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Thyroid UK
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Hello. I'm new to this. I was diagnosed yesterday with an underactive thyroid. My doctor prescribed me some medication to help with my symptoms, but I haven't had an appointment yet, just the blood tests.

Anyway, I am hopeful that my issues are temporary postpartum hormone problems. I know it might not be the case, but I'm trying to be optimistic! Anyway, my question is; will taking levothyroxine is any way prevent my body regulate itself? If there's a chance my body will cure itself, will the medication interfere with that? Thank you for your help and advice.

18 Replies

Welcome to the forum, KatieBrighton.

Taking Levothyroxine will replace low thyroid hormone. It won't prevent your body from self regulating but I think post partum hypothyroidism would be expected to resolve within 6 months of delivery and if it continues beyond that it is likely be permanent and you will need Levothyroxine for life.

Levothyroxine should be taken with water on an empty stomach one hour before, or two hours after food and drink, two hours away from other medicines and supplements and 4 hours away from iron,calcium, vitamin D and oestrogen. It takes 7/8 days for Levothyroxine to be absorbed and up to 6 weeks to for the starting dose to be metabolised and start working on symptoms although you may notice some improvement in symptoms after a couple of weeks. Symptoms can lag behind good bloods by a couple of months.

You should have thyroid bloods tested 6-8 weeks after starting Levothyroxine in case your dose needs adjusting. Dose adjustments are usually in 25mcg increments. Leave 24 hours between your last dose and blood draw and have the test early in the morning and before breakfast when TSH is highest.



Thank you for your reply. I do understand that there's only a slim chance that my body will sort itself out. If taking the medication won't interfere with that possibility, then I'll go ahead with it I think. Thank you for your advice. I don't feel all that bad, so I didn't want to take anything that will make things worse instead of better!


If you want to keep this temporary, i wouldn't use thyroid hormone as it stops your own production by reducing your TSH.. you may actually feel worse if your dose isn't high enough. How long have you been hypothyroid?


Thanks for your replies. My daughter is 6 months old. After the birth I felt fine, and after a couple of months I had symptoms which may have been hyperthyroidism. Very hot and fast weight loss. A bit jittery and problems sleeping. Then about 8 weeks ago my weight loss stopped and my hair started to fall out. I don't feel too tired, but I have a swollen thyroid. My dr took bloods Monday and gave me medication yesterday. Im 6 1/2 months post partum.


Katie, do you have a copy of the results? It would be handy if you could post them on here so that we can see exactly what he tested. They Don't always do all the right tests. If we could see those results, we'd be better able to help you. :)


Thank you! I don't I'm afraid. Not yet anyway. I telephoned my doc, who sent me for bloods straight away. She rang me the next morning (Tuesday), and told me there was a prescription waiting for me, and I an under active thyroid. I've got an appointment on 1st June. If you have any advice about what I should ask, I'd be very grateful 😀


Well, first of all, you should ask for a print-out of your results. It's a good habit to get into, always ask for it whenever you have a blood test, that way you can track your own progress and know exactly what tests they've done.

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When you get your print outs, post the results plus the ranges, and you will get more specific feedback.x


Ok, just got my print out. My t4 is normal range 10.6. My tsh is 8.96mu/L. At my appointment my gp said that my levels weren't too bad, but they are going to ultrasound my thyroid because it's pretty swollen.


When my TSH was 8.5 and T4 12, I felt awful, very fatigued, cognitive abilities very poor. My thyroid was swollen as was my neck and face, but didn't realise this. Only after taking NDT did the swelling start to go down, fatigue reduced and cognitive abilities improved.

I thought that TSH over 5 with symptoms meant they should refer you to endo. And over 10 without symptoms.

Try to get tested for the following:

1.Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)

2.Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)








10.Vitamin D3




14.basic pituitary hormone function tests.


Thank you. It's strange really that I feel so well. I run regularly and I'm the fittest I've been for years! I shall go back to the doctors with your list, and see what they say. Thank you so much.


That is perplexing that you don't have more symptoms, but I suppose that's why they are more concerned with TSH 10>. However, my GP ignored my 7+ TSH and symptoms of fatigue for years and when it finally reached 8.2, I was unable to do very much, anxiety levels were high, with cognitive abilities very low.

Always worth getting the tests done, just to be on the safe side, and you seem to have quite a good GP who should oblige.


I wonder if you have developed Hashimoto Disease..sure appears that way. Have they tested anti-bodies.


Sorry, I think I've replied to one person. I meant for it to be a general reply!


You can't do a general reply on here. You can only reply to one person at a time, the way you have done. Sorry, about that. :)


Your decision about whether you take medication or not will also be affected by whether you want to have another baby. Being slightly hypo is associated with an increased chance of miscarriage. Also if you start to feel slightly depressed (a common symptom of hypothyroidism) I would personally go for the thyroxine rather than start taking antidepressants, which won't work anyway if the depression is hypo-related. Once you are adequately medicated you do feel generally better in lots of ways.

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This is exactly the situation I'm in. Went hypo while pregnant. Had my daughter in October 2014, went over active feb 2015 then now Im under active again. I really hope mine levels out. I'm having terrible anxiety and depressed. Tired. Do you feel better Katie?


Sorry, I only just noticed your reply. I've just reduced my levothyroxine to 25mcg, it made me jittery and I had palpitations. Feeling better now though. Today I had an ultrasound which revealed I have some nodules. I'm a bit worried about them tbh, the sonographer wouldn't tell me anything. How are you feeling now? I hope your levels even out.


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