Hi i am new to this site, i was recently diagnosed with under active thyroid and began treatment of 100mg of LEVOTHYROXINE and having my 1st bloods took on the 8th of august. I was not giving any real explanation of my condition other than my doctor said i have it very severe and maybe had this condition for few years without my knowing it?which i was slightly annoyed as i have had blood tests done in the last few years to establish if i was going through menopause as that is what i suspected. I have been looking at various forums and i am very confused to what the t3 t4 etc all mean? could someone please advise on what my long term treatment may involve please?

10 Replies


    Take a look around the main website of Thyroid UK and hopefully your questions will be answered.

    Ooops - Welcome to the forum :-)

  • thank you Marz

  • You are welcome - happy reading :-)

  • Welcome to the forum, UKlady47.

    Hypothyroidism is a life long condition so you will require daily Levothyroxine hormone replacement for life. Levothyroxine is also referred to as thyroxine and often abbreviated to T4.

    For maximum absorption Levothyroxine should be taken with water on an empty stomach, one hour before, or two hours after, food and drink. Take it 2 hours away from other medication and supplements and, four hours away from iron, calcium, vitamin D and oestrogen.

    When the pituitary gland detects low thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) it increases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to prompt the thyroid gland to produce more hormone. When there is sufficient circulating hormone TSH is reduced. So, high TSH and low T4 and T3 means the patient is hypothyroid.

    Blood tests measure TSH, Free T4 (FT4) and Free T3 (FT4). The 'free' means the T4 and T3 are unbound to proteins and FT4 and FT3 is the amount of hormone available for the body to use. When levels are normal the patient's blood levels are described as euthyroid. Euthyroid status for most people is when TSH is just above or below 1.0 with FT4 in, or near, the top quadrant of the reference range and FT3 over half way through range.

    You should have blood tests 6-8 weeks after starting Levothyroxine and 6-8 weeks after any dose adjustment to check levels. Always take your Levothyroxine after your blood draw. It's good practice to ask for a printout of your results with the lab ref ranges (the figures in brackets after your results) as you can track your progress and can post the results and ranges for comment and advice.

    Dose adjustments are usually in 25mcg increments so it can take months to become optimally dosed and it may take a couple of months after bloods are good before remaining symptoms resolve.

    These links may inform you further:

  • thank you clutter for your advice and information. I am due my first blood tests early next month so i will be sure to ask for print out and ask for more information on this condition. I was not aware of the full impact this condition was and quite relieved to get a diagnosis as i thought it was just all in my head and maybe going through the menopause.

  • Also, when having your test, make sur it's as early in the morning as possible, befor 9.0 am. And don't have breakfast before the test, just water. :)

  • UKlady, Hypothyroidism can disrupt your normal cycle. When you are optimally medicated on Levothyroxine your cycle will probably normalise.

  • my appointment is 3.30pm...:(

  • You must change it to 9a.m. or earlier when the tsh is at its highest. xx

  • When I was menopausal (pre-internet and google) nobody mentioned thyroid problems and I couldn't tolerate HRT. I found the Women's Nutritional Advisory Service (sorry they don't exist any more). They recommended supplements and dietary improvements which sorted me out pretty well for several years.

    What I'm trying to say is - make sure your nutrition is as good as you can get it. You may have to find a nutritionist as most doctors have negligible training in nutrition and don't realise how important it is. When your GP does a full blood test it hardly includes any vitamins and minerals.

    My nutritional doctor said that if you get the nutrition right any medical problems will present more clearly as it's not being confused by nutritional deficiencies. He also said that mothers can get deficiencies because each baby in the womb takes what it needs and the mother is left deficient.

    Learn as much as you can and come back here for further advice. There are some useful books recommended on the ThyroidUK website.

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