Hypothyroidism, Gluten Free, and Vitamin D

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post of my attempts to improve my overall health in 2014. For me, with hypothyroidism, taking care of my thyroid is very important. I must take medication (I think of it more like a supplement) because my body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. I’m still taking Synthroid 75mcg, and as of Feb. 1st, started taking 25mcg of Cytomel. A healthy thyroid produces both T4 and T3. The Synthroid medication is the T4 and the Cytomel is the T3. Again, in a healthy individual, the body converts T4 into T3 beautifully. For some reason, my body isn’t converting T4 (Synthroid) to T3 very well. I was within the lab range of “normal”  for T3 but on the low end of normal. I was still experiencing hypothyroid symptoms despite having good TSH and T4 blood work for almost 2 years! Some of the symptoms I was still experiencing while on T4 (Synthroid) alone were: sluggishness, constipation (a slow metabolism), and irregular cycles.  I’m happy to report that on the T3, I’ve noticed an increase in energy, I’m regular for the first time in years! and my cycles have improved.

Gluten free update: I suck. I tried. It’s sooo hard to be 100% gluten free. It becomes next to impossible to eat in other people’s homes and go out to dinner. I know this isn’t ideal, but I consider myself “gluten reduced” 🙂 In our home, we are 99% gluten free (need to make my own salad dressings). When out, I attempt to find gluten free options whenever possible. Otherwise, I do eat some gluten here and there and try not to fret over it.

Vitamin D: In January, I opted to have this tested even though it’s not covered by OHIP. It was $33. I’ve been taking 1,200IU of Vitamin D per day for the last 2 years. I wanted to see what my level was like. Much to my surprise, my vitamin D was flagged for being very low. I’ve since switched to liquid vitamin D instead of the pill form to see if that helps. Little fact: if your vitamin D is low, it can affect how your body converts T4 to T3!

I’m so grateful for an online thyroid community that have educated and encouraged me to be an advocate for my health. I wouldn’t be taking T3 if not for them, I wouldn’t have learned the connection between hypothyroidism and gluten sensitivity, as well as I wouldn’t have paid to have my vitamin D tested. I’m sharing my story of my road to health (starts with my thyroid) in the hopes that it may be helpful for someone, somewhere, at some point. I haven’t arrived health wise, but I’m doing my part. While I’m much thinner in 2014 thanks to clean eating weight loss in 2013, I’m on my way to helping my interior…one day at a time.

A reminder of how Hypothyroidism can cause a whole host of problems:


8 thoughts on “Hypothyroidism, Gluten Free, and Vitamin D”

  1. I have Hashimoto’s so I understand some of these lifestyle struggles. As an encouragement – I got my Vitamin D levels up really fast when I switched to liquid Vitamin D. Good luck with all of this. I know it can be tiring at times!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I’m encouraged to hear that your levels went up with liquid Vitamin D. I’m going to re-test vitamin D in a couple more months and hope to see improvement. It’s great to “meet” someone who understands these lifestyle struggles. I look forward to checking out your blog!

  2. Eating gluten free is so hard! Also, do you take a calcium supplement with your vitamin d? Research shows in order for the vitamin d to be absorbed, a calcium supplement has to be added. Calcium vitamins make my tummy sick tho:/

    1. Agreed…eating gluten free IS so hard!
      I tend to take the vitamin D with my “fattiest” meal of the day (this was recommended to me), and often that’s a meal with calcium. For example, last night I took it with a soup that had a milk and sour cream base. I also take the vitamin D around the same time that I take a multivitamin that has calcium in it. Hopefully that’s helping! 🙂 boo that calcium vitamins make your stomach sick. Does the one that you take happen to have magnesium as well? I’ve heard those can be easier on the stomach.. Thanks for your comment!

      1. no it doesn’t but when I was at walmart yesterday I was looking at the different brands and saw there was one with magnesium but I wasn’t sure if I should get that one or not. I walked away from the vitamin aisle more confused. LOL! I will have to try the one with magnesium 🙂

  3. Calcium tends to bind, and magnesium tends to loosen, so the two together are supposed to be a nice balance. Hope this works and it doesn’t hurt your stomach as much.

  4. this is so interesting! recently labs just revealed my vit. d is very low (13…the average range is above 30 but my doc said optimal level is 60!) and was recently put on 50,000IU 2x/week. levels appear to be improving a bit but my symptoms (fatigue, joint pain, massive headaches, brain fog, etc.) are still unaffected. ): doc also recommended gluten-free diet…i did it for 30 days last year and nearly died. it is SO hard. i am gluten sensitive so i really should go completely GF but some days, it is simply out of my control. anyway, though i’m sorry to hear about your struggles, i am glad that you’ve found some answers (i am still working on that part) and hope you continue down the path to recovery and well-being!

    1. Thanks for sharing! I found out that I was low in Vitamin D towards the end of January and started supplementing with liquid vitamin D in February. I asked to have my levels re-tested (I have to pay for vit D testing) in April and my doctor wanted me to wait until June. She said that the levels don’t go up in 2-3 months time that significantly. So I’m trying to be patient and give it time! Keep me posted on your progress. The symptoms that you still have sound like they could be from gluten sensitivity…they say that you need to be 100% off gluten for 6 months to reap the benefits. But I’m with you, it’s soooo hard to be 100%!

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