Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Intestinal shutdown--motility issue?
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Intestinal shutdown--motility issue?

I'm a 40 year-old female, good health but have Hashimoto's thyroiditis--an autoimmune/hypothyroidism disorder---for four years. I'm on Synthroid and am euthyroid now, so all is well there. In mid-August, it seemed like my intestinal tract simply stopped working without any kind of problems. Really, it was like a switch was flipped and it just shut down. This doesn't appear to be just constipation. I have no nausea or vomiting, and no sharp or stabbing pains. My doc said I still have good bowel sounds and I can pass gas with no problem. An upper-abdomen ultrasound came back normal and so did my colonoscopy last week. My gastroenterologist has me on one dose of Miralax every other day now, but I don't want to stay on it forever. I tend to have a moderate bowel movement every other day now---nothing suspicious about them. Still, I have a constant stomach ache from the lack of movement, which causes other aches (back, etc.), and it moves around the lower abdomen as well. The constant ache understandably makes me feel like my energy is just sapped out of me and let's face it, it’s simply a major annoyance. I found paralytic ileus on the Mayo Clinic website and it sounds similar to what I may have. A friend said I may want to look into acupuncture for something like this, but I'm still trying to find out what this could be. I found a study that links Hashimoto's patients to celiac disease, but I don't have any food allergies from what I can tell. I'm hoping to have a follow-up with my doc later this week, but would like to get other input on this. Thank you.
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I agree with the workup thus far, and any major diseases would be ruled out with the tests that have been done.  

Hypothyroidism itself can lead to decreased intestinal motility - ensure that this is appropriately treated.

Otherwise, more specialized testing like an esophageal or colonic motility study can be done, as well as a gastric emptying scan.

Neurologic disease can also lead to decreased motility, and can be evaluated by a neurologist.

Diabetes should also be ruled out via the appropriate blood tests.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
www.kevinmd.com
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