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Thyroid UK
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I was diagnosed 6 yrs ago, tiredness is a killer, after I do a 12 hr shift at work, I come home like a 100 yr old my body is so tired.

I am informed that I need to keep working for another 10 years until I retire, I was looking forward to retiring at 60 yrs because I feel so tired what can I do if I feel I can no longer work?

13 Replies

Stray, I feel for you, I'm caught in the retirement age increase too. But I think it's important to feel well irrespective of whether we are working or otherwise. Where are you at, in terms of medications, blood tests & results etc? It might be that some of the knowledgeable folks here can offer you help/guidance?

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Could you take some sick leave for a short while, as sometimes it helps you feel a little better. It sounds as if things are getting too much and a rest may help.

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Hi Stray

Sorry you are so fatigued. If you've had a recent thyroid gland blood test, get a copy of the results with the ranges. If not, ask for a new one as many GP's don't know how best to treat us. Many keep our TSH 'within range' but some of us need a very low or suppressed TSH.

If you haven't had a recent test, please make an appointment to have one done. Preferably TSH, T4, T3 (may not do T3) but ask for a free T4 and free T3 which would be helpful too. So ask for a full thyroid function test. Also ask for a Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, ferritin and folate as the first two in particular are usually deficient and can cause problems in themselves.

On the day of your blood test have it as early as possible and do not take your levothyroxine until afterwards, as it can skew your tests. Your TSH will also be higher

We are entitled to copies of our blood test results, so ask and say you need one for your records and also post the results on a new question, the ranges are important as labs differ.

Also state what dose of levo you take.

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So sorry to hear how you are struggling at work.

I am wondering if you are under medicated for your thyroid treatment. Has it been checked and if so can you post the results with the reference ranges? -You can ask your GP receptionist for a copy of blood test results and they should be happy to do so.


Thank you for this information, I honestly haven't a clue what my blood test results are, but I will find out

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Remember to find out the lab ranges within which your results are being judged, as they vary :-)

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what are your recent blood tests ?

Free T4

Free T3



what dosage are you on

12hour shifts are sadly not good for thyroid patients

NDT might make a big difference though IMHE


I am on 100 mg levothyroxine also 2.5mg bendroflumethiazide for my BP 154/85 now, also I have diverticulitis which when it flares up sends me into hospital on IV antibiotics for 4 days, also arthritis in my neck, hands, knees, left ankle, its the aching ankle at night that keeps me awake, the ache has actually traveled up my leg to my knee, when I tell my doctor about these aches and pains she just laughs at me. I have acid reflux caused by 20 years of being on diclofenac for my back pain,I take omeprazole 20mg for the reflux, the back pain was caused by my job, I am a senior care in a residential home for the elderly, it is now residential/nursing I have been in this job 26 yrs, I do enjoy my job but my body hates it. what is NDT? Thank you for replying reallyfed123


It's Natural desiccated Thyroid extract - from piggies (used long before Levo was invented!)

more info in the main TUK site here...


I'm sorry I'm off to work now too & pension age for me now 68 J :D



Hypothyroidism is a recognized condition -so your employer should be able to offer you reasonable adjustments under DDA. This could be simple things like extra rest breaks. However I would get your blood test results and work on optimising your thyroid medication, vitamin and minerals. It may well be that the crashing and extreme fatigue you have described could be far improved. Technically we are supposed to be bale to be fully restored to full health with medication....however not all of us are! . If upping the levothyroxine does not help then adding T3 (Tertroxin) or moving across toe a natural desiccated thyroid such as Armour or Erfa may help instead. Have a look at the Stop the Madness website too aas well as Thyroid UK's -both have lots of useful info on optimising health with a thyroid condition.

Hope this helps.

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You need rest. That's all there is.

Phone the benefits office and see about reducing your hours.

They can assess explain your doctor is not helpful at the moment and could the service get one of their doctors to assess you if you can't find anyone else in the practice.

Whether you go on benifits part time when you can't work.

The trouble being will they keep your job open?

Ideally you need to find other work. Doing something at home or from home can you not change to something along either a sitting down job doing like therapy with

Like disabled children or adults.

Part time teaching assistant?



unfortunately, unless you make some change to how your thyroid is working for you, rest will simply become a way of life. The years to retirement may look like a long an unwelcome road, but you want to be well enough to enjoy the other parts of your life. 12 hours does sound like a killer. I agree it may be time to investigate a change of work? Or at least work patterns?

Inform yourself as much as you can about your thyroidism. Talk to your doctor. Be aware that most doctors don't know the first thing about thyroids (although they will not admit to this), but it will be helpful to gauge how you stand with yours. And post those blood test results.

There is hope. Honestly!


Thank you all for your kind replies, I don't work full time, just the weekends, two 12 hour shifts and Wednesdays just 6 hrs and as and when needed, I prefer it like that and I try to recover my energy back on my days off. I shall get my results and let you all know, then maybe you can tell me if I am on the right dose of levothyroxine.


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