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What’s Your Experience With Gluten?

Last month I wrote a blog post entitled “What’s Your Experience With Iodine?”, which was very popular and received a good number of comments.  And so I figured I’d run a similar blog post, but this time focus on gluten.  Unlike iodine, most people who go on a gluten free trial don’t experience negative results, and many people feel significantly better upon avoiding gluten.  However, there are also people who avoid gluten for a prolonged period of time and see no improvement in their symptoms, blood tests, etc.

So what I’d like for you to do is please share your experience with gluten.  If you avoided gluten and it helped improve your symptoms or blood tests please let me know!  And if you avoided gluten and you didn’t notice any improvement in your symptoms or tests please let me know!  And if you are one of those rare people who went on a gluten free trial and had a worsening of your symptoms please let me know!

Also, please feel free to be as specific as possible.  So for example, if you experienced gas and bloating, brain fog, daily headaches, skin problems, or any other sign or symptom that improved upon eliminating gluten please share this with everyone.  Or if you noticed a significant improvement in your thyroid hormone levels, thyroid antibodies, or any other test markers please share this with us as well.  Thank you in advance for participating!



  1. Steve says:

    How would any one really know if they haven’t had tests done to confirm a gluten problem? If they stop eating wheat and feel better was it because of the gluten or the pesticides (Roundup) used on the crop just before harvest? Or maybe it was the simple fact that modern wheat (organic or not) has changed so much over the years from hybridization to produce a dwarf plant with a much higher yield (and a lot more chromosomes).

  2. Susan says:

    I allowed myself gluten once a week and my results improved. I also stopped bloating which was a big relief for me. I still try to avoid gluten as much as possible.

  3. For about two years I had felt like I was carrying an orange under my left rib cage. It became very difficult to sit comfortably. I would have to shift my body in order to get comfy. Nothing helped; not even doctor visits. At one point i was told to drink plenty of water. I decided to cut back drastically on Gluten products and my problems went away. I am symptom free.

  4. Chris P. says:

    I gave up gluten five years ago and was astonished at how quickly all of my symptoms went away. I credit that one act as being the most significant reason why my Hashimoto’s is in remission (symptom free and euthyroid lab results for 5 years). (Interestingly, I was not diagnosed until 6 months after I gave up gluten. Thyroid damage showed up on an ultrasound. Subsequent antibody testing showed low levels, bu they were still present.)

  5. linda says:

    I do NOT have Hashi’s and restrictive diets (no gluten/dairy/sugar, etc.) had little effect – in fact the negatives far outweighed anything positive.

    I just eat my veggies, meat, chicken, dairy, drink my veggie juice & skim milk and of course, have some chocolate.

  6. CL Wright says:

    I was hyperthyroid w/ rapid and erratic heart rate (around 110-115 bpm resting), difficulty breathing, shaking, nausea, etc. I went on a strict rotation diet for 4 months as well as giving up gluten, soy, and corn. Within three weeks my heart rate slowed by 20-25 bpm. After being 2 years gluten free and soy free, I no longer have those symptoms, and my goiter has shrunk. Blood tests still show as being hyperthyroid, but I don’t have the symptoms any longer.

    My child was also diagnosed as hypothyroid, and was later found to be celiac. After six months of being gluten free, her thyroid return to completely normal function. She also is a much happier person, as the gluten had caused her to have severe attitude and personality changes.

    My second child was also found to be highly sensitive to gluten, which would cause stomach aches. She is also feeling better without gluten.

  7. Christa says:

    I went gluten free 4 years ago after I was diagnosed with Hashi’s and hypothyroidism. I didn’t notice any change even when I cut out dairy and ate as clean as possible. No change in thyroid levels until I gave in to taking naturethroid… soon as I started that, a week later and my belly bloat was gone. Thyroid disease has really been a struggle….. always trying to find a balance.

  8. Jessica says:

    I went on a AIP Elimination diet due to hashimotos and was put on Repair and Cleanse program and supplements. Gave up gluten, diary, soy, nuts and everything under the sun seems like. Upon rechecking land after 9 weeks everything was Worse. My antibodies has tripled, by B12 doubled (abnormally high), my Free T3 dropped, my Total T3 dropped, and my TSH dropped. Needless to say I was discouraged. I am still fatigued and haven’t noticed a significant change in taking away gluten apart from I am not passing Cletus after I eat. But still constipated at times, brain fog, fatigue, thinning hair, etc. Was started in natural thyroid medication. I seemed better off before starting the functional medicine program

  9. fereshteh says:

    Both my son and I suffer from Hashimoto Thyroditis. Neither of us can take any type of hormones as they give us all kinds of side effects including hives in the throat and heart palpitation not to mention sweating and skin rash. We decided to try a gluten free diet to see if it is indeed as effective as some dieticians claim. More than six months into our venture, my son’s blood tests showed no change in his T4, T3 and TPO levels whatsoever. In my case, I developed constipation, even more bloating than before, intensified general malaise and fogginess of the mind that could be the result of constipation. Once I went back to normal gluten diet, the symptoms cleared within a week. I am still a Hashimoto sufferer with all the jazz and fun, but at least am not aggravating it by a gluten-free diet.

  10. Becky says:

    I have been gluten free for almost a year now. I have lost 25 lbs and my medication dose has come down. I no longer have the belly bloat and IBS symptoms. Gluten Free has definitely been a life saver for me.

  11. Marian says:

    I have had sub-clinical hyperthyroidism for at least 18 years (tsh below 0 ) and had a few minor episodes of being hyper during that time. I was also diagnosed with multi-nodular goiter 5 years ago. Two years ago I was very hyper and landed in hospital with severe tachycardia. I was then diagnosed with Graves disease on the basis of an iodine uptake scan, though I have no anti-bodies whatsoever.I was treated with methimazole for a year and on my own initiative stopped eating gluten and dairy products at the same time. I also started supplements like L-carnitine, and vitamins and continue to use Lemon Balm. I have been without conventional medication for a year now and back to sub-clinical hyperthyroidism, and very manageable symptoms.
    I am still gluten and dairy free, but to be honest I have no idea whether that is even necessary. I am not overweight and have always had a healthy lifestyle, eat mostly organic and always fresh food. Living in Northern Europe I was brought up on organic wholewheat bread, cheese and milk and never had any issues with that.
    So my question for you Dr. Eric is, if you feel it is still useful to be gluten and dairy free considering I am still sub-clinical hyperthyroid, without anti-bodies. I do feel being strictly gluten and dairy free is very challenging socially and holidays are a nightmare food-wise. I hope you can address this as I feel I am not the only one struggling with this.
    Testing for intolerances in Europe is still controversial and I have no access to a reliable lab. Also those tests would only make sense if I would start to eat gluten and dairy again for a certain period. And that is something I feel anxious about, as people like Dr Tom o’Bryan, and other experts in the gluten-free realm, state that every trace of gluten can provoke an autoimmune response.
    Hope you can shed some light on this, Thanks so much.

  12. Carrie says:

    I went Gluten Free 3 years ago. Also, gave up dairy, corn, and soy for awhile. I lost losts of weight but my bloodwork was never great always slightly on the verge of hypo even on Naturathroid. I believe mine may have been a number of things. I switched to a Naturopath who treated my adrenals and used homeopathics to wean me off the thyroid meds. I am now 8 months pregnant. I’ve added Einkorn wheat (once every week or 2 weeks) and some sheep or goat dairy to my diet (still use butter or ghee). I eat very little corn and try to avoid soy. My thryroid numbers are the best they have ever been. I take some specific vitamins my naturopath recommends and we still are treating my adrenals during pregnancy.

    • Carrie says:

      I also want to add that I feel better since giving up eggs. I suspected them prior to becoming pregnant but was still eating them in baked goods. Now pregnant, my ankles and feet swell really bad if I eat eggs and that includes Duck eggs. After 2 days of not eating them the swelling goes down significantly. Elminating them may have contributed to better TSH readings. Maybe my main sensitivity was eggs and I didn’t know.

    • Sharon says:

      Carrie, I am new to forums. What area are you in or can you give you Natureopath’s name? I started my thyroid RX first. I would sure like to treat my adrenals and wean off thyroid medicine.

  13. Lynn says:

    I gave up gluten, dairy and soy after reading Izabella Wentz’s book the Root Cause and Amy Myers the Autoimmune Solution and a naturopathic doc ran the Cyrex labs for gluten sensitivity screen on me and found out I have a sensitivity to gluten, dairy, corn, rice, white potatoes and many more foods. I felt great immediately after eliminating gluten, dairy and soy and even lost 8 lbs in the first 3 days and all gastrointestinal symptoms (gas, bloating, constipation) as well as neurological symptoms (depression, foggy brain) eliminated almost immediately! My TPO (started at 556) antibodies have slowly dropped (it took about one year of gluten free diet and gut healing and irradiation of gut infections) by 200 points and TSH is now 1.78 the lowest it’s ever been in 15 years! I feel fabulous! Of course I corrected nutritional imbalances (I take zinc, magnesium, selenium, vit D, methylated B vitamins, Probiotics-MegaSporeBiotics, and NAC) and am now trying to heal stage three adrenal fatigue. I believe all of this combined is what is working but as far as eliminating gastro and neuro symptoms the GLUTEN was a MUST! It is hard but so worth it in the end.

  14. Laura says:

    I decided to go gluten free in hopes of helping my thyroid (Hashimoto’s). I honestly can’t say if it’s helped or not. But I did lose 12 pounds ~ gluten free for a year and five months. A year after not eating gluten, I decided to eat it again and bought some bread and cereal containing gluten. Less than a week into eating gluten, all the lymph nodes in my neck swelled up. I knew it had to be the gluten and quit immediately. It took almost three weeks for my neck to return to normal. No more gluten for me!

  15. Nikki says:

    I have Hashimoto’s that was caught early, I don’t have symptoms yet. In order to try and get into remission, I cut out gluten and haven’t had it for over 4 years. Initially, I had a lot less bloating and gas but over time that has come back periodically from eating other carbs and sugar. My antibodies/TSH haven’t changed at all from cutting out gluten. I did drop my TPO 300 points from adding Selenium supplements.

    The one major change I noticed is that I had a terrible butt itch (I suffered for years) that completely went away upon cutting out gluten. That alone made it worth it! I’ve had gluten maybe 3 times over the 4 years and every time I do I get the butt itch again. My health coach says it’s yeast. Sorry for the TMI.

  16. Luci says:

    Gluten free most of the time with no real relief with hashimotos symptoms, but when I have a cupcake or slice of cake like at a birthday party my knees feel the pain.

  17. Miriam says:

    I have had Graves Disease for 2 years. I’ve had several symptoms, one being IBS. It was time for my colonoscopy in August and in my preliminary visit he took my history. After telling him I had an autoimmune disease he said that he suggests a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. I hadn’t felt the best so I thought I had nothing to lose except the food in my cupboards and the stomach/digestive issues. It’s been 2 months and I haven’t felt this good in a long time! I have had to eliminate corn because it, too, seems to be a trigger for IBS. I learned that gluten is in your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions…so I changed that as well. I’ve also made sure my supplements are also gluten-free and dairy-free. I love feeling good so this change is well worth it.

  18. Sue Michael says:

    Gluten effects my skin – prior to eliminating gluten the tops of my hands were dry, extremely itchy, cracked, raw, bleeding and painful, after a few weeks of being gluten free my hands were free from this, it was amazing!

  19. Cristin says:

    I was diagnosed with subclinical Graves disease two and a half years ago. Going gluten-free actually did nothing for me–I felt the same (except that, over time, I developed a chronic headache that was there pretty much all the time, but seemed to get worse when I ate certain–seemingly random, foods). While gluten-free, my thyroid numbers actually got worse. Then I joined a celiac FB group to investigate my son’s gluten issues and was told to go, not just gluten-free, but celiac-safe (no cross-contamination). Within three days, my chronic headache resolved and, within six months, all my thyroid numbers (including a TSI of 541) normalized. I never had ANY GI issues and never had any reason to believe I had a gluten issue, but I obviously did.

  20. Dana says:

    My husband and I both have hadhimotos. Several yrs ago we paid a huge sum of money to have a functional medicine chiropractic dr try to help us since medication wasn’t working. We went on the give up gluten, dairy, night shades, soy, corn diet and were pumped full of supplements to repair our system. We did fecal test and saliva test. We did weight lifting and 15 minutes of cardio 4 times a week. My husband lost a few pounds. They changed us to armor thyroid. My thyroid tanked out completely and I gained 5 pounds. Then the dr said oh sorry but you have used the thousands of dollars you paid me so that’s it. The only thing we truly noticed an improvement in was joint pain was less. No difference in skin, gas, weight loss or energy.
    We are now try to change to a diet high in leafy vegetables and grass fed meats with little to no grain or starches. So far we are finding it very hard to stick to and don’t see any significant changes in energy, skin, weight, etc.
    I have been diagnosed with hashimotos for 25 yrs. Nothing has really ever helped. I think I need higher medication but dr’s always follow the lab test and nothing else. It’s extremely frustrating.

  21. sue wansbrough says:

    had polymyalgia rheumatica-an autoimmune.Had been told over the years by naturopaths that I was sensitive to wheat,but ignored for this for ages…Went gluten free-all symptoms disappeared. Also make & eat dairy kefir everyday.

  22. KC says:

    I have been completely gluten-free for almost a year. I went gluten free when Hashimoto’s antibodies showed up. They only got up to 7.something, but after going gluten free they halved and are now almost undetectable. I don’t feel ANY better! However, if I eat gluten now my thyroid swells making it hard to swallow, and I get sharp, shooting pains from the front of my neck up into the R side of my jaw for at least 4-7 days. (That was the last time I deliberately ate gluten when I had half of a biscuit 10 months ago. I had the same symptoms but only for the next day when I ate a grilled chicken salad 3 months ago not realizing the pecans on it were not gluten free.) I never had that before I went gluten-free.

  23. Allyson says:

    I have Hashimoto’s disease and have been very unwell the last 3 years despite doing EVERYTHING I can to manage my health. I have been working with integrative doctors for 2.5 years now. I follow a Paleo diet and have not had gluten or dairy for over 3 years. I have also tried AIP, GAPS and other restrictive diet for many months. I have not noticed any improvement on any of them and my antibodies got much worse after changing my diet (although I am not sure if it was related directly to diet or something else – remains a mystery). Anyway, I remain on a Paleo diet (but also avoid soy) as I am worried that I could potentially be even worse if I did eat gluten, dairy etc (who knows but am too scared to find out). I have worked with my integrative doctors on my adrenals, my gut, my thyroid levels (I have thyroid hormone resistance so at this stage no amount of hormone is really helping as much as it should), my immune system, oestrogen dominance, nutritional deficiencies, etc. I am also working with a Life Coach to improve my mental space (really aiming for a very holistic approach). I have also removed all chemicals from my home. Not sure what else to do at this stage.

  24. Pamela says:

    Up to the time that I had eliminated gluten, sugar & most grains which was three years ago. I had battled depression, anxiety, brain fog and general low quality of life for about 8 years. Docs put me on anti-depressant (didn’t work) and bioidentical hormones (helped with some of the anxiety & depression but was always tired). My TSH level had been testing low but not low enough for docs to feel like I needed treatment. I then had a small goiter on neck (inflamed thyroid). Docs suggested killing it & then take meds rest of life. I then decided there had to be a better way. I went on a 30 day elimination diet which eliminated all possible irritant foods for 2 weeks (ate mostly vegetables raw or cooked & little fruit, water). As I added back each potential irritant, I found that gluten immediately caused brain fog and anxiety. I thought it was coincidence so I tried it again 2 days later and same reaction! I did not have negative reaction to any other possible irritant such as soy, eggs, other dairy, nuts or any kind of meat. Eliminating gluten & sugar – the anxiety and depression subsided but I still didn’t quite there yet. Long story short….after a year of very clean eating clean – eliminating as many pesticides and other toxins as possible, as much organic as possible, no gluten, no sugar, very little grains, supplements that include iodine, magnesium, adrenal support, fish oil, tumeric, methyl B12 & lots of water; my TSH tested normal for the first time in 8 years. Now continuing to follow this protocol I feel the best mentally in years. My TSH is still normal. I am still working on the physical activity and work/life balance but I have learned that the wrong food can ruin you life & I feel the main culprits are gluten and sugar! However, just the elimination of the food causing trouble may not be enough. A good clean diet with the elimination of junk food filled with chemicals, preservatives and sugar i think is necessary to get maximum health benefits.

  25. Joanna says:

    Hi, cutting out gluten and dairy were huge in my healing. I quit gluten many years ago and my skin got colour back which I thought I was just lighter skinnedlol, no more bloating and aches, no more sore knees, no more being unnecessarily cold, periods shorter and not as heavy and the list goes on. Cutting out dairy took the oilyish flakey scalp problems away and skin dryness in areas which is great and I feel when I do have dairy I feel I have more mucous. I used to work in an organic store and we used to suggest cutting these few items out of their diet for a time to see if that would help them and majority of the time it did. I highly recommend saliva testing to take out the hard work of guessing what could be causing our illness plus way less intrusive than blood tests which are limited.

  26. Eric says:

    I went gluten free and it did nothing for my thyroid or antibody test results. I take levothyroxine and feel fine.

  27. Jayne says:

    I gave up gluten and felt better. Bloods have always been within the recommended range, but symptoms far better – less brain fog, bloating, digestion far better, more energy, sleeping better. It all comes back as soon as I have anything with gluten.

  28. Honora says:

    I have subclinical hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s). I went gluten-free and also began taking magnesium and brazil nuts for selenium. My thyroid antibodies dropped 10-fold- the anti-TPO went from 800 down to 80 and my TSH dropped from 10 down to 2. At that stage I wasn’t taking any thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

    Eventually the TSH rose to 4 so I commenced intially Synthroid and now WTE.

  29. Julia says:

    I have food and chemical intolerances so there are a lot of foods that I avoid. I have not given up gluten as it would leave the diet too restricted. I do however have to watch more what is with the product containing gluten. I avoid bread and products containing soya flour, mixed grain kibbles, palm fat and sunflower oil, and too much sugar.I find it is all of these that I re-act to with nausea, stomach cramps , frequent loose bowels more than the gluten. If I eat gluten in Rye bread or wholemeal pitta bread I am fine.

  30. Lahs says:

    This is a subject I have never really understood. When I was a child gluten was a good thing. Our mothers would boil bones to get the gluten out, give the bone to the dog and pour the glutenous water into our stew because it was good for our bones. I do the same thing now, I always make my stews by keeping the bone in the pot until the stew is ready, I then take the meat off the bone giving the cat the bone and replacing the meat in the stew.
    How come gluten is a bad thing now – oh and I have terrifically strong bones.

  31. Steph says:

    I have Hashimoto’s and celiac disease and numerous other autoimmune conditions. Of course I went gluten free, but I noticed little difference. I have tried to heal my leaky gut, removed all amalgam fillings, worked on my adrenals, taken many supplements with whole thyroid and am now on a Paleo diet (with cheat foods, goats cheese, potatoes, and rarely rice. Lots of my symptoms have improved, but I am far from 100%. I still get very tired, but things like palpitations, depression/anxiety/OCD, high blood pressure, brain fog etc are much improved. Unfortunately the autoimmune responses are still running way to high. I believe gluten, dairy, corn and soy were well worth giving up for me though.

  32. Christine says:

    I had been off of gluten for several years before being diagnosed with sub-clinical Grave’s disease so can’t say for sure how my test results were impacted. What has helped the most in resolving my ongoing autoimmune issues and gastrointestinal issues was treating the underlying small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

  33. Dannie Kliewer says:

    I am 85.For about 30 years I took psyllium husks and herbs to stay regular. In 2012 I went to the hospital with fever, rapid heartbeat and stomach problems. I was told I had IBS. IN the following years after many tests and doctors visits I was still without answers. Prescribed laxatives only added to my misery. Among other things acid blocker was told to take. I noticed certain foods made me feel worse. I decided to go gluten free. My stomach problems improved . Also use only Lactaid milk. Daily I take GI and muscle helper,a multi-vitamin,thyroid helper, and every other day Hydro-C for bowel movement. I have lost over 30lbs but would like to gain some back. I understand that my small intestine has been damaged and the acid blocker only made it worse. By God’s grace I am moving on.

  34. Asheley says:

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 6 months ago and immediately stopped all gluten, went on selenium and D supplements which helped right away. I have found that avoiding all gluten has helped significantly, esp in bowel health and brain function. I am very proactive, and also avoid soy, eat Paleo (I added in gf beans after a few months on P strictly) take a large range of well researched and prescribed supplements, did lifestyle changes. I also cut all goitrogens – completely for a few months,and have allowed myself only an occasional offender now. I felt this was important; I love mustard sauces, and ate them obsessively, and bought into the whole kale is the best thing for you idea. I was also vegetarian for 15 years and gained 100 pounds eating that way. Also now I eat no added sweeteners. Since doing all this I have lost 40 pounds, have all my energy and muscle tone back, my hair and skin look younger and my sleep and mood are excellent. I wear a size I haven’t been in since my 20s, and am doing activities I hadn’t dreamed of being able to do at almost 60. My tests- aren’t significantly different, borderline OK thyroid numbers still, tsh around 5 and still some antibodies, just like before. I feel so terrific that my integrated doctor has stopped recommending thyroid hormone for me. I never went on any prescriptions. Perhaps more years eating and living this way will bring down the antibodies; but I feel that the massively improved health I’m experiencing speaks louder than test numbers.

  35. Vera says:

    I was told by a naturopath to give up gluten back in 2013. When I did my energy levels went up bloating disappeared fatigue and bloody cracks on my heals disappeared the horce voice disappeared in 2 weeks. I am also avoiding dairy because I get break outs on my face and too much mucus. Gluten makes me sleepy so I avoid it as much as possible. 6 weeks later blood test results showed decrease in antibodies but not a drastic reduction of them. I still have a lot of improvements to make but avoiding gluten has helped me a lot

  36. Goran says:

    Went for gluten free for two years, didn’t notice any difference.
    Run a test for gluten in Cryex lab and the results was negative so I decide to introduce gluten again and didnt have problems with it.

  37. Irene says:

    I have Hashimoto’s disease since 2009, and I take levothyroxine. I’m on a diary free diet but I didn’t notice any difference appart from a slightly reduction of mucus. A few months ago went gluten-free during a whole month as a test, because I have digestive problems. As soon as I quit eating gluten I felt much better. I had more energy, I felt less bloated and my digestions improved.

  38. Kinga says:

    Dear Dr Eric,

    I have followed your blog for a good while. I went on Gluten-free diet and after 6 months ONLY! MY TSH, FT3, FT4 went to a normal level… after 7 years of following medical doctor advise.. I stopped (at my own risk) taking medical prescriptions. My TSH and hormones level were improving gradually. Every 2 months I was doing private blood tests since I went GF…
    I asked medical doctors both in the UK-NHS doctors and private partitioners on many occasions- can I do anything with a diet- the answer was always NO- it does not affect your thyroid hormone..

    I was advised two options 1)Thyroid complete surgical removal – and consequently lifetime phrarmaceutical hormone supplements..
    2) Radioactive Iodine- also damaging Thyroid gland…

    I refused- AT MY OWN RISK.

    Now I ask… really? 6 months on gluten-free diet healed me…

    what the medical doctors lie to us?

    I send you my sincere thanks for providing your FREE advise over your blog and publications.

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Get Your Free Guide Entitled
“The 6 Steps On How To Reverse Graves' Disease & Hashimoto's Through Natural Methods”
You will also receive email
updates on any future webinars
on natural thyroid health.

"We respect your privacy"
Free Webinars on
Natural Thyroid Health

Click Here For More Information

Natural Treatment Methods:
Graves Disease Treatment
Hypothyroidism Treatment
Hyperthyroidism Treatment
Natural Thyroid treatment

Conventional Treatment
Radioactive Iodine
Thyroid Hormone