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Thyroid UK
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What is wrong with me?!

I have various symptoms and not sure what to think is wrong with me. Obviously I've been to my GP and she's lovely but I just feel worse and worse.

If I list my symptoms maybe you can help me?

I have an under active thyroid, recently tested again. Results were serum free T4 level 16.9 (range 12.00 to 22.00) and serum TSH level 0.46 (range 0.3 to 4.2). I am currently taking 125 levothyroxine.

I am also on an anti depressant called sertraline, just been upped to 200 mg from 150.

Also taking HRT, been on that for about 18 months.

So symptoms are ;

Extreme tiredness


Very sparse eyebrows

Feel cold

Feel hot

Weight gain


Sleep during the day

Bad sleep at night

Knees hurting

Bruise easily

Occasional tingling in hand

Bad headaches

Last few days felt sick


Poor memory (nearly forgot that one!)

I'm sure there are others that don't come to mind at the moment

Would appreciate any advice, thanks x

32 Replies

simple your totally unable to utilise the T4 in levothyroxine and convert it into the T3 your cells need to function

Anti depressants simply make matters worse

you need tests for

Free t3 ............needs to be in upper quadrant of its range




Vit D3

all of these last 4 MUST BE halfway in their ranges ...NOT just in range

D102gene is another possible reason but NHS wont test for that


Thank you. Nice and simple explanation! When you say anti depressants make things worse do you mean that they make it even harder for the T4 to be utilised?

Hope to get my blood results tomorrow or Tuesday, not entirely sure which ones they did! I know they did one for cortisol.

Thanks so much for your reply


anti depressants are hell to get on and hell to get off and they only give them top you in an effort to shut you up

adding more chemicals into the body is senseless

you may need just T3 alone

You may need T4 +T3

You may need NDT

You may have vitamin deficiencies

You may be coeliac or gluten sensitive

with our help you should be able to find answers to what are clearly hypothyroid symptoms


I have just started taking some good quality vits/mins. Only yesterday!

Thank you very much. You seem to be very knowledgeable. It's great to talk to someone who understands and who knows what they're talking about!

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Sue, do you mean a multi-vitamine? That's not a terribly good idea at the moment, because you really need to get them tested before supplementing. If you start the supplementaion first, it will skew the results.

You need to get vit D, vit B12, folate, iron and ferritin tested, minimum. They all need to be optimal for you to be able to use the hormone you're taking. So, vit B12 should be over 500 - preferably 900+, and the rest should be at least mid-range.

The tingling in your hand tells me you could well be B12 deficient. In which case you would need about 7000 mcg a day to raise it, depending on how low it was. You would not get enough in a multi-vitamin to do anything. Same goes for other nutrients. Multi-vitamins just Don't contain enough of anything to treat a deficiency.

Plus, the B12 should be methylcobalamin and not cynocobalamin, as most multi-vits contain. And you should take it with a B complex to keep the Bs balanced.

You will more than likely be vit d deficient, too. In which case you should supplement with vit D3 (multi-vits often contain D2) and add in about 350 magnesium and a little zinc.

But do stop the multi now, and get tested first. And I agree with the others, anti-depressants and HRT make it more difficult for you to absorb and convert your levo. And it's more than likely that your depression and/or anxiety is due to low T3, and you Don't need an anti-depressant. Doctors are just so ignorant!

Hugs, Grey


Hello sueoathall,

There are numerous reasons why thyroid meds don't always work as they should and reallyfedup has listed many.

It is important to take your pill on an empty stomach with a glass of water, 1 hour before food, 2 hours before supplements and 4 hours before calcium, iron or vit D supplements for complete absorption.

All the symptoms that sertraline address such as anxiety, depression and mood swings could be caused by a thyroid hormone imbalance.

You should ask your doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist. He will be able to perform complete thyroid hormone tests that would give a clearer picture of what is going on?



Thanks flower, no one has told me about those timings.


B12 deficiency is often found alongside hypothyroidism. b12d.org for more info. Another really well researched site for many health difficulties is: mercola.com Some anti depressants contain substances that adversely effect thyroid health. Cut out sugar and grains as much as possible - good luck :-)

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When will the NHS learn and act on the fact that we need a FT3 result to know what is happening. It could be something simple like not taking enough to something more complex and not converting properly. I kept hitting a brick wall and decided to supplement and was told not to. I ignored that and my stats have improved and suddenly it's ok to take vitamins etc! Now trying to convince I'm still not the complete article! It shouldn't be such a battle. Oh to be treated for the cause and not the myriad of symptoms!

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I have just read your post, can you please tell me what suppliments did you take as I don't know which ones to buy thankyou.


Not sure if I'm taking things that are any good judging by some of the replies! Will let you know later.hope to get my blood results today or tomorrow.X


If you scroll up a little you will see a piece on vitamins written by greygoose which is basically the same as I take plus magnesium. Magnesium you wont overdose on as it will give you diarrhoea! But having said that introduce it very slowly are than could well give you the same problem! Think I started with half a tablet at first and slowly increased it. The oxide doesn't do much, you would be better off with the citrate. Get tested for the ones you can get tests for first to give you an idea how depleted you are. Some people prefer one brand over another but as is said earlier you don't get anywhere near enough in a multivitamin. Just to make sure you are not sensitive to any of them, maybe the fillers or coating I should introduce one at a time. Don't think it matters where you start but I took one for a week then added another and so on. Don't forget you want to be aiming for an optimum level, not just scraping into the bottom end of the range. It took me several months before I noticed an improvement but I imagine that varies on how depleted you are.


I couldn't agree with you more! If our doctors would spend half as much time trying to find the root cause of problems, rather than treating corresponding symptoms to permit them to see more patients, healthcare in this country would be in much better shape. However, in light of the money and/or freebies that medical professionals are making promoting or prescribing certain pharmaceuticals, I doubt seriously that we will see much of a change any time soon. People need to start asking their healthcare providers when they're going to start treating the causes of health problem instead of merely masking the symptoms with a pill or shot. Unfortunately at the present time I'm not really too optimistic knowing the tremendous amount of money the pharmaceutical industries are making. They have what are probably some of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington. It's sad that people's health comes in right behind lining the pockets of our politicians.

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Hi, sorry you are feeling so poorly.

Firstly HRT can block thyroid hormone and so do antidepressants so your T4 sounds as though it could be being wiped out by the other medications. I don't like T4 on its own and prefer T4/T3 combination or natural thyroid hormone if you can tolerate it as everyone is different. What age are you please? Menopause?

I went through similar and when I found out that these other preparations were interfering with my thyroid hormone I gradually stopped them. I was lucky I had a private doctor that told me all this. Get your thyroid balanced first and then see how you feel.

Depression for no reason can be an indication of low thyroid in the cells and by taking antidepressants you can lower your thyroid status even more.


Thanks guys, very informative. I'm 55 and am going through the menopause


I'm menopausal too sueoathall.

Disrupted thyroid hormones can effect us physically and psychologically and then to have disrupted sex hormones on top can make us feel a whole lot worse. Just believe you will get better once everything balances.

I find reading books on these subjects helps as knowledge is power and will allow you to make informed choices.

I hope you feel better soon


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Generally - You should always take thyroxine on empty stomach and not eat for at least an hour after

Some endocrinologists now suggest trying taking thyroxine at bedtime - can give better absorption as takes longer to travel through at night. (Worked better for myself)

Also easier at bedtime if you are taking other medications in the day that should be kept apart from thyroxine.

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Apart from the good advice that others have suggested, being stressed does not help. Are you doing anything to try to reduce it? Depending on how long you have been stressed and to what degree your adrenals may be weak and not producing sufficient hormones which could give you some of the symptoms. The one off, random cortisol test that mainstream doctors does not tell you the amount of cortisol that your adrenals produce throughout the day. A saliva test involves 4 samples and test DHEAs is best. You can find out more about it here:


Although fixing your thyroid could relieve most, if not all, your symptoms it's not a good idea to take thyroid hormones if your adrenals can't cope. It's like flogging a dead horse.

I do hope you will feel better soon.


Carpal tunnel syndrome is also a symptom of hypothyroidism and feels like tingling in the fingers. I had it more in one hand than the other & ultimately had an operation on the bad hand to prevent permanent nerve damage.

The info pack from Thyroid UK (cost less than £10) is invaluable, so much helpful information & I've bought three books from their recommended reading list. Through that I found I have Hashimoto's disease, & just stopping gluten & tea (fluoride) has TRANSFORMED my life. I have energy, depression has lifted, & foggy brain has gone.

Good luck!


You sound like me 3 years ago. I got off the Levi which clearly didn't touch the symptoms but did fix the bloods. I now take NDT gave up wheat and dairy. It's a long process. Private message me and I will share my whole experience. This is All thyroid.

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Redditch, I think many would appreciate hearing about your journey especially when you realized that levothyroxine was discovered not to work for you. Some doctors feel that no one should take T4 as it is not a legitimate hormone nor medication.


Sue, if you have time, this is an excellent tutorial about how hormones must be looked at holistically.

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A brilliant video! It all makes so much sense. Thank you so much for sharing x

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Thanks everyone.very helpful X


please have an x-ray done on your cervical spine. if you have any reversal of lordosis (reversal of cervical spine) this can cause bulging or herniated discs, or even just compression of nerves that feed the thyroid. you can eat right, exercise, and take all the perfect supplementation and/or medication in the world - but if those nerves feeding your thyroid are compressed, then your thyroid is compromised. if you show any reversal of cervical spine curve or disc bulging or herniations, you need to get treatment immediately. qualified chiropractors, osteopaths, physiatrists, physical therapists, etc, can help you correct this within a reasonable amount of time.


I agree with really fed up and Grey..but think if you don't convert well, t3 is the best option, alone or with a little t4, but that is not a necessity. What type of hormone replacement are you on? Is it bioidentical creams, made from a compounding pharmacy? If not, they really aren't safe. I also agree that anti depressants, in your condition, are a real insult and your doctor does not recognize hypothyroid symptoms, as most don't and will leave you ill.


Hi all I've eventually got my blood results. I've just re read all your posts and noted down the info. My results seem to be at the low end of the ranges, which you've told me is bad. They should be at least midway apparently. So here's my results, comments welcome!

Vito D 25th total serum (GWYR) 25 hydroxy vitamin D serum 59 nmol/L. Range 50 -120

Cortisol serum GWYR, cortisol level 319 nmol/L range 171- 536

B12/foliate level GWYR serum vitamin B12 365pg/ml. Range 197-866

Serum foliate 7.2ng/ml Range 4.6 -18.7

They also did bone profile. Is this relevant? They are low too.

I don't understand a lot of the above, any explanations would be great. Thank you.

P.s I'm seeing a random doctor at my surgery on Monday because I can't get an appointment with my own doctor for 3 weeks!!!


Sue, it would be better to post the results in a new question for advice. Updates are easily missed unless someone spots them on Newsfeed. Include the bone profile results too.


Okay thanks


I have found time and time again that the anti depressants make me worse . I have told my doctors point blank that I refuse to take any more or to try any others. I will gladly go for counselling and am waiting to start. It is no good swapping one problem for another. Some of those pills cause enough side effects of their own to be seriously debilitating. I am otherwise in pretty much the same situation as yourself so can offer you no other advice. I feel frustrated and angry too and physically have been in a downward spiral for the last 5/6 years. I am 48 years old. Do you feel better or worse since the start of taking anti depressants and HRT? If not and you have been taking them for more than six months then personally i would recommend that you speak to your Doctor about weaning off of those drugs being clean for a while to see what your normal state is like and then reintroducing different anti depressants if needed but the success rate of those pills is only about 2% higher than for counselling. Of course there is no waiting list for the drugs! Good luck and keep fighting.


Thanks for your reply. I've started taking the T3 and am feeling better. I've come of the HRT and may reduce and then stop the anti depressants. Will see how things go


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