The function of every cell in your body is determined and regulated by hormones. And each hormone needs a matching receptor, located on a cell’s membrane, in order to be used in the body. For example, the thyroid hormone can only work for a thyroid receptor and nothing else.
The Importance of the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland affects the function of all organs in the body. In fact, thyroid hormones control how your body metabolizes food for energy, i.e. your metabolism rate, meaning your brain, heart, muscles, liver, and other parts of your body function.
In other words, every cell of your body depends on the thyroid gland. If this gland is not functioning at an optimal level, neither will the rest of the body. More than 250 million people worldwide suffer from hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid gland. Women are especially affected with one in eight women suffering from thyroid problems at some point in life.
Gluten and the Thyroid Gland
Most problems of an underactive thyroid are defined as autoimmune disorders, so it’s important to understand what prompts the immune system to attack the thyroid gland. In fact, it all comes down to mistaken identity, with gluten as one of the main offenders.
What happens is that the immune system tags the foreign body – gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains, with antibodies to destroy when this enters the bloodstream through the intestinal lining. But, when your thyroid is mistaken for gluten by your immune system, its function is compromised.
Gluten intolerance is not only restricted to celiac disease (CD) because this condition is just one manifestation of intolerance to gluten. According to studies, only around 10% of people with CD have GI symptoms, whereas every twentieth person in the world has non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Even though most people with autoimmune diseases cut out gluten from their diets and then get back to it in a few weeks simply because they are not sure whether this protein is the cause of their problems, research shows that it takes up to six months to help the body recover from the inflammatory response.
10 Signs That You Are Gluten Intolerant
- Digestive disorders, such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation (mostly manifested in children after gluten consumption)
- Keratosis pilaris on the hands (also known as “chicken skin”)
- Tiredness after eating a meal that contains gluten
- The onset of autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis or scleroderma
- Neurological symptoms such as dizziness or a feeling that you do not have balance
- Hormonal imbalance
- Migraine headaches
- Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Inflammation, swelling or pain in the joints (fingers, knees, hips)
- Problems with mood, such as anxiety and depression