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Hypothyroidism, Cholecystectomy, and IBS Changes

Last updated: December 2022

This year started off with a bang, and it caused a lot of changes. All of it has had some effect on my symptoms of IBS but I’m not sure what can be attributed to what and how this will affect my symptoms moving forward. Once again, I am trying to predict the unpredictable IBS.

Two procedures and a new diagnosis impacted my IBS

Let me recap everything I have dealt with in the last 6 months to illustrate why I cannot pinpoint what caused what. Not knowing what has affected any of it leaves me scratching my head as I try to figure out what will happen next.

I had 3 polyps and my gallbladder removed about 6 months ago. Last week, I learned I have hypothyroidism. All of these things can affect IBS, so I have no idea what changes can be attributed to what and how treatment will change things.

How do multiple medical issues affect my IBS?

After my cholecystectomy, some doctors told me my IBS might get worse. My primary care doctor told me because of my history with IBS I might not notice any changes. Much to my surprise, I noticed some improvement. This was an unexpected but welcome change.

I assumed part of this was because I no longer had a large polyp obstructing my intestine, and I assumed part of it was because I no longer had a gallbladder. Several family members had their gallbladder removed and all of them warned of frequent bouts of diarrhea. I have had IBS for decades and assumed I wouldn’t notice much difference. Imagine my surprise when I seemed to be mostly flare-free.

I thought this change might have been caused by resolving both of these medical issues. Did all of this combined sort of balance things out and decrease my symptoms? I thought it might be possible. I wondered if this was a temporary change due to a flare-free period.

Would things get worse or better over time? Would it stay the same? All I could do was wonder what the future would bring and hope it wasn’t worse after all the changes. Insert another medical issue. How would this affect everything?

How will hypothyroidism affect my IBS?

Now I have a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Symptoms started not long after I had the polyps and my gallbladder removed so I am assuming it all happened around the same time. Since I am still having a generally flare-free life, I am left wondering if treatment of hypothyroidism will change that.

One of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is constipation. If I could expect diarrhea with the gallbladder removal and hypothyroidism causes constipation, is it possible they sort of canceled each other out and left me mostly symptom-free? Will this change once my hypothyroidism is well-controlled?

Confused about the future with IBS and hypothyroidism

Since I have so many medical issues coming together at the same time, I have no idea what to expect. Perhaps when my thyroid levels are normal again I will see the full effect of having my gallbladder removed. Perhaps I will be plagued by chronic diarrhea and will change from IBS-M to IBS-D. I sure hope not but I know it is possible.

Maybe nothing will change. I hope that’s the case, but that’s not how my luck goes. All I can do is wait and see as I try to determine which condition affected my symptoms and what effect all of it will have moving forward.

Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism? How did it affect your IBS symptoms? Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism after having your gallbladder removed? What changes did it cause? I would love to hear about your experience.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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