Thyroid UK
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restarting levo

I've been on 25mcg and 50mcg of levothyroxine on alternate days for years (maybe 15 - 20?); my doctor stopped it in February. She has now agreed I need it, so I've restarted and wonder how long it takes to notice an improvement? Officially I am within range on T4, but at the low end. My main symptom has always been depression, and the last few weeks I've been weeping at everyone several times a day.

6 Replies

Is it possible for you to post your latest blood test results - with ranges. You are probably very low on T3. Also how are your vitals ? - Iron - Ferritin - B12 - Ferritin - VitD. ALL need to be optimal....

If your T4 is low then it is more than likely that your T3 is also low. T3 needed in every cell of the body so VERY important...


Marz, in June free T4 was 14 (8-21), TSH 0.47 (0.35-3.50). In July T4 was 15, TSH 0.3. So it looks as though that was a slight improvement! In February the TSH was 0.27, when I was taking the levo, (no test for T4) and at that point the doctor stopped the levo.

Not tested since February - Folate was 4.2 (2.7-17.5), but I am now on folic acid because of my B12. I am on two-monthly B12 injections because of possible pernicious anaemia and peripheral neuropathy.

Not tested since February - Ferritin was 64.2 (10-140), so that looked OK.

Vit D - I take cod liver oil every day.

I really think with the levo I will be OK again, and if not, will ask for further tests. But as I said, I was fine for years and years, and only began symptoms of depression again when it was stopped. Before I started on it I was on and off anti-depressants for years; when I started I never had another one.


Not sure how many IU's there are in a measure of Cod Liver Oil....

In the above link to a Canadian website you will find a table indicating the dose of VitD according to your results....

Could be that your T4 dose needs increasing - it is quite low. Your Doc should not have stopped your dose - just because the TSH was suppressed. One is only Hyper when the FT3 is over range as well. You haven't had yours tested - so am afraid that was not quite right on behalf of your Doc. The TSH is not the Gold standard of judging the Thyroid...the FT4 and FT3 is also needed to give a more balanced picture.

Tests are only guidelines and your Doc should also go on how you feel. Do hope you soon feel better :-)


I know about the testing - but they don't do it unless you make a huge fuss, and my doctor is more than willing to listen to me and hear how I feel. I agree she shouldn't have stopped it, but I said at the time I will see how it goes and let you know. After all, we are always saying you should be treated as much on your symptoms as on your test results! Which is what she's done.

Vitamin D - I am also taking D3, and a host of other stuff, for the peripheral neuropathy, so I'm getting about 2 1/2 times the recommended dose. I felt the tests they've done so far on Vit D and depression seem rather inconclusive. But maybe there is a link to SAD; I was always worse in the winter.




When doctors only prescribe enough levo to keep you 'within range' and not to get well, the precribe doses which are too low.

Don't let your dose stay at 50mcg if you don't feel normal health.

Go to the date November 20, 2002 on this link to read about the effect of a low dose:-

Depression can be the result of too low a dose of levo as well as a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism.


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