Thyroid UK
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Thyroxine is crippling my stomach, been taking Gaviscon but shouldn't?

Since starting my Levothyroxine my old stomach problems have erupted! Terrible heartburn, indigestion and awful pain that radiates up into my very teeth, especially troublesome when I try and lie down.

I have been using long term Omeprazole, but now also using Gaviscon, usually shortly before/after taking my pills on going to bed. Otherwise I need to get back up because my stomach is giving me bother. I take the Levo on going to bed due to not feeling wonderful after taking it.

I just read on an information leaflet that nothing like Gaviscon should be taken for a few hours before/after Levo medication.

Any ideas please on what I can do? These pills seem to be causing me more problems than solutions. I certainly can't see my stomach being able to handle this long term, feels like swallowing bleach!

Maybe there is an obvious solution, but I'm not seeing it just now.

Many thanks if anyone can think of anything.


13 Replies

Go straight back to your GP's and tell him what is going on. It could well be the fillers they put in the levo that is causing this (and there are plenty of them) but for cases are bad as yours there is a liquid eltroxin that can be given. It is expensive so your GP might try and refuse you but if he does I would definately take this further as you obviously cannot go on like this.

Does you GP know you are having these sort of problems and is he/she the kind of GP to want to go that extra mile to sort it out?

Moggie x


Thank you Moggie, I'm afraid my GP is a little on the vile side, lol. He refused to give me the Levothyroxine, and I got a private script after seeing a certain well known Dr S. I fear that if I mention any of my troubles to the GP he will just gloat and want the medication stopped. I have been to the GP with multiple other health issues, and I just get fobbed off. I even changed to another practice after much poor service but this practice is just as rotten to the core.

I should maybe try and contact the prescribing doc ( Dr S ) but I find it most difficult to make contact, as I can never get an answer on the phone and leaving a message is a hit and miss kind of thing.

Thank you most kindly for your answer.


Your welcome and I wish I could suggest something else. Is there not another doctor you can see at the practise. I tried four at my practise until I found the right one (well one that was better than all the others anyway).

You really cant go on like you are so maybe write to Dr.S. and ask his advise.

Wishing you the very best of luck

Moggie x


I am sorry you are having stomach problems. You have to ask to be referred to a gastroenterologist.

I have read that omezaparole is only to be used short term (about six weeks). Most of us do not know whether we have low acid or high acid as symptoms are the same. This is a link:-

With hypo everything slows down. I hope you are able to get some relief soon.

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The acid symptoms sound very familiar C&D, right down to taking too many Rennies. (may not be a great idea either - lots of sugar and calcium i think) I develop a tendency to a very acid stomach if i end up even slightly hypothyroid, or get stressed. At least i think that's the cause.

Hypothyroidism is certainly known to compromise gut function, so (separately from any reaction to fillers etc) if the T4 wasn't working so well or was triggering some sort of disimprovement in conversion to T3 and/or use of it it's possible it could be contributing.

I did better by managing my diet carefully to avoid foods that worsened it, but could never quite escape it. It was actually difficult to categorise exactly what the trigger was - but anything additive, confectionery, gluten related or less than very bland seemed to cause all sorts of problems.

I found that high cortisol levels (probably caused by chronic stress?) contributed most of all to my problem - it messes with the digestive process , but it can also causes hypothyroidism by messing with T3 use as above.

Just a surmise - but cortisol and/or related hypothyroidism could well be at the root of how the gut ends up so sensitive to filers etc in meds (?) too.

It cleared instantly a few months ago with increasing the proportion of T3 i was taking (for the same equivalent dose of thyroid), and more particularly with getting my cortisol levels under better control. Instant end to the acidity, and to the alternating constipation an opposite that was more or less normal.

This certainly added a spring to my step - I'd been convinced that I had developed some sort of allergy issue or similar. It was amazing to have it disappear in a day or two.

High cortisol can be a very subtle problem. We get used to the feeling and don't notice it. It's nominally the result of short term stress, and should clear - but in practice the brain can end up 'wired'/the hypothalmus can end up re-programmed by months and years of wallowing in high levels of cortisol (down to long term situational, or maybe post traumatic, or even foetal stress) so that we produce much more than normal for the situation...

We've been discussing managing high cortisol in the last month or two....



Im sorry but I dont like to hear of pain which radiates up to someones teeth as this sounds like jaw pain and maybe angina linked to your heart. maybe it is not but I think you should have it checked.

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Dr P says by using antacids we can be exacerbating the situation. The body is over producing acid due to LOW levels so adding more alkali causes it to make even more acid. Taking Nutri gest might give a clue as to whether this is what's happening for you. Might be worth a trial. I find it helps me at times.


It wasn't a fix, but i found a small amount (maybe 1 tea spoon) of cider vinegar in water quite effective to relieve the acid tendency for periods. Tastes horrible though..


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Hi Ian just logged on after my salad lunch with cider vinegar dressing to find your reply ;-) . Haven't tried it in water though. I am trying to ignore my gallbladder flare at the moment - head in the sand and salads and soups with focus on protein and fermented foods too.

The packing agent questio is a really interesting one catsndogs - I am finding Liothyronine issues as I am on T3 only. It seems the NHS mercurypharma version is not suiting me whilst cynomel at the same dose helps much more significantly. I seemed to be intolerant of levo alhtough Eltroxin was the best for me, no proof that it was conversion , cellular absorption or possibly a packing agent problem, but endo decided T3 only was the way to go.

My physio/ acupuncturist has suggested I try Lambert's Candaway and Acidophilus to Kill any candida and promote good bacteria only - on day 3 and not sure yet! Seems to be in line with Izabella Wentz new book Hashimoto's Root Cause although I'm overwhelmed with all the foods that could be culprits - one step at a time.

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Hi S. Candida seems to be a fairly typical consequence of mixing modern sugar and carbohydrate heavy diets with stress/unhealthy living, sleeping and working habits. It leads to chronically raised cortisol - which if maintained for extended periods may lead to eventual hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue and auto immune issues - and the often associated gut problems.

Especially if we've been taking antibiotics for e.g. the oft associated colds, sinus and urinary tract infections.

The classic anti-candida diet (no sugar/no simple (fast burning carbs), no wheat/flour or gluten, no milk; watch for problem foods and eliminate depending on sensitivities; gut healing supplements; minerals as suggested by tests, issues etc) with a reduction in stress/life changes is probably the first step in heading off and/or reducing Hashimotos and similar auto immune issues too i suspect - in those of us with gut issues.

Failure to respond risks these issues progressing on into much harder to treat thyroid damage/hypothyroidism and adrenal issues - not to mention the food sensitivities and absorbtion issues so many report.

There's even a developing a view that the various bug populations in our gut (and the rest of out bodies) communicate by quantum means at the energetic level - that they play an important part in the management of our wellbeing and effectively function as though they were organs.

It'll be a while until conservative medicine gets it's head around that possibility...

The pity in all of this is that problems require nipping in the bud. Which requires docs to recognise chronic stress and early stage metabolic illness for what it is, and treat it - instead of blaming depression and the like until the situation becomes much more serious and infinitely more difficult to treat.

Our own macho conditioning (even the ladies) makes it hard for us to even recognise that we're ill and have real problems developing - we tend to try to bull on regardless.

It's so important to respond to even subtle hints from the body like reduced energy and fatigue that all is not well. We're often not aware enough to do so.

Those of us that eventually figure out what's going on for ourselves are typically by then far enough down the road that we're well into the latter scenario.

I was consulting with doctors to find the cause of a fatigue from the late 80s, but wasn't really ill with hypothyroidism until the mid 90s - and until then didn't know enough to realise that I was headed for serious trouble/needed to act decisively.

Even then and despite obvious symptoms getting a diagnosis proved despite many attempts impossible ('your thyroid is normal, must be depression'), and it was 2005 (almost 20 years later) before i ended up in hospital with what proved to be a thyroid cancer, advanced auto immune disease and life threatening blood pressure...

:) Pardon my using your post as an excuse to paint a picture...


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Some more relevant info on low stomach acid... yes it takes quite a leap of faith to believe it might well be LOW not high acid.... but it can be life changing when you get it right!

(has links also to simple methods of testing such as a challenge test)


Thanks everybody for your replies and great information - a good few avenues to investigate. Very much appreciated that people share their experience and knowledge in order to help another.

Kind Regards.


I'm lying in bed with severe acid pains in my throat my stomach and in my chest and feel so bad at times the burning is unbearable. I have reduced my Omeprazole to one pill at night instead of the usual two tried it without any last night so had to take one tonight (I have been on these for over 5 yrs) but heartburn is so bad. Got docs on Wednesday for full blood tests again and having to fast from Tuesday night. Only diagnosed in Juky


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