Thyroid UK

Constant tiredness & aching legs

Hi there

I am on 75mg of Levothyroxine for underactive thyroid & 6 months ago I had to take triple iron tablets for severe anaemia until iron levels ok.

I also had a really bad Pompholyx flare up in August, which rendered me housebound for a week as my feet were so inflamed & weeping constantly.

I started a new job in a shoe shop 5 weeks ago, after being made redundant from a job I loved at the end of July.

I did not realise when I took the job, that the stock was stored on 3 levels, so for every pair of shoes a customer wants, I have to run up to 3 flights of stairs & back again if they are not required & it is making me feel like a cripple with my knee joints & aching feet. some customers want to try up to 12 pairs of boots & shoes, so you can double or treble up the times of stair scaling & it is killing me!

I also struggle to carry so many boxes, as my joints are inflamed & my fingers swollen most of the time.

I am also finding it so hard to remember all the names & makes of shoes & have to keep checking if I have the correct ones ( Brain fog! ) - I am beginning to think I am in the wrong job now, I am 55 years old & feel about 100.

I have always worked in customer service or front of house & am used to being on my feet, but am beginning to feel that the stairs are defeating me, I also find myself wheezing & struggling for breath & wondered if everyone else finds it hard to cope with stairs?

In this economic climate with jobs so few & far between I just don't know what to do, depression has reared its ugly head again, as I am not as quick as the other younger staff in their 20's & 30's am constantly being pushed to meet sales targets. I just don't know what to do. :(

8 Replies

I'm sorry I can't really help you apart from express my sympathies with you. I know exactly what it's like. I had to change the nature of my work so it became more sedentary. I sit as much as I can when I work and consciously rest every limb that I'm not using to save every bit of energy. I also alternative the limbs I use, so one doesn't get particularly more tired than the others. Are you able to sit on a stool if you're working at the cash-til or helping people whilst fitting their shoes? In the meantime, you may have to look at getting a less physically demanding job. Be honest with yourself, if your job's making your health-worse, what is the better option? Best of luck, my heart goes out to you.


Thanks for your reply HEA72, sadly there is no option to sit at all during work hours & I think it would be a wise move to find something less taxing on my legs without so many stairs.

I appreciate the advice. :)


Who decided when your severe anaemia was okay? You or your doctor? If you were only kept on iron until your levels were in range you might benefit from taking the iron for longer. Another thing to consider - why did you become anaemic in the first place? If your body doesn't absorb or hang on to iron very well you might already be deficient again. You need to get copies of all your blood tests for the last few years (if possible) to find out whether your doctor believes "in range" = "healthy". If he/she does then you will probably benefit from more iron.

Another thing you need to check is your vitamin D level. If it hasn't been checked recently ask for a test. I suffered only mild deficiency that my doctor thought was absolutely fine and needed no treatment, but I found that getting my levels up helped aches and pains enormously.

Magnesium is another thing which helps aches and pains in the legs and feet, but it can make people a bit sleepy so only take it in the evening. Take magnesium citrate, NOT magnesium oxide which is rubbish. Alternatively, you can rub on or bathe in some magnesium supplements.

Vitamin B12 is another thing which affects muscle pain. Have you had it tested recently?

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Oh, and another thing... My husband swears by high strength omega 3 fish oils for sore joints.


thanks humanbean

I already take high dose fish oils & B12 & now vitamin D which I have to buy myself as doctor would only prescribe the Levo & said it was up to me to supplement other vitamins if I thought I needed them!

I actually asked her out of interest what she herself takes when she falls ill, as I am sure being a doctor is a health hazard in itself with so many sick people in & out, she said she is a big fan of homeopathic medicine & tries not to take what she has to prescribe for her own patients, unless she has to.


I am sorry you are having a rough time, medically speaking, in your new job.

First get a new thyroid gland blood test, ask for T3 to be done also (they may not but ask anyway). Also ask for B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate (unless you have had them done recently). Get copies with the ranges and post on a new question for members to comment.

Don't take any levo before a blood test take it afterwards and have it at the earliest when TSH is highest.

Vit D and B12 deficiencies can cause problems. Most of us need a very low or suppressed TSH and sometimes GPs can add a small amount of T3 which you may find helpful.

You could be undermedicated if your GP doesn't give you sufficient medication.

1 like

Great replies Shaws and humanbean, I think I'll get mine checked too! Thank you for sharing your advice.


You need to get your Vit B 12 ,homocysteine ,folate,Vit D levels.You have all the symptons especially the anaemia of B12 deficiency trust me I have just been through a hell of a journey the average dr can't diagnose it they tell you your B12 is normal range meanwhile you lose memory,hearing ,pain writhes you body ,your feet & knees kill.ringing in ears ,pins & needles ,cramp like electric shocks .Google Could it be B12 ? My hubby & I lifesaving book .If your B12 is below 500 then you need urgent treatment otherwise you will continue to deteriorate.there is a genetic mutation MTHFR which we both have so we have to have methyl Vit B12 I am telling you this because again majority of drs never heard of it in Australia.I saw 7 specialists,12drs not 1 put my symptons to B12.we both have nerve damage,hearing,sight,memory loss now numb feet.I encourage you to do your own research ..


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