Hashimoto’s and Constipation


Note: The following is the output of a transcription from the video above. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

Hashimoto’s and Constipation, that is extremely common with the Hashimoto’s condition. So why does… Is it related? Yes. I would say that Hashimoto’s is considered probably the number two cause of constipation. Number one cause is chronic stress. And then after that, you can go into all of the things that occur. But Hashimoto’s, from my understanding, goes at constipation in two different ways. The primary way that Hashimoto’s causes constipation is it alters the physiology of your brainstem. And without getting too into the weeds, we do functional neurology here as well as functional medicine. So they kind of go together, brain function neurology. So essentially, it alters the ability of your brainstem to dampen stress responses. In fact, it increases stress responses, which then can overwhelm relaxation responses. Relaxation responses are known as parasympathetic responses. So basically, if you’re in a chronic fight response, let’s put Hashimoto’s over here for a second.

If you’re in a stress response, the number one cause of constipation, the stress response basically shuts down your relaxation response. When you’re in fight/flight, you’re not supposed to be relaxed. It’s a different chemistry. And the Hashimoto’s does a similar thing to that parasympathetic relaxation response. You may or may not realize it because a lot of you sit on the toilet thinking when you have to go to the bathroom and go, and you’re pushing and all that type of stuff. Where, just saying, if you were kind of relaxed, started doing some deep breathing, start meditating, whatever it is that you relax, you would find your bowels would move a lot easier because it is a relaxation response. So essentially, it shuts down the vagus nerve, which allows that relaxation response in what’s called your enteric nervous system. There’s a separate nervous system.

Some of you have heard the phrase, “We have two brains. There’s a second brain in the gut.” That’s what we’re talking about. And that second brain is in the muscular lining of the gut that is right below where all the little digestive areas villi are, and then it gets tight. When the relaxation response is interfered with, the muscles become tight, and then they don’t work. There’s this part of the nervous system, they’re called migrating motor system, and the migrating motor system helps you to migrate your feces out to the toilet. Okay? So that kind of gets slowed down, paralyzed. And that’s really… There is a huge connection. Also, Hashimoto’s is called, some people call it Hashimoto’s hypothyroid disease because probably 75% of you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroid as opposed to the small percentage that are the thin Hashimoto’s patient and hyperthyroid, hypothyroid patient, everything slows down.

So Hashimoto’s can cause your gallbladder to slow down, not pump as much. It can cause your pancreas to slowdown. It can cause your stomach to not to slow down, not make as much hydrochloric acid. When you do that, you interfere with the whole digestive chain. Everything that has made to, almost everything that’s made to digest your food is affected by that. So that’s kind of an indirect effect. And essentially, if you’re not breaking down your food properly, if you’re not breaking down the fats, if you’re not breaking down the starches, you’re kind of not going to go to the bathroom very well because you’re not going to digest your food. And then you’re going to get a more difficult bolus to move through the enteric nervous system through the intestines. Okay. So it kind of has a twofold effect on constipation.

One, a direct hit on the nervous system that causes the muscles not to move the feces through. It’s called peristalsis, not to have peristalsis. And the other is a more indirect hit, it slows down several of the digestive organs, slows everything down, right? We put on weight, our hair starts falling out, we get tired, we get edema, we get bowel problems. And the number one bowel problem that we get from hypothyroid and from Hashimoto’s hypothyroid is constipation. So that’s Hashimoto’s and constipation. And I’ll see you back tomorrow with another, I hope, interesting aspect of Hashimoto’s.

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