Celiac Disease and Thyroid Disease | Allergy

Celiac Disease and Thyroid Disease

by Allergy Guy

Celiac disease and thyroid disease are more linked than you might think.  If you have one, look out for the other.

There are two types of thyroid disease: Hashimoto’s disease (hypothyroidism) and Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism).

Both are autoimmune diseases.  Celiac disease is also an autoimmune condition.

Celiac disease may be involved in both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

In this article, we will look at what hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are, and how celiac disease is sometimes involved.

Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s Disease)

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland is less active than it should be.  The thyroid is enlarged, although sometimes not enough for the patient to notice. 

Hypothyroid Symptoms

  • Can’t tolerate cold
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Hair can fall out
  • Hair can become brittle
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty thinking

The last three symptoms are shared by celiac disease, and could be caused by other problems such as a gluten allergy, or any other allergy.

A celiac with a hypothyroid could gain weight– which may come as a surprise since most celiacs lose weight.

Hyperthyroidism (Grave’s Disease)

Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid becomes overly active.  It is more or less the opposite of hypothyroidism.  This speeds up the body’s metabolism.

Hyperthyroid Symptoms

  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Nervousness
  • Increased activity
  • faster heartbeat than normal
  • Fatigue
  • Moist skin
  • Anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Shakiness
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Bulging eyes

Celiac Disease

Like the thyroid diseases described above, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease.

According to one study, 14% of people with celiac disease also have thyroid disease: about 10% with hypothyroidism, and about 4% with hyperthyroidism.

In other words, a significant number of celiacs have a misbehaving thyroid complicating matters.

Looking at it the other way around, one study found that 3.2% of patients with a thyroid condition also have celiac disease, compared to .4% of the general population.

The test used in this study was not all that sensitive to celiac disease, since it is generally accepted that just under 1% of the general population has celiac disease.

Whether exposure to gluten causes thyroid problems in celiacs, or thyroid problems increase the chance of celiac is unknown.

Either way, if you have celiac disease, watch out for thyroid problems as well. 

If you have thyroid disease, you should definitely get tested for celiac as well.

For those with both problems, a gluten free diet can help reduce thyroid problems as well as eliminate celiac disease symptoms.

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1 linda glasscock March 17, 2010 at 12:28

My 17 year old daughter was

My 17 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with hashimotos. Her antibodies were around 7 or 8 hundred. I recently read that if you take armour or synthroid it could lower the antibody numbers and possibly lower the antibody count. I recently found a functional medicine physician who is running tests on her for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Initially i saw an endocrinologist who very matter of fact told me that there was nothing to do but wait for her thyroid to be attacked and she would have to take synthroid for life. She refused to consider putting her on low dose armour. This new doctor immediately put her on a low dose of armor and she thinks it might be helping a little. Its only been a few weeks. If the test comes back positve for celiac is it possible to reverse the antibodies by going gluten free? She also has an allergy to mold, has a history of being anemic as a little girt. I used to give her flouride tablets and flouridated water until she was 8 and developed flouridousis spots on her teeth. Could these things have caused the problem if she doesnt have celiac?

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2 admin March 17, 2010 at 13:27

Celiac disease and hashimotos

Hi Linda,

My understanding is that if a celiac with thyroid problems goes on a gluten free diet, the condition will usually improve.

There is no guarantee that this is always the case. And we can’t be sure how much it will help.

The point is that anyone with a thyroid problem has a higher chance of celiac disease than average. And in this case, going on a gluten free diet usually helps.

I hope that in your daughter’s case, it helps a lot! Please come back and leave a comment as you find out more.

As for fluoride, I can’t say if it might have caused your daughter’s problems or not.

I do know that it is a dangerous chemical. According to a book that I’ve heard about but not yet read, fluoride was first added to water to prove that it is safe, because it is known to be dangerous.

Yes, you read that correctly the first time.

I think that your daughter would find $immunocal$ very beneficial.

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