The Hashimoto’s and Gluten Connection: Is Gluten Harmful?

The Hashimoto’s and Gluten Connection: Do you Have to Go Gluten Free?

Do you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

Are you considering going gluten-free?

Maybe you are wondering if going gluten-free will even be helpful, or if it is some sort of fad diet.

Maybe you’ve gone gluten-free and it just isn’t helping like you thought it would.

If so, you are in the right place. 

It turns out that going gluten-free may be beneficial for many patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis but not for the reasons you might expect.

By evaluating the research we can determine why going gluten-free may be a good idea if you have Hashimoto’s: 


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Gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease

Most people have no problem making changes to their diet if they know it will help their health long term.

One question I see pop up is about Hashimoto’s and gluten.

Do you need to be gluten-free if you have Hashimoto’s?

In most cases going gluten-free is helpful for a number of reasons, but maybe not the reasons you are thinking. 


Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease.

As you may already know if you have one autoimmune disease you are at risk of developing another autoimmune disease. 

This is complicated further in the case of Hashimoto’s and Celiac disease because they share a common genetic predisposition on the DQ2 allele (1).

This connection is so strong that most physicians will test patients with known celiac disease for other autoimmune diseases (in this case Hashimoto’s). 

In various studies, the incidence of patients with Hashimoto’s disease who also have Celiac disease ranges from around 4-10% (2).

This may raise some questions:

If only 5-10% of people with Hashimoto’s have Celiac disease then why should nearly EVERYONE with Hashimoto’s disease go gluten-free?

Despite the fact that 5-10% of patients have Celiac disease, in my experience and in the experience of many other physicians, at least 80% + of patients with Hashimoto’s who go gluten-free notice a reduction in their symptoms almost immediately. 

So why is that?​

One of the main reasons is our limited understanding of the influence of gluten on the body. 

It turns out that gluten can cause problems independent of an autoimmune reaction (Celiac disease) which we will go over below. ​


There are two syndromes you need to be worried about when it comes to gluten.

The first is Celiac disease.

You probably are aware of this disease because it is an autoimmune disease and removing gluten is necessary to reduce the attack in your body.

Most patients with Celiac disease have antibodies in their blood to components of the gluten protein:

This usually manifests as antibodies to tissue transglutaminase and/or deamidated peptide. 

This is the condition everyone knows about.

But there is also a more sinister and more difficult-to-diagnose condition involving gluten and that is known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. 

​This condition is indeed reported in the literature (you can read more about it in detail here) and is well established that it does exist. 

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS for short) is most likely why so many people feel significantly better when going gluten-free, even if they don’t have Celiac disease.

It also explains why many patients may go gluten-free despite blood tests that show that they do NOT have Celiac. 

​We will discuss the difference between celiac and NCGS later in this post but you can see a list of the symptoms associated with NCGS below (many mirror Celiac disease but these patients will be antibody negative when tested). 


Another important factor in going gluten-free is that it necessarily results in the removal of inflammatory and processed foods from the diet. 

Yes, some people who go “gluten-free” still eat gluten-free goods, sugars, and bread but patients who remove processed and inflammatory foods, notice an improvement. 

Switching to a whole-food-based diet will help improve nutrients, reduce inflammation, and support adrenal and other hormone functions. 

We will talk more about the right way to go gluten-free below (as well as the many mistakes that patients make while going gluten-free). 


Going gluten-free may help treat other gastrointestinal issues that you may not even be aware that you had.

One of the most under-diagnosed intestinal issues in hypothyroid patients is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

It is estimated that up to 50% of patients with Hypothyroidism (3) also have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 

Going gluten-free may actually improve SIBO (at least somewhat) by reducing the carbohydrates that feed the bacteria. 

And remember:

SIBO is an inflammatory condition, which means that the presence of this condition results in increased inflammation in the GI tract which may exacerbate autoimmune conditions.

Localized GI inflammation may also lead to increased intestinal permeability which can further increase the likelihood of developing autoimmunity through molecular mimicry (4).

  • Bottom line:  Despite the fact that many patients with Hashimoto’s may not have Celiac disease, they can still improve their symptoms significantly by going gluten-free. 

Hashimoto’s and Gluten Research

While we’ve already established that there is a clear link (and increased risk) between patients who have Hashimoto’s and celiac disease, I want to direct your attention to some other research that is quite interesting.

#1. ​Many cases of Hashimoto’s and Celiac disease may be due to polyglandular autoimmune syndrome. 

Polyglandular autoimmune syndrome is a condition in which patients have a failure of multiple endocrine (hormone) glands in the body. 

Studies have shown (5) that many patients with Hashimoto’s and Celiac disease often have PAS. 

In PAS type 3, Autoimmune thyroiditis is often paired with other autoimmune conditions such as vitiligo, alopecia, and celiac disease.

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Most cases of alopecia and/or vitiligo can go under-appreciated by many physicians because their presence is usually just cosmetic (compared to systemic autoimmune diseases).

But their presence may indicate the involvement of multiple glands in their autoimmune condition.

Having the combination of Hashimoto’s + vitiligo or the combination of Hashimoto’s + alopecia or Hashimoto’s + hypogonadism (6) may dramatically increase your risk of developing Celiac disease later in life. 

You can see a complete list of autoimmune diseases associated with autoimmune thyroiditis such as Hashimoto’s and which autoimmune diseases may accompany this autoimmune disease. 

#2. The incidence of Celiac disease is increasing over time. ​

This is very interesting data and should be evaluated.

Studies have shown that the incidence of Celiac disease increases over time, even in the same patient population.

This means that you may test negative in your 20-30’s but then may again test positive later in life (it’s especially common in the 4th and 5th decade of life). ​

This can obviously trick some patients into believing that they don’t need to be gluten-free because they are antibody negative, only to become antibody positive later in life. 

For this reason, it may be a good idea to test for Celiac disease, especially if you have a Hashimoto’s flare-up

You can see a graph below showing the increasing incidence of Celiac disease over time. 

Most recently we are up to 2% of the population in some studies. 

It’s not clear exactly what is causing this increase in incidence over time, but it is most likely related to inflammatory conditions and increased intestinal permeability which both have been shown to increase the risk of development of autoimmune diseases (7).

Does going gluten-free help with weight loss?

Another huge question that patients have is will going gluten-free help with weight loss.

The answer is maybe.

In most cases, if done correctly, and assuming you weren’t eating a whole food diet previously, going gluten-free will most likely result in some weight loss.

This is due to several reasons (assuming you don’t have Celiac disease): 

#1. You are consuming less refined carbohydrates.

Generally, by going gluten-free most patients cut out the highest source of refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cereals, etc.). 

Of course, many patients who don’t lose weight may simply be substituting regular bread for gluten-free bread, in which case you wouldn’t get this benefit.

But assuming you go gluten-free and replace these refined sources of carbohydrates with healthier alternatives such as fruits and vegetables, most patients will experience some weight loss.

This largely has to do with the effects that refined carbohydrates have on the hormone insulin.

​Insulin is the hormone in your body that tells your fat cells to grow by holding onto energy. 

Reducing carbohydrates (the bad kind of carbs such as bread, etc.) will help lower insulin levels and lead to weight loss.

In my experience, insulin resistance is incredibly common among patients with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism and it’s almost impossible to lose weight unless insulin levels are addressed. 

Insulin is also made worse by inflammation, which brings us to point #2. ​

#2. You likely have less inflammation.

In many cases going gluten-free will either directly or indirectly reduce inflammation in the body and GI tract. 

If you have Celiac disease then eliminating gluten will absolutely reduce inflammation in your body.

If you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or another problem such as SIBO or fructose intolerance, then going gluten-free may also directly influence these conditions as well.

​Reducing insulin is important for the normalization of hormones that mediate body weight and alter your thyroid. 

You can read more about how inflammation and thyroid function influence these hormones and lead to weight gain here. ​

#3. You may be improving your thyroid function indirectly.

Your thyroid requires at least 13 different nutrients to function correctly.

This includes thyroid hormone production, thyroid sensitivity at the cellular level, and even T4 to T3 conversion.

Both Celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity impact and reduce the absorption of micronutrients leading to dysregulation of thyroid function indirectly.

In addition, inflammation is a known inhibitor of T4 to T3 conversion which may lead to a condition known as low T3 syndrome.

why patients with hashimoto's should avoid gluten

By going gluten-free you may indirectly improve thyroid function by both reducing inflammation and absorbing more nutrients for thyroid function. 

Increasing thyroid function may improve your basal metabolic rate and improve mitochondrial function leading to weight loss. ​

You can find a full list of nutrients required for optimal thyroid function here. ​

#4. You are getting more micronutrients.

Assuming you are replacing gluten with nutrient-dense gluten-free whole foods, you will most likely be consuming more nutrient-dense foods. 

Consuming nutrients from the food you eat is always superior to taking nutritional supplements.

By consuming these nutrients directly from the source, you can improve your thyroid function and help your body shed weight. ​

Do you have to be Gluten-Free if you have Hashimoto’s?

My opinion is that most patients with Hashimoto’s stand to benefit from at least a trial of going gluten-free.

Forget about the research listed above, forget about the strong clinical correlation between celiac disease and Hashimoto’s.

If you stand to benefit from changing your diet, wouldn’t you at least give it an honest effort?​

So the bottom line is this: ​

If you have Hashimoto’s it’s absolutely worth checking for Celiac disease (even if you are not symptomatic) to see if you have elevated antibodies in the blood.

If you are antibody positive then you have your answer.

Assuming you are antibody negative then your next step should be to consider a 3-month trial of 100% going gluten-free.

Most patients who go gluten-free notice at least some improvement in symptoms within 4 weeks.

Some patients (although rare) notice no difference in symptoms and may be just fine consuming gluten.

Tips for going gluten-free if you have Hashimoto’s: 

  • Consider a trial of going 100% gluten-free for 3 months
  • You should notice an improvement within 4 weeks of going gluten-free but in some cases, it takes up to 3 months
  • Gastrointestinal healing may take up to 9 months to completely heal, but you should notice a difference before that
  • Take care to exclude gluten (it may hide in condiments and other sources you aren’t necessarily looking at)
  • Make sure to avoid gluten-free foods such as bread, pasta, cereals, etc. – exchanging junk food for gluten-free junk food will not help

​My clinical experience suggests that while removing gluten may reduce your symptoms, it is usually not enough to bring you back to 100%. 

Other diets to try if you have Hashimoto’s and gluten-free isn’t working

Let’s say you’ve tried going gluten-free and it just isn’t working for you or you’ve noticed some improvement but you want more.

What then can you do?

In some cases, patients need a diet that is specifically tailored to their medical conditions.

There are many other diets that you can consider that may also improve your symptoms.

I have written extensively about these diets here which you can look at for more detail but I will go over them briefly below:

​Autoimmune Paleo Diet

For patients that have multiple autoimmune conditions (or who meet the criteria for polyglandular autoimmune syndrome type 3), going on the autoimmune paleo diet may be a better option than just going gluten-free.

The autoimmune paleo diet mimics the paleo diet, but it is a more strict version of the diet.

This particular diet removes all sources of gluten, nightshades, beans, and nuts.

  • Bottom line: Patients who have failed the paleo diet and who have multiple autoimmune conditions should consider the AIP diet. 

Leptin Diet

​If weight loss is your primary goal and if you have leptin resistance, then you might benefit from a diet more tailored to helping your body lower leptin levels. 

Leptin is a hormone in your body that can change your metabolism (lower it), resulting in an increased appetite and weight loss resistance. 

Hypothyroid patients are at risk for developing leptin resistance if they have low T3 and insulin resistance and if they have metabolic damage from calorie-restricted dieting.

Leptin resistance is quite prevalent among hypothyroid patients who have difficulty losing weight (about 40-50% of my patients have it).

Patients with known leptin resistance should avoid both carbohydrates and protein as both may directly or indirectly stimulate leptin release.

You can read more about the nuances of this type of diet here. ​

  • Bottom line: Patients with leptin resistance and Hashimoto’s/Hypothyroidism should consider tailoring their diet with leptin levels in mind. That means a reduction in both carbohydrates and protein. 

​Insulin Diet

While going gluten-free should go a long way to reduce insulin levels, you may need further changes to help lower insulin. 

Patients with known insulin issues, high blood sugar, and/or difficulty with weight loss should consider altering their diet with insulin levels in mind.

Insulin resistance is also incredibly common in patients with Hashimoto’s and reducing insulin is necessary for long-term weight loss in these patients.

You can learn more about how to reduce insulin through your diet in this post.


Going gluten-free should be a consideration in any patient who has Hashimoto’s or autoimmune thyroiditis. 

Through various mechanisms, separate from the etiology of Celiac disease, going gluten-free may be beneficial.

Going gluten-free may treat undiagnosed NCGS, SIBO, or fructose intolerance.

It also has the potential to help with weight loss by reducing inflammation, increasing nutrient absorption, and improving thyroid function.

My recommendation is to consider a 3-month trial of going gluten-free if you have Hashimoto’s, if you don’t notice any improvement then you may be fine consuming gluten regularly. 

If you notice negative side effects upon reintroduction then you have your answer and should avoid gluten so far as you find it helpful.

Now it’s your turn:

Do you have Hashimoto’s or autoimmune thyroiditis?

Are you also gluten-free?

Did it help? why or why not?

Leave your comments below! ​








do you have to be gluten free with hashimoto's?

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 70,000+ people have used them over the last 6 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do here.

P.S. Need more help? Check out my free thyroid downloads and resources.

46 thoughts on “The Hashimoto’s and Gluten Connection: Do you Have to Go Gluten Free?”

  1. Hello Dr. Westin Childs! I would be very grateful if you tell me whether your mother and wife take hormones because of their disease with Hashimoto, along with the treatment that you recommend? Thank you in advance! Elenka

  2. Thank you very much for this information! I have also heard that the Ketogenic Diet can be helpful. What can you tell me about this please? Thanks in advance.

  3. I believe a gluten-free diet has some good merits, and is very helpful to many, however, for the past 20 years, I’ve gone on and off of a strict diet recommended by doctors and nutritionists with very little changes in weight and lab results, if any. Fortunately, I don’t have the typical thyroid/hashimoto symptoms, and I actually feel great, and not on any drugs except levothyroxine. I rarely eat bread, rice, potatoes, fruits, sugar, pasta, and sweets which is a big sacrifice without reward. To restrict so many foods and deprive oneself even while maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very difficult and is even more difficult with a family who isn’t, or want to be, gluten-free. It seems so hopeless.

    • Hi Dori,

      Changing your diet, if you have hypothyroidism, rarely leads to weight gain by itself. You should change your diet to improve other factors, but not your weight – that is treated in a completely different way.

    • Most food that has gluten in it is not good for you anyway, that would be most processed foods. Most people benefit from being gluten free not because of the gluten (unless they are intolerant) but because processed foods are not healthy.

  4. Hi Dr. Childs.

    I have Hashimoto’s and Vitiligo. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s over 20 years ago and developed vitiligo about 4 years ago. I have small patches mostly on my back. Since I have these 2 am I more likely to get alopecia? That terrifies me! If I give up gluten, could I possibly stop that from happening? What about dairy? Do I need to give that up too?

  5. I had tried to gluten-free for about 3 months, but my antibodies level still increased during that time. Since then I have gone back on a gluten diet, however a reduced carb and calorie diet. I have been able to loose weight. I have a follow up appt with hematologist in June.

    • Hi Yolanda,

      Be careful with calorie restricted diets, they may cause temporary weight loss but they harm your metabolism long term. Most people gain the weight gain within months.

  6. Dr. Childs, I had my thyroid removed in 2008 due to papillary cancer. The pathology report on my thyroid revealed that I had Hasimotos disease. If my thyroid is gone, do I still have Hasimotos disease. I’ve ask a few Drs. this over the years and have never received a definate answer. Thank you

    • Hi Deb,

      You can still have Hashimoto’s even if your thyroid is removed, the reason is because most patients still retain some of their thyroid gland post surgery.

  7. Dear Dr Childs, I am 68 and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when I was 32. I take 75 mcg/day of Thyroxine. I was diagnosed with Orthostatic Tremor Syndrome 18 months ago and take .5 mg/day of Clonazepam to help with that. I read your advice on taking Thyroxine at night. Is it all right to take it at the same time I take Clonazepam, or should I take it, say, an hour before I take Clonazepam…that would be 1 1/2 hours after dinner. With thanks and best wishes.

    • Hi Celia,

      I would discuss those changes with your current physician, it depends on why you are taking the clonazepam, etc.

  8. I have been recently diagnosed with hashimotos ..I am trying to be gluten free as much as possible.How long should I follow this ? Can I reintroduce little wheat products later after 3-4 months or is it going to bring autoimmune back ?

    • Hi Lusky,

      I would see no reason to reintroduce wheat products if you are gluten free and feeling better.

      • Dr. Child’s I went a month on a gluten free diet & I gained 10lbs. I ate less sugar, only ate one bread substitute, switched to almond milk and I did watch my calorie intake (less of the same as before) I have hashimotos. I can’t seem to loose weight. I hope this switch would help me. I am at my wits end. I just want to be the health weight I was 5 years ago.

  9. Thank you for the article. I have Hashimotos (dx ten years ago) and three years ago, dx with RA. I went gluten-free for about 4 months specifically to see if it improved my lab work – my overall SED inflammation and my TPO antibodies. By the second month in, I was feeling much better…less joint pain, better mood & energy levels. I was shocked when I got my lab results back. My SED rate went up (just slightly) and my TPO antibodies went up by almost 300! It made no sense to me why I’d feel so much better eliminating gluten, yet the labs showed I was essentially getting worse. I introduced gluten back into my diet, assuming there was no point in avoiding it, and the brain fog and joint pain returned within days. It’s all so bizarre.

  10. 6 years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease via a small intestinal biopsy after doing a gluten challenge. I have been living a gluten free lifestyle since my diagnosis. And it IS a lifestyle change. I was amazed at how many foods contain gluten: for example, lobster at a restaurant chain; some lunch meats; flavorings; make up; chicken broth; etc. Labels must be read carefully to see if something contains gluten. Then there is cross contamination. Using the same toaster, bread board, fryer, grill, pan with something that has gluten will contaminate the non gluten food.

    Now, I have all the classic symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease as well as the TPO antibodies in my blood work even though I have been gluten free for years. It says a lot about the genetic link between autoimmune disorders.

    Will going gluten free help with Hashimoto’s disease? Not in my case. Some with Hashimoto’s disease may also have undiagnosed Celiac disease. There is no cure or prescription drug for Celiac disease. The only solution to stop the autoimmune antibodies of Celiac disease from attacking the small intestine is to go 100% gluten free. Is there a proven, tested diet that will stop the Hashimoto’s autoimmune antibody from attacking the thyroid? I don’t think there is.

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for your comment, and you are correct that there is no proven or tested diet guaranteed to help reduce antibodies in Hashimoto’s. But just because going gluten free won’t help in your case doesn’t mean it won’t help in other cases, and going gluten free is actually quite easy now with all of the free information out there and worth a trial compared to other conventional alternatives (that is to say go on thyroid medication for life).

  11. Looking back at my blood work from nearly 6 years ago, I can now see the connection between my Hashimoto’s antibodies and gluten. When I was diagnosed, I had high TPO antibodies. After 6 months gluten free (and I know I cheated a bit), my antibodies had dramatically dropped to a very low level. I recently was retested again and my antibodies are high. Duh – I had been eating a high gluten diet. I am now avoiding it completely and am hoping that my next set of labs will show that reduction again and the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad that you found going gluten free works well for you! Keep us updated on your progress.

  12. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos 4 years ago. I immediately adopted a GF diet and started feeling better right away. I found I had clearer thinking, no joint pain and an overall sense of well being In the beginning it was hard and I missed pizza and occasional danish but after the first few months it started getting easier and I remind myself how much better I feel. I recently have fine tuned my diet to eliminate red meat and all processed foods (I was eating GF breads occasionally and too many corn chips and rice crackers). I have lost 5 pounds and have more energy. I try to eat mostly raw vegetables and fruits with clean proteins like salmon and tofu. There are a bunch of websites that can provide recipes and ideas for healthy eating. I also ask friends who have adopted this type of eating for ideas and inspiration.

  13. Dr. Childs,I have Hashimoto’s and alopecia. I also have CAD and there is Alzheimers in my family. I am gluten and dairy free (3 yrs) but because of the heart disease especially I think I should go vegan and use minimal oils (Ornish, Esselstyn, Barnard). If I do this AND go AIP, as you suggest for the Hashimoto’s and alopecia, the only things I would be eating are some vegetables and some fruits. That is not sustainable and maybe not even healthy. I am 71 and feel good at this point. I’m taking NP Thyroid and a statin, which I want to get off of (thus, the consideration to do the vegan and no oil diet.) This is confusing. What is your suggestion? Thanks

  14. Hi! I had been treated for Hashimoto for over 10 years before I went GF. I noticed a difference in my mood almost immediately: no more mood swings! Also my need for synthroid gradually reduced from .137 to .112
    When I have gobe back to eating gluten, when travelling, etc. I notice how my energy levels are affected and it takes a full month to get it out of my system. Thanks for getting the info out there: it’s so important!

  15. Hello, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, and my thyroid antibodies went up after going gluten-free. They were 864 and skyrocketed to 6000 after at least a month of gluten free. This was very discouraging to me. Why would the antibodies go up so much? I was eating a almost totally sugar-free diet.

  16. Btw…my immune system is wonderful, I barely ever get sick. Plus I’ve never been overweight and other than hashimotos am very healthy.

  17. Hi,
    I recently started going gluten free to reduce the amount of synthroid I would need to take. I am also taking sellenium and iodine supplements too. My question is… is it a major setback if I accidentally have gluten for one meal? Do I digress from all the progress I have been making or does it still keep me on the right track? I haven’t had a follow up blood test to check my levels, but I have been trying to be GF completely for the last month.

    • Hi Kristi,

      It’s not advisable to consume gluten if you are attempting to go gluten free because you won’t be able to determine if it is working or not.

  18. I just learned that my 7yr old daughter has hashimotos along with hypothyroid…. I am struggling with what to do for her. She is on a low dose of the thyroid medicine but I am wondering if I should have her cut gluten out of her diet as well. It is SOO hard not knowing what is going on with her and whether her anxiety, depression, swelling, sore joints, vaginal bleeding and stomach aches are from the has hashis or just being a little girl. I cut gluten out for both me and her 4 weeks ago (I want to support her and be there with her during this) but I question if it’s worth it and how to tell. She seems to be doing a lot better with her symptoms, but I am not sure if it’s her medication or the gluten free change… Any insight would be helpful as the drs I have seen don’t know any link about going gluten free and hashis… I just want to do the best for her. -Also, about 5 days in of me going gluten free, I got horribly anxious, depressed and dizzy (not normal for me). Could this be from me eliminating gluten?

  19. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and have tried going Gluten and dairy free. I do feel slightly better, but I miss my “cheat” meals. It’s hard for me to stay motivated to eat healthy if I can’t ever have anything “bad.” Is there any time frame, like one meal a month, that I can eat gluten and dairy?

  20. I’ve been on 50mcg Synthroid for over 18 yrs. I developed a sensitivity to gluten about 2 yrs ago and have been cutting gluten from my diet slowly until a few months ago and now rarely have gluten foods. Four days ago I started having pounding heart and skipped beats an hour or two after taking my Synthroid in the morning. Went to doctor yesterday they took blood and did an EKG sof are sending me to cardiologist. They do not think it is related to my synthroid intake. I think because I’m eliminating gluten my current dosage of Synthroid is too much. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Hi Carolyn,

      It’s certainly a possibility and one that could be assessed rather easily through thyroid lab testing.

  21. Hi Dr. Childs
    Thank you for writing this article. My then 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with hashimotos 3 years ago. Her levels were slightly elevated and her antibodies were around 220. We followed her for about a year and her levels would consistently gradually go up. The TSH reaches 17 so we decided to try levothyroxine which caused my daughter to HAVE hypothyroid symptoms ( she had no symptoms.. it was found through routine bloodwork. I took her off the meds and did my own research. I told the Drs to give me a few months to try something I read about which was gluten free soy free fluoride free preservative, additive, and food coloring free to help heal her gut. We also ate an organic Brazil Nut a day. We retested and her levels dropped to TSH 7 and antibodies 99. Dr said was ok to keep monitoring and not medicate at this point so we continued the diet. Now she is 10 1/2 years old her TSH is 4.9 and antibodies are 50.
    Drs need to know that there is a connection between diet and thyroid disease. This journey was a difficult journey trying to figure out how to help my child. This should be a standard for all hashimotos patients.
    I worked closely with Drs the whole time… I am not opposed to medication if needed.. but thyroid disease can leave people feeling helpless and as if they are not treated properly. We still continue our diet and monitor and hope it will stay this way. I answered to your article in the hope that it may help someone. God guided me through this. Thanks and healing prayers for all.

    • Thanks for sharing your story! I’m glad that you were able to figure out the issue and find some success by changing your daughter’s diet.

  22. Hi,

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when I was 28, is it possible that someone with Hashimoto’s can have trouble gaining weight and if so, why could that be? Every doctor and endocrinologist I have been to can’t understand how I can still have difficulty gaining weight and have autoimmune hypothyroidism which typically causes weight gain.

    Thank you 🙂

  23. Dr. Childs,
    Thanks for the article. I have hashimotos and have been strictly gluten, dairy, and grain free for 4.5 years. I have eaten basically Paleo. Initially I felt much better and my labs improved. But maintaining such a strict diet became more stressful than helpful, and my symptoms returned with an absolute vengeance. I also realized I was not getting enough fiber, and so my motility really was bad. That in and of itself created a lot of problems with my Hashimoto’s. So I recently experimented to add in some gluten-free grains, such as occasional white rice and occasional gluten-free bread. My motility has improved, and so has my mood, but articles like this make me wonder if this will be bad in the long run. Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air and saying “I give up!” What are your thoughts on occasional GF bread and GF grains?

    • Hi Lauren,

      Occasional GF bread and GF grains are probably not a huge deal at all! I’m more about individualizing diet to the patient than making broad recommendations that everyone should follow. If you find that works better for you then it’s probably fine. Even in the face of something like insulin resistance or high blood sugar, eating occasional gluten-free bread/grains shouldn’t cause that much of an issue.


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