Thyroid UK

Exercise is recommended but walking for a half hour leaves me spent out taking days to recover. How can I surmount this problem ?

Most times I just do not want to get out of bed. I am only on 25mcg Eltroxin for about a month now and am prescribed this for another two months. After this I return to a GP who is of the "send them off with anti-depressants" type.

Definitely not the up to date Thyroid type.

12 Replies

on 25mcg levo you would be lucky to have enough energy to get out of bed - nevermind walking about. GP's have no inkling how much effort it takes just going about the house.

Let's hope he increases meds next appointment and and tell him you are making another appointment for 6 weeks after that so that he is aware you will be looking for another increase. It's amazing you are having to educate your GP!!. You might have to ask to be referred to an Endocrinologist.


25mcg is a tiny dose usually reserved to start off the elderly or those with actual heart issues, or coronary artery disease, angina, in whom too much levothyroxine too fast would cause problems. Perhaps you have these issues? For whatever reason, you certainly do not have enough medication yet. Walking aids the conversion of T4, storage form of thyroxine, to T3, the active hormone. Your T4 will be low at present so there is little to convert to T3. If I were you I'd cut down on the walking to something much more manageable so you are not flogging your metabolically undersupplied body, for that is not good for it.

If you buy the BMA publication "Understanding Thyroid Disorders" by Dr Anthony Toft, past president of the BTA you will find on Page 88 advice on judging the correct dose of thyroxine, this will be useful to see that your GP is on the right track and does not attempt to palm you off with anti-depressants. The ranges Dr Toft quotes are to be found on Page 87. Your GP should be aiming ultimately for the same relative positions within the ranges your lab gives. Pages 41 and 46 will help your understanding further. The main site:

has a wide range of valuable information on just about everything affecting the thyroid.

Please post your next results plus ranges, vital as labs differ, when you have your next test, which actually should be about 5 weeks after starting medication, according to Dr Toft. Page 42.


Thanks. No I am over 70 but have no cardiac issues apart from borderline hypertension. I may have over exerted myself the other day. I am going to try short 15 to 20 minute walks daily. that is if I can even get out of bed. I do not think people (particularly GPs) understand this horrible complaint. At one time it was even suggested to me to go into psychiatric care for depression. I feel hopeless.


Petrovsky, I am positive you tried too hard with the walking and stressed a body already under stress through shortage of thyroid hormone. TLC is the order of the day.

You are right in thinking GPs don't understand. But everyone in this community does, and you can get help here.


Hi, I would wait just another couple of weeks and then go back to your doctor for a blood test. Three months is far too long. Its normally done every 4 to 6 weeks, and then hopefully a raise in levo. . Best wishes

Jo xx


I've been doing 10 mile walks weekly till recently starting Levo.

I used to feel tired after these for a few days, gatting worse -so I wanted follow up high TSH.

I'm surprised how 25mcg does me in [after the first 2 weeks slight lift in energy,now gone].

It takes me hours to get going in the morning and I still wake up 5am [instead of 4am-full of life!!] - I have to go back for 3more hours or flake all day long :(

I'm on BP meds and over 65, so accept the slow start, but my body doesn't seem to be mine anymore. Best way to put it !

I'd be interested in responses to you for practical management of this energy factor.

I know I need time and a larger Levo dose- but 4 weeks to go yet- and then??

It's probably adrenal -but can't push for Endo till GP is satisfied with trial and bloods, later...


Whatever you do, don't beat yourself up for not exercising. Your body is under stress, and exercise at the moment can stress it even more. One of the best pieces of advice that my daughter had was to be kind to herself until she is better. So if you feel able to take a short walk then do so, but otherwise take things easy until your thyroid replacement is optimised.

Make sure that you have all the tests suggested on these pages done by your doctor:

and let us know the test results.

Jane x

1 like

Janeb - when I was first diagnosed with Graves 'be kind to yourself' was my mantra. I took the carbimazole and did practically nothing but sleep, my poor husband did the shopping then came in from work and did most of the cooking.

I slept practically all day and then I slept all night and only did the things I wanted to do. I figured I was actually quite ill even though I didn't look it and I treated myself like someone who was ill.

Nine months down the line I am back to enjoying doing the garden, cooking, baking, walking and cycling - Im even doing housework although I cant say I enjoy that. It was worth not stressing myself out thinking about all the things I should do and just waiting until I felt able to get back to normal.

So Petrosky, Janeb's advice is the best. Be kind to yourself and you'll find that when you are able - you will.

Liz :-)


It's so good to hear when people are recovering, and I expect it brings you special pleasure now to do all those things you had to miss out on (except perhaps the housework - that's always at the bottom of my list!). Your husband sounds like a treasure.

Jane x


Thanks Jane. I have been easing off big time but of course it doesn't make a lot of difference at this stage as the body just shuts down more on low dose of Levo. Today is better :)

I don't feel guilty so much as just miss the fun of getting stuck in and shaking the system up a bit. I read somewhere that walking helps convert T4 to T3 so that must be it!

Also- the bit we all know about - is that when a 'bit' older we do have intimations of mortality and wondering if 'that's it' now- which GPs don't help, wiith their 'you're getting older' quips!

[Meaning they would like to shovel the problem under the carpet]

They are probably well aware of current feeling out here- well, some may be.

I hope it catches on with all the noise about badly treated thryroid going online.

I see the 38 Degrees winning campaign on 'Lewisham Wards closure'- against the Gov't is headlined today!

That's a hopeful sign for all here.


Both my husband and my daughter used to force themselves to run a lot because they both loved it so much and for a brief time it lifted them - but boy, did they suffer the next day. To be honest my daughter still does have a 20 minute run every week or so because she figures that on balance the lift is good for her mentally and that she hasn't completely lost touch with her past prowess on the track. She still suffers later, however. Jane x


Yes he is although he drove me mad in the beginning, he kept saying he understood and then he would say stupid things like ' Oh, you'll be fine'

I ranted in the way that only someone who is totally hyperthyroid can 'HOW do YOU know, have you got special powers or something?'

Then over Christmas when he and the neighbours couldn't decide on a date for a get-together he actually suggested they all come to us for a meal the next night! It was probably my totally lunatic reaction to that that made him realise he was dealing with someone who was clearly going to be difficult - very difficult even.

There were a few other incidents when he tried to push me into doing things and I just refused and eventually he realised I was not going to be forced into carrying on as I had been doing, I mean he meant well but it was annoying having him tell me how I felt and what I was able to do.

Liz :-)


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