Is Giving UP Gluten REALLY Necessary for Hashimoto’s Patients, or Just Fad Hype?

Unless you are newly diagnosed, chances are you have heard a lot about the connection between eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats) and auto immune diseases like Hashimoto’s.

You also have probably heard from your doctor, online nutritionists, and many mainstream media outlets and late night talk show hosts saying it is a lot of BS, and that you actually NEED gluten to be healthy.

So Who Is Right?

And also, just how strict do I really need to be? Can’t I have a little cheat? What if I don’t have any gut symptoms?

To find out the answer, I searched through research articles on PubMed. I already knew my stance on the issue, but wanted to make sure there was current research that supported it.

The September 2015 edition of the journal Gastroenterology  found high “proportions of patients with NCWS or CD develop autoimmune disorders, are ANA positive, and showed DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes”. (note- NCWS is non-Celiac wheat sensitivity.)

In the March 2015 journal Cerebellumgluten was further linked to neurological disorders such as gluten ataxia, where there were no gut symptoms whatsoever, and occurred most commonly in patients with Hashimoto’s and other auto immune diseases. Check out this quote from the study:

“As with celiac disease, patients with GA (gluten ataxia) are often found to have an increased prevalence of additional autoimmune diseases the commonest of which include hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes mellitus and pernicious anemia. Gastrointestinal symptoms are seldom prominent and are not a reliable indicator for the presence or absence of enteropathy. In this respect, gluten ataxia resembles dermatitis herpetiformis, an autoimmune dermatopathy triggered by gluten where gastrointestinal symptoms are not prominent even in the presence of an enteropathy.” (parenthesis and bold added by me for emphasis and clarification)

Wow. That is pretty powerful. How many of you with brain symptoms has ever had your doctor consider a possible gluten connection?

Did you know that a study from 3 years ago showed an increased need for T4 in patients with atypical Celiac disease?

How about that the need for increased T4 dosage reversed when the patient adopted a gluten free diet?

This study was in the March 2012 journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Have you ever had your endocrinologist consider that this may be another reason your T4 is not working as it should, or did they ridicule you when you asked about it?

As far back as 1999, the Italian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology   concluded the following:

The prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases is significantly increased when compared with the general population (p = 0.009) but not with patients affected by non autoimmune thyroid disorders (p = 0.18). We suggest a serological screening for coeliac disease in all patients with autoimmune thyroid disease measuring anti-endomysial antibodies, considering that early detection and treatment of coeliac disease are effective in preventing its complications.”

I could go on and on with studies that show the connection between gluten reactions, both non-celiac and celiac, and auto immune diseases, but it would quickly turn into a book.

The 2013 study in the journal Brain and Nerve by Yoneda even showed connections between Hashimoto’s encephalitis and gluten ataxia, which caused not only thyroid symptoms but neurological symptoms.  Thus gluten intake actually triggered not only reactions in the thyroid but also the brain.

Ok, so there IS a connection, but can’t I have an occasional cheat?

I remember talking to my friend Dr Datis Kharrazian about this. My wife had gotten seriously ill from her thyroid and mine was wreaking havoc on my life as well.

He asked if we were gluten free. I told him “mostly, like 95%.”

His response was that there was no such thing as mostly gluten free…just like you could not be mostly pregnant…you either ARE or ARE NOT…

It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. He then told me something that the immunologists at Cyrex Labs confirmed when I had a consultation with one of their top doctors.

Just ONE exposure to gluten, one little bite of a “cheat”, could trigger an immune flare up that lasts 6 months to one year.

One year…that is HUGE.

I highly recommend that you go onto www.PubMed.org and search for yourself. The number of research studies is mind boggling.

Also check out www.CyrexLabs.com to read about the cutting edge tests that they are running for food reactions, environmental toxins, chemicals, metals, etc.

I hope this gives you some helpful info, and be sure to talk this over with your functional medicine or functional neurology practitioner for customized help.

You can follow me @drkirkgair or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo

 

Should Hashimoto’s Patients Get Flu Shots, Or Will It Make You Worse?

Boy, talk about a hot topic that gets emotions flaring!

Any medical procedure you do has a risk to benefit ratio, and you have to consider that to see if you think it is worth doing. With this post I am just going to lay out the facts so you can make an informed decision about what you think is best for you.

You already know what the benefit can be of the vaccine, so let’s look at what the risks would be for an auto immune person.

First off, I highly recommend that before you get any shot that you read the insert. Inserts for all the flu vaccines can be found on this page. http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Influenza/Influenza-Vaccine-Package-Inserts.aspx

The info there will tell you exactly what is in the vaccine, such as the preservatives and adjuvants, and also provide you with a list of what the potential reactions are to the vaccine, as well as what percentage of people had reactions in their trials.

Here is what the FluMist vaccine insert said about patients with underlying illness getting their vaccine:

“The safety of FluMist Quadrivalent in individuals with underlying medical conditions that may predispose them to complications following wild-type influenza infection has not been established.”

So basically they do not know if it can make you worse or not.

When it comes to negative reactions from vaccines, the preservatives and adjuvants are potential causes. Patients who have Hashimoto’s antibodies may also have antibodies against common vaccine ingredients such as FORMALDEHYDE, MERCURY (thimerosal in vaccines), MSG, and EGGS.

Exposure to those ingredients can ramp up the immune system. I would recommend any Hashimoto’s patient to consider taking the Cyrex Labs Array 11 test and Array 4 test to see if you have antibodies against these substances if you are considering flu shots. If you do have these antibodies, then you know that a vaccine that has those in them could potentially flare you up.

(Many people think that  mercury is no longer in vaccines, but it is still used as a preservative in multi use vials.)

Neurosurgeon Dr Russell Blaylock has written about the dangers of MSG for brain function due to its excitatory neurotoxic properties and how it can destroy brain cells. Many Hashimoto’s patients suffer from brain fog, and MSG exposure has the potential to make that worse. Dr Mercola wrote an article about MSG and vaccines that you can read here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/06/08/msg-vaccines.aspx

Hopefully this will give you some info to make a more informed decision. Again I am not saying you should not get the vaccine, as that is a decision you should make after reading these inserts, taking those tests, and talking over this information with your functional medicine practitioner. If you have children, I would also recommend running those tests on them as well. If they have those reactions and you still want to get them vaccinated, you can talk to your doctor about receiving a formulation that is modified and does not include the adjuvants and preservatives that they react to.

For more info, be sure to to follow me on twitter @drkirkgair or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo

As always, this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace your conversation with your licensed healthcare provider. This is not a pro or anti vaccine article, but instead is designed to give you resources to make an informed decision about what is best for you and your family.