The $99 Thyroid — Gut Connection

Dr. David Peterson, DC, FAAIM

by Dr. David Peterson, DC, FAAIM

What is the missing link most practitioners do not address when treating Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other autoimmune disorders? It is recognizing that bacteria contribute to intestinal barrier dysfunction, and that by re-establishing intestinal barrier function an autoimmune process can be arrested. Understanding the role of bacteria between thyroid disease and gastrointestinal disease requires an understanding of the multiple elements which can contribute to the onset of autoimmune diseases. Bacteria play a major role in the loss of the intestinal barrier function and contribute to the conditions necessary that create a major autoimmune disruption and therefore an autoimmune disease.

The primary functions of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally been perceived to be limited to the digestion and absorption of nutrients, electrolytes and water. A more attentive analysis of the anatomic and functional arrangement of the gastrointestinal tract suggests that another extremely important function of this organ is its ability to regulate the movement of macromolecules between the environment and the host through the intestinal barrier. For example, a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection does not directly cause autoimmune thyroid disease, but it has a role in bringing on the autoimmune processes against thyroid and the ongoing disease process.

H. pylori are stomach bacteria that specifically colonize in the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract resulting in inflammation. The bacteria are responsible for gut inflammation, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastric lymphoma, and gastric cancer. An H. pylori infection can induce autoimmune processes against the gastrointestinal mucosal lining, with consequent autoimmune gastritis. H. pylori infections are also involved in non-gastrointestinal autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s.

H. pylori infections are one of the most common chronic infections worldwide. It affects approximately 50% of the world population. The majority of those infected never develop clinical symptoms. If you have tested negative for H. pylori, evaluate the testing method. Blood and saliva antibody tests for H. pylori can report false negative results. This is because H. pylori have the ability to shift stomach pH to their preferred alkaline pH. When the preferred alkaline pH is reached, H. pylori produce Lewis antibodies which make them invisible to the immune system, yet the damage is still occurring. Only DNA stool testing can accurately determine a H. pylori infection. This is the same testing used in court to determine the identities of criminals. We utilize the Metametrix 2100 Gastrointestinal Function Profile (GFP) to accurately assess bacteria and gut function. This test is now very affordable at Wellness Alternatives for patients with qualifying insurance; making this $395 DNA test now as low as $99.

New therapeutic medical strategies are available as innovative, exciting approaches for the treatment of thyroid and other autoimmune diseases. Evaluating and addressing gut bacteria levels and gut function can be an important key to stopping any autoimmune process. Call 636-227-4949 or contact Dr. Peterson at dpeterson@stlwa.com. Visit stlwa.com for blogs, newsletters and more information.