Going gluten free

Gluten is made up of the proteins gliadin and glutenin and is found predominantly in wheat, barley and rye. Some grains that are gluten free are rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat and oats. However, you should always check as these grains may be contaminated with gluten when they are being processed.

The most common form of gluten intolerance in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is coeliac disease. According to ‘Coeliac Australia’ this disease affects about 1 in 70 Australians with 80% of these people being undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.

What is coeliac disease?
An immune response is triggered when gluten is consumed damaging the intestines of someone with coeliac disease, thus preventing them from absorbing nutrients. This then leads to poor nutrition, inflammation and the malabsorption of nutrients.

The only way to treat coeliac disease is to go on a gluten free diet. This means avoiding the foods containing gluten such as the grains listed before. Packaged foods should say if they do or do not contain gluten so go off that.

A study conducted by Valentino et al. (1999) showed the prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with thyroid autoimmunity (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). The study was comprised of 150 patients with autoimmune thyroid disease in which 3.3% of the subjects with autoimmune thyroid disease have coeliac disease.
A study conducted by Rosella et al. (2002) showed that a significant proportion of people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (43%) have signs of ‘potential’ coeliac disease. The study was comprised of 14 patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in which underwent a jejunal biopsy to determine if they had the ‘potential’ for coeliac.
A study conducted by Sharma et al. (2016) showed that the prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). The study was comprised of 280 subjects in which 8.6% tested positive for coeliac disease.


Valentino, R, Savastano, S, Maglio, M, Paparo, F, Ferrara, F, Dorato, M, Lombardi, G, & Troncone, R 2002, ‘Markers of potential coeliac disease in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis’, European Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 146, no. 4, p. 479
Sharma, BR, Joshi, AS, Varthakavi, PK, Chadha, MD, Bhagwat, NM, & Pawal, PS 2016, ‘Celiac autoimmunity in autoimmune thyroid disease is highly prevalent with a questionable impact’, Indian Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 97-100. Available from: 10.4103/2230-8210.172241. [7 February 2017].
Valentino, R, Savastano, S, Tommaselli, AP, Dorato, M, Scarpitta, MT, Gigante, M, Micillo, M, Paparo, F, Petrone, E, Lombardi, G, & Troncone, R 1999, ‘Prevalence of Coeliac Disease in Patients with Thyroid Autoimmunity’, Hormone Research, vol. 51, no. 3, p. 124. Available from: 10.1159/000023344. [7 February 2017].




A selenium deficiency has been associated with the cause of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and therefore the supplementation of selenium can be beneficial.

Selenium is an antioxidant, this means it protects the body against harmful particles known as free radical and is also important for our metabolism.

There have been multiple studies that demonstrate the benefit of selenium supplementation (usually 200mcg) on the normalisation of thyroid antibodies in people with thyroid autoimmune conditions.

In 2002, Dr. Gartner showed a 40% reduction in TOP antibodies after the supplementation of selenium. With 25% of the patients in the study completely normalising their antibody levels.
In 2003, Dr. Duntas showed a greater decrease in TPO antibodies when supplemented with thyroxine and selenium rather than just thyroxine.
In 2006, Omer Turker et al. showed a 30% decrease in thyroid antibodies after only 3 months of selenium supplementation.
In 2007, Dr. Mazokopakis showed a 21% reduction in TPO antibodies after one year of selenium supplementation.
In 2010, Konstantinos et al. showed that the supplementation of selenium can be associated with a significant decrease in TPO antibodies with improvements in mood and general well being after 3 months.

Selenium supplementation can bo obtained naturally through foods, especially brazil nuts. However, you should check where the brazil nuts come from as the selenium content varies significantly due to the soil that the plant is grown in.


The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 87, No. 4 1687-1691, 2002 Selenium supplementation in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis decreases thyroid peroxidase antibodies concentrations. Gärtner R, Gasnier BC, Dietrich JW, Krebs B, Angstwurm MW. Department of Endocrinology, Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, University of Munich, D-80336 Munich, Germany.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2003 Apr;148(4):389-93.Effects of a six month treatment with selenomethionine in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.Duntas LH, Mantzou E, Koutras DA.Endocrine Unit, Evgenidion Hospital, University of Athens Medical School, 20 Papadiamantopoulou Str, 11528 Athens, Greece.
journal of Endocrinology (2006) 190, 151-156
Selenium treatment in autoimmune thyroiditis: 9-month follow-up with variable doses. Omer Turker et al Thyroidology Unit, Department of Nuclear Medicine, GATA Haydarpasa, Istanbul, Turkey
Thyroid. 2007 Jul;17(7):609-12. Effects of 12 months treatment with L-selenomethionine on serum anti-TPO Levels in Patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  Mazokopakis EE, Papadakis JA, Papadomanolaki MG, Batistakis AG, Giannakopoulos TG, Protopapadakis EE, Ganotakis ES. Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
Toulis, K, Anastasilakis, A, Tzellos, T, Goulis, D, & Kouvelas, D 2010, ‘Selenium supplementation in the treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: a systematic review and a meta-analysis’, Thyroid: Official Journal Of The American Thyroid Association, 20, 10, pp. 1163-1173, MEDLINE with Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 16 February 2017.

What do your blood test results mean


Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) which tells the pituitary gland to release TSH. The TSH then causes the thyroid gland to produce Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The normal range for TSH should be between 0.5-4.0mIU/L. Lower than 0.5mlU/L would indicate hyperthyroidism and above 4.0mlU/L would indicate hypothyroidism. Even values above 2.0mlU/L sometimes indicates hypothyroidism.

Free T3 (FT3) has a normal range of 10-20pmol/L with those below 10pmol/L indicating hypothyroidism and those above 20pmol/L indicating hyperthyroidism.

Free t4 (FT4) has a normal range of 3.5 – 6.0pmol/L with those being below 3.5pmol/L indicating hypothyroidism and those above 6.0pmol/L indicating hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid antibody test
As Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease, the test used to diagnose this it is a thyroid antibody test, usually thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO). If the antibody test is negative then there are 3 possible outcomes from this:

  1. There are no autoantibodies in your blood (you don’t have an autoimmune condition of the thyroid)
  2. Your autoimmune condition is still developing and can therefore not be detected yet
  3. Your symptoms are due to another autoimmune disease

If your TPO test is positive, then there are thyroid antibodies detected. The higher the level of TPO’s the more likely that you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder.


Note that these values are just based on the average of a sample of people. You may have low or high values and not have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. You also may be within the range and have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.



References I used



What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

In short, it’s an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland causing a gradual decrease in thyroid hormone production. In order to understand it properly, I feel as though it will be best to break this up.

Autoimmune disease
An autoimmune disease is the result of our immune system attacking our own healthy cells, in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, this would be our thyroid gland.

Thyroid gland
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the lower anterior part of our neck that secretes hormones essential to our growth and metabolism. These hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) which are formed from thyronines (two molecules of the amino acid tyrosine).

T3 and T4 are important hormones that affect nearly every cell in the body.  They act to:

  • Increase BMR (basal metabolic rate)
  • Affect the synthesis of protein
  • Regulate bone growth/neural maturation
  • Increase sensitivity to catecholamines (hormones produced by adrenal gland)
  • Regulate the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates

Thyroxine (T3) is both anabolic and catabolic, which is rare. This means it is important for both the production of protein (anabolic) as well as assist with the breakdown (catabolic) of fats and carbohydrates.

T3 and T4 are clearly very important and so it is understandable why people with low levels of thyroid hormone production (thyroxine) can have a large range of symptoms. These symptoms can include fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold and muscle weakness.




————————————————————————–References I used


My plan for this blog is to enable people to feel better through diet and activities rather than relying on synthetic medicine.  I will be gathering information from various studies and books in order to be able to share my opinion with as much reasoning as I can. I am not a doctor and won’t pretend to be a doctor and will be only sharing my opinions of what I read.

The first illness I will be researching is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
I, unfortunately, have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is why I would like to start with this one. It is partly for selfish reasons, as I would like to feel better, but also so put to test what I have researched