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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
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Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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Is nausea and digestive problems common after thyroidectomy

Resolved Question:

Is nausea and digestive problems common after thyroidectomy and starting hormones. I'm currently taking 88mcg of synthroid and need to move up to 112. I am having numerous digestive problems.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
What digestive problems are you talking about - constipation, pain, diarrhea?

And how long ago was the thyroidectomy?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thryroidectomey was Otober 13th, mostly nausea, upset stomach, lack of appitite. loose bowels some times ....I take my synthroid on an empty stomach and it makes me nauseas almost everytime.
It's been going on for weeks.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.

The symptoms after removing the thyroid are usually those of lack of thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism:

Consitpation, abdominal pain as the gut motility slows down.

I say this, because per your doctors (who want to increase your thyroid hormone) your blood levels seem to suggest you are still hypothyroid, or have low thyroid hormones.

However, some of the side effects listed with synthroid medication:

Abdominal cramps, increased appetite , diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss

So your symptoms seem to suggest perhaps you are not tolerating this medication. Perhaps you can speak to your doctor about possible different formulations of thyroid hormones to see if that helps.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What medication would you suggest to me, to suggest to the endoc.?
What hormone is easier on the tummy. When I tell her my symptoms she says
that it's not my thyroid med or a thyroid issue .....this is very frustrating.
Please advise.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Just to be clear, the hormone pill itself is probably not the cause of your stomach upset, but the possibility of you receiving too much hormone overall is. That meaning, if the only time you are feeling nauseated is right after you swallow the pill - it is unlikely to be the cause of your problems.

As the endocrinologist is the specialist in thyroid conditions, they really should be the ones to ask; there are different formulations of the same medication (which means the medication itself should essentially be the same). Perhaps you could try a different company's formulation of the drug.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What would you consider "too" much hormone ...I am taking 88mcg's of synthroid, 1 am 5'2" and lost a lot of weight before and after surgery ...around 15-18 pounds. My endoc. started me with 112mcgs of
Levoxyl and I had racing heart, so we changed to synthroid and dropped back for a few days and then
up to 88mcgs which I have been using for 9 days. I feel my energy has stabilized but my GI says I have digestive problems due to loss of appetite and poor eating habits over the past year before I found out I had a thyroid problem. I feel as tho my insides are inflammed GI says that overall I must increase calories and gain weight to remedy this ...but it is very difficult to eat when you are always nauseas so she gave me some Zofran which works sometimes, but not always. What is your opinion. Is it a more gastric
and nutritionally based problem? Can thyroid hormone work properly if someone is underweight?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My stomach is always upset ....but it increases when I take my synthroid ....but not every time.
Symptoms are coming and going in a sporadic way and nearly impossible to control.
What are your thoughts?