Cystitis even while on anti-biotics? Plus certain infections connected to hypothyroid?

I am currently on Amoxicillin 500, which was not given for cystitis (have a bacterial chest infection) but can be used as such, yet I am still having mild symptoms of a urinary tract infection. I am very prone to them and have been for a number of years. In the past any anti-biotic took care of it without a problem but now I'm concerned that it is still hanging about.

I am also beginning to wonder if there is a connection between the amount of respitory tract and urinary infections I get (not at the same time normally) and thyroid? I know my immune system is struggling right now, hence the pills etc, but would one thing be responsible for the other?

Seems I'm finding all sorts of niggling little details I never put together before... :(

Finally, I am suffering a great deal of headaches at the moment and I'm not sure if it's pain killer related or something else. I'm taking paracetamol and codiene regularly. Any thoughts?

13 Replies

  • Yes, low thyroid usually involved. Good exposition in Dr Mark Starr's book, Hypothyroidism Type 2 The epidemic.

    My thoughts are: if you post blood test results you will get advice here as you could be undermedicated.

    If you have not already visited Thyroid UK site, please do, as there is so much info there.

  • Replied on Janeb's post below, thanks.

  • Some people find that D-Mannose deals with cystitis better than anything. You might want to look into it.

    As nostone says above there you could also be under medicated or need to add some vitamins and minerals. Particularly check this page on the Thyroid UK website to see if this may be the case:

    If you are optimally medicated you should not have the niggling problems you refer to and there are other things to be investigated if the above is not effective.

    Jane x

  • I have posted my results previously but have included them here. I am not being treated for thyroid as it is borderline and am awaiting a second blood test, but that cannot be done whilst I am so medicated. Vicious circle really.

    TSH: 4.9 ( 0.35-4.5 )

    FT4: 10.4 ( 11-24 )

    I also have a few other odd blood results, again which were posted previously but just in case they appear relevent to anyone....

    Rheumatoid factor: 17.5 iu/mL ( U 0-10 )

    Serum ferritin: 31.4 ug/L ( U 13-150 )

    Serum Albumin: 50g/L ( U 35-50 )

    Plasma C reactive protein: 8.1 mg/L ( U 0-5 )

    Serum vitamin B12: 365 ng/L ( U 180-866 )

  • Both recurrant uti's and everyday headaches were suffered by me before I was treated for hypoT. They've both gone now I am treated adequately. However I only get a headache if my iron levels are getting low so might be worth checking those out as well as your thyroid levels. Ali x

  • Hi, I get frequent UTI'S and for 18 weeks I was on a rotating period of anti biotics, 6 weeks of one sort , six weeks of another and the final six weeks were amoxicillin, I was fine for first twelve weeks but in final six weeks I caught a UTI , because I have an allergy to trimethoprim , my gp was a little stuck as to which antibiotic to prescribe for the final six week prophylactic dose, she wasn't confident amoxicillin would work,and it didn't, so what I am trying to say is that this type of antibiotic is not helpful with water infections and thus wouldn't have protected you sadly :-( I am nine weeks on NDT and I am hoping my frequent UTI's will soon be a thing of the past! I have read there is a definite link with infections and the thyroid so hopefully when you get thyroid situation resolved, these will fade away aswell . Best of luck x

  • Femme, major hugs for you. I hate having UTI's, truly and the idea of having one daily would be unbearable. I mean, the one I have is there but it's only fairly mild, so I can switch it off when I don't need the loo. It's when it kicks in big time and I can't stop heading loo-wards that I really hate it. Thankfully that hasn't happened since friday.

    I believe you are right, in that it isn't making much difference to the UTI, but it's supposed to be treating my chest infection. Until I have finished this course they aren't going to give me anything else. :(

    Alit, my iron levels are a little low but nothing major and in order to show a clear reading for the next thyroid I am avoiding doing anything different to normal....except for all these damn pills the doctors given me! Sadly, without them I would be a great deal worse so....

  • I spent a lot of my teenage life on antibitics for urine infections. I had an op on my bladder which didn't really help and in the end the urologist said theres nothing we can really do its Intersiticial cystitis and antibiotics wont help. I happened to see a gyno for something else and was talking through for urine problems with him and he suggested I take a 10mg dose of amitiptiline at night. Its been a godsend. No more feeling like I need to pee! I did come off it just after my son was born and within a few months I was back to raging wee symptoms again. It might be worth asking to trial it

  • Thanks tuf5ty, I'll make a note of that and take it with me next time I see the doc. :)

  • Hi LT - what you report really brought me back. Recurring urinary tract infections were one of the numerous secondary conditions I experienced over many years of untreated hypothyroidism.

    Sinus trouble was another in a similar vein - one of the earliest signs (with heavy duty fatigue that rest never sorted out) that all was not well. It progressed into a chronic sinus infection that blocked drainage and required surgery to repair.

    Back then (around 1990) I was unaware that hypothyroidism could be the issue. The then GP tested, but said my thyroid was 'normal' and kept me intermittently on heavy duty antibiotics for years. (including for a continuous period of around a year)

    Multiple doctors, hospitals and specialists were still claiming that the thyroid was 'normal' right up to when i became seriously ill with episodes of dangerously high blood pressure in 2005. At which point they belatedly discovered a hugely enlarged thyroid with advanced auto immune disease and a cancer in it.

    Antibiotics were a feature of my life, especially in the years until the sinus surgery in 1995. They couldn't clear the infections or make me well, but kept them in check until the surgery improved the situation to the point where while occurring regularly infections were not chronic per se - and would slowly clear.

    My career collapsed within a few years. During the last year before the sinus surgery the situation had become so borderline that attempting a normal morning's work would lead to tiredness, a flare up of the sinus infection and a high temperature by late afternoon - requiring bed and a week or more to recover.

    Despite all of this the GP was content to mindlessly keep on flogging out prescriptions for ever more antibiotics. Eventually i cried enough and went to see a consultant nose guy known to my family.

    The reason for telling the story in a bit of detail is that subsequent reading and reflection suggest that overuse of antibiotics was likely heavily implicated in the decline in gut function that was a big part of my situation. It subsequently took years of treatment, and a lot of work with diet and supplements to get back to some sort of normality.

    i.e. it's clear that when there's an acute infection about there may not be much choice but to use an antibiotic. If the problem keeps on recurring though then it becomes highly desirable to seek out and resolve the underlying cause.

    I didn't figure out that hypothyroidism was the underlying factor in my case until around 1997, and in fact was never able to get diagnosed. The stock T4/TSH bloods kept on coming up as 'normal', but as in the case of so many the symptoms were ignored and the patient was in fact badly hypothyroid and steadily losing ground. My hypo was possibly triggered by an inherited tendency, and a hugely stressful period in work and private life.

    What's pretty clear is that long term antibiotic use greatly worsened my gut condition, and set up a downward spiral in which it and the undiagnosed hypothyroidism reinforced each other. Auto immune disease quickly followed, was again undiagnosed despite obvious symptoms and suspect ANA titres. It was proven by the path report after thyroidectomy in 2005.

    If infections keep on recurring it's advisable to do all that is reasonably possible to find out why rather than to just keep on taking antibiotics - because they can come with a heavy price tag.

    None of these conditions arise in isolation, so it's important to take a far more holistic view than the treating of the symptoms that is normal in medicine. ('just take the pills')

    Another point is that many of these conditions can be fairly easily reversed if caught early and correctly treated, but can become very difficult and debilitating if not.

    It took several years for the sleeper to awaken, but i guess the great lesson of this period was the ending of my innocence regarding medicine. The realisation dawned as to just how limited, wrong headed and unreliable it often is - and just how important it is that we keep on researching our situation.

    That we never ever blindly offload responsbility for ourselves to others, or to the system...


  • Thanks for this post Ladytelita. It has brought out some interesting replies. Are you constipated? I have suffered with Cystitis, severe sinus Infections, chest infections etc. Constipation is associated with Hypothyroidism and I have a theory that this is closley connected to Cystitis. For years now, every day, I have made my own Barley Water using pearl barley - just a few grains each time. It is cheap and works for me.

  • Yes, JennyRay I am. Although I strongly suspect the use of so many pills is the cause. I had forgotten the uses of barely water! I used that when in my teens. I remember my mum keeping it in the house because she drank it too.

    I have cancelled all major energy users this week (including my beloved training :(( ) in an attempt to allow my body to heal and have stopped taking pain killers because of the headaches it was causing.

    Ian, whilst your situation was not one I would wish on anyone, nor do I blindly follow the guidance of a professional, any professional. We are all human and as such, make mistakes and wrong decisions. That my thyroid shows a problem, albeit minor in a doctors eyes, the symptoms I have speak for themselves. Getting a doc to believe that is the hard part, but I can only do so much when, some days it is hard enough to get out of bed and move about the house. That my health is in a downward spiral right now is clear, this isn't the first time. Whether it changes anything long term is another matter. My medical records show repeated infections for years with occassional breaks of better health (enough that I leave the doc alone). If they pick up on it, from the amount of hints I keep giving, maybe we'll get somewhere.

  • D-mannose is really good for urine infections and is very safe, so you can take it prophylactically. You might want to look at oxalates as oxalate 'dumping' can give the symptoms of a urine infection. is a good site for this and the Trying Low Oxalates yahoo group is an excellent forum with the best information on oxalate levels in foods.

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