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Hypothyroid, Pulmonary Edema and Celiac Disease EP059


When the Gluten Free RN went on a gluten-free diet 11 years ago, her thyroid settled down and the associated symptoms and disorders—Graves’ disease, weight gain and hair loss—resolved.

But when Nadine was inadvertently hit with gluten two years ago, several of those symptoms returned, along with a few new ones. She was losing hair and gaining water weight again. On top of that, her sinuses were congested. She developed asthma, a rash on her lower right leg and a scary case of pulmonary edema (excess fluid in the lungs).

Hindsight being 20/20, Nadine realizes that her recent diagnosis of hypothyroidism is associated with that accidental gluten ingestion. Further study made it clear that there is a potential connection between her thyroid problems and pulmonary edema, as the leaky gut that comes with celiac disease can cause fluid shifts into body tissues.

Today the Gluten Free RN explores the links among celiac disease, thyroid disorders and pulmonary edema. She explains the function of the endocrine system, the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, and the diet she recommends for patients with thyroid issues. Listen in for Nadine’s insight around how gluten affects the thyroid gland and why the resulting low sodium levels might trigger edema in celiac patients.

What’s Discussed: 

The function of the endocrine system

  • Glands in body that make hormones

The connection between celiac disease and thyroid disorders

  • Thyroid especially vulnerable to gluten protein in wheat, barley, rye and oats

Nadine’s symptoms of hypothyroidism

  • Lower extremity edema
  • Congested sinuses
  • Hair falling out
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Asthma
  • Rash on leg

How damp rash lotion resolved Nadine’s symptoms

  • Prescribed by acupuncturist in Chiang Mai
  • Rash cleared, could breathe easy
  • Symptoms returned within four weeks of return to US

Nadine’s thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels

  • Within normal limits despite thyroid issues
  • Practitioner declined to order thyroid panel

The relationship between thyroid issues and edema

  • Sodium = major electrolyte, maintains body’s pH
  • Hypothyroidism means low sodium levels
  • Leaky gut of celiac disease leads to fluid shifts (edema)

The research around thyroid disorders and celiac disease in Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

  • Association between CD and thyroid disorders well documented
  • Increased prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis and Graves’ disease in celiac populations

The diet Nadine recommends for celiac patients with potential thyroid issues

  • Gluten-free, dairy-free
  • Whole food, Paleo

Why patients with unexplained pulmonary edema should be tested for celiac disease AND thyroid disorders

  • Potential connection among all three

The symptoms associated with hypothyroidism

  • Puffy face, constipation, fatigue
  • Muscle weakness, aches and pains
  • Irregular, delayed menstrual periods
  • Hair loss, thinning hair
  • Slower heartrate, hypothermia
  • Depression, memory problems

Resources:

‘Pregnancy Complicated with Pulmonary Edema Due to Hyperthyroidism’ in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association

‘Sleep Apnea, Hypothyroidism and Pulmonary Edema’ in CHEST Journal Letters to the Editor

‘Thyroid and Fluid Retention’ on the Wilson’s Syndrome Site

‘Acute Pulmonary Edema as a First Manifestation of Hyperthyroidism in a Pregnant Woman’ in Revista Medica de Chile

‘Hypothyroidism and Non-Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema: Are We Missing Something Here?’ in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports

‘Celiac Disease and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease’ in Clinical Medicine & Research

‘Celiac Disease and Autoimmunity: Review and Controversies’ in Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

‘An Unusual Cause of Flash Pulmonary Oedema’ in BMJ Case Reports

‘Challenges in the Management of a Patient with Myxoedema Coma in Ghana: A Case Report’ in Ghana Medical Journal

‘Hyponatremia and the Thyroid: Causality or Association?’ in the Journal of Clinical Medicine

‘Interactions Between Thyroid Disorders and Kidney Disease’ in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Connect with Nadine:

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Melodies of the Danube Gluten-Free Cruise with Nadine

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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Celiac Disease and How Gluten Affects Your Skin EP011


On this episode of the ‘Gluten Free RN,’ Nadine explains how gluten affects your skin. If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you may also suffer from dermatitis herpetiformis, a painful rash that is often misdiagnosed.

Nadine shares her struggle with DH and offers advice about eliminating gluten from both your diet and personal care regime in order to heal your skin. The only treatment for this issue is a 100% gluten-free diet.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so listen and learn how to keep it looking and feeling good!

What’s Discussed: 

The definition of Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH)

  • Blistering, vesicular rash that is typically round
  • Itchy, very painful and distracting
  • Caused by IgA deposits under the skin
  • May appear on hands, legs, back, armpits, buttocks, elbows, knees, scalp, torso and even eyes
  • Not contagious
  • The only treatment is a 100% gluten-free diet

 Nadine’s struggle with DH

  • Blisters, itchy and painful hands as a child
  • Irritated by latex gloves as a nurse, hands developed rash
  • Misdiagnosed by several dermatologists
  • DH finally identified by Dr. Abigail Haberman
  • Rash had exploded all over Nadine’s body and she was near death
  • Most of the rash resolved quickly after adopting a gluten-free diet

 Why steroid creams, long-term antibiotics and dapsone aren’t the answer

  • DH is an external expression of what’s happening internally
  • Topical creams don’t treat the underlying cause
  • Long-term antibiotics disrupt the microbiome and put you at risk for developing other infections
  • Dapsone is associated with serious side effects for the blood and liver
  • Removing gluten from your diet and personal care products is the only cure

 The importance of eliminating gluten from personal care products

  • Anything you put on your skin can travel through to your bloodstream
  • Discontinue the use of products that contain wheat, barley, rye or oats
  • Nadine also recommends eliminating products that contain chemicals such as lauryl sulfates and paraffins

 Resources Mentioned: 

YouTube: Your Skin on Gluten

Primal Pit Paste

ZuZu Luxe Cosmetics

Red Apple Lipstick

Desert Essence Organics

Gluten-Free Danube Cruise

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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Intro to Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance EP004


This episode of ‘Gluten Free RN’ covers the basics of celiac disease and gluten intolerance – what those terms mean and what they might mean for you. Nadine explains which genes suggest a predisposition to gluten intolerance and what circumstances lead to a diagnosis of celiac disease proper.

 Nadine talks you through what happens in your digestive tract that leads to gluten proteins attacking your organs and preventing your body from absorbing the nutrients it needs. She also outlines the foods and products you need to avoid to achieve ‘gluten-zero,’ as well as the foods you can enjoy as part of a gluten-free diet.

 Listen in and learn where gluten is hiding and how to modify your diet to reverse the adverse effects of gluten!

What’s Discussed: 

  • The definition of celiac disease and its chronic nature
    • 30-50% of the population carries the genes
  • How a trigger event (i.e.: a cold, pregnancy, stress, an injury) initiates the autoimmune disorder
  • Options for getting tested for the genetic predisposition
  • The closed system of the digestive tractand how food is processed
    • While some food is used for energy, much just passes through
  • Villous atrophy and the four stages of tissue damage
    • Marsh 1: microvilli destroyed; body cannot break down sugar and milk
    • Marsh 2/3: villi themselves fold over or atrophy; tight junctures between villi (that keep things your body can’t utilize in the GI tract and out of your bloodstream) open up
    • Marsh 4: villi gone and only red, inflamed tissue remains; ‘leaky gut’
  • The effects of increased permeability of the intestinal wall
    • Damaged immune system
    • Rather than passing through the GI tract, gluten proteins get into bloodstream and wreak havoc on organs
    • Body can’t absorb nutrients out of food
  • The importance of healthy intestinal tissue
    • 70-90% of the immune system is in your intestines
  • The soldier analogy
    • Healthy villi are like rested soldiers with loaded weapons on a clear day who can easily take out antigens that don’t belong
    • Damaged villi are like soldiers on a bender with inadequate weaponry, operating in smoke and fire – they either don’t work at all or fire randomly at antigens
  • The long road to recovering from villous atrophy
    • It takes 6 months to a year to reverse the damage
  • Grains to avoid that contain gluten
    • Wheat
    • Barley
    • Rye
    • Oats (due to cross-contamination)
  • Places where gluten may be hiding
  • Gluten-free foods
    • Fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Plain meats and fish (not breaded or beer battered)
    • Beans/legumes
    • Tree nuts
    • Rice, corn and potatoes
    • Quinoa and teff
    • Dairy
  • What a gluten-free rating means
    • The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) certifies products that contain less than ten parts per million

Resources Mentioned: 

Gluten: Zero Global by Rodney Ford

 Enterolab Website

 Glutenpro Celiac Test

 Country Life Vitamins

 Kite Hill Foods

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism