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Old 09-30-2008, 09:51 AM   #1
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Question Hi all... can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

Hi all. Does a low thyroid affect the digestive system? Has anyone had this happen? I have a lot of bloating, burning, and general stomach upset.

Thank you.
Tricia

 
Old 09-30-2008, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

:lol: I just answered this question. Yes hypothyroidism has been linked to increased instances of GERD and LPR. Being hypoT messes with EVERY thing linked to your metabolism, this includes digestion and absorption.

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Old 09-30-2008, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

I've had increasing abdominal "bloating" and worsening left side pain issues. I've been on synthroid and recent increse in dose. Well, I had enough! yesterday got my pharmiscist to change from synthroid to Levoxyl, since they are both levothryoxine. Yesterday I took a magnesium tab during the day and bloating got better, and today, my bloating is 80% better!! not sure if its the magnesium or new pill? also have more energy. So, its been 3 wks since my increase in meds, might be that? or the magnesium? or levoxyl? I don't know, but my stomach is going down!!!! I am so happy seeing the swelling going down!! I was ready to burst only a couple days ago and now its getting better. so, maybe magnesium helped, but sticking with levoxy as it doesn't have the same "fillers' as synthroid. So yes, digestive issues are a problem, might want to try magnesium, chelated, or change med brand.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:56 AM   #4
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

YES - hypothyroidism can definetly affect your digestive system.

I think of all the things it can affect that is the area that really grates on me the most.

I've been able to eat anything I wanted all of my life. Well,..........that party is over. I have to be so careful of acidity in foods. Things I love, I have to really limit now ........tomatos, oranges, grapes, apples etc. I do have pretty good luck with bananas. I eat two a day to get my vit. c, potassium etc.

 
Old 10-01-2008, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

Thank you all so much for answering. I have been trying to figure out if my thyroid is low for almost 2 years now. I am going for a physical next week and will get all the blood tests done again. I have a consistent low temperature ( one night it was 95.5! ) and I am thinking, well, yes, that could cause one to be tired! Would a low temperature cause fatigue? And now I am the same way with foods.. anything with much acid such as tomatoes, orange juice, etc... I just cannot eat anymore. I am in menopause now, but when I was having periods they were so heavy.. have had panic attacks.. I just think I have low thyroid. Last TSH was 2.75 but I have given MK my numbers at one time and I know MK thought so too. I am rambling now, but I will keep in touch. Thanks to all of you who answered and my best to all.

Thank you!
Tricia

 
Old 10-02-2008, 03:49 AM   #6
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

Y E S - One symptom I had previous to treatment was fiber (or too much of wrong food) induced diarrhea

 
Old 10-02-2008, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

Wow, Tricia - your symptoms sounds just like mine. My TSH is 2.53 and I haven't gotten any docs to treat it yet. I'm getting closer with my original D.O. He did TONS of bloodwork Monday, I have to see him tomorrow to go over the results. If nothing else shows up, he will think about treating my thyroid. So, I think I'm actually getting somewhere. Sorry to ramble...

About the acidic foods - yup, that's me. I used to be able to eat anything. 2 1/2 years ago, I had to give it all up. Ended up taking out my gallbladder and going on Nexium. Tried to go off the Nexium in April (stupid mistake!). This past May, all of the digestive issues returned. I really have to be careful with acidic foods. I've spent my entire summer knowing where the closest bathroom is. lol

I am 34, and my periods are REALLY HEAVY! What fun! Yeah, I've been getting 'panic attacks' too. Not that I want something to be wrong with me, but I hope that treating the thyroid makes me feel like myself again. I just want to be a good mom to my kids.

Guess I just felt that I had to respond - GOOD LUCK!!

 
Old 10-03-2008, 07:38 AM   #8
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

Hi Marie,

Thanks so much for sharing your situation. When I first starting have panic attacks, I had no idea what was going on! After I knew it was not heart-related, I just accepted this was part of my genetic make-up (crazy). On top of that, my periods were so heavy at times I could not leave the house. If I would have just known at the time that these were symptoms of having a low thyroid, I would have gone to the right doctor that would have put all the symptoms together and made sense of it all. I have a low body temperature ( what is your body temperature, especially when you wake up each day? ) with fatigue. Now I have some ezcema on my elbow, body aches, constipation, and my eyes seem dry at times. Is constipation, body aches, and dry eyes a possible symptoms of low thyroid too? I am starting to see that a low thyroid affects so many things!!!

Does a low thyroid affect the digestive system because it is actually slowing one's system down ( like constipation, or the rate in which food digests? ), and makes one's body temperature slow down ( as in low temps? ) I mean, it makes sense to me, but is driving me crazy!!!

When I go for my physical, if my family physician calls and says.. everything is normal! I am going to get my numbers, review them and go to an ENDO doctor. I need to get to the bottom of this and am tired of being passive.

Take care everyone and would love to hear from you.

Thanks so much.
Tricia

 
Old 10-03-2008, 05:09 PM   #9
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

Well Tricia,
I had my appt. with my D.O. today to discuss the results of the labs they ran on Monday. They all came back O.K. and he is going to run more on Wednesday (progesterone, cortisol, vitamin D, thyroid antibodies). He's still not convinced that the 'borderline' TSH of 2.53 is causing my symptoms. So I guess he is trying to rule out everything else first. Hopefully, he will agree to treat the thyroid if nothing else comes back. I do finally feel like he is listening to me.

To be honest, I've never taken my morning temp, but I'll try it tomorrow. From what I've learned on these boards, all of the symptoms you named could be related to thyroid. I don't have the constipation issue - just the exact opposite. But I'm familiar with the body aches and fatigue. I think my doc. finally understood when I said "It stinks to go to the pool with your kids and have to leave because you feel so crappy". The odd thing is that some days I feel O.K., then others not. I told him my kids must get off the bus thinking "which Mom are we going to get today? The one who's dead tired sleeping in the recliner, or the 'normal' fun Mom who's there for us?" I don't think the docors truly understand when you say fatigue.....

Good luck!

 
Old 10-04-2008, 03:39 PM   #10
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

Marie, I know it sounds crazy but the symptoms your describe are also symptoms of perimenopause. Especially the heavy periods and anxiety. Given your age of only 34, it's a long shot that could be what is bothering you, but it may be worth investigating. Maybe a trip over to the menopause board could help you to see if others are experiencing similar problems. It's rare, but some women experience menopause in thier 30's and early 40's. No doubt the thyroid issues are also causing you challenges, combine thyroid hormone's being off along with estrogen hormones also being out of wack and no wonder you are a wreck.

 
Old 12-17-2008, 10:44 PM   #11
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

All of those symptoms are thyroid related! Think of it this way: thyroid hormones control the metabolism of nearly every cell in your body. If you slow down that metabolism...everything is affected.

I've have experienced ALL of the symptoms you mentioned! I got super constipated when I was really hypoT and I get diarrhea when I take too much thyroid medication. Also, your body temperature can be dropped by high ReverseT3--mine averaged 97.3 deg F. I also got a wicked rash and still have heart palpatations, nasty bloating, really dry eyes, heavy periods, and hair falling out.

Regarding the rash, mine showed up as little red bumps on my elbows, thighs, and butt. Itched like the devil! Apparently, it was actually caused by my immune system attacking my own body (hives). That month, I tested positive for Hashimoto's Disease (autoimmune hypothyroidism). I also had high ReverseT3 (explains the low body temp) and low cortisol (adrenal fatigue). I am getting tested for insulin resistance and PCOS soon.

Go get blood work that includes REVERSE T3, total & free T3, total & freeT4, TSH, cortisol, sex hormones, anti-TPO antibodies, and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies.

You are not alone, you are not crazy, and your thyroid is very likely the problem.

Last edited by hypoT; 12-17-2008 at 10:47 PM.

 
Old 12-18-2008, 01:19 PM   #12
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

My doctor believes that the digestion, metabolism and malabsorption issues do occure. When he started me off on med's he also got me to do a stool analysis test which checked everything from undigested foods in stools, blood, parasites, parasite larvae, yeast and bacteria in the stools. It also tests to see exactly what you are not digesting correctly eg: protein, carbohydrates or fats. You can look this information up on the net, it's very fascinating how non absorbtion of one/all of protein/carbs/fats can affect your healthy.

In my case i was fine in all areas except digestion of protein as my pancreas did not produce sufficient enzymes to digest all protein foods. I had no energy after eating, felt bloated after the smallest of meals and had become anemic and it took me 2 years to raise my ferretin levels. I also had very low Vit D and Iodine. My hair was shedding badly too. My doctor also said that undigested protein matter would stay in my system, ferment and then inflame my thyroid.

I've been taking prescription digestive enzymes for most of this year and now i dont get the bloating i used to and have more energy after my meals. I also in the past used to not be able to stop eating, especially at lunch time. I'd be starving all the time. At work people couldn't believe how much food i ate, but i never really put on weight and now i know it's due to my food not digesting, so it was sort of like i didn't eat it in the first place. Now i get hungry, but nowhere near to what i was before. My ferretin levels are rising nicely now too and even though i still shed some hair, i've had so much new regrowth this year, more than any other year.

So based on all i've experienced, i'd say yes digestion issues are a major part of what a lot of us are likely going through.

If you find a doctor who is willing to do the stool test it needs to be "complete digestive stool analysis", otherwise it's useless. I don't think all labs do this form of testing though. My test had to get sent to another state. I was given a kits by my doctor with instructions, then i had to organise a courier to pick it up. I'm not sure what is available in the USA, but i'd say if we have this in Australia there should be a lab over there which a doctor would know of. It's well worth it anyway, so you know where you stand.

 
Old 01-04-2009, 08:29 AM   #13
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

yes, because there are thyroid receptors in the stomach. I had this problem too. I took digestive enzymes and that helped. You also may need to up your thyroid dose. Are you taking armour(T3and T4)? Synthroid is only T4.

 
Old 01-13-2009, 02:46 AM   #14
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

I have been trying to figure out if my thyroid is low for almost 2 years now. I am going for a physical next week and will get all the blood tests done again.

 
Old 01-14-2009, 01:18 PM   #15
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Re: Hi all.. can a low thyroid affect the digestive system?

scinamon - i'm taking a natural T3 called triiodothyronine and for the T4 i'm taking thyroxine.

How long did you have to be on the digestive enzymes? I'm wondering if it's until my T4 and T3 are where they should be or whether it's for life. I do know once we get to around 40 and older we naturally stop producing the amount of enzymes we once did so digestive enzymes are helpful.

I have a repeat blood test every 6 weeks so am seeing my doctor regularly. I was getting quite good a bout 3 months back and then i bought my own place and moved. It was immensly stressful and all my levels plummetted unbelievably. It's taken a while to start moving again, but i'm once again heading in the right direction. That episode showed me how badly stress can affect us.

 
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