The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in our body. It is located in the front of the neck, above the trachea, with the characteristic shape of a butterfly.
The thyroid gland produces the hormones T3, T4, calcitonin, which in turn determine a host of functions of our body. The amount of hormones synthesized and secreted by the thyroid gland is regulated by another hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland.
Disorders of the thyroid gland can alter the production of thyroid hormones and lead to the development of thyroid disease.
Diseases of the thyroid gland
Thyroid diseases are divided into anatomical and functional. The symptoms with which they manifest vary from person to person and tend to develop gradually, with the result that they often confuse patients and doctors. These symptoms can be weight changes, tachycardia, bradycardia, fatigue, irritability, hot flashes and more.
Anatomical thyroid disease
The anatomical ones include the swelling of the gland, goiter, nodules, as well as thyroid neoplasms (benign and malignant), while functional ones are related to the way the thyroid gland functions. For example, when the body produces more thyroid hormones than normal, the person develops hyperthyroidism, while hypothyroidism occurs in cases where the body does not secrete sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones.
Functional thyroid diseases
Functional thyroid disease includes autoimmune hypothyroidism, in which the body itself mistakenly attacks the thyroid cells, destroying them. Hypoclinical hypothyroidism is an additional thyroid disorder in which TSH is found at marginally high levels, while thyroid hormones (T3, T4) are still at normal levels. That is, it is a condition of limited thyroid function, without actually having thyroid disease.
The association of the intestine with thyroid disease
Based on several studies, good gut health has helped improve thyroid laboratory tests, which until recently appeared to be abnormal. This correlation can be sufficiently documented, if we think that the intestine absorbs the nutrients of food and water, while at the same time the body’s defense is built, because 80% of our immune system is located in the intestine. Furthermore, this organ is responsible for the breakdown of all foods into their individual components, for the separation of vitamins and minerals, as well as for transport to and from the bloodstream, so as for us to remain healthy.
More neurotransmitters are located In the gut than in our minds and there is a whole nervous system, which is wired to the mind and messages are carried back and forth. When the transmission of these messages changes, then our health is disturbed in various ways. It is no coincidence that it has been described as a “second brain”.
Therefore, its proper function is an imperative and necessary condition for the good health of our body and could effectively help in the treatment of many diseases, including thyroid disease.
The beneficial role of probiotics in Thyroid Diseases
A nutrient-deficient diet leads to a deterioration in the quality of the intestinal flora (bacteria that live in the gut). One way to protect the health of the gut flora is based primarily on the intake of so-called probiotics.
These are living microorganisms that fight pathogenic microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, which are responsible for causing imbalances in the normal flora and the creation of various obvious or silent inflammations in the body and prevent the growth of “bad” bacteria, producing antimicrobials.
Thanks to probiotics, the intestinal flora remains healthy, which helps reduce the production of antibodies and reduce the overstimulation of the immune system. Probiotics strengthen the immune system and achieve normal immune tolerance. In fact, they have been shown to play an important role in the prevention and treatment of various diseases, including thyroid disease.
Vitamins and nutrients, such as probiotics, are very important for the proper function of the thyroid gland and are essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Insufficient levels of these in the human body have been linked to an increased risk of developing Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. In fact, probiotics facilitate the absorption of all the nutrients that promote the proper function of the thyroid gland and the body in general.
The sources of probiotics
The most common probiotic strains found in food are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, as these strains have been found to be more “resistant”. Thus, they manage to pass through the stomach environment and manage to survive.
Dairy products are the best source of probiotics and especially unpasteurized (eg sheep yogurt with skin). Other foods, such as kefir, are also high in probiotics. Of course, what is most appropriate for the colonization of the digestive tract with good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces boulardii, is the inclusion of supplements in our daily diet, as they contain higher concentrations of probiotics.
In addition, taking supplements provides a variety of different probiotics, which serve different needs. In fact, supplements promote the immediate release of probiotics into the gut. What is needed, however, is to find the right combination of probiotics, in order to maximize the patient’s health benefits.
The role of the right combination of probiotics in the treatment of thyroid disease
Nowadays specialized laboratory molecular tests, can provide a complete picture of the thyroid function. These tests evaluate biochemical markers, record the body’s metabolic functions, and identify deficiencies at a cellular level that have led to any thyroid disease, eliminating the risk of misdiagnosis.
Then, based on the diagnostic findings, the appropriate treatment protocols are formulated, which eliminate the real causes that caused dysfunctions in the thyroid gland. These protocols may include a Molecular nutrition plan, hormonal recovery of the body with Natural (Biomimetic) hormones, as well as the administration of micro- and macronutrients, including probiotics.
These treatment protocols do not pre-exist. The appropriate combination with which they will be administered is determined based on the corresponding test indicators and the deficiencies found in the human body, which is why they are strictly individualized. Patients get them from selected pharmacies and gradually see their health improve and their quality of life increase.
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