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How Does Gluten Affects Hashimoto’s Disease?

Jun 14, 2023 | Autoimmunity, Blog, Ingredient Showcase, Pregnancy

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How Does Gluten Affects Hashimoto's Disease

How Does Gluten Affects Hashimoto’s Disease? – A comprehensive Guide.

As someone who has been diagnosed with HASHIMOTO’S DISEASE, you may already know that it is an AUTOIMMUNE condition that is responsible for 90% of all cases of HYPOTHYROIDISM. But did you know that there is a dangerous link between GLUTEN and Hashimoto’s Disease? In this article, we will explore how gluten affects Hashimoto’s Disease and what you can do to improve your health.


Understanding the Link Between Gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease


GLUTEN is a combination of proteins found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and many others.

Ongoing scientific research indicates that there is a strong link between eating foods that contain gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease.

Gluten can break down the intestinal barrier, leading to LEAKY GUT SYNDROME which can cause autoimmune disease. Gluten can also be an irritant to Hashimoto’s Disease by creating INFLAMMATION in the thyroid gland. The process is known as MOLECULAR MIMICKRY which means that your body’s immune system is attacking the gluten, infection, or environmental toxin, but also attacking its own tissue. If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, you need to completely avoid gluten to avoid triggering autoimmune attacks on your thyroid gland. This is because gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease are a destructive combination. However, you may not have to avoid gluten forever, but this depends on a number of factors.


What Decides if Someone Must be Gluten-Free Forever?

Once your ANTIBODY LEVELS are in a healthy range, your thyroid and blood tests look great, and you are feeling great, you can try a gluten challenge. Always make sure you are eating small quantities from high-quality sources such as sourdough bread. Sourdough has much lower concentrations of gluten than normal bread because the leavening process breaks down a lot of the gluten. Eat some high-quality sourdough bread a few times a week and see how you feel. Sometimes you will know right away that you must completely avoid gluten. In other cases, you will feel fine, and when you test your thyroid antibodies and thyroid numbers, they actually look great and have not changed. These individuals can have gluten in moderation.


Why Should Gluten be Avoided if You Have Hashimoto’s Disease?

Gluten has been shown in multiple studies to be a contributing factor to not just Hashimoto’s Disease, but many autoimmune diseases. A functional medicine perspective is that a practitioner must find out what triggers the immune system to attack the thyroid and work with the patient to develop strategies to avoid those triggers. Medications do not deal with the autoimmune response that damages the thyroid.


The Functional Medicine Approach to Gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease

A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE doctor will discuss gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease with you because the functional medicine approach thoroughly investigates underlying ROOT CAUSES of dysfunction and targets the unique causes of low thyroid in each person. That means each patient undergoes a comprehensive examination, including health history, environment, diet and nutrition, exercise level, psychological and emotional state, social interactions, hormone levels, and genetics.


How Long Can It Take to See Improvements Once You Stop Eating Gluten?

It can take up to 18 months for the INFLAMMATION in the intestine to calm down on a gluten-free diet. However, it often does not take nearly that long to FEEL BETTER, symptomatically. Many people with Hashimoto’s Disease experience quick results in a matter of weeks once coming off of gluten. There are other foods that can contribute to inflammation in the intestine along with gluten such as dairy products, eggs, soy, and other food allergens to name a few.

It is important to have FOOD SENSITIVITY done to identify what foods your body is reacting to in addition to gluten. This will help you create a comprehensive plan that addresses all of your dietary concerns.


Getting a Holistic Perspective on Gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease

Blood tests alone are not enough to determine if there is a relationship between your consumption of gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease. If you are ready to partner with a practitioner who will seek the underlying causes of your illness, and then follow a treatment plan that might recommend changes to diet, supplementation, herbal medicine, or natural hormones, then make an appointment to consult with a functional medicine practitioner. When you truly understand the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease, then you have the power to change your health and begin renewing your thyroid and your overall health, naturally.


Additional tips to help you navigate your gluten-free journey:


Read food labels carefully:

Many processed foods contain gluten, so it’s important to read the labels carefully. Look for foods that are labeled gluten-free, and avoid any foods that contain wheat, rye, barley, or malt.


Experiment with gluten-free flours:

One more important point to keep in mind is that going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor or enjoyment in your meals. There are many delicious GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES available online and in cookbooks, and you can even modify your favorite recipes to be gluten-free by substituting gluten-free ingredients. For example, instead of using regular flour in your baking, try using almond flour or coconut flour. You may be surprised by how delicious gluten-free meals can be.


Focus on whole, unprocessed foods:

The healthiest and safest way to go gluten-free is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and gluten-free grains such as quinoa and brown rice.

Be patient:

It can take time for your body to adjust to a gluten-free diet, so be patient and give yourself time to adjust. Remember that it’s worth it to take care of your health.



If you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, it is important to understand the link between gluten and this autoimmune condition. Gluten can contribute to the development and progression of Hashimoto’s Disease and other autoimmune diseases. By avoiding gluten, you can help reduce inflammation and protect your thyroid gland. Remember to read food labels carefully, experiment with gluten-free flours, focus on whole, unprocessed foods, and be patient. With dedication and support, you can enjoy a healthy and vibrant life, free from the negative effects of gluten on your body.

Additionally, by working with a functional medicine practitioner, you can get a comprehensive evaluation that will help you identify your unique dietary and health needs. With the right support and guidance, you can take control of your health and start feeling better.