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THYROID DISEASE

What does the Thyroid do?

The thyroid gland contains cells that secrete chemical substances called hormones. The main 2 hormones made by the thyroid gland are called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), T4 is produced in much greater quantities than T3.

T3, is primary the active hormone having the most effect on the body. T4 is less active and  most of it is converted to T3 before it can be used by the body. The conversion of T4 to T3 takes place mostly in the liver as well as other tissues of the body.

These hormones are like messengers and deliver instructions to tissues and organs of the body via the bloodstream. The tissues of these organs then use the hormones sent from the thyroid and respond by slowing down or speeding up their functioning. The thyroid is a very important gland for the metabolism and functioning of our whole body. The thyroid gland is therefore an essential organ for the way we feel and how our overall body functions, from temperature to appetite and energy levels, to fluid balance, bowel function, blood sugar levels, central nervous system function (CNS), blood fat (cholesterol) levels, and the regulation of fat and how it is stored in the body, as well as carbohydrate and protein metabolism.

Autoimmune

Thyroid disease is when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone (becoming overactive), the condition is called hyperthyroidism. Or when the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone (becoming underactive), this condition is called hypothyroidism.

 

The most common of both hyper and hypo thyroid conditions are immune system related which is called autoimmune.  This happens when the body produces antibodies which behave like (TSH) thyroid stimulating hormone and stimulate the thyroid gland uncontrollably, to make too much or to little thyroid hormones. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The common cause of hyperthyroid is Graves' disease, when the thyroid produces to little hormones.

Why does the immune system do this you ask?

Research shows that up to 80% of the immune system is based in the gut and is indeed regulated by our microbacteria. Our gut bacteria and colon wall has a optimum environment that can be thrown out of balance by poor lifestyle choices. For example highly processed food, to much sugar, high stress and acidic drinks. Over time this can damage the gut lining and the balance of gut bacteria for optimal digestion.

Antibiotics can at times be a life saving measure, however this is something if used in excess (for some people, even once is enough to) cause damage to the bacteria in our colon and cause immune system problems. 

Once the colon lining has become inflamed, leaks in the gut wall allow food proteins to reach circulation and interference with the immune system of the body takes place, resulting in autoimmune. As explained above once the immune system is activated via the gut axis the body produces antibodies which behave like TSH and stimulate the thyroid gland. This condition is often referred to as leaky gut.

Signs of leaky gut and Microbacteria imbalance.

  • Brain fog

  • Low mood

  • Nutritional deficiencies.

  • Poor immune system.

  • Headaches, memory loss.

  • Excessive fatigue.

  • Boating and Gas

  • Constipation and or Chronic diarrhea

  • Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea.

  • Cravings for sugar or carbs.

  • Arthritis or joint pain.

These things listed above are often seen in conjunction with autoimmune thyroid disease and are often seen in the years leading up to being diagnosed. For this reason it has been shown in most (not all) cases addressing the immune system via addressing the gut (colon) inflammation, Ph and microbacteria. As well as addressing any underly food intolerances often sees a positive effect on overall health as well as addressing thyroid function.