LPS Bacteria- Lipopolysaccharides
Lipopolysaccarides (LPS) are present in the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria. While their primary function is to protect the cell membrane, when the bacteria die, the LPS get released and can cause many problems, particularly in people who have thyroid and autoimmune thyroid disorders like Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
When this happens, the patient is at greater risk of developing inflammatory response diseases including Depression, Anxiety and Brain fog, symptoms most people who suffer with either Thyroid problems or Gastrointestinal problems are already familiar with.
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Effects of LPS activation
All kinds of bacteria are always present in the body and the body’s immune system usually fends off most attacks. However, when the bacteria dies, the LPS still has a residual effect and can cause:
- Leukocytosis (high blood cell count)
- Low iron levels
- Blood clotting disorders
- Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelets)
- Platelet aggregation
But it does not stop here. LPS is also a factor in leaky gut syndrome since it increases intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is a distressing disorder and if a person has high levels of LPS, the risk of developing leaky gut increases. This in turn increases the risk of devleoping Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other autoimmune disorders.
There is actually a test that shows increased intestinal permeability as it checks for increased antibodies against LPS. Carried out by Cyrex Labs, this test measures LPS in the blood stream, pointing to the likelihood of leaky gut syndrome.
More details of the test for a Leaky Gut
The test, called Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen, carried out by Cyrex Labs investigates three types of antibodies, including Actomyosin antibodies, Occludin/Zonulin antibodies and LPS. Both the Actomyosin and Occludin/Zonulin antibodies directly relate to the presence of a leaky gut. High levels of the first two lead the doctor to conclude that the person has leaky gut syndrome.
Also increased LPS show that there is an imbalance of the gut flora (intestinal dysbiosis) that is often found in patients of leaky gut syndrome. It is possible that though the first two levels are negative, but the LPS are positive, the intestinal dysbiosis is present though there is no leaky gut. If the patient has suppressed immunoglobulins, the results can even be false negative.
Intestinal dysbiosis can also be caused by antibiotic treatment, chronic high stress and even food allergens. After all, Lipopolysaccharides are endotoxins present in gram-negative bacteria, and only released when the gram-negative bacteria die.
Causes of Intestinal Disbiosis and Leaky Gut
LPS has varied effects on the body. It can have a negative effect on thyroid health, causing the leaky gut that, in turn, causes an autoimmune thyroid condition. LPS may have an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. It is the hypothalamus that produces thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH); this stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete TSH and TSH is responsible for the thyroid gland secreting thyroid hormones.
LPS affects pituitary and thyroid functions, secretion in follicular cells, decreasing thyroid function, either by affecting the pituitary gland or the thyroid gland cells directly. The T4 levels may seemingly go down, but T4 conversion to T3 does not decrease simultaneously.
Lipoploysaccharides can cause lots of problems – they increase in intestinal dysbiosis, reduce immunity, lead to increased risk of developing inflammatory conditions and can result in a leaky gut. All these aggravate an auto immune response that can lead to Graves’ Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and imbalance in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis.
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