Connection between thyroid disorders and autoimmune disease?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1879
   Posted 9/22/2009 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I have low thyroid and some kind of autoimmune colitis, blood test positive for crohn's.
diagnosed 1/09 with "diverticular colitis" ?? location, sigmoid colon
localized scleroderma & IBS, low thyroid
 50 +  female
 colazal, fish oil, synthroid, zoloft, VSL#3 probiotic.
Blood test positive for Crohn's for whatever that is worth-:)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 9/25/2009 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Funny I read this. Smart thinking to ask the question, MMMNAVY. I had thyroid problems, then cancer that they took it all out. Now take pills for life with that.

Then stomach problems that they didn't check much for 18 years and then crohn's/UC ending in rectal cancer and ileostomy this summer. Yeah I'm sure it's all related to a wrecked autoimmune system.

So how do I change my life to keep things under control? THAT is the million dollar question I am working on right now. Have often wondered if it had to do with my personality type.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 9/27/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm new to this particular forum, but wanted to chime in on this one....

As many of you have said, it's possible to have more than one autoimmune fact, if you have one, you're far more likely to develop more of them! I have been diagnosed with 5 AI disorders, plus asthma and fibromyalgia. My lupus diagnosis is pending, but my rheumatologist has started me on Plaquenil because he's fairly certain I have SLE.

One of my many autoimmune diseases is celiac disease (triggered by a reaction to gluten in the diet).

Recent research indicates that celiac disease can actually lead to other autoimmune can be the "mother" of other AI disorders. The mechanism is fairly simple; a cytokine called zonulin is overproduced during active celiac disease. Zonulin regulates the permeability of the intestinal wall; if there's too much zonulin it actually makes the intestines "leak". This causes things to end up in the bloodstream that don't belong there, such as allergens like gluten.

The foreign substances can cause the immune system to go into high gear, frantically manufacturing all sorts of antibodies to fight the invaders. Unfortunately, it can become "confused" and begin to attack your organs....and voila! you have another autoimmune disease. The explanation at the following link is so much better than mine:

Many medical researchers advise that people with lupus, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other AI diseases should be tested for celiac disease too, on the basis of this research and the association of these diseases with celiac that have been noted in many studies.

Have any of you ever been told you have IBS? That's what I was told....then I was diagnosed with celiac disease 30 years later. Apparently, if I had been on the gluten free diet decades earlier, I might not have rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, psoriasis, autoimmune hepatitis, and possible SLE today.

Anyway, please pardon me for being so verbose.....I just wanted to let people on this forum know about the zonulin research and the connection between celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases. Celiac may not always be the trigger for another AI disease, but in my case, I believe it's the culprit behind all of my other problems.

I hope that everyone here feels better soon....take care!
Autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Reynaud's syndrome. Possible lupus and/or Sjogren's Syndrome - diagnoses pending.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/22/2010 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I was told I was hypothyroid in Sept 2005 but suspect it started a year earlier, at least. In Aug 04 I felt my shirt tightening around my neck but when I went to pull it away there was nothing there (I had a loose tee on). In April 06 I was told I had Hashimoto's due to elevated thyroglobulin antibodies. A year later another doctor told me I did NOT have Hashimoto's because they were not elevated at that time. Since then I have had several tests and they were slightly elevated once. The TPOabs were never elevated. Sometimes I go hyper after doing fine on a specific thyroid med dose. I'm wondering if my immune system is causing my thyroid to whack-out. My new endo thinks this could be the case as I have autoimmune issues and b/c my levels fluctuate. I have had hives twice. Once from Nov 04 to Feb 05, and from May 2008 to present. They were steady daily for over a year and are now off & on. They seem to get worse when I drink a lot of diet pop - not sure if it's the artificial sweeteners or acid reflux or both. Of course, it would be best to stop drinking the stupid stuff lol. I had an EBV test show positive in 09 - I believe I've had that since I was in my 20s (I'm 42). Other issues - postive ANAs with a speckled pattern, Antiphospholipid Antibody test + (my RI said I was a 2 on a scale of 1-5, 5 being worst, and just needed to take aspirin while trying to conceive and use Lovenox due to mild blood clotting genes).
I was always in good health and the worst I had was a cold every year or two...then I had an extremely horrible, stressful job and issues with a crazy boyfriend and started getting sick all the time. I would catch the flu and would be on my deathbed for weeks, then go into Strep and be deathly ill for weeks, and then get sick again two weeks later, over and over...that was early 2002 to 2004 and in 2004 I started getting thyroid problem symptoms. I didn't suspect I had a thyroid issue til trying to conceive and seeing specialists starting in late 2005...but when I look back I think the throat tightening in Aug 04 was the start of things. I really think the stress did a good number on my immune system and then things went to h*ll!

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/22/2010 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
My TSH was 2.85 in Feb 05 but the OB/Gyn did not tell me it was bad, and I didn't suspect anything. I didn't know about the thyroid either at that time. I did not start having the usual hypothyroid symptoms (sluggish, weight gain, cold, etc.) til early 2005 after being on several different doses of levothyroxine for a few months. I can tell if I go too far under 1.0 TSH or over 2.0 TSH.
Before all this I always stayed very thin. I wonder if I had been hyper then went hypo.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/22/2010 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Oops that's early 2006 in the post above (not 2005).

OK done now lol!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 392
   Posted 12/22/2010 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I really haven't had many problems until about 2 yrs ago. Just before turning 50.
I'm having some issues right now and meds have been changed plus addition of Vit D.
Anyway, burned a finger doing crafts with the grandkids, didn't want them using the hot glue gun - you might get burned, lol.
The spot still isn't healed and now it looks like it's getting infected. Never had that happen before, and yes I have burned fingers with hot glue guns before. You'd think I'd learn.
The first dr I ever went to, he's now retired, told me that this would mess with my autoimmune system. I really liked him and wish he was still around, he was the best.
May the sun shine on you and warm your heart.
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