Hashimotos Disease and IBS Connection

In Search of a Common Cause Between Hashimoto’s, Hives, and IBS

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (also known as Hashimoto’s disease) is a disorder that involves the immune system attacking the thyroid gland.  Thyroid hormones control metabolism and consequently affect breathing, body temperature, weight, cholesterol levels, menstrual cycle, muscle strength, hair and skin, brain development, and heart and nervous system functions. Appreciating the significance in regulation of these actions, and considering that the thyroid gland is only about two inches long and weighs under one ounce, you can surely see the importance of thyroid health.

A recent article from July 2015 in The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, North America,  titled Eradication of Blastocystis hominis prevents the development of symptomatic Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: a case report reported on common root causes of Hashimoto’s, hives, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It stated that evidence suggested the three commonly associated conditions may have the same underlying cause. It was noted that 42 scientific studies have linked Hashimoto’s with chronic hives (chronic spontaneous urticaria), which presents as an itchy, widespread, and swollen skin rash. Some recent case studies showed that infection with the protozoan parasite, Blastocystis hominis, was associated with chronic hives, and one study found that it was present in 60.6% of patients affected by chronic hives.

Various studies using different methods for identification of the parasite Blastocystis hominis, found a prevalence rate ranging from between 13% and 73% of people with IBS and the likelihood of false negatives means that these figures would actually be higher. One clinical pilot study of a link between the parasite and IBS found Blastocystis hominis was increased in all IBS patients.

Conventional medicine considers Blastocystis hominis to be a relatively harmless organism, as up to 20% of healthy control subjects have no symptoms, and with that being the case, there would be no need to treat. It would be reasonable to assume that the other 80% of subjects were included in one of the multiple studies that implicated the parasite as a possible root cause of chronic hives and IBS.

The research found that eradicating the parasite often led to the remission of symptoms of chronic hives and IBS that commonly occur with Hashimoto’s. That evidence was provided by a case study proposing that a common root cause existed for the conditions discussed in the article.

Below is the link to the journal piece about the recent study:


Author Info

Dr. Lisa Maturo, Naturopathic Thyroid Doctor

Dr. Lisa Maturo, Naturopathic Thyroid Doctor

Dr. Lisa Maturo is a naturopathic doctor who focuses her practice on preventive medicine and hormonal imbalances, with a strong emphasis on treating thyroid disease. Dr Maturo is one of the few practitioners in Arizona certified in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and she is also a partner on Forever Health Network, a listing of hormone balancing experts selected and promoted by Suzanne Somers. Dr Maturo suffered for over 15 years with undiagnosed Hashimoto's, and went through what many of her patients have gone through with multiple frustrating doctor visits before getting it properly diagnosed and treated, so she has the unique perspective of being both doctor and patient when it comes to understanding Hashimoto's and Hypothyroidism, and can truly empathize with her patients.

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