A Thyroid Issue Is Affecting My IBS
Last updated: June 2023
My doctor explained to me that my thyroid acts much like the hormonal shifts of perimenopause and menopause. It spits and sputters, releasing more or fewer thyroid hormones with no rhyme or reason. It can be impossible to predict until it completely stops producing hormones.
A thyroid issue causes different issues, and some might be able to guess how their thyroid is behaving according to the types of issues they are having. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for me.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause symptoms of IBS
Hypothyroidism can cause constipation. While this might be an indicator of uncontrolled hypothyroidism for some, it isn’t for me. I have symptoms of IBS-C on a fairly regular basis, so a sudden bout of constipation isn’t unexpected.
Hyperthyroidism can cause diarrhea. This might be a warning sign for some, but it is common for me to have symptoms of IBS-D. Because I have IBS-M, this type of change could mean something or nothing at all.
Different health issues contribute to issues with IBS
I have a number of conditions that can cause constipation or diarrhea. A swift change in symptoms or a prolonged bout of symptoms makes me wonder about the cause, but it’s a guessing game. There is no way for me to determine the possible cause.
This is especially true for diarrhea. For the past month, I have been experiencing severe bouts of diarrhea. This is a bit worse than my normal IBS-D flares, so I wonder if one of my other issues is causing or exacerbating the problem.
Trying to identify the root cause of a bad IBS flare
Which issue could be keeping me chained to the bathroom? I had my gallbladder removed last year, and that can cause diarrhea. I am postmenopausal, and the hormonal issues associated with that can cause diarrhea or constipation.
I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, but the changing level of thyroid hormones coupled with medication could at times cause my thyroid hormone levels to be too high. That can cause diarrhea, and that could be an issue until it is properly regulated.
Uncontrolled hypothyroidism can worse IBS symptoms
I feel my uncontrolled thyroid issue is likely the culprit behind the intensity of this flare, but I believe all of my ailments are contributing factors. It was hard enough to try to manage everyday life with IBS flares before, but it seems impossible now.
If I want to leave home, I must fast. Fasting isn’t easy now as I am always hungry, thanks to many of my ailments. I still fear having an accident, and it is a very real possibility even staying close to the bathroom. This flare is that intense.
Taking medication to take the edge off of cramps
I don’t like to take medication because it generally just flips me into a flare of the opposite type. I have started taking an antispasmodic medication again. It does little to control diarrhea, but it does help take the edge off the cramping.
Don’t get me wrong. An antispasmodic does not take away all my cramping, but it does help lessen the pain. That little bit of relief helps when it’s really bad.
Trying to find some relief from IBS symptoms
What can I do to stop this flare or at least lessen its intensity? I have high hopes that once my hypothyroidism is controlled that it will improve. Surely it will make things a bit better.
Has a thyroid issue made your IBS worse? How did you manage? I would love to hear about your experience.
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?