If you have gluten sensitivity, celiac disease or have chosen to go gluten-free, you’ve likely done all the legwork to sweep your pantry of any gluten sources.
Fact is, you can do everything possible to go gluten-free and still get glutened. How? Unfortunately, gluten is in everything! Which is why today I’m widening the lens to look beyond the kitchen.
Where else does gluten end up? Hidden gluten sources appear in body care, beauty products, and—gasp—medication! Not cool.
Let’s get to it. Are your thyroid meds gluten free?
Reading Thyroid Medication Labels
Checking labels is a must for any dietary restrictions. However, did you know that medication companies aren’t legally obligated to tell you if their meds are gluten free? Yikes.
That said, the market is demanding more transparency and many manufacturers are answering the call. If only it were that simple. Some gluten sources aren’t explicitly called “gluten.” How do we detect those sneaky sources of gluten? Knowledge is power.
Detecting Hidden Gluten in Medications
You’ll want a go-to resource when you shop that outlines all ingredients to be wary of. Obviously, you’ll no doubt recognize wheat and barley as gluten. So, let’s go over the ingredients that might also contain hidden gluten..
Maltodextrin, dextrin, dextrose: All of these ingredients are starches that are sources of corn, tapioca, potato or—you guessed it—wheat.
Dextr-Maltose: A malt sugar derived from barley.
Starch: Any starches might contain gluten, especially if the exact starch isn’t labeled.
Sodium Starch Glycolate: Also a starch generally sourced from potatoes, however it can also come from wheat or barley starch.
Caramel or Caramel Coloring: Often has barley malt in it.
Are Your Thyroid Meds Gluten Free?
Take a close look at your thyroid medication. Is it certified gluten-free? If you’re unsure if your thyroid meds are gluten free, you’ll want to contact the manufacturer to get a full ingredient list, or talk to your doctor about switching to a gluten free thyroid med.
Do not immediately stop taking your thyroid meds if you discover there is gluten in them. First, talk to your doctor about your other options. As a reference, below are some certified gluten free thyroid meds.
Thyroid meds contain fillers that may cause adverse reactions or trigger sensitivities. This means that if you’ve got sensitivities to cornstarch, gluten or lactose—many thyroid meds contain these allergens in the form of fillers. It’s common for those with thyroid issues to be gluten-sensitive, and fillers make it extremely difficult to know which medications are safe.
Gluten Free Medications for Thyroid
The most important way to ensure your medication is gluten free is to do thorough research. While many thyroid medications contain gluten, there are actually certified gluten-free thyroid medications available. Which means you can safely take your thyroid meds without fear of getting glutened.
Which ones are safe? Certified gluten-free thyroid medications include Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid, Tirosint and Levothyroxine by Lannet.
Levoxyl, Synthroid, Cytomel and Levothyroxine by Mylan are free of gluten, but not officially gluten-free certified. In fact, many reports conclude that Cytomel actually does contain gluten, generating a lot of controversy that makes it extremely difficult to know if your thyroid meds are in fact gluten free. Cytomel uses starch as a filler, and cannot claim whether or not that starch is in fact gluten based. If you’re taking Cytomel and are gluten free, you’ll want to consult with your doctor about the other options available.
Living gluten free is crucial if you have thyroid issues—but it goes beyond even that. Going gluten free can create monumental shifts in your health and wellbeing—check out these 10 reasons why you should try going gluten free.
As you can see, living gluten free requires ditching tunnel vision and examining everything you put into your body—including your meds. For an extensive resource of gluten free medications, check out Gluten Free Drugs.
Bottom line—Look for the certified gluten free label and thoroughly research your thyroid meds to ensure they’re gluten free, or talk to your doctor about compounded Thyroid medication that can be made gluten free.
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