The Thyroid-Gut Connection

In this short video Josh explains a lot of the interrelations of the different systems of the body (focusing on the thyroid-gut connection) offering new possibilities to how we are approaching health. Have a watch!


A couple of quick notes on the video:

1. Josh starts off really loud so turn your volume down to avoid being startled. There is a purpose but our overall goal in everything we do is to reduce stress, not create it.

2. This is not a plug to our program just useful insight. However, for you physiology geeks out there (like us) The Metabolic Blueprint might be of interest to you.

Are you one of those people who believe the only way to health is to heal your gut?

If so, you have the right idea but chances are you are unaware of the thyroid-gut connection and the affects of thyroid hormone on the health of your gut.

The thyroid-gut connection is similar to that of the chicken and the egg, which one came first?

Bottom line…you cannot have low thyroid hormone (which affects all hormones) without compromised gut health nor can you have compromised gut health without low thyroid hormone.

According to Broda Barnes MD, in hypothyroidism, most accurately expressed through body temperature and pulse, digestion can be heavily impacted in the following ways.

Low thyroid function:

  • Decreases the production and concentration of enzymes and acid required for efficient breakdown, absorption and assimilation of food energy.
  • Slows down gut motility (peristalsis) leading to abnormal intestinal contractions or spams and intestinal paralysis, resulting in constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain and upset, putrefaction and imbalances in gut bacteria.

What affects thyroid function?


It is first important to identify how essential the stress response and the associated hormones are to the health of the human body. Cortisol, more specifically, is needed for nearly all dynamic processes in the body from blood pressure regulation and kidney function, to glucose levels, muscle building, protein synthesis and immune function. One of cortisol’s more important functions is in assisting the efficiency of thyroid hormone at the cellular level. Thyroid hormone regulates the rate at which glucose, the body’s main fuel, is burned where the adrenals regulate the availability of the same fuel by selecting the right type and amount of substrate (carbohydrate, protein or fat) the body needs to meett he physiological demands placed on it.

The physiological amount of cortisol – not too high or too low- is very important for normal thyroid function, which is why a lot of people who have an imbalance in adrenal cortisol levels usually have thyroid-like symptoms but normal thyroid levels.

Under chronic stressed states the body has no choice but to adapt into a state of compensation, which in turn reduces body temperature and pulse and places the body into a state of preservation.

According to Hans Selye MD, with stress more than 50% of gastric juices are halted, appetite is decreased and constipation sets in. Remember, from an evolutionary point of view, stress is the body’s signal to run like hell and digestion just is not a priority when running for your life!

Why do we bring this to your attention?

Because, if you do not cut the stress, you are limiting your ability to heal your gut, which means alot of you out there are working backwards. As a society we are becoming very disconnected to how our body responds to both internal and external stressors. One reason for this is our innate ability to adapt.

“For those habituated to high levels of internal stress since early childhood, it is the absence of stress that creates unease, evoking boredom and a sense of meaninglessness. People may become addicted to their own stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, Hans Selye observed. To such person stress feels desirable, while the absence of it feels like something to be avoided.” Gabor Mated, M.D.

The question becomes, at what expense are we adapting? In this state of compensation the body must steal from Peter to pay Paul, which in addition to thyroid deficiency can lead to deficiencies in all other hormones such as insulin, progesterone, estrogens, testosterone and even cortisol itself.

When it comes to recovering and restoring the system regulating blood sugar becomes the primary focus. In doing so the body is being provided the resources it needs and can avoid being set off into this adapted stress reaction. The quieter the system can become through creating consistency and rhythm with food intake, food frequency, food choices and balance the more adapted away from this dysfunctional pattern the body becomes.

CLICK HERE to download your FREE e-book: The Stress Reduction Manifesto and learn how to restore thyroid health with food!

If you have any question, which we think you might, feel free to send them over to

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