What Does Your Thyroid Have To Do With Eczema And Psoriasis
Your thyroid is well known for regulating your body temperature and metabolism. But theres way more behind the scenes at play. Thyroid hormones have receptor sites in every cell in your body meaning an underactive thyroid has the potential to disrupt cell metabolism and detox throughout your body.
There are two major ways your thyroid and skin health are related.
You simply cannot have healthy gut function with a poorly functioning thyroid.
Among other things, thyroid hormones contribute to keepingtight junctions in the stomach and skin tight, so they stay sealed and dont let stray molecules in or out. TH also helps intestinal mucosa cells get to full maturity. When intestinal mucosa arent fully developed and tight junctions begin to loosen, youll begin to see symptoms like:
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Slow motility )
- Fungal overgrowth
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Neck Or Throat Changes
Thyroid conditions can cause problems in your neck or throat. These disorders may cause changes you can see or feel, such as nodules or a goiter that may be related to an autoimmune thyroid disease or even thyroid cancer.
Thyroid conditions can cause digestion problems.
- In hypothyroidism, you may have severe or persistent constipation. It might not respond to treatments.
- In hyperthyroidism, you may have diarrhea, loose stools, or irritable bowel syndrome.
Is There Any Link Between Psoriasis And Thyroid Disease
According to a review study published in Cureus, Multiple findings demonstrated a positive link between psoriasis and thyroid diseases, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, but the limited findings do not provide a complete elaboration to prove this link up.
This carried out study included 45 articles that featured psoriasis, hypothyroidism, thyroid function tests, propylthiouracil, and psoriatic arthritis as inclusion keywords. Medical Subject Headings keywords hypothyroidism, psoriasis, and autoimmunity were also imputed into PubMed in order to identify the relevant articles for the review.
Out of 45 articles, 39 included in this review study showed a positive link up in between psoriasis and thyroid diseases, although the remaining 6-articles found no link up.
In 5-articles, researchers demonstrated that the thyroid hormones specifically had an effect on the formation of psoriasis. Other articles showed that immunological, genetic and inflammation were involved in the link up.
The reactive oxygen species related pathogenesis was also observed in a couple of articles. In 5-articles, there were reports of +Ve thyroid peroxidase antibodies, thyroglobulin antibodies, and Hashimotos thyroiditis ultrasound features in psoriasis patients.
Additionally, the researchers of this review noted that first-line propylthiouracil for hyperthyroidism reportedly clears psoriatic lesions, according to findings in 6-articles.
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Strengths And Limitations Of This Study
This is the first meta-analysis focusing on the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease for psoriasis patients, which included hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, subclinical hyperthyroidism, Hashimotos thyroiditis, Graves disease, thyroglobulin antibodies positivity and thyroid peroxidase antibodies positivity.
All studies included were of moderate to high quality and were representative. All studies were published in recent years.
The heterogeneity in the pooled data cannot be ignored, and was not improved by subgroup analysis. However, meta-regression analysis identified the differences of sample size and scope of research on AITD among these studies as the potential sources of heterogeneity.
What Are Thyroid Hormones Responsible For
Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating your metabolism and the
increase your risk of developing atrial arrhythmia .
Too many thyroid hormones can also cause your heart to beat faster than it should. This is called tachycardia. If left untreated, tachycardia can cause lightheadedness.
Other complications from untreated hyperthyroidism can include:
- osteoporosis and thinning bones
- increased risk of blood clots and stroke
- irregular menstrual cycle and fertility issues
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Itchy Skin And Thyroid Autoimmunity
Although having itchy skin isnt a classic symptom of either Graves Disease or Hashimotos Thyroiditis, its not uncommon for people with these conditions to have itchy skin. Sometimes people also experience rashes or hives, and other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can also be present. But why do some people with autoimmune thyroid conditions experience itching of the skin, and what can they to get relief naturally?
While most people reading this are looking for a natural treatment approach to help relieve the itching they are experiencing, its important to understand why many people with Graves Disease and Hashimotos Thyroiditis have itchy skin in the first place. After all, while it would be great to just take some nutritional supplements and herbs to help with the itching, doing this alone many times wont be sufficient.
The Four Categories of Itching
Believe it or not, there are four different clinical categories of itching . Lets take a look at these four categories below:
1. Neurogenic itching. This type of itch usually is caused by disorders that affect organ systems other than the skin, including chronic renal failure, liver disease, hematologic, and lymphoproliferative conditions and malignancies . This usually isnt the cause of itching in those with Graves Disease and Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
What Are The Different Mediators Of Itching?
What Are Some of The Conditions Associated With Itching?
Conventional Treatments For Itching
It’s A Murky Relationship But A Large Taiwanese Study Has Provided Some Clarity
Psoriasis, a chronic immune-mediated inflammatory condition, is associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease and inflammatory comorbidities, such as psoriatic arthritis, myocardial infarction, and chronic kidney disease. However, relatively few studies have examined the link between psoriasis and thyroid disease, even though it has been established that some thyroid diseases, like Graves disease and Hashimotos thyroiditis, have a causal relationship with autoimmune disease.1 Overall, studies that have focused on the association between psoriasis and thyroid disease have reported conflicting results.1
- A large, retrospective, nationwide cohort study examined the risk of incident thyroid diseases in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
- The psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis groups had statistically significant increased risks of incident thyroid disease versus controls.
- This link may be explained by T-helper 1 cell-mediated inflammation or by shared predisposing genes.
Link or no link?
Incident thyroid disease
The study included 149,576 patients with psoriasis alone and 13,266 with comorbid psoriatic arthritis, as well as 162,842 matched controls without psoriasis. The mean age in all groups ranged from 43 to 45 years and roughly 40% were female. Significant proportions of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients had type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia versus controls .
Incident Thyroid Disease: Nonpsoriatic Controls
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Symptoms Of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s symptoms may be mild at first or take years to develop. The first sign of the disease is often an enlarged thyroid, called a goiter. The goiter may cause the front of your neck to look swollen. A large goiter may make swallowing difficult. Other symptoms of an underactive thyroid due to Hashimoto’s may include:
Talk With Others Who Understand
On MyPsoriasisTeam, the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones, more than 113,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.
Have you been experiencing numbness or tingling? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on MyPsoriasisTeam.
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Inflammation Tied To Thyroid Dysfunction With Psoriasis
Thyroid dysfunction in patients with psoriasis may be associated with inflammation caused by psoriasis, according to a study published online June 22 in the Journal of Dermatology.
Jianfeng Zheng, from the Tongji University School of Medicine in Shanghai, and colleagues evaluated the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in patients with psoriasis vulgaris , psoriatic arthritis , generalized pustular psoriasis , and erythrodermic psoriasis and the association of thyroid dysfunction with inflammation among 201 psoriatic patients visiting Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital from January 2014 to November 2017 .
The researchers found that 33 percent of psoriatic patients had thyroid dysfunction. Among EP patients, the percentage with thyroid dysfunction was the highest . There was a significant decrease noted in the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction when patients switched from EP to PsV or PsA . Most of the patients with thyroid dysfunction had low thyroxine syndrome . Compared with those without thyroid dysfunction, patients with thyroid dysfunction demonstrated significantly higher CD3 and CD4 T-cell absolute count levels but lower immunoglobulin A and IgM levels. While not statistically significant, patients with thyroid dysfunction demonstrated higher elevated serum C-reactive protein levels versus those without dysfunction in total.
“There may be some confounding factors between psoriasis and thyroid dysfunction, aside from inflammation,” the authors write.
Common Skin Issues Associated With Thyroid Disease
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. While small in size, the thyroid gland has enormous impact on your health and well-being. It regulates all aspects of your metabolism, from hair growth and nutrient absorption to body temperature and heart rate. Abnormal functioning of the thyroid causes numerous health problems.
Your dermatologist may be the first doctor to suspect hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism because many signs of thyroid disease affect the skin, hair, and nails. Keep reading to learn more.
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How Many Of These Signs And Symptoms Do You Have
Dry, pale, and cool skin Moist, velvety, and warm skin like a babys Dry skin with deep cracks and scale Deep, noticeable lines on your palms and soles Yellowish-orange color on your palms and soles Doughy and swollen face, especially on your eyelids, lips, and tongue Widening nose Sweating less than before Goiter Protruding eyes Flushing on your face and red palms Darker skin in the creases of your palms, on your gums, or elsewhere in your mouth Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin Painless lumps and patches of scaly, discolored skin, and the affected skin feels hard and waxy Reddish spots on the skin that come and go
When eyes protrude, its often a sign of thyroid disease.
Painless lumps and patches of scaly skin feel hard and waxy
Lumps on discolored skin that feel hard and waxy can be a sign of thyroid disease.
Thinning eyebrows on the outer edge Coarse, dull, dry, and brittle hair that breaks easily Soft and fine hair with lots of shedding Thinning hair or balding patches Growing more slowly Dry, itchy scalp and dandruff Less hair on your legs, arms, and other areas
Thick, dry, and brittle with visible ridges Soft, shiny, and easily crumble Growing more slowly Peel, crumble, or break easily Lift up Curved with swollen fingertip and thickening skin above the nail
Curved nails with swollen fingertip
Itchy skin without a rash Untreatable and itchy hives
Existing skin disease
Natural Ways To Treat Hyperthyroidism
And the first one is about natural ways to treat hyperthyroidism.
The key understanding to begin with here is that hyperthyroidism is almost always an autoimmune condition called Graves disease. There are some exceptions, of course, but that is definitely the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. And its unfortunate that in the conventional model and in the conventional approach to treating hyperthyroidism, this is rarely acknowledged. The most common treatments for Graves disease and hyperthyroidism are toxic drugs like and methimazole, suppress the production of thyroid hormone, or surgery to remove the thyroid gland. These may sometimes be necessary if the symptoms and signs are extreme. For example, excessive production of thyroid hormone can speed up heart rate and lead to stroke and even death as a result. So if the symptoms are this severe, hyperthyroidism is definitely not something to be trifled with. And those drugs or even surgery might be necessary to address the condition if its become that extreme. Having said that, if the condition is not as extreme, or if and when its under control with medication, its always better to turn our attention toward addressing the underlying causes so that you can get better and stay better without unnecessary drugs or surgery. Thats a core principle of Functional Medicine, of course.
All right, so lets move on to the next question.
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Have You Gotten Your Thyroid Checked Because You Have Psoriasis
Are you thinking to yourself, Gee, I never had my thyroid checked. No doctor ever told me this.
Well, now is a perfect opportunity to do so!
You can get your thyroid checked by asking your doctor to run a full thyroid panel. Or you can go online HERE and purchase your own full thyroid panel.
Once the results are back, you can share them with your doctor or trusted practitioner to get help understanding what they mean and your best next steps.
In case you’re not aware of what’s included in a full thyroid panel, here’s a list:
- Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone
- Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies
- Thyroglobulin antibodies
It’s critical to note that Total T4 or Total T3 is not helpful when looking at a thyroid panel because it doesn’t help us understand the T4-to-T3 conversion that ultimately impacts the Thyroid feedback loop. Make sure that the word FREE is included in those two values in order to get the correct marker checked otherwise you’re likely getting the total value instead.
Some studies discussed a connection between hyperthyroidism and psoriasis. In that case, it may be wise to ask your doctor to also run a test called TSI. TSI stands for the thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins that oftentimes are connected with Graves’ or hyperthyroidism.
And last but not least, these papers also recommend requesting an ultrasound of your thyroid.
For example, thyroid hormone is predominantly built on the amino acid tyrosine and iodine.
Most Common Types Of Thyroid Diseases
There is a relatively large number of conditions that are known to affect the Thyroid gland adversely. According to one scientific paper2, approximately 5% of the female population, along with around 0.5% of the male population, have such a condition. Each condition affects the Thyroid in a different way, but there are essentially only two resulting actions. Either the condition causes an elevation of Thyroid hormones in the body, or the condition causes levels of these hormones in the body to become too low.
Lets consider some of the most common types of diseases that can affect the Thyroid gland and the level of Thyroid hormones in the body:
There is a number of conditions that may contribute to the development of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. As noted before, autoimmune conditions and reactions are commonly to blame for these conditions. The presence of such a condition, however, does not necessarily mean that a person has an autoimmune disease causing issues with their Thyroid gland.
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When To See A Doctor
Talk to your primary healthcare provider if you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms. While these symptoms may not necessarily mean that you have thyroid disease, your doctor can make a proper diagnosis by conducting a blood test and other assessments.
How to diagnose hypothyroidism
The correct diagnosis of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism depends on these factors:
Symptoms: Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, their intensity, and when they started.
Medical and family history: Tell your doctor about your medical history, including previous surgeries and medications that you take now or in the past. Your doctor will also ask about your family history and whether anyone has been diagnosed with autoimmune or endocrine issues.
Physical exam: Your healthcare provider will look for changes in your skin, like swelling, dry skin, or slower reflexes, and theyll check your thyroid gland.
Blood tests: TSH and T4 tests are the two most commonly used blood tests in diagnosing hypothyroidism. The pituitary gland secretes TSH to stimulate the secretion of the thyroid hormones, and therefore, when thyroid hormones are low, TSH is secreted in higher amounts. When this is detected in addition to low T4, this indicates hypothyroidism.
Antibody tests: Considering that hypothyroidism can be caused by diseases other than Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an antibody test is often required to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of Hashimotos disease-associated hives
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD refers to a group of diseases that impair the flow of air to the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe.
A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis looked at the link between psoriasis and COPD. The researchers concluded that people with psoriasis had a , compared to the general population. The risk was higher in people with severe psoriasis.
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You Notice: Ulcers That Dont Heal
It could be: Diabetes
Uncontrolled glucose levels can damage nerves and cause poor circulation, so blood doesnt reach all areas of the body, including the feet. When blood doesnt get to a wound caused by, say, irritating shoes, the skin doesnt heal properly. Many, many people with diabetes are diagnosed first because of foot problems, says Reid. Other signs of diabetes may include persistent tingling or numbness of the feet. Ask your doctor about getting your blood sugar levels tested.
If you experience some of these signs of diabetes, talk to your doctor about getting tested.
Psoriatic Arthritis May Lead To Hypothyroidism
While hypothyroidism does not cause psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, the conditions share similar underlying factors. Because of this, people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may be more likely to have an underactive thyroid.
According to a 2021 systematic review , higher levels of thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies have been reported in patients with psoriasis.
Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme involved in producing thyroid hormones, while thyroglobulin is a protein found in the thyroid gland from which thyroid hormones are made. When the body produces antibodies to thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin, the thyroid gland becomes underactive when the production of thyroid hormones is blocked.
Clinical studies also suggest that the thyroid glands of people with psoriasis often appear hypoechoic when examined via ultrasound . These thyroid nodules are often characteristic of hypothyroidism and occur more frequently in women.
Psoriasis and an underactive thyroid have a similar genetic characteristic, as the STAT4 rs7574865 genetic variation has been linked to psoriasis and autoimmune thyroid diseases.
Both conditions also share similar inflammatory markers , including increased levels of cytokines IL-17 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha .
Both conditions are also linked to increased levels of reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress and alterations in cell differentiation and immune system response.
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