Hypothyroidism and Kidney Problems

I noticed that my urine volume depended on the amount of the T3 I take. Did my usual investigation and came up with this thinking other may be interested too.

From American Thyroid Association



Treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism and the effect on chronic kidney disease


Subclinical hypothyroidism is defined as an elevated TSH in the presence of normal T4 levels. There is a debate in the endocrine community about whether or not to treat subclinical hypothyroidism, especially when no significant symptoms are present. Overt hypothyroidism (increased TSH with a low T4 level) can be associated with changes in kidney function that resolve with thyroid hormone therapy. This study was done to see if treatment with thyroid hormone in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism and chronic kidney disease has any effect on their kidney function.


Shin DH et al. Preservation of renal function by thyroid hormone replacement therapy in chronic kidney disease patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. June 20, 2012 [Epub ahead of print].


A total of 309 patients were studied. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the most sensitive test of kidney function. The authors looked at the changes in GFR in patients with and without thyroid hormone replacement.

In the 309 patients studied, 180 (58.3%) were treated with thyroid hormone whereas 129 (41.7%) were not treated. Kidney function remained stable in patient treated with thyroid hormone whereas those patients who were not treated demonstrated a decrease in their kidney function.


This study suggests that thyroid hormone treatemnt maintained kidney function in patients with chronic kidney disease who had subclinical hypothyroidism. This is another argument to treat patients with subclinical hypothyroidism"

I covered two other papers more here but there seems to be more and bed was calling.



5 Replies

  • Wow, Lesliebrian, this is so bizarre.

    While you were posting this I was just writing a very long post about my attempt to change from Levo to Thyroid-S. In it I described many of my symptoms - but didn't mention my urine output or kidney function test results ( because I didn't realise that there may be any significance). Not so long ago I had to see a urologist who diagnosed "irritable bladder". !! Don't you just hate this? Irritable bladder? Irriitable bowel? I know that something is "irritating" - I would just like to know WHAT! My last set of bloods showed my kidney function at stage 1(?). Not something to worry about, apparently, just keep an eye on it. However, since starting NDT, I have noticed that my bladder problems have improved. I'll wait to see what shows up in my next blood tests.

    Thanks for this - it just reinforces the value of these forums.

    Keep well.

  • Lesley,Kidney function like cholesterol level and many other bodily functions/systems are affected by poor thyroid function. When first tested for hypo a doctor at the practice decided to put me on statins because of raised cholesterol. I stopped after a week, the statins made me so ill and went to see my usual GP who upon seeing my blood results (which included raised cholesterol) said I was hypo and promptly prescribed levo!!

    All went fairly well until I became quite ill with what turned out to be Hashi's- had to ask for TPO test, no treatment offered-just stay on the levo but unbeknown to me I had a GFR test (how well your kidneys are funtioning) and was summoned to see the nurse because my result was in the danger zone.(I thought the urine sample had been to check for infection and they didn't call me back for 6 months!!!) I was well aware that my urine output had reduced and I didn't feel too clever. However I persuaded doc to increase my levo by 25mcg and started taking supplements etc and reading about Hashi's. Needless to say I am now a lot better and am sure my GFR reading will be a lot better. GP didn't bother to arrange a retest!!!!!

  • This is really interesting to me. I had a trial of adding T3 to my Levo and one of the benefits was related to kidney function. I felt as though I wasn't retaining as much fluid around my body either. My endo wants me to have T3, but the GP won't prescribe it.

  • My daughter had a kidney problem requiring stents, that is until she was treated for hypothyroidism. Fingers crossed, she hasn't had anymore problems since starting her Thyroxine. Also, the scarring that was on her kidney healed once on thyroid treatment and that was much to the surgeon's surprise!

  • PS as far as I know T3 increased urine output.

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