Thyroid UK
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Would it be OK to increase my levothyroxine?

I've been taking 50mgs for 6 weeks, great progress after years of symptoms which I didn't realise were related (muscle pain in legs now gone!) and I've got an appointment next week to review. I had a private blood test done which gave TSH 3.6, I can't remember T3 or T4 but they were in the normal range, I'm still waiting for RT3 result to come back. 

Trouble is, I haven't lost a bit of weight which is frustrating me beyond belief,  despite diet and exercise.  I suspect I'm on too low a dose of levothyroxine and the Gp will suggest raising it. Being impatient (and at wits end) I took 2 pills this morning so 100mgs total.  I know this is probably unwise to do without gp approval but will it hurt to try a higher dose for a week?  

4 Replies

If you've only been on levothyroxine for 6 weeks, it is far too much to expect weight loss.

Exercising and diet before you are on an optimum of thyroid hormones (my own view) is that both hinders the uptake of T3 to get into your receptor cells. Excercise reduces T3 and dieting wont give you sufficient calories at present as you are trying to build up your dose to an optimum level and it can take a few months. Because you are hypothyroid it means everything in your body slows down, thus weight gain and probably a higher cholesterol plus some of the 300+ clinical symptoms.

Due to everything slowing down so does our digestive system.

It is a slow process to build up your level of levo and the main aim is to get to an optimum level which has removed your clinical symptoms and you feel well.

Never accept 'normal' with regard to blood tests for thyroid hormones and we have to have a very low TSH 1 or below. Free T4 and Free T3 towards the upper part of the range but it is rare that they test these. Always get a print-out with the ranges.

It is a big learning curve if we've to recover our health but many when on an optimum lead a normal life.

Are you aware to have the earliest possible appointment and refrain from levo for around 24 hours before the test and drink water only before it?

1 like

Many thanks...I just feel sure that my levels will indicate that I need to be on a higher dose, my TSH was between 5.1 and 8.5 prior to starting the levo.  I am somewhat up and down (legs hurting again today, some days the pain which I'd thought was due to impending arthritis is totally nonexistent) so I think that a TSH of 3.6 after 6 weeks is still to high and GP will raise the dose, she said at the beginning that it would be raised if needed and that it could take some time to find the right dose.  

So I know I'm jumping the gun by doubling the dose prior to GP appointment but I don't want to waste any more time if I could be improving my situation. It's really not like me to do something like this, I'm usually a total stickler for the rules and don't take chances with medication.

I'm glad to hear that it is early days regarding the weight loss... I gained about a stone over Christmas and not a bit has budged despite me doing all the right things.  I did lose some weight going very low carb, about 2 weeks in to the Levo, but I just can't maintain it over the long run and I feel that it's compromising my metabolism even more by going extreme low carb.  So I am sticking strictly to low GI healthy foods, and exercising moderately, which is how I'd like to go on.  It's so frustrating to be doing everything right and still be gaining weight (actually 4 lbs since starting levo).



You're compromising your metabolism by doubling 50mcg dose and will become overmedicated.  Dose adjustments are usually in 25mcg increments.  Read the sponge anology in the link below.


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.


Thank you Clutter, I guess I'll just wait until next week and forget about having had double today, I hope it won't do any harm. 

I'm just really down about the whole situation but can't get an earlier appointment with GP.


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