Still Having Thyroid Issues? This May Be Why

If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism and haven’t been able to resolve your symptoms, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) may be the culprit. The challenge is that many of the symptoms of hypothyroid can be the same as SIBO, so it’s sometimes difficult to know if your issue is really thyroid-related or gut-related.

If you need help healing your gut, click here

Still Having Thyroid Issues? This May Be Why - AdobeStock104411972 WEB

Still Having Thyroid Issues? This May Be Why

If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism and haven’t been able to resolve your symptoms, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) may be the culprit.

Typical symptoms of SIBO include gastrointestinal issues like:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn

Symptoms can also include extra-intestinal symptoms such as:

  • Skin issues (eczema, rashes, rosacea)
  • Mood imbalances (depression)
  • Respiratory issues (asthma)
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Food sensitivities

A recent study Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source evaluated 1,809 patients that had undergone a hydrogen breath test for SIBO. This study aimed to determine the primary contributing factors to SIBO. The study evaluated the following potential factors:

  • Impairment of the gastric acid barrier (gastrectomy, PPI therapy)
  • Impairment of intestinal clearance (any resecting gastric surgery, any colonic resection, stenosis, gastroparesis, neuropathy)
  • Immunological factors (immunosuppressive drugs)
  • Altered thyroid gland metabolism (hypothyroidism, levothyroxine therapy)
  • Diabetes mellitus

The results indicated that levothyroxine therapy or hypothyroidism significantly increased the risk that someone would get SIBO. These two factors may even be more impactful than intestinal surgery or immunosuppressive drug use. Levothyroxine therapy was the strongest contributor.

The challenge is that many of the symptoms of hypothyroid can be the same as SIBO. So, while you may be trying to fix your thyroid with the right medications and diet, you may not be addressing the underlying issue. If you’ve taken steps to address your thyroid and you’re still not feeling well, then it may be time to consider the gut.

Find a practitioner who specializes in gut health and has a good understanding of SIBO. SIBO can be diagnosed using a simple breath test, but you need a qualified practitioner who is well-versed on interpreting the test results and recommending a treatment protocol.

Addressing any underlying gut issues is so important for several reasons: 

  1. By improving your gut health, you can improve thyroid autoimmunity.
  2. You can improve thyroid medication absorption, meaning you might need a smaller dose.
  3. Improving gut health can also improve thyroid hormone conversion.

What if I don’t have digestive issues?

It’s important to point out that gut imbalances don’t always manifest as gut symptoms. So, even if you don’t have bloating, gas, or any digestive complaints, you still want to make sure you’re addressing gut health. Gut imbalances can manifest as symptoms anywhere in the body, not just as intestinal symptoms.


If you need help healing your gut, click here

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.

Discussion

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14 thoughts on “Still Having Thyroid Issues? This May Be Why

  1. I’m diagnosed with hyperthyroid but I have ALL the SIBO symptoms. Is that common with overactive thyroid as well?

    1. Hi Angela,
      Yes, those with both hyper and hypo thyroid have been shown to have an increased risk for SIBO. I would get an evaluation. Contact my office if you need help.

    1. Hi Karen,
      SIBO might decrease thyroid medication across the board, I wouldn’t suspect the type of Rx would matter. Unless it was liquid form which has shown to be easier to absorb.

    1. Hi Ash,
      VERY important, thyroid medication was associated with SIBO, not shown to cause it. Its likely that hypothyroidism, irrespective of medication used, is associated with and increases risk of SIBO. Do not stop taking any meds without speaking with your doctor first. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Ash,
      VERY important, thyroid medication was associated with SIBO, not shown to cause it. Its likely that hypothyroidism, irrespective of medication used, is associated with and increases risk of SIBO. Do not stop taking any meds without speaking with your doctor first. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Karen,
      SIBO might decrease thyroid medication across the board, I wouldn’t suspect the type of Rx would matter. Unless it was liquid form which has shown to be easier to absorb.

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