Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2019; 127(07): 417-422
DOI: 10.1055/a-0653-7108
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Effect of Gluten-Free Diet on Thyroid Autoimmunity in Drug-Naïve Women with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: A Pilot Study

Robert Krysiak
1   Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Witold Szkróbka
1   Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Bogusław Okopień
1   Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 05 June 2018
revised 26 June 2018

accepted 04 July 2018

Publication Date:
30 July 2018 (online)


Background Autoimmune thyroid disease is often accompanied by celiac disease.

Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a gluten-free diet affects thyroid autoimmunity, hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis activity and thyroid function tests in women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and incidentally found positive anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies.

Methods The study included 34 women with autoimmune thyroiditis divided into two group. The patients belonging to the first one (group A, n=16) complied with the gluten-free diet for 6 months, while the remaining patients (group B, n=18) remained without any dietary treatment. Serum titers of thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies, as well as serum levels of thyrotropin, free thyroid hormones and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were measured at the beginning of the study and 6 months later. Based on thyrotropin and free thyroid hormone levels, Jostel’s thyrotropin index, the SPINA-GT index and the SPINA-GD index were calculated.

Results All patients completed the study protocol. In group B, serum thyrotropin and free thyroid hormones levels, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels as well as the calculated indices remained at the similar levels. The gluten-free diet reduced thyroid antibody titers, as well as slightly increased 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the SPINA-GT index. In group A, the impact on TPOAb and TgAb titers correlated with the changes in the SPINA-GT index, whereas the impact on TPOAb with the changes in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.

Conclusions The obtained results suggest that the gluten-free diet may bring clinical benefits to women with autoimmune thyroid disease.

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