Underactive Thyroid & Constipation

Constipation is a taboo subject that no one likes to discuss. People can feel embarrassed about it and don’t want others to know they suffer from it. Think about how many times you’ve gone in the office and said you’re feeling ill, sore throat headache etc. But you’ve probably never gone in saying you haven’t pooped in 5 days and your stomach is in excruciating pain.

If you suffer from hypothyroidism then constipation could be an all too real issue for you. Know that you’re not alone and here at Impression nothing is too embarrassing to talk about…

Constipation is one of the worst feelings. Your stomach feels like it’s in knots, you feel sharp twists and you’re all bloated. It also has a massive effect on your overall mood and can leave you feeling frustrated.

Constipation is one of the classic signs of hypothyroidism, without enough thyroid hormone many of the body’s functions slow down. Your digestive tract slows down which is what causes the constipation. The muscles that line the digestive tract including the small and large intestines contract to move the stool through the intestine to the rectum. Hypothyroidism can weaken the contraction of these muscles causing the stool to move too slowly.

Doctors will often prescribe laxatives which are only for temporary use and not something you should take ongoing. There are many other more natural ways you can help yourself. Check out our tips below:

  • Eat Fiber-Rich Food – so eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains everyday. Mix it up so you’re eating different things on different days so it’s not boring.
  • Try Going Gluten Free – studies suggest that the body actually attacks your thyroid tissue when you eat gluten. So if you go gluten free you might feel your other symptoms improve as well as constipation.
  • Have Probiotics – probiotics are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract. Beneficial bacteria are necessary to properly digest food and to absorb the good nutrients. You can have your daily dose of probiotics in the form of drinks such as Kefir or Yakult or in yogurt form.
  • Drink Plenty of Water – get your two litres a day in everyday and be consistent
  • Prunes/Prune Juice –  this contains sorbitol which is a natural carbohydrate and softens the stool and also is high in fiber. You can either eat fresh prunes or have one glass in the morning and at night. Be careful to not have too much as the sorbitol can cause gas and make your stool too soft.
  • Adjust The Way You Sit on the Loo – this one may sound strange but it can be helpful. Place your feet on a small step stool about 15cm high when you sit on the loo. This helps flex your hips and place your pelvis in a more squatting position which helps bowel movement.

We’d love to know any other natural remedies that work for you. Please comment below and let us know.

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