Thyroid UK

Looking for advice - new here - feeling rough!


I'm new to this forum and only found out I was hypothyroid at the beginning of this year. I am hoping for some advice and the benefit of your experience.

I went to see my GP at Christmas because I thought I was anaemic, he ran blood tests and then called me to say I might have an under active thyroid because my TSH was 19 and I should have another blood test in three months.

I was suffering from extreme fatigue so I changed my GP and was put on 50mg of levothyroxine which has since been increased to 75.

Although my blood test results show I am no longer symptomatic: TSH 0.31 (0.35-5.5); free T4 20.1 (10-22.7), I have still being feeling very low and very tired.

My GP tested my iron and vit D and I was found to be deficient in both: Vit D 39 (range N/A); ferritin 17 (10-291).

I have been taking vitamin D and iron supplements for a week but have only felt a slight increase in energy and I cannot shake off a cold which I have had for three weeks.

Does anyone have any ideas how I can boost my immune system (so I don't suffer so badly with colds) and also how I can feel a bit more "normal"? Not sure if I need to just wait a bit longer for the supplements to take effect. Sorry for long post and thanks in advance for any help.

6 Replies

firstly it takes months for ferritin levels to get back to halfway in their range which is whats needed for your body to even utilise the levothyroxine

2nd you need to take the iron plus at least 2000mg of VIT C 4 hours away from the levo

It would be helpful if in the meantime your GP gave you Liothyronine T3 instead of levo as your body cells need T3 in order to function


When do you take Levo? Needs to be at least an hour before breakfast, tea or coffee or if take at bedtime make sure at least two hours after food (or longer if large fatty meal)

Do not take supplements at same time as Levo.

Taking Levo at bedtime can help give better results for some people and means easier to avoid taking with supplements


Thank you very much for your advice. I will ask my GP about Liothyronine - my concern is that while does seem to be trying to get to the bottom of why I feel so awful, her knowledge is clearly limited. She is treating the anaemia and vit D deficiency as if they are separate to my thyroid problem and not linked. I'm wondering if I should ask to be referred to an endo.

I am currently taking levo before breakfast but not leaving an hour before coffee or breakfast - my GP just said take it first and when I asked if I needed to wait before drinking coffee she said no - hence why I think her knowledge is limited.


My (very eminent) NHS endocrinologist recommended trying taking Levo at bedtime, I found this gave improved results for me.


No, Scoopmerchant, your bloods show no such thing. And neither can they. Blood tests are just a guide but Don't always reflect thyroid status. And cannot tell if your still having symptoms. If you still have symptoms, then those levels aren't right for you, and that's all there is to it.

Besides, they Don't do the most important test : FT3. That would give a better indication as to how you're doing. It could very well be that although you have a decent level of T4 in your blood, you aren't able to convert it very well to the active T3. Very few doctors know thaat - in fact very few doctors know anything about thyroid - and yours obviously knows nothing at all if she says that your bloods say you have no symptoms! That's just silly. :)

So, I'm afraid we have to read and read all we can to make up for our doctors' ignorance. And, if they refuse to do the right tests, we have to have them done privately. You need that FT3 tested. You also need to test vit D, vit B12, folate, iron and ferritin. If those aren't optimal, your body won't be able to absorb and convert the Levo you're taking.

How long have you been on the 75 mcg dose? Did your doctor tell you to go back for a test in six weeks after the increase? If not, then go back anyway and ask for a test. Don't take your Levo for 24 hours before the test, get the test as early as possible - before 9 am - and Don't have breakfast before the test, because that will lower the TSH.

As Slowdragon says, you should take it an hour before eating or drinking anything but water - or two hours after - 2 hours before any suppléments, and four hours away from iron, calcium and estrogen.

Asking for Liothyronine is a good idea, but it's very doubtful that your doctor would prescribe it. Most of them Don't know what it is, and Don't like prescribing because it's very expensive. But, if it turns out that you need it, you could buy it yourself.


Thank you so much Slowdragon and Grey Goose. I will ask my GP for a referral to see an endo. Going to bed at 6.30pm isn't exactly compatible with looking after two small children! Slowdragon, I don't suppose you live in London do you? If not, is there a way to find out about endocrinologists who've been recommended by people on this forum?

Also Grey Goose, where do you do most of your reading about this condition? Thanks


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