Many people have a bacteria in their stomach called H. Pylori. And a good number of people with this organism don’t present with any symptoms. However, H. Pylori can cause numerous problems with the digestive system, including duodenal and peptic ulcers, as well as gastric ulcers. This not only can lead to pain and discomfort, but can also decrease the absorption of nutrients. People with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are more likely to be infected with this organism, and in this article I will talk about how you can test in order to determine if you have H. Pylori, and I’ll also discuss what natural treatment options are available for those people who do test positive for it.
Why is H. Pylori more common in people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Well, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune thyroid condition. And as is the case with any autoimmune condition, in Hashimoto’s the immune system is not functioning properly. Although in a condition such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis the immune system is overactive, a person with this condition is still more susceptible to other conditions, one of which is H. Pylori. Although H. Pylori is transmitted from person to person, someone with a compromised immune system is more likely to contract H. Pylori when compared to someone who has a healthy immune system. So while proper hygiene is important to minimize the transmission of H. Pylori, having a healthy immune system is essential.
So if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, one of the things you can do to reduce the likelihood of contracting H. Pylori is to address the immune system. I focus on this more in other articles, and so I won’t go into detail about this here, but this essentially is accomplished through eating well, avoiding common allergens such as gluten and dairy (not necessarily on a permanent basis, although sometimes this is the case), managing your stress, minimizing your exposure to environmental toxins, balancing the hormones, replenishing the gut flora, correcting mineral deficiencies, and taking certain supplements and herbs. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is, which is why I recommend for anyone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis to consult with a competent natural healthcare professional.
Can H. Pylori Cause Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
While having an autoimmune thyroid condition such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can make one more susceptible to getting infected with H. Pylori, can this bacteria cause a healthy person to develop Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? There is some controversy over this, as some studies show that having H. Pylori won’t increase one’s chance of developing an autoimmune thyroid condition, while other sources state that if someone has a genetic marker for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis then having H. Pylori can trigger the autoimmune response. If this is the case, just getting rid of this bacteria usually won’t eliminate the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is where following a natural treatment protocol will come into play.
This doesn’t mean that most cases of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is caused by H. Pylori, as this probably isn’t the case. But it’s something to be aware of, and of course once someone has any type infection the goal should be to eradicate it. I honestly don’t know whether H. Pylori can cause Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but I have seen some great things happen when eliminating this bacteria in people with autoimmune thyroid conditions, as with a few people, getting rid of this bacteria seemed to have helped lower the thyroid antibodies. To be frank, this is based on a very small sample size, but for someone who has high thyroid antibodies who can’t get them to lower by eliminating gluten, balancing the hormones and minerals, etc., then this is something to look into.
Testing For The Presence H. Pylori
There are a few different ways to test for an H. Pylori infection. The method I commonly use is saliva-based testing, although you can also test through the blood or stool. Another option to consider is a breath test… yes, you heard me right! Even though I don’t utilize this method, it supposedly is a very accurate method to determine if someone is infected with this bacteria.
H. Pylori and Natural Treatment Methods
In my opinion it is definitely worth following a natural treatment protocol to help eradicate H. Pylori. However, this doesn’t always work for everyone. On the other hand, the same thing is true with conventional medical treatment, which usually involves giving antibiotics. So since there is no guarantee that either one will work, then I usually recommend doing one of two things:
1) Begin a natural treatment protocol to see if it will eradicate H. Pylori. This usually involves avoiding the refined foods and carbs from one’s diet for at least 30 days, taking probiotics, garlic, mastic gum, and the herbs thyme, turmeric, and golden seal. Most people do respond well to this natural treatment protocol, but it doesn’t always permanently eliminate H. Pylori.
2) Combine natural and conventional treatment methods. Although I’m not a fan of taking antibiotics if it’s not necessary, for some people, combining both medical and conventional treatment methods is a good option. So in this case, one would take the antibiotics while following the natural treatment protocol I discussed above. Following this approach almost always will eradicate H. Pylori.
So which of these two options would I recommend? To no surprise, I would recommend trying just the natural approach alone for at least 30 days, and then retest for H. Pylori. If you’re still positive for it then you can continue with the natural treatment protocol will introducing the antibiotics.
Hopefully this article has given you some valuable information to help you eradicate H. Pylori. As I briefly mentioned, many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can also restore their health back to normal by following a natural treatment protocol. This of course would involve a different approach to getting rid of the H. Pylori, although there is some overlap in the treatment, especially when it comes to the dietary and lifestyle factors.