Feeling confused?

Hello all,

I'm happy that I've found this resource at last! Hopefully some of you can help me out :-)

I was diagnosed about five years ago with an underactive thyroid but, in truth, I was young and didn't pay attention to it because I didn't realise the seriousness of the condition. I carried on and with hindsight I now realise that I was up-and-down, both physically and mentally.

However, I just thought it was a normal part of life - like everyone else - and carried on trying to 'tough it out'. It was only in February this year when I had a new blood test done and the doctor called me in quick to inform me that my TSH was 80. To say I was shocked was a bit of an understatement, but also a relief as it explained a few things.

I was placed on thyroxine - 50mg - and I've been on it for a while but I've now been informed after my recent check up that I now have to take 100mg.

I'm not going lie, I feel quite scared in a lot of ways. I'm a bloke, which is unusual for hypothyroidism, and I've been feeling good so to double my dose seems like a big escalation. When people ask me about my condition I find it hard to explain and get quite frustrated.

Normally, I'm quite a good humoured fella but it is starting to play on my mind.

Does anyone have any advice about their experiences and what you did? It just feels like a relief to share my thoughts with like-minded people.

Thanks for reading in advance :-)

8 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum, Blando.

    Hypothyroidism is 10 x more likely to affect women thanks to hormonal fluctuations in puberty, pregnancy and menopause, but it is common in men too. We have quite a few male members on the forum. It is a treatable condition but it takes time until you are optimally dosed and its not uncommon for symptoms to lag a couple of months behind good biochemistry.

    TSH 80 is very high but there's nothing alarming about your dose being doubled from 50mg to 100mg. 50mg is a low dose, replacement has to be slow and gradual to avoid precipititating an adrenal crash. Your TSH must still be quite high and 100mcg should considerably reduce it but you may need further adjustment so have a follow up thyroid test in 6-8 weeks to check levels. Leave 24 hours between last dose and blood draw.

    Thyroid dysfunction can trash our vitamins and minerals so ask your GP to test ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate. Low/deficient levels are common in thyroid patients and symptoms can be very similar to hypothyroid symptoms. Get into the habit of asking for a printout of results with the lab ref ranges rather than relying on your GP saying results are fine or normal. 'Normal' just means 'within range', usually a broad range, which is rarely optimal.

    The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status and for most people this will be when TSH is just above or below 1.0.

    For maximum absorption take Levothyroxine with water on an empty stomach, 1 hour before, or two hours after, food and drink, 2 hours away from other medication and supplements and, 4 hours away from iron, vitamin D and calcium.

    Thyroid controls metabolism and temperature. Hypothyroidism slows metabolism and it feels like you're driving a car on an empty tank. There are hundreds of symptoms but common are carpal tunnel syndrome, loss of body and head hair, crushing fatigue, musculoskeletal pain and muscle weakness, low temperature, constipation, weight gain, low mood/depression and intolerance to cold or heat. As the Levothyroxine starts working the symptoms will improve.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

  • That is the best way anyone has described it to me yet. Thank you :-)

  • Blando, you might find this article interesting health.usnews.com/health-ne...

  • My husband is hypothyroid as are my daughter and 3 grandaughters

    you really do have to take hypothyroid very seriously and get the right medicationand the right levels

    toughing it out is crazy because everything will go wrong and it takes far longer to get well

  • We men are a minority here and you will read much about female specific problems,much of it leading to wondering what the NHS is about.

    I was diagnosed just over 12 months ago when my TSH was 102 . Started on 50mg,then 100,and now 125. The docs diagnose by blood results not on how you feel which is one of the major complaints about our diagnosis and treatment.

    My one reservation from what you say ,is that you feel fine on 50 so why take more?

    Maybe after a while you would detiorate. It is difficult to get an increase when your blood results say you are in range.Easier to take less if you have an adverse effect after increasing.

    You should post your latest blood results with the ranges for forum folk to comment.

  • I will, Treepie, thanks for your comments. That'll be in about six weeks so will keep posted.

  • Funnily enough in my village i know more hypothyroid men than women

  • Lol. Most people I know who have spoken to me about it tend to know someone with hyperthyroidism instead...

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