Wheat-Free: Tests for the Thyroid - dummies

Wheat-Free: Tests for the Thyroid

By Rusty Gregory, Alan Chasen

What do you need to know about the thyroid on a wheat-free diet? Research has shown that underactive thyroid, also known as subclinical hypothyroidism, is a major heart disease risk, especially in older women.

The most common form is called Hashimoto’s disease. Many times, this condition shows no symptoms and doesn’t affect the results of the basic thyroid test, the TSH. The problem affects an estimated 10 to 20 percent of women and accounts for 90 percent of all thyroid imbalances.

The gliadin protein in wheat has a similar structure to the thyroid tissue. When gliadin enters the blood stream because of a leaky gut, the body not only attacks it but also mistakenly attacks the thyroid tissue as well, resulting in a malfunctioning thyroid. Cutting the wheat helps heal leaky gut and prevent thyroid disease.

Explaining the thyroid is beyond this article, so here is a brief list of some signs of underactive thyroid and what tests to ask for if you have the symptoms. You can’t overemphasize the thyroid’s importance; the thyroid is related to every system in the body, especially metabolism, growth, and the ability to process calories.

Some of the signs of a failing thyroid include the following:

  • A hoarse voice (unable to clear your throat or speak normally), neck swelling, or snoring

  • Weight gain or trouble losing weight

  • Depression, anxiety, or mood swings

  • Hormonal imbalances, including irregular menstruation or infertility

  • Muscle or joint pain

  • Fatigue, even after adequate sleep

  • Cold hands and feet or feeling cold when others aren’t

  • Dry or cracking skin, brittle nails and excessive hair loss

  • Constipation

  • Poor concentration or poor memory

If these symptoms look familiar, ask your doctor to order the basic thyroid test, the TSH, for you. Depending on those results, you may need more advanced testing. The thyroid requires tests to evaluate the big picture, much like testing for heart disease does.

A cascade of events takes place in the thyroid, and each test measures a different spot on the assembly line. Just because the line is working at the beginning doesn’t mean it’s working farther down the line. Try also undergoing free T4 and free T3 tests and a Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb) test.