Bladder and Thyroid

My 15 year old daughter has a massively over active bladder. She was out of nappies at the usual age then around age 8 had many UTI's. Investigation led to the conclusion of overactive bladder, 7 years later no successful treatment or cure.

In the meantime, age 13 was diagnosed with Hashimotos, again struggling to find successful management.

Is there anyone out there who thinks there are any connections with Bladder/Pituitary/Thyroid gland and could throw light on giving my daughter a better quality of life?

Thank you in advance.

39 Replies

  • I suspect there is a link because I started to have an over active bladder about the same time that I was told that " one of your thyroid tests came back a bit high so you will likely have problems in the future"! That was 16 years ago and I was finally dig nosed hypothyroid in 2014 and Hashi's last year. I still have overactive bladder but take medication for it and your daughter is young to be starting this. I'm afraid I have no advice, just keep trying to find someone who has experience of treating someone of your daughter's age. Not easy, I know. Clemmie

  • Thanks Clemmie, it isn't easy. My daughter has tried various meds like detrusitol without success........

  • I have taken detrusitol, now I take Oxybutinin XL, just one a day and find that works pretty well for me now. I feel so for your daughter, it's no fun always needing the loo. I'm going to read the article that jimh111 has posted below because maybe that's a way forward with the magnesium. Clemmie

  • It may be, I will up my daughters daily dose as have been under supplementing. It's the night time bed wetting that is soul destroying for her. She wakes in the morning without even realising she has wet herself.

  • Poor little soul! She must be sleeping very deeply, because you usually wake up when you start. I wonder if that is because her thyroid isn't optimally treated too? Just a thought. If I come across anything that might help I will message you. Do let us know how she is getting on. Clemmie

  • Thank you for your concern, it is very much appreciated. She is currently on 100mcg and due for more bloods but I have thought for a few months now that I should up it to 125.

  • This sounds like my 12 year old son who I'm watching carefully and have already asked gps for him to be tested, I've gotten nowhere so far. He has hypo symptoms but also wets the bed without even realising which he is finding distressing. Enuresis clinic were useless

  • Am sorry to hear. It is very distressing for all involved. Trying to source the right consultant is a nightmare

  • The bladder is a supple, muscular organ with a well-defined task to store urine and release it at an appropriate time. When the bladder becomes infected, it launches a massive reaction, shedding the innermost layer of cells to keep invading bacteria from latching on to and burrowing into its inner lining. This is accompanied by rapid cell division to repair the damage. With low thyroid, the low metabolic rate slows the repair and the damaged lining of the bladder is more than usually sensitive to the irritating action of the urine. This alone is responsible for many cases of nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting) in children. Infections associated with the urinary tract, i.e. bladder and kidneys are common, especially among women.

    Thyroid treatment should fix the problem. In the meantime however there are certain things which irritate the bladder and make the problem worse. For some this is diary produce but in my experience pure orange juice is the worst offender.

  • I don't know of any connection but tissue magenesium levels can be low in hypothyroidism. This can lead to IBS and sometimes 'irritable bladder', where the sensation of fullness in the bladder can be triggered more often.

    There are no effective blood tests for tissue magnesium levels, blood tests do not reflect intracellular levels. I'd suggest she try supplementing with magnesium citrate for a few months. If it does not make a difference then cease supplementing as it will be a waste of money. Don't take the magnesium within a few hours of the levothyroxine as it may reduce levothyroxine absorption.

    I don't know of any link between magnesium and UTIs but sometimes doctors diagnose such conditions in an attempt to resolve the symptoms even though the patient may have no more infrection than the average person. Dr John Briff has written a simple article on magnesium and irritable bladder .

  • Thank you for the magnesium/irritable bladder link jimh111, will look into that one. :)

  • Interesting article. My daughter was offered Botox of the bladder but if they put too much in then she would have to use a cathater until it wore off. So not an option.

    She has been taking Solgar Chelated Magnesium but only 100mg a day, which according the article is not enough. Will up her dose and fingers crossed.

    Thank you for your quick response

  • Solgar Magnesium Citrate is more readily absorbed but you may as well finish off the chelated form to see if it works.

  • Thanks. Was just recommended Bio Health products by a functional practioner but see from the label it is magnesium gluconate!

  • It seems that gluconate is a touch better, but you can obtain Solgar citrate so it is of known quality. I'd choose one (check the tablet size for comparison) and give it a three month trial. If it is successful you can then try the other for preference.

    Does she have other signs of magnesium deficiency such as abdominal bloating, feeling tense or a tendency to have a twitch?

    I'd avoid the temptation to try too many supplements as you may induce 'healthism' or cause unnecessary concern.

  • Daily, she currently takes Vit C at the same time as her 100mcg of Euthyrox. 100 Selenium and 100 magnesium. A probiotic and iron 3 times a week. Vit D during the dark months.

    She has never complained of feeling tense, bloating nor a twitch.

    I appreciate your invaluable feedback. Thank you

  • Oh and a B12 spray under tongue after breakfast!

  • For UTI cranberry juice is very effective.

    I know it tastes awful but I eat cranberries raw.

  • Will try! Thanks for the link and the advice.

  • You can buy cranberry tablets if the taste of the juice is too much. Clemmie

  • Thank you!

  • I would ask GP/Endo to test for diabetes mellitus and also diabetes insipidus.

  • Thank you but pardon my ignorance....please explain the connection

  • Also, (sorry I feel like I'm always banging on about this), UTIs and Hashimoto's can be related to gluten intolerance:

  • No, bang away to your hearts content (so to speak) all information is invaluable and is very much appreciated

  • KIRM,

    This must be hugely embarrassing for your daughter and I feel for her.

    I am a middle aged female Hashi sufferer and last year suffered psychosis caused by a built up of thyroid hormones. It came and went in waves for three days and during this time my bladder spasmed in time with my head and I suffered urinary incontinence.

    It was terrifying as I had never experienced anything like this and the madness was bad enough without wetting myself. My bladder felt numb and then bruised for many days after.

    It eventually stopped and hasn't represented (thank goodness). My head whooshes are still evident occasionally but extremely diminished in strength and the bladder spasms have never returned. I know thyroid hormones and bladder control are connected in some way (even if indirectly) as have experienced it.

    Thyroid dysfunction can encourage gastrointestinal and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) affecting renal physiology and development (and kidney disease could result in thyroid dysfunction.) Hypothyroidism is associated with reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) & so results in a reduced clearance of creatinine (a byproduct of muscle metabolism excreted by the kidneys).

    A small amount of T4-T3 conversion happens in the kidneys which contains the D1 isoform of the enzyme 5′-deiodinase. This becomes less active when there is inadequate excretory of the kidneys (uremia) and probably caused by low thyroid hormones (vicious circle ? ). Urea is one of the primary components of urine and I had frequent blood in my urine previous to being diagnosed with Hashi.

    Are your daughters nutrients all optimal ? Does she eat a gluten free diet to help keep thyroid antibodies low ? ? .. Are her iron levels reasonable ? ..Hashimotos makes us more suspectable to weight gain, blood sugar problems and exaggerated insulin response and malabsorption of important nutrients.

    Your daughter will have many unbalanced hormones whizzing about as her body develops. Levothyroxine only replaces the missing thyroid hormones and does not address the autoimmune disease. An excellent read is "The Root Cause" by Isabella Wentz who explains the implications of Hashimotos and how it may be managed.

    Do you have thyroid hormone test results to post complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment ? ? ..

    I wish your daughter well.

  • Euthyrox 100mcg


    Range -3.211.541.061.880.460.8


    TPO Ab

    Thyroid 13.1




    globulin 393.2



    FT3 4.58


    FT4 12.57


    Reverse T3--0.19- -





    Red Cell

    Folate- 592



    (7-140)- 22


    (156-698)- 485.97

    Vit D

    (50-200)- 55

    Iodine- 396





    (0.33-0.45)- 0.385

    MCHC g/l

    (300-350)- 319


    (55-92) 50.4

    Hgb A1c



    Avg Glucose - -5

    TTG IgA










  • KIRM,

    Weight gain is extremely common with low thyroid hormone.

    Good iron levels are important as the iron containing enzyme thyroid peroxidase is required to produce thyroid hormones. Ferritin is the stored hormone (like an overflow) and a good indicator of iron levels.

    Iron deficiency is common in hypothyroidism due to gut malabsorption issues (hypochlorhydria.) An iron deficiency, as indicated by a ferritin level below 70, can result in diminished intracellular T3 levels. Therefore you can have good thyroid hormone test results but still exhibit hypothyroid symptoms.

    TGAb are elevated meaning the body is making excess antibodies to attack thyroglobulin which is showing low in your daughters test result. Thyroglobulin is a protein in the thyroid gland from which thyroid hormones are synthesised. When the immune system is in a heightened state, many experience an over reaction to gluten (and possibly dairy) which can cause autoimmune damage to the intestines resulting in poor absorption of nutrients.

    Be aware that although your daughters IgA are within range, this does not eliminate celiac as a positive result is usually only seen when extensive damage to the gut lining has occurred. It will also not eliminate other gut issues such as gluten intolerance. If your daughter suffers from bloating, wind, constipation, diarrhoea, etc the simplest way to ascertain if a food allergy is present is to remove it & reintroduce, monitoring the results. I see changes immediately but for others it may take several weeks.

    Nutrient absorption and especially Vit B12 depends on a good gut environment. Many Hashi sufferers advocate B12 of 500- 1000 and Vit D around 100.

    Average blood sugar levels over last 3 months are good. Low SHBG is common with low thyroid hormone and I don’t know why creatinine would be low.

    Getting thyroid hormones working well with thyroid auto immune disease is multifactorial and thyroid hormone test results don’t always reflect the thyroids true activity and can be easily misinterpreted by GPs.

    Your daughters TSH is fine, FT4 is a little low but FT3 is good. (FT3 is the active hormone that hopefully alleviates symptoms). RT3 looks fine. These two T3 results indicate your daughter is converting thyroid hormone well but it is obviously not working.

    You could ask for a referral to an endo but if this were my daughter I would concentrate on lowering thyroid antibodies and optimising iron and all nutrients first. The medical professional do not recognise the extent of Hashimotos destruction and will only titivate her dose of Euthyrox which may be ok all along.




    Gluten & Thyroid Connection


    Gut Issues in Hashimotos


    The Role of Supplements in Thyroid Disease.

  • Wow! Amazing! Thank you so much for that invaluable information. What iron supplement would you suggest?

  • KIRM,

    I suffer iron overload so don't supplement iron myself but other members recommend Ferrous Fumarate taken with Vitamin C to aid absorption and minimise constipation (or Apple Cider Vinegar).

    Consuming dairy products, coffee, tea, chocolate and eggs can interfere with iron absorption. Take iron supplements four hours away from Euthyrox to prevent it from binding to thyroid hormones so preventing them from working..

    Vit D can be taken as D3 & better with K2.

    Vit B12 can be taken in Methylcobalamin form by sublingual tablets or patches. (Jarrow Formulas, Thorne or Solgar).

    When supplementing iron or Vit D, levels should be retested after 6 months as high amounts are dangerous.

  • I have just subscribed to the blogs from Isabella Went. My daughter is not gluten free which is my fault in not trying to get my head around it.

    Thank you for all your invaluable information

  • I've had what I thought was cystitis on and off from when I was about 5 or 6. I have been told many things over the years; that I have interstitial cystitis, irritable bladder, too much scar tissue in the urethra etc. I was put on antibiotics for each flare up then I was told to take one each time after intercourse and then I was just told to take one every day for the rest of my life! The antibiotics made me even more symptomatic and It was only after being diagnosed with Hypothyroidism that I made any connection. Now it seems to be under control, even though I am still not optimally medicated, I haven't had a bladder flair up for over a month (this is unheard of for me) so I am convinced the two are related and its actually another symptom Hypo. Cranberry never helped me as it was never really a 'bacterial' infection. Going Gluten Free and taking NDT as well as a list of supplements seems to have helped keep it at bay! Poor little thing, its so so horrible! xx

  • Thank you for your insight, it is awful for her and has sadly become second nature as she has accidents most night. She is not on a gluten free diet.....something I really should address. I would like to trial her on NDT but no idea where to start as most GPs have never even heard of it.

  • The TSH figure hasn't displayed properly, but her fT4 is rather low for someone on levothyroxine. I'd look at getting her levothyroxine upped a bit and see how the magnesium goes. It's tempting to try everything at once but it is just too much for a young person who should be enjoying their life. You can try more restrictive options later if the simple approach doesn't work.

  • TSH 0.8 (0.53-5.27)

    She has also gained 10kg over 12 months which does her self esteem wonders!

    Thank you once again!

  • The TSH is a bit low for the fT3, fT4. I would push for an increase in her levothyroxine, until the fT4 gets up to around 16.0. Get your doctors to pay more attention to the fT4 than the TSH. Even more important is to concentrate on her symptoms rather than the blood tests. This should give her a bit more energy which means she might stop putting on weight. Depression and a very strict diet can lower the TSH which is counter-productive, so try to avoid both.

  • Thank you again for all your help and advice today, I will up her dose by 25mcg and go from there

  • Sounds good. You do need to square it with her doctor within a few weeks as you are not allowed to give her prescription medication. Also, let her take ownership of her treatment, expressing how she is doing so that she is in control, with support from her family.

  • Her Ferritin is also low but I never know how to best supplement that one

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