Interesting question about my friend

Hi everyone. I am hypothyroid and I am on levo/t3 combo self medicating, since my doctor refused to prescribe t3. But this is not about me, it's about my friend (neighbor in fact). She is diagnosed as being hyper and prescribed levothyroxine by her doctor. She takes 100 mcg per day. No, I didn't make a mistake - she is HYPERTHYROID not hypo. Can anyone explain this to me? I tried to talk to her and tell her that her doctor must be mad, but she won't listen. He explained to her that her hyper state will get better if she takes more T4. Did anyone ever hear something like this happening? Am I mad or her doctor is? She is so thin you can almost see through her. I am worried about her. Can anyone help explaining this? Thanks.

19 Replies

  • We all used to have unshakeable faith in our doctors re thyroid gland dysfunctions so your friend is the same at present. You just cannot believe they know less than some on this forum. All I can think of at present but she may not read it is this link from Don't try to persuade - just say you are very worried and would she like to read the article.

    Does she have a very fast heart rate - if so I doubt she'll be able to sleep at night, I should imagine.

  • Thank you very much for this. I'll print it and take it to her. I'll have to do it gently, she is completely convinced that she is on the right therapy! Yes, she mentioned that she can't sleep but she doesn't see any connection. She thinks she suffers from insomnia.

  • Moggy35, Carbimazole + Levothyroxine is used as block and replace therapy for hyperthyroid patients. A high dose of Carbimazole, usually around 40mg blocks natural thyroid production and the 100mcg Levothyroxine replaces the blocked thyroid hormone.

    If your friend isn't taking Carbimazole too, ask her to get her thyroid results and ranges from her GP receptionist or practice manager and post them in a new question and members will advise.


    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • No, she doesn't take carbimazole, just levothyroxine, she showed it to me. Once I asked her can I see her results but she told me that she doesn't have them. I don't think that she ever saw them, all her doctor told her is that her results are showing that she is hyper and prescribed her 100 mcg of levothyroxine for that. She is taking it for a whole year now! I just found out recently. Can her life be in danger because of that ignorant doctor?

  • Moggy35, it's more likely the doctor said hyper when s/he meant hypo. It happens. If your friend was hyper and taking 100mcg Levothyroxine she'd be extremely ill and would be in no doubt it was the wrong therapy. She must have had one or two thyroid tests in the year and it would have been picked up if her results were over range and her Levothyroxine reduced or stopped. If your friend gets free prescriptions the myxoedema box must have been ticked and signed off by a GP. Myxoedema means hypothyroid.

  • I am definitely certain that she is HYPERTHYROID, not hypo. She showed me her doctor's report, that's all she has. It says that she has elevated levels of thyroid hormones and that she is on the treatment of 100 mcg of Levothyroxine daily. We are both from USA. She had her last tests done year ago when she was put on the treatment. I don't know when she is supposed to do her new tests. She looks really bad, she hardly walks and she is so thin and pale, she resembles a living mummy. But she just won't listen to anyone.

  • My situation is not the normal Hashi one, I had high T4 (with high TSH - hence slightly unusual) and taking levo reduced my T4 level considerably. It may be your friend has something similar. Without seeing the blood results it is hard to know but it is possible that the levo is decreasing not increasing the T4 in her system. I know it sounds counterintuitive but I have the blood results to prove it! :)

  • Thank you Sandi. Her report is not mentioning Hashimoto's, but who knows... This doctor didn't tell her anything except that she has to take T4 in order to control her hyperthyroidism. I believe you, but can you please help by explaining how this works with you, what's the mechanism of suppressing T4 with taking even more of it? Maybe, I can tell her how this works for you so that she can ask her doctor next time if she is having something similar, just to explain to her why he gave her that. If he doesn't have any normal explanation and he thinks that ordinary hyper state is cured by even more hormones, than he is not normal.

  • Not exactly sure how but there must be some problem in the feedback loop when both T4 and TSH are high. I guess then that having even more T4 kicked that feedback into working. This then reduced the TSH which cut down on my own production of T4.

    My doctor said I was hypo but I have read of others with the same results (both TSH and T4 high) being told they were hyper. Depends whether the doctor goes by the high TSH or the high T4!

    Of course, no idea what caused the issue in the first place, have never found that out and when first diagnosed I didn't have the knowledge I have now from reading things on here and doing my own research.

    Hope that helps.

  • Thank you for explaining. I'll try to find out does she have something similar or she is a victim of a pure mistake.

  • Don't know if this is any help but it may be worth her while to ring and say that the patient leaflet in the levo pack says for hypo not hyper.As when i was first diagnosed with Graves they gave me levo and when i rang they said it was a mistake.Funny thing is at that time they could not do enough for me.Hope higs will get sorted for your friend.

  • Thank you so much Lizzy. It's comforting to know that they do make mistakes and that my friend is not the only person experiencing something like this. I only wish she wasn't living with this mistake for so long, it could have done some real damage to her health and I am afraid of that. Problem is that she is so stubborn, she always thinks that when I try to talk to her about that I want to show her that I am smarter than her. She is jeopardizing her health for the stupid pride or because she thinks docs know it all, I really can't tell. I have to find the way to force her to do something, I am afraid if she continues like this she'll give herself a heart attack or who knows what.

  • You could print this out and show it to your friend :

    It is the Patient Information Leaflet that is included in levothyroxine tablets. In section 1 it says :

    1 What Levothyroxine is and what it is used for

    Thyroxine is a hormone which is produced naturally in the body by the thyroid gland. Levothyroxine is a synthetic version of this hormone. Thyroxine controls how much energy your body uses. When the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroxine (a condition known as hypothyroidism), many of the body’s functions slow down. Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:


    weight gain

    feeling depressed

    Another source for information on levothyroxine is :

    The very first sentence from the above link :

    Levothyroxine is typically used to treat hypothyroidism,[4] and is the treatment of choice for patients with hypothyroidism,[5] who often require lifelong thyroid hormone therapy.

  • Thank you. Because she is so stubborn I was thinking of maybe talking to her husband and showing him this but I don't know will this help because although a good husband, he is a kind of man that doesn't know anything beyond sports. It is very hard when you want to help somebody and this person thinks that you are just doing it because you want to show how clever you are.

  • I would tell the husband. If he doesn't care about his wife then you've lost nothing. If he does care perhaps he can persuade her to do something about it.

    If the friend has any adult children they may be able to help as well.

    It is possible that, even if your friend gets her health problems sorted out properly, she may resent your interference, and your friendship may end up ending as a result. Whether you decide to take that risk is up to you.

  • Yes I am very much aware of that and you are completely right. Basically I have to choose between our friendship and her well being. Well, I consider myself a good samaritan so I think I'll risk it even if she resents me after that. I'll try to speak to her husband alone, without her being present and knowing him I'll have to do this like I am explaining things to 10 year old. Talking about children, no they don't have them, if they had any adult children I suppose it would be much easier.

  • Tomorrow evening my friend's husband is coming alone to our home. I "used" my husband to invite him for a "drink". So I'll use the moment to try to explain to him the whole situation and we'll see will he be willing to do anything about this. This is my only chance. if this fails I don't think that there is anything more that I can do.

  • Just a small update about my friend. I somehow managed to persuade her husband to take her to her doctor. He will take her there next week. But as I suspected, when I called her today she was very cold with me and said that she is to busy to talk right now. I know that she thinks that I should not interfere but how could I let her destroy herself any longer just because she thinks that doctors are so superior and never make mistakes. In one way I am relieved that this thing with her doctor and probably wrong medication she is taking will be finally on the table, but on the other hand I am sad that I probably lost my friend. Still, her life is more important than our friendship...

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