Thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that resides in front of our neck. Thyroid gland produces hormones essential for many important body functions including metabolism and protein production. Thyroid hormones are used throughout the body, in nearly every tissue.
When the thyroid is not making enough hormones it is known as hypothyroidism. Over function of thyroid gland is known as Hyperthyroidism.
An overactive immune system can be at the root of both types of thyroid conditions. Autoimmune diseases of the thyroid include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) and Graves’ disease (hyperthyroidism).
Every thyroid patient has a gut issue. We live in a toxic world with prevalent use of pesticides, urea, and an environment with polluted air and water. Sometimes toxicities come in the form of nicely appearing processed food stuffs.
Many of these environmental chemicals can reduce circulating levels of thyroid hormones. But many of them do not cause increase in levels of TSH. Increased levels of TSH are indicative of thyroid hypofunction. This is very important from the point of view of diagnosis of hypothyroidism as most of the times it is based on the TSH levels.
The Gut is the seat of our health. The surface area of intestine is equal to a tennis court. Our gut is nearly 25 feet long. Gut is in continuous contact with nutrients, microbes’ toxins, food additives, drugs, hormone metabolites, neurotransmitter etc. Microbiome in the gut weighs about 2 kgs. Gut flora outnumbers our cells. There are nearly 1100 species of bacteria and approximately 160 species per individual. Micro biome indirectly controls energy usage and storage. Microbiota in an obese person extracts more food and this leads to metabolite disorder.
Use of antibiotics, processed food, environmental pollutants, abnormal sleep patterns and stress as a part of lifestyle disturbs the balanced microbiome and cause a condition known as leaky gut.
In leaky gut partially digested food particles get through intestinal epithelium. Nutrients are not absorbed efficiently due to damage to epithelium. As a result, deficiency of iron, zinc, vitamin B12 effects the hormone production in the body. Leaky gut also gives rise to increased immune response to thyroid cells. The disturbed immune system also increases susceptivity to pathogens. In this way chronic inflammation keeps the disease fire burning. In the process the body is also exposed to bacterial lipopolysaccharide an immune system activator.
This autoimmune generated inflammation of thyroid results in hypothyroidism. Most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, joint and muscle pain, constipation, dry thin hair, irregular menses, infertility, depression, memory problem, slow heart rate, doughy dry skin.
In conventional medicine hormone replacement therapy is given without addressing the underlying cause. A holistic functional medicine approach for Improving Your Thyroid Function Repairs Your Gut, Clean Up Your Diet thus helping in lowering toxicity, Identify Infections, takes into account the Life style improving measures, Exercising Regularly And advise on how to relieve stress and sleep normal.