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Gastrointestinal Issues and Thyroid
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Gastrointestinal Issues and Thyroid

Okay Ladies and Gentleman read at your own risk.

I'm on levoxyl for hypothyroid, Cymbalta for depression/anxiety, and lots of vitamins for deficiencies.

My gastrointestinal system is making me so frustrated and uncomfortable. I'm trying to figure out if this is thyroid related at all or if I need to go to a gastro specialist.

For years I've had a sensitive stomach. As a kid I remember having diarrhea pretty much every time I ate out at a restaurant. Mom said, take immodium AD. I'd take immodium and wouldn't have a BM for 4-5 days.

As an adult I bounce back and forth from constipation to diarrhea. Sometimes I'm just like, "Oh **** (literally), I have to go right now!"

My digestive system complains frequently. Sometimes I have pain that radiates around my belly button and sometimes it's an intense contraction in my large intestine that makes me feel like I can't stand up straight.

I never threw up much as a kid, but as an adult it happens especially when I take medicine or vitamins.

I get the occasional acid reflux and heartburn, but generally swamp it with yogurt and crackers and I'm good.

I feel like I have the world's worst gas. I apologize all the time to my husband because I fart (and burp) a lot and successively. I'm bloated beyond belief.

It's been worse lately, but I've been really conservative with my holiday indulgences and have actually lost some weight. Though I think my weight loss is all muscle loss from months of fatigue and muscle weakness, because I can't see the loss (but that could be because I'm bloated).

I also have intense dry mouth and sores in my mouth.

Thanks for your help. Thyroid issues affect so many things. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on. In the past I've settled on symptoms feeling a bit better, but now I'm really going for figuring everything out.

I've also had two negative blood tests for celiac disease.

After listing all of these symptoms I've fully convinced myself that this is an issue to be address, the question is what type of doctor is the best to address it.
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698356_tn?1240154327
Also, I have had allergy tests for the foods they can test through bloodwork. All negative.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hope my experience is useful to you.  I have been a hypo t on Synthroid med. for a long time.   Over the many years I had to get my med. increased many times unti I was taking a full daily replacement.  About 3-4 years ago I started having symptoms very much like yours, of bloating, abdominal pain, etc.  My doc put me on Prilosec and after a week or so it seemed to settle everything down and I was fine.  Lately I had been having some trouble with being on the edge of hypo t again because my body was not converting the T4 med. I was taking to T3, which is of course the most active component.  As my hypo t condition was getting worse, I again developed what my doc referred to as gastritis.  During my last doctor appt. the doc changed my med. to a T4 /T3 type--Armour thyroid and also suggested I try doubling my dosage of Prilosec for a couple of weeks and see if that took care of the problem and then I could go back to the regular dose of so mg.  To my amazement after only one day of this new regimen, all my gastritis problems went away.  I was not sure which change had done the trick, so this morning  I went back to only 20 mg of Prilosec.  So far I've had no gastritis problems.  Amazing.  Also, the Armour is also apparently already increasing my free T3 level, because I was feeling much better very quickly.  From all this I suggest that if your doc has not checked your free T3 and free T4, along with TSH, that you pursue that right away.   For best results it seems that free T3 should be in the upper third of its range and TSH in the low end of its range.      
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Avatar_f_tn
Just want you to know that I totally feel for you. I too am suffering from some gastro issues but nowhere near to what you are having. I was interested in your post because I too suffer from severe dry mouth with sores as well.  I take Prilosec in the evenings and for awhile it really helped the dry mouth but now, not so much. I'm a mess of issues right now that I vented about in an earlier post but I just wanted to tell you that the dry mouth MUST have something to do with the gastro stuff because I'm suffering too. I'm suffering from a whole heck of a lot and I'm about ready to crack!
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393685_tn?1325870933
I was telling me husband just last night that it doesn't seem like we have meaningful conversation anymore with our voices................

but my butt sure has alot to say  :)  LOL

Yes -  this is the ONE thing I still suffer alot of and of course just yesterday I was looking into WHY the heck is this such a problem.  I don't seem to have a bathroom issue - I go just fine - but I do bloat ALOT at times.

It is - I am convinced - a GI issue associated with the hypothyroidism .

Take a peek at this link I found yesterday. I never knew there was a name like this before - but I went out and brought the peppermint pill yesterday and it was great!!

Bloat went away totally - I hope it continues to work too.

The condition is called small intentinal bacteria overgrowth and BOY - to the symptoms sound so familiar to me.

I even came accross it when I googled hypothyroidism with it - I guess there is a connection to this and hypo's.

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/healthconditionsdisease/a/overgrowth_2.htm

This article doesn't talk about the peppermint oil for treatment - I must have that link at work. I will  forward it tomorrow.

Pepperrmint is a digestive aid as I read and taking it in pill formula gives it a better chance of getting to the intestines - where it needs to be.

It sure worked last night for me and the cooling sensation in my belly was so relaxing.
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698356_tn?1240154327
Thanks that's really interesting I'll have to look into. I definitely have some of those vitamin deficiencies.

I was on probiotics for a months and it seemed to help a little bit.

A minty burp would be so much better than the vitamin burp. =)
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215021_tn?1224886057
Just a thought - Ever tried a gluten free diet?  
I am in a bit of a rush - but briefly - I had a lot of symptoms like yours over the last few years, sometimes worse than others!  The bloating/gas/indigestion/diarohea cycles were driving me nuts.  I was put onto various stomach meds to try to sort it out. Plus Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy - not pleasant!
By complete chance I got talking to someone who is gluten intolerant and it was like my twin!  I got loads of advice and decided - myself - to give it a go.  (I had laready tested negative for this). I felt the difference in ONE WEEK! It has changed my life.
I know I am not full blown Coeliac - which is diagnosed by gut biopsy - but am definitely on the scale of intolerance somewhere.
It works for me - I aoid all wheat/gluten food where possible and certainly know about it if I weaken and have a little bread or pasta!
This may not be the case with you but it wouldn't hurt to give it a trial like I did.
Good luck - I hope you feel better soon
J
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393685_tn?1325870933
I still take the probiotics too. I have been for quite some time. I do find some relief with those - but for me - it was not enough.

My husband had his gall bladder out over a year ago and well.......... suffers a bit too. I made hime take on yesterday too ( it was like watching a dog choke down a pill)  LOL

( he hates to take anything - he still thinks he's invincible)

He even said he felt better this morning as he polished off 3 cups of coffee :(

Well see how this goes........... one night doesn't completely sell me yet.
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649848_tn?1357751184
I love this site - everyday it lets me know that I'm not the only one who has some of these weird symptoms and trouble getting rid of them!!  Thanks everyone for that.  

My stomach has given me fits pretty much all my life.  When I was younger (from  elementary school on), I used to have to bring up my food nearly every night before I could go to sleep.  As I got older, the vomiting lessened, but I have suffered from almost intolerable acid reflux for years.  I've almost always tended toward contstipation.  

I do eat a high fiber diet - which can cause a lot of gas, especially if you aren't used to it.  

I used to take a lot of Rolaids/Tums, etc but it got to the point that they didn't work at all and I was eating them almost like candy.  My PCP finally prescribed aciphex and I've been on it for almost 7 yrs.  

Recently, (since my hypo dx and taking synthroid), I am no longer constipated, but my acid reflux has gotten so bad that the aciphex no longer controls it.  I've even heard that taking vinegar is supposed to help.  My ENT sent me to a gastroenterologist, who is going to do an endoscopy and colonoscopy on Monday.  The "gastro" said that unfortunately, some people just have to deal with this and recommended that I take gaviscon to help the aciphex whenever I have acid breakthrough.  I did try a probiotic for a few months but could not tell a difference.  I do plan to ask the gastro if there are any digestive enzymes that might help, but I would think that he'd have told me if there were any that he'd recommend.  

I've heard that peppermint is supposed to be relaxing - I wonder if that's what helps calm the stomach?  
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393685_tn?1325870933
It sure has for me ( the peppermint)

Since you suffer this alot - maybe reading more on stomach acid is good at this point and take control of it a bit through learning.

I never had issues - per say - before all this so I can only speak about it for about 4 yrs.

Still 4 yrs felt like eternity.  I found one key point that sticks with me and I believe got me on the road to a better gut was -

Acid REDUCES in the stomach as we age. The break down of foods become harder and with a sluggish thyroid makes it even worse.  Acid reducer meds would make it WORSE if you think about it ( and research shows) - because we are producing less acid anyway naturally - The meds for acid may take away the burning for a while - but in the long term effect - it actually is making things worse and as you know it comes back with a vengence.

I stopped all the meds about two years ago after giving this theory some thought. I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to put up with the reflex but this is what I found worked and it took months to get to where I am at now.

I do - do the vinager ( apple cider) - At the beginning I was faithful with it 2x's a day. - even more if needed. It nutralizes the PH - but doesn't take away the acid for digestion that we need.  I started a diet change and eliminated all flour and sugar. I started consuming more apples (pectin) also. I am not a fan of them - but in the course of balancing  -- the old rule applies - " An apple a day - keeps the doctor away!"

I consumed a ton of yogurt and on top of that took probiotics ( Pearls) in between.  Now that all made a big difference - but lack of exercise was a problem and I still had the acid occassionally. Peppermint tea is a known digestive calmer and it did help me - but not to the point where I felt it was of great value. So I went to solid peppermint oil tablets. Big - big difference. I believe I had/have so much damage that it still gives me a burp of mint and my belly feels the menthol. It feels more like a healing thing - than anything I can describe. Peppermint will come up as a disgestive aid in searches and it is cheap - compared to all the "stuff" out there. Actually - getting pure leaves is known to be good too - although the pills are fomated to get into the intestines more before the acid in the belly kills off the benefit.

I had to get up and MOVE - Not running a marathon - but stretching - yoga - and slight walking was what I needed. It slowly has started to speed up the metobolism and digestive track to make things work better. I still need to do better on this for overall health - hopefully that Wii fit we bought as a family gift this year will get me going more. Best investment "we" ever made for US so far........ Oh and shutting off the computer and TV forced me to get up too.

I am a very Type A personality also - stress is Huge in reflex patients. A certain mind control of "letting some stuff GO" has helped me too - but that is a battle I will deal with all my life. When I am - to this day - stessed out - the rumble of acid starts to build - the choking starts with that LUMP in the throat - my breathing becomes tough and that FIRE in the gut and throat become nasty - and if I want it to get full blown - I just keep worrying about what ever gets me stessed and WHAM - I got it good!!!

The stomach and ingestion issues have been the worst for me with this disease to the present. I will not put up with the saying - Live with it - as I was told. I never had it before - I refuse to believe I would have it for life and I am not having really any problems regularly as I did.

This is my "Yeah right" list of things they tell us to stop - but are tough to do - so I try to elimate them as much as possible.

Quit coffee  - Yeah right!!! -- I try to limit myself to 2 cups a day and I will take a peppermint pill with it.  Same with booze or beer.

Quit smoking - Yeah right ( at least for me) I am trying  I guess - I need to do better. Not right now will I quit - but it is a goal.

Those are to two YEAH RIGHTS - I can speak about - everyone has them whether it is the above - or food - or whatevers.

Get the PH balanced is best or each of us.

Not sure if my ramble helps here - but I strongly believe going back to old medicine for some of these issues are better than popping all those scripts.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think you need to get some thyroid testing to really determine if that is a cause or not.  Most importantly, get freeT3 checked, along with free T4 and TSH.   In the interim if you want an idea if you are hypo t, check your temperature numerous times and compare the average to 98.6.  If you are low on free T3, and your metabolism is low, then your temperature will be sig. below 98.6.  Here's a link on temperature.

http://www.drrind.com/tempgraph.asp
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