Thyroid UK
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Can a kidney dialysis machine wipe out Thyroid medication ?

Mum recently had complete Kidney failure so now has a tiring, 3 times a week, long trip up to the hospital for dialysis and back. We were told it was the dialysis itself tiring her out, (not forgetting the long journey,) and it would get better, but not so (yet.)

A dialysis machine takes your blood out, cleans it, removes toxins, then puts it back in. (correct me if I've said it incorrectly.)

Now I am worried her 'Brain Fog' and tiredness all day long is due to her Hypothyroidism instead as it has been going on too long. She just can't think properly, she is certainly 'not' depressed' but is very lethargic. Her Doctor, not long ago before the Kidney failure, upped her Levothyroxine as she had similar symptoms. (I asked for her Thyroid to be checked, due to her symptoms.)

We need to know if the dialysis machine is not only cleaning her bloods, but is also cleaning away her Levothyroxine medication too. She is also a Diabetic on daily insulin too, so another worry there.

I have been told they take bloods checks monthly, so hopefully this will show up soon.

Any thoughts Please ?

16 Replies

This is an excerpt from a page, although I've not read the whole article so I think your mum will be o.k. with the dialysis:-

Because T4 is highly protein bound, very little drug will be removed by dialysis.

On the other hand, her other symptoms do sound hypothyroid and brain fog, tiredness etc.

I think your mother should have a Full Thyroid Function Test with your GP rather than just TSH (which labs usual do when the TSH is in range'). Ask also for a vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, ferritin and folate as we are usually deficient and they can also cause problems.

Your mother should NOT take her thyroid medication before the blood test, which should be done as early as possible and take meds afterwards. If your mother takes her medication at bedtime, she should miss this dose and take after blood test.

A couple of days after the blood tests, get a copy from the surgery, with the ranges, and write a new Post for comments.


Apologies for my late reply Shaws,

'Thank You' for your sound advice, I will save it to my Thyroid folder for family and friends with thyroid related problems.

Mum says she cannot remember having her bloods done before by needle, though I was told they were done monthly, Mum says she is guessing they do bloods whilst she is on the machine itself, Sister (Nurse) said a while ago, we can have the blood results and she will get the thyroid bloods done on the same printout, hopefully she will remember that ???

We will hold off seeing the Doctor for Thyroid and the Diabetes 'Insulin' check up till after the hospital blood results are in my hand, so some bloods might be missed out, which I will then ask her Doctor to do.

Mum is looking better, still says it's a kind of 'Brain Fog' as she holds her head in her hands, but feels better, her ulcers have surprisingly healed over, so no more horrible bandages round her legs at the moment, her ulcers have come and gone before, so we will keep our fingers crossed on that one, her legs actually look really good and far slimmer, maybe because the one litre liquid allowance, the dialysis, plus the fluids being taken off from the machine must be helping get rid her water retention. 2 litres of fluid is normally taken off, she had 5 litres off when she first started on dialysis, (some patients have far more fluid taken off,) the liquid alone must weigh heavy on your body, the excess liquid was affecting Mum's lungs and so her breathing and walking affected too.

Dialysis is at 2pm, so guessing, as you said, is it best not to take the morning levothyroxine till after she comes back in the evening.

All her pills get put in an already set up daily pop out pack, all muddled together, but the Levo needs to be taken on it's own on an empty stomach. :O

If I get hold of the results I will 'Post u'p Shaws,

Thanks for your help, much appreciated. :)


It's difficult enough with one medical condition to manage without others too. I am glad your Mum is feeling better and hope it continues.


:O more probs, never a dull moment, apologies 'ye't again Shaws, HU have not passed on my email reply alerts from members or sent me daily updates on to my email address, so looks as though I have ignored members replies, I have sent an email to HU.

Thank you Shaws, yes Mum unfortunately has several illnesses, one just seem to lead to another as she got older, pluss all those pills to counteract one another, but looking back to when she had us kids, many years ago :) the weight went on fast then, looking back now I wonder if it all stemmed from her Thyroid.


Hi Coastwalker

blimey, I hope your Mum feels improvement soon...

If you click on your name/icon on the Turquase bar - you get





Log Out

click on Account and you can choose which email alerts you want.

All the best - Jane :D

anyone not signed the petition yet?


Thank you Sparerib, (re- my Mum)

Have gone into my account, but it isn't allowing me use the password I originally chose for some annoying reason. :(

Yes have signed the 'important' Thyroid petition a while ago and posted on to FB.

1 like

It may well have stemmed from her Thyroid Gland, as doctors have said (good doctors) it is the Master Gland:-

Dr Lowe, Dr Skinner and Dr Peatfield all said that nowadays our doses are too low. Dr Skinner said it is a parlous situation for patients. Dr Lowe said that underdosed can lead to other 'more serious' diseases.


Mum has had many bloods done by the Doctors nurse, also further ones to be done at hospital soon, I asked which bloods had been done, but was told the different types of blood groups, including Thyroid, which threw me a little, so hopefully they included all those I had asked for (thanks to you saying.)

Will ask in a weeks time for the print out and ranges.

Thanks for your Linky shaws, yes low thyroid slows/shuts down every organ and cell in your body, maybe the cause of Mum's kidneys too.


I send best wishes for a quick recovery for your mother as when 'Mum' is unwell, the whole family worries.


Sorry that your mum isn't feeling well. I agree with Shaws as I have been a platelet donor where my blood was taken out, platelets removed and blood returned and the cycle continually repeated over an hour. The only thing I was aware of was whilst I was while connected to the machine was tingling lips due to the chemicals in the anticoagulant which is added to make the procedure possible and a little tinkering with the timing greatly reduced that. I don't know if your mum already does this but has she tried taking her medication after dialysis?

Hope she soon feels better.


Whoops! Sorry Shaws. I completely missed reading that paragraph so yes agree with you hands down!


Thanking you silverfox7,

Do take a look at my message above to Shaws,

I think Mum did mention tingly lips when she first had dialysis, I will ask her again.

Yes, I do agree with you it would be much better to take her levo meds after dialysis, I will ask for them to be given separately from the ready made up daily pill packs she gets issued with.

'Well done' sf7, for being a platelet donor. :)


Yes I apologised to Shaws. For some reason I didn't read that bit in Shaws reply to you! Sadly I wasn't a platelet donor for long. Came to it late in my donation span. Had to stop when I had my op for a new hip. The op went very well but I had a pulmonary embolism afterwards and re admitted to hospital for treatment and observation. I was recovering really well but picked up the Norovirus after a few days. I was rushed off to a sideward and barrier nurses but the first thing they did was pit a line in both arms. These were left in for several days. When they were removed the veins in both arms had disappeared from view! I commented on this but was told it was because I'd been using my crutches! With the reason I was but in my own room I had to get to the bathroom urgently with very little warning and couldn't walk without both crutches at that stage plus because of the brassicas and having to eat meals ordered for others I couldn't eat them when they arrived- root veg in casseroles so got very weak. When I was finally able to donate again I took over 2 hours to donate blood so no way would they have me back but hoping to try again when tgyroid is more stable as my donations for while blood was used for neonatal and transplant. I don't think I sall be able to donate platelets again.


How terrible you caught Norovirus on top of having your hip replaced, why is nothing is ever straight forward in life. ?

Well I think you have definitely done your 'bit' for donating silverfox7. My Daughter donates blood regularly , I keep saying I would like to do my 'bit', but our nearest clinic is two bus rides away and at certain times, unfortunately, which is not really a good enough excuse.


I've always felt better after donating blood though. After I had been on Warfarin for 3 months-was told on it for 6-I had a double consultant appointment. It was really good! A respiratory chap and a haematologist explained to me that results had shown that I was more at risk of a bleed than a clot so they wanted me to stop. I said I'd just had an echocardiogram as the last piece of a series of checks to see why I'd had these clots, shouldn't we wait for the results. They were in my folder and were fine so the only cause of my PE was post op. I saw the CT scan on the screen and they took great delight in show it to me-very interesting though glad hadn't seen it when still in pain. They then said had I any questions so I asked if could continue as a blood donor-no probs but Blood Donor place said wait a year but then I said I was delighted to continue as I always felt better after, why is that? I was told a lot of people say that but there is no physiological reason for it so we concluded it was the feel good factor! So I come out feeling great and someone, may be more, benefit-can't be bad!


Scary stuff blood clots, you were lucky they were found. Mum too on warfarin, but not now as she has an op looming, but when she bled she found it took ages to stop.

Yes I think it must be the feel good factor that you have helped someone out in a very good cause, Daughter is always smiling after giving blood.


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