I recently did a video that was on birth control use with thyroid function and I talked a little bit in there about the connection with gut health, but I wanted to go a little bit more in depth here and give you some more insight into it and maybe a few tips as well of what you could do with it.
Here are a few little facts here that are a little eyeopening! There is a large connection with gut health and hormones. Think about this fact, 80% of your immune system actually is housed in your gut. So that's why when your gut is off, you can get a lot of inflammation, as well as auto-immune conditions.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the autoimmune aspect of hypothyroidism, and that's why there's such a massive connection with gut health and the thyroid...... because there's so much immune system inside your gut tract.
The other thing to also keep in mind, there's 80 million neurons that are housed inside your gut. That's a lot of neurons and I don't know if you've ever heard this, but your gut is your second brain. Your gut can function independently of what your brain is doing because it has so many neurons. So that's why, again, it's so important to make sure that you're really honing in on your gut health and taking care of it.
If the gut health is poor, it can throw pretty much everything in the body off. So that's one of the things that I want to talk about is how it is connected to the thyroid and your hormones in general.
A lot of your hormones are actually metabolized and eliminated through your digestive tract. So think about something like estrogen. When you use estrogen, you need to get rid of it. You can't have it re-circulating. It's not a good form of estrogen and it can give a lot of women estrogen-dominant symptoms.
So if you're really, really constipated and if the guts is inflamed, you're not going to clear that estrogen. And used estrogen, like I said, is not a good thing to have circulating back around in your body. You need to make sure that you're constantly having bowel movements so that you are getting rid of toxins and something like used estrogen.
Also keep in mind that your gut lining is like your intestinal barrier basically. So what can happen is when the gut health is really off and things are inflamed, it becomes permeable. This is something that can happen a lot with hypothyroidism, especially with Hashimoto's. Almost everyone with Hashimoto's actually does have something like this and it's called leaky gut. The particles leak out and the get in areas they're not supposed to go.
And what happens? It's an inflammatory response. Well, in an auto-immune condition, you're already in this inflammatory response and that's why people can actually develop Hashimoto's with or without even having just straight hypothyroidism to begin with because of leaky gut.
Also when you have this really big imbalance of your good bacteria and your bad bacteria, that actually reduces the conversion of your inactive T4 to your active T3. So I've said this before, you only make about 20% active T3 so you have to have a conversion of T4 to T3. Well, a lot of that conversion can happen inside your gut. Over 20% of it happens there.
So because of that, if the gut flora is poor (gut dysbiosis) you're going to end up having a big reduction in thyroid hormone conversion. The other thing that also has a big contribution is when there's all this inflammation. it actually reduces the overall amount of your T3. T3 is that active thyroid hormone.
Everyone needs T3. It'll actually reduce that because when you have inflammation, you're gonna be under this chronic stress response. It causes cortisol to go up. Cortisol is your fight-or-flight. It's your stress hormone. Cortisol will go up. One of the things that cortisol does is it actually increases reverse T3. This is when your active T3 reverts backwards to the inactive form of T3. And that happens a lot when there's a lot of stress going on or there's inflammation, particularly inside the gut.
When you are constipated, you also can get a really large rise in thyroid-binding globulin which binds to your actual thyroid hormone. You're not going to have enough thyroid hormone to use then. So just another reason why you need to make sure that you're addressing constipation and it's not lingering on for days and days at a time because that just starts adding up and you will have a big reduction in that active thyroid hormone then because of that.
So what are some things that you can do about it? One thing to address the inflammation in the gut is to start eliminating any food sensitivities and inflammatory foods. And this is not always an easy one, but anytime you have gut issues going on and/or hypothyroidism, you really have to watch inflammatory foods. So things like gluten sugar, dairy, processed foods, even alcohol can be very, very inflammatory.
Something else to do is to repair the gut, using things like superfoods to settle the stomach lining down. Things like bone broth, marshmallow root, aloe, and slippery elm are great for this!
And then nourish your gut as well. So you need to make sure you're getting lots of good probiotic and prebiotic foods. Fermented foods are great for this. If you have to utilize a probiotic itself in pill form, I do recommend something like a spore-based probiotic. They're very absorbable. They do really well on almost everyone.
So those are just some ways that you can address your gut health and try to make sure that you're boosting your thyroid function and your hormone function.
Let me know too, what are your favorite tricks for your gut health?
If you need help with that, then please reach out to me.
You can also grab my FREE guide on The Secret to Reading Your Thyroid Blood Test right here.