Started itching with a cold

Hi, I've tried searching old posts on this since 2am without success ... I'm hypothyroid and have come down with a head cold - my first since being diagnosed and taking thyroid meds.

Over the last 24 hours have started to get itchy - initially it was my face and eyes and now it's everywhere. I've been taking cold and flu tablets for the last couple of days (lemsip all in one cold and flu - I'm new to all this and hadn't cottoned on to that being a no no and I didn't spot anything in the leaflet about thyroid issues). Antihistamine hasn't helped.

Anyone else had this issue / got any thoughts on what might be triggering it / got hints on what to try to get the itching to ease off?

I'm not sure if any of the following is relevant ... I'm on 100mg Levothyroxine, last bloods TSH was "in range"at 3. I have apparently got a low white blood cell count / low immune system but doctor won't test for hashimotos as he says I haven't got the relevant symptoms (I'm not sure I agree, he has referred me to a haematologist in a couple of months).

Thanks in advance!

18 Replies

  • The only time I suffered itching was when I was put on carbimazole when first diagnosed with hyperthyroid, and that was associated with a rash. Had thyroid zapped and now I'm on levothyroxine 100mcg and 125mcg alternate days (when I remember!) and I take Lemsip, Beechams, etc, without side-effects.

    Hope someone has suggestions, maybe you should call your GP... :-(

  • Have you got any calamin lotion? That might help.

    Apart from that, you'll just have to sit it out, I think. But you'll know not to take lemsip next time! lol The only time I ever took it - before my diagnosis - I thought I was going to die! I didn't itch but I nearly passed out. it took me ages to get over the feeling of complete and utter weakness. There's a substance in it that isn't good for hypos, I always forget the name, but I'm sure someone will pop up with the answer.

    I would love to know what your doctor thinks are the 'relevant symptoms' for Hashi's. If he means a goitre, he's wrong. Not all Hashi's people have a goitre. Apart from that the symptoms are just those of hypo, really. I don't know anyone that can tell them apart just from symptoms. More docomoron bull****!

  • ...maybe ask your GP what the relevant symptoms of Hashimotos are ?

  • Hi Sometimes drinking plenty of water helps. It may be eczema as being hypo can lead to it. In which case soap products etc are a problem and you need special washing lotion from GP or buy it.Taking zinc helps the skin too.


  • I would say you are sensitive to one of the tablets you have taken and it's not a thyroid issue. Are you sensitive to any food?

  • Whatever you do, avoid Night Nurse. I felt ten times worse with that than I did with a cold on its own. My husband was affected by a cold at the same time as me, and has no known thyroid problems. He vowed he would never take Night Nurse again too.

  • I don't have problems with Night Nurse but do have ongoing problems with itching and have had for over 10 years. I take Telfast 180 mg daily which usually works but it seems that each time my skin gets really dry, it starts to itch and I've found that E45 for very dry skin helps very well. Clemmie

  • TSH in range at 3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    should be below 1 and as for not testing thyroid antibodies low immune system is typical of Hashimotos along with any of at least 40 different symptoms words fail me

  • What really fed up said. I wanted to flay myself I itched so bad with a even lower THS. I have noticed that when my body is ill certain things won't effect or help me the same way. Think you are under medicated. When I was i itched like crazy. But you could be having a reaction to what cold stuff you take. I take day nurse no problem. As I lay here with a headache in bed. Hope you get better. But 3....... You can itch like a wild person. I did. I would say go to the doc but perhaps call the pharmacist or chemist. They are pretty clever. Hope you better honey itching drove me insane. I understand how you feel.

  • I too get itchy, (without taking lemsip) and have developed eczema on the bottom of my legs only. I use ultra base emollient cream & betnovate when really bad. I too have asked GP whether I have Hashimotos or hypothyroid & he doesn't know?? So god help us suffers if the Dr's don't know!!

  • Worth trying some bicarbonate of soda in a warm bath. It has eased severe itching for me in the past. Otherwise E45 do an anti itching cream. Just drink plenty of water to help flush through whatever you're reacting to, and maybe see your GP or a pharmacist for more advice. Have you had your B12 levels checked when you get your blood tests done? Often with under active thyroid there is a B12 deficiency too. MariLiz

  • I would suggest it's just your immune system/adrenals, Kiwidel. Having a cold may have taken it out of you and what's left isn't keeping a sensitivity at bay (this might even be due to an ingredient in what you're taking for the cold). Let the cold take its course without the cold remedies perhaps. Taking these might also be counteracting what your body is trying to do in fighting the infection. Eat what you can in the way of plenty of protein and drink plenty of water to flush out the virus.

    Just speaking from experience.

    Get well soon.

  • I find that when I have a cold my skin dries out a lot. I have had contact dermatitis for 30 years and find that moisturising daily with a body lotion stops me from getting so itchy and sensitive to other things. It does seem to get worse with a cold. Sometimes I have to get up in the night to moisturise as I am so itchy. Moisturisers cool the skin as well and despite being freezing most of the time, when the itching is bad, the cooling is helpful.

    Cetreban is a good moisturiser that my daughter was prescribed for eczma and that I pinch (it is steroid free, and I prefer to keep away from Betnovate etc that I am prescribed unless I am desperate)! You can buy it over the counter, and it is not expensive, but is soothing. I would recommend trying that for a couple of days before going for anything stronger (and beware of E45 as it contains small amounts of lanolin, which a lot of people are sensitive to - If you know you are okay with it, then it can be really good though).

    Since starting treatment for hashi's and anaemia, I have found that I can sweat again, and this seems to help my skin. I also had very low white blood cells (I think that my periods were so heavy for so many years that it was blood loss!) but these have picked up again with making sure that I take the iron with Vit C and sublingual B12. I was incredibly thirsty and bloated (and rarely needed to pee) and think that my body was so low in blood that it was desperately holding fluid. Once I started self treating (I have high antibodies, but TSH of 3.8 so doctors wouldn't consider treating) I lost about 7lbs of fluid within a few days, by peeing and sweating.

    I am trying to get the T4/T3 treatment correct at the moment and have stopped sweating and am getting ridiculously dry skin again (does not help that my favourite body lotion has recently been discontinued and I find others drying or rash inducing).

    I hope that you can get the itching under control and get some help from the GP!

  • Have you tried Aveeno Body Lotions they are extremely good also pure almond oil (Boots ). A dermatologist gave a tube of Aveeno to my daughter to try when she had extremely dry skin due to a medication she had to take at the time. I now use it because I suffer from itchy skin on and off, but it got so bad at one time I had to take Benadryl Tablets in order to get some sleep.

    I scratched myself so bad my doctor recently diagnosed me as having Lichen Planus, I am not so sure, but the steroids she prescribed over 2 weeks seemed to calm it down lots and the scars seem to be fading. Although it feels a bit sensitive at times I feel it is loads better than before.

    As colds dehydrate the body hence the itching, I suggest you drink loads of fluids, avoid Lem Sip and instead squeeze a fresh lemon into hot water and add a tsp., of honey to sweeten. If you have a bad head with your cold just take a Paracetamol Tablet with it. Works for me especially at bedtime. Most colds will go in there own time, but plenty of fluids help them on their way. It is only when you get an infection on your chest that you may need to visit the doctor. I no longer believe in dosing myself with all these cold remedies that are on the market as I believe now that all they do is subdue the symptoms, and that cold has got to break out of you at some time and in some way.

    Stick to simple remedies as the ones you are taking can effect the Thyroid meds you are on, and cause an allergic skin reaction.

  • Hi

    I too suffer from frequent bouts of itching eye balls / itching randomly all over my body. I`ve been hyperthyroid for probably more than 40 years - but when my Thyroid has been ultra sounded - I was told it did not look like Hashimotos .

    Anyway - I remembed reading something a few weeks ago about Histamine intolerance and Hypothyroidism - so a quick google produced this:

    If you google you will find more on the topic I`m sure.

    I find 99% pure organic Aloe Vera the best thing for calming down skin issues - and the eczema which I also have on neck, wrists and face.

    Good health


  • Hi, I (thankfully) do not get too many colds but when I do I do use Lemsip and have not had any problems with it. I have had thyroid disease for 15 years and am currently on 112 mg Throxine daily. I wonder if it is anything to do with your Thyroid. I am thinking probably not. It may just be that Lemsip does not suit you. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Maybe citrizine, did it for me at times

  • Thanks all for your comments - I've stopped taking the lemsip for the last 24hours and itching has eased ... Another lesson learned in my hypothyroid journey!

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