Has Gluten got your Thyroid?
By Muneerah Shiraz, Certified Nutritional Practitioner
Have you been diagnosed with Hashimotos or Graves’ disease?
If so, I hope that you have also been told that these are Autoimmune conditions. Meaning the Immune system is attacking the Thyroid gland, damaging it, and causing imbalance in the thyroid hormones.
The reason for this can be diet, food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, toxins, leaky gut, stress and/or infection.
When we talk about food sensitivities the most common one is Gluten. Gluten can weaken the lining of the intestines, cause inflammation and trigger the immune system to attack the Thyroid gland. This is how it works…
It is the job of the cells in the intestinal lining to stay tight and strong and not allow any food particles to penetrate the blood stream but rather go through the digestive tract.
Gluten can cause the gut cells to release a chemical called Zonulin which weakens the lining that holds the intestine together and creates gaps allowing food particles, toxins, medications etc. to leak out of the intestines and end up in the blood stream, where they do not belong. This is called Leaky Gut.
When these unwanted particles end up in the blood stream the Immune system considers them foreign invaders and attacks them the same way that it attacks any foreign bodies e.g., bacteria, virus etc.
When Gluten is consumed regularly (especially by people who have a gluten sensitivity) and the Immune system is constantly in this overworked ‘attack’ mode it gets confused and sometimes starts to also attack the tissues/organs of the body. One of these organs is the Thyroid Gland, and when this gland gets attacked repeatedly by the immune system Auto Immune Thyroid conditions such as Hashimotos and Graves disease can develop.
As you can see the root cause of Auto Immune Thyroid conditions may not be in the thyroid gland but rather in the gut.
So, what can you do?
- If you have a Thyroid condition the first thing you need to do is completely give up Gluten (even if you are not gluten sensitive) and likely a couple of other allergens too. Many people think giving up Gluten its hard but really its more about your mindset, once you understand the damage it is doing to your health you will not want it in your diet (if you need further convincing call me 😊)
- You will need to partner with a Holistic Health Practitioner to reverse Leaky Gut. If you do not work on this you may end up with more inflammation, digestive issues, and food sensitivities.
Here is the process for reversing Leaky Gut:
- remove inflammatory foods
- replace inflammatory foods with gut-healing foods
- reinoculate the gut with healthy bacteria
- repair the intestine lining
2500 years ago, Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut”, he knew what he was talking about 😊.
If you have a Thyroid condition and would like to discuss your options with me book a Free 30-minute consult