Have you been hearing the term Hashimoto’s lately and wondered what it’s all about?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition affecting the thyroid gland. It eventually leads to hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Diagnosis of Hashimoto’s has increased significantly in the last few years due to increased awareness in the medical community and the public.
It can be diagnosed with a blood test measuring antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (needed for the production of thyroid hormone).
Many factors contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions including chemical exposure, genetic predisposition, infections and nutrient deficiencies. Though we are still figuring out what causes these conditions and how best to treat them, new research is pointing to commonalities among autoimmune conditions. There is a common association between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s and studies have shown that avoiding gluten can quiet and sometimes stop the development of Hashimoto’s and improve hypothyroidism.
An increased awareness of Hashimoto’s thyroid disease and its connection to a gluten intolerance may help many people with low antibodies levels who have not yet progressed into low thyroid function improve their thyroid status and decrease their risk of developing hypothyroidism.