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Taking Charge of Your Health


– Hey, everybody, it’s Dr. Balcavage, we’re back for another
edition of “Thyroid Thursday,” and today I want to talk about
hypothyroidism in your gut. I’ll probably do a number of these, but let’s say this is part one. Remember, when we talk
about hypothyroidism, we talk about two causes
of hypothyroidism. There’s cellular hypothyroidism, which means there’s not
enough thyroid hormone reaching your cells. That’s what triggers your
hypothyroid symptoms. And two is glandular hypothyroidism, where the gland is not making
sufficient thyroid hormone. Now, the number one cause for that is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It’s an autoimmune attack
on the thyroid tissues. Now, the number one cause, or if you look at the
literature and the research, is thought to be that there’s
loss of cell tolerance, which is what we’re going
to talk about today, and the gut’s role in
loss of cell tolerance. But really, I think the
number one reason is, it’s a secondary response to
some type of danger, okay? And that definitely goes along with what we’re going to talk today, okay? So, other things that can
cause glandular hypothyroidism is too much or too little iodine. Iodine is critical for
thyroid hormone production. There could be toxins that
block iodine transport, or cause damage to the thyroid gland. Chloride, fluoride, bromide, even excessive estrogen,
and xenoestrogens. There’s lots of things
that can trigger it, and we’ve done a bunch of
videos on those already. Toxins can do it, we talked about that, and then organisms like
viruses and bacteria can cause an autoimmune attack. Thyroid gland dysfunction, that kind of goes along
with our secondary response to some type of danger. So, let’s talk about the gut’s role in causing hypothyroidism,
especially Hashimoto’s. 70% of the immune system
surrounds your GI tract. The GI tract health and function
is critically important. It’s the one place where we put all kinds of foods and things into the system, and they have the greatest ability to get into the peripheral body. The immune system is constantly in a state of checking out your food proteins, making sure that hey, those are proteins that we’re not reactive
to, those things are good, and keeping surveillance. They’re keeping an eye
on the bacterial balance, making sure that problematic
bacteria don’t overgrow. Even the commensal bacteria,
what we call the good bacteria, if they need to be stimulated
they get stimulated, if they need to be knocked down, they get knocked down a bit. The immune system is also monitoring the toxins that are
produced by these bacteria. Both commensal and pathogenic organisms can produce toxic substances that, as long as they’re kept
within a certain range and they stay within the GI
tract, it’s not a big deal. But, if those levels
of toxins get excessive and get out of the GI tract, they can really create a number of issues, especially autoimmune thyroid disease. The GI immune system’s always producing some products as enzymes and things, to help manage these things. Butyrate’s a great example of that. You eat dietary fiber, the
bacteria in your GI tract increase a product called butyrate, and then butyrate keeps
one of the bacterial toxins called LPS under control. LPS is associated with
all kinds of issues. And LPS stands for Lipopolysaccharides. So, any time there’s a dysbiosis, or an imbalance of the gut flora, doesn’t mean you have to
have pathogenic organisms, what we would typically
associate with GI disease, but even commensal bacteria, bacteria supposed to be in the GI tract. If they overgrow or under grow, it can create a state of
what we call dysbiosis. Just an abnormal balance
of the bacterial flora. And the dysbiosis in the gut biome can cause an increased
activation of the immune system. The immune system can get upregulated. And when the immune system is upregulated, it’s thought that that’s
when we lose self tolerance. If the immune cells,
instead of kind of managing or knowing what our own tissues
are and not attacking those, actually loses tolerance to those tissues and actually starts to
attack our own tissues, okay? When we start attacking our own tissues, we produce these things
called self-antibodies, and the tissue that’s most sensitive, to that is really the thyroid gland. And I’ll talk about why
that is in future podcasts. When the immune system is over-activated, that’s when we typically see
increased food sensitivities, increased food intolerances, and increased likelihood
of allergy responses. What could cause dysbiosis? What’s causing this
imbalance in your gut flora? Well, it’s a lot of our lifestyle things. Emotional stress . If you have a lot of emotional stress from family, finances, relationships,
poor self thinking, that can change your gut flora. The emotional stress increases your fight or flight hormones, that can change your bacterial flora. When you change the bacterial flora, you have dysbiosis and then you can get an upregulation of the immune system. Antibiotics. Just one round of
antibiotics can wipe out, or really significantly reduce the balance of bacteria in your gut. Bacteria can grow back, but whether it grows back
appropriately is the problem. And more on that subject, even natural antimicrobial substances, herbs and things that we typically use in functional medicine to
try and knock down organisms, can also be problematic as well. Then we have medications
that can produce it, lots of toxins in your
food, in your water. The number one toxin we talk about with creating gut problems
is glyphosate from Roundup. Glyphosate is an antibiotic,
so it changes your gut flora. And if you’re constantly
consuming processed foods, or foods and water that’s
contaminated with glyphosate, you’re constantly creating
disruption in the GI tract, increasing the upregulation
of your immune system, and increasing the
likelihood of developing autoimmunity, allergies,
and food intolerances. Then we see increased
or decreased exercise. People who don’t
exercise, that definitely, has a role in the health
of your gut flora, and those who are excessive exercisers. Endurance athletes specifically. You can really create some
problems in your gut biome. But exercise has been
shown over and over again, as long as it’s not excessive, to be very beneficial in
normalizing gut flora. Diet plays a huge role. Depending on what you eat determines what kind of bacteria that
you grow in your GI tract. And then, the last one is disrupted sleep. If you have altered or disrupted sleep, it’s been shown in literature and research that it changes your gut biome, and once you change your gut biome. You can get that upregulation
of the immune system, increased likelihood of autoimmunity, via loss of self tolerance, and then increased allergies
and food intolerances. So, what should you do? Four things. Eat a whole food diet. That’s one of the best things to do. Everybody can start there. Eat more whole foods,
eat less processed foods. Two, if you’re going to do probiotics, I really recommend the
spore-based probiotics versus just your basic,
off-the-shelf probiotic. Most of them aren’t shown
to do what we think they do. But I would definitely recommend more of the spore-based probiotics. Three, limit antibiotics
and antimicrobials as much as possible. You can knock things
down with these things, but you have to help restore
good flora at some point. And whether you’re taking an
antibiotic on a regular basis, or you’re taking antimicrobial products from a functional medicine
practitioner on a regular basis, those things are going to
disrupt your gut flora. And then lastly, see a
functional medicine practitioner like myself, and get a
functional GI test done. A functional GI test tells us what’s growing in the GI tract, it gives us an idea of
acids and enzyme production, the health of your immune system, and inflammation in the GI tract. These tests are typically not done in an allopathic practice. If you go to a gastroenterologist they’re not running these tests. What they’re running are
pathology-based tests, looking for disease. And that’s okay, but if you don’t have a disease, then you’re going to get diagnosed with a functional GI disorder. The only way to really diagnose a functional GI disorder
is do a functional GI test, which isn’t done in allopathic medicine. All right, so hopefully this helps, and this is part one of how your gut can create
hypothyroidism, all right? Take care.

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