What should I do ?

I had a blood test the other day , no major symptoms just always felt tired easily but coped since I can remember (currently 22) no hair loss and slim build and no weight gain at all . My TSH 13 (high ) and thyroxine 12 (low normal). Dr rang me and told me I need to take levothyroxine potentially for life. I am not conviced and want to request another blood test . I would rather take supplements or re test in a few months . Is this un reasonable and do people think I'm putting myself at risk?

4 Replies

  • Someone more knowledgeable will come along XX

  • Your TSH is 2.5 times the top of range in my area and indicates you are overtly hypothyroid ie your engine is running on empty. Your fatigue is a symptom of hypothyroidism. You should start taking medication ASAP before you accrue other symptoms which will then take a long time to resolve.

    Untreated hypothyroidism can eventually lead to heart problems and osteoporosis and a bunch of unpleasant and painful symptoms which will wreck any quality of life you might have had. Your eyebrows, eyelashes and hair will thin and may fall out too.

    High TSH can prevent conception and lead to miscarriage in case you are considering planning a family.

    Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition which requires managing. It is not self correcting, can't be resolved with natural therapies/supplements and does require lifelong medication with thyroid hormone replacement, usually Levothyroxine.

    Repeat thyroid function tests should follow 6/8 weeks after starting Levothyroxine and dose adjustments to check levels. It's a good idea to ask for your ferritin, vitD, B12 and folate to be tested as they are often deficient or low in hypoT patients and need to be high in range in order to feel well and aid absorption of Levothyroxine.

    There really is no point in waiting until you are feeling desperately unwell before commencing medication.

  • The bigger risk might be remaining hypothyroid longer than necessary. Each and every day that you remain hypothyroid can accumulate damage. Maybe not all of that damage can be reversed, so the least caused, the best chance of recovery.

    The "potentially for life" aspect almost feels like a scare tactic. Whilst it might be true, if you do take levothyroxine and respond well to it, then taking a daily tablet really isn't the worst thing that can happen. Further, whilst probably most people who start on levothyroxine do continue taking it (or another thyroid hormone medication), some do not. That it is put right up front as a "start this and you WILL have to take it for the REST [pause while you think 'is the rest of my life going to be so short?'] of your life" comment is overly-dramatic.

    Taking supplements might make sense if you can identify which ones. Many people ask about iodine - my view has long been that it is best to get tested before doing that. Inappropriate iodine supplementation can be a bad thing. (That includes all products which contain significant iodine such as kelp.]

    If you really need thyroid hormone, nothing else will do.


  • Thank you for your replies , sorry I have not been on here in a while . I am still trying to get to the bottom of it all ! I have started taking the levothyroxine =) stopped eating gluten which has improved my bowels so much I'm kicking myself I never did it before . Was told I had IBS for years . I'm still having a problem with sleep but I've made a separate post.

    Thanks for your help

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