Under-active thyroid really struggling!

Hi, i was diagnosed with under-active thyroid when i was 14 (8 years ago), i took my tablets everyday till i was 17 then my mum passed away and everything got a bit out of control, i hardly take my tablets now as they just slip my mind, im feeling so down, starting to give up on life/Job just want to run and hide! but i can tell my doctor this because every time i go with a problem she always blames it on my thyroid and fobs me off! i no its my own fault for not taking my tablets everyday but im struggling i just want to breakdown most days! i just dont know what to say to the doctor because i dont want her to just say take your tablets i need help i need something as its ruining my home life!!

any suggestions


9 Replies

  • Can you explain this to the doctor? Perhaps saying you do want to take them but since your mum passed, you are feeling very depressed and find it hard to be bothered to do anything, including taking your tablets. Maybe ask for some anti depressants and say that you hope it will give you some support so you are able to take your medication again and then you will be able to come off of them when you feel more stable?

  • Nadine1994, Your GP isn't fobbing you off, being undermedicated can make you feel utterly fatigued, depressed and unable to cope. You need to take your Levothyroxine daily. Leave your tablets by your bed with a glass of water and take it as soon as you wake up. Alternatively take it last thing when you go to bed. Set an alarm or task reminder on your phone to help you remember. If you aren't feeling somewhat better in 8 weeks go back to your GP and ask for a thyroid test to check you are on sufficient dose. You can show her the competed tasks to demonstrate you have been compliant taking Levothyroxine.


    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.

  • Is a poor memory the only reason you don't take levothyroxine? Or are there other reasons too?

    Poor memory and depression are two very common symptoms of hypothyroidism. You really would feel a lot better if you took your meds every day. Most people take their levo the instant they wake up - take a closed water carrier with you to bed (to prevent spilling it in a sleepy state), and keep your levo beside the bed. Alternatively, take the levo just before you turn the light out for sleep. In either case, force yourself to take it - being low in thyroid hormones can't be fixed any other way than by taking some form of meds to replace the missing hormone.

    Obviously depression is a common symptom of grieving too. My condolences on the loss of your mother.

    One thing you might find helpful is meeting and talking with people in the same situation as you. Have you ever heard of Cruse (a charity)? They have some services that might help you to talk through your feelings.


    I really think that in future you might regret going on anti-depressants. They often don't work, they are very addictive, they have lots of side effects, they are hard to get used to, and very hard to come off of.

    I would persevere with the levo, unless there are other reasons for you not taking it. Most doctors never mention that there are alternatives to levothyroxine. Sadly, getting one of these alternatives prescribed is difficult or almost impossible in the UK. Some people on the forum self-medicate and buy meds on the internet, but it isn't a good idea to do this until you know more about the thyroid and everything else that goes with it e.g. nutrition, adrenals, diet, vitamins & minerals etc...

  • Welcome Nadine1994

    I am sorry you lost your Mother and if she was around today she would be very worried about you.

    Being very young when diagnosed, just 14, must have been extremely difficult and the seriousness of having hypothyroidism wasn't explained (and I must admit it isn't to many thousands of patients).our health has to be looked after.

    First, you have a life-threatening condition if you do not take thyroid hormones to replace the ones you'd have if your thyroid gland was working properly.

    You are old enough now not to neglect your health and the doctor cannot help you if you do not take thyroid hormones daily.

    You will also have to learn and ask questions from the members of this forum, you also have to ask the GP to test your Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate as you still have a long and fruitful life ahead of you.

    Ask your GP for a new Full Thyroid Function Test, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3, and TSH. The FT3 is necessary to know exactly how much is in your system. I will give you a link and read about Free T3.


    Always get a print-out of your blood tests with the ranges for your own records and you can post if you have any queries.

    Blood tests must be done at the earliest and fast, you can drink water. You have to leave around 24 hours between the last dose of levo and the blood test. Take it afterwards.

    T3 is the Active hormone, it is needed in the billions of receptor cells in our bodies and our heart particularly needs it to function properly and our brain contains the most receptor cells.

    Once we are diagnosed as being hypothyroid we never have to pay for any other prescriptions for different illnesses because it is a serious health condition if unmedicated.


  • Thank you for all replying it's opened my eyes up alot!!! I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow to have a chat.

  • Hi Nadine,

    I'm sorry you're having such a tough time. I'm not surprised. You were very young to lose your mum and it must have had a devastating impact on your life.

    Lack of thyroid hormone can also have a devastating impact on your mental health. There are so many people on this site who have suffered terrible psychological problems as a result of non diagnosis of hypothyroidism or under medication . Others have spent years on anti depressants ( myself included) when what they really needed was thyroxine.

    We cannot live without thyroxine. It is in every cell of our body. It's what wakes us up in the morning. It's what puts a smile on our faces. It what gets us to the bus stop. We are literally governed by it.

    Please put your meds by your bed with a glass of water and take them when you wake in the morning. Your GP is partially right. The depression you are feeling is no doubt lack of thyroxine. The loss of your lovely mum is grief. The two are very different.

    You will be able to cope with the grief of losing your mum far better if you take your thyroxine.

    All those neurotransmitters in your brain which make you feel good about the world and yourself...like serotonin depend on thyroxine.

    As our bodies slow down without meds and so do our neurotransmitters in the brain leading to depression and dreadful thoughts of uselessness and desperation.

    You're so young sweetheart with your whole life ahead of you. It's been a very tough few years for you but taking your meds will give you light at the end of this dark tunnel.

    Thinking of you.

  • If it helps, you should be ok to just take a mega dose of thyroxine once a week, instead of a little bit every day. Beliw is a link to a paper about it. Why dont you show it the doc and see if he thinks it might be a good idea.....?


    Xx g

  • Oh Nadeen sweetheart please take your pills, no one tells you how serious a none working thyroid is, GP's and such see so many people with this problem that they just go “take your pills and you'll be fine, Next!” You're so young to be feeling they way you do and to have had such a loss at such a young age is just cruel. The thing is even taking your pills every day won't make a difference for many weeks you have to stick with it. If you think of it like growing a plant, it takes time for it to grow and flower, once you start taking your meds a few months down the line you should start to feel like running and hiding is not the only option. I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you it's all going to be OK, and it can be, but first things first, take the advice of the lovely people here and start to take your meds! Please let us all know how you get on, it breaks my heart to hear that you are so sad, but please know that you are not alone a lot of us have been in similar situations and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Big Hugs.

  • Nadine1994, I agree with others, that often it's just not explained to us what a terrible illness this is. We have to find out by ourselves. You mention getting your life together, having a job, these are all things an underactive thyroid can really mess up for you. Everything you describe in your post, of life just getting out of control, and you describe that feeling so clearly, is typical of hypothyroid.

    The good news is that if you do get stable on your tablets, you will find a lot of those things become much easier.

    Lots of people have advised methods to remember to take your tablets. I have a little trinket dish in a bedside table, and I always put my tablets in before I go to bed. That way they are easy to grab when I first wake up, but I can tell whether I've remembered to take them by looking in the dish - if they're gone I know I've taken them.

    A more foolproof method is to use a dosette box that holds a week's worth of tablets. Each day of the week is marked. So you can always look at it and say 'today is Wednesday, have I taken Wednesday's dose? ', and its very easy to work out. As Galathea says, this is a medicine that stays in your body for days and days. So if you miss a dose, you can take it whenever you remember, even if a day or two has passed.

    The rules are,Leave two hours after eating before the tablet, and one hour after the tablet. Take it with a whole glass of water. This is why people find it easiest either last thing at night or first thing. If you have close to food it is about 30% less effective, so I still sometimes take it that way if it's a choice between that of just getting the whole day out of whack.

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