Gut health in Hypothyroid and Auto-Immunity

Gut health in Hypothyroid and Auto-Immunity

What kind of body are you living in?  If it is a hypothyroid one, you will be slow functioning and perhaps auto-Immune.  Both conditions are affected by each other moment by moment.

The thyroid is trying its very best to keep the body regulated when it is being besieged by antibodies and the antibodies and the inflammatory cascade is like a run-away train because the body doesn’t have the resources to calm it down.

Let’s bring in a major player in both of these instances, and that is the gut.  I’d like you to take a moment and think about what you ate yesterday and how you woke up feeling today?  Were you alert and ready to leap out of bed and nail your day, or were you sluggish, a little sore and feeling ‘off’, or worse, you hardly slept are very sore and in pain, and have to really push yourself to face another day?

I’m going to make the assumption that there that you are not jumping out of bed feeling awesome, because you wouldn’t be looking for resources, like mine to help you feel better.

Or, the second scenario (you are sluggish, a little sore, and feeling ‘off’) is typical of sluggish metabolism and potential auto-immune brewing or early stages of it, and the final scenario (very sore and in pain and have to really push yourself to face another day) is where that inflammatory cascade is most likely creating physical change and damaging as we speak.

These things don’t just happen overnight.  They take years, even decades to develop.  Thyroid antibodies can take 7 years to develop and show up in blood tests. 

Back to my question earlier, what did you eat yesterday?  Unfortunately, this is where it gets really tricky, because while yesterday’s food may not trigger your symptoms, (but maybe the most obvious) it’s the day before, or even the week before may have as well, so it makes working out which foods are activating your immune system really difficult and challenging.  

Then, what starts to happen we can start to eliminate foods in a desperate bid to find that offending food.  I know how difficult this is because when I had my bad flares of Psoriatic Arthritis, I did the same. Have you ever done that? Taking out healthy foods from your diet, becoming even more reactive to foods that once you could eat? You think that you are getting healthier, but instead, you feel like you are getting sicker and sicker, and you most likely are, as you are eliminating major sources of vitamins and minerals, to keep your body working.

So, what’s going on the inside?

Simply, the digestive tract is a big long tube from beginning to end.  That tube lining is similar to the skin covering your body but it’s on the inside, and it is made from different types of cells in each zone.  For example, the stomach’s cells can handle the strong hydrochloric acid, that your hands could not and the small intestines are almost porous-like and dynamic, and flexible to be able to move and absorb the digested food particles floating past.

When you think about it, those tissues are exposed to the outside world, so not only do they have their methods of selectively absorbing nutrients to enter the body, they also have to have some protection.

If you think of them as being rows of gates, with the guard behind the gate to make sure access via the gates is being opened and closed to the right nutrients.  Having a guard at the gate is your immune system.

The gut has an army of immune cells just hanging around on the inside wall of the digestive system, just keep watch and making sure nothing untoward is coming in.

So, you may have heard of ‘leaky gut’, this term is used quite freely and coined ‘really bad’ if you have it. Well, we all do to a certain extent, the cells need to pull apart sometimes just to let some larger particles come through, like curcumin.  But we want it to close again once we have accepted that larger particle.

Unfortunately, by eating the wrong foods for a long time, we can inadvertently have allowed the connections of the cells to become weak.  Consequently, normal good food can escape into where the immune system is and be seen as ‘baddies’ and we have an immune attack quickly on our hands.

When this happens for long enough, we can trigger an auto-immune response in our body because normal tissue is mistaken for problems.  The most common food trigger is gluten for Hashimotos.

Rheumatoid and other autoimmune diseases can be flared or activated by the imbalance of the gut being constantly activated by food – and in many cases it can still be good food, which is really unfortunate because then we start eliminating these items, and soon we are missing out on essential nutrients we need to operate our body.  Before long our friend cortisol begins to take over the driving force of our body and be begin to live in the stress response, our blood sugars become unbalanced, we are tired, feeling low, unmotivated, sore, and over time, become more anxious and susceptible to the hits of life.

Ideally, to get out of the pattern of inflammation, the first thing is to put healthy food into the system.  Of course, eliminate the troublesome foods that you know aren’t working for you, but then work on the gut.  Because it is not the food, it is the environment. 

Long-term restoration is key, if you have an auto-immune issue, while a probiotic will help, it’s not going to change your gut microbiome long term and calm down that inflammation to the extent that you need it to. Certainly not if you keep inflaming the environment with food that is not conducive to your health.

There are so many gut irregularities to go into, along with awesome gut support nutrients, but I have seen over and over, that eating a nutrition plan that is matched to your body through your own blood has amazing outcomes.  Then backing that up with supporting the gut helps regulate and calm the immune system at the front line so to speak.

If you’d like to know more, you are welcome to join my free membership on facebook. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness

Beth 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can low Iron be slowing your Thryoid?

Can low Iron be slowing your Thryoid?

 If you’ve already read my post on ‘Iron, the Women’s Essential Nutrient’ and ‘Iron Pathology’  then this will start to make more sense if you have found yourself to be low in Iron and feel it’s your thyroid despite being told you are fine.

Iron is intricately involved with Thyroid hormones, in fact, dependant on the mineral, bottom line, low Iron, low Thyroid despite having a Thyroid condition. 

Having low Iron affects the production of the Thyroid hormone in several ways:

  1. In the Thyroid gland where T4 is made an enzyme called Thyroid Peroxidase enzyme (TPO) depends on Iron to work. So, if there is not enough Iron, the production of T4 will be reduced.  Now you are familiar with how easy it is to be low in Iron, it can make you wonder if your hypothyroid symptoms are not due to an iron deficiency.  This enzyme’s antibody, TPOab is tested for the diagnosis of Hashimotos.
  1. There are enzymes all through the body and brain called Diodinases, de-iodin-ase and they break an iodine molecule from T4 down and convert it into T3. These enzymes depend on Iron to be able to work. The ratio that we like this to happen is a 3:1, ie 3x T4 to 1x T3.  Having low iron may be one of the few reasons that there is poor conversion. 
  1. When the body detects there is low iron in the blood, it increases the amount of T4 that is changed into Reverse T3 (RT3) which is the opposite of active T3, this will slow you down and cause fatigue.
  1. Iron is an important part of the mechanism that transports thyroid hormone into cells and lack of it can lead to pooling of hormone. This can lead to being hypothyroid even though there are normal T3 levels and it produces a thyroxine resistance situation.

Because of the dependence of Iron for the conversion of T4 to T3, some symptoms may worsen if you are put on Thyroxine and the underlying Iron deficiency has not been addressed – that’s like revving the accelerator on the taxi when there is no gas.  Symptoms may be anxiety, palpitations, or irregular heartbeats.

Ironically being hypothyroid may in return cause a lack of Iron because when we are low in thyroid hormones we lack the ability to have good digestion, and tend to have low stomach acid or more susceptible to Immune diseases like being Celiac.

Dysphagia is a term that means difficulty in swallowing.  A frequent need to clear the throat, particularly when under stress, is a classic sign of possible low thyroid activity and low iron status.

Women who experience heavy menstruation can become iron-deplete and therefore create a hypothyroid state.

Ferritin deficiency is the primary cause of hair loss in premenopausal women, and it’s often why women with Hashimotos continue to lose hair despite normal thyroid levels.

As you have read, Iron is extremely important, so make it a priority to have your levels assessed on a regular basis.

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness

 

Beth  

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