Hypothyroidism... 27 feeling tired & cold

Hi,

Its been 2 weeks since I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism...It came as a bit of a shock. Was having heavy periods that lasted weeks so went to the doctors, got given blood test and smear (came back clear YAY!) and got a call asking me to come discuss my results. I went along expecting a prescription for iron tablets due to anaemia however got told my TSH levels was running at 40!!! and T4 levels of 5.9, I had hypothryodism and given a prescription for 75mg of levothyroxine...and i would have to be taking them for the rest of my life.

At the time I didnt think to ask what had caused it because after the dr asked do you struggle to lose weight and are you cold all the time I was actually really relieved that I wasnt going mad! I felt cold all the time...I would walk around my house in a hoodie and dressing gown most of the time. After reading up on hypothryodism I read the symptom list and it read like a story of my life the last few months.

But the news has sunk in now and it keeps coming back to what causes it in someone my age and how do I find out? I have to go back in a few months to have another blood test to check my levels so is there any way I can find out what caused my throid to suddenly stop working?

Kind Regards

Amy

4 Replies

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  • Hi Amy, welcome to the forum. I would suspect you thyroid has been going downhill a while as often it's a slow decline but the main thing is your GP has spotted this and has started treatment. Also it's good that he has told you to come back after about 6 weeks to be retested as you may need to up your dose again until your bloods are good and more importantly you are feeling well and symptom free.

    Has he explained how to take your medication? Just incase he hasn't its usual to take first think in the morning on an empty stomach with a full glass of water. Leave an hour before you eat as you need to let your body absorb it fully. Leave two hours before any other medication or supplements and leave 4 hours before taking iron and calcium. When you go for your next blood test take your least meds 24 hours before and your next dose straight after the test and I always just have water before it and then you can be consistent.

    Don't worry about why it had happened, just concentrate on getting well again. When you are retested you should find the TSH has reduced and the FT4 has increased so post your next set of results with the ranges as they differ from lab to lab and we can advise you hoe you are progressing.

    In the mean time read all you can, lots of info on the Thyroid UK site, and ask about anything you don't understand. No question is too trivial, we have all been there!

    Hope you soon start to see some improvement. It could be useful to keep a diary of you doses and how you are feeling and put in your blood results as well. Your doctor sounds to know what he is doing so good!

  • Just a couple of comments to add on to silverfox's notes. I find I don't have to wait an hour between taking my levothyroxine and having my breakfast, more like 10 minutes. You do need to wait an hour for optimal absorption but as long as you are reasonably consistent in your routine it shouldn't matter as your dose should be titrated according to how you feel with guidance from the blood tests. I'm just thinking back to when I was your age and I couldn't see myself finding an hour in the morning!!! The one thing you should avoid is having coffee within an hour of your levothyroxine, it has a big effect. If all this presents a problem or sounds confusing you can simply take your levothyroxine at night.

    Most hypothyroidism is due to an autoimmune condition that attacks the thyroid gland. Although this was recognised a very long time ago little is known about why it happens or what the risk factors are. Your thyroid stops producing the hormone and you have to take tablets to replace it.

    Most hypothyroid patients do well on levothyroxine and their treatment is relatively straightforward. There is a substantial group who do not. Because your condition came on relatively quickly and was spotted reasonably early I suspect you will probably be fine.

  • Just a quick comment on when to take levo. I see a private endo in the USA and many of his patients (myself included) take levo in the afternoon (5:00pm) along with a little snack that includes fat (for me this means some nuts or a few crackers with some peanut butter) because fat aids in absorption. I like taking levo at this time because it doesn't interfere with when I take iron (noontime) or calcium (morning). I've also not experienced the "rapid weight gain" that often plagues hypothyroid patients. For some patients, taking levo at 5:00pm affects their sleep so in that instance he does recommend a morning dosing, but again, with food containing a fat. He rarely concerns himself about food interactions (such as coffee or dairy) because if a patient is consistent, he titrates the dosage based upon symptoms and blood results.

    I agree with jimh111 about how your hypothyroidism may have occurred, but unfortunately you probably will never know. (Is there by chance a family history you may not know about?) In addition to being hypo, I also have lupus and sjogrens (AI conditions) do I strongly suspect AI is the culprit as it runs in my family.

    This site is a WEALTH of information and it does sound like you are on the hands of a capable Doctor. It may take some time to get meds right and you may have to add in T3 in case you are a "poor converter" so give it some time. I found it very helpful to keep a daily log of dosing and symptoms. Then I could report accurately back to my endo as to how I was doing.

    Welcome and take care.

  • Thank you to everyone for replying! I'm just looking forward to feeling better again and more like the old me! :-)

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