Gut Health and the Thyroid: What’s the Connection?

It is becoming more and more common to hear about gut health. We hear the words, but what does it mean exactly? How does it affect our body? And is it really connected to the thyroid?

We are going to take a look at these today to help clear up any confusion – and leave you with an understanding of just how important it is to maintain a healthy gut.

Gut Health, Explained

Your gastrointestinal tract is full of bacteria, some good, some not-so-good. The stomach, esophagus, and intestines suit us well every time we decide to eat throughout our day. We ingest the foods, they process and digest them. It is all done with much help from the bacteria.

This is a beautiful system until something disrupts the homeostasis – which usually means there is an upset in the levels of good and bad bacteria. In other words, an unhealthy person is often found to have too many bad bacteria, or those bacteria often linked to disease.

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

So how do you know if you have a healthy gut? Well, speaking to a health professional is a great place to start. But, in the meantime, there are a few symptoms that can signal your gut could use some attention:

Stomach disturbance. This includes things like heartburn, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and gas. A healthy gut easily processes and digests food. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms regularly, you may have an unhealthy gut.

A diet too processed and sweet. High processed foods and added sugars destroy the good bacteria in your gut. Not only does this increase your cravings for sugar, but it also causes even more damage to the gut. Not to mention that it can lead to an increase in inflammation in the body.

Sleep difficulties. Feeling tired all the time or struggling to get good, quality sleep could also be the result of an unhealthy gut. Serotonin is a hormone that helps aid in sleep (and mood, too) – and guess where it is produced? That’s right – in the gut. So, if the gut isn’t healthy, well, your serotonin production could be lacking.

If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition or seem to have food intolerances, this could also be a sign that you have an unhealthy gut.

How to Heal Your Gut

Reduce your stress. Chronic high cortisol levels don’t treat your body well. This means your gut, too.

Eat slow and chew thoroughly. Doing this may help with your digestion.

Drink your water. Keep your body hydrated and the lining of your intestines clean and ready to work.

Eat the right foods. This includes foods rich in fiber, fermented foods, and even collagen-rich foods.

Talk to a health professional. Having guidance from someone who knows your personal health is the best step you can make for your health.

The Gut and Thyroid Connection

When your gut is full of the wrong kind of bacteria, it can permeate the gut wall, leading to leaky gut syndrome. This means all of your bad bacteria and even food that is not fully digested can leak straight into your bloodstream!

The result? Your immune system goes nuts and attacks healthy tissue throughout the body. It’s no wonder you start feeling things like fatigue, brain for, joint pain, etc.

The thyroid hormone is activated within your gut. So, when it is not balanced, the thyroid hormone can’t be activated. Not to mention that it’s your thyroid’s job to tell the gut what to do to digest food.

See the problem?

At Hansbrough Functional Neurology, we are here for you. We want you to feel your very best – and understand how showing some attention to this connection may transform your life. Contact our office at (772) 287-7701 to schedule an appointment. Or, if you prefer, schedule your free, 30-minute consultation by clicking here.