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Food Intolerances & Thyroid Disease

Food intolerances and thyroid disease often go hand in hand. Intolerances can trigger thyroid flares, but they may also play a role in the development of thyroid disease.

By understanding your food intolerances and how they affect your thyroid, you can start to take back control and use food to nourish instead of harm.

How food intolerances can affect your thyroid health

There are several ways that food intolerances can influence your thyroid health. These include:

  • Increasing the overall inflammation levels in your body. This can be a problem for both thyroid flares and the general disease process of thyroid disease.

  • Affecting gut integrity. The inflammatory effect combined with the impact on the tissues and gut flora can lead to increased intestinal permeability (or leaky gut). This can further trigger the immune system, particularly when it comes to autoimmunity.

  • Impairing the digestion of food. This increases your risk of nutrient deficiencies, including those that are vital for a healthy functioning thyroid gland.

Many of the clients I work with come to me when their thyroid replacement therapy hasn't helped their symptoms. For most of those people, the reason is that there is a secondary factor such as a food intolerance flaring their symptoms and preventing them from healing.

The number one food intolerance that can trigger thyroid flares

The number one food intolerance when it comes to thyroid disease?


This is because gluten isn't just something that you can be intolerant to - it can also trigger your thyroid flares.

There is a component in gluten that looks biochemically similar to another compound found in the thyroid. When the immune system attacks the gluten component in the bloodstream, it also attacks the thyroid. This is known as molecular mimicry.

As the majority of thyroid disease is autoimmune, there is also a higher risk of Coeliac disease - another autoimmune condition. A combination of Coeliac disease and thyroid disease can be a perfect storm of inflammation and immune reactions.

This is why I recommend that anyone an autoimmune thyroid condition remove gluten from the diet and see if their symptoms improve as a result.

What other signs and symptoms might I have if I have a food intolerance?

Symptoms of a food intolerance can vary depending on the specific intolerance. But there are some signs that you can keep an eye out for, including:

  • Diarrhoea

  • Constipation

  • IBS (alternating between diarrhoea and constipation)

  • Bloating

  • Excess gas

  • Heartburn

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Poor concentration and brain fog

  • Feeling depressed or anxious

  • Irritability and mood swings

  • Body aches and pains

  • Constantly blocked or runny nose

  • Dark circles under the eyes

  • Skin symptoms such as acne

Of course, having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that a food intolerance is to blame. Many of them are consistent with a thyroid disorder!

But if you have a thyroid condition that is difficult to manage combined with some of these symptoms, it’s worth exploring the possibility of a food intolerance.

Concerned that you have food intolerances affecting your thyroid?

Hair testing is a fast and efficient way to uncover potential intolerances.

The Bio-Compatibility Hair Test works out your individual food intolerances. When we remove these intolerances from the diet, your inflammation will decrease, your food intolerance symptoms will be alleviated and your body will have the chance to heal. ​ You can use this to test intolerances for any age - newborns, babies, toddlers, children and adults can all benefit from this form of testing as it is non-invasive.

Interested in hair testing as an option to uncover hidden intolerances? Head here to order yours today.