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Thyroid-Gut Connection

The thyroid and gut are intimately connected. Every aspect of GI function from saliva production, acid and enzyme production, bowel motility and bowel integrity can be impacted by alterations in cellular thyroid physiology.

Reduced thyroid physiology in your cells can lead to dysfunction in the GI tract by reducing stomach acid, bile flow, pancreatic enzymes, bowel motility, inflammation and increasing the probability of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Nearly every aspect of stomach function and gut physiology can be impaired by reduced cellular levels of thyroid hormone. Contrarily, any disruption of normal GI physiology can create cellular stress, resulting in thyroid dysfunction such as cellular hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Thyroid hormone as well as the thyroid gland itself plays a significant role in bowel motility. The thyroid gland produces motilin, a hormone, which stimulates the nerve and muscle complex that moves food through the GI tract. In cases where the thyroid gland has been damaged or destroyed (radiation, medication, removal, or immune attack) thyroidal production of motilin is reduced or eliminated. The reduction or elimination of motilin often results in slowed motility or constipation, pain, bloating, gas, and other common GI symptoms.

How do you know if cellular hypothyroidism is impacting your GI tract?

You may have obvious signs and symptoms of GI dysfunction like; gas, bloating, acid reflux, low stomach acid, bile or gallbladder dysfunction, diarrhea, constipation, or a diagnosis of SIBO, IBS or any other inflammatory bowel disorder.

You may also have less obvious sign and symptoms of GI dysfunction like; headaches, migraines, high blood pressure, systemic arthritis, weight gain, brain fog, depression, anxiety, skin disorders, allergies, chronic sinus congestion and infections, and autoimmune conditions.

If you struggle with gastrointestinal dysfunction and the traditional medical model has not provided the answers or relief you need, the following factors must be considered:

  • Disease, pathology, or pathogens are typically not detected with conventional testing and imaging. As such, most doctors provide patients with medication to manage their symptoms
  • Medications which suppress symptoms, often create additional disturbances within the body.
  • Most medical doctors evaluate the GI system as a separate entity and are unaware of the impact thyroid physiology can play in gastrointestinal dysfunction.
  • The root cause of GI disturbance must be identified and addressed to restore optimal GI function. If the root cause is not addressed, the condition usually progresses with time.

There are several triggers of GI dysfunction and gut dysbiosis, including hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid), inflammation, infections, parasitic and yeast overgrowth, food intolerances (especially gluten), stress and other lifestyle factors. However, thyroid physiology plays a key role. A healthy gut is essential for optimal cellular thyroid physiology. Likewise, healthy thyroid physiology is also essential to maintain proper digestion and a healthy gut. To restore a healthy thyroid-gut connection, both systems must be addressed simultaneously.

Rejuvagen’s Approach to Thyroid & Gastrointestinal Health…

  • We take a strategic approach to identifying the underlying cause of your GI distress, including an evaluation of your thyroid physiology.
  • We utilize a thorough health evaluation and functional testing to uncover signs of imbalance within the body and identify the underlying causes of dysbiosis and inflammation.
  • Once the root cause(s) of dysfunction have been identified, we support recovery of compromised systems to restore your health and quality of life.
  • Our patients receive an individualized treatment plan that is specifically designed to address their personal triggers and lifestyle factors as they pertain to their digestive health.
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Hi, I’m Dr. Eric Balcavage, owner and founder of Rejuvagen. If you’re struggling with health issues or have questions, let’s chat. You can schedule a 15-minute call with me to get started.