Ok, so as if “gluten” isn’t an annoying enough word that has invaded my daily vocabulary, I also have to claim this one: Hashimoto’s Disease.  My dumb luck, I have an auto immune condition that my friends can’t quite remember and almost always ask me about the “kawasaki” disease. Like the motorcycle.

Hashimoto’s disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis, is a form of chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland. The inflammation results in damage to the thyroid gland and reduces thyroid function or “hypothyroidism,” meaning the gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone for the needs of the body. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US.

So in other words, every time your immune system flares up, either due to a food allergy, sickness, stress, etc. you not only deal with the effects of that issue, but with the effects of your thyroid gland being bombarded by your immune system. Bring on the fatigue, foggy brain, mood swings, etc. Loads of fun.

So what’s the Hashimotos and gluten connection?

According to research reported on in the medical journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, a significant number of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease also have celiac disease.  There are a ton of well written medical pages which you can labor through to learn more about the Hashimoto’s/celiac connection, but the main take-away is that with one auto-immune disorder, tends to come another. In other words, once you have an Immune-compromising condition, you tend to me more vulnerable to other immune disorders.
If you’re looking to test for hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s, there are many conflicting opinions of how to test (and treat) the disorder. In 2003, the American Academy of Endocrinologists recommended that all labs (and docs) change their ‘normal’ TSH range from a previous 0.5-5.0 to a more realistic 0.3-3.0. So results above 3 are now considered hypothyroid by docs who have revised their ‘normal’ ranges. This is important to note when dealing with traditional insurance plans and medical docs who may be referencing older requirements. Also, if you believe you are suffering from either hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s disease, its best to seek out a Naturopathic doctor or Endocrinologist to provide adequate testing and monitoring of your condition. Though in my experience, Endos will just suggest a synthetic thyroid replacement like Synthroid which has never worked for me. I do best on a natural thyroid compound made from the actual gland, similar to Armor.
I’m asked about hashimoto’s pretty often, so I pulled together some sciency details for you, but I can tell you that by far, the best resources I know of to help with Hashimotos are This Facebook Page and Doctor K and Chris Kessler. Check them out if you or someone you care about are affected by this. Trust me.