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December 07, 2022 8 min read

Many things can go wrong with our gut. One common issue is known as "leaky gut." There are a lot of talks these days about leaky gut and its connection to various health problems. But did you know that a leaky gut may also be connected to thyroid problems?

In this article, we'll take a closer look at leaky gut, thyroid function, the connection between the two, and how to overcome them.

What is Leaky Gut?

First of all, let's talk about the gut - what is it exactly?

The gut is basically a nickname for your body's gastrointestinal tract, which makes up the digestive system. It includes the mouth, throat (pharynx), esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. This complex system is responsible for breaking down and digesting our food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste.

The organs work in synergy to protect our bodies from harmful substances. The intestinal lining acts as a barrier against bacteria and other infectious agents. It controls what gets absorbed into our bloodstream. Your immune system needs this barrier.

Now, what's a leaky gut?

Sometimes called increased intestinal permeability, a leaky gut is a condition that occurs when there's a damage to the lining of the intestines. Thus, the barrier is broken, allowing partially digested food, bacteria, and toxins to "leak" through and enter the bloodstream. This can lead to a host of health problems, including food allergies, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune disease.

However, leaky gut is not an officially recognized medical diagnosis. That doesn't mean it's not real or that it's not a serious problem. It just means that more research needs to be done before it can be officially recognized as a medical condition. Still, medical professionals do agree that increased intestinal permeability, or "leaky gut," exists in certain chronic diseases, such as gluten sensitivity, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

What are the symptoms of a leaky gut?

Symptoms of a leaky gut include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and headaches. Other symptoms can include skin problems, fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and even mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

While these symptoms can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, they are not typically life-threatening. However, left untreated, a leaky gut can lead to more serious conditions such as autoimmune disease and food allergies.

What are the causes of a leaky gut?

There are a few things that can cause a leaky gut, but the most common one is eating a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. This can lead to an imbalance in the healthy gut flora. Gut flora is the beneficial bacteria that live in your intestines and help keep your gut healthy.

When the good bacteria in the gut are outnumbered by the bad bacteria, it can lead to inflammation and damage to the intestinal wall. This can allow harmful substances like toxins to pass through into the bloodstream, leading to a range of problems.

Another contributing factor to a leaky gut is nutrient deficiencies. When your diet lacks important nutrients like zinc, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin D, you might be more likely to have a leaky gut. Not getting enough of these nutrients may impact your thyroid health as well. When your body doesn't have enough vitamins and minerals, especially iron and selenium, the balance of thyroid hormones can be thrown off.

What's the link between the thyroid and the gut?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. As part of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones that regulate blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate.

The human body is a complex and amazing machine. Every system, every organ, and every cell works together to keep us alive and functioning. This is what makes the human body so incredible.

While the gut is in charge of converting food into energy, the thyroid controls how quickly your body uses the energy. These two systems work synergistically to keep our bodies running smoothly. When one system is not working properly, it can have a ripple effect on the whole body.

Some studies have found that low thyroid hormone production (underactive thyroid) can lead to a leaky gut. Conversely, poor gut health can impair your thyroid function and lead to thyroid disease.

The immune system

The immune system is the main link between the thyroid and the gut. Both the thyroid and the gut have an important role in our immune system. Research shows that about 70% of our immune system lives in the gut or the gastrointestinal tract in the form of gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). GALT is important and functions as a storehouse for storing immune cells, which are a component of your body's defense system that protects you from external threats.

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which is linked to the strength of your immune system. Normal gut health and thyroid function are essential for a well-functioning immune system.

Since the thyroid and the gut are linked by the immune system, autoimmune thyroid disease and celiac disease often show up together. In fact, a study found that 21% of 184 patients with celiac disease have a problem with their thyroid health. Moreover, a leaky gut can be a factor that predisposes a person to an autoimmune disease. When you have a leaky gut, bad stuff like bacteria and toxins can enter the bloodstream. This can create an immune response, which over time, can lead to autoimmune thyroid diseases.

Leaky gut and Hashimoto's Disease

One of the most common causes of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid or a condition where your thyroid doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone) is an autoimmune thyroid disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, where the immune cells attack the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and damage. Eventually, the damage will stop your thyroid from producing enough thyroid hormone. Experts think that a leaky gut may play a role in this autoimmune condition because it can trigger an immune response that attacks the thyroid gland.

Leaky gut and Graves' disease

Graves' disease is one of the common thyroid disorders. It's an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks your thyroid and causes hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). If you have Graves' disease, you probably have low thyroid stimulating hormone because the pituitary gland needs to compensate for the excess thyroid hormones in your blood. Like other autoimmune diseases, a leaky gut might be the culprit behind Graves' disease.

How can you treat a leaky gut?

If you're one of the many people suffering from leaky gut, you may be wondering how to treat it. While there is no cure for a leaky gut, there are a few things you can do to help manage the symptoms and improve your overall health.

Check for infection and a leaky gut by taking a test

First things first: t best way to determine if you have gut infections or leaky gut syndrome is to consult with a health practitioner. Through gut-supportive nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle recommendations, they can help you develop a tailored plan to address your gut problems.

Eliminate food that causes inflammation and sensitivities

Start by eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet. That means saying goodbye to processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. By eliminating these products from your diet, you can help reduce inflammation in your body and improve your gut health.

Besides inflammatory foods, you may also want to stay away from foods that you know can cause sensitivities or intolerance. Food sensitivities are one of the main causes of leaky gut syndrome and other common chronic symptoms, including bloating, gas, headaches, skin disorders, exhaustion, anxiety, and so on. If you suspect that you have a food allergy, it is best to get tested for it or try an exclusion diet.

Some of the most common foods that you may want to avoid include dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy, as well as foods that have gluten, like wheat and cereals.

Adopt a low-inflammatory and nutrient-rich food strategy

As you eliminate food that can cause inflammation and sensitivities, you should add foods that are rich in nutrients and low-inflammatory to your diet. Fibrous fruits, vegetables, and beans are all excellent sources of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that is essential for gut health. Butyrate has been shown to repair and protect the intestinal lining, as well as to reduce inflammation.

Including plenty of fibrous foods in your diet is a simple and effective way to help treat leaky gut. By promoting butyrate production, you can help to heal your gut, reduce inflammation, and improve your overall health.

Don't stress

There are many different ways that gut health can be negatively affected, but one of the most common is stress. Stress can cause all sorts of problems for the gut, including leaky gut and other digestive issues. 

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to avoid stress and keep your gut healthy. First, try to get enough sleep every night. This will help your body to better deal with stress during the day. Second, eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fiber and probiotics. These nutrients will help to keep your gut bacteria healthy and prevent a leaky gut. Finally, make sure to exercise regularly. Exercise helps to reduce stress levels and can also improve gut motility.

Take probiotic supplements

Probiotic supplements are often touted for their gut health benefits, but they may also be helpful in treating gut problems. Probiotics can help heal the gut lining and improve gut health by restoring balance to the microbiome. They may also help reduce inflammation and prevent leaky gut from occurring in the first place.

Avoid toxins

Toxins in the environment should be reduced or eliminated entirely. It's best to switch to organic, natural, or do-it-yourself options instead of store-bought versions of cleaning, body, and cosmetic products. Clean the air in your home with a filter and some houseplants. Remove any mold you find in your house. Take in only filtered, clean water. Use alternatives to plastic whenever possible, such as aluminum or glass bottles, jars, boxes, cloth bags, wooden or ceramic bowls, and so on. Do your best to kick the habit and stay away from smoke if you're a smoker.

Leaky Gut and thyroid: what's the connection?

Will fixing your gut fix your thyroid health?

While fixing your gut may improve your overall health, it won't necessarily fix your thyroid health if you have a thyroid problem like hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's thyroiditis.


How do you treat thyroid health when you have a leaky gut?

If you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's thyroiditis, you need thyroid hormone replacement therapy to improve your health and ease your symptoms. This treatment replaces the hormones that your body is not producing enough of.

The standard thyroid medication for hypothyroid patients is levothyroxine. It is a synthetic form of thyroxine (T4), which is naturally produced by the body. Keep in mind, however, that T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone. Your body needs to convert it to the active form of thyroid hormone, T3, for it to be useful. The problem is that some people, especially those with an autoimmune disease, can't convert T4 to T3 properly. That's why levothyroxine cannot provide them with much-needed relief from hypothyroid symptoms.

If you're one of those people who have taken levothyroxine but don't feel any improvements, natural desiccated thyroid (NDT), such as VitaliThy, might be a better option for you. This NDT supplement is derived from the thyroid glands of pigs and is identical to the thyroid hormone produced by the human body. It contains both T3 and T4, so your body can use it immediately upon absorption.

Moreover, VitaliThy NDT is gluten-free, making it good for good health, especially if you have gluten sensitivity. VitaliThy is also free of lactose, beef, eggs, fish, and shellfish. This means that it doesn't contain any allergens or foods that can cause sensitivity. Thus, it's good for those with leaky guts who want to improve their conditions.

The best thing is that VitaliThy is a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online. Plus, it's backed by a 30-day refund guarantee. You don't have to go anywhere to get it, just sit back, relax, and wait for it to arrive at your door.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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