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Thyroid and Stomach Bloating Vs Belly Fat

Thyroid and Stomach Bloating

Thyroid and stomach bloating are related as stomach bloating can be one of the initial symptoms of thyroid disease.

On the other hand, thyroid disease directly affects stomach motility and bloating can be one of the complications of thyroid disease.

The thyroid hormone or Thyroxine (Levothyroxine) is a driver of most metabolic pathways in our body. It stimulates gut motility, improves digestion, and lets our body burn most of the dietary calories.

When thyroid hormone is deficient in our body, our gut movements are reduced. This can cause:

  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Bacterial overgrowth resulting in excessive gases
  • Increased belly fat as a result of slow metabolism and poor exercise tolerance.
  • Fat deposition in the liver and subcutaneous tissues
  • Fluid accumulation in our body

On the other hand, excessive thyroid hormone can increase satiety, cause frequent bowel movements, and may impair digestion.

Patients with hypothyroidism may develop weight gain, have big bellies, and have stomach bloating.

On one end of the spectrum, bloating can be mild discomfort or annoyance that occurs after we eat, and on the other end, it can be painful distension of the abdomen that lasts hours or days. Either way, bloating isn’t a joke and the sooner we can get rid of it, the better.

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Facing difficulty in figuring out if it’s bloating or belly fat?

Difference between Bloating and Belly Fat:

Bloating is belly distension due to excessive gas formation, and sometimes food and water. Belly fat deposition takes time. It is likely a result of overeating, especially high-calorie food items.

This table will help you differentiate between belly fat and bloating.

Belly Fat


Spongy stomachStiff stomach
Remains the same throughout the dayLess swelling in the morning
Swelling is widespreadSwelling is localized
No discomfort or painCauses discomfort and pain

Bloating can be cured easily while losing belly fat is a difficult task and takes a lot of effort and time.

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Thyroid stomach bloating

When there are changes in the thyroid hormone, one of the most metabolically active parts of the body tends to suffer first. This includes organs like our hair, skin, nails, and our gut.

If our gut isn’t properly activated by our thyroid gland, it can lead to a whole host of digestive problems including bloating.

And the problem here is that when we have thyroid dysfunction leading to gut dysfunction, it then feeds back and causes our original thyroid problems to get worse.

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Thyroid Stomach Bloating and What to do about it:

Let’s look at the common causes of bloating and the solutions to avoid them.

  1. Food Reactions

There could be a hundred reasons behind the bloating but if we observe keenly, the diet could use a fair amount of work. While food reactions aren’t always a cause of bloating.

It’s a very common point that people with thyroid issues come across more digestion issues which can cause them to be more sensitive to certain foods.

What to do about it?

Diet is most commonly involved and is most easy for us to change. I cannot stress the fact that by making simple adjustments to diet and as that’s cleaned up, the bloating resolves in a matter of a few weeks.

If you haven’t adopted a whole foods diet and made it more restrictive, as dictated by your symptoms, this is the sign.

Of course, the diet can not be the only thing to change but I’ll like to introduce the first step, avoid dairy and grains. They might not be problematic for everyone, but they can be challenging for our gut to break down and digest.

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  1. Low stomach acid:

There are several ways that thyroid changes can lead to this problem. The most direct route can be low thyroid hormone leading to low metabolism of the acid-producing cells in our stomach.

Precisely, the low acid can lead to low absorption of a variety of nutrients and eventually cause bloating due to the compromised ability to break down food.

Most often, the reverse is true. People have acidity that can react with different food items and form gases.

What to do about it?

Trialing a product like digestive enzymes that include HCL will directly help in supporting acidity level and digestion.

If you have acidity, you can eat food items that suppress acidity or neutralize the acid. Foods that may help stomach acidity include milk, yogurt, ginger, and lime water.

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  1. Stress

Our third most common cause is stress which can either be emotional or physical. It is directly related to kicking our body to fright and flight response.

If we are stressed all the time, this can divert resources away from the digestive tract and make it very difficult for us to process food.

What to do about it?

To help manage your stress, dedicate some time to yourself, avoid social media, TV, and computer, and spend time meditating and reading. If that isn’t enough, it’s always a good option to seek medical help.

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Other reasons for bloating:

  • Dysbiosis

It’s a term that refers to the distribution of the microbes in our gut, and in this case, it is an unfavorable distribution.

It doesn’t mean that there’s a foreign microbe instead the normal ones that inhabit your gut can reach an unhealthy level, causing indigestion and other issues like abnormal production of gas leading to bloating.

What to do about it?

One can avoid developing dysbiosis by restricting carbohydrates and processed foods such as meat and canned foods.

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  • SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth):

It is probably the most complicated one, SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.  In this case, bacteria get into our small intestine and are allowed to proliferate or grow uncontrollably.

Since low thyroid has an influence on the GI tract, some researchers estimated that up to 50% of people with hypothyroidism develop some amount of SIBO. Seeking professional help and taking antibiotics like Rifaximin can help the situation.

A course of gut antiseptics like Rifaximin followed by a course of probiotics may help cure the condition. 

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How to reduce bloating in thyroid diseases (4 Easy Steps):

The following four interventions can help a person avoid stomach bloating with thyroid disease:

  • Boularidii (yeast that can help to “clean your intestine):

Add foods, spices, or side dishes containing kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, kombucha, and kimchi.

  • Oregano (supports intestinal cleaning):

Oregano is a herb that is used as an add-on to various dishes.

  • Sibo killing diet (thyroid main diet):

The thyroid’s main diet contains fruits and vegetables that are low in FODMAP. In addition, a fiber-rich diet and starches are added. Dairy products and beans, pulses, eggs, and poultry are added as proteins.

  • Supplement (mix of herbs and supplements):

Supplements that contain zinc, iodine, and selenium can be helpful.

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Summary of Diets to Eliminate and Enjoy:

Eliminate some of these items to avoid excessive bloating. Dairy can not be totally eliminated. Instead, milk can be replaced by yogurt.

DairyMeat and fish


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Home Remedy for Bloating:

It’s always a better option to seek medical help but if you’re someone who prefers organic DIYS, then this recipe is for you:


  • ½ tsp organic coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp organic cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • A small piece of ginger


  • Grind all the ingredients
  • Take 3 cups of water
  • Add the Ingredients
  • Boil them, until one cup is left
  • Turn off the flame
  • Pour the tea into a cup and drink.

To be precise, It’s our job in these scenarios to identify exactly what’s causing bloating for you.  Provide support to that area and therefore break this viscous cycle where inflammatory thyroid and gut problems are feeding one another.

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What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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