What’s the connection between your stomach problems, brain fog, and hashimoto’s? How are they related?
One of the most frequent questions I get asked by new patients suffering from low thyroid symptoms is why we do a functional neurological exam on them. There are several reasons why we do this. First, the brain directly communicates with the thyroid. The brain tells the pituitary to talk to the hypothalamus to tell the thyroid to release hormones. Kind of like a domino effect.
The brain also directly communicates with the stomach and intestines (which is what we call the gastrointestinal system) through the vagal nerve. In previous posts I have talked about how important the gastrointestinal system is in patients with low thyroid symptoms. If you have been reading or watching then you know the number one cause of low thyroid symptoms in the United States is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. 85 to 95% of all low thyroid conditions in the United States as an autoimmune condition of the thyroid.
The liver and spleen have a huge effect on the immune system, and are also directly connected to the brain through the autonomic nervous system. Researchers have known for years that if you damage the vagus nerve, you will have dysfunction of the organs that we talked about. When those organs don’t function correctly, the thyroid health is directly and negatively impacted.
The gastrointestinal tract and liver also convert inactive thyroid hormones into active ones. So if they are not functioning correctly, you will not have enough active thyroid hormone to bind to the receptor sites. That will translate into low thyroid symptoms like brain fog, constipation, hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, and all the other low thyroid symptoms.
Another important reason why we do function neurological exam on all patients complaining of low thyroid symptoms is because we want to check and see how the brain is functioning, particularly the cerebellum and the basal ganglia. Research has shown that these two areas in the brain can also be attacked just like the thyroid is attacked in people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
If you are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms, make sure you find a doctor that knows we’ve just talked about. You want to make sure that you get more than just your TSH and free T3 and free T4 checked when you are trying to find the cause of why you are still suffering with symptoms of hypothyroidism.