In naturopathic and functional medicine, the gut is seen as one of the major influencers of the health of the entire body. The digestive tract is the barrier inside of our bodies that protects us from the outside world. It houses the majority of our immune system, having a great effect on our tendency to get sick or to develop autoimmune conditions.
The majority of our neurotransmitters are produced in the gut so poor digestive health can impact our mood, leading to anxiety and depression. From the stomach to the intestines, we have numerous complex systems in place to break down and absorb the foods we eat that will be used to build the bodies we live in, fuel our brains and hearts, and do just about every other process we could ever need done. Food is our medicine, but if our gut is unhealthy, that medicine is no longer valuable.
Just like everything in the body, there can be many root-causes for digestive concerns. Through detailed history and specific testing if necessary, we are able to create comprehensive treatment plans that allow our patients to heal naturally. This impacts and improves almost every other aspect of their overall well-being.
Thyroid Health & Autoimmunity
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the front of your neck. It may be little but it's incredibly powerful and enormously important. The thyroid has dozens of functions in the body, including being the master of our metabolism, energy, growth, and maturation.
People who have thyroids that are not functioning properly often have a harder time losing weight, experience dry skin, thinning hair, fatigue, brain fog, and may feel cold often. This is called hypothyroidism and a very common form of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. People who have a thyroid that is over functioning may have a hard time gaining weight, are anxious, may experience heart palpitations, and can be very hot. This is often the case with autoimmune hyperthyroidism, or Grave's disease. Autoimmunity is when your body has made a mistake and your immune system is attacking your own tissue instead of just attacking foreign substances like a bacteria or virus.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis in particular is becoming a shocking epidemic in our country, especially among women. Having one autoimmune disease sets you up to developing other autoimmune diseases in the future if it is not caught and dealt with appropriately. Often people develop antibodies and have no symptoms until they have full-blown autoimmunity and debilitating symptoms.