Lactose intolerance is a condition characterized by symptoms of abdominal bloating, cramps, diarrhea, flatulence, and nausea. Sufferers typically have a genetically inherited inability to produce adequate amounts of lactase, the digestive enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose into its simple sugar components. The issue tends to correlate with a number of conditions including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Since lactose intolerance can dramatically affect the absorption of nutrients and medications, it should be of particular concern to healthcare providers who commonly prescribe oral medications.
In a certain study, researchers analyzed data from a group of nearly 100 patients receiving thyroid medication. These patients were evaluated for lactose intolerance and it was found that over 75% of the patients who had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis had lactose intolerance. Over a period of eight weeks, the patients with lactose intolerance were required to restrict their lactose intake to observe the effects on their thyroid hormone levels. A significant decrease in TSH levels was observed. This study suggests that individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have a strong chance to benefit from a lactose-free diet through an increased bodily absorption of oral thyroid hormone medication. This could significantly reduce the need for the treatment of hypothyroidism and therefore be a great thyroid helper.
It is therefore extremely important to be aware that lactose, among other common allergens, is often included as an ingredient in thyroid hormone medications such as Synthroid. Thyroid medicine with lactose could cause malabsorption and other symptoms in people with lactose intolerance. To avoid this, be sure to let your endocrinologist know what you are sensitive or intolerant to. If you still don’t find something that fulfills your needs, you may want to consider bio-identical hormones, synthetic hormones, or even compounded thyroid medicine.
Although thyroid patients with lactose intolerance may benefit from dietary dairy restrictions, they must still consume appropriate calcium amounts for optimal health. There are a few great calcium supplements on the market for just that. Among them, we recommend Ultra Calcium D3. Unlike most over-the-counter calcium supplements, Ultra Calcium D3 does not load you with large amounts of a single salt like carbonate or citrate which could negatively alter your GI chemistry. Instead, it will give you a gentle mix of many, allowing for consistent calcium absorption. Moreover, it contains vitamin D3 because it optimizes calcium absorption. It is also important as vitamin D3 deficiency and hypothyroidism commonly go hand in hand. Ultra Calcium D3 is part of the unique line of supplements for thyroid wellness designed by Dr. Ridha Arem, Houston endocrinologist, world renowned thyroid specialist, and author of The Thyroid Solution.