Thyroid UK
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I have currently been on Levothyroxine 150mcgs a day for 11 years. For the last 5 years or so i haven't felt any better. I'm tired all the time, even though i get 8 hours sleep every night. I'm very active and like to run. Have just finished a half marathon for charity. But tiredness getting the better of me. My other symptom which i have never managed to control even after seeing a gastro doctor for several years, is constipation. I'm constantly bloated and even with my good diet and exercise struggle to lose weight. I'm not overweight but Ive put on a few pounds over the last few years which i cant shift even though Im running up to 12 miles a week. I walk everywhere too. I have been back and forth to my doctors, and they keep checking my thyroid and saying its fine. I was on 125mcgs up to a few years ago and then they upped to 150. My father has an under active thyroid, as does my Mother & 2 sisters. I also believe so did my gran and several of my aunties, so it definitely runs in our family. I have also recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure (so im on medication for this), and yesterday after being back at docs and having ferritin levels of 16 on two past readings, have now been prescribed iron tablets. I hate taking all this medication. I feel the doctors know nothing about Thyroid disease so they just throw tablets at it. Ive never been given any information as how best to take medicine and food diet etc. I love Cabbage, sprouts and broccoli and eat it with every meal, but reading a website yesterday, it advised staying away from these veg. So if anybody can offer any help, diet advice or anything i would greatly appreciate it. I'm 42 but feel 102.

Thank you

8 Replies


Your ferritin level is far too low and this will cause the tiredness. You need to get your level up, try taking your iron tablet with orange juice as this will boost the iron tablet. I also take a daily vitamin c tablet which helps boost the iron. Make sure you take the iron tablet well away from your thyroid medication. I believe it's 4 hours, I always take my thyroid medication upon waking, on an empty stomach and then take my iron tablet about 11, after I've eaten something.

Do you know what your TSH, t3 and t4 levels currently are? It would help if you could post your results if you know them, it could be you are undermedicated. I had the constipation and bloating when I was under medicated. I've since changed my medication to Armour and I believe this has helped me but equally I am now gluten free and I rarely have bloated days!!

Have you had your vitamin D checked? Many thyroid patients find themselves with low vitamin D levels and this too can cause tiredness.

I hope you start to feel better soon as you sound as though you have a healthy diet and lifestyle, it doesn't seem fair!


Thanks, Ive to start the iron tablets today, according to my doctor though my ferritin isn't too low its that magic word....borderline and she wasn't going to treat it lol. The next time I'm in to see my doctors i will get a copy of my blood results and check to see if Ive had my vitamin D levels checked, and i will post my thyroid results. Thanks again

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Lucky 14, You are right, doctors don't appear to know a lot about thyroid conditions and you need to educate yourself. There are many books, websites and even Facebook support groups. My favourites books are Stop The Thyroid Madness and Your Thyroid and How To Keep It Healthy. I continually dip in and out of these books as they are a great source of reference.

Regarding your poor tummy, did you realise that hypothroidism cause low stomach acid and lead onto many other complications? I suffered IBS until last year when I started on a table spoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water every morning and the difference is huge. I also take a probiotic every day.

If you buy the ACV make sure you get unpasteurised, unfiltered, organic with the 'mother" which contain the magic enzymes.

Very well done for running half a marathon. I don't think I could run a hot bath. LOL.


Thanks this site has made me feel more positive than docs have over 10 years. I suffered really bad with IBS for years. After having my 2 children though this changed to just really bad constipation. But i have heard about Apple Cider Vinegar, so i will try this. And no i didn't realise that hypothyroidism caused low stomach acid. Thanks so much for your help and advise.


Gill is correct, I once went to a natural health clinic to try and get myself better. He told me that you need to "heal your stomach" in order to feel better.

It is very complicated but in simple terms (the only way I understand it!) the low stomach acid leads to absorption problems because the acid in the stomach breaks down our food. We can therefore end up with vitamin deficiencies if the acid isn't breaking down our food properly. I obtained a full blood count through blue horizon medicals which included vitamin and mineral tests. It was discovered that I had vitamin d deficiency and low ferritin. The vitamin d deficiency has similar symptoms as hypothyroidism so it was difficult to work out what was causing all my symptoms.

I once read that acid reflux which is a common symptom with hypothyroid sufferers isn't always due to excess acid but actually low acid in the stomach and there are lots of recommendations for this, one of them Apple cider vinegar.

I embarked on a complete different diet which meant gluten free, took iron and vitamin d tablets (prescribed) and changed medication to Armour. Finally, I feel better and I believe it's been a combination of all of these things.

It's really worth researching how to heal your gut. It is complicated but there are nutritionists that can help.

Equally, there are loads of lovely helpful people on here that can advise.

Sometimes though you can get information overload and you are just not sure what to do for the best. It's a massive jigsaw puzzle trying to rid yourself of symptoms and get yourself into good health.

You are amazing running a marathon! I believe I am in a good place right now but there us no way I could run a marathon!!


Hi, thanks so much for your reply. I ordered the Apple Cider Vinega yesterday, so fingers crossed for that. Going to take a look at my diet and see how different it can make me feel. And I wish I could run a marathon, but alas it was only a half marathon lol. But raised £2000 for the Beatson Cancer Charity so all good. Thank you


You may love cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli, but do they love you??? With every meal sounds excessive. They are what we call goitrogens. Goitrogens impede the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. Without iodine, the gland can't make thyroid hormone. So, it dépends on whether you depend on your gland for any of your hormone, whether they are hurting you or not.

If I were you, I would cut them all out for two or three weeks, and see how you feel. If you Don't feel any better, then put them back into your diet again, one at a time, and see if you feel any worse. But you might find you feel great without them.

Your constipation could be due to low magnesium. Your magnesium is more than likely low - most people's is - and you have the added disadvantage of being hypo, with possible low stomach acid. Try taking some magnesium citrate and see if it helps.

Struggling to lose weight means that your T3 is low. Have you ever had it tested? Possibly not, as labs usually refuse to test it unless the TSH is suppressed (they know nothing about thyroid!!!). However, you really must ask for a print-out of your results every single time you have a blood test. That way you know exactly what they've tested and what the results are - because very often your doctor says 'fine', 'ok' or even 'perfect' when they're far from. That's because doctors know nothing about thyroid.

You need to have your FT4 and FT3 tested to see if you're converting correctly. Bad conversion can be due to several things, but it would be good if you could have some T3 added to your levo to bring the level up.

When you're hypo, weigh-gain has little to do with diet and exercise, except in a negative way. The worst thing you could do to try and lose weight it to go on a low-calorie diet, because you need calories to convert the T4 you're taking, into the T3 that your body needs. Low conversion means getting more hypo, which means putting on more weight. It's unlikely that your weight-gain is actually fat, it's more likely to be water, and dieting isn't going to touch that.

Excessive exercise is even worse. Not only does it use up the calories that you need for conversion, but it also uses up your precious store of T3. And if you haven't got enough to begin with, you are going to become more and more hypo and put on more and more weight! I know it's like talking to a brick wall to tell someone who loves running not to run, lol, but there's your choice : run and be short of T3 or stop running and lose weight.

You need to have all your vits and mins tested - as many as you can - but at the very least, B12, vit D, ferritin, iron and folate. These all need to be at least mid-range - B12 up the top of the range - for you to be able to use the hormone you're taking. B12 deficiency can give you symptoms that are very like low thyroid, and can also cause neurological damage. So, deficiencies need to be supplemented.

I realise it's best to get your nutrients from food, but food has less and less nutrients in it. And if you're hypo, and have low stomach acid, you can't even absorb the little there is. So, whilst a good diet is necessary, it isn't good enough on it's own.

A good diet is very individual. As a general rule, you need plenty of protein, plenty of good fats, fresh fruit and veg (the one's that agree with you, but Don't force yourself to eat things you Don't like on the pretext that it's 'good for you'! lol). Limit your sugars as much as possible. It's sugar that is the enemy, not fat! The two absolute no-nos are soy and artificial sweetners. Apart from that, a little of what you fancy does you good! lol


Wow, thanks for all that. It certainly makes for interesting reading, and I had already decided to cut out the broccoli, cabbage and sprouts. I've never asked for a print out before regarding my bloods, just have always accepted before when docs tell me there all normal. However having seen same new doc twice in the space of 3 weeks, to be told ferritin level was checked last year and was 17, doctor said this was perfectly normal, but she would do another test. This one was 16, again she said perfectly normal. But given how tired and exhausted I have been feeling, prescribed iron tablets. But didn't inform me that these would interfere with the thyroxine and the space out taking them. I have been totally guilty in the past of hearing the words, "totally normal " from my doctors and excepting them, but not anymore. I'm back at doctors for blood pressure check on Thursday and will be asking for a print out of all my last bloods. Which I will then post on here, because I seriously don't have a clue about T3, or T4 never even heard of them until reading in this page. And I've been taking this medication for 11 years. So huge thanks for help and advice I'm receiving. And one last thing, I've always taken artificial sweetness in my tea, coffee, about 5 cups a day. Can't bear the thought of drinking with sugar , sweeter. Any recommendations of something else I could use ? Lol


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