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Lisa40278

Celiac Disease And Thyroid Issues - Do They Go Hand-In-Hand Or Are They Separate?

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First of all, I wanted to say hi! I'm a newcomer here (29f), pending my official diagnosis next week. Fingers crossed!

 

During my time between "let's run the celiac test just to see" and "let's schedule a biopsy", I've done a LOT of reading and realized that this is the miracle diagnosis that I've needed for years.

 

I've read that thyroid issues and celiac sometimes go hand in hand. I have a lot of possible thyroid issue symptoms (fatigue, cold extremeties, facial flushing, excessive sweating, memory loss, no libido) but my TSH levels have always been within range. Actually, all CMP and CBC bloodwork has been in range the past two years. No blood testing prior - no Dr ever suggested it.

 

So my question is, if I get the celiac diagnosis, should I just give the diet time to work and see how many symptoms go away? When should I think about seeing an endocrinologist?

 

Is celiac the cause of thyroid issues or vice versa? Are they separate?

 

Thanks everyone! :)

-Lisa

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Hi and welcome. I have celiac and am hypothyroid, but I've never heard one causes the other. I'm sure others will be more knowledgeable on this. I imagine once you're following strict gluten free you'll start feeling better in ways you didn't even realize you needed. 


gluten free since 11/12  

dairy and soy free since 1/13

chocolate free since 6/14

 

I miss my chocolate!!!   but I'm not sick anymore, and that's what really matters  :)

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I think the two often go together from being on here and reading.  There are more tests for thyroid than just TSH.  My TSH is normal, but some other numbers are out of whack.  From my memory, with the possibility of missing a test, here are the tests one can use to check thyroid:

 

TSH

T3

T4

Reverse T3

Reverse T4

Thyroid Antibodies

 

An endocrinologist is the person who should be able to decipher those tests.  I think my thyroid is helped by gluten free.  I hope that yours will be too, and or that you can figure out and change what is a problem.

 

Dee

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To straighten it out, studies suggest that while the general population has a percentage of about 1% for Celiac, those of us with Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroid disease), have a 2-4% chance of developing Celiac. There's a lot of stuff online that says untreated Celiac causes it, and that ALL people with thyroid disease need to avoid it, but that's not backed up by any clinical scientific data. It's just that if you have one autoimmune disease, you're likely to get more. Now, as far as normal for TSH, I've noticed GP doctors have used different standards than Endocrinologists. Mine was around 5 and I kept having doctors tell me that was normal. Endo's want it between 1-3. So you might be out of that range and need treatment. You should also get your thyroid antibodies (TPO) checked, because I wasn't diagnosed until they did that and it came back at over 3500, which is waaaay high.


Diagnosed with Hashimoto's 2/2012. Thyroid tumor removed 4/2012. Positive AGA IGA blood test 3/2012.

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Hashi's does occur frequently with Celiac and I think you'll find that if you have undiagnosed Celiac for long enough, all that inflammation does not just cause damage to the small intestine. The immune system starts to attack other organs and the pancreas and thyroid gland seem to be the most popular targets. My Hashi's diagnosis came 20 years before the Celiac diagnosis but in hindsight, I triggered for Celiac at a very young age. The damage showing on my adult teeth when they came in was proof of that.

I would say that yes, having Celiac can cause other AI diseases to happen, as a result of prolonged inflammation and other genetic factors that may come into play. Ask anyone with multiples, like myself. I don't need a fancy study to figure that out.

I would say to try the gluten-free diet for awhile and see if your symptoms calm down. If they do not, and your tTg remains on the higher side for too long, then thyroid testing would be in order. As suggested, it would help to have your thyroid antibodies checked because that will tell you if thyroid disease is brewing.

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I agree that thyroid problems are linked to celiac disease. I think celiac disease often kicks off other diseases when we are living undiagnosed for so many years. I ended up with three autoimmune diseases and I often wonder if I could have avoided two of them if my celiac disease diagnosis was discovered 30 years earlier.

 

Newly diagnosed celiacs should get tested for Hashi's right away.  The last stat I saw stated that over 10% of celiacs have Hashi's (although I could be wrong because I can't find my source).  I agree with 1desperateladysaved that many tests should be done beyond the TSH, but I disagree a bit on which ones to run (just based on my own research and personal experience). The tests I would do are: 

  • TSH - Should be close to a 1 regardless of the labs range (2's 3's and above are often too high for someone with a thyroid problem - it is for me)
  • Free T4 and Free T3 - Should be in the 50-75% range of your lab's normal reference range.  It is possible to feel hypothyroid if your results are in the low end of normal range.  T4 and T3 means total T4 and total T3 which are not a good test to tell you want in happening in the blood. The free T's are better.
  • TPO Ab - Should be pretty low but you can still have a thyroid problem when this is normal.  My thyroid doesn't do much but my TPO Ab has always been a high normal.

These tests can vary a fair bit from week to week. I remember suspecting a thyroid problem years ago. When I tseted my TSH it was a bit high (6 something?) but when they retested a week or so later it was normal (4 something) so they dismissed me.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have pursued more tested and begun treatment 15 years earlier.

 

You should also get your nutrient levels tests (off topic but still relevant ;) ).  Have then check your: Fe, Mg, Ca, K, A, D, Zn, Cu, B12, ferritin, and.... I think I'm forgetting one. Anyways, celiacs are often low in these so have them checked.

 

Welcome to the board.  :)


Nicole 

"Acceptance is the key to happiness."

ITP - 1993

Celiac - June, 2012

Hypothyroid - August, 2012

CANADIAN

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Thank you all for responding! Nvsmom, you are a wealth of knowledge! My TSH was 2.6 last year and 3.3 this year. Of course, no cause for concern from my doctor. I am delighted to hear that "1" is where I probably should be.

 

This place makes me feel heard. It is so frustrating to feel unhealthy for years with no explanation. To eventually just accept that it's "all in your head", because the doctors say you're healthy.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Thank you all for responding! Nvsmom, you are a wealth of knowledge! My TSH was 2.6 last year and 3.3 this year. Of course, no cause for concern from my doctor. I am delighted to hear that "1" is where I probably should be.

 

 

No problem.  :)  Just remember that that "TSH near a 1" is not true for everyone. A few may find that a TSH at a 2 feels better... I've never met someone who felt best at a 3 - at least not someone who has a thyroid problem.  ;)

 

My TSH is suppressed because I take some T3 along with the usual T4 medication (ex. Synthroid). My TSH was near a 0.011 the last I saw, but my Free T's are right where they should be and I feel okay.

 

Good luck with the doctor and happy Thanksgiving.


Nicole 

"Acceptance is the key to happiness."

ITP - 1993

Celiac - June, 2012

Hypothyroid - August, 2012

CANADIAN

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Thank you all for responding! Nvsmom, you are a wealth of knowledge! My TSH was 2.6 last year and 3.3 this year. Of course, no cause for concern from my doctor. I am delighted to hear that "1" is where I probably should be.

 

This place makes me feel heard. It is so frustrating to feel unhealthy for years with no explanation. To eventually just accept that it's "all in your head", because the doctors say you're healthy.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

There's a reason we call her Dr Nicole!

Never accept that it's all in your head. Only you know what your body is feeling like. Do request that full thyroid panel...it's really tough to get the thyroid to a good spot. I'm working on it now. Keep coming back with other questions too.


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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My TSH was .89 or somewhere around there.. I feel fine. You'll have to do a little bit of adjusting with medications before you figure out what's right for you. :)


Diagnosed with Hashimoto's 2/2012. Thyroid tumor removed 4/2012. Positive AGA IGA blood test 3/2012.

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