Thyroid UK
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Low T3- Raised TSH

I have been on Levo for about about 4 months now after being diagnosed with hypothyroid autoimmune disease. Following a recent blood test, my Dr called me ahead of my appointment to give me the results. Apparently my TSH had gone up and she said that the lab had commented that I had not been taking my 85mgs of Levo or forgot to take it regularly? I assured the Dr that taking my medication is like breathing to me and is the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning. She has raised the Levi to 100mgs now. I'm confused???? Can someone explain please

2 Replies

Autoimmune thyroid disease progresses gradually. Sometimes the thyroid output can actually go up for a while, but the general trend is down. So, most likely, when you were diagnosed your thyroid was still producing some hormone. It is now producing less hormone or maybe none at all so you need more levothyroxine to make up the difference.

It would help if you could post the blood test results. If you had forgot to take the levothyroxine (I know you haven't) the fT4 figure would be low rather than the fT3. These labs make these comments on auto-pilot as they feel they have to give 'advice' to the doctors. The tail is attempting to wag the dog.


After only 4 months on Levo it doesn't surprise me that your dose is still changing. I'm not impressed that the lab is doing some patient blaming to explain the results though. Also, since you have autoimmune thyroid disease your thyroid function test results will inevitably fluctuate.

If you have an antibody attack on your thyroid you may start showing results with a low TSH and a higher FT4 and FT3, possibly making you feel hyperthyroid (i.e. overactive). Your doctor will tell you that you are over-treated and will reduce your levo. When the antibody attack subsides your TSH will rise, your FT4 and FT3 will drop, and if you get tested your doctor will tell you that you need an increase in your levo. There may well be more patient-blaming going on as well.

The way to reduce these problems is to try and reduce the antibody attacks on your thyroid. Your treatment will fluctuate less, giving you some stability and making you feel better.

Are you on a gluten-free diet? If you aren't, then it is recommended by patients that you go gluten-free - and it has to be 100%. You can't be a little bit gluten-free. It is all or nothing.

For more info on autoimmune thyroid disease, take a look at these sites :

By the way, the reason that an autoimmune attack on the thyroid changes your thyroid function test results is that as the cells of the thyroid are killed off they release their load of thyroid hormone into the body/blood stream.


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