Severe constipation and bowel problems, can this be thyroid related ? Recommended pain relief !

I was diagnosed with IBS several years ago before I knew anything about my thyroid problems (Hypo and Hashi's), for the past two months though the constipation has been horrific, I have had severe itching, pain and bleeding when going to the toilet, even though I take the maximum amount of lactulose and docusate daily am still not regular and have been known not to go for 11 days, have also required 3 enemas in the past month, I am now waiting for a surgeon referral to see if there is anything sinister going on, I was taking co-codamol and tramadol to help with joint pain and aches but have had to stop as both can have side effects of constipation and according to nhs website tramadol should not be used if you have thyroid problems, today the doc prescribed Naproxen, has anybody taken these as pain relief as I have never heard of them but the side effects seem worse than anything I have ever taken before, any help or advice much appreciated..

26 Replies

  • Constipation absolutely can be a hypo symptom. I'm an absolute obsessive about getting enough fibre/water/exercise, eating fresh foods, etc, but when my thyroid was untreated constipation was a terrible problem and it more or less completely resolved when I was on enough t4 and t3.

    Do you know if you're on enough thyroid meds?

    I really feel for you. That's a terrible situation to be in.

  • I definitely need to do a bit of research and change my diet, I do drink enough but recently have tried not to eat much as am scared to go to the toilet as the pain is horrific, as for exercise, doing the dishes and a spot of hoovering is all I can muster these days, as far as am aware T3 has never been tested, started on 100mcg levo, then upped to 125 and today was upped again to 150, GP has also referred me to Endo as when asked her about T3 tests she said they were expensive but as I still had every known symptom and some that Endo might do T3 test, hopefully extra dose might help and if not then hope appointment comes through quite quickly, thanks for reply.

  • psyllium husk is a god send just dont take 2 hours before or after meds

    tablespoon daily mixed with water or juice

  • Thank you, googling it now, will try anything, healthcare practioner recommended wheatgrass powder, the most disgusting stuff I have ever tasted, tried it for a month but made no difference so it now stays at the back of the cupboard !

  • the texture takes some getting used too but i just down mine in one go then follow with another glass of water

    dont leave it standing or it will turn to a jelly like gloop lol

    i get mine on ebay quite a good price and lasts forever you can get capsules but ive never used them

  • I know my mother in law used slippery elm bark for her ibs with great succes fortunately i never suffered with constipation with my hypo but codeine based meds bung me up horrendously so cocodamol may not be the best to take if you already constipated, my mother swears by a few tbsp of linseed in yogurt for added fibre and to solve constipation and she has to use strong painkillers on a daily basis

  • Slippery elm bark a good old fashioned and well tried and tested remedy for all sorts of digestive /bowel probs. That and LOTS and LOTS of water may do the trick Good luck!

  • Have just ordered a 200g bag of pysllium husk powder from ebay, will try my hardest to throw it down as have trouble swallowing with swollen thyroid, will aslo see about slippery elm bark and linseed, have stopped both co-codamol and tramadol and doc has today prescribed Naproxen so will see how that goes, used to take Buscopan for the cramps but because I have to take diazepam for all over muscle cramps have stopped the buscopan, thanks for replies and advice !

  • good luck and i really hope it helps you but be sure to have another drink after just to make sure its all gone down properly

    ive been using it for months now

  • Thank you, and yeah I did read about making sure it goes down as not to cause blockages, will just have to be extra careful as I do have problems swallowing, cheers again x

  • try splitting it throughout the day and hopefully it will reduce the chance of blockages maybe 1/2 teaspoonful in a glass of water

  • Try switching to natural desicated thyroid plus eat raw oats with fruit for breakfast and positively no rubbish, junk foods

    if your still in pain chances are your dosage of thyroid meds is way too low

  • Hi I have Hashimoto's and for years been constipated. However, after going gluten free I no longer have this problem. My blood tests came back negative for celiac but, as my Dr says if it works for you then carry on as the tests are not accurate.



  • Dont think my doctor is very clued up, had appointment yesterday for results, also tested negative for Coeliacs, but bloods showed that numbers were in range and she couldnt understand why I still felt so awful, she has upped levo to 150mcg, asked for the T3 test and was told it was too expensive and felt my neck and said it was very swollen, so now being referred to Endo as well, in the meantime will keep trying all suggestions, thank you !

  • Hopefully all your symptoms will clear up once your thyroid is being properly treated. Remember you are aiming at a TSH of well under 1, and a T4 at the top of the range, regardless of what the doctor might say.

  • I did ask for a print out of all results from last 3 blood tests but was told she couldnt do it there and then but would sort it and mail me them, as far as am aware TSH has gone from >150 to 30.92 and was at 0.99 yesterday, not totally sure about T4, started at <5 and was 14.63 yesterday, will just have to wait and see what Endo says when get appointment.

  • Hello, I'm new here & have lots of hypo symptoms although my results are in range. I've had chronic constipation for years and have very similar symptoms to yours. It turns out I now have haemerroids, anal fissures, proctalgia fugax and a (mild) prolapse all due to constipation so you are wise to get it looked at. It's all very painful & uncomfortable so I feel for you. I have a very healthy diet, exercise and drink plenty of fluids so my doctor has prescribed Movicol daily + hydrocortisone cream + pelvic floor exercises and no caffeine. I did try psyllium husks but I needed a lot more water than it said on the packet which made me feel waterlogged. I can't get a presription for thyroxin but my FT4 was 12.8 earlier this year & I'm sure it's too low for me.

  • Have tried the movicol but it makes me vomit, so on 45ml lactulose daily and 5 docusate capsules daily (max amount), doc also said had small haemerroid but didn't think that it should cause the severe pain, got cream specifically for anul fissures but it didnt make any difference, maybe 2 days relief at max, I definitely need to try the diet change, exercise though is a no go due to severe joint paint, as for giving up coffee that will b the biggest challenge, have already been treated for caffeine addiction and am struggling with reducing coffee/tea, will maybe have to try decaf and combat headaches with painkillers, symptoms are neverending, would it maybe be worth you seeing another doctor, mine hasnt been very helpful so am now awaiting a surgeon referral for bowel problems and an Endo for the thyroid problems, hopefully get somewhere soon, good luck ! x

  • I hope you get this sorted. One or two other changes improved things for me. I ditched the All Bran & prunes as they did nothing for me and cut down drastically on wheat altogether, and now have oat bran for breakfast and some juicy pears, stewed plums or rhubarb is quite good. I also take pro-biotics and a prebiotic from Healthspan called Easyfibre Regulease. I was on Lactulose but needed a lot of it so was getting through it quickly, OK on Movicol. I'm afraid the Psyllium made me heave as you have to drink so much water with it. I found that white rice, apples, bananas and wheat bread (any sort) make it worse so I avoid those. Hope this is of some help.

  • I'm hypo and find porridge in the morning strangely followed by 2 dark chocolates works for me plus prunes and always water. There is a lot of talk of veg and salads and fibre doing the trick and they also work for me, but have the totally opposite effect or many making constipation worse, we are all different. Can I just add that being stressed and worrying about it could make things worse. I'm sure the hospital will look into it thoroughly and hope you will soon be well again. I had a colonoscopy a few years ago and they found my immune system - I'm autoimmune was attacking the lining of my bowels. Many months of problems but all sorted now.

  • Go gluten free and dairy free. Build your pyslkum husk intake slowl and take pkenty of water. I woukd say gluten frew diet and t3 has cured my constipation. Try fennel tea for constipation andwater retention and bloating. I sometimes fet joint aches andpains and find asolpadiene is effective. Most of all make sure you are on correct thyroxine dose.x

  • Thank you so much for all the replies, I now have a few things to try out, apart from prunes as they also make me vomit, now just gotta wait patiently for the pysillium husk to arrive and also the hospital appointment for colonoscopy, thank you all again ! x

  • It might be worth stopping the lactulose - my son was on it for bad constipation and eventually we found out that part of the problem was lactose intolerance and the lactulose was making it worse not better. He came off that and changed from cows milk to goats milk (smaller particles to digest) and he was so much better. I find Fibre Force tablets (Holland and Barratt) help me and I also discovered I have low stomach acid and treating that helped a bit too.

  • I don't think it matters how much lactulose I take or docusate it doesn't make any difference, stools are definitely softer but pain, itching and bleeding still there, even if I have diarrhoea there is still the same pain etc, also never regular, minimum of three days and have also went 11 days without going, ended up in a and e after that episode .

  • I second the flax and psillium, but take with lots of water, lots more maybe than you expect you need (this helped me when I was on SSRIs). You can always take the flax straight from a spoon with a glass of water if you don't like eating it in food or soaking the seeds. Psillium can be mixed with food too (I use it in gf baking as a substitute for xantham gum). Chopped up natural dried apricots (the brown ones, not the orange ones) can be cooked in lots of dishes (porridge, casseroles, roasts, etc). Oh, and if you're going to cut out caffeine maybe get this problem solved first or it could get worse.

    Good luck! Once you've found the solution you'll feel so much better.

  • Hi, just to add my two pennies worth I have found that Acai Berry tablets (max strength) with lots of water help me and I am like you I cannot swallow all those other things they make me feel sick. I get mine from Holland and Barret.

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