Hypothyroidism and Your Gut!
Currently more than 27 million Americans, mostly female, suffer with hypothyroidism and nearly half go undiagnosed. Do you feel as though you are hypothyroid? The symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, depression, digestive problems, sugar cravings and cold hands and feet. Many individuals suffer from hypothyroid symptoms even though their basic thyroid tests (TSH and T4) are “in the normal range”. Additionally, many individuals continue to suffer from these symptoms even while taking Synthroid or levothyroxine medication.
If you are suffering with hypothyroidism there is a 90% chance that the underlying cause is an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. With this autoimmune disorder your own immune system slowly kills off the cells of your thyroid. With the destruction of your thyroid cells, eventually you begin to produce lasts thyroid hormone and hypothyroid symptoms develop. The common treatment approach, if the proper tests are run to even diagnosis it, is to provide increasing levels of thyroid hormone as you watch your thyroid destroyed. It makes more sense to me as a doctor to get the underlying cause of this autoimmune activation and properly treat it. This is important because Hashimoto's is a body wide autoimmune disorder in which can cause multiple symptoms and tissue destruction, not just to the thyroid.
The Gut-Immune-Thyroid Link
Hashimoto's is now the most common autoimmune disorder in the world today. The reasons for this epidemic are multiple. One of the most prominent reasons is altered gut bacteria. Hippocrates said 2,500 years ago: “All disease begins in the gut.” Within a healthy digestive tract there should be over one hundred trillion beneficial bacteria. It is a healthy mix of these beneficial bacteria in the absence of unwanted microbes; that helps keep your immune system functioning properly. Research is showing that an imbalance in your gut bacteria, called Dysbiosis, is a contributing factor to many chronic and degenerative diseases, partly by causing an imbalance in your immune system function.
About 70% of your immune system resides in your gastrointestinal tract and acts as a vital part of your intestinal barrier system. A healthy intestinal lining with healthy bacteria allows only beneficial substances and nutrients to be brought into the body for use. It acts as a barrier system to keep unhealthy substances from passing through, including bacteria, yeasts, and their toxins, as well as undigested proteins and fats. This intestinal barrier system is vital because the gut is actually outside the body and traveling through it are multiple foreign substances and microbes that can damage the body.
As a result of a poor diet and environmental exposures including many different medications, especially antibiotics, the health of the gut bacteria can become compromised. This damages the protective intestinal barrier of the gut. When the intestinal barrier becomes damaged microscopically it becomes more permeable, often times referred to as “leaky gut syndrome.” With this undigested protein molecules can ‘leak’ into the bloodstream and activate ‘food allergy’ responses. This launch of the immune system through food allergy activation plays a major role in autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto's. Gluten has now been shown to be a primary factor in the activation of Hashimoto's disease. It is advisable that all patients who have elevated thyroid antibodies must be on a diet completely free of gluten or their destruction of their thyroid will continue unabated.
Through proper laboratory testing hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis can be identified and properly treated. A comprehensive thyroid testing including the thyroid antibodies is mandatory. Also a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis to identify any dysbiosis or leaky gut issues needs to be run, along with IgG Food Allergy testing. Want to know more about this baffling disorder and how it can be conquered once and for all, attend my FREE SEMINAR!
Dr. Greg Fors has been a practicing Chiropractor since 1982.
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