Feel like giving up...constipation has come back :(

Hi all,

for those who don't know me I am a 28yr old girl diagnosed in May this year with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. My doctor has started me on 75mcg Levothyroxine and after a follow-up blood test has increased it up to 125mcg.

Honestly, I've thrown everything at this. I go to reflexology once every fortnight...I've cut out gluten and wheat...I've increased my water...I eat 4 of my 5 a day of fruit...I take Spatone...I take my meds...and everything was fine from Monday morning until today - when the constipation came back.

I'm working so hard to make the constipation go away and stay away but I really don't know what else to do. Because it's come back it makes me feel like I've gone back to square one again and I also look bad again - I looked in the mirror yesterday and my eyes looked the best they had ever done in a long, long time. Today I looked in the mirror and the bags have come back, I feel absolutely exhausted and my ribs were aching from the constipation.

I'd like to think that the constipation today was a one-off, but not when I also look more tired than yesterday. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I see the the doctor in two weeks' time for a meds review and I'm hard-pushed to ask for an endo referral.

Can anyone advise?



22 Replies

  • Are you iron deficient? Have you had blood tests?

    Moggie x

  • Hi Moggie, thanks for your reply.

    Yes, I am iron deficient. Blood test result was 15 ug/L with normal range 30-400 ug/L.


  • Are you getting your supplements from your GP. Has Spatone got VitC added or are you taking it separately with the tablets.

    Moggie x

  • Hi Moggy,

    No, I haven't been getting any supplements from the GP apart from the Ferrous Fumerate tablets at 210mg but I heard that these tablets stain teeth. I also didn't like the taste, so I bought some Spatone from Holland and Barretts myself.

    The Spatone has VitC added in so I drink that in orange squash to help with the taste. I also take this separate with the thyroxine tablets.



  • How about taking a mild laxitive. I know that it the hypo that causes the problem, but it obviously affecting you more than other, if the levo isnt making a difference then something to at least alleviate the symptoms you have may be an alternative. there are mild ones that are safe to take on a daily basis.

    Maybe you should consider asking for a ref feral to a gastro consultant rather than and endo

  • Hi there susy, thanks for reply.

    I did have Fibogel but I got rid of that. I could go back to that again however. I did try the prunes and it did work for a few days when I continued to eat them but the constipation came back again.

    I could ask for a referral to a gastro but I'm not sure the doctor would agree with me about being referred. I've had problems with my last GP, you see.

    The problem I had with my last GP was that a nurse at a walk-in centre diagnosed my hypo and sent a letter to my GP to do more testing or refer me. The doctor ignored the letter and when I asked them about having my thyroid tested again they refused. So I have some doubts about asking my new doctors for such things for fear that they will not go along with what I ask them.



  • another point I forgot, is that I suffered hideous constipation on iron tablets so much so that I was told not to take them despite needing them as the side effects were out weighing the benefit. That was long before I was diagnosed hypo though, and I'm not suggesting you stop the iron either if you need it.

  • Thanks Susy

    I was under the impression that the Spatone promises no issues with constipation as this is the case with most iron tablets/supplements, so I was more than a little surprised for the constipation to come back. I don't take the Ferrous Fumerate that my doctor prescribed me as I heard that these stain teeth and to me tasted horrible, so that was why I opted for Spatone. Also Spatone was suggested at my thyroid support group and I knew that I needed to take iron in some shape or form after much chickening out for over a month with the Ferrous Fumerate. At least with the Spatone I just neck the stuff with less of the metallic taste to worry about. :)



  • What do you mean they have refused further testing and ignored a diagnosis!! I'd find another doctor if I was you. they obviously agree with it or they wouldnt give you levo, they cant just deny further relevant testing because of their failure to diagnose properly in the first place. Thats just arrogance!

  • Hi there,

    No no, apologies. I think it's wise I give you the whole story. The guys at support group know of this:

    I was under the care of one GP practice and a blood test carried out in November 2011 showed I had a high TSH at 5.2 (normal 0.2-4.2). They made no attempt to contact me but when I asked them about the blood test they told me it came back normal.

    I go to a routine appointment for something else (this is in January 2012) and the GP says my thyroid was tested and came back abnormal but she told me not to worry about it. She also said it was unlikely I had an underactive thyroid anyway as I'm very slim. :o

    A month later the front of my neck swelled up. I thought it was an upper respiratory tract infection as my voice went hoarse. I saw no doctor as I thought it would go away.

    I go back to my doctor the following month and my TSH was tested again at 2.2 (normal ranges still apply). I had trouble swallowing. Doctor did nothing about this.

    I go to a walk-in centre in March and a nurse tells me I had a goitre and to go back to the GP for answers. I'd given up at that time as they told me a thyroid condition was completely ruled out.

    I get leg pains in August and a nurse at another walk-in centre tested my blood pressure and noted I had a goitre. She was the one who sent a letter to my previous GP and when I mentioned this letter to them they refused to test my thyroid anymore and reiterated there was no thyroid disease.

    So I change doctors surgeries and ask for an antibodies test. This was in January this year.

    Results are: Anti-thyroid Antibodies (Anti-TPO - 84,000) normal range under 34,000.

    TSH 0.69 (normal 0.27-4.2)

    The doctor I saw wanted to keep an eye on the TSH and then fast-forward to 4 months later and this happens:

    TSH - 22

    FT4 - 10.9 (normal 11-23)

    Then I was started on the Levo at 75mcg.

    Another blood test was done 3 months later with the TSH at 4.

    So apologies. It wasn't my current doctor's surgery that made the mistake but the previous one I was registered with.

    I even tried to log a complaint with the previous practice via NHS PALS to let them know of this failure to diagnose me and they sent 2 very intimidating letters to my address saying what they did and how they went about doing it was right. Also the TSH that was at 5.2 wasn't classed as "abnormal" anymore but seen of as "borderline."



  • I am booked in to see a gastro next month due to absorption issues so maybe you should take susy's advice and ask for a referral. If you don't ask you'll never know will you.

    Moggie x

  • Thanks Moggie, I'll ask at my next appointment - which isn't far away.

    Jo :) x

  • They can and they do susy - shameful I know but I don't think there is a day goes by on this site when some GP or doctor is refusing crucial tests. You have won half the battle with this illness if you can find a decent, understand GP who is doing his/her job properly.

    Moggie x

  • Don't be too hasty with the laxatives. Our bodies do sometimes get sluggish. As you are seeing your doctor soon, perhaps see if this is still an issue then. There are natural alternatives. Read up on things you can eat to help your colon and improve transit. :)

  • Forgive me for asking but what do *you* mean by constipation? I know the answer might seem obvious but honestly, it means different things to different people. To some, being constipated is not going everyday, to others, it's not going twice a week. And to others still, when they talk about being constipated, the mean that the poo's all hard and hurts like hell to get out. Sorry to be so graphic. :) But one of us might be able to come up with a solution if we know what the problem is.

  • Hi Lilymay, thanks for your reply.

    My meaning of constipation is when I go but it comes as rabbit's pellets and hurts. :)

  • I do sympathise - one way I know that I am improving is if I'm not constipated. For me it is one of the key measures. Good luck at your next appointment. J x

  • Thanks J,

    yes, I thought I was improving as I hadn't been constipated since Monday morning. Could be to do with me starting my gluten-free diet and my body doesn't like it so I'll see how it goes up until my next appointment.

    Jo xxx

  • Jo, if you're referred to a gastro for coeliac or gluten intolerance you need to be eating gluten for a few weeks prior to screening.

  • A very simple exercise you can do is to squat for 5 mins everyday. Really get your bum so it's almost touching the floor and then rock. It helps, I promise.

  • I've had constipation all my life. Right now it's better. I take a fybogel (not keen that it has sweeteners in it, but you could just drink ispaghula husk) , 28g of prunes and 1000mg of vitamin C every night.

    When I took iron tablets the constipation was really bad. If I ever have to take iron again I would take these;


    My constipation was so bad I was bleeding.

    I thought it was only the iron syrup that stains the teeth??

    A tip; once you get your iron levels up, to maintain them, always drink orange juice (i freshly squeeze mine) with the most iron rich meal you'll have that day. My ferritin is now 160. It was 35.

  • Psyllium husks are great for constipation. Lepicol I found was best, as strangely other brands did not work as well. Take a tspn in juice 20 mins before your breakfast/dinner. Away from any meds though.

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