The gut-thyroid connection is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of healthy thyroid function. Did you know that many diseases can be traced to a breakdown in the gastrointestinal tract? 70 percent of your immune system resides in this area – your gut, and the GI tract has many important functions for your health including digestion, nutrient absorption, elimination, detoxification, hormone metabolism and energy production. 99% of the neurotransmitters in your body are actually created in the intestine (part of your GI tract), and every brain chemical known as a neurotransmitter is found there.
This means the GI tract, or gut, plays a very important role in achieving optimal thyroid health.
For proper thyroid function, your body must convert T4 into the more active T3 and 20% of this happens in your intestines. In order for this conversion to happen, healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria must be present in the GI tract. An imbalance in the bacteria ratio (of good vs. bad) in the GI tract (dysbiosis) can lead to low thyroid function.
This explains why so many patients with thyroid hormone imbalance also have digestive problems but normal thyroid blood chemistry panels.
Why do people get Gut Problems?
One of the most important things to look at is how many rounds of antibiotics you have taken in your life. The more antibiotics you have taken, the more likely you are to have abnormal gut bacteria as well as yeast overgrowth and parasites. Antibiotics can cause an imbalance in your gut bacteria for up to 13 months after just a single round of antibiotics. Additionally, antibiotics change the DNA of your bacteria which makes some of them more resistant to antibiotics.
Stress also causes gut problems because it decreases stomach acid production, bile flow and pancreatic enzyme production. This will significantly impair your ability to digest and absorb your vitamins and minerals as well as protein, healthy fats and right carbohydrates. This will even decrease your absorption of prescription thyroid hormone.
Poor dietary choices and food sensitivities are another big factor both of which create inflammation that damages your GI tract. Sugar and processed carbohydrates are like fast food to your gut bacteria which causes them to grow out of balance. Food sensitivities such as gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and peanuts to name the top five, create inflammation and will also spike your blood sugar too much.
Additional problems can be created by antacid medications called proton pump inhibitors. They shut down your acid production which is extremely vital for a healthy gut. Birth control pills also cause gut problems because they deplete your body of important nutrients for the gut such as folic acid.
Eating too fast or “eating on the run” is common in our society today which is an additional stress to your gut. You should be in a relaxed state focused only on your meal and refrain from reading, texting, watching TV etc. Alcohol and caffeine in excess further stress the GI tract.
7 Ways To Heal Your Thyroid & Your Gut
Treat the Underlying Cause-
If you have dysbiosis, a state of flora imbalance, SIBO, yeast, parasite or any other non-commensal critter growing in your gut it is vital that you treat them. Work with an experienced practitioner to re-establish healthy gut flora and restore your gut’s terrain to prevent future infections.
There are many natural therapies, including herbs, to use to bring your gut back to health.
There are strong ties between gluten and gluten-containing grains and SIBO, gut dysbiosis, and leaky gut. There is also a strong link between autoimmune thyroid conditions and celiac disease. If you’ve been diagnosed or suspect you are hypothyroid, I suggest first testing for celiac disease and then eliminating gluten from your diet.
Increase Anti-inflammatory Herbs-
Herbs like ginger and turmeric can be consumed daily as tinctures, teas, capsules, or in drinks, soups, and stews. These potent anti-inflammatories have been proven in several studies to tamper inflammation and help heal the gut.
Research has also shown that ginger (a potent antimicrobial) possesses inhibitory action against pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, E.coli, and Salmonella, while stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria like Lactobacilli. Both turmeric and ginger are also high in antioxidants to combat the oxidative stress of conditions like SIBO.
Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, and Bifidobacteria have the ability to reduce IBS symptoms. They are also involved in important immune system signaling that reduce inflammation and can help tame autoimmunity.
In some cases of SIBO, probiotics may make symptoms worse, especially if they contain prebiotics. If this is the case for you, you may need to reduce the bacteria in the small intestine and restore gut motility before using probiotics regularly.
Stress has been shown to alter gut bacteria, favoring aerobic bacteria, while also decreasing beneficial bacteria such as lactobacilli.
Deep breathing, light exercise, and meditation/mindfulness are good places to start.
Overhaul Your Diet. Diet is a huge component of gut and thyroid health. Once you’ve determined if you have SIBO, yeast overgrowth, and/or other gut infections/pathogens, work with a qualified Health Coach. Together you can formulate a therapeutic diet that’s aligned with your specific goals.
Consider Taking Digestive Enzymes-
An enzyme deficiency can, directly and indirectly, contribute to thyroid symptoms and autoimmunity.
Using enzymes can help with overcoming symptoms of thyroid disease including fatigue, hair loss, nutrient deficiencies, infections, and food sensitivities as well as reducing thyroid antibodies.
This is Rhonda with Pure Simple Self
If your interested to learn more about how digestive enzymes would benefit you, than schedule for your free Digestive Enzyme Wellness Consolation
Being trained in the Dr. Loomis screening procedure will give me the information needed to see specifically what enzyme your body needs. That means no guess work, which means you WILL get the results you are looking for.
The reason it works is because:
It gives us biochemical evidence of what food(s) your body is having a difficult time digesting and assimilating. Your diet plays an enormous role in how you feel and how you maintain health.
You will be able to readily modify your diet according to your body’s needs. Individuality is the cornerstone of this program.
You will find out the reasons why you feel the way you do.
Contact me to set up your free consultation appointment to see how my enzyme program can help you reach your health goals.