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Thyroid UK
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Recently diagnosed Underactive thyroid

Hi all, I would be really grateful for your advice. The past few years I've been suffering with really painful joints which has steadily got worse. It's now keeping me awake at night :-( I had some blood tests and was diagnosed with 'borderline' underactive thyroid. I started taking 50mg levothyroxine a week or so ago. how long does it take for the symptoms to subside? The pain is unbearable! It also seems a bit strange to me that I am borderline but I am showing such significant symptoms. Do the hormone levels fluctuate causing intermittent bouts of pain or could this be something else? All my other blood tests for arthritis etc were normal.

I have another blood test due in a couple of weeks and I feel I need to ask my Drs a lot more questions!

Any advice you have is gratefully received!

5 Replies

Welcome Louise

I am sorry you now have hypothyroidism and I completely understand your pain as I had the same happen to me. 50mcg is a starting dose and you should have a blood test in 4 to 6 weeks and go back and complain that you are worse. Can you have an increase? If he does another blood test for your thyroid gland also ask for Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate and do not take levo before the test, take it afterwards as it can skew your thyroid hormone results. Vit 12 etc we are usually deficient and can cause problems themselves. If he doesn't do a thyroid one still ask for the vitamins, etc.

Too low a dose can have the effect of making us feel worse with symptoms we may not have had before.

Always get a print-out for your own records and so that you can post for comments. The print-out must also state the ranges as labs differ.

Always have the blood test as early as possible, not taking levo until after the blood test as it will skew results if you take it before. Always take levo with one glass of water on rising and don't eat for around 1 hour as some foods interfere with the uptake.

We have to take matters into our own hands if we want to get better or very much improved and to do that we need an efficient thyroid hormone which makes us feel well and we need to read and learn. Most do well on levo but it has to be at an optimum dose for the patient. We are all different but many feel better when TSH is around 1 or below, some need it suppressed.

1 like

That's brilliant, thanks for your help


I'm sorry you are having so much pain. Do you know your blood results?

It will take 4-6 weeks so you will have to wait and see and get your blood tested again around that time. Also you don't know if 50mcg is enough for your body so it can take a long time to find the right dose for you.

Did you get your vitamin D checked? This is often low and can cause joint pain.


I'm not sure of my blood test results, my GP said the thyroid came back as borderline but my antibody count was through the roof, if I remember correctly possibly 1000+?? But I must confess to being completely ignorant to what all this means - Forums like this are certainly helping though! I think I need to go back to my GP armed with a bit more knowledge and then I can ask the right questions. I'll certainly ask for the blood tests relating to vitamin deficiency. Fingers crossed I'm on the road to recovery :-)


If you get all the pieces of the puzzle then you can start solving it.

Ask a copy of your blood results, that is really important.


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