Page 305

metabolic rate were normal as well. This study contradicts the idea of a “set-point” weight. If you’re having trouble keeping off the weight you lose and your thyroid is functioning normally, this study shows that you can’t blame your thyroid. You may want to take a closer look at your exercise and eating habits instead.

The thyroid and celiac disease Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease of the small intestine that results in poor absorption of fat, protein, carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins A, D, and K. The consequences of celiac disease are diarrhea, osteomalacia (poorly mineralized bone), signs of vitamin deficiency, and anemia. Studies show that as high as 21 percent of patients with celiac disease also have autoimmune hypothyroidism, and 3 percent of people with thyroid disease have celiac disease. The treatment for celiac disease is to remove gluten from the patient’s diet. Gluten is present in wheat, barley, oats, rye, and as a filler in many prepared foods and medications. When gluten is removed from the diet, not only does the celiac disease disappear, but the patient’s thyroid disease is cured as well. A study in the American Journal of Gastroen- terology in March 2001 found that out of 241 patients with celiac disease, 31 (13 percent) also had hypothyroidism. Of the 31, 29 had subclinical hypothyroidism with an elevation in TSH but a normal T4. When they received treatment for a year by avoiding gluten in their diet and the celiac disease was cured, the thyroid abnormalities disappeared in all of them as well. Thyroid disease is so commonly associated with celiac disease that everyone with celiac disease should be tested for thyroid disease. If present, both the celiac disease and the thyroid disorder may respond to gluten withdrawal.

If I’m treated for hyperthyroidism, am I doomed to gain weight? Many people who receive treatment for hyperthyroidism with radioactive iodine complain that they can’t lose weight after they become hypothyroid and are placed on thyroid-hormone replacement. If this describes your situation, you should consider a number of possible explanations: You may not be taking enough thyroid hormones to replace your deficit. Checking that your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is in the normal range and ideally less than 2.5 is important.

Thyroid for dummies  
Thyroid for dummies