How To Stop Gut Bacteria From Messing Up Your Thyroid Health

thyroid and gastrointestinal problems

 

Your thyroid health depends on your gut or gastrointestinal health. So many people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease struggle with symptoms that are directly related to what is happening in their digestive tract such as intestinal inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, infections, parasites, acid reflux, impaired digestion and constipation.

One of the strategies to improve your thyroid and gastrointestinal problems at the same time is to cultivate good gut bacteria or your microbiome. This can help your digestive tract to colonize more healthy bacteria naturally to conquer the bad bacteria and all the symptoms they cause.

What are some ways to increase your good gut bacteria when your microbiome has been compromised?

Your Number One Strategy For Overcoming Thyroid And Gastrointestinal Problems

We have trillions of good intestinal bacteria that weigh up to 1 kg and bacterial cells outnumber human cells by 10:1. As we lose some of our beneficial bacteria due to aging, unhealthy diet, high sugar consumption, chronic stress, antibiotic and medication use, we start to see our overall health going downhill.

In fact, lack of good bacteria can cause not only digestive complications and symptoms but directly affect your thyroid health. In people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease who don’t have enough good bacteria in their digestive system many things can go wrong.

This involves an impaired digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients, weakened immune system, lower T4 to T3 thyroid hormone conversion, leaky gut, bad bacteria overpowering the good ones, food allergies, depression, fatigue, brain fog and the list goes on and on.

The physiological impact of good bacteria is so substantial that the gut flora seems to function as an independent endocrine organ and its dysregulation has been linked not only to thyroid and gastrointestinal problems but also to many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.

If your gut flora has become compromised, replenishing your digestive tract with healthy bacteria is the most important step for restoring your thyroid and overall health.

Replenishing Good Bacteria Can Provide Thyroid Patients With 7 Major Health Benefits:

  • Enhancement of the mucosal layer of the intestinal barrier, anti-pathogenic effects, reduced intestinal permeability and dysbiosis.
  • Modulation and strengthening of the immune system.
  • Improvement of nutritional function, bio-availability of certain nutrients and synthesis of vitamins since several B vitamins, vitamin K, short chain fatty acids and folate are produced by good bacteria.
  • Increased metabolic function due to a better ability to metabolize bile acids, sterols, hormones and xenobiotics and adequate production of intestinal enzyme sulfatase which helps the T4 to T3 conversion.
  • Increased energy levels because up to 10% of daily energy needs in humans can be derived from the by-products of bacterial fermentation.
  • Enhances motility of the gut and constipation relief.
  • Helps healthy weight loss.

Finding a good quality probiotic can help improve your thyroid and gastrointestinal problems, digestive function and reduce many symptoms making you a healthier, happier and more energetic person.

However, in order to experience the benefits of probiotics you need to know what strains are the most effective for a particular imbalance. Unfortunately, this is not how most people choose a probiotic.

What Probiotic Species And Strains Do You Need For Thyroid Health?

Not all probiotics are right for all health conditions and the ability of probiotics to modify disease symptoms varies depending on different strains. In order to fully benefit from a therapeutic and targeted effect of beneficial bacteria you have to know how specific probiotic strains are affecting your body.

Just using a broad-spectrum probiotic may not provide you with desired results when it comes to overcoming the thyroid and gastrointestinal problems. Instead, focusing on matching the probiotic strain and dosage to the condition and symptoms for which it has shown benefits in clinical trials can provide a substantially better outcome.

Understanding specific mechanisms of action of particular probiotic strains can help to choose the most effective probiotic that can target and correct a patient’s specific imbalance.

There are two most researched and well-known species of probiotics: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. What many people and health professionals don’t realize is that different species usually have different strains that have completely different functions and mechanisms of action.

6 Probiotic Strains That Can Benefit Thyroid Patients The Most

1.Lactobacillus plantarum for healthy gut function

Lactobacillus plantarum can help to improve digestion, symptoms of IBS, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, support immune system and reduce intestinal inflammation. It also provides anti-aging benefits and can help improve your skin.

Clinical trials demonstrated that this strain increases skin gloss, reduces wrinkle depth and improves skin elasticity after supplementing it for 12 weeks.

2. Lactobacillus rhamnosus to defend against bad bacteria.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is an effective and safe option for diarrhea, infections, intestinal permeability, inflammation in the large intestine and for maintaining remission and preventing a relapse of ulcerative colitis.

This specific strain of bacteria is known to reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections, provides protection from pneumonia and lung inflammation.

It can also help to enhance healthy weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity, lower bad cholesterol, reduce allergic reaction to peanuts and prevent dermatitis.

Studies show that it can prevent vaginal yeast infection and protect against candida.

3. Lactobacillus acidophilus to halt the growth of bad bacteria

Lactobacillus acidophilus strain can be helpful in increasing iron bioavailability and as a result reducing the risk of iron deficiency anemia.

It can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from constipation and inhibit certain pathogens.

4. Bifidobacterium lactis for immune support.

Bifidobacterium lactis is well-known for its immune enhancing and anti-pathogenic effects. It modulates the immune system by producing large amounts of antimicrobial substances and helps against pathogens.

5. Bacillus subtilis for rebalancing the beneficial and pathogenic intestinal bacteria.

Bacillus subtilis is a unique, heat- and acid-resistant probiotic strain that has been shown to help to restore gut flora after use of antibiotics, reduce their negative effects such as diarrhea and prevent nausea, bloating, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Bacillus subtilis can be beneficial for weight loss, diabetes, reverse constipation, improve H. pylori eradication when used together with triple therapy, help balance anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines and Th1 and Th2 immune response that are very common issues in people with Hashimoto’s disease, low thyroid and gastrointestinal problems.

Bacillus subtilis can help some IBD and IBS symptoms such as reducing the severity and frequency of abdominal pain in IBS, assist a remission of ulcerative colitis and significantly increase the efficiency of sulfasalazine or mesalazine therapy for UC.

6. Bifidobacterium breve for digestive health.

Bifidobacterium breve population seems to decrease as we age. It has been shown to improve symptoms of allergic hypersensitivity to cow’s milk, help to overcome allergies, constipation, gastrointestinal infections and inflammation, reduce inflammation in celiac disease by modulating the immune system and is also good for healthier skin and against obesity.

As you see, different probiotic strains have unique properties. Many issues listed above are very common in people with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions and adding a good quality probiotic could help alleviate some of them.

When you choose a probiotic you need to consider not only the strain and dosage but also what bodily systems and imbalances it is going to affect. If you want to overcome your thyroid and gastrointestinal problems look for the probiotic strains that target your digestion, immune system and help with dysbiosis.

Studies show that probiotics provide a modest symptom relief and require a continuous consumption in order to achieve a desired effect.

P.S. I would like to let you know that a reputable health company is giving away a FREE bottle of probiotic that contains all 6 probiotic strains I mentioned in my article. This is a high-quality potent probiotic (50 billion good bacteria) that is shown through research to provide dramatically more LIVE and effective probiotic cells to your gut than traditional probiotic supplements.

This probiotic is truly free, no strings attached and you can get it HERE

References:

A Gastroenterologist’s Guide to Probiotics. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Sep; 10(9): 960–968.

Consequences of hypothyroidism on the digestive tract and viscera. World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Jun 21; 15(23): 2834–2838.

Why do I still have thyroid symptoms? When my Lab tests are normal: A revolutionary breakthrough in understanding Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism by D. Kharrazian, Morgan James Publishing, 2009

Association between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Nov;92(11):4180-4

Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Feb;42(1):71-8. doi: 10.1007/s12016-011-8291-x.

*I have partnered with Bio Trust Nutrition to make these products available to you.*

About Marina Gutner, PhD

Marina Gutner, PhD, researcher, medical writer, thyroid blogger and founder of Outsmart Disease who writes about life-changing treatments for hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and autoimmune disease and how to balance hormones in women