How are Thyroid and Gastrointestinal Problems Connected?

Thyroid And Gastrointestinal Problems
April 21, 2021

The thyroid gland can indeed have a substantial impact on the gastrointestinal system. The symptoms experienced by a person with an underactive thyroid usually include low stomach acid, dyspepsia (chest pain), constipation, poor absorption of food, anemia, gallstones, and excessive growth of bacteria in the small intestine.

Can thyroid problems cause gastrointestinal problems?

Usually, most people think that diet is the primary culprit behind sudden weight loss and chronic digestive problems. However, this is a misconception and an oversimplification of the situation. Many people with prolonged gastrointestinal problems often do not get the care they need because of an undiagnosed thyroid condition.

The gastrointestinal problems are caused by thyroid disease generally by:

  • Decreased motility in hypothyroidism
  • Heightened motility in hyperthyroidism
  • Autoimmune gastritis
  • Esophageal compression due to a thyroid process

These can be cured by treating the underlying thyroid disease.

What Is the Link Between IBS and Thyroid Disease?

If you have both thyroid disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is natural for you to wonder if these two are interconnected. In fact, even though there are several health problems that people with IBS experience at an increased rate compared to others, there’s no clear evidence to conclude that having thyroid disease causes IBS or vice versa.

Can thyroid cause gastritis?

Hyperthyroidism is often accompanied by low acid production in the stomach and regular gastric emptying. This is partly due to autoimmune gastritis, which accelerates the food transit time from mouth to the cecum and results in diarrhea.

Can thyroid problems cause bloating and gas?

Yes. Thyroid disorders, e.g., hypothyroidism, can result in bloating, gas, as well as constipation, and diarrhea. Sometimes they can also cause heartburn and nausea.

How does hypothyroidism affect bowels?

As you know, hypothyroidism occurs when a person’s thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones resulting in the slowing down of many of your body functions, including your bowels. So, yes, hypothyroidism can be a cause of your constipation. That’s because constipation occurs due to a poorly functioning colon or because excessive water is absorbed from your food. In both situations, the stool moves very slowly, thus resulting in sluggish or weakened colon contractions. This symptom is called “reduced gut motility” and is a classic hypothyroidism symptom.

Can hypothyroidism cause IBS symptoms?

When a person has both IBS and hypothyroidism, one of the things you should remember is that a person suffering from thyroid disease can also experience many IBS-like gastrointestinal symptoms. So it can be easy to confuse between both.

Does leaky gut cause thyroid problems?

Remember that there is a strong correlation between your gut health and the thyroid gland. Studies conducted in this field show that low thyroid hormones can lead to a leaky gut, and when you have poor gut health, it can further suppress your thyroid function.

If you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, it shows that you either have low or excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. It also indicates a dysfunctional or poorly functional thyroid gland. Moreover, as thyroid hormones are deeply involved in the metabolism and digestion of our body, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to increased gastrointestinal conditions.

If you are looking for expert doctors who specialize in thyroid treatment, call us at 843-572-1600 or book an appointment with our experts today.

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