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Old 12-08-2008, 04:44 PM   #1
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Going Gluten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

For a lot of us adrenal fatigue appears to overlap with our thyroid issues. I just came across some interesting information which discussed an article in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation which described a patient with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and multiple endocrine disorders.

The article spoke of a patient who over a 3-month period went on a gluten-free diet, the patient showed a marked clinical improvement accompanied by a progressive decrease in the need for thyroid and adrenal replacement treatment. After 6 months another celiac disease test called "serum IgA antiendomysium antibody test" became negative. After 12 months, a new jejunal biopsy showed complete mucosal recovery. (The jejunum is the middle third of the small intestine.) After 18 months on a gluten-free diet, the antithyroid antibodies titer decreased significantly, and thyroid substitutive therapy was discontinued.

I found this interesting as a lot of us on this board have some form of gluten intolerance along with our adrenal and thyroid issues. When tested for Celiacs via a blood test mine came back a little over maximum range. I'm not classed as being 'celiac' by the blood test, but i should have the biopsy of my small intestine done for good measure.

My doctor is always telling me to cut out ALL gluten for a time. I find it very hard as gluten free bread tastes horrendous!! I do use gluten free flour to make crepes and have tried to make cakes, but they just aren't the same.

On the other hand, it would be interesting to cut out all gluten and see over a few months whether it does affect my adrenal cortisol levels and thyroid levels too. Perhaps it also depends how far advanced your thyroid destruction is?

Last edited by Audrey-B; 12-08-2008 at 04:53 PM.

 
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:14 AM   #2
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Hi, I am 45yrs old and have struggled with gastro. problems since childhood. I have been diagnoised from GERD to Colitis to diverticulosis. I have been on different meds throughout my life and nothing has helped. I happened to come across an artitcle online about Celiac. My Doctor had many times referred me to a gastro. Doctor but I never went until the symptoms got so bad and my stomach was so bloated I could not wear my clothes anymore and I knew there was no reason because my amounts of food I was eating was very little. I've always been underweight. I also was struggling with fibroids and had to have an ablation due to heavy periods. I just thought this was my time in life to start changing, if you know what I mean. I also had to go on B12 shots and my blood count was a 7. My entire childhood my blood levels were always low and I was always anemic. NO DOCTOR ever suggested CELIAC. So, after all these years of suffering ALL the clinical signs of Celiac I finally, after reading the article started elemenating some gluten from my diet but not much change in symptoms. I finally went to see the gastro Doctor and discussed the possibility of Celiac. I had all the blood work done and scope done but they all came back neg. my Doctor still suggested to go on a Gluten free diet for awhile to see If I noticed any change. He said I could be gluten intolerent and not Celiac at this point. I went on the diet for 3 weeks and I was amazed at the change and my stomach started to go down in size. On Thanksgiving I thought I could cheat a little. The next day I was having and outbreak of Dermatitis Herpeformatitis on my butt that I had been getting for the past 4-5 years and was to embarrassed to have it checked out because I thought no Doctor would believe that there was NO reason for me to have Herpes. I've been married/Happily married for 28yrs. I went back on a Full Gluten Free Diet and have been symptom free since. I think I may get Glutened sometimes when I eat out. The other day I got real red in the face and hot like a hot flash. Could this be the adrenel thing going on or Celiac. I know Celiac brings out different Autoimmune things. I feel like my head is going to explode and my face and neck are red and burn like fire and I get itchy. The same thing happened weeks ago after eating out and I got such chest pains as if it was horrible indigestion. I had so much pressure in my chest and then felt like I needed to throw up to relieve the pressure. I would like to hear from anyone that has had any of these problems. I Will Never go off this diet. I feel 100% better. If I only had been tested years ago.

 
Old 12-19-2008, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Audrey - thanks for posting this. I was just starting to think about starting a gluten free diet to see if it would help me feel better. Does anyone else have any experience with this helping your thyroid symptoms/recovery?

 
Old 12-19-2008, 03:03 PM   #4
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Where do you begin to do this? What do you go by or buy? any books???
Thanks

 
Old 12-19-2008, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

accidentally get glutened.. LOL.. How cute. Anyway, THANKS. We have Kroger here as well and I have seen gluten free products. Will do more looking..

 
Old 12-20-2008, 09:09 AM   #6
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Don't go gluten free before your blood test or small intestinal biopsy. If you do your tests will very likely be negative even if you do have Celiac Disease.

A proper Celiac Panel contains: Total IgA
IgA antitissue transglutaminase (tTG)
IgA antiendomysial antibody immunofluorescence (EMA)
If IgA is deficient, IgG tTG test should also be ordered. At the discretion of the doctor, antigliaden IgG can also be ordered.

1 in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease. Celiac can have over 200 different symptoms. You can have several of them or no symptoms at all and they can be steady or intermittent. Like most autoimmune diseases it's often triggered by illness, stress or hormonal changes.

Infertility, miscarriage, arthritis, fatigue, early onset osteoporosis, poor night vision, poor vision overall, short stature, muscle cramps, carpopedal spasms, "pins and needles", seizures, migraine, canker sores, the itchy skin rash Dermatitis Herpetiformis, depression, irritability, discolored teeth and thinning tooth enamel. (among many others)

Autoimmune diseases tend to cluster - if you have one, you're more likely than the general population to get another. The "Celiac Cluster" contains Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (in 2007 the World Journal of Gastroenterology recommended that patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis be screened for celiac disease and celiacs be screened for Hashi's), Graves Disease, Juvenile Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, Vitiligo and Sjogren's Syndrome. Other related disorders are intestinal cancer, liver disease, Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome and Williams Syndrome.

I have Juvenile Arthritis, Sjogren's, Celiac and Hashi's. Had I been diagnosed with Celiac earlier, I might have been able to avoid the Sjogren's and Hashi's.

Shockingly, 97% of Celiacs in this country remain undiagnosed.

Three MILLION Americans have this disease and only about 100,000 know about it.

Good luck to anyone starting out - there are many recipe books and how-to books available, Dr. Greene's book, Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic is a great primer on the illness itself.

 
Old 12-20-2008, 11:14 PM   #7
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Thanks to everybody for contributing I'm also fairly new to this. I haven't been diagnosed with Celiac's, but a previous doctor did run a test as i had great difficulty lifting my iron levels as well as having very low Vitamin D (which doesn't help the autoimmune system) and i have great difficulty keeping my iodine levels up. My then doctor believe it could be gluten related and then when he found out i had Hashimoto's he told me to go off gluten for at least 6months. I opted to have the blood test first, just to see what the result would be prior to totally eliminating gluten foods.

My results came back at 18 and the maximum was 15. I thought i was just a touch over, but then learnt blood tests aren't totally reliable as to what damage has already occured in the small intestine and that i ought to have the biopsy done (which i haven't yet done at this point).

I don't get any symptoms what so ever after eating gluten food. I used to get bloating, but then discovered it was due to my digestive system. My pancrease wasn't producing sufficient enzymes to digest protein. Since taking prescription digestive enzymes my stomach/digestion is so much better. My iron has lifted a fair bit since then too.

So now i'm left wondering whether my malabsorption issues were ALL due to insufficient enzymes for digestion and nothing to do with gluten, or whether it was mostly digestion and a little gluten. I'm thinking maybe next year i ought to have the biopsy done to rule out or to better inform myself of where i'm at.

If you have definite symptoms it's easier to work with in a way, but when you have no symptoms it makes it more difficult.

I'm finding more and more thyroid sufferers and in particular Hashimoto's sufferers who have the whole range of issues eg: gluten intolerance, anemia/difficult raising ferretin levels, low Vit D and also low iodine. My current doctor says a lot have malabsorption issues related to digestion, but don't know it. It boils down to how much your doctor knows, how far your doctor can/wants to take testing, how much time he/she is willing to put into your recovery.

AuntiLeela is correct in saying you shouldn't have a blood test after being gluten free. You need to have the blood test before going gluten free. In addition to the gluten testing, if you haven't already, you need to at least see where your ferretin is at, as well as your Vit D. As we all have one or more autoimmune diseases it's important to have your Vit D at the higher end of the lab range, not the lower/middle range. You need adequate daily Vit D to absorb calcium too. My current and previou doctor want my ferretin to be at least over 70 but preferrably around the 125 mark. They have both said the higher your ferretin the better it is for your thyroid. Your thyroid also needs daily adequate iodine, but this is something you don't want to mess around with and self supplement as that can be dangerous. Always get your levels tested before any supplementing.

 
Old 12-20-2008, 11:29 PM   #8
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

robin63 - in your case, you need to be careful when eating out. If you are Celiac your non-gluten food should never be 'cross contaminated' by gluten containing foods. My friend has been told that she needs to toast her gluten free bread in a seperate toaster and not use the family toaster which toasts the gluten containing bread as cross contamination can occur and still affect you. This is why eating out can be trial and error if the chef cooks foods on the same surface or boils a heap of pasta and accidentally mixes your pasta with wheat pasta and thinks it wont matter. A lady on tv was discussing her Celiacs and said she had been literally thrown out of restaurants as they couldn't 'guarantee' that her food would be 100% gluten free. She said it's so hard eating out.

Actually yesterday i saw some sesame health bars and the sign said 'gluten free', when i read the ingredients label they used syrup made from "wheat". Now tell me how that is gluten free? or am i missing something? A lot of gluten products are used as sauce thickeners too so you have to be careful when buying premade pasta sauces.

The thing i find most difficult about "gluten free" is the taste of the bread. I haven't found a single one i even remotley like the taste of. They all want to make me gag!! I still eat normal bread, but less often. I know this is not the way to go gluten free, but my doctor has agreed if i can cut back 50% or so then i can focus on lowering it even more as time goes on. Some weeks i wont even buy bread. If it's not in the house i can't eat it Dinner time isn't the problem, it's only when it comes down to bread, cakes and biscuits. I guess i'll have to keep experimenting with recipes and find a handfull of ones which work nicely when it comes to cakes.

How do you work around gluten, considering you have some serious symptoms after eating gluten?

It would be interesting to see people reporting back on here that going gluten free really did help their thyroid.

 
Old 12-21-2008, 06:24 AM   #9
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Re: Going Glouten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Hi, Thank you for your post. Yes, I am finding it very difficult to eat out at all. The reactions I get are so not worth it. I eat alot of Salads, Baked Potatoes,Frozen veg. and Being able to find alot of Gluten Free foods in the health food store has been a blessing. Thank goodness I am not a bread lover. I do not really miss my Breads. They have the hamburger rolls and hot dog rolls as well as different loaves of bread in this health food store, I just have not tried them yet. To me the breads and cake mixes remind me of the sugar free baking goods I used to make for my son. My son, at age 6 was diagnoised with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes and those cakes were dry and tasteless. I would rather cook at home and know what I'm getting rather than take chances. I get my strength from thinking about my son who for 26 yrs has had to eat Sugar Free and if he can eat sugar free then I can eat Gluten Free. Again, the results have been soooo worth it. I know I should have more blood test done. I'm just trying to get through the holidays and then I see my doctor. My Gastro doctor does not suggest I see him until my one year check up in Oct. 09 but he also does not know how these reactions are happening. I don't understand the red, hot face and burning and itching I get. I guess its the allergic reaction to the gluten but then I wonder about the adrenal thing??? Sometimes it feels like an adreneline rush. These are all questions I need to ask when I go back for the blood work

 
Old 12-21-2008, 08:30 PM   #10
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Re: Going Gluten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

I've been on a gluten-free and dairy free diet for about 2 years now and like you I have to avoid most restaurant foods. I was never diagnosed as celiac's, but my naturopathic doc had suggested i cut out wheat and dairy to help my ailing digestion. It really helped.

I'm just thankful for the rice milk i have found which i have greatly adapted to as well as the rice pasta and rice cakes.

Mine is not as rigid a diet as most as i can tolerate oat and rye and some hard cheeses in moderation.

I would love to see a chain of gluten-free restaurants with lots of bean, chicken, turkey, salmon and rice an veggie take out foods. For now i cook all my meals except for the very rare meal to a local chicken place that serves rice as a side dish or salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

With the rise in autism among children and the recent discovery that gluten-free diets make remarkable improvements in their condition, i'm hoping that the gluten-free foods will become even more available in stores and restaurants.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:03 AM   #11
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Re: Going Gluten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Hi, I also agree with with you on eating out. I feel like the more awareness of wheat allergies and celiac the more we will see gluten free choices on menues. The holidays have been a little hard. I work in an office and all of our patients bring in homemade goodies and I can't have them. I also look at it in a positive way, no weight gain over the holidays. I just don't go in the breakroom. Out of site, out of mind. I also have noticed that the time away from eating those things that I do not any longer crave them. It is an everyday challenge but I know its best. Thank you and have a very blessed holiday.

 
Old 12-23-2008, 02:48 PM   #12
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Re: Going Gluten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Robin - i can totally identify with it being hard at the office Christmas party!! At my work there are now two of us who should keep gluten free. Today we are having a BBQ lunch and one of the guys was nice enough to get meat and sausages where not gluten has been used. I thought that was nice of him.

Some people want to understand your situation, yet others think if it can't kill you it can't be such a big problem. That's the same with my ongoing thyroid. Nobody seems to have heard of Hashimoto's so don't understand how it affects a person. They have heard of a thyroid, but as nobody has died from it and there is medication available, they don't see what the issue is. The fact is they don't understand that it's not JUST the thyroid, but so many people have other 'off-shoot' issues which you have to treat alongside the thyroid, not to mention the tiredness you can develop.

 
Old 12-24-2008, 04:59 AM   #13
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Re: Going Gluten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

You are so right about people not understanding. I get a little angry when I tell someone I can't eat something because I have Celiac and then the question: What's that??? I then explain about the gluten and they will say, Just a little bite won't hurt. They do not have a clue. It is not a diet you can cheat on I tell them and they look at you as if, IT's NOT GOING TO KILL YOU!! It's all about educating them on Celiac. My husband had the same thought process on Celiac but as I educate him more and more I find him looking out for me more than I do for myself. Going grocery shopping now is a least an Hour ordeal. But my husband is right there with me reading labels. I love him dearly. I think as I have said before, more and more as people are diagnoised with Celiac and the related conditions that go along with it,such as your thyroid condition, that more and more doctors and people are going to become aware and more educated about all of this. I have alot of the symptoms of the thyroid condition you are dealing with but, I've never been checked. The MOST severe symptom Is that I cannot get warm. I am always cold. Winter or Summer. I cannot stand the cold outside or air conditioning in the summer. I wear winter PJ's all year long. If I'm in the house and the air conditioning is on, I wear a light fleece jacket. I cannot stand for the cold air to blow on me. I always carry a lightweight jacket in the summertime to wear in the groc. store or restaurants. It is miserable. I really enjoy our Posts. Have a Happy Holiday.

 
Old 12-24-2008, 01:01 PM   #14
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Re: Going Gluten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Hi Robin,
I have a dear friend who has celiac's and she, like you, is always cold. Her hands are like ice and she wears long underwear from fall to spring pretty much. Being hypo i too am often cold and have a big supply of long underwear (top and bottom) as well as wool socks. I know what you mean about taking a long time at the grocery store too. With me it's a combination of tiredness, brain fog, etc. I prepare my grocery list in advance to make things easier and list the items in order: fruit & vegs first, then can goods, dried goods, meats and eggs. That really helps me a lot.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:54 PM   #15
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Re: Going Gluten Free to Help Adrenals and Thyroid?

Yes, I try to prepare a list as well but at the local grocery store the choices are limited. They have a somewhat okay section of Glutened Free foods to choose from. I just tried my first Pizza with the Rice crust. It was frozen, not homemade. It was not very good. I made a dish for Christmas dinner, it was Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese. I made it with the Gluten Free Rice elbow macaroni noodles. It was not like the real thing, but not bad at all. I find that the corn elbow macaroni noodles are a little more firm, as the rice noodles tend to become mushy. The corn noodles tend to have that mealy texture and taste. I have a little problem with textures and my food I eat. I am a picky eater. Today was probably the hardest yet. I've been on my gluten free diet for 2 months now but I have not had all the temptations that I had to face today. But, by the grace of god I made it without failure. I sure did pray alot. Those cookies,candies and desserts were haunting me. Before the Celiac, I was a sweets freak. I showed myself that, with alot of praying I could do it. My husband also got me some Cuddle Duds to wear under my Uniforms at work so I would not be so miserably cold. They are like silky thermal underwear and the are so nice to keep you extra warm. Hope you had a very blessed Holiday.

 
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