Celiac and Thyroid Diseases: Common Triggers and Health Relationships

June 8, 2018 • By Sophia Smith

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Autoimmune diseases are often associated with interconnecting illnesses, share common triggers, and come with almost similar signs and symptoms. At the first glance, it would make the medical practitioner think twice and undergo the patient to several tests to verify the real disease.

In the case of the celiac and thyroid diseases, some people mistakenly thought these diseases are similar to each other. In fact, the patient suffering from celiac disease may eventually have thyroid disease because these two come along together. Based on the medical findings, almost 10% of the people affected with celiac may also eventually have thyroid diseases. On the other hand, almost 1.5% to 6.7% people inflicted with thyroid diseases may have celiac diseases.

There’s a mutual connection between these two diseases and it’s crucial to treat the primary ailment to prevent the twin disease to trigger. As much as possible, seek professional advice from hospitals and doctors to determine the symptoms and treatments for these autoimmune disorders. For now, let’s discuss the concepts of these autoimmune disorders.

What is a Celiac Disease?

It refers to a condition wherein the patient is sensitive to consume gluten-based products and the patient will experience intestinal problems and malabsorption. This condition intensely affects the growth and development of the individual and it can trigger massive damage to intestine’s lining and prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. As a result, the patient will experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Gas and Bloated Sensation
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden Weight Loss
  • Fatigue

How does celiac relate to autoimmune disorder? When the individual eats gluten-based products, the immune system will start to react violently. The antibodies will direct the white blood cells to attack the foreign substances and mistakenly targets the intestines. With this, it does not only damage the intestines but also, it affects the blood cells causing anemic conditions and even thyroid gland problems.

What is a Thyroid Disease?

A thyroid is a responsible organ for regulating the human metabolism in an active and healthy manner. It is normally shaped like a butterfly figure in front of the neck and positioned below Adam’s apple covered around by the windpipe (trachea).

The thyroid gland excretes thyroxine (a.k.a. T4) and converted into a triiodothyronine (a.k.a. T3) then eventually, the gland transmits it via the bloodstream going to the various parts of the body. When these thyroid hormones become slow and infected with a disease, the hypothalamus of the brain will release a thyrotropin hormone which triggers the pituitary gland to release a hormone that can stimulate an abundant or lesser T4. When this occurs, the individual may experience having thyroid problems.

How does Celiac trigger Thyroid Autoimmune Disorders and vice versa?

The medical researchers have conducted some experiments and diagnosed the possibilities of connecting the celiac and thyroid diseases relationships. Over the multiple research and studies, they have found out that these two diseases may go hand-in-hand.

According to Norelle Rizkalla Reily, the director of pediatric celiac disease in The Celiac Disease Center, remarked that “A patient having an autoimmune disorder may affect most of the internal organs and blood cells, which may eventually trigger another autoimmune disorder”.  In this case, the celiac and thyroid autoimmune disorders are one of the examples. Some reasons why an autoimmune disorder may cause a birth of a new disorder is due to the genetic predisposition.

A genetic predisposition is a terminology used to describe the increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on the origins of the human’s genetic makeup. Let’s say, you have a family history of having diabetes, heart problems, or blood disorders, the individual may also encounter these diseases due to the domino effect of the autoimmune disorder.

Going back to the celiac and thyroid autoimmune disorders, there are two that share similarities and characteristics due to their gluten intolerance activities. When the individual consumes gluten-based products regularly, the individual may likely develop autoimmune disorders then the immune system will be confused thus, it will repeatedly perform the process of excreting antibodies then the latter will instruct the white blood cells to attack the wrong target. Eventually, it will cause a great damage to the intestines and blood cells thereafter, to the other internal organs, tissues, and cells of the body.

What is the best solution to treat celiac and thyroid autoimmune disorders?

By reducing the gluten-based products, there will be a high chance of recovering from the celiac and thyroid autoimmune disorders. However, it will be a challenging role to totally remove the gluten substances from the food because you unnoticeably consume gluten-based products. How is this possible?

We have compiled and assessed the products containing gluten substances to help the people become aware of their health.

Here is the detailed list for you to consider:

  • Processed Foods – Meat, Seafood, Poultry
  • Commercial Broths and Flavoring
  • Fast-foods from Restaurants
  • Oats, Cereals, malts (uncertified gluten-free)
  • Teriyaki and soy sauce
  • Ice cream
  • Energy bars
  • Veggie burgers
  • Root beer
  • Cold cuts
  • Gravy
  • Salad Dressings

Celiac autoimmune disorders are incurable, so it is best to at least reduce or eliminate (if possible) the gluten-based products from your daily meal. Search best healthy options to have an alternative to these products coming from natural and organic sources. Always be keen to your health, because as they say, health is wealth.

Sophia Smith

She is a renowned nutritionist and freelance writer whose topics of interest include healthy living and healthy eating. She is passionate about introducing new and delicious healthy meals while balancing her time between cooking and going to the gym. Her mission is to change the life of as many people as she can and make them the best version of themselves.
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