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Coeliac Disease and Levothyroxine for Hypothyroidism

Littleshopofhorrors
Littleshopofhorrors
15 Replies

Coeliac Disease and Levothyroxine.

I have coeliacs and follow a gluten free diet. This is not helping my symptims of chronic constipation, fatigue and depression. I take 150mg Levothyroxine, which is gluten free, but not lactose free. I need to trial a lactose free diet (as well as continuing to be gluten free) for 2 weeks. Should I continue with my tablets, or stop them for 2 weeks? I can't get a gp appointment for 3 weeks.

15 Replies
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Cooper27

Don't stop your thyroxine, whatever you do! You'll feel awful within a week, and won't be able to tell whether your lactose free diet is making any difference because you'll feel so rough.

The amount of lactose in a tablet is pretty small, so I think you would notice an improvement from stopping all other lactose and only taking the tablets. If you are still having issues, then you could get a Lactase Enzyme, which you could take with your thyroxine. I take lactase Enzymes sometimes, if I'm struggling for dairy free options, and they really do help. I would only take 1/4 of a tablet before the thyroxine though, as you can cause digestive issues by taking more than you need.

Lactose free thyroxine is available, but many report that the brand doesn't agree with them, so I would think you need to change over for a few weeks before you try lactose free, just so you know which symptoms are due to the change of diet and which are due to change of medication.

How long ago were you diagnosed coeliac?

Littleshopofhorrors

Diagnosed 4 months ago. I need to make a difference soon, as I am also anaemic and can't tolerate oral iron in any form and my gastro won't prescribe an iron infusion.

Cooper27

4 months is really not that long - it can take 9 months for your antibodies to fall back into range, and it can take years for the damage to your gut to heal. I know people can hope their symptoms will disappear overnight, but it's a long road.

Consider whether there's anywhere you're potentially getting cross-contamination (did you buy a new toaster, replace cooking utensils/chopping boards/baking trays?)

For the Iron, I'd recommend taking apple cider vinegar before an iron containing meal (1tbsp diluted in 50ml of water), which will help your stomach to break down the food so you will absorb more. I'd also suggest taking a high dose of vitamin C, as this helps you to absorb iron. I took a 400% GDA Vit C supplement last year, and ended up causing my iron levels to go too high, so it does work!

You're probably worth trying a lactose free diet, as about 50% of coeliacs are also lactose intolerant. I'm inclined not to worry about the little bit in your tablets though.

StickyBloodMentor

You could try taking a product called lactojoy which will counteract the affects of lactose if taken before any lactose containing foods. I use this and its very good. You can even take it at the same time as the food you are eating which contains lactose. Saved me a number of times, especially when out.

amazon.co.uk/dp/B012FWSLX8/...

Littleshopofhorrors

Brilliant. Thank you.

Cooper27

I've used this too, but wouldn't know how much to take before thyroxine. I took one at the weekend unnecessarily, and my stomach just ended up hurting anyway...

StickyBloodMentor

Lactojoy is the highest of all the enzymes as far as I know. So some will only be as low as 7000 where as Lactojoy is 14,500. Therefore you only have to take one instead of two with other brands. It therefore can work out cheaper.

I find I can get away with one for a coffee or a scoop of ice-cream but for a whole meal - just in case - I often will take two if Im away and dont know or cant trust the place Im eating in.

I also find if Im in a bit of a flare or particularly sensitive at the time, that two might be better than one.

As far as taking it with Thyroid meds, Im on lactose free meds so dont have to worry. However Id look at the info of that manufacturer, or write to them, they are very helpful, so they can tell you how long the effects last of one tablet. That way you could take it an hour before thyroid meds.

Cooper27

It's that I took 1 at the weekend, before eating a bit of cake, but I later realised the cake only had butter in it (which is considered lactose free anyway), so I ended up quite uncomfortable from too much enzyme. For the amount of lactose in a tablet, I wonder if a quarter of a lactojoy would be preferable?

StickyBloodMentor

Ive never had pain from taking a pill. Are you sure there was no gluten, soy or other product in it that may have cause the pain?

Cooper27

There were no ingredients I struggle with, so the lactase is the only thing I can think of that upset me.

Pharmaguapa

Have you checked whether you actually have Hashimoto's btw? It's also closely linked to gluten intolerance. Also have you tried the Autoimmune Protocol diet? I've found it really life changing. But yes don't stop taking the thyroid meds!

Littlebee

Hi there I'm coeliac and hypothyroid. I was still feeling tired on T4 only and Iwasn't converting the Levothyroxine (T4) into its active form Liothyronine (T3) I discovered I had a gene called DIO2 which proves I am physically challenged in this conversion. So you could look into that and here is some info

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Good luck getting sorted it's not easy.

Alpsholiday

Hi

Re: the constipation

Hope this helps

I too struggled with this when I first started GF, just about managing a tiny output per day

Previously, before GF, I was fine with added wheat bran with cereals

Now, I'm fine again, with the following:

-After eating my daily 1/2 mango, I then eat the skin!

- Cauliflower - I now eat the tough kernel below, plus the leaves, that previously I would have thrown away - microwaved at high power for 6 mins to make it easier to chew

I am now absolutely fine again!

Good luck

ALps Holiday

Lynilou

Hi hope it is going well. I also have coeliac disease and had my thyroid removed so I take thyroxine. When I was first diagnosed with coeliac I also was lactose intolerant.. it often links when the gut is really compromised and damaged.

I also have reflux.

I continued with my regular thyroxine and reduced my lactose intake drastically, changing to soya milk first but then finding almond milk, and goats cheese, I love cheese! It took a couple of years to heal my gut enough to tolerate a little ordinary cheese. I agree I found the AP diet useful and often return to my version of it if I feel I’ve overdone the dairy. I can’t eat fresh cream still but following an issue when I needed another endoscopy I was advised by the consultant to try to bring some dairy back into my diet. I now compromise eating low fat cheese, low fat cream substitute and Bob milk I still have times when I feel the dairy has been too much, but mostly I’m good, it has taken me 12 years to get to this point. But if you are lucky enough to have a dietician who understands coeliac disease make sure you also work with the lactose intolerance. This does usually improve after a couple of years of a gluten free diet the gut heals enough to tolerate some dairy again. Best wishes

Littleshopofhorrors

Thank you! I am having to remove all dairy, as it appears to be milk protein which is causing the issues, rather than lactose. I've switched to coconut or almond 'milk' and soy based yoghurt. I'm getting used to the taste, slowly! It is making some difference, even after only 4 days, so I'll continue and see what happens!

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