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July 12, 2023 6 min read

You've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and recently have been experiencing nausea. The question arises, could there be a connection between the two? Although the relationship between hypothyroidism and nausea isn't always clear, it's worth exploring the potential link.

The basics: Thyroid gland and hypothyroidism

Before delving into the relationship between hypothyroidism and nausea, it's crucial to understand the basics of the condition.

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck that produces thyroid hormones which play a vital role in regulating metabolism and growth throughout the body. The two main thyroid hormones the thyroid gland produces are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).

These hormones are essential for the normal functioning of various body organs, including the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. When your thyroid gland is not working correctly and not producing the right amount of thyroid hormone levels, it can lead to several thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid or too little thyroid hormone), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid or too much thyroid hormone), and goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland).


Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder that occurs when your thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormones. Various factors, including autoimmune diseases, radioactive iodine therapy, surgical removal of the thyroid gland, and certain medications, can cause hypothyroidism. It can affect people of all ages, but it's more common in women and older adults.

Common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism include:

  • Fatigue

  • Weight gain

  • Sensitivity to cold

  • Hair loss

  • Dry skin

  • Muscle weakness

  • Joint pain

  • Irregular menstrual periods

  • Depression.

To diagnose hypothyroidism, doctors perform thyroid function tests that measure specific hormones. In cases of primary hypothyroidism, a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is high, while other hormones like T4 and free T3 are low. Additional tests might be used if there are concerns about growths on the thyroid gland.

Can hypothyroidism cause nausea?

Can hypothyroidism cause nausea?

Nausea is a sensation of discomfort or unease in the stomach that often precedes vomiting. It can be caused by various factors such as digestive issues, motion sickness, anxiety, medication side effects, or certain medical conditions.

Although nausea is not commonly associated with hypothyroidism, there are several potential reasons why individuals with this condition may experience it:

1. Slowed digestive process

Some individuals with hypothyroidism do experience gastrointestinal symptoms, usually constipation. This is because thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating the digestive system. Therefore, hypothyroidism can cause a decrease in the normal functioning of the digestive system, resulting in slowed gastric emptying and constipation.

This slowed digestive process and constipation may lead to feelings of fullness or bloating and even abdominal pain, which could then contribute to nausea. However, the connection between hypothyroidism and nausea requires further research to establish a clear link between the two.

2. Side effects of thyroid hormone replacement therapy

One possible reason for experiencing nausea could be due to the side effects of your thyroid hormone replacement medication or supplement, such as levothyroxine and natural desiccated thyroid (NDT). Although it's relatively rare, nausea can occur as a side effect, particularly if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in the medication.

3. Nutrient deficiency

As hypothyroidism can result in a slower metabolism and decreased nutrient absorption, individuals with this condition may become deficient in some essential vitamins and minerals. Certain deficiencies, such as vitamin B12, iron, or zinc, might cause nausea.

4. Coexisting autoimmune disorder

 Individuals with hypothyroidism, particularly those with Hashimoto's disease, have an increased risk of developing other autoimmune conditions. Some of these disorders, such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease, may cause nausea and other GI symptoms.

How to manage nausea and vomiting due to hypothyroidism

If you experience nausea, it's essential for you to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause. Here are some possible approaches to address nausea related to hypothyroidism:

1. Consider adjusting your medication dosage

It's possible that your hormone replacement dosage could be contributing to your nausea. Ask your doctor to review and, if necessary, adjust your medication dosage to ensure proper treatment. They may perform thyroid function testing through blood tests to see your blood thyroid hormone levels. A gradual modification might help to identify the appropriate dose that effectively manages your hypothyroidism without causing or exacerbating nausea.

2. Find the right type of thyroid replacement therapy

Certain hormone replacement medications and supplements may contain ingredients, such as lactose or gluten, which could cause allergies or sensitivities. Some brands of levothyroxine and natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) are not gluten-free.

If you suspect that an ingredient in your medication may be a factor in your nausea, discuss alternative options with your healthcare provider. They might recommend a different formulation of the medication that is free of allergens or more suitable for your specific needs.

Numerous lactose and gluten-free thyroid medications are available for those with specific dietary sensitivities. Some popular options include Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid. However, these medications can be challenging to find.

Fortunately, alternatives exist, such as VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online. This NDT supplement is not only lactose and gluten-free but also free from fish, shellfish, eggs, artificial coloring, and flavoring. As a result, VitaliThy is suitable for individuals with various food sensitivities, providing a convenient option to help manage hypothyroidism without causing additional discomfort.

3. Ensuring proper nutrient intake through a balanced diet or supplementation

Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to nausea and may be more prevalent in individuals with hypothyroidism. To address this issue, make sure you maintain a well-balanced diet that includes all essential vitamins and minerals. Partnering with a registered dietitian or nutritionist can help you plan meals tailored to your condition. If necessary, your doctor might suggest nutritional supplements to correct any deficiencies. It's crucial to monitor your nutrient levels regularly and adjust your diet or supplements as needed.

4. Exploring possible coexisting autoimmune conditions and addressing them accordingly

In some cases, people with hypothyroidism may also have other autoimmune conditions, such as celiac disease, which could be the underlying cause of nausea. If you and your doctor suspect there may be an additional autoimmune issue, further testing, and treatment should be pursued. By deciphering and managing any coexisting conditions, you'll increase the likelihood of successfully managing your nausea symptoms. Additionally, learning about each specific condition and its treatment options will empower you to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.

5. Incorporating lifestyle changes

Can hypothyroidism cause nausea?

Adopting healthy habits alongside medical treatment can also contribute to managing nausea related to hypothyroidism. Focus on getting adequate sleep, staying well-hydrated, and participating in regular physical activity. These positive lifestyle changes can promote overall well-being and help improve your body's ability to cope with the challenges of hypothyroidism, consequently alleviating symptoms like nausea.

6. Try alternative treatment options

To further address nausea related to hypothyroidism, consider exploring complementary therapies that have been known to alleviate nausea effectively. Acupuncture has been shown to help relieve digestive symptoms, including nausea, in some patients.


Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to alleviate various symptoms. In the case of nausea, acupressure may help to stimulate the body's natural healing processes and promote relaxation.

One common acupressure point for treating nausea is located on the inner wrist, known as the P6 point. One can apply pressure using their fingers or a wristband to stimulate this point. Other acupressure points on the body may also be targeted to relieve nausea.

While the effectiveness of acupressure in treating these symptoms may vary, it is generally considered safe and non-invasive, making it a viable option for those seeking natural remedies.

Ginger supplements

Similarly, ginger supplements have a long history of use in traditional medicine for treating nausea.

Consult with your doctor before starting any alternative treatments to ensure they are appropriate for your specific case and do not interfere with your primary hypothyroidism management plan. Investigating and incorporating these alternative options can help provide a well-rounded approach to managing nausea and improving overall well-being.

Conclusion: Hypothyroidism rarely causes nausea, but it's possible

Although nausea is not commonly associated with hypothyroidism, it is possible that individuals with this condition might experience it. Some reasons for this include a slowed digestive due to insufficient thyroid hormones, side effects from thyroid hormone replacement therapy, nutrient deficiencies, or coexisting autoimmune conditions.

If you experience nausea related to hypothyroidism, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider to adjust your medication dosage if necessary, ensuring proper treatment for hypothyroidism without exacerbating nausea. Finding a suitable type of thyroid hormone replacement therapy is crucial, particularly if you have food sensitivities or allergies. Fortunately, there are lactose and gluten-free thyroid replacement available, such as the supplement called VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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