I just had this 4 oz. organic juice of lemon, orange, carrot and ginger and it’s so good. You see, I suffer from digestive issues and I have trouble with energy because of my hypothyroidism. Some raw and organic fruits and veggies really help as they give me natural energy (not processed foods) and because they are organic, they have fewer chemicals and pesticides which can have a negative effect on the thyroid gland.
I had a visit to the the doctor today and we are trying to get an accurate analysis of my thyroid. I’ve been dealing with hypothyroidism for the last couple years and it was not discovered until my Mother suggested I get a few blood tests done (she also has Hypothyroidism). This is now the second doctor, but she is a specialist so I believe this go around will be better than the general doctor I first saw.
My hypothyroidism affects my energy levels, my sleep, mood, makes me dizzy, and I get cold easily. It can make my skin itchy, my fingernails brittle, and lately it’s been getting worse with palpitations and tremors. So much fun! I sometimes look like a zombie when working out but I give it my best. Ahhh I miss the days when I could workout forever!
So what’s the connection between Hypothyroidism and IBS?
“Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid does not produce a sufficient amount of hormones necessary for the cells throughout the body to work properly.” (re: Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.D.). Hypothyroidism affects the digestive system and can trigger bloating and constipation. You can also get diarrhea which is a result of someone who has SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome. On a recent visit to a gastroenterologist, he was certain I had SIBO – but we are still testing. Today my doctor asked if the first doctor I saw (the general doc) said whether or not I had Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition which is one of the most common causes for Hypothyroidism. I said I asked and the doc said no – but was I accurately tested? After testing now (see below for some of the blood tests I am taking tomorrow) we will figure out what is going on, but it’s important to note that people with Hashimoto’s disease are at a greater risk for Celiac disease – hence why the low-FODMAP diet is a great consideration for people with Hypothyroidism.
Taking thyroid medication has sometimes helped with my IBS but I still get many of the IBS symptoms here and there. It’s a long process learning and narrowing down all the possibilities for my symptoms. Before thyroid medication I would have IBS so severe that distention would last for weeks to months on end. Having a stomach comparable to a woman six months pregnant sends various signals to the brain like: “What the hell? I’m working out but I feel like I’m not losing weight.” “I have to go out? What am I going to wear to cover up my belly?” “I think I should come up with a name for ‘it’!” “Nope, not going to eat that, or that, or umm that.” “I’m not buying new clothes for a while!”
I have learned that when you are a patient, you cannot rely completely on what the doctors say, and not all doctors are organized (best way to explain why a doctor does not reference past charts or follow-up on last visit diagnosis/remarks) so you have to sometimes remind them what you need. I am not suggesting self-diagnosing by way of “Googling”, I simply mean that it’s important to do your research and understand all the tests that exist for your individual health condition and which doctor or specialist is the right choice. Research is great in the form of books instead of the Internet. Search for highly-touted books on Amazon like this one.
If you have IBS symptoms, very low energy and symptoms typical to either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (see below) it won’t hurt you to go see an Endocrinologist and have some tests ordered.
- Ask around to see if anyone in your family has thyroid issues. Remember, it usually runs in the family!
- Have your thyroid levels monitored in a timely manner, as suggested by your doctor (they may monitor you at first on a monthly basis and then every quarter after with the hopes that your condition improves and you only need to be seen once a year)
- Take your medication on time, everyday, and wait at least 45 mins before eating
- Eat clean foods that will give you natural energy and not slow you down
- If you are getting a lot of fiber from vegetables, learn about goitrogenic foods and how they can act like antithyroid drugs – here’s a great article from a lady I follow on Twitter, Mary Shomon @ThyroidMary
- When you go and see an Endocrinologist or hormonal specialist, ask about getting the following tested: TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronine (free T3 or total T3), Thyroid antibodies, Vitamin B12 and Iron
I have more to share about the thyroid gland and will post about it in the future – there is much to share like what foods to eat or avoid, how much carbohydrates you should have (to prevent blood sugar swings), how to alkalize your body and other tips to keep your thyroid healthy and your IBS under control.
Here’s to you!
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