Let’s Talk Thyroid Symptoms:
Bloating + Hashimoto’s
I remember when it was ‘normal’ for me to feel 6 months pregnant after eating most meals.
⭐️ THAT IS NOT NORMAL ⭐️
Digestive problems such as bloating, gas, leaky gut, reflux, SIBO, constipation are extremely common with Hashimoto’s, particularly when not following a gluten free (if not paleo/AIP) diet. There may also be a connection to candida.
Chronic gastrointestinal problems are one of the most common symptoms of Hashimoto’s. If you’ve got chronic gut issues, and in particular chronic constipation (but check the other gut issues if this isn’t an issue for you) it’s worth considering an underlying thyroid problem – especially if it is accompanied by general lethargy, brain fog & depression.
There is a very high correlation between Hashimoto’s and Coeliac disease which could also account for gut issues. It’s worth considering Hashimoto’s testing if you have Coeliac disease and vice versa. I know I have the coeliac gene and have been tested for coeliac antibodies – so far they haven’t shown up which is great, but I’m also mindful that that gene could ‘switch’ on over time. Just being aware of connections is helpful as we proactively manage our health.
When I did my first 30 day paleo challenge, I realised that feeling 6 months pregnant was not normal. It went away. I wasn’t greedy & eating too much. I was eating inflammatory foods and had gut problems.
Leaky gut/intestinal permeability can be a trigger for auto-immune disease. I remember when I read ‘Grain Brain’ by Dr David Perlmutter that he mentioned that in every auto-immune disease studied, there was leaky gut found.
When we have Hashimoto’s it’s critical that our gut health is as good as possible. Here are a few reasons
- T4 is converted into T3 in part in the gut. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone.
- The gut helps with the absorption of thyroid hormones. You could be taking medication but not absorbing it.
- The gut-brain connection means if the gut isn’t healthy the brain won’t be either. Look into leaky gut-leaky brain.
- The relationship between the gut and our immune system – a weak gut will weaken the immune system, making you more vulnerable to other things.
Honestly, gut health is a MASSIVE topic in the thyroid/auto-immune space and is one I talk about often. Have you noticed it’s mentioned in almost every one of the common symptom posts! I will explore aspects of this over time too. Just know, for now, that if you haven’t been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s AND have chronic gut issues it’s worth considering. Also know that if you have been diagnosed, treating gut health is CRITICAL to your overall thyroid health management (but by no means the only thing).
It’s pretty rare these days for me to get the rock hard belly bloating but it still does happen from time to time – mostly when eating sugar.
Let’s get practical:
🚩 Get thyroid blood tests and properly medicated. It is very difficult to treat leaky gut when in a hypothyroid state.
🦠 Microbiome diversity – when eliminating foods from the diet, it’s easy to reduce diversity of the microbiome. Make sure you’re eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables to help support a diverse microbiome.
❌ Follow at minimum a gluten free diet. You cannot fix leaky gut when eating gluten. Studies have shown too that removing gluten reduces thyroid antibodies.
🧐 Do your own investigation into gluten cross-reactivity and understand that ‘just’ cutting out gluten might not be enough. Grains and dairy are big gluten cross-reactors.
💦 There are many essential oils that are supportive of the digestive system. A really good place to start is doTERRA’s blend called Digestzen. Single oils that can be tried include peppermint (look up the research into peppermint & IBS), ginger, fennel, cardamom, celery seed, copaiba, frankincense.
🥬 Fermented foods – great for adding good bacteria into the gut – start with small amounts.
💊 You might want to talk to your health practitioner about good quality probiotics and/or digestive enzymes. I have found naturopaths very helpful in supporting me sort out my gut health over the years.
🌀 Consider doing 30 days of a paleo diet and seeing how you feel without those typically inflammatory foods (gluten, grains, dairy, legumes (high in lectin), sugar). I have run groups & individuals through this process. I call it Kickstart Your Thyroid Wellness Challenge because it’s really about developing some lifestyle habits. If you’d like to know more about my course for individuals head click here.
🧘♀️ Reducing stress is good for the gut too.
🍷 Watch alcohol too as that can cause gut problems. I started to find that wine would leave me feeling bloated (my guess is it was the sugars, but not sure). I don’t drink a lot but have switched to clear spirits like vodka or gin when I want to have a drink. Most beers aren’t gluten free either, so watch out for them too.
✅ Join the discussion in the group, Let’s Talk Thyroid.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Suspect you have a thyroid issue? PLEASE trust your instincts and get it thoroughly checked out with your health practitioner. This thyroid basics page has an overview of what tests to ask for and a link to use a private lab if you’re doctor won’t order them.
You might also like to listen to my interview with my doctor here.
WAYS I CAN HELP YOU
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