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    Jefferson Adams

    Connection Found between Celiac Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 04/23/2007 - The results of a recent Dutch study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology have confirmed a connection between Hashimotos Thyroiditis and celiac disease.

    In the study, 104 individuals with Hashimotos Thyroiditis were tested for immunoglobulin A anti-transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies, IgA anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) and HLA-DQ typing. Those who tested positive for any of the serological tests were given an intestinal biopsy.



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    Sixteen patients (15%) showed positive celiac serology and five patients clear villous atrophy were diagnosed with celiac disease (4.8%; 95% CI 0.7-8.9). All five patients diagnosed with celiac disease, and 53 patients with Hashimotos thyroiditis (50%; 95% CI 43-62), showed the presence of HLA-DQ2 (and/or -DQ8).

    In a separate test within the study, 184 Individuals with known celiac disease were given a serological test for thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase Antibodies, after first being given thyroid biochemical, a thyroxine-free thyroid stimulating hormone.

    39 patients (21%) showed positive thyroid serology. According to thyroid biochemistry results, ten patients showed euthyroidism (5%; 95% CI 2-9), seven showed sub-clinical hypothyroidism (3.8%; 95% CI 1.8-7.6), and 22 patients showed overt hypothyroidism, Hashimotos thyroiditis (12%; 95% CI 8-16). Furthermore, four patients with celiac disease had Graves disease (2%; 95% CI 0.8-5) and one patient had post-partum thyroiditis.

    The study concludes that there is a clear association between Hashimotos thyroiditis and celiac disease. Accordingly, it is recommended that patients with Hashimotos thyroiditis be screened for celiac disease and that patients with known celiac be screened for Hashimotos thyroiditis.

    World Journal of Gastroenterology 2007; 13(10).

    health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.
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    For years I have suffered with Hashimoto's and could not understand why I could not loose weight on the oroxine medication even though I exercise and am active. Do you think a Gluten free diet could help me as I am 59 years old?

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    I have antibodies in my thyroid so I did an IgG food allergy test which showed I was allergic to many things such as meats, lettuce, peaches and gluten in wheat. The doctor told me to not worry about the gluten for now but to try to get off the other foods that I a allergic to. I did that for 2 months and my antibody count went from 500's to 300's. I think normal is 0-14. Then I asked him if I should go off gluten. He said yes. I feel better without gluten. I have been off it for about a week.

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    Guest Elinor F. Skeate

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    Interesting...since I had Hashimoto's about the same time I started getting celiac problems, though it has taken me 20 years to get a diagnosis of celiac.

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    I have Hashimoto's and in my research have learned that anyone with this disease is gluten intolerant - as with many autoimmune diseases.

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    Excellent info. I want to add that if your thryoid tests are within normal range, and you then go off gluten, you will most likely lose weight. At this point, your medication dosage may be too high for your reduced body mass. It's very important to be re-checking your thyroid hormones if you lose weight or change your diet as you could veer into hyperthyroidism, which is what happened to me along with all the messy symptoms. Stay on top of this, please.

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    I was finally diagnosed with celiac eight years ago, after suffering for 15 years before being diagnosed. I am also lactose intolerant. I have just been diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease and am so grateful to confirm that there is a correlation between celiac and Hashimoto's. Thank you so much for validating my suspicion.

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    I was diagnosed with celiac three years ago and just recently my new doctor diagnosed me with hypothyroidism. She didn't specify Hashimoto's but it would make sense. I start on Synthroid today, so hopefully I'll start to feel better.

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    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's and Celiac's disease at the same time. I was 33 when I got my diagnosis. I just figured I was weird and had both issues, I am so glad (not really but you know what I mean) to see there are others out there like me!

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    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's and within three months of being on Levothyroxine, I began to experience celiac symptoms. My TSH shot back up while on Levothyroxine which made me suspicious about my diet. I read somewhere that thyroid medication is absorbed in your lower intestines, and that is also where you find damage from gluten if gluten is a problem for you. So, if gluten is damaging your lower intestines, then your body cannot fully absorb the optimal thyroid dosage from the medication. I cut gluten and all my hypo symptoms went away and my TSH has begun to go down again. However, if I do slip on the gluten-free diet (because it's really hard to stay on if you don't have an immediate reaction) I notice that within days of eating a cluster of gluten, I start to feel really hypo.

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    Interesting...since I had Hashimoto's about the same time I started getting celiac problems, though it has taken me 20 years to get a diagnosis of celiac.

    I'm right there with you .....I have been going through this for 20 years also getting the run around and playing ring around the rosey. Finally a Dr. who diagnoses me in about 5 min and tell me I'm not crazy!!!

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    For years I have suffered with Hashimoto's and could not understand why I could not loose weight on the oroxine medication even though I exercise and am active. Do you think a Gluten free diet could help me as I am 59 years old?

    @Colleen

    Yes, going gluten-free can help you lose weight if you don't go for the gluten free cookies and such. With the diet, you will cut out fattening foods like pastries, pies, cakes, and most cheap Asian food as Soy Sauce has gluten and Asian restaurants tend to throw all products (gluten and non-gluten) on the same grill so that everything gets contaminated. The resulting diet is very healthy if you eat naturally gluten free (i.e. mostly lean meat, vegetables, and rice and potatoes for the starch). Most imitation and fake foods have gluten (like imitation crab meat), so the diet will force you away from that unhealthy food as well. If you have a gluten intolerance, any repairs this diet allows your body to make to your system will help you body return to a state where it can regulate its weight better.

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    My mother has had Hashimoto's for years. She is 85 and a few years ago started to have all sorts of gastro-intestinal problems. I convinced her to get rid of the gluten and she has been a great deal better.

    I also have had Hasimoto's for the last 16 years. I really cut down on the bread a few years ago and I have been much better. The day will come when I have to give it up entirely I fear but until then I eat stuff made with wheat flour very sparingly.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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