There is a certain connection between our thyroid and constipation. Although some of us don’t want to discuss their bowel movements, it can actually be a very important part of your overall health and an indication of just how well your thyroid is functioning. Constipation can be very troublesome especially to those people with hypothyroidism. In this article, we will talk about one of the most important glands in our system, the thyroid gland and its association with a rarely discussed condition which is constipation.
Thyroid And Constipation: How Are They Related?
1. How can our thyroid cause constipation?
The thyroid affects many of the body’s functions including digestion. If there isn’t enough of the thyroid hormone being produced or absorbed (hypothyroidism), you are left with constipation, among many other symptoms. This happens because the thyroid hormone assists the contractions of the muscles in the digestive tract that help move the stool through. Without those hormones, the muscles can weaken.
2. Symptoms of constipation
It can be hard to determine if you’re actually constipated because there are different definitions of what constipation actually is. Some physicians equate it to having 3 or fewer bowel movements a week while others believe it has to do with how difficult it is to go and if the stool is hard. Here are some of the common symptoms of constipation:
- Hard or lumpy stools
- Straining during bowel movements
- Fewer than three stools a week
- A feeling that everything didn’t come out
- Throwing up
- Lower abdominal discomfort
- Rectal bleeding or anal fissures due to hard stools
3. Treatment for constipation
It’s important to rectify this problem because chronic constipation is a real issue and can lead to some serious problems including enlarged hemorrhoids and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make going possible and easier. Treatment for constipation include:
- Increase your daily fiber intake
- Add bulking agents to your diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly
- Take laxatives
If you already know you have a thyroid problem but are still experiencing constipation, you may need to talk to your doctor in order to optimize your thyroid treatment. It’s important to speak with a doctor who is willing to run the necessary tests and prescribe the right type of thyroid medication that will work for you.
4. Role of diet in our digestion
— Family Food (@Familyfoodllc) July 3, 2017
Diet plays a huge role in digestion. What types of food are you eating? Are they high in fiber? Many individuals are unaware of the amount of fiber that needs to be consumed on a daily basis. Women need about 25 grams of fiber per day while men need 38. This really doesn’t seem like much, but according to The Institute of Medicine, most Americans only eat about 15 grams of fiber per day!
Some foods you may want to consider implementing into your diet include:
- Leafy greens cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.)
- Cruciferous vegetables
Unfortunately, there is a downside to implementing some of this food, they can negatively affect your thyroid. Some of the foods that are high in fiber are also known as goitrogens, substances that disrupt thyroid hormone production. Monitor your intake on these foods and if you are unable to get enough in your diet, try a fiber supplement.
5. Importance of Probiotics
Another thing you should consider when diagnosing your digestion woes is probiotics. Probiotics are microbial organisms in the digestive tract necessary to properly digest food, you can think of them as helpful bacteria. Along with adding fiber, you should consider implementing probiotics into your diet. You can find them in fermented foods like sauerkraut, cottage cheese, and yogurt (not the sugary kind).
An underactive thyroid can cause chronic fatigue, constipation, aches and other symptoms. Here are 4 vital… https://t.co/bhv7OjXiCL
— DrAlisonGrimston (@DrAlisonG) June 28, 2017
Are you a victim of chronic diarrhea or constipation? Watch this video and find out more about the connection between thyroid disease and irritable bowel syndrome!
There are other things you can do to avoid constipation and digestion problems. However, it is always important to get to the root of the problem instead of just using remedies to mask them. If you suffer from constipation, talk to your doctor about what the problem might be and check your thyroid.
Do you suffer from constipation due to thyroid conditions? We would like to know about it. Share it with us in the comments below!
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