Thyroid UK
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Hi all, just 16 days in taking Levothyroxine, on the plus side have almost stopped taking Sertraline (antidepressant) which my GP has been prescribing for years, and my mood has been great! also not feeling hungry all the time. On the down side feeling really breathless with slight chest pains and palpitations when lying on left side which is a bit worrying, is this normal or should I see GP as blood test not due for a while

17 Replies

I would go to A&E now. Get yourself in a taxi or get someone e.g. a neighbour to give you a lift.

It may be nothing it may not be but breathlessness should never be ignored and left, and neither should chest pains.


Second ^^ Defiantly go to A&E. I felt breathless and ended up admitted and in resus as it was dangerously high. I had no idea, just felt like I usually did when I had palpitations. Hope you feel better soon.


Many thanks will get a check over 😊


I should add the reason not to call an ambulance is often you have to wait around an hour and people have died, so it's quicker to make your own way there and tell them how you feel.


Many thanks will get a check over 😊


Just have a check over as you are breathless. As you are newly on levothyroxine it could be that your body is trying to settle down - in that it has probably taken years before you were diagnosed, so it will be a little while before our body gets to a decent dose. I think that as you need less anti-d's that you have been hypo for a while and symptom of depression is a clinical symptom also and T3 can be used in depression - it would seem that you are converting levo to T3 as depression is lifting. Hopefully all your symptoms will improve soon. Always get a print-out of blood results with the ranges and post for comments.

Also ask GP to test B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate.


Maybe we will all have to take/send copies to all medical professionals of the symptoms. Some people have committed suicide - others thought about it. One Irish Mother of 3 young children whose husband wrote a post asking why this happened - how many times must she had gone to doctors and sent away.

Lorraine Cleaver had a Petition before the Scottish Parliament too.

There are some brilliant doctors and although not directly connected to hypo this one found that hormones can assist brain injuries (i.e. soldiers). Excerpts:

It can happen without warning: you slip in the shower and hit your head, a car swerves and hits you, a small stroke occurs and suddenly you can't speak, your mobility is limited, and your world shrinks.

These are real-life examples of the often intractable effects of traumatic brain injury or TBI. And thanks to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Mark L. Gordon and a handful of forward-looking physicians, there's new hope for the 1.7 million Americans afflicted with this condition.


Using cutting-edge hormone replacement techniques, Gordon and his colleagues are helping to change the way we think about traumatic brain injuries, their symptoms - and how to treat them effectively. In his clinical practice, Dr. Gordon is developing new protocols that may revolutionize the devastating impact of traumatic brain injuries. One of the biggest patient populations in need of urgent care are the soldiers returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our story begins with them.

That connection between the brain's hypothalamus and the endocrine system's pituitary is called neuroendocrine function. And, though it may seem obvious, medical science is only just beginning to recognize that trauma to the brain, even apparently minor trauma, can damage the hypothalamic-pituitary system and have profound effects on hormonal function.

In fact, most people (including the majority of physicians) assume that the neurological deficits that follow a traumatic brain injury result simply from disruption to brain tissue itself. In this simplistic model, a "hit" to the head causes the brain to be "rattled," triggering bleeding, bruising, and other large-scale injuries that can be seen on MRI and CT scans. And it's quite true that we can predict some of the deficits a brain-injured person will sustain by the location and severity of the visible damage on those scans.

But victims of traumatic brain injury frequently have sustained neurological deficits that exceed what would be predicted simply by examining brain scans. Unfortunately, people with so-called minor traumatic brain injury, who comprise the largest group of brain-injured patients, have no visible damage at all on brain scans.

It took someone with genuine insight and a fresh approach to recognize that it is disrupted hormonal function, not simply physical "brain damage," that creates the sustained neurological deficits suffered by victims of traumatic brain injury.

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Thanks that was very helpful


Hi, I've copied/pasted the following which are many of possible side effects when taking Levothyroxine - chest pain and breathing problems included. I personally had problems taking Levo, I had palpitations/breathlessness which in turn caused anxiety. Put up with it for too long whilst being on Block & Replace for almost 2 years because my GPs dismissed these symptoms. I have recently stopped taking Levo and I am only taking Carbimazole and I feel much better. It has only been a couple of months since I stopped Levo but the palpitations/breathlessness/anxiety has decreased as each week has gone by.

Levothyroxine Side Effects:-

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Chest pain or discomfort

decreased urine output

difficult or laboured breathing

difficulty with swallowing

dilated neck veins

extreme fatigue


fast, slow, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse


heat intolerance

hives or welts

increased blood pressure

increased pulse

irregular breathing


menstrual changes


pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck

shortness of breath

skin itching, rash, or redness


swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat, or tongue

tightness in the chest


troubled breathing


Many thanks 😊


You may need beta blockers as I did after ultrasound and angiogram .A book on the thyroid by Dr Joan Gomez refers to angina pains often following starting levo and being easily treated with beta blockers. I was also breathless.

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what were you taking the sertraline for? Could it be your anxieties coming back?


Have been taking Sertraline for ages and am now almost off it as you must do it gradually. Now I've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism my guess that was the cause of my depression and anxiety as I am feeling so much better on the Levo even though I am getting a few physical side effects my mood has greatly improved😊


I have a combination of GAD/ OCD along with hypothyroidism. When your thyroids are out of whack and not balanced it can elevate your anxieties and vice versa. been having extreme health scares recently that elevated my anxieties and panic and because of that my TSH level skyrocketed to 11.57. Before the health scare it was at a normal level. My Levo was increased And I'm back on my antidepressants to control my anxieties so hopefully my thyroid goes down as well. Wired how one affects the other.


My suspicion would be iron deficiency. If it is severe it can cause breathlessness, chest pain, palpitations, tachycardia (fast heart rate), and lots of other unpleasant symptoms.

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Thanks 😊


I agree with the others about getting checked out, but just thought I would tell you my recent experience. I've been on Levo 75mcg for sometime (diagnosed over 10 years) but constantly complaining to my Gp about continuing symptoms. Of course the usual reply is 'but your results are normal' but recently I had a higher TSH result, so he asked if I would try an increase in Levo to 100mcg. I agreed to try it. Initially I just felt awful (can't really say why so awful, just rough feeling) so tried 75 one day 100 the next for a week, then switched to 100mcg altogether. After about 3 weeks in total I started having weird symptoms similar to your description above. I thought perhaps it was a bit of anxiety as my husband was away on a course in Poland and I don't sleep too well when he's away.

I decided to visit one GP who was available. He checked my pulse and sounded my chest and said all seemed OK. I did say to him I felt my thyroid was a little swollen on the right side, could it be that. He 'examined' it and said no it was fine. I hasten to add that I don't think he felt anywhere near my thyroid! So I went away deciding to trust his decision - foolish girl!

During the rest of the week, those symptoms were bothering me more, a kind of tightness across my chest and I began to think I was having pains in my chest too. I haven't had anxiety in many years and didn't want that so decided to visit GP again and ask for a few diazepam just to help me over until my husband returned. I have had diazepam in the past and a 2mg tablet (sometimes half of one) will just calm me enough to get through the day and within that day I feel more confident and don't need them anymore.

Saw a different GP who I haven't seen before. He listened but then focused entirely on the appointment I'd had on the Tuesday. He put the little peg thing on my finger to check oxygen levels and it registered low. He looked alarmed and asked me to walk up and down the corridor, then he would do it again. It had risen but not much. He said he felt I should go to hospital for a chest x ray, blood tests and ECG. He called the hospital and I overheard him saying he wanted to rule out embolisms! At that point I felt quite frightened (husband away etc) and busy day at work, I'd dashed out for the appointment. So before leaving I did ask him could these symptoms be anything to do with the recent increase in Levothyroxine. He said definitely not.

So I nipped back to work to explain to my boss who was fine about it all and asked if I needed someone to drive me there. I declined that offer (there wasn't anyone available anyway) went to the hospital. Went through the queuing system, eventually got to see a nurse. Had oxygen sats done - normal. Had bloods taken (to test for possible clots in progress) then saw the doctor. He was very nice, patient and listened to everything I said including a brief discussion about my thyroid situation.

He said he didn't think a chest x ray was necessary as all the symptoms described were definitely a result of the increase in Levo! The blood test showed no evidence of clotting in progress and he suggested getting an appointment with my GP to discuss maybe trying 75 / 100 / 75 / 100 or some other option.

I went back to 75mcg straightaway and have stayed on that dose, the symptoms disappeared within a day or two and I am now considering taking T3 as an alternative (with advise) as a private test done a few weeks ago revealed low T3 levels. My GP won't look at T3 levels or anything other than TSH and sometimes T4 (if lucky) so no point in even discussing it with them.


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