How long for normal bowel transit time? - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
101,220 members115,461 posts

How long for normal bowel transit time?

I am much improved on t3 treatment but my digestive system is still very slowed down. Does the digestive system return to normal once optimised or as Hypo people will we always be a bit more sluggish than most? On Monday evening I did the Beet transit test ( which involved eating beetroot!) this afternoon my stomach looked quite bloated ( even after regular bowel movements over the last few days) This evening the beetroot was eliminated. So, 48 hours! Is that too long for the transit time? If so, what can I do to improve sluggish transit time? Thankyou :)

12 Replies

Hi CarolineAnne

As we have hypothyroid everything slows down (until we get to an optimum of meds). I wonder if you have low stomach acid as those of us who are hypothyroid usually have. These are two links which may be helpful:-

1 like

Thanks for the links. I have wondered about that too and take ACV and digestive enzymes from Holland and Barrett when I feel I need them. Sometimes they seem to work and others not. I only take one and I think they may be quite weak. Years ago I tried Now Super Enzymes). I wonder if I need stronger ones as I do seem to have a problem with red meat. I had lamb last night and have felt a bit gassy/ acidy today which I haven't had for ages. I also take magnesium and Kefir. Thankyou Shaws! Hope you are well! :)


Women have slower transit times than men. For whatever reason. Hormones? Slower coming up to the days before menstruation, speeds up during menstruation. We are very variable. But 48 hours is not abnormal at all.

So many things factor into bowel evacuation including emotions. Hurrying to get to work in the morning? Nothing happens. Have the day off? Everything comes out.

This is the FAO/UN International Year of the Pulses. Pulses as in beans, lentils and peas. I've been 'doing' 1 serving of pulses per day every day since January 1st. What with the vegetables accompanying said pulses, things are moving very well. Don't know how long it takes for transit but if I overdo things (3 servings per day....last week-end) I'm having to 'go' twice per day and that is not, for me, 'normal' or desireable.

Beets definitely scour a person out, except it takes eating maybe 3 to 4 medium sized ones at one time.


Thanks for your thoughts :)


If we have low acid - it is protein which we cannot digest properly thus giving us problems due to low stomach acid.

This is from one of the links above:-

"As we know constipation can impair hormone clearance causing high levels of oestrogen which also decreases the amount of free thyroid hormones available to the body. On the other hand, low thyroid function slows transit time, causing constipation and increasing inflammation, infections and malabsorption. Phew!"

an extract from another link below:-

Each person will have a specific supplementary HCL dosage. Unfortunately, there isn’t a special formula I can give you to figure it out. This is a case of trial and error until you get to the correct dosage. Failing to get to your correct dosage can remove the benefits of supplementing.

You must find the right dosage for you situation. If you fail to do the trial and error you’re wasting your time and money. and

You must find the right dosage for you situation. If you fail to do the trial and error you’re wasting your time and money.

This is a very common problem we see with our readers. Remember, the stomach is purposely built to handle extreme acid environments.

"I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions"

1 like

I have been reading the links and I thought that it was very interesting that we may get the burning/warming sensation that normally indicates sufficient tablets have been taken when we are in fact still low in acid. I experience this if I take more than one tablet and yet one doesn't seem to do the trick. Lots of good advice in the links. Thanks again

1 like

Anyone who's ever prepared for a colonoscopy can tell you it takes days to clear out the system, which is why one has to start preparation several days before the procedure.


For 7 days before the proceedure you eat a low fiber diet & no food 24 hours before only clear liquids, plus the dreaded bowl cleanser. I was also told by a doctor in that line of business some people only have 1 bowl movement a week and that's 'normal' for them! There's no one size firs all.

1 like


Physillium Husk is good drank in lots of water.

Adding whole flax seeds to salads, museli, etc is good but again drink lots of water.

Upping fruit & veg will help, especially grapes, prunes, sweet corn, etc.

If you have gut issues it may be worth looking at inflammation caused by infection (candida, etc) bad bacteria overgrowth or low stomach acid as shaws has already suggested above.



Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


1 like

I would say that for me the meds helped but constipation and slow digestion is still an issue.

Before being diagnosed I could not go at all, I mean nothing at all would happen, for years I had to use Dulcolax (painful and unpredictable) but everything else failed.

I tried adding fiber (flax seeds, husks, chia), I tried over the counter stuff (senna, herbal mixes, miralax, etc.) I tried drinking 3 liter of water a day, walking more, crunches to help my abdominal muscles. Nothing would help, I had no movement inside, no sounds, no gurgling, no gas even. If I didnt take Dulcolax, I could go 15 days without anything happening, it would make my belly rock hard and sore, I could not digest my food. I tried a few times to go without Dulcolax because I was worried about dependency but I would have to give in as I couldn't hold on for more than 15 days. The few times I did this I would have to take 3, 4 , 5 Dulcolax just to go.

After being medicated I started to fell weird fluttering in my abdomen, I heard gas moving around, it was freaky and strange for me. The first time I managed to have a bowl movement (BM) I was soooo happy!

I started having BMs every 3 to 4 days when I was on 100mcg of Levo, after about 8 weeks on this dose I starts to get constipated again, I was increased to 112mcg and got better, then the same thing happened. I am now on 112mcg of Levo and 25mcg T3 and same thing happened, now 3 months after upping to that dose I am constipated again, it started to happen 1 month after the last increase.

I am far better than I was, I have tummy aches once in a while and I do get gas, every 4 or 5 days I go a tiny bit, but this is not enough and I feel heavy and bloated, so I use a Dulcolax suppository (great stuff, works in 10 minutes and no pain).

My doctor is baffled, she thinks I am resistant to the hormones and so we are slowly increasing my dose, I feel a little hyper the first couple of weeks and then it's downhill again, but I do feel a million times better than pre-medication.

So, I have no idea, I guess things do improve but not 100% and it takes time.Everyone is different but this is my experience.

Good luck!

1 like

I eat kefir for pro-biotics & B12 as I'm veggie, & have a very high fibre diet, including lots of nuts, & some dried fruit. I always take my iron supplement with fresh fruit for the vitamin C, & to avoid constipation. I try to avoid wheat, though do eat a little sourdough or rye bread. Linseeds are good, especially if soaked in yoghurt for a few hours, though I believe they're on the "no list" for hypos. Figs & dates are good, & also a good source of magnesium.


1 like

Thanks for all replies. :)


You may also like...