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Get a thyroid check-up if you're gluten sensitive

(NC) Canadians diagnosed with gluten sensitivity – or its more severe form, celiac disease – are almost three times more likely to have thyroid disease. And the thyroid disorder they are most likely to have is an under-active thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism.

In a recent survey, 10 percent of Canadian adults who had been diagnosed with either gluten sensitivity or celiac disease said they also had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Another four percent said they had been diagnosed with an over-active thyroid gland, also known as hyperthyroidism.

Dr. Wendy Rosenthall, an endocrinologist of Toronto, says: “Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder that occurs in about one in 100 Canadians. It is often associated with other disorders of the immune system, such as auto-immune hypothyroidism, and diabetes mellitus.”

“It's essential to your overall health to have a normally functioning thyroid gland,” she continues. “Your thyroid produces hormones that regulate your growth, maturation and speed of metabolism.

“Thyroid hormones influence your metabolic rate, first, by stimulating the production of proteins in almost every tissue in your body – and second, by increasing the amount of oxygen that cells use.”

An under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) causes your metabolism to slow down. That may lead to a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, depression, increased sensitivity to cold, unexplained weight gain, constipation, and muscle weakness.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your doctor for a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test. Most of the time, hypothyroidism is easily diagnosed and treated.

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