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Thyroid UK
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Bowel seems to have stopped

I suffer terribly (and I mean really terribly) with what I call constipation but it's really a motility issue rather than hard stools. I've seen various colo-rectal specialists who have never once taken bloods but instead give me motility drugs to try and encourage it out. The problem is so bad that I now feel like the peristalsis has given up completely. Nothing will come out and I feel no sensations in my gut at all now.

I paid for Thyroid checks myself 3 weeks ago (with MediChecks) and these results have come back. The GP has twice tested me for thyroid issues and said my TSH results are normal and therefore basically told me to get lost.

TSH 1.67 (range 0.27-4.20)

Free Thyroxine 15 (range 12 -22)

Total Thyroxine (T4) 89.6 (range 59 -154)

Free T3 4.1 (range 3.10 - 6.80)

Reverse T3 23 (range 10 - 24)

Reverse T3 Ratio 11.61 (range 15.01 - 75)

Thyroglobulin Antibody 552 (range 0 - 115)

Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies 16.8 (range 0 - 34)

Folate 11.13 (range 2.91 - 50)

Vit D 29.5 (range 50 - 200)

Ferritin 30 (range 13 - 150)

My bowel appears to have completely stopped, like the muscles that push it along have given up. I feel shocking, having not been for around 3 weeks and nothing I'm taking works. Colo rectal consultant prescribed Prucalopride and latterly Constella but neither of these work now either. I'm due to see a gastro at the end of May in London. I'm paying for this myself in desperation (no private medical insurance) as no-one is taking me seriously. Can anyone shed any light on this at all please and is anyone suffering the same issues?

I will go and take these results to my GP asap but I just know they'll say they're normal as the TSH is within range. It's soooooo damn frustrating as I have virtually all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. She also puts these down to the perimenopause (I'm 46).

Many thanks for any help.

Desperate Moira!

6 Replies

Hi I was diagnosed hypothyroid (Hashimoto) in January this year. You describe my bowel movements perfectly! I’m hoping it will improve once I’m on the right dose of levothyroxine. I definitely think the two are related since starting medication I have had what I would call surprisingly normal bowel motions just after dose increase. Which would indicate to me that it’s all caused by the extremely slow metabolism caused by the thyroid disorder.

Can’t help with your results because I’m a newbie but someone who can will be along shortly. Good luck hope you get some answers soon. 😜


Well, your TSH may be in-range, but your antibodies aren't! You have Hashi's - aka Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, more commonly known in the NHS as Autoimmune Thyroiditis. So, your results can go up and can go down, but eventually you will become hypo as your thyroid is slowly destroyed by your immune system.

There is no cure for Hashi's - and doctors won't even prescribe thyroid hormone replacement unless the TSH is over 10 and/or the Frees under-range - as you have found out for yourself! But, there are things you can do for yourself, to make you feel better.

You can adopt a 100% gluten-free diet. That can work on many levels, and my help with your constipation - no guarantees, but worth a try.

You can take selenium. This helps with all things thyroid.

For the constipation, you can try high doses of vit C. Start low - about 1000 mg - and work up slowly until you feel an effect.

Magnesium citrate can also help with the bowels - you're doubtless deficient anyway.

And, you could be deficient in other nutrients, which won't help anything! I would suggest getting your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin tested, and post the results here. People will be able to help you understand them.

Think that's good for a start! :)


Thanks for your reply, you are very clued up!

The vitamin levels are posted above and they've asked me to take a high dosage vit d supplement and retest in 8 weeks.

Whilst writing, I'm puzzled about something else and am now wondering if there may be a link. I had a full Health Assessment at BUPA (through work) and the doctor I saw marvelled at how 'brilliantly low' my cholesterol is. My father died of a massive coronary at age 58 and my 50 year old brother has very high cholesterol which they're working to lower asap. To say I was surprised at my result is an understatement. I have enjoyed lots of eggs, cheeses, red meat and red wine over the years and so now I'm suspicious of this too. Could it be that if I do have Hashi's (and with my terrible gut problems) that my blood isn't absorbing anything?


Brilliantly low! Morons! There's nothing brilliant about having low cholesterol.

However, there is a link between cholesterol and T3. If your FT3 is low, your cholesterol will rise. As you have Hashi's, it could well have been that on the day you had the BUPA blood test, your FT3 was quite high, which would have lowered your cholesterol.

Cholesterol has very little to do with your diet - and nothing to do with fat! It's made in the liver, and the more cholesterol you eat, the less the liver makes - although, frankly, the cholesterol you're capable of eating is a mere drop in the ocean of the total the liver makes. Your body needs cholesterol because your brain is made of it, and so are your cell walls. Without cholesterol you would fall apart! And, more importantly for someone with hormone imbalances, your sex hormones - testosterone, estrogen, progesterone - are made out of cholesterol. Without cholesterol you cannot process vit D, either.

But what cholesterol does not do is cause heart attacks and strokes! As you have Hashi's, which can run in families, I would suggest your brother gets his thyroid tested, too.

Your vit D is very low, but so is your ferritin. Both should be at least 100. For the ferritin, try eating liver once a week. That should bring it up nicely. But for the vit D, you need supplements. I can't see a B12 result there. That is most important!

But, your nutritional deficiencies start in your stomach. You've probably been hypo at some point, which lowers stomach acid, so you have trouble digesting and absorbing nutrients - although your folate is ok. Must have a look at that B12, though. :)


You are so knowledgeable, it's brilliant. Do you have thyroid issues too?

My Vitamin B results were 61 (range 25-165) so considered normal they said.

I've just sat outside in the sunshine to eat my lunch and have just taken delivery of 'Ultra Vitamin D 2000iu' which I will take every day from now on.

Do you have any knowledge on when to take all these various vitamins and whether any clash please? I shall be taking:

Vit D



Vit B complex

10bn probiotic

Many thanks guru!



Yes, I have Hashi's. But, I should make clear that I don't have any medical training, just years of experience and research.

Your vit B12 is considered 'normal' because it is in-range. But, it's on the low side. The B complex should sort it.

Iron is the important one to look out for, because it needs to be taken two hours away from everything, completely on its own apart from vit C. It's best to take vit C with iron because it helps with absorption and protects the stomach. However, I wouldn't start on iron until you've sorted your constipation, if I were you, because it can cause constipation.

In fact, you need to leave at least two weeks between starting each of these supplements, don't start them all together.

Vit D needs to be taken with your fattiest meal of the day. It needs fat for absorption. You also need, at some point, to add in the cofactors of vit D - vit K2 - MK7 and magnesium. You can take the selenium and B complex at the same time as the vit D. I think the probiotics need to be taken before a meal. Perhaps it says on the bottle? I haven't tried them, myself.

Possibly the vit D is the best one to start with, then gradually add in the others. But, don't forget to get some vit C for your constipation! If an when you start thyroid hormone replacement, you might have to rethink your dosing schedule, because vit D and iron must be taken 4 hours away from thyroid hormone. The rest two hours away. :)


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