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IBS and your Thyroid

By The Lucy Rose Clinic

December 7, 2022

IBS and Your Thyroid

IBS is extremely common in our clinic, and that is because the thyroid affects the function and healing speed of the entire gut.

Whether you have too much or too little thyroid hormones, any changes in bowel frequency are a thyroid imbalance sign when other symptoms coincide:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Hair loss
  • Drier skin and hair
  • Feeling colder or hotter
  • Hair thinning on the outer 3rd of the eyebrows
  • Menstrual changes
  • Changes in libido

IBS also has an infective element, so book a call to discuss your symptoms and we can start a healing plan to address your concerns

IBS and Your Thyroid

The digestive system is affected by thyroid disorders and the majority of patients will have symptoms related to their digestion.

Many studies show that the thyroid has a direct impact on your gut.

Studies have shown that there is a reduction in esophageal and gastric motility in hypothyroidism. Reduced motility and low stomach acid also causes increased bacterial growth in the small intestine; a condition known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

Hashimoto’s disease is associated with reduced esophageal motility which presents as nausea, vomiting, bloating, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and heartburn.

Common synthetic thyroid medications may contain excipients such as lactose that cause bloating and discomfort, and these excipients are cumulative.

Did You Know?

Thyroid Hormones Are Stored In Your Gut.

After production of T4 in the thyroid – a large portion of conversion to active hormone T3 occurs in the liver and the gut. Interestingly we hold a high portion of T4 and T3 in essentially the lining that holds our digestives system in place- we circulate this through the liver and it is released in the bile back to the gut!

If you have even slightly LOW thyroid hormone production, the gut function slows – AKA constipation.

If you have even slightly HIGH thyroid hormone production, the gut function slows – AKA diarrhea.

At Home Test

Check your waking temperature. A reading below the normal 36.6°C (after adding 1 degree to under the arm temperature) strongly suggests hypothyroid. A reading above 36.7°C may indicate hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).

If you are colder, your metabolic rate is slower. This causes water retention – swollen ankles, puffy face, puffy eyes.

Improving the thyroid function will improve the fluid retention.

Bloating

If bloating is localised to the belly, the first step is to check for food intolerances. Food intolerances should be avoided for 3 months whilst healing the gut, and then reintroduced one at a time keeping a food and symptom diary. We run food intolerance tests for fast results using a sample of your blood. Your Lucy Rose practitioner will guide you on your diet and healing phase of the plan.

If the belly bloating is flatter in the morning and builds up through the day regardless of diet, then SIBO should be ruled out with testing and treatment.

If the bloating also coincides with bad breath, foul odour, gripping pain, and general discomfort, a parasite cleanse may be what you need to get your gut environment back to a state of health, and we can guide you here as well, all our practitioners are experts at treating the gut.

Summary

IBS is an extremely common complaint, and most people live with symptoms for an average of 6 years before getting a medical diagnosis.

However, it is important to test the thyroid levels as that very well could the root cause to your gut related concerns. Even if you are on medication – it may not be working well, or it may even be causing the pain!

The next step is to book an appointment so we can run the testing you need to truly understand your thyroid’s health status. Our testing is different than the standard doctor testing – our markers will pick up the earlier changes, allowing us to guide you back to health.

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