Is Gluten sensitivity a part of the hypothyroidism puzzle?
(NC) -- She gained more than 30 pounds in two months. She found the weight gain strange, because she was not eating more than usual, but she had noticed that she was often fatigued and depressed, and that her sleep was interrupted.
“New symptoms emerged gradually,” recalls Frances Salvaggio, a lawyer in Toronto. “I became slow-thinking, lethargic and could not concentrate.”
Her doctor ordered a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test for thyroid disease. Results showed that her thyroid hormones were lower than normal. Following the diagnosis, Frances commenced treatment – and embarked on an online search to learn more about the thyroid gland.
“My biggest surprise was the importance of the thyroid to our health,” she points out. “It produces the hormones that regulate our growth, our maturation and the speed of our metabolism. I learned that thyroid hormones influence our metabolic rate by stimulating the production of proteins in almost every tissue in our bodies, and they increase the amount of oxygen our cells use.”
Still overweight and experiencing gastric discomfort, Frances consulted her doctor. “A test showed I was gluten sensitive.”
After adopting a gluten-free diet, her weight gradually dropped over 12 months and her body mass index and cholesterol level returned to normal.
“I did not know that hypothyroidism is more common in people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease until I joined the Thyroid Foundation of Canada and met other hypothyroid patients with gluten sensitivity. That solved a piece of the hypothyroidism puzzle for me.”