Weather affected

Hi, I am convinced that over the years my hypothyroid is affected by weather, i.e. far worse in the winter, does anyone else feel the same? Also I feel at my best during the winter months when I am immersed in a very hot bath, it seems to help the immediate symptoms, in fact there is no pain when I am in the hot bath, now yesterday my endo said that was nothing to do with my hypothyroid, does anyone else feel like me???

36 Replies

Many people find it necessary to increase their dose in winter. It stands to reason that we are using more thyroid hormone trying to stay warm. I am better in summer and I try to vary my dose accordingly. As for a long hot bath in winter - absolute bliss and sometimes the only way to thaw out my constantly cold feet!

I have invested in an electric under-blanket this winter - bliss!

I totally agree, but my endo said that was ridiculous, it doesn't work that way! :(

May your endo's thyroid pack it in. Mwahahaha!

The people who work at the South Pole Station are routinely tested for thyroid function during the polar winter. They are provided with hormone replacement because the constant lack of sun causes a reduction in thyroid function. Clearly the doctors and scientists and engineers who work there know something your endo does not. phooey!

That bad, bad, sun again :)

Spare, I think we, on this forum, do a lot more reading and studying on this topic than most of the doctors because our lives depend on it. They learn what they learn during training, maybe pick up a few bits of new information at conferences, maybe they dedicate a few minutes every year to check new material in journals and that's it. Most of them coast along on whatever they remember from school. It's really sad when people's lives depend on the doctor's knowledge base. Most don't collate the necessary information to be able to treat the patients intelligently. In your country and mine, the government puts limits on what can be tested. There is no comprehensive system to ensure that patients are provided with the proper analysis of their situations.

Very true! and very sad! :( Before I saw him this week I felt like my body was shutting down little by little and he just told me I was ignorant to the way of endocrinology, he even called the Rheumatoid specialist into the room to tell me I had Rheumatoid arthrits and I could have steroid injection there and then which would solve my problems, needless to say I refused, but these people are playing god with our health and there is nothing we can do about it.

Rheumatoid arthritis is not 'one joint' 'one shot'. So I don't get that. A steroid shot is good for an injured joint but generalized autoimmune disease? Nah.

That's interesting, I will tell my endo, because when I told him about my thyroid condition being worse in winter he said "that is nonsense, that would mean that people in cold countries have more incidences of hypothyroidism and that is not the case".

Your doctor is entirely out of it. When I lived here in Toronto, I had a goitre. 6 weeks later, living at latitude 7 degrees north of the equator, the goitre was gone. Photographs of my face show a huge change. I looked like I was a bagged out 35 year old in Toronto. I looked like an 18 year old 6 weeks later. I was 23 years old at the time.

Toronto has the same latitude as Rome. Heaven's sake. And you are even further north. I lived in Plymouth for a while and it was not the best time of my life. By then I was taking T4. Imagine moving from close to the equator to England in winter when the sun barely cleared the rooftops.........omg. Toronto is bad but not that bad.

I have a friend who lives near Fairbanks, Alaska. He has to increase his T4 dose during the winter. Latitude 65 degrees north.

Hi gabkad you made me laugh right from the belly. It would be amazing for these very unsympathetic GPs and endos to develop this aweful disease. Maybe they would then get the idea if how we feel and what happens to our bodies. Until they experience for them selves we don't have a hope in hell. :-) :-) :-)

My endo said to me Friday, if it was my mother feeling like you I would strongly advise against buying T3 and would seriously suggest steroid treatment for RA! I sincerely hope his mother never feels half as bad as I did that day!

Hi yes so agree. Thing is if it was his mother once she told him how bad she felt he would soon listen. X :-)

Yes you are probably right, we need the family members of these doctors to be ill with this disease before anything can be changed within the profession.

I wonder which way it IS supposed to work - a drug deficiency?

[steps on soapbox]

Sun & Vit D (a secosteroid) are very underestimated.... & "more research is needed" - who's going to fund research if the problem is just not enough sun? Holiday companies? Drug companies? Rickets or osteoporosis groups? the sun-god Ra?

if it wasn't for the ability to use sunshine we wouldn't have even been able to leave the sea.... ribbet.... :D

[steps off soapbox] Jane :D

Think there is an article on Grassrootshealth about their campaign to increase the RDA to 7000 IU's. Had a Newsletter the other day.... Hope you have had a good weekend :-) x

I agree but I was just looking for another article I read about Vit D being a secosteroid - so shouldn't be supplemented continually... Sunshine is fine 'tho!.. I posted a link.... (can't remember where the weekend went!) J :D

Thank you I found that very helpful. Think you should post it as a Topic for D users to read.... :-) In fact the whole site is interesting and gives the opposing information on D for certain conditions....

Your Endocrologist is another who needs a refresher course from people who know what they're doing.

Yes, there is a difference and should be in the dose in winter and in summer (if weather is very hot). If we feel cold in winter we need more and less in summer. If you have pain, you are underdosed.

What are your latest blood test results, with the ranges. Post for comments.

My latest blood tests were disappointing because the doctor thinks I am normal and there is nothing wrong with my thyroid despite the lethargy, all over pain, coldness, constipation etc etc. Anyway my TSH was in normal range I didn't bother asking what the actual result was because it is always in the normal range with me and has been for many years. My T3 was 5.7 in a range of 4.1 to 6.8 and my T4 was 10.1 in a range of 11 to 22. My problem is definitely non conversion. But I have based my diagnosis of my own condition on the following information found on the NAH site.

There is a direct inverse correlation between CRP and reduced tissue T3 (112,270), so individuals with elevated CRP (greater than 3 mg/l) or other inflammatory cytokines will have a significant reduction in cellular T3 levels. The suppression of intracellular T3 levels correlates with the degree of elevation of CRP, despite serum thyroid tests being “normal” (112,270). Thus, if any inflammation is present, which is found in numerous clinical and subclinical conditions (as above), the body will have lower cellular T3 levels that are often inadequate for optimal functioning; but the pituitary will have increased levels of T3, resulting in a lowering of the TSH that would potentially be inappropriately interpreted as an indication of “normal” thyroid levels.

Yep! Love my bath. Having one almost every night at the moment as it's the only place I feel warm all the way through! My heated blanket is also my new best friend. I dread winter & have actually developed 'cold fear'❄️⛄️ I carry a hot water bottle everywhere with me. Have read in lots of articles that our thyroid levels are affected by the seasons but doctors don't seem to mention this or suggest that you adjust your medication accordingly. Roll on summer☀️ & happy bathing!

Definitely only way to warm up properly, as hot as possible for me (with a handful of epsom salts).

February is a dismal month - springtime is just round the corner! J :D

PS Vikkiod how did you do the little snowman & sun?

Do Epsom salts help?

Yes, well for me anyway - came as a surprise 'tho - always thought it a fluffy nonsense/bath accessory ...

but it's actually magnesium, which is often low for us, and helps vit D work (with & K2 & Vit A). If you ate it it's the old 'dose of salts' - too much and you get dire rear. I re-discovered it awhile back reading a supplement for horses called "moody mare" - still giggle about who I'd give that to... (multiple-choice question/answer) after I'd tried it first of course...

I was told - I forget who by as I do - to bathe first with a (decadent) bath bomb (bicarb takes out toxins) followed by Epsom salts - for at least a ½ hour to absorb mg (I ex-foliate with it). After all the biggest organ is your skin - then liver... J :D

Best detoxification organ is your skin so bathing in Epsom salts has detoxifying effect! Magnesium can be best absorbed through food and drink, but, if deficient magnesium supplementation is acceptable in citrate form. Also Himalayan salt is best for use on food or as taken in sole form, sole is a solution made with pure water and Himalayan salt, if you place a piece of Himalayan salt in a jar with pure water and wait for complete saturation, this is called sole solution, take a teaspoon a day in a glass of water and this will give you lots of minerals needed for the body!

84 minerals (more than an animal salt-lick)- French gironde wet seasalt a close second - picked it so know it's real...

wanna borrow my hymn book to spread the word? :D

Been using Himalayan salt for 10 years in many ways, it's the best! :)

Folk have been scared off salt almost as much as butter and sunshine!

This just shows the complete ignorance of some Endos, resulting from poor training I presume. Its elemental that the thyroid is under more stress in cold weather. One of the thyroid's jobs is to keep you warm!!! There's loads of literature about it. My recent bad health has been a direct result of getting cold.

I totally agree, but when he said that to me I was just gobsmacked and didn't quite know what to say back. Very annoying these people who have power over our health are less knowledgeable that we are!!!

Just replaced bath with a shower before I was diagnosed!

I stand in the shower for ages and ages on hottest temp. my husband gets cross because I fill the bath room with so much steam and the water is dripping down the walls. Sorry but a girls got to get warm.

Totally agree, doesn't it make such a huge difference, at my worst I was having three baths a day and my body temp was so low when I first got in that the water was pretty cool within ten minutes so I had to top up with more hot and if I was in for more than 20 minutes I had to top up more than once!

I definitley feel worse in the winter. It is a combination of lack of sun and cold temperatures. I am waiting for latest bloods results but i think they will tell me that I should increase my levo by 25mcg during winter months. The previous 2 winters we went away to the sun in January and I deffo felt much better.

There is an old paper (unfortunately in Japanese) which studied the adaptation of rats to cold. They concluded that if rats were warm-adapted then to adapt them to cold meant using a lot more T4 in the early stages, but when they became cold adapted over time their T4 needs were reduced. In modern day houses we live in warm conditions, and when going out into the cold, have to quickly adapt in the short term whilst out, then returning to warmth afterwards. So there can be no longterm cold adaptation but only fluctuating short term. So in such situations, people of T4 may need a little more in winter for this reason.

Paper summary below:

Hokkaido Igaku Zasshi. 1975 Jul;50(4):387-92.

[Role of thyroid hormone in cold adaptation. 1. Requirement of thyroxine during the course of cold acclimation as estimated by noradrenaline sensitivity (author's transl)].

[Article in Japanese]

Honma K.


The amount of thyroxine required for the development and maintenance of cold acclimation was investigated in the rat. Warm-adapted thyroidectomized rats could not survive at 5 degrees C. When thyroxine was replaced, these rats could survive and responded to noradrenaline with increased oxygen consumption in proportion to the dose of replaced thyroxine. Judged from the amount of thyroxine in thyroidectomized rats necessary to restore noradrenaline sensitivity to the same level as seen in intact controls, 30 degrees C-adapted rats were found to require 3.3 mug thyroxine/100 g b.w./day, while 5 degrees C-adapted rats required only 1.2 mug. It is concluded that the amount of thyroxine necessary to produce cold acclimation is much larger than that for the maintenance of cold acclimation.

All I know is that a very full, very hot and very bubbly bath is something I enjoy several times a week. Nothing aches, nothing twitches, nothing hurts - and I just gently cook.

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