Thyroid UK
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Acid reflux link

Hello. I had tests and a scan last year for irregular bowel movements and was told I had a contracted gall bladder and low TSH (I didn't know what that meant) and would have 6 monthly blood tests. This summer discovered I had a lump in myneck and scan seemed to show a multi-nodular goitre, with one very large nodule. I was told the TSH was getting lower but thyroid function results were normal. I'm waiting for results of a biopsy and feedback on scan from an ENT consultant so hope I'll know more then. However, what has been most upsetting me is that I have been getting really bad acid reflux since July. Ranitidine didn't make much difference and Omezoprole made me feel really ill. Having read about both I don't want to be on either anyway. My GP and the ENT consultant who I first saw about the goitre said there was no connection between reflux (nor with gall bladder problems). I have therefore done some research and sent off for a load of health supplements (Betaine, pepsin, enzymes etc) because of the alternative view that older people (I'm 58) tend to have lower stomach acid, and that causes poor digestion, regurgitation etc which feels like reflux. However, I have just met a friend who has just been diagnosed with Hashimotos and she tells me that there can be a link between thyroid problems and digestive problems (including stomach and gall bladder). Would it be best to stay away from the supplements until I have a better idea about what is going wrong with my thyroid? I'd be grateful for any advice on this, and also whether there are any questions or tests I should be asking about the possible connections. Many thanks

6 Replies

If your stomach is compromised I think you might find a benefit with betaine/pepsin. Particularly as the PPIs made you feel worse.

Everything in our bodies can be affected if our thyroid gland is working as it should.

When you have a blood test for your thyroid hormones get the earliest one and fast (you can drink water). I hope they do a Full Thyroid Function Test and not just TSH and T4 as that doesn't give the complete picture. Always get a print-out of your results with the ranges and you can post if you have a query.

Low acid and high acid have very similar clinical symptoms but GPs are apt to think only 'high' and don't see the connection with thyroid gland which, if hypo, everything is slow or low. Doctors have been told to wait till the TSH reaches 10 before prescribing thyroid hormones. Some do if the TSH reaches 5 with symptoms. In other countries if the TSH reaches 3 people are diagnosed and prescribed.


Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. I was planning to do the Betaine test tonight and didn't want to go ahead without checking. That all makes sense, and thanks also for the advice about the testing. From reading this forum I gather it takes some perserverance!


perseverance and more :)


Thank you so much for all the information - and I have sent off for the Jonathan Wright book. Nervously took one tablet of Betaine HCL and Pepsin last night which didn't cause any burning but lots of gurgling and for the first time felt like my stomach was emptying and I have had no reflux symptoms. Have woken up feeling hungry which is a breakthrough! I know it is early to be sue but do feel like I am now on to something. I'm very impressed by how quickly you have got back to me and been so helpful and supportive - thanks again!


AliHy, the tests you want are :






And, if you suspect low stomach acid :

vit D

vit B12




That will give you a very good idea of what is going on. :)

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