeks to see if that helps since apparently there is a strong correlation between gluten intolerance and hashimoto’s.  He also took some blood-work and determined that I am deficient in Vitamin B12 and borderline anemic.


He also ran the following two tests:


tTGA (IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase) – Negative

Immunoglobulin A, Qn, Serum   - 110 (negative 91-414) – This is actually high for me. I have a history of IGA deficiency and usually test around 70.


Not expecting him to think about gluten/celiac, I didn’t have any previous knowledge on what he would be testing for or that you would have to have gluten in your diet for the tests to be accurate.

I had told him that I follow a low-carb diet where I eat a sort of paleo style. He simply kept harping that low-carb is not the same is gluten-free. I agree, but I’m curious about what that means for my testing. When I have “breads” I use almond flour and flax meal. I had incidental gluten because I didn’t check labels for gluten since it wasn't on my radar. Only occasionally (every couple weeks or so) did I splurge and have pizza or pasta. I always attributed my symptom spikes after high carb meals to the carbs, not the gluten. I have been eating this way for several years (over 3).


I’m just wondering where I should go from here. The three weeks is up and now I am directed back to my primary doctor with an appointment in a few days. Should I just continue eating gluten-free because it makes me feel better or should I do a gluten challenge and then pursue further testing just to rule out celiac? Eating gluten free is not real challenge for me since it isn’t significantly different from the way I had been eating…But does that also mean that the test was inconclusive since I hadn’t been eating having a significant amount of gluten?  I want to be prepared to discuss this with my doctor this time and wondering what insight you all have!


Thanks for any help or ideas!

Edited by glutenconfused

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If you are able to clean out the small amounts of gluten that are still in your diet (vitamins, sauces like soy, contaminated baking ingredients, etc.) I think it might be simpler for you to just switch to a gluten-free diet rather than eat so much more gluten for a month or so. It is possible you are a celiac, but it is just as likely that you have the more commonlt found non-celiac gluten intolerance (NCGI) for which there is no blood test.


If you find after a few months gluten free that you are feeling better, just refer to yourself as a celiac to others so they understand better.  Celiac is in 4-8% of Hashimoto's patients and in less than 1% of the general population so this could very well be true anyways.  :)


Best wishes in whatever you decide to do.


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Doesn't IGA deficiency go with having inconclusive celiac blood test results ?   Rather than blame the low gluten consumption, you may have a built-in "feature" which messes up your test results, no matter what. 


I agree with nvsmom.  If eating gluten free makes you both feel better, and if it would be very easy to switch your diet over to it after the three years you've already been low carb paleo style, then that may be the more logical course of action to pursue.  Unless the endo wishes to recommend that you be biopsied, any way ?  He/she may just say, good job on the gluten free, now stick to it.  


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Thank you both for replying to my topic! I guess I'm just concerned for my future kids and my family. Also, how serious I'd need to be going gluten free without knowing for sure.


Thanks for the support! :)


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