Is There is a Link Between Thyroid and Acid Reflux Connection

By: Researcher Taymur

Understanding Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is extremely common, also known as acid indigestion. It occurs when there is no proper closure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

The LES is the muscle between the abdomen and the esophagus. It is a one-way valve that usually opens when you swallow for a limited amount of time. The stomach contents and digestive juices may return to the esophagus when the LES fails to close completely.

Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux, causing a burning sensation in the chest. Other symptoms could include:

  • regurgitation
  • swallowing difficulty

It is known as chronic acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), if acid reflux happens more than twice a week.

Understanding Thyroid and Hypothyroidism

The thyroid is a gland in the neck in the shape of a butterfly. The thyroid gland is responsible for the production of hormones that regulate the metabolism of your body, which is the process of energy creation and use by the body.

Several different disorders can occur when too many or too few hormones are produced by the thyroid.

Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when not enough hormones are released by the thyroid. It interferes with the ability of the body to perform normal metabolic functions, such as using food products energy effectively. Hypothyroidism signs include:

  • weight gain
  • fatigue

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Understanding Acid Reflux Thyroid Connection

Although there is no direct connection between acid reflux and thyroid disease, in those with an underactive thyroid this relationship can be seen. This is particularly true if it is due to Hashimoto disease, an autoimmune disease in which the tissue of the thyroid is destroyed.

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Hashimoto’s disease is thought to be associated with an esophageal motility disorder that may lead to symptoms of heartburn and reflux.

Often, those with hypothyroidism, due to lack of thyroid hormone, appear to be overweight or obese. This also increases the risk of symptoms of reflux.

Understanding Doctors Need

Talk to your doctor if you have a thyroid disease and acid reflux as well. Your doctor can help you find ways to ease your reflux of acid without further affecting your thyroid function.

If you have acid reflux and feel it might be linked to your thyroid, see if there are any hypothyroidism symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you do. For this condition, they can test you. If the diagnosis is hypothyroidism, the appropriate treatment may be prescribed.

Resources

womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/thyroid-disease

health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease

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