Bacterial Overgrowth and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – What is the Hypothyroid/Levothyroxine Connection?

Hypothyroid victims on Levothyroxime have a 3 times relative risk to having bacterial overgrowth and the IBS connection that goes with it.

World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Feb 7;23(5):842-852. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i5.842.
Levothyroxine therapy and impaired clearance are the strongest contributors to
small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: Results of a retrospective cohort study.
Brechmann T et al
http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v23/i5/842.htm

  • 1809 German study
  • Connections found:
    – gastrectomy, OR = 3.5
    – PPI therapy OR = 1.4
    – impairment of intestinal clearance (any resecting gastric surgery OR = 2.6, any colonic resection OR = 1.9, stenosis OR = 3.4, gastroparesis OR = 3.4, neuropathy 2.2,
    – immunological factors (any drug-induced immunosuppression OR = 1.8)
    – altered thyroid gland metabolism (hypothyroidism OR = 2.6, levothyroxine therapy OR = 3.0)

Bacterial overgrowth is commonly associated with IBS.  They were at a loss to explain the levothryoxine connection.

Comment – does levothryoxine negatively effect the gut? Is it the autoimmune process that makes thyroid replacement necessary? Don’t know; but will consider that more in IBS patients on Levothyroxine…

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One Response to Bacterial Overgrowth and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – What is the Hypothyroid/Levothyroxine Connection?

  1. Pingback: Fibromyalgia Common in Thyroid Disease | Pain Medical Musing

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