Can a Gluten Free Diet Help with Thyroid Disease?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It is an auto-immune condition in which the body’s immune system gradually destroys the thyroid gland. As a result, the amount of circulating thyroid hormone in your body is too low. This can lead to everything from weight gain to hair loss to heart trouble.
Sadly, the evidence that those with Hashimoto’s benefit from a gluten-free diet so far inconclusive. That doesn’t mean that it’s not true, just that it hasn’t yet been confirmed with good science. There’s always the chance that the improvements that people feel are due to something besides the absence of gluten.
Research has shown, for example, that many people who think they are sensitive to gluten (which is a protein in wheat) are actually sensitive to the fibre in wheat, and not the gluten. When they eliminate the fibre, they have no adverse reaction to gluten.
There are other reasons that people who go on gluten-free diets might feel better. In the process, they may end up eliminating a lot of processed foods. They may end up eating more fruits and vegetables or protein to make up for the missing bread and pasta.