The Thyroid, Your Microbiome and the Central Need for Iodine
When you don’t eat well, and especially when you don’t get enough iodine in your diet through food or by supplement, your thyroid doesn’t work properly.
What’s the problem with that?
The thyroid is often called “the master gland” of your body. It regulates the speed at which all your processes and cells work, and controls things like heart rate, body temperature, digestion processes, speed of thought, blood flow and other mission-critical activities.
Billions of helpful (and some harmful) bacteria, viruses, funguses, yeasts and molds – also called in total your “gut microbiome” – live on, in and around your body. They play a key role in how you experience and live every aspect of your being in the world. A healthy microbiome is essential to a good immune system, and also to a properly functioning thyroid. If your immune system doesn’t work well, you’ll get sick, and the harmful microbes will try to crowd out the helpful ones.
We’re rapidly learning that your microbiome is essential to everything you do, feel and even thing. Problems in your gut – in your small intestine – can actually create problems in your brain. We have learned recently that many micro-organisms actually travel from your gut, via blood and nerve pathways, into your brain, where they can affect your brain circuitry, and disrupt the normal stuff of life.
Sometimes the gut microbiome gets so out of whack that it disrupts the activities of the thyroid. Then it can cause the development of immune-system confusion, and your immune system begins to attack your own organs, such as your thyroid. Thryroid diseases such as Hashimoto’s syndrome – where the thyroid produces far too little thyroid hormones – and Graves’ disease – where it produces far too much – are more and more common. For a number of reasons, our modern diet and our ecological changes have cut-off some of our iodine supply. Diseases such as Celiac Disease and non-celiac wheat sensitivity can cause thyroid problems. The intestinal walls become damaged, allow toxic substances to pass through and react with non-intestinal tissues, and thyroid problems result.
The number and type of gut micro-biota influence key micronutrients’
uptake such as iodine, copper and iron, selenium zinc and vitamin D (which is really a sun-produced hormone, not a true vitamin). If you have digestive problems, if you’ve had bariatric surgery, and your intake of essential micronutrients such as iodine and selenium is restricted, thyroid problems are sure to follow. And with them, general illness and degenerating health.
What’s the solution: First and foremost, take a good iodine supplement (https://www.iodineproducts.com/product/dietary-iodine-supplement-lugols-1-0-oz/) and take a good 200 mcg selenium pill. Doctors have found that people who are deficient in these micronutrients tend to have autoimmune thyroid diseases, and then, in time, poorly working thyroids. If your thyroid cannot produce the two key thyroid hormones – called T3 and T4 – your body will not work well. And, in time, the thyroid itself will become diseased and function poorly, leading to cancer, surgery, profound illness and ultimately death.
Bottom line: it’s a good idea to take iodine and selenium supplements.