Taking T3, T4, or Iodine did not cause nausea in me, simply because I never took an “overdose” of the meds. It was the flaring of T3 and Iodine that caused the nausea. I could literally feel the T3/Iodine rushing through my veins, as if I’d just gotten an IV injection. The worse the flare, the worse the nausea. When it would hit my head, I’d be hit with some pretty severe CNS symptoms. When it hit my stomach, as well as my head, the waves of nausea would start. If severe enough, I would go down with vertigo and get dry heaves.
The whole “nausea/migraine/vertigo” period was horrible, to put it mildly. I was flaring continuously and severely, due to a perceived deficit in cellular thyroid hormone and iodine (serum lab levels of TH were too low for me, but within normal limits). I couldn’t move, doubled over, feeling like I would pass out from the nausea alone. I couldn’t eat even the limited diet I was on, and I felt like I was starving, but the thought of eating any food made me feel sick too. Chronic mild nausea took its toll as well. Food, like iodine, became a necessary evil if I were to survive. Food, like everything else, became the enemy, because it would make my symptoms worse. I was on an extremely limited diet during this time, what I call the “everything free” diet, in an attempt to help stop the flaring. But ultimately, I had to just wait it out until my T4 values normalized and reached steady state again before that would end. This took many months because my TH production was so limited from such a damaged thyroid gland.
“Stomach Pain” took several forms, including what I would call “discomfort”. When I was hypo, I’d have the “slow digestion” and “bloating” feelings, and of course the constipation. When I was severely flaring, to the point of feeling “hyper”, the opposite would occur. But it was the “Hashitoxicosis” state that was the worse, in particular when I was low on iodine stores overall. I just had this chronic, vague, stomach pain that was never really relieved. I always felt hungry, but always felt bloated as well, along with this constant pain. I suspect some of this may have been due to something called achlorhydria, which is when production of gastric acid, the juices that help digest food, is low or absent.
Achlorhydria can occur due to a number of causes, one of them being hypothyroidism. But I suspect that what may really be contributing to achlorhydria, is low iodine. The same iodine receptors that exist in the thyroid gland, exist in a number of other secretory organs, such as the salivary glands, the lacrimal glands, the mammary glands, and the gastric mucosa (parietal cells) of the stomach. Iodine appears to be necessary for some kind of secretory function in general, although it’s not known specifically what this function is. However, research has proven that considerable amounts of iodine are actively transported from the blood stream across the gastric mucosa and into the stomach, via these iodine receptors which are heavily expressed within the gastric mucosa. As my iodine stores within my body declined, and I became more “hypo” overall, I became “drier” overall – dry eyes, no sweat, dry mouth, and if it’s possible for my stomach to feel “dry”, it did. It’s this weird kind of pain, and digestion wasn’t occurring, and although it sounds strange, it just felt “dry”. As I’ve said before, I felt “dry from the inside out”. And that included my stomach, somehow.
Interestingly enough, when a person has AITD, in particular Hashi’s, which is what I have, there is also a correlation with antibody production against the parietal cells of the stomach (gastric mucosa). I suppose this, too, could prevent iodine secretion, and thereby contribute to decreased gastric HCL in general. I tested at least once for these antibodies, but was negative for them at that time.
I also experienced some rather severe stomach pain at times during the early morning hours, around 4 am. This is when my cortisol felt like it peaked. However, virtually every hormone, neurotransmitter, and even amino acids have a diurnal cycle, so I can never really know what caused this particular stomach pain. It was intermittent in nature, and I really never was able to discern a cause and effect, although I’m sure one existed.