Under active thyroid and asthma - Asthma UK communi...

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Under active thyroid and asthma

RD23 profile image

Just wondering if anyone has heard of/experienced a link between an under active thyroid and asthma?

I’ve been feeling tired, achey and cold recently and yes I did the classic Dr Google who churned out under active thyroid. Now they’re could well be another, perfectly logical explanation but it also mentioned depression, hair falling out, unexplained weight gain, puffy face and heavy periods as the symptoms, all of which I have experienced. I was also curious to find that it can affect your asthma and that people’s asthma can be worse for seemingly no reason and then when a thyroid problem is diagnosed and they go on medication it clears up.

Me and my mum think it’s worth investigating if only to rule it out, my boyfriend thinks I’m a hypochondriac 😂 funnily enough it’s called ‘research’ when he does the same! 🙄 anyway, if anyone could shed some light I’d be grateful xxx

9 Replies
Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

I was born without a thyroid gland and have been on levothyroxine my whole life. The dose does vary a bit depending on tests but not massively - as an adult I have been on anything from 100 micrograms to 150mcg. I currently have an odd dose of 100 and 125mcg alternate days which equates to 112.5 daily; the endocrine nurse I see for my adrenals also checked my thyroid function and said as I had 2 which were only just in normal range, she would prefer it to be more in the centre and increase the dose a bit. Can't say it has done anything either way to my asthma but did stop me feeling cold so much!

Personally the thyroid is the easiest thing I have to deal with and never seems to have much effect on asthma for good or bad. However, my problem is actually quite straightforward- no organ, replace organ function with the thing it is meant to produce. With other causes of hypothyroidism, eg autoimmune, it might be more complex - I don't know. Endocrinology generally seems to be more complex as I have found with my now dodgy adrenals due to pred, so maybe there is a link - I know I was unsure how hydrocortisone for adrenals, or pred for.asthma, might affect my thyroid, and thankfully think it didn't do anything dramatic as far as I know.

Might be worth asking your GP about it, but if results are borderline probably still worth pursuing - I don't seem to get this issue but I have an idea that the labs may not always match clinical symptoms.

I hope this helps - in a way always having this and being able to control it means I've never really thought about it much, and have always seen it as separate from my troublesome lungs- whether or not that's true I don't know but they seem separate mostly.

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to Lysistrata

That does help thank you.

Like I said, there could be a million and one other reasons to explain the way I’m feeling but it’s worth ruling out.

My asthma just got worse when I hit puberty, maybe I’m just searching for an explanation as to why my asthma has got so bad, does that make sense? It’s almost as if, if I know why then I can do something about it.

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador in reply to RD23

Yep I have the same feeling! You seem to have a hormonal element to yours given the timing of it getting worse plus the monthly flares - if you get to a specialist asthma centre maybe worth emphasising that timing in case they have more suggestions.

It is very frustrating to be a weird asthmatic and not have answers! I find it easier when I e.g have specific triggers I can identify as that makes me.feel a bit more in control - even when I can't easily control them!

RD23 profile image
RD23 in reply to Lysistrata

I’ve asked my specialist about the link between my hormones and my asthma getting bad but she’s said there’s nothing they can do as I’m already on the pill. I might ask again though and ask if I can see a hormone specialist.

I know exactly what you mean about being in control! I think that’s the thing that bothers me most with my asthma, I don’t feel like I’m in control

I have autoimmune hyperthyroidism and recently was diagnosed with lung restriction and obstruction. Asthma is causing one of it. Years ago I had irritable bowel syndrome and I have blood sugar issues as well. I do think this is all related at least for me. Since asthma and thyroid disorder are both inflammatory diseases I think diet has a lot to do with it and that include blood sugar. New research is showing the gut has a big impact on illnesses. I don’t know if this helps you, but wanted to share my experience. The thing that’s seems to have made the greatest difference for me is red light therapy which heals inflammation.

That does help, thank you. I will definitely look into it and the diet element. I have a fairly healthy, balanced diet anyway, what sort of things do you incorporate into your diet?

What’s red light therapy?

Beefull8 profile image
Beefull8 in reply to RD23

I try to eat anti inflammatory foods and I live in the US but I’m sure they have red light therapy other places. I just lie down in a tanning bed with red light. Some research shows it can help with asthma.

I’ll look into it, thanks.

It's really worth checking - I've been wondering myself as my asthma appears to have got a lot worse throughout the same timescale as my hypothyroid symptoms have increased. Now that I'm finally getting treatment for the thyroid problems I'm hoping that there will be an improvement across the board. Good luck.

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