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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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Weight Loss and Weight Gain Associated with Celiac Disease EP020

Forget everything you thought you knew about obesity.

68% of the population of the US is overweight, and we know that there are a number of health risks associated with the issue. But did you know that people are overweight because their bodies are actually starving?

 Today the Gluten Free RN is challenging your assumptions about weight gain and celiac disease, revealing the surprising way your body compensates for malnourishment, the necessity of fat in nutrient absorption, and the healing power of a whole food gluten-free diet.

Listen and learn why more people are overweight when diagnosed with celiac disease than underweight, more have constipation than diarrhea, and more have neurological disorders than gastrointestinal issues. Nadine is prepared to shake up your idea of what it means to have celiac disease and offer guidance regarding the food we should be eating in order to heal, and lose – or gain – weight in the process!

What’s Discussed: 

The classic symptoms of celiac disease

  • Used to be identified by weight loss and chronic diarrhea
  • We now know there are well over 300 signs and symptoms

The obesity epidemic in the US

  • 68% of the population is overweight
  • Obesity increases morbidity and mortality
  • The majority of celiac patients are overweight

Why celiac patients are overweight

  • Damage to intestines prevents absorption of nutrients
  • Body is starving, so it compensates by storing fat as cheap energy

The health risks associated with obesity

The failings of fast food

  • Little to no nutritional value
  • ‘Bad’ fat
  • Little use as energy

The whole food diet Nadine recommends for celiac and gluten sensitive patients

 The rapid weight loss of overweight celiac patients once they adopt a gluten-free diet

Why wounds may not heal appropriately in celiac patients

  • Body is malnourished and cannot absorb nutrients
  • Nutrients are necessary to heal tissue

How to heal your body with food

  • Choose fermented foods
  • Regenerate villi in intestines
  • Build diverse microbiome

Nadine’s patient with tunneling wound in sacral area

  • Wound would not heal, required daily dressing changes
  • Patient was HLA-DQ2 gene carrier
  • Wound healed after 10 days on a gluten-free diet

How a gluten-free diet affects underweight celiac patients

  • Muscle and tissue build appropriately
  • Weight increases as nutrients are absorbed

The necessity of a high-fat diet for celiac patients

  • Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble
  • The brain is made of fat

‘Good’ fats that Nadine recommends incorporating into your diet

  • Listen in for the full list!!

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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Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance in the Elderly Population EP007


In this episode of ‘Gluten Free RN,’ Nadine discusses potential signs of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in those 65 and older. Many go undiagnosed because their symptoms are dismissed as a normal part of aging.

Nadine explains how nutritional deficiencies triggered by gluten intolerance can cause the elderly to acquire a list of diagnoses and medications that might not be necessary and do not address the underlying cause of degeneration.

This episode outlines how health setbacks common in the older population (osteoporosis, GI issues, dementia and degenerative disease) may be symptoms of celiac disease that could be improved or even eliminated with a gluten-free diet. Listen and learn how to improve the quality of life for those 65 and up!

What’s Discussed:

The prevalence of celiac disease in the older population

  • 30% of people diagnosed with celiac disease are over the age of 60
  • The elderly population has a prevalence of celiac disease 1-2% greater than the general population

The recommended diet for elderly celiac patients

  • Nadine advocates both a gluten- and casein-free diet

The genes that carry celiac disease

Nadine’s story

  • Undiagnosed celiac disease left her with multi-system organ failure at the age of 40
  • A gluten-free diet fixed the nutritional deficiencies and allowed her body to regenerate

The benefits of adopting a gluten-free diet as an older adult

  • Reverse damage done by gluten
  • Prevent health problems like dementia, osteoporosis, and osteopenia

GI issues that may be symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in older adults

How a nutritional panel can reveal deficiencies that may be caused by gluten intolerance

  • Low levels of vitamins D, B6, B12, iron, and zinc point to a difficulty absorbing important nutrients
  • An imbalance of magnesium and/or calcium can cause heart arrhythmia and muscle fasciculation

Why men suffering from osteoporosis and anemia should be tested for celiac disease

The connection between erectile dysfunction and potential gluten intolerance

  • ED can be either a neurological disorder or a condition caused by hypoxia

The probable link between Type 1 or 2 diabetes and celiac disease

The importance of testing patients on cholesterol or blood pressure medication for celiac disease

Why Nadine recommends all patients 65 and older be tested for celiac disease yearly

  • Not every patient will test positive but can seroconvert at anytime

How the appropriate absorption of fat can help older patients with gluten intolerance “get their brains back”

  • Our brains are made of fat and every nerve is covered with myelin
  • A brain starved of fat can cause a patient to suffer from brain fog and dementia

The good, high-fat foods that prevent brain atrophy

  • Listen for the list!

Miss Gloria’s story

  • Grumpy and agoraphobic, Gloria rarely left her bed
  • After testing positive for celiac disease, she eventually agreed to try a gluten-free diet
  • Gloria’s health improved to a point where she was able to leave the house regularly and finally move to Savannah, where she spent her last years with her son

How identifying celiac disease and gluten intolerance in the elderly can prevent suffering and early death

Resources Mentioned:

Gluten Free RN on iTunes

Gluten Free RN on Stitcher

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