Several factors are responsible for stomach cancer, however a recent study has shown that regular use of proton pump inhibitors, commonly referred to as PPIs, for acid reflux increases the risk of stomach cancer. The study shows that PPI users are more prone to stomach cancer in relation to those who used H2-receptor acid reducing drugs (Tagamet, Pepcid). It was also pointed out that people who have Hashimoto’s low thyroid may struggle with acid reflux because one of the factors that causes acid reflux is hypothyroidism.
A lot of people think acid reflux is a result of high stomach acid. Actually, the opposite happens to be true. Too little stomach acid is responsible for acid reflux. This brings us to the question, why is this relevant when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid?
By nature, the stomach is very acidic. This is to enable it break down food easily and also fight bacteria, fungi and other pathogens. Good stomach acidity helps to absorb minerals and also informs the rest of the digestive system to release the required hormones, enzymes that ensure good digestion.
If you have low stomach acid then you are prone to gut inflammation, infections and other digestive dysfunction. All these can lead to Hashimoto’s low thyroid. You also require healthy stomach acid to repair your gut.
What is responsible for low stomach acid?
Stress, bacterial infection, poor diet and some natural deficiencies are responsible for low stomach acid. Although an H. pylori infection, which is synonymous with stomach ulcers, is the most common case of low stomach acid.
You should watch out for pernicious anemia and inadequate zinc B12, magnesium, or chloride.
How low stomach acid causes acid reflux
The small intestine requires the content of food being received from the stomach to be acidic enough for it to be able to pass through. If this fails, the food goes back up to the esophagus.
Even though the food is considered not be acidic enough for the small intestine, it is too acidic for the tissues in the esophagus. This leads to the burning of acid reflux or in some cases heartburn.
This could also be a sign of poor digestive function which could play a role in Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Why antacids worsen acid reflux overtime
Using acid-reducing drugs could help your immediate needs but causes a great problem down the line. This is because low stomach acid makes the digestive system open to infection, inflammation and in some cases damage. It is important to address the underlying cause of low stomach acid when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid and not just treat the symptoms.
How to improve low stomach acid when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
You can improve low stomach acid by using supplements that contain betaine hydrochloric acid (HCL). For those with stomach ulcer or stomach autoimmunity using supplements could aggravate the situation. In such circumstances, it is best you address the existing condition head on.
Ask my office for more advice on managing acid reflux and Hashimot’s low thyroid.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.