The Thyroid-Gut Connection

by Dr. David Peterson, DC, DCCN

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” This is true. To support hypothyroidism or regulate an autoimmune thyroid condition like Hashimoto’s, you must address digestive health. Gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunctions are the most overlooked health issue today and gut problems are very common. 60% of the immune system is positioned in the digestive tract. The GI lining is our first line of immune defense and it is our #1 protective barrier. Problems in the gut equate to problems with the immune system. Poor gut health is a significant trigger for functional and autoimmune thyroid problems.

Management of thyroid issues is incomplete without appropriate examination of the cause and contributing factors. Doctors must consider these components of GI function: gastric atrophy impairing levels of stomach acid; fat digestion; constipation; healthy gut bacteria; estrogen elimination; food sensitivities; yeast/mold; parasites; and nutritional requirements. Here are just a few reasons GI health cannot be ignored. How balanced is your gut flora? Gut health affects T3 and T4 levels and malabsorption depletes the body of supportive nutrients for the thyroid gland. Is your GI tract inflamed? An inflamed GI tract and parasites exhaust the adrenals that downgrade thyroid function. Are you eliminating estrogen appropriately? Constipation causes interference with hormone elimination (like estrogen). Estrogen accumulation slows down thyroid function.

Successful repair and management of autoimmune thyroid patterns and improving and supporting hypothyroidism require good GI health. Insulin resistance and adrenal stress are the next areas of priority in managing thyroid symptoms and disease. You are not sick because you are deficient in a thyroid hormone. If your healthcare provider is not addressing the root cause of your symptoms in order to diagnose, treat, and manage your thyroid condition, and you would like to see how good you can feel, please contact us.
Wellness Alternatives, stlwa.com, 636.227.4949

Interesting fact of the month:
90% of your epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, dopamine, GABA, and serotonin neurotransmitter receptors (central to memory, learning, mood, behavior, sleep, pain perception and sexual urge) are located within your GI tract.

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