Denise Richards went gluten free after fans told her she had a thyroid problem

I know the title sounds sketchy, but that’s the gist of this whole story. Denise Richards was at the RHOBH reunion looking like she had a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, which can be a non-specific indicator of a thyroid problem. You can see a photo of that on People’s site, it’s really obvious-looking. Fans pointed it out to her and so she went on a gluten free diet because, she claims, gluten is toxic. This helped her thyroid improve or something. She wrote all of this to accompany the photo below this story, which she posted to Instagram.

It’s amazing to me in a short time eliminating gluten from my diet how much my thyroid has changed. A few of you pointed out after the #RHOBH reunion that my thyroid was enlarged. You were right, it was something I ignored until pointed out. I had no idea how much our diet really can affect our body and for me how toxic gluten really is … I thank all of you who sent me messages. #selfcare

There’s no news as to whether she went to a doctor and got her thyroid tested. To be fair, it’s possible she went to an endocrinologist and doesn’t want to give specifics. I know that thyroid tests aren’t always accurate depending on which ones you’re taking (I’m not going to get into specifics, but this article has more ). There isn’t a lot of science I could find that links gluten intolerance or celiac disease with thyroid problems, but there is at least one study that found a gluten free diet improved thyroid function. They are both autoimmune conditions which can overlap. I do think people go gluten free unnecessarily, but it doesn’t hurt to try different elimination diets when you’re having health problems. If this helped Denise to reduce her hyperthyroidism, good for her.

Denise is also in some kind of feud with Camille Grammer, whom Denise claims said racist stuff during a RHOBH taping which was never aired or specified. Camille was reportedly confronted about it by Andy Cohen during the reunion, also in a segment that didn’t make it to air. Camille supposedly said, “do you want me feel sorry about it because I’m a white woman?” YES. That’s how racism works asshole. Andy likely decided not to fire Camille and that’s why they her remarks weren’t on the show. I wish producers and showrunners would stop protecting racists.Also, from what I can find RHOBH hasn’t had a non-white cast member.

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45 Responses to “Denise Richards went gluten free after fans told her she had a thyroid problem”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    I do hope a doctor was involved at some point.

    As for Camille, ex-wife of racist actor says racist thing to the surprise of nobody

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Lol. Yes Literally no one is shocked that Camille is racist. Her and Kelsey had to have SOMETHING in common all those years.

  2. Kitten says:

    Is she on meds? Is that what’s making her face so puffy?
    If so, then I feel awful for saying she got too many fillers. O_O

    I’m really happy she’s addressing her health issues and good on the people who pointed it out to her.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Facial swelling and puffiness is a symptom of hyperthyroidism. Her face never looked like she had fillers to me. The puffiness is all over and not in specific areas.

      • Kitten says:

        Ah, ok thanks. I knew puffiness was associated with thyroid issues but I thought it was due to the medication, not a symptom of the problem. That would make sense as she looked like her normal self in the photo where people pointed out the goiter.

      • wiaa says:

        Her naso-labial folds are gone. She’s clearly had fillers.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      she drinks a lot and that can lead to a puffy face too

  3. lucy2 says:

    I hope she sought proper medical treatment too. I’ve heard of a few people with stuff like that, being on TV or the internet and someone with knowledge spots a medical issue. I hope she’s doing well now.

    She looks so different though…I think the fillers or whatever she has done actually make her look older. Hopefully she stops with that, she doesn’t need it!

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      I don’t think she has fillers. Puffiness in the face is a symptom of thyroid issues as well.

      • Steph says:

        She actually had a non- invasive face lift (featured in the rags) a month ish ago. It’s basically fillers galore.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @Steph yeah I don’t take stories featured in tabloids seriously. She doesn’t looked pulled – which is what a facelift does. She just looks puffy and a bit bloated in the face. Now if she had has a traditional old school facelift then that would make sense. But she clearly hasnt.

      • meeee says:

        @valiantly varnished, I hate to burst your bubble but a “liquid facelift” is a bunch of fillers. It doesn’t make you look tight or pulled because it’s not surgical. It makes a person look like Denise tbh. I know because I did it. And that’s how I looked in photos. She’s very likely using her thyroid issue as a means to cover up her filler face. That smile, aka grimace, is a tell tale sign.

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      That happened to that Flip or Flop guy (can’t remember his name, the one that flipped out on his wife in front of the kids, took a rifle, and went into the local mountains here; wife called the police on him). A nurse watching the show noticed something in his neck, and emailed the show’s producers. Turned out the guy DID have thyroid cancer! He was able to get treatment.

  4. Gisele says:

    I hope that she’s consulted an actual Doctor about her thyroid. There is no link between gluten and thyroid problems. Of course changing your diet can make you feel better, but a lot of thyroid problems also requite medication. It’s not something I’d want to take chances with.

    • Eliza says:


      Gluten will not affect thyroid function. It’ll make her look skinnier and not have as much fat on her neck. If it’s actually a doctor confirmed issue, she should be on medication to keep her levels normal. But I think she was diagnosed by Twitter, so might not even had an issue to begin with.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      -1 on Elizas comment. Well there’s only a large amount of medical books stating that yes, gluten is bad for the thyroid, because there is a component inside which makes the gut wall more penetrable and tiny parts of the food migrate from the digestive tract into the actual blood stream and potentially trigger an autoimmune reaction, but hey, what do those books know, right? It’s only that most of them have been written by doctors *shrug*
      So I went off gluten a couple of years ago to help with my belly issues (didn’t know yet that I also have thyroid issues) and it helped me so so so much, as it did with really every single person I know who went glutenfree (all for medical reasons).

      +1 though on the statement that there also needs to be medication. Absolutely. And frequent lab work to check the different blood values. And a plethora of vitamins and minerals need to be quecked in order for the body to even be able to do something useful with the thyroid pills.
      I could go on…

      • Arpeggi says:

        There is no such thing as a leaky gut wall! It’s pseudoscience, I’m sorry, that’s simply not true and Eliza is right. Gluten isn’t your foe unless you are celiac

    • Camilla says:

      Actually, there is a link between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and gluten. Gluten increases the antibodies that are attacking the thyroid. If you have Hashi’s you are advised to go gluten-free. A large percentage of people who have low thyroid function also have Hashi’s.

    • juju says:

      Agree with Gisele and Eliza. I can’t speak for everyone’s condition and I certainly don’t have a medical degree, but I do have hypothyroidism and have specifically talked to my endocrinologist regarding a potential link between gluten sensitivity and my thyroid condition. Her guidance was that there is no proven link. Celiac’s disease is an autoimmune disease, and Hashimoto’s disease is also an autoimmune disease, but they are not the same thing. If one is sensitive to gluten that is an unrelated issue.

    • Deedee says:

      Exactly. She needs a real check up with ultrasound and blood work.

  5. Harryg says:

    If you have puffy face, especially in the morning, taking large doses of kelp can help. It will “balance” the thyroid.

    • wiaa says:

      Someone I know has thyroid issues and their doc advised them strongly! against taking supplemets with iodine. Don’t take random stuff,go to a doctor.

      • Resi says:

        Yeah, this really depends on what exact issues you have. For some it helps, for some it’s the worst thing you can do.

  6. AAW says:

    Side note, Joyce was Hispanic and I think she may be the only non-white cast member ever.

  7. SamC says:

    What amazes me is celebs seem to be in and out of doctors offices all the time but this isn’t the first time it has been a nurse or other medical professional that noticed something while seeing them on TV. Wasn’t it also a nurse was watching Flip or Flip and noticed noticed Tarek had a growth or enlarged thyroid that turned out to be cancerous?

  8. raser1 says:

    For years I had a bunch of unrelated (I thought) symptoms and was completely dismissed by my GP. I had thin, brittle hair and nails, couldn’t lose weight no matter what I did, puffy face, bloating, sleeping and energy issues, eczema, the list goes on. I knew something wasn’t right and they finally caved and referred me to a blood test/thyroid test. The week before I was scheduled for my appointment I went on a double date and the other couple just so happened to be pathologists. I asked what a thyroid test is like (needles terrify me!) and after they answered the woman in the couple asked me why I was having it tested. I answered and she actually LISTENED to me. She said yes, everything I said was a thyroid symptom and I could go get it tested but it was obvious to her with her experience I had a thyroid problem. She said the first thing to do was stop eating gluten. Just try it for a month and see what happens. Celebitchy friends, it changed my life. I lost 20 pounds in 2 months. It melted off me. My skin cleared up, my hair, for the first time since high school, grew past my collarbone. I sleep now and feel rested, I have energy. I feel like a new person. But I am livid that for so long I knew something was wrong and no doctor would listen to me. I was made to feel like I was just lazy and unhealthy because I was over an ideal weight. I guess the moral of this very long story is, if something doesn’t feel right you are not just imagining it. Women are so often dismissed but no one knows your health better than you so trust yourself and fight for it.

    • Mimi says:

      I had these same outcomes–losing weight & inches, better sleep–just by cutting dairy and gluten from my diet.

    • Eliza says:

      I hope you dumped that GP. Anytime my annual Thyroid is different, or I report a fraction of the symptoms you listed my GP orders a full Thyroid Panel (as the regular TSH is not as thorough). It’s such a common issue with woman especially as they age. I’m so glad you’re feeling better! It’s no way to live.

    • Tami says:

      I have had similar experiences with Doctors. I see a neurologist now (for chronic migraine) who, I think, is the first doctor who has ever really listened to me. I am thankful you found someone to listen to you!
      On another note, my Acupuncturist recommended having my blood tested for food sensitivities, to see if maybe something I am eating is contributing to my migraines. I ordered a test through Everlywell, who sent me a lancet and card, along with paid shipping so I can send back the card (with five blood spots) and have it tested in their lab. I am not trying to sell their product to you or anything, but if you think you might have food sensitivities, it’s a cool service and offers some great insight. Of course if it comes back positive, you might have to pursue further blood testing through a Dr’s office, but it’s a starting point, and much cheaper than going to a specialist who may/may not believe you.

    • lucy2 says:

      That GP was terrible, and you’re right, women are very often dismissed.

      Glad it worked for you, and I hope you did do the testing still so you have some baseline numbers to check against in the future.

  9. MaryContrary says:

    If you’re at the point that you can visibly see your thyroid, dietary changes are not going to “cure” you. I hope she’s actually seeing an endocrinologist and the diet changes are in conjunction with whatever actual medical treatment she’s receiving. I know she’s not obligated to go into detail, and I hope people don’t follow her for medical advice, but this just smacks of the whole Goop/anti-vaccine/anti-science crap.

    • intheknow says:

      I agree that medical supervision is necessary. My thyroid is/was visible. So big my family and endo doctor wondered how I wasn’t choking on my food when I swallowed. I was tired. ALL THE time. Moody. Depressed. Getting FAT AF despite a very healthy diet, think 90% healthy and 10% a bit of chocolate and oatmeal cookies once a month with PMS. They wanted to take the entire thing out. It freaked me out.
      My family doctor agreed I would change my diet including going gluten free, with a combo of iodine, copper and zinc. I’d have the thing measured/tested every 3 months to be on the safe side. The massive 5cm tumour is now 3cm and shrinking. My endocrinologist is stunned with him saying ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’. I asked him to explain why the tumour was shrinking..he had no explanation but said something like ‘the blood vessels in the tumour are dying’ or something to that effect.

      There are days I feel shitty where my energy is low and focus shot – then I re-examine what I am eating and eliminate any sneaky gluten, processed sugars etc. I also eliminated dairy btw.

      I decided that I’d go back to gluten and results reversed..tired, moody, depressed, joints swollen swore, thyroid throbbing…so now I am back to being gluten free and taking supplements that support healthy thyroid function and the weight is going back to normal and same with thyroid. I am due for another ultra sound in a month or so so we will see if they shrinking continues.

      I wont tell anyone what to do or how to manage any illnesses…because what may work for me may not work for someone else. I will also not dismiss changes in diet etc was quackery and snake oil. A great many of my issues are managed very effectively with healthy diet and exercise.

      Also, it took about 7 years to diagnose my thyroid issues…it it was a fluke it was discovered. I wish there was more education out there for women to become aware and to ensure that they insist on their thyroid being checked when your body and mental health goes haywire instead of docs saying ‘here is some prozac and some xanax.’

      I think working hand in hand with your doctor including changing diet with exercise is a good and sensible way.

      • Venus says:

        @intheknow: Do you have a thyroid tumor or a goiter? They are not the same thing at all. Goiters are usually benign — they’re what cause the visible swelling in the neck, which it sounds like you have. I had a goiter that had cancerous tumors within it, found by an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy. For actual thyroid cancer, surgery is the only cure. Diet will not get rid of thyroid cancer.

      • MaryContrary says:

        I have Graves disease (hyper thyroid). I think cutting back on gluten and cutting out sugar are great for any auto-immune diseases. My doctor recommended dietary changes for me to cut back on my iodine intake-including no shellfish, cutting back on spinach, as well as eating lots of cruciferous vegetables and soy products. I don’t dismiss dietary changes AT ALL. However, seeing an endocrinologist is crucial if you have an actual thyroid condition. I eat healthy, take specific supplements AND a thyroid medication. My thyroid is now within normal range.

  10. LadyT says:

    The genetic inclination for fat deposits on the neck is not a goiter for goodness sake. I think this is a cover story for some unfortunate facial adjustments. I kind of like Denise. It’s a shame she is now caught up with Housewives of…nonsense.

  11. EK says:

    My Aunt had a bout with her thyroid a few years back and her face and neck did develop a very similar puffy look.

  12. Naomipaige99 says:

    What’s up with her face? She looks really swollen, and not well.

  13. alibeebee says:

    They’ve only had one non- white cast member for one season it was Joyce Giraud de Ohoven
    She was puerto- Rican .. that was the season where Brandy Glanville made that dumb comment about black people don’t swim… but yeah I’m not surprised about Camille and her rude comments.

  14. Carol says:

    Does anyone know what the racist comment was? Just curious.

  15. ans says:

    Something crazy I’ve noticed in the past year, really removing most inflammatory foods from my diet – I’ve been on the same thyroid medication for years and years, but have had to decrease my dose (and i think i need to do it again), because the change in diet made such a huge difference in the ability of my thyroid to function properly on it’s own. It’s incredible.

  16. Dana Marie says:

    I don’t watch her Real housewives show. Did she remove her breast implants? Her boobs look smaller and more natural.

  17. JanetDR says:

    I told my Doctor that I was playing around with gluten free and was astonished that he didn’t pooh-pooh it at all! He said it was a healthy way to eat. My reason is for improved thyroid function, as I have everything on the list (as razar 1 did above) but my thyroid levels are just within normal limits. I say playing around, because I have not done it completely. There’s been no bread in the house for months, but I haven’t gotten rid of everything else yet. I’ll get there though.
    Side note: when you are a vegetarian, it makes it so hard to eat out if you restrict something else!

  18. Ginger says:

    It’s got to be tough to age when you’ve been a sex symbol for years. She hasn’t had it easy in her personal life, either. I hope her face settles and her health improves. She deserves a win.