Gluten Intolerance, Low Stomach Acid and Hypothyroidism


Since be diagnosed with hypothyroidism over three years ago I started to experience episodes of diarrhea. I get bad constipation with the hypo but about three months after been diagnosed I suffered a really bad day were I was shaking, felt real nauseous and was loose and felt really down. The next day I was O.K. A few months later this happened again (but without the shaking) but the episode lasted a couple of days. Same again a couple of months later. This has carried on but has started to get more frequent and the diarrhea more severe. The episodes became once a month for a few months now it is every two to three weeks. I cannot pin point anything that brings it on.

Does anyone know if this could be Gluten Intolerance or can low stomach acid cause these symptoms.

I have finally decided to go Gluten Free so hope this helps it.

I do am not over medicated as my T4 and T3 are only mid range.

Any thoughts please.

Thank you browny

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25 Replies

  • Hi Browny

    I'm no expert and can only speak from my own experience. I have developed IBS as a result of my autoimmune thyroid disease. Had a scan of my abdomen yesterday to rule out anything else. Scan all clear.

    I like you, had bouts of diarrhea, which got quite severe at times. Also have constipation, and sometimes both together! Basically, I have become intolerant to many foods including wheat, onions, coffee, milk etc etc. I worked it out over time by taking one food stuff at a time out of my diet and then reintroducing it to see what happened. I now follow the FODMAP diet. And it works.

    It's quite easy when you are cooking at home, gets more difficult when you are eating out though. At first I was OMG, how do I cook without onions and garlic! You can use Asafoetida for onion flavour, and garlic oil. No taste loss at all. Maybe you don't have IBS, but might be worth trying elimination then reintroduction just to see. Wishing you well.

  • Hi

    Many thanks for your reply, I have heard of the FODMAP diet so will look more into it.

    Best wishes browny

  • I have chronic diahorrea and have had for years - in fact it was this symptom that made my consultant test for hyperthyroid only to discover I am hypo. I take meds daily to reduce the frequency from 20+ to around 3-8 times a day. iBS is a blanket medical term for an intestinal issue of unknown or unidentifiable cause and NOT a condition. Do not be fobbed off with this 'diagnosis' keep asking why. I have had every test, scan and biopsy available and the cause is unknown. I will keep searching but havent found cutting out dairy or gluten to make any difference.

  • Hi

    Thanks for your reply, that must have been awful going around 20 times a day. I am hoping if I cut gluten out it may help, if not I will ask G.P. to investigate.

    Hope your condition improves.

  • ....could your gut flora be out of balance ? There are tests available through Cyrex Labs of America handled by Regenerus Labs in the UK. Chris Kresser also has posted about SIBO - small intestinal bacteria overload - I think it means ! I posted the link yesterday in connection with Fibromyalgia.

    I have Crohns - diagnosed over 40 years ago - and very little problem that I am aware of :-) VitD in large doses is anti-inflammatory and supports the immune system.... Expect you know all this anyway :-) Do hope you find an answer soon as it must be debilitating.....

  • Hi

    Many thanks Marz for your reply. I do take Vit D

    I have just looked at Chris Kresser SIBO, it is interesting, I am going to research more and will look at the tests.

    Best wishes browny

  • That's really interesting Brownie. I'm hypo and a few weeks ago I had an almighty row with my boss. (Actually she was bullying me - and got me in a right state!) Two days later I was so ill in bad I could hardly move. I had the runs, chronic fatigue and very severe muscle pains. I just couldn't life my head up off the pillow. First time in my 6 years in that job I've been off sick. Then last week I'm diagnosed as hypo. I thought I'd had a bug but in hindsight (yes, a marvellous thing) I now realise I had a crisis with my thyroid - what do you guys think? It was only the fact I had the runs, I assumed I had a bug.....

  • Hi

    Yes I kept thinking I was getting tummy bugs but then realised I could not be getting them so often, I am cutting gluten out to see if it helps.

  • Hmm Brownie - I'll be trying the same too!

  • Mind Body connection is SO powerful. The Vagus nerve leaves the brain stem and is connected to the gut in more than one place. So the brain/thoughts can affect the gut and foods can affect the brain. Ýoga works on the two way connection.

    Good book by Datis Kharrazian - Why Isn't my Brain Working - is a good source of information regarding the brain and the gut.....big book but not daunting !

  • I would get TPO antibody test. If it is raised then look at gluten and dairy free diet. I felt very poorly and the test showed very raised TPO. After gluten and dairy free for 3 months TPO has come right down. I am sticking to the diet, good luck

  • Hi

    I had the TPO test done when first diagnosed and was told I did not have antibodies. I am going to go gluten free to see if it helps.

  • Hi browny, about 15 years ago I had severe bouts like you, it was a couple of years before I was diagnosed ( looking back I was hypo then but hadn't got myself to the doc's). It was a distressing time, and the pain was excruciating. I had a sigmoidoscopy then a colonoscopy, all clear. The consultant told me IBS, he said they don't know what causes it (if he'd have said stress I'd have bopped him!) and the only way of describing it is 'your plumbing is ok but there's something wrong with the wiring.' That explanation kind of helped me through those times which thankfully grew less and less but then it swung the other way to very severe constipation where even laxatives don't work. The term is 'dysmotility' which means the muscles or nerves of the intestines don't work as they should, causing changes in the speed. In diarrhoea, the muscle movement is too fast, in constipation it's too slow. There's an article here citing thyroid disorders as one of the causes. Google 'thyroid hormone gut motility' for more info.

  • Hi

    Thanks for the info. and the link, it does make a lot of sense.

  • Hi browny, am only replying to low stomach acid part of your query, please read thread, test low/high stomach acid and link where to buy Betaine HCl + Pepsin 600mg capsules ( which I have taken for some time and never been better stomach acid wise:

  • Hi

    Thanks for your reply, I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar for low stomach acid which has help quite a bit. I am going to finish the bottle then get the Betaine capsules.

  • I take 1 x Betaine Hydrochloride- 648 mg- ** Pepsin- 130mg with every meal, stopped GERD and digesting food so much better now, good luck.

  • Many thanks, I am going to order now.

  • This is also a good link:-

    I take Betaine/pepsin but it says not more than 3 per day. I have also have taken other Betaine which you can take more of, so I assume the potency was lower.

  • Apple cider vinegar is useful for cutting down on symptoms in an emergency - but that is all it really does - it masks symptoms. It doesn't actually help you to digest your food, and if low stomach acid is your problem (as it must be if the vinegar helps with symptoms), then you do need extra help to digest your food. You would benefit more in the long run from the Betaine HCl + Pepsin that cc120 has already mentioned.

  • Hi

    Many thanks, I am going to order the Betaine HCI + Pepsin now

  • This is very interesting as I have Omeprazole every morning! Obviously it's not helping with some things, is it? I have started taking just one every other day. Anyone got any thoughts please? (I take it because I have anti-inflammatoires for my back but I also suffer from acid reflux).

  • Here is a link.

    I take Betaine/pepsin (it says not more than 3 per day) and have taken previously Betaine etc that I could take much more but assume the potency was less.

  • Hi Arwen,

    You are taking omeprazole for reasons unconnected with low stomach acid, so Betaine might not be good for you. I think you need to do lots of research before deciding whether or not it is safe or appropriate for you.

    Read "Mistake No 1" on this page :

  • Thanks so much humanbean! That's a really interesting read. There's sooooo much to learn!

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