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Thyroid UK
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Hello all. Newly diagnosed (I think??)

Hi everyone.

I'd just like some advice on what to expect and what to do next please.

For the past 3 or 4 months I've had symptoms, weight gain, tiredness, foggy brain, carpal tunnel, aches and pains, puffy scratchy eyes, always cold. Then more recently my fingers and feet started to swell, tiredness got worse, I felt down, don't know that I could class it as depressed, just generally ill.

I went to the docs thinking I was maybe anemic (irregular heavy periods) he sent me for bloods on the Wed and Fri the receptionist rang to tell me my thyroid results were 'abnormal' and I should pick up and start taking meds the next morning (100mg levothyroxine )

She said the doc wants to see me again in a month, which is now just over a week away.

Since I've started the meds I have noticed a slight improvement in most things, not quite as tired, brain fog is a bit better, I'm happier, carpal tunnel is almost completely gone, muscle aches are much better but joints still painful, still cold all the time, been taking my temp over the last few days and it's usually between 35 and 36, I have odd days where my eyes are scratchy but not all the time now. Just generally slightly improved in almost everything.

What I want to know is what should I expect when I go back to gp? Should I ask what my levels are? How long before I feel better better rather than just a bit better? Are my meds likely to be adjusted and how long does it normally take to get levels right?

Just generally what should I be doing now? Any advice would be much appreciated,

Thanks in advance ☺

1 Reply

Welcome to the forum, Rachel35a.

It takes 7-8 days for Levothyroxine to be absorbed before it starts working and 6-8 weeks to metabolise and start relieving symptoms so it's good that you are already experiencing some improvement.

Leave 24 hours between your last dose of Levothyroxine and your blood draw. If your TSH is still high your GP will increase your dose. It's good practice to ask for the results and the lab ref ranges so you can monitor your progress and post the results in a new question if you have any queries.

Most people on Levothyroxine are comfortable with TSH just above or below 1.0 with FT4 in the top 75% of range and FT3 half way through to the top third of range. Dose adjustments are usually in 25mcg increments. It is likely to take several months before you are optimally dosed and all your symptoms resolve but you should feel gradual improvement as your thyroid levels improve. I found that symptoms lagged behind good biochemistry by 7-8 weeks.

For maximum absorption Levothyroxine should be taken with a glass of water on an empty stomach one hour before, or two hours after, food and drink, 2 hours away from other medication and supplements and 4 hours away from iron, calcium, vitamine D and oestrogen.

Hypothyroid patients are often deficient/low in ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate. Low levels can cause musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms. Ask your GP to test them when you have your next thyroid blood test.


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