Why do my doctors keep increasing my medication... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

113,260 members131,566 posts

Why do my doctors keep increasing my medication when i started off as borderline & why do i feel must worst since i started thyroxine?


I had from a viral infection over xmas which made me very poorly indeed. This resulted in my bloods being taken & was then told i had borderline under active with a tsh of 6.8. I was put onto 25mg of levothyroxine & felt great for a wk. i then started to feel very tired. Gained 1/2 st in less than 2 wks, eyelashes & eyebrows started to fall out. Another blood test indicated tsh level @ 2.8 so my med was increased to 50mg (eye/brow lash stopped falling out but not fully grown back) & lost the weight i had gained, felt normal for almost a month until last wk when i needed more sleep during the day again, insomnia during night, aching all over, headaches, cannot loose any weight despite running 3x wk & eating less than 1,500 calories a day-all the typical symptoms. Doc said too soon for blood test & increased med again to 75mg. I have been on this a wk & still feel utterly lousy. I know you will all prob say i need my med increasing again but i am concerned i started off with a borderline tsh reading in january & i am still "within range" now but increased med does not seem to be making a huge difference. A doc friend of mine told me your levels drop gradually over time so am confused. I actually feel much worst since taking levothyroxine & don't know why, i feel like gradually weaning myself off it all together. I want to start trying for another baby this yr (i'm 36 in nov) & can see this slipping away from me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

7 Replies

Your thyroid can go downhill quickly or slowly or go up and down. Your doctor will have to judge what to do based on your symptoms and blood tests but it sounds like things are happening to quickly for the blood tests.

When you are trying for a baby you should let your doctor know as your thyroid levels need to be monitored closely.

It can take several weeks for any benefit to be felt after an increase in meds which is why there is a lag of 6-8 weeks between dose change and blood draw. The fact that you are feeling improvement and then hitting a wall a few weeks after an increase indicates that you need your Levothyroxine increased. It's usually done in 25mcg increments so as not to shock your system.

TSH needs to be in the lower of ranger 0.42-2 to successfully conceive and carry the foetus to term. Meds are usually increased by 50mcg above your optimal dose as the foetus makes heavy demands on your thyroid production and in order to avoid post partum thyroidtoxicosis.

NICE links for guidance re pregnancy in hypothyroid women cks.nice.org.uk/hypothyroid...

cks.nice.org.uk/hypothyroid... and there are several blogs on pregnancy and conceiving at the end of hypothyroidmom.com

Sometimes there are other reasons for low thyroid and high TSH.




Thank you for your replies. You just get told different things by different doctors and i wind up being uncertain of who to put my trust in. After my 1st child i lost the baby weight pretty quick & returned to my starting weight. It never took me much effort to loose further pounds & i was always hot so perspired a lot & felt wired, anxious, stressed & very tired, needing afternoon naps, depression, constipation etc l had blood tests over the years & all were normal, also been tested for autoimmune disease, diabetes & anaemia (all normal) but everything seemed to go downhill after my illness @ xmas. Doctors say the viral infection i had is unrelated to under active thyroid. They also said your thyroid levels can drop quickly but within days i should feel a difference when taking increased medication. Can someone explain what the other thyroid tests (apart from tsh) are in laymen's term & what symptoms you would experience & if its treated with another medication?

Kind regards

Heloise in reply to Fennychannel

Fenny, there are antibody tests that some GP's or Endos will do but not always. I'm not sure there is much of a treatment even if you have them other than thyroid hormone. If you are unhappy with T4, I wonder if they would be willing to try you on a natural hormone like Armour. They really don't have the capacity to search for underlying causes like the ones in the video but another avenue to explore would be to see if your adrenal glands are functioning well since they have a direct impact on your thyroid. Of course, the saliva test is recommended and GP's also will not provide that either. You can do it on your own. Sometimes they will test for nutrient deficiencies....... Here is a list of optimal tests:


Until fairly recently it was common to test Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Free T4 (FT4) and Free T3 (FT3).

TSH is produced by the pituitary gland to tell the thyroid gland to produce FT4.

FT4 is inactive storage hormone which is converted to FT3 in the liver and taken up by receptor cells throughout the body into every organ and in the brain.

Many labs won't test FT3 unless TSH is suppressed <0.04 or considerably above range >5. Some are taking the same stance with FT4. This doesn't allow a clear picture of thyroid status ie poor conversion to FT3, essential for wellbeing. It can also mask pituitary dysfunction leading to a misdiagnosis of thyroid dysfunction while missing the pituitary problem.

Taking Liothyronine (T3) instead of, or in combination with Levothyroxine (T4) suppresses TSH and FT4. Thyroid ignorant GPs panic that the patient is becoming hyperthyroid and reduce medication leading to a resumption of hypothyroid symptoms.

Natural Dessicated Thyroid (NDT) aka Armour, Erfa, NatureThroid, WestThroid etc. contain T1, T2, T3 and T4 which are supposed to be closer to one's own thyroid than synthetic hormones like Levothyroxine and Liothyronine.

I was borderline too but felt cold tired and pretty miserable for a couple of years before finally being diagnosed. The doctor put me on thyroxine and like you felt great for a week then awful (the reason for this has been explained by Dr Lowe you may want to research it.). My dosage was increased felt better again then awful. The doctor who was helping me left and my new doctor was really useless. To cut a long story short after a lot of research I have found a private doctor who prescribes erfra (ndt) this helped but blood tests also showed low levels of vitamin D, etc. I have to say after a year of supplementing and taking erfra I feel OK. I suggest you have blood tests to check vitamin levels and sex hormones, etc (if you read some of the websites a full list of recommended tests is available.) Hope this helps. I know for me I was never going to feel well without sorting out my vitamin and hormonal deficiencies which are common with a thyroid problem.


You may also like...