Your gut microbiota has an intimate connection with your thyroid including connections with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease and Graves’ disease. In this research review I’d like to cover a recent paper entitled, “Microbiota and Thyroid Interaction in Health and Disease” published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism by Eleonare Frohlich and Richard Wahl.
The authors begin by stating that the gut microbiota can act on thyroid function due to the region of where someones lives, their diet including iodine intake, obesity, age, sex hormones, and how autoimmunity can impact the microbiota. I was impressed to see them state that the gut microbiota is linked to autoimmune disease, estrogen, iodine, and obesity. Estrogen can be a key factor in Hashimoto’s disease and a healthy gut is required for optimal estrogen metabolism and excretion through the feces.
They also mention the connection between the gut and the liver in relation to thyroid hormone metabolism in both these organ systems. Your gut is key to properly absorbing and utilizing the thyroid medication that you’re taking and they mention this as well.
One of the main priorities in my practice is to stay on top of the latest cutting-edge research in Hashimoto’s disease and thyroid disorders. My latest round of research reviews involved six clinical studies that examined inositol and selenium and how they conferred major benefits in those with Hashimoto’s disease and subclinical hypothyroidism. The highlights of each study are summarized in a table at the end of this article for ease of reference.
In this article I cover Hashimoto’s thyroiditis natural treatment including some basic supplements that can help heal Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism as well as some dietary strategies.
The thyroid gland, like any gland in your body, requires a number of basic nutrients to function properly. Every day your thyroid gland produces a certain amount of thyroid hormone that requires specific building blocks. If any of those building blocks are missing, your thyroid may not make enough thyroid hormone and you may suffer from common symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism such as:
- Weight Gain
- Hair Loss
- Cold hands and feet
- Brain fog
- Dry brittle nails and hair
- Muscle pain
Let’s talk about each nutrient that your thyroid needs and how to find out if you are deficient. It may be that you would benefit from some simple supplements for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism.
Did you know that the thyroid gland has the highest concentration of selenium compared to any organ in your body? Selenium is a powerful and essential trace mineral actually first discovered by the Swedish chemist Berzelius in 1817. Selenium mainly acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and it is involved in the production and activation of thyroid hormone.
Selenium protects the thyroid from oxidative damage but a deficiency can lead to an increase in the weight of your thyroid which can be compounded by an iodine deficiency. When you’re deficient in selenium, you actually lose iodine more quickly so these two substances must work in perfect balance.
Sometimes very simple tests provide a significant amount of valuable information when it comes to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. One simple blood test is the red blood cell distribution width or RDW test which is included in the complete blood count (CBC). A recent study found that patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have higher levels of RDW.