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Graves' Disease and the Link Between Hyperthyroidism and Leaky Gut Syndrome

What is Leaky Gut

When the human intestines are healthy and functioning correctly, they act as both a barrier and filter for our bodies. They essentially are supposed to allow nutrients to be absorbed in the gut but to block any toxins that may be circulating within the body. When the intestines are not working properly, it can cause the body to absorb the toxic substances into the bloodstream and may result in inflammation as your body attempts to attack these foreign invaders. Factors that may cause intestinal permeability can include food sensitivities, stress, and nutrient deficiencies. Patients may be experiencing symptoms such as chronic inflammation, joint pain, foggy thinking or bowel diseases.

Gut and Thyroid Connection

There is a strong correlation between thyroid and gut health. Studies have shown that low thyroid hormones can lead to leaky gut and poor gut health can suppress thyroid function. Optimal digestion actually helps to tame the antibodies associated with autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s and Graves.

When hormone levels are high, as in Graves' Disease (the most common form of hyperthyroidism), intestinal motility is increased and the lining of the intestine may secrete more fluids, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea

  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)

  • Increased appetite

  • Fat malabsorption


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