Join me in discussing how you can improve your digestion and reverse your hypothyroidism at the same time. Recent studies in Italy have shown that by addressing digestive issues, one can reverse the Hashimoto’s or the autoimmune thyroid process.
Improve Digestion and Reverse Hypothyroid at the Same Time
Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hi, this is Dr. Ruscio, and let’s talk about how you can improve your digestion and help reverse your hypothyroidism at the same time.
I’d like to cover with you some very exciting results that were published in Italy showing that, by addressing digestive issues, one can actually dampen and even reverse the Hashimoto’s or the autoimmune thyroid process. And remember that the Hashimoto’s process is the number one cause of hypothyroidism.
This study looked at ten patients. And what they found was that all ten patients who had Hashimoto’s, which is a form of thyroid autoimmunity that damages your thyroid and eventually causes you to become hypothyroid—all those patients also had an infection in their stomach with a bacteria known as H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori.
Half of the patients were treated for the infection and the other half was not treated for the infection. And as you can see here, as I’m putting up on the screen, this was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology in 2004.
And they tracked what’s called a TPO. And the TPO stands for the thyroid peroxidase antibodies. The higher this marker goes, the more severe the Hashimoto’s autoimmune process and the more thyroid inflammation and damage is occurring.
So you can see here that in the green, which is the treatment group, compared to the red, there was a fairly high level of these TPO antibodies, or this thyroid inflammation.
And after treatment, the green group, you can see that at their 20-month follow up, the level of these TPO antibodies, or the activity of the amount of autoimmunity against the thyroid and the amount of damage against the thyroid was significantly less. In fact, if you see here, I put up the delta 2029. That means the average change was a change of 2029 points lowering the TPO.
Now looking in the red, you can see that there wasn’t really much of a change in the TPO antibodies. The delta there, the total average change per patient was about 528.
So what this is showing is that there is a stomach bacterium, which I’ve talked about before in my other newsletters, that’s associated with causing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or thyroid autoimmunity or hypothyroid, however you like to say it. And more importantly now, we’re starting to see the studies being done showing that treatment of these infections will actually help stop the autoimmune process.
And here’s how you can picture this. When someone has an underlying predilection to develop autoimmunity, that means that their immune system may not have good aim, meaning the immune system is supposed to only kill pathogens. But some people don’t have immune cells with very good aim. And so they’re not sure, “Is that the bacteria? Or is that a piece of thyroid tissue?” And they can’t discern one from the other. And so they start attacking both bacteria and your thyroid.
So when you have this underlying immune predilection to develop autoimmunity, and then you have an infection present itself, that drives up the activity of all your immune cells. Now, the immune cells go on the attack. And when they go on the attack, they can start attacking the bacteria. And in certain people, they can also start attacking your own tissue. And in this case, the study was looking at thyroid tissue.
And again, we see a great reversal and dampening of this autoimmune process after we clear the infection.
So the big take-home here is if you’re someone who is frustrated with your thyroid and you’re not getting the answers that you’re looking for and you have any kind of digestive complaint, it is a very good idea to have a thorough screening for H. pylori or any other kind of stomach bacteria. And if it’s there, treat that and address it properly.
This is Dr. Ruscio. And I hope you find this helpful. Thanks!
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