The thyroid-gut connection

You are currently browsing comments. If you would like to return to the full story, you can read the full entry here: “The thyroid-gut connection”.

Related posts:

  1. The gluten-thyroid connection Studies show a strong link between autoimmune thyroid disease and gluten intolerance....
  2. The role of vitamin D deficiency in thyroid disorders Vitamin D deficiency is associated with thyroid disease. But figuring out how much vitamin D...
  3. 5 thyroid patterns that won’t show up on standard lab tests If you have hypothyroid symptoms, but your lab tests are normal, you may have one...
  4. Thyroid, blood sugar & metabolic syndrome Healthy thyroid function depends on keeping blood sugar in a normal range, and keeping blood...
  5. Three reasons why your thyroid medication isn’t working Has your thyroid medication stopped working? Are you always asking your doctor to raise the...

Tags: , , , , , ,

  1. Hap’s avatar

    While having no familiarity with thyroid issues, I’d still be interested to hear your (possibly relevant) take on the health of the “second brain,” something my tai chi teacher wrote about and which “Scientific American” and the NYT has covered. Many believe that traditional fermented foods are smart choices for promoting healthy intestinal flora, e.g. “the Activia Challenge.”

  2. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    I read Gershon’s book The Second Brain several years ago and was fascinated by it.  I’ll have more to say about this in future articles.

  3. Ned Kock’s avatar

    Superb post Chris!
    What do you think about the possible effect of eating charred meat on serum AGEs, and on health in general, in people with a health GI tract.
    Here is the reason for my question. I had a few exchanges with a commenter under the post below. I looked into some refs the commenter provided.
    It seems that, in the absence of gut problems, ingested AGEs (e.g., Maillard) may not be a big deal. But I’m not sure.

  4. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    Ned, you’ve looked into the AGE issue in much more depth than I have. The conclusion I reached after the little bit of research I did was similar to your own: that the potential damage caused by AGEs – even when someone has a leaky gut – pales in comparison to the harm caused by refined carbs and industrial seed oils. Based on the evidence I’ve seen, I don’t find cause to strictly avoid roasted or BBQ’d meat, but at the same time I wouldn’t eat it every day. For me this is a quality of life issue as well. I am interested in health, of course, but I’m also interested in living well. The pleasure that eating a particular food and the real physiological benefit that pleasure brings is always a part of the equation.

  5. Charlotta (Sweden)’s avatar

    Another higly interesting post and yet I feel slightly more confused by every post I read, it’s a lot to take in and I guess the language barrier doesn’t help. I don’t know if I’ve got it all right and if I’ve missed something but I can’t understand that cortisol would decrease active T3. I’ve been recommended to support my adrenal glands by taking cortisone or a natural supplement with adrenal gland extract. I chose the latter and it’s helped me a lot, I feel much better. Now with what you’re saying about T3 it seems like it should’ve had the opposite effect? And what is your take on adrenal gland fatigue? The more I read (not only here) the more I think that my thyroid problems actually are adrenal glands problems. And finally, you haven’t really said anything about hypo2, I presume you’re familiar with Dr Mark Starrs theories. How do they fit in with your take on it all?

  6. Chris Kresser’s avatar


    Many of your questions will be answered in my next article on adrenal stress and the thyroid, which I will publish either today or tomorrow. I’ve read about Type 2 hypothyroidism. I have been talking about it, but not under that name. Whenever I say “thyroid hormone resistance” or “thyroid receptor site downregulation”, that’s what I’m talking about. Cortisol depresses thyroid functions by several different mechanisms, which I’ll outline in the next article. Taking cortisone is not the way to support your adrenal glands. Taking compounds that regulate the cortisol rhythm is.

  7. Charlotta (Sweden)’s avatar

    Thanks, that clears up a lot and I’m looking forward to your next post! You say that the way to go is with a compound that regulates the cortisol rhythm, is adrenal gland tablets (in Sweden called Adrekomp and containing extract from natural adrenal glands from pigs along with vitamins A, C, B1, B5 and B6, minerals P, K, Zn and Betain HCl) such a compound?

  8. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    I’m not a big fan of the gland supplements.  A more sophisticated approach is to use adaptogenic botanicals like Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng, Ashwagandha, etc. that elevate or reduce cortisol as necessary.  The most important thing is regulating the cortisol rhythm. You can have normal levels of cortisol, but if the rhythm is off, you’ll have symptoms.

  9. Charlotta (Sweden)’s avatar

    Still a little confused over here. Do you consider thyroid hormone resistance to be an autoimmune condition? Can’t seem to find it in your previous articles.

  10. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    It can be a genetic condition, but as I’ve written in my articles it can also be caused by inflammation, stress and high homocysteine levels.  See #5 in this article, and reason #2 in this article.

  11. Lg’s avatar

    Along with the GAPS diet for gut heaing we need to include colon cleanses either with thereputic enemas or colonic hydrotherapy sessions.
    Blessed Herbs has a complete herb cleansing kit.
    Also Kristina Amelong’s book, Ten Days to Optimal Health gives great advice on cleansing, detox, gut healing, colonics, etc.  She also has a website to purchase at home enema kits and detox supplements (cheaper then Blessed Herbs): She recommends bone broths and raw milk while cleansing, whereas Blessed Herbs recommends fresh pressed juices like apple juice (not possible for those with blood sugar problems).
    Their colon cleanse supplements are basically the same: bentonite clay, pysillum husk, apple pectin.
    If you have blood suagr problems, it may make cleansing more difficult.  I used True Balance supplement as suggested by Julia Ross in the Diet Cure to help and followed the raw milk and bone broth plan.  Amelong also recommends flax oil and coconut oil while cleansing.
    I find this approach to work and is so much easier to do than GAPS alone (the extra fiber is filling) with faster results.  I believe The GAPS diet also reccomends enemas and/or colonics, but only briefly and does not go into great detail about it.
    It is recommend that a person does 3-4 intense cleanses a year for one to two years if in poor health.

  12. Chris Kresser’s avatar

    I’m not a fan of colon cleansing. Colonics can be harsh and depleting, and I don’t think they’re necessary – especially on a repeated basis. I can see a role for enemas over a short period, as Natasha suggests for people following GAPS, but I don’t recommend either colonics or enemas over an extended period. This is particularly true for people who are debilitated and have sensitive guts.

  13. Phoenix’s avatar

    Chris, with your recommendation of ginseng for supporting the cortisol rhythm, does it matter whether one is TH1 or TH2 dominatant. In reading Dr. K’s book that was the thing that was the most confusing. Without access to the tests or practictioners I wouldn’t want to treat the wrong one.

    Given that it is a rhytmic thing, should the ginseng be taken at certain times of day?

Bad Behavior has blocked 430 access attempts in the last 7 days.

Better Tag Cloud