Feeling terrible on 50mgs thyroxine - headaches and nausea, is this normal?

I posted previously about post partum thyroiditis and getting pregnant, I'm 42 and a half and have a 5 and half month old and would like to try for another baby as soon as possible because of my age. Basically I was advised not to get pregnant until everything had righted itself and that could take a year, and was told just to "deal with the cards you've been dealt"....I didn't find this advice particularly helpful as time is not on my side, I am late having children not out of choice but circumstance. Very fortunately I got pregnant the first month we tried the first time, but being that bit old and obviously having put my body through the mill having first baby - though was a very straightforward pregnancy.

So, I went for a second opinion and I've seen another endo and he has given me 50mgs thyroxine to take to try and level out the TSH so I can fall pregnant safely in the near future. I'm not sure this was particularly good advice as I now feel terrible, I've been taking it for 5 days, can it effect that quickly? Headaches, nausea, starving hungry....

My levels, it would be great if anyone can comment, I'm realising they weren't particularly out of whack even though I felt terrible. Range in brackets.

6/09: T4 - 14.5 (11.0-21.0) /T3 - 5.1 (3.1-6.0) /TSH - 0.46 (0.5-5.0)

14/10: T4 - 14.5 (9.0 - 19.00) /T3 - 5.3 (2.6-6.0) /TSH - 0.03 (0.3-3.5)

29/10: T4 - 14.5 (range as above 14/10) /T3 - 5.2 /TSH - <0.01

18/11: T4 - 12.2 /T3 - 4.0 / TSH 0.10

04/12: T4 - 9.3 /T3 - 3.6 / TSH 1.3

I'm wondering if I take the thyroxine could it put me back in the overactive category? or does your body reject what it doesn't need? TSH needs to be at 2.5 to fall pregnant, under is dangerous apparently, I think for risk of miscarriage, but I'm not sure if over.

(All other tests came back normal, iron etc and I tested negative for the Graves antibodies).

Any comments gratefully received, and I appreciate the sentiment of "being lucky to fall pregnant with one at your age", and "wait and see", but I have explored those personally so don't need further comment on them ;-)

Thank you.

10 Replies

  • Maybe you can glean a little information from this short video.

  • You mentioned you had tests for iron etc and they all came back normal. It might be helpful if you could let us know what those readings were and the ranges. Sometimes what we are told is normal isn't for someone with thyroid problems and it might give us a better picture of what is happening.

  • Hi Your hormones would be al over the place. However, I think those latest results are low.I think after the next test, having

    been on the levo, you may well need T4 ( levo) and a little T3, Normally we like T4 to be in top third of range and FT3 near the top ( never over). Do not worry too much about tSH, mine has always been immeasurable. My health has always been bad and when I had my children , I had untreated Hypo, years ago. My children were both born with very high IQ, I was the only one that my untreated hypo effected.

    You certainly need other tests,Diabetes, B12 and Foliates ( all autoimmune hormonal), B12 needs to be high in range . Ferritin/iron, needs to be clearly in range, this should have been tested anyway with pregnancy.It will need a retest if not very recently. Also hormonal vit D , if this tests low, then a corrected calcium before treatment, It needs to be in range, but not at the top, as D can in that case push it over, Corrected calcium an electrolyte must never be over. re test both in 3 months on treatment.

    try not to worry, it will only effect you, rest as much as possible and get the bloods sorted.Just a little bit out , especially with thyroid disease can make you feel terrible.

    I hope this helps,


  • I wish you all the very best, and if I were you I would just go ahead and try for another baby - it's your life and in your circumstances it's what I would do. Don't let the medical people discourage you - they work by statistics and averages, not by looking at individuals. You could try taking your thyroxine on alternate days, or half a tablet a day for a few days and see if the symptoms diminish. If they do then you will know the cause. When I first took thyroxine I stopped feeling horribly cold within 2 days, so yes it can take effect that quickly (same dose as you).

  • I am sorry you are feeling unwell.

    I, personally, believe you may be undermedicated as your last blood tests showed T4 and T3 as dropping with your TSH rising. This is a link from Dr Lowe re nausea etc. and go to the last question dated September 6, 2001 and also question dated June 8, 2001


    An excerpt from another topic.

    Dr. Lowe: With most patients, I use thyroid function tests (TSH, free T3, and free T4) and thyroid antibodies only for a patient’s initial diagnosis. Afterward, I follow the practice, in principal, of Dr. Broda Barnes—that is, measuring tissue effects of particular dosages of thyroid hormone rather than remeasuring TSH, free T3, and free T4 levels.

    My reason for this different protocol is simple: the TSH, free T3, and free T4 tell us only how the pituitary and thyroid glands are interacting. Of course, the test levels may also tell us something of the influence of thyroid hormone over the hypothalamus in its secretion of TRH, another hormone that influences the pituitary gland's secretion of TSH.


  • Hi Julia,

    Lots of good advice for you from everyone.

    I was very lucky to have a baby at 45 (took just three months to get pregnant) It was completely plain sailing and I had an easy natural birth. I didn't feel any more tired than I did when I had my first at 24. I do think the combination of pregnancy and the rocky road to menopause can cause havoc with hormones. When my daughter was 2 I got pneumonia and not long afterwards was diagnosed with thyroiditis....it stabilised but have gone on to find antibodies and been diagnosed with Graves. However, that's not you and my not happen. If I were you would find out as much as you can about what's going on. This site is incredibly helpful. I have tried to reduce stress and look at my life more holistically - a bit tricky for you with tiny baby but try to sleep when he/she does and let domestic standards slide.... I find acupuncture really beneficial and also have monthly massage. I don't eat any wheat at all and cut back on all grains. Eat as much organic as possible without becoming irritating to others, ditched the caffeine (well one cup daily) and cut back on booze as that did bring on palpitations at night. Am only on 2.5mg of carbrimazole which is great as opted for monthly blood tests rather than block and replace. Now feel well enough to be jogging again. x

  • tilly, what a wonderful reply. I hope she takes your advice but you have earned your recovery through your good efforts. This is a great testimonial.

  • thank you....touching wood as I write. x

  • Thank you everyone for your very constructive, helpful and thoughtful comments. However, I have been sent a private message by someone a copy of which is below. This person will not reply to me and I am a little concerned by this, can anyone enlighten me, is this person implying I am doing something very dangerous, what I have I done to shock her daughter?:

    SUBJECT: be careful. see the link of aspergers and hypothyroid mums

    My daughter was very shocked recently to see this and to realise her doctors were correct when they told her not to even think about having another child

    She ignored them and her son has such severe food allergies he has to carry an EPI Pen plus has finally been diagnosed with Aspergers. Her life and that of her other children has been a total mess for last 9 years as a result

  • I have received another very rude private message from this person. It appears that they have jumped to the wrong conclusions. I am NOT, repeat NOT advocating getting pregnant with a thyroid that is underactive or overactive. I was asking for advice on whether one could take medication, or do anything in order to right it, as my first endo said "deal with it". I am going to have to delete my account to this website as I did not realise I would be open to abuse. It is a great shame and the first time I have ever experienced something like this.

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