Thyroids And Gluten

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve really discussed my hypothyroidism, or anyone else’s.  I have two reasons for that.  One, I put down my books on hypothyroidism because I was hitting information overload.  Two, I’m feeling even better than I did weeks ago when I started the gluten-free elimination.  I knew going into the elimination that it would be good for my thyroid after reading about it from Dr. Mark Hyman and hearing about it from Leanne Ely’s Saving Dinner radio show.

So what is gluten and where did it come from?  It’s a protein found on wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, oats, and barley.  “Wheat was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages, and 30 percent of people of European descent carry the gene for celiac disease (HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8), (xii) which increases susceptibility to health problems from eating gluten. American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now has “infected” nearly all wheat strains in America.” (Dr. Mark Hyman, Huffington Post, 1/2/10)

Gluten is in just about everything we eat these days.  Cakes, pies, pizza, burgers, burritos, wraps, salad dressings, soups, cereal, and most anything processed.  I’ve even seen it listed as a separate ingredient on processed food as “wheat gluten”.   You might be thinking, “so what?”  In your small intestines there are little hairs called, villi.  When food enters the small intestine, the villi absorb all the sugars and nutrients and passes it on to our blood.  JJ Virgin was on Leanne’s show today and she described it as “shag carpet”.  Those of you my age probably crawled around on shag carpets.  Well, gluten wears down the villi so it loses its “shag” and ability to absorb nutrients and digest food properly.   This means the nutrients that get sent to the thyroid don’t make it and sends our metabolism out of whack.

I’ll admit that when I first heard about gluten being the culprit of chronic illnesses like hypothyroidism I was shocked and skeptical.  I took the time to do research on it before taking it out of my diet to see if I was sensitive to it.  I really didn’t think I would be sensitive to it, but just goes to show, you don’t know until you try.  I realized the other day that other than still getting cold easily and the fatigue from overdoing things, I’m not feeling the occasional symptoms I used to like dizziness leading to vertigo, heart palpitations, and brain fog to name a few.  Before eliminating the gluten I was having a symptom here and there and I never knew when it would hit.  The last two days I forgot to take my vitamins and supplements.  Usually, I would have noticed a difference before the day was half over and taken the thyroid supplement, but I didn’t notice yesterday or Monday.

I feel like I just got on a better track and I love how it makes me feel.