Has your practitioner performed a stool test on you, looking for parasitic, fungal or bacterial infections, which has come back negative, yet you still suffer from any of the following symptoms?
- Mental fog/memory loss
- Gas or bloating
- Poor digestion or malabsorption
- Muscle/Joint pain
- Skin abnormalities, sores or dermatitis
There’s a chance you may still have an intestinal infection that has gone undiagnosed. Just like any lab test, parasite tests are never 100% definitive, and many times are only as accurate as the lab analyzing the sample, and the practitioner interpreting the results.
Test Results Aren’t Always 100% Accurate
There is no parasite/pathogen test that is 100% accurate 100% of the time for a couple of reasons. First, there are estimated over 400 bacterial species and over 300 parasitic worms that can be found in the human intestinal tract. Some are beneficial, some are neutral, and some can be extremely pathogenic, or harmful.
Most labs test for only a few dozen or so potential offenders, which can leave several dozen or more not even looked for.
Second, parasites can go through a dormancy stage, making their detection more difficult, or even hide within the biofilm, or sludge, lining the intestinal walls, again, making detection a challenge.
The Effect on Your Thyroid
Intestinal infections, whether an unfriendly bacterium, a parasitic worm or a fungus or yeast like candida, can have catastrophic effects on not only thyroid function, but other systems of the body as well. These invaders emit harmfully toxic substances, endotoxins or exotoxins, which can do a number of things to negatively impact health.
First, these toxic byproducts can kill off beneficial bacteria, creating a dysbiosis, negatively affecting intestinal health and the immune system. They also cause erosion of the intestinal walls, allowing foreign substances to enter the bloodstream, potentially creating, not only an autoimmune response but also cause the liver to work overtime to help metabolize and remove these toxins.
When there’s a dysbiosis present in the intestinal flora, it allows other unfriendly infections to thrive. An example is yeast, which can build up in the intestines and emit a very toxic exotoxin. This exotoxin binds with cell receptor sites, making them the thing they’ve attached to a hormone. This is known as hormone masking.
Thyroid hormone receptor sites are extremely vulnerable to this type of hormone masking. Because the cells think they’ve received the proper thyroid hormone, a negative feedback loop is created, making the thyroid believe that it’s received the hormone, causing the thyroid to slow its production. Yet your tissue never actually received the hormone. Have you ever had your thyroid tested and your TSH has come back normal, but you just feel like something’s still not right? This may be one of the reasons.
To take it further, as the yeast continues to grow and emit its toxic compounds, more and more beneficial flora is killed off, potentially leading to yeast toxicity. Symptoms of yeast toxicity mimic those of hypothyroidism, like weight gain, decreased body temperature, fatigue, constipation, decreased mental focus, and dry skin, nail, and hair. So, then you may ask yourself, am I Synthroid deficient, or might there be something else going on that my practitioner is unaware of?
Assessing Outside the Box
Sometimes as effective, and sometimes more effective than taking the lab test results at face value is interpreting them using innate intuition. This is where you pair science with gut feeling, pun intended. Unfortunately, they don’t teach this in medical school, or functional medicine programs either, to my knowledge.
If a patient comes to me with a thyroid disorder, especially if they’re experiencing intestinal discomfort, yet their thyroid markers present “in range,” and their intestinal pathogen results come back “negative,” I’m thinking outside the box, and may treat an infection that “isn’t present.”
Unfortunately, these sciences are very young in relation to human existence and are far from foolproof. We’ve been asked on numerous occasions, “Where’s your science to back that up?”, to which our reply is, “Our science is in the outcomes we create.” If we were to constantly wait on the science, we might be waiting a long time. Sometimes you have to pair the science we have in hand with educated assumptions and a little common sense. When you combine the three, you’re almost unstoppable.
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