Thyroid UK

Newbie help please!

I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid 3 months ago whilst have blood tests for something else was also told i had high blood pressure. Didn't know anything about it until looking into it and realising I had many of the symptoms. The doc didn't really tell me anything just that it was 'slightly low' just gave me the starting dose of 50mcg of levo and have just gone back to be told its not enough so now having to increase 75mcg.

my question is should I really be feeling worse now than before I started on the meds?!? And why isn't my doc giving me any detailed information about it? Suffering heart palpitations, breathlessness, dry skin patches, general anxiety, agitated and seem to be putting even more weight on along with an annoying dry cough but that could be from the bp tablets.

any help or advice would be appreciated

10 Replies

One of the effects of hypothyroidism is to reduce stomach acid. In order to extract minerals and vitamins from our food stomach acid is essential. So, being nutritionally deficient is common. The other problem is that poor nutrition means our bodies are unable to fully absorb and make use of any thyroid medication we take and it just hangs around in the bloodstream achieving very little, when it needs to be absorbed by the tissues and cells of the body.

Ask your doctor for tests for ferritin, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and folate. You could really push your luck and ask for magnesium, zinc and copper as well. I'd be surprised if your doctor agreed to do all these but get what you can.

For all blood tests you have now and in future, always ask for the results and always insist on having the reference ranges as well.

Ask for the thyroid test results you've had done in the last few months as well.

Whenever you have thyroid tests done, don't take your levothyroxine for 24 hours before testing because it skews the results. Take your levo immediately after the blood is drawn instead. Also, always make sure your tests are done as early in the morning as possible because TSH is highest first thing in the morning.

Unfortunately, getting better from a thyroid problem can be a slow process. Once you get your test results, post them here and people will help you to interpret them.

1 like

Sorry humanbean ive just replied on the wrong reply to shaws below if u wouldnt mind having a look?! Stupid phone!


The other thing - though don't be surprised if your GP doesn't know this (many don't) - is that high blood pressure can be caused by hypothyroidism. Once you're optimally medicated it will hopefully come down again.


Yes, it's very common to feel worse when starting thyroid hormones, as we need to get to an optimum level so that sufficient gets into our receptor cells. Thyroid hormones control our metabolism and every single thing in our body is affected. I hope you have a decent doctor who will not stop increasing your medication, if your TSH happens to reach the 'normal' range as many of us would still be quite unwell with a 'normal' TSH. Most of us need a low or suppressed.

If you take any additional medication/supplements take these 4 hours apart from levo which should be taken with 1 glass of water when you awake and leave approx an hour before breakfast.

1 like

Hi Shaws

ive just spoken to my surgery s recptionist who have said that when the blood tests were first done on 9/9 it was a big lot and not just relating to thyroid so she cant see exact tsh or t4 but confirmed ferritin was 79 (16-445)

she then checked for the results from 24/11 and feritin was not checked but ts4 was 4.9 (0.27-4.2) and t4 was 11.5 (12-22) t3 was not tested. Shes was really helpful but thats all she could say other than other results within normal range but would need to see doc if I wanted further info. Is this info any use?


Your TSH is still high and your GP should be increasing (maybe already has) to bring it down to around 1 or below depending on how you feel (I hope well).

Many doctors are happy when we reach 'normal' but don't ever take normal as an answer. You have to see the blood test results. For instance B12 may be 'normal' at 180 but the range goes to around 900, so we should be aiming for 900 and not be happy with 180 and so it goes with all the ranges, we should aim towards the top.


Maddy, I've been posting these videos because he explains what is happening with the many issues of low thyroid. It will help educate you regarding many symptoms. They are five minutes long. Other videos to watch are available if you click the youtube icon at bottom right.


Read data sheet that came with the blood pressure meds. Some of the side effects aren't much fun!


Thanks all. I'm not alone!!!

should I be able call the docs and req a print out of my blood results or will I have to book an appointment to see the doctor. Only ask as im now not due back for another three months now.


You just have to pop into the surgery and ask for a print-out and tell them that each time you have a blood test you want a copy to build up a record. Some may want to double-check with doctor but we are entitled to our results. I cannot remember numbers so I always get a print-out. As everything is computerised now, it's quicker getting a print-out rather than copying everything down.


You may also like...