Swollen stomach: Hi all, am experiencing a... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Swollen stomach


Hi all, am experiencing a swollen stomach, (I am not over eating or drinking ) it almost looks I am pregnant, definitely not, well past my sell by date. Always had a flat stomach.

Anyone else experiencing this or have any ideas what causes it.

11 Replies


Welcome to the forum.

There is no information in your profile, do you have a diagnosed thyroid condition? Sometimes gut problems can be a problem.

Yes have been diagnosed 20 years ago on 25micro gms of levothroxine

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Flynnpie151

Good grief

Standard STARTER dose levothyroxine is 50mcg

Typically dose is increased up in 25mcg steps until on roughly 1.6mcg levothyroxine per kilo of your weight

You’re likely very under medicated

When hypothyroid, low stomach acid is common symptom and this causes bloating, low vitamin levels and frequently gluten intolerance

First step is to get get FULL thyroid and vitamin testing

do you have any recent blood test results?

You are legally entitled to printed copies of your blood test results and ranges.

The best way to get access to current and historic blood test results is to register for online access to your medical record and blood test results

UK GP practices are supposed to offer everyone online access for blood test results. Ring and ask if this is available and apply to do so if possible, if it is you may need "enhanced access" to see blood results.

Link re access


In reality many GP surgeries do not have blood test results online yet

Alternatively ring receptionist and request printed copies of results. Allow couple of days and then go and pick up.

Important to see exactly what has been tested and equally important what hasn’t been tested yet

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested. Also EXTREMELY important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Low vitamin levels are extremely common, especially if you have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) diagnosed by raised Thyroid antibodies

Ask GP to test thyroid, including thyroid antibodies and vitamin levels

Recommended on here that all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and before eating or drinking anything other than water .

Last dose of Levothyroxine 24 hours prior to blood test. (taking delayed dose immediately after blood draw).

This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip)

Private tests are available as NHS currently rarely tests Ft3 or thyroid antibodies or all relevant vitamins

List of private testing options


Medichecks Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins


Thriva Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins By DIY fingerpick test


Thriva also offer just vitamin testing

Blue Horizon Thyroid Premium Gold includes antibodies, cortisol and vitamins by DIY fingerprick test


If you can get GP to test vitamins and antibodies then cheapest option for just TSH, FT4 and FT3

£29 (via NHS private service ) and 10% off down to £26.10 if go on thyroid uk for code



Thank you, will try to book appointment.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Flynnpie151

Meanwhile get old of old blood test results

When were vitamin levels last tested

What vitamin supplements are you currently taking

Do you always get same brand of levothyroxine

Which brand of levothyroxine are you currently taking

Not taking any vit supplements. No I don't always have the same brand of levo. Current brand MercuryPharma.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Flynnpie151

Mercury Pharma is generally widely available and is available in 25mcg, 50mcg and 100mcg tablets

Recommend you aim to always get same brand


Levothyroxine doesn’t “top up “ failing thyroid, it replaces it.

Essential to be taking high enough dose

guidelines on dose levothyroxine by weight

Even if we frequently don’t start on full replacement dose, most people need to increase levothyroxine dose slowly upwards in 25mcg steps (retesting 6-8 weeks after each increase) until on full replacement dose

NICE guidelines on full replacement dose



Consider starting levothyroxine at a dosage of 1.6 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (rounded to the nearest 25 micrograms) for adults under 65 with primary hypothyroidism and no history of cardiovascular disease.

Also here



Traditionally we have tended to start patients on a low dose of levothyroxine and titrate it up over a period of months.

RCT evidence suggests that for the majority of patients this is not necessary and may waste resources.

For patients aged >60y or with ischaemic heart disease, start levothyroxine at 25–50μg daily and titrate up every 3 to 6 weeks as tolerated.

For ALL other patients start at full replacement dose. For most this will equate to 1.6 μg/kg/day (approximately 100μg for a 60kg woman and 125μg for a 75kg man).

If you are starting treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism, this article advises starting at a dose close to the full treatment dose on the basis that it is difficult to assess symptom response unless a therapeutic dose has been trialled.

A small Dutch double-blind cross-over study (ArchIntMed 2010;170:1996) demonstrated that night time rather than morning dosing improved TSH suppression and free T4 measurements, but made no difference to subjective wellbeing. It is reasonable to take levothyroxine at night rather than in the morning, especially for individuals who do not eat late at night.

BMJ also clear on dose required



Please add any results and ranges if you have them

Or come back with new post once you get results

I absolutely don’t want to scare you but this can happen when you have liver problems or an ovarian cyst.

So it would be a really good idea to get this checked out by a GP as soon as possible. It may or may not be your thyroid but sudden stomach swelling is not generally a symptom. Not impossible, but less common.

That said, 25mcg is terrible. :(

Are you peri menopausal or menopausal as I found my stomach bloating so badly I looked 6months pregnant ! Me too always slim and could easily lose weight but now I’ve put on weight and can’t lose any ! And I’m trying hard ..not working ☺️ and my TSH levels have been high but not enough to go on medication apparently but I have recently decided to go on HRT and my bloating has gone so far ..... and have been feeling so much better 19days on HRT

Have you tried any gut health probiotics? I no longer get any symptoms of bloating or pain, despite being previously diagnosed with IBS. Gut health is so important. I have Hashimotos and Sjogrens. Lots of research on this topic of the relationship of gut health with autoimmune illnesses. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

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