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hypothyroidism and allergies question
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hypothyroidism and allergies question

Hi again, I apologize in advance at the number of questions I have as I am sure there is redundancy to questions asked and answered.  That said, I am wondering if anyone who has allergies found them to have worsened around the time they were dx'd with hypothyroidism?  The past six months or so, my allergies seemed to have gotten worse to the point of needing an inhaler in addition to taking allergy meds.  I have not had skin pricks to determine allergens, but did have blood testing as a starting point.  The results showed no significant numbers besides really, yet my symptoms are a problem for me.  In addition to allergy testing, I also had routine lab work which is when I learned I have hypothyroidism.  I had routine lab work the year before at which time my numbers were all ok.  So, in the past year, my thyroid became and issue as well as worsening allergy sypmtoms.  Is there a relationship?  Just curious.  Thanks again, everyone!
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649848_tn?1357751184
What are your exact thyroid hormone levels? Please post the results of your tests, along with reference ranges which vary lab to lab and have to come from your own report.

As I'm sure you know, there are a lot of variables involved with allergies, including time of year, time of day, humidity, etc.

Hypothyroidism affects the entire body, so, while I'm not aware of an exact relationship between hypo and allergies, I'd be the last to say there isn't one.

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1756321_tn?1377771734
"Elevated thyroid antibodies are often associated with chronic urticaria, also called hives. Studies report that as many as 57.4% of patients with hives have the presence of anti-thyroid antibodies. An August 2010 paper suggests that treatment with T4 improves the itching associated with urticaria, but did not advise treatment with T4 unless the patient was hypothyroid." - excerpt from Life Extention - Thyroid Regulation

Allergies/food intolerances are possible symptoms of hypothyroidism. Two causes that can come to mind in regards to hypothyroidism are low cortisol and insufficient stomach acid.

Hypothyroidism is a well noted cause of insufficient stomach acid (HCI - hydrochloric acid).  General allergies, and specifically food allergies, are correlated with low HCl.

Hypothyroidism may decrease cortisol (adrenal hormone) levels.  Most allergies involve the release of histamine and other pro-inflammatory substances. Cortisol is a strong anti-inflammatory and the amount of cortisol circulating in the blood is a key factor in controlling the level of inflammatory reactions in the body.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have central hypothyroidism---and I have major problems with reflux----enough to cause me esophageal damage because of the acid that is constantly washing into my esophagus---I've never heard of low thyroid causing low stomach acid--could you point me to info on that, Red star?     i may just be a freak of nature!!!

I have definitely heard of a connection between low thyroid and allergies and low cortisol and allergies.  I have secondary adrenal insufficiency and I have just been diagnosed with a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, which is an infiltration of allergic cells in the esophagus which can actually change the surface of the esophagus.  i have rings in my esophagus and I also have furrows that run up and down my esophagus.

I will be starting a steroid treatment that I have to swallow to hopefully get rid of the eosinophils in my esophagus.
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1756321_tn?1377771734
A freak? Nah :) Contrary to popular belief, heartburn, acid reflux and GERD are usually due to not enough stomach acid. My mother is free of severe GERD and severe LPR after stopping the acid blocker nexium and starting betaine HCI with pepsin supplements (increases stomach acid) and digestive enzyme supplements (helps with digestion).

"The Hypothyroid Stomach

It's hard enough to have symptoms like fatigue or lack of motivation when
you are suffering from hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's, but it is common
to have stomach problem too. Normally, the stomach pH is very acidic but
hypothyroidism tends to slow metabolism in general which, among other
things, causes the parietal cells in the stomach to produce less stomach
(hydrochloric) acid.

Proteins cannot be properly digested in this environment and food putrefies. Secondary organic acids are produced and these acids can be too acidic even for the tough lining of the stomach. Over time, lack of proper stomach acid production can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and ulcers.

In my clinical experience, the majority of hypothyroid patients also have
abnormal cortisol levels at different times of the day. Cortisol is one of
the many hormones involved in the web of chemical events that affect thyroid metabolism. Cortisol, too, lowers hydrochloric acid production. It thins the mucous that protects the stomach lining and it inhibits the normal cellular repair of the stomach. These three factors all can contribute to the poor digestion experienced by so many hypothryoid patients.

In this way, hypothyroidism indirectly causes gas, bloating, stomach pain,
burning, heartburn, bad breath and other unpleasant symptoms. Poor acidic content can also interfere with the absorption of B12, iron and folic acid, which can cause anemia."

***

The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, not baking powder) test...

The following steps help to determine your stomach's acidity:

1. Perform this test first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (before
eating or drinking)

2. Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of baking soda into an 8 oz glass of cold water

3. Drink the solution and start timing

4. Record the time until you first burp up gas

5. Perform this test for 5 consecutive days (or longer) at the same time each day to give a better estimation of your stomach’s acidity

Time until first burp:

If you burp immediately and excessively your stomach acid level is probably too high

Under 2 min: indicates normal acidity

2 - 5 min: low normal acidity

Over 5 min: possible hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)

No burping indicates possible achlorhydria (no stomach acid).
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I just wanted to add this info about hives and low/no stomach acid:

"Hives

Gastric analysis with histamine stimulation was performed on 40 patients with chronic hives (urticaria). Approximately 65% of the patients had either hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria. Of the patients with reduced acid output, 65% obtained almost complete or partial relief of symptoms with hydrochloric acid (HCl) therapy. These patients previously had been unresponsive to all other forms of treatment.

The best results were obtained in the 22 patients with achlorhydria. In this group, 18 patients (82%) were almost completely relieved by HCl therapy. In another report, administration of dilute HCl altered the putrefactive flora ordinarily present in the small intestine of achlorhydric individuals.

According to the second report, therapeutic use of dilute HCl has fallen into disrepute, largely on theoretical grounds. However, many capable internists and dermatologists remain convinced, on the basis of clinical experience, that acid therapy is beneficial. [Rawls WB, Ancona VC. Chronic urticaria associated with hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria. Rev Gastroenterol 1951;18:267]"
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