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How gluten sensitivity may link gut and gland


Published: 04/23/2015

by Marcus Johnson

If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, ask your doctor for a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) blood test. Most of the time, hypothyroidism is easily diagnosed and treated.

More than six million Canadians are eating gluten-free diets, while fewer than one million of them have actually been medically diagnosed as sensitive to gluten.

Here's an interesting statistic unearthed by a recent survey: 14 percent of those diagnosed with either gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, a severe form of sensitivity to gluten, said they had also been diagnosed with thyroid disease. In fact, individuals with celiac disease are almost three times more likely than the general population to be diagnosed with thyroid disease.

Dr. Wendy Rosenthall, an endocrinologist in Toronto, explains: “Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs in about one in 100 Canadians. It is often associated with other disorders of the immune system, such as autoimmune hypothyroidism, and diabetes mellitus.

“It's essential to your overall health to have a normally functioning thyroid gland,” she continues, “because your thyroid produces the hormones that regulate your growth, your maturation and the speed of your metabolism.

“Thyroid hormones influence your metabolic rate, first, by stimulating the production of proteins in almost every tissue in your body – and second, by increasing the amount of oxygen that your cells use.”

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) causes your metabolism to slow down. That may lead to a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, increased sensitivity to cold, unexplained weight gain, constipation and muscle weakness.

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