Link Between Thyroid Disease and Helicobacter Pylori
When most people think about having thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s or Graves Disease they rarely think about the connection or link to between their thyroid disease and bacteria or stealth infections as a culprit.
One of the most common symptoms of Thyroid disease after things like fatigue, weight gain, hair loss and depression….and symptoms related to the gut.
These symptoms may be bloating, constipation, diarrhea, Acid reflux or they may be more serious such as stomach ulcers or stomach cancer.
One of the most common culprits and one that I will be talking about today is H.Pylori.
H. pylori infection is believed to be one of the top stealth infections that affect people with Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease and this bacteria poses a serious threat and obstacle when it comes to stabilizing, lowering TPO antibodies and putting your body into remission. H.pylori is an incredibly smart bacteria and here’s why.
The bacteria attach themselves by poking holes into the surface of underlying epithelial cells found in the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines. H. pylori also neutralizes the acid in its environment by producing large amounts of urease, which breaks down the urea present in the stomach to carbon dioxide and ammonia.
You might be saying, why am I only hearing about this now? Consider this…. In a study comparing H. pylori infection rates among groups of autoimmune and thyroid patients, 85.7% (86%) of autoimmune thyroid patients tested positive for antibodies against H. pylori, The study also went on to say that Helicobacter pylori might be involved in the development of non-gastrointestinal conditions such as rosacea, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes.
When it comes to autoimmune thyroid disease, the problem is the immune system not the thyroid- so now we need to investigate into the cause of why the immune system is being suppressed and that leads us to what we have been talking about- H.Pylori.
But perhaps you are thinking I don’t have an autoimmune disease, I have been tested and it was negative. Two things- just because it was negative in the past does not mean it will be negative in 6 months from now. I’ve seen people have tests that showed it was negative and then a year later upon a stressor, infection, a hospital visit or just because we ran a more comprehensive thyroid panel, those antibodies now came back positive.
What researchers have found is that if you have a genetic propensity for and autoimmune disease (let’s say your mom has Thyroid disease and your grandmother had thyroid disease) Well that H. pylori can be a trigger for you to develop a full blown autoimmune disease at a later date in time-
Three Main Factors We Need To Think About When It Comes To Autoimmune conditions. We need to think about
- Genetic predisposition
- Intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome)
- Autoimmune triggers – that trigger could be an infection (viral, bacterial, fungal), could be trauma or a major stressor in life, it could be an environmental toxins– like phthalates and Bisphenol A, severe nutrient depletions, etc. Now, today we are talking about H.pylori as a trigger, but I want you to realize that there are several other kinds of chronic infections also associated with the development of autoimmune diseases- these would be things like
Epstein Barr virus, Herpes, Candida, Yersinnia– again these are all examples of stealth infections associated with autoimmune disease. So I would encourage you to keep this in mind if YOU have and autoimmune disease or you have a family history of an autoimmune disease or no matter what you do- your thyroid never seems to stabilize so be aware of this infection-connection! The last topic I want to cover today is on testing and when someone should be tested-
Symptoms of H.pylori
Let’s say you have symptoms such as bloating, gas, burping acid reflux, nausea, no appetite your stomach hurts more when its empty, or you are tired all the time or you frequently have low B12 levels, its very suspicious of H.pylori- So if you have majority of those H.pylori Symptoms-how do you find out- how is H.pylori identified? Testing
How Do You Test For H.Pylori
There are three different methods of testing for H.pylori….Stool, breath and blood and Sometimes you may need more than one to detect the presence of the infection. Stool testing is best to identify the presence of H.pylori in lower GI tract while breath testing is more accurate for upper GI infections. If I am concerned about a high bacterial load in a patient lets say because we see low WBC, I often consider running a pathogen associated immune screening from Cyrex Labs.
So that’s going to wrap up today’s video- I hope you enjoyed it! If you did, Be sure to subscribe leave a comment below.