The Thyroid-Gut Link

Written by Dr. Nirvana

December 14, 2021

Did you know that your gut and thyroid share a special relationship with one another? So much so that if one of them is out of balance, it significantly can disrupt the proper functioning of the other. Let me elaborate more.

Your gut is home to 70% of your immune system in the form of gut associated lymphoid tissue (or GALT as it is affectionately known). Your GALT is quite important and acts like a storing facility for part of your immune system. Immune cells, like T and B lymphocytes that are deployed to defend you against potential threats, and in the case of Hashimotos, immune cells go on a “super defense” attacking your thyroid.

But what does this mean for thyroid health? Let me help explain this a bit further. Your immune system can be triggered through something going on in your gut, take leaky gut for instance. Food particles can get through your gut barrier in leakly gut that shouldn’t normally in a healthy gut, so when this happens, your body can mount an immune response. And if a thyroid condition has your immune system working overtime, this can result in quite a negative effect on your gut health.

Also going on in your gut…Converting thyroid hormones into the useful ones.

Some T4 actually gets converted into the active T3 in the gut using an enzyme, intestinal sulfatase which comes from your beneficial microbes! If your gut is out of whack (commonly termed dysbiosis), it may reduce the conversion of the inactive T4 to the active T3 it so desperately needs.

Nutrients and your Gut

The state of your gut and its microbes can also influence the absorption of micronutrients such as iodine, iron and copper, which you need for a healthy thyroid. Your gut microbes have the ability to increase the bioavailability of iron in the gut by producing short chain fatty acids. Your gut microbes also regulate how much iodine you use and how it is broken down and circulated in the body. And as most of you know, iodine is essential for thyroid health. But in cases of inflammatory bowel disease (a form of leaky gut) this can also impair iodine absorption.

So, you can see how important it is to continually keep your gut happy and healthy. If you have the slightest indication that your gut is off balance, don’t wait to treat it, test it! The GI Map test through DSL labs, is your first step. You can check it out here, and when you’re ready to move forward, send me an email to help!

thyroid and gut link

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