Hashimoto’s mom? Antacids, antibiotics and childhood allergy risks

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Dealing the underlying causes of your child’s acid reflux or frequent illnesses instead of masking them with pharmaceutical drugs could save you both bigger headaches later — a new study shows antacid and antibiotic use in infancy and early childhood raises the risk of developing allergies. Children born to moms with autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s low thyroid are at higher risk for allergies, autism, and other immune disorders. This makes it especially important to address the underlying causes of symptoms in your child to prevent bigger problems later. Researchers looked at the medical records of nearly 800,000 children in military families born during a 13-year period. Surprising in itself was that doctors gave almost 10 percent of the babies antacids such as Zantac or Pepcid for acid reflux. However, spitting up is normal in babies and usually does not need to be medicated. Also surprising was that more than half of the children in the study developed allergies, rashes, asthma, or hay fever. However, those children who were given antacids in infancy had double the likelihood of developing allergic diseases. Also, their risk of developing anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly allergic reaction, was 50 percent higher compared to the non-medicated children. Antibiotic use also contributed to more problems later. Children given antibiotics as babies were twice as likely to develop asthma and had a 50 percent higher likelihood of hay fever and anaphylactic allergies. These types of disorders point to an over zealous, dysregulated immune system that raises the risk of developing an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid. If you are a mom who had Hashimoto’s low thyroid while pregnant, you could have passed on autoimmune antibodies to your child. This makes it important to address silent autoimmunity in your child or risk factors for autoimmunity. We can screen for that in our office with advanced testing. Take care of your gut to prevent allergies and immune disorders such as Hashimoto’s The researchers hypothesized antacids and antibiotics damage good gut bacteria, also called the gut microbiome, thus contributing to allergies and other immune disorders such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid. Also, when antacids neutralize stomach acidity, this allows undigested foods into the small intestine where they cause inflammation, damage the gut, and impact the gut microbiome negatively. Your digestive tract and gut microbiome health determines your immune health. An inflamed and damaged gut and bad gut bacteria make a person more prone to such immune-based disorders as:

  • Allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Eczema and other skin-based disorders
  • Asthma and other respiratory disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism
  • Brain-based disorders
Look for the underlying causes of childhood illness Although it's normal for babies to spit up, if it's excessive you need to investigate why. It could be an inflamed gut, a bacterial or yeast infection from an unhealthy gut microbiome, a food intolerance or allergy, or other reasons. Also, reoccurring infections that require antibiotics are a red flag to examine underlying causes of immune imbalances. These are signs the the digestive tract, gut microbiome, and immune system are in distress. As an example, a child may be sensitive to gluten or dairy — two common triggers of immune disorders. The child could have been born with these food intolerances or autoimmunity (when the immune system attacks the body) passed on from the mom, especially if she had Hashimoto’s low thyroid. A child born via c-section and formula fed is also going to have a less healthy microbiome than a child born vaginally and breastfed. This predisposes children to excess acid reflux or bacterial infections. Giving a child antacids and antibiotics further damages the gut microbiome and imbalances the immune system, making the child more likely to develop immune disorders such as allergies, anaphylaxis, autoimmunity, Hashimoto’s low thyroid, asthma, eczema, obesity, and other health issues. The key is to address the root causes of an inflamed gut, an unhealthy gut microbiome, and inflammation. Ask my office how functional medicine can help manage these issues and Hashimoto’s low thyroid.

How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid

book11Many 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.

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One of the main goals at RedRiver Health and Wellness Center is to work with patients to improve their health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The RedRiver Health and Wellness Center team is passionate about helping ailing patients achieve optimal health, and we truly care about the success of each and every patient.

RedRiver chiropractic physicians are great advocates for prescribing physicians and endocrinologists. In fact, many of our patients see their prescribing physician(s) more frequently while under our care than they would otherwise. Our goal is not to replace our patients’ primary care physicians and specialists, but to complement their care by providing patients with nutrition, diet, lifestyle and educational support and strategies. This way, patients can learn to manage their symptoms more efficiently. We have developed rewarding relationships with many prescribing physicians across the country, and we strive to continue to building relationships with MDs, DOs, NPs, and NMDs. When health professionals can work together for the benefit of the patient’s health, it becomes a win/win situation for the one who matters most—the patient.

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