Can Hypothyroid Cause Heartburn?

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 05:25 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I have heartburn all the time and am also on medication for hypothyroid. Is it possible my thyroid problem is causing acid reflux?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Not directly. Acid reflux happens when stomach acid backs up in the lower esophagus, causing what is referred to as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). This usually relates to a physical gastric or esophageal disorder resulting in an incompetent sphincter that allows the acid in your stomach to move into your esophagus. Sphincter function has no direct relationship to thyroid hormone disorders. 
 
Thyroid hormone controls metabolism rates, and helps regulate body temperature, body weight, heart rates and function, body fluid retention, and brain function. 
 
That being said, hypothyroid (under-active thyroid) can lead to overweight issues and obesity, that in turn will increase the incidence of GERD.

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