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Fertility Health: The Link Between the Thyroid and Digestion

Fertility Health: The Link Between the Thyroid and Digestion

In today’s world, many people struggle with thyroid problems along with digestive issues. When struggling with infertility, it’s important to understand that thyroid health affects fertility. Thyroid health is intertwined with gut health and other facets of fertility health like libido, basal body temperature and menstrual cycle regularity, to name a few.

While medication may be necessary to treat a thyroid problem, for long-term recovery, it’s vital to address digestive health, which is involved in thyroid hormone production. What’s promising is that, for some people, dietary changes and improvements in gut health could even decrease their need for thyroid medication and help promote natural fertility.

What’s Up With The Gut?

Today, the low fiber, processed foods’ diet many people follow sets the stage for all types of digestive concerns like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or constipation. Common medications like antibiotics, steroids or anti-fungal drugs also put stress on normal digestion.

If you have a thyroid problem, healthy digestion can be even more challenging. Thyroid problems can both cause and worsen digestive issues like constipation, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and imbalanced stomach acid production.

Some of the research on gut health and the thyroid:

  • 2014 research reveals there may be a link between low thyroid activity and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
  • A 1968 study published in Endocrine Research shows the gut is involved in both T3 and T4 production.
  • 1988 research published in Life Sciences finds T3 and T4 help protect the intestinal lining from ulcers.
  • Thyroid experts estimate that around 20% of thyroid function depends on the conversion of T4 into the more active T3 form in the gut microbiome.

The Leaky Gut Link to Hashimoto’s disease

Gut health could play a crucial role in the development of Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune form of hypothyroidism, which counts for 80% of hypothyroidism cases today. Excessive inflammation and Leaky Gut Syndrome often trigger autoimmune problems like Hashimoto’s.

Leaky Gut Syndrome causes the intestinal wall to become too permeable, allowing proteins to slip into the bloodstream. Once proteins hit the bloodstream, the immune system launches an attack. Over time, this causes excessive inflammation and could lead to a full-blown autoimmune reaction.

If you have Hashimoto’s, normalizing the GI tract and eliminating food sensitivities could be a key to solving your problem for good.

The Celiac Disease Connection to Hypothyroidism

Aviva Romm M.D. reports that 10% of people with Celiac disease also have hypothyroidism. Eliminating gluten from the diet can help solve Celiac disease and promote normal thyroid levels. If you’ve recently gone gluten-free and are using thyroid medications, having a thyroid hormone panel run may be a good idea to make sure your medication doesn’t need to be adjusted.

Fertility and thyroid health depend on a healthy gut!
Gut health affects all facets of our health, even the thyroid gland and your fertility. Even if your digestion seems normal, it’s wise to take extra measures to encourage healthy GI function if you’re dealing with a fertility concern or a thyroid problem. For some people, the only signs of a gut problem may be inflammation or an autoimmune problem.

If you have hypothyroidism, work on your digestion to help normalize hormone production and promote natural fertility. Most people begin to see improvements in 3-6 months after consistent diet and lifestyle changes. For stubborn problems, working with a reproductive endocrinologist may produce the best results. A Fertility Consultation with a fertility herbalist is another good option to address fertility challenges linked to thyroid problems or poor digestion.

Learn how to promote gut health and normal microbiome:
Gut Health and the Microbiome Connection To Optimum Fertility
Video: Healthy Digestion for Fertility


Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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