Did you know that the thyroid has a relationship with your digestion? When the thyroid gland is imbalanced it can result in digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), among other things. This article will explore how the thyroid affects the gut.
How Does The Thyroid Work
How does the thyroid gland make thyroid hormone? The thyroid produces hormones in follicles within the thyroid gland by using iodine. There is a chemical reaction between the hydrogen atoms in thyroid hormones and iodide. The thyroid combines iodine with tyrosine amino acid.
This chemical reaction makes T4 thyroid hormone from thyroglobulin protein, which the thyroid gland stores in thyroid follicles. Iodine turns thyroid into T4 thyroid hormone making thyroid hormones from the stored thyroglobulin protein in the thyroid gland.
How Does The Thyroid Affect The Gut?
When the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, this high level of hormones can result in Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism, making the body experience several conflicting symptoms, a few of which affect the gut.
Hyperthyroidism can speed up your bowel activity leading to diarrhea or loose stools. People with hyperthyroidism often complain their bowel movements are frequent and do not feel rested even after sleeping 8 hours each night.
In contrast, Hypothyroidism slows down your bowel movements which may cause constipation in some cases. If you notice weight gain, constipation, dehydrated skin, and brittle hair, you probably have Hypothyroidism.
So if you have a Hypothyroid thyroid gland that is not producing thyroid hormones, the thyroid cannot do its job of converting glucose into energy and amino acids into proteins.
Helping The Connection Between Thyroid And Gut
One way to help improve your gut health is by getting rid of low stomach acidity (hypochlorhydria). The thyroid needs stomach acidity to break down dietary protein found in food into amino acids. The thyroid targets enzymes like amylase and trypsinogen stored in your digestive system.
The thyroid has trouble breaking down carbs, fats, and proteins without sufficient stomach acidity by not producing enough T3 hormone thyroglobulin.
Preventive Ideas To Help Both Your Thyroid And Gut
1. You need to eat more veggies if you want your thyroid to improve because veggies have lots of fiber which acts as stool softeners making it easier for your bowel movement.
2. Eat more healthy gut bacteria foods like fermented foods, yogurt, and bananas.
Research has shown that adding Lactobacilli (a type of probiotics) into your daily diet may offer protection against heart disease, thyroid disease, and several other health issues. Potassium, which is excellent for the thyroid helps produce T4 thyroid hormone thyroglobulin, which is needed to regulate the body's metabolism.
3. Eat more starchy carbs if you want your thyroid to improve like seaweed. Which has lots of starch that feeds good gut bacteria, creating hydrogen sulfide gas in your digestive tract, promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
4. Eat more pumpkin seeds if you want your thyroid to improve because pumpkin seeds have lots of magnesium which is excellent for the thyroid gland; the thyroid needs magnesium to produce the thyroid hormone thyroglobulin.
5. Drink more water if you want your thyroid to improve because lack of hydration makes the digestive system move slower. Causing food to pass through the intestine slowly or not move at all, leading to constipation or diarrhea.
6. Avoid tuna fish if you want your thyroid to improve because mercury in tuna fish will bind with selenium that triggers autoimmune reactions or canned food because the lining can contain BPA, an endocrine disruptor.
GI Associates Can Help Keep Your Gut Healthy
GI Associates understands how your body interacts and how important your gut health is in maintaining your overall well-being. Contact us today if you'd like to be seen by a physician or have more questions. We treat all gastrointestinal issues and disorders with quality, comprehensive care.