Thyroid UK
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Swollen painful feet

Hi again I'm just wondering if any of you have really swollen feet and ankles, I'm currently on 31/2 grain ndt but as yet not feeling any better. I'm going to try and add some t3 in the afternoon and see if I feel any better but my feet are really painful & swollen and I'm starting to get worried as they're not getting any better.has anyone else had this problem and they've got back to normal as they've reached their optimal meds. Thanks again for your help

6 Replies

You have my sympathy, it's horrible and the hot weather just makes it worse. Do you have any test results? If not request them from your surgery, you're legally entitled to them although there may be a small charge. Hold off from adding T3, when you have your results start a new thread and members can comment.

Elevate them as much as possible when you have the chance.


Hi Alfinno, I think low iron is implicated with swollen feet. Do you know your results for ferritin? From Stop the Thyroid Madness:

IRON RELATED (and you need all four, NOT just ferritin)

FERRITIN: Measures your levels of storage iron, which can be chronically low in hypothyroid patients. If your Ferritin result is less than 50, your levels are too low and can be causing problems…as well as leading you into anemia as you fall lower, which will give you symptoms similar to hypo, such as depression, achiness, fatigue. If you are lower than the 50’s, you are scooting by. Optimally, females shoot for 70-90 at the minimum (Janie’s is 80 when her iron is good); men tend to be slightly above 100. If your ferritin is much higher, you have INFLAMMATION–the latter causes iron to be thrust into storage and inflammation is common with thyroid patients for a variety of reasons. In less common cases, higher ferritin can be from liver disease, alcoholism, diabetes, asthma, or some types of cancer. If ferritin is high along with a high % Sat and Serum iron, you may have hemachromatosis or a MTHFR defect. Having heavy metals can push your ferritin low, by the way, while your other iron labs are good or higher. We learned that we should be off all iron for at least 12 hours before testing to see what supplementation is doing for us, but 5 days to see your true iron levels.

SERUM IRON (also called just Iron or Total iron): Measures the small amount of your circulating iron which is bound by the transferrin. You are looking for ‘close to’ 110 for women, upper 130’s for men, based on what we’ve seen on hundreds of lab results. European or Australian lab ranges are something like this 7-27, and optimal is in the lower-to-mid 20s at the least for women and higher for men. If you are considerably higher than optimal, you could have the MTHFR mutation which will need testing and treatment. The MTHFR mutation also drives the ferritin low with normal or high iron. If all four iron labs are high (serum iron, % saturation, TIBC and ferritin, you may have the genetic hemochromatosis and you can ask your doctor for testing for that.

PERCENT % SATURATION of IRON: Measures your serum iron divided by your TIBC. Women want to be close to 35% (or .35 for Canadian ranges), we have discovered, and men go from 38% to 40-45%. Like all iron labs, you should be off all iron for at least 12 hours before testing to see how your supplementation is doing, or up to 5 days to see what your natural levels are. The latter may be best. NOTE: % Saturation can look falsely good or high if your TIBC is too low!!

TIBC (Total iron binding capacity): measures whether a protein called transferrin, produced by the liver, is enough to carry iron in the blood. Used to determine anemia or low body iron. If your result is high in the range and in the absence of chronic disease, you may be anemic. With healthy amounts of iron, this test will be low in the range—about 1/4th above the bottom number in the range provided.


Hi again, alfinno, I'm also remembering that swollen feet could be a low potassium problem. Are you staying away from high potassium foods?

It seems that 3 1/2 grains should be enough to improve symptoms so now wonder if you are converting well since you shouldn't have additional symptoms. You may have high reverse T3 if that is going on. Adding T3 might be a good idea and lowering the NDT. From

Thus, any person with an inflammatory condition will have diminished tissue levels of T3 potentially severe enough to cause symptoms, but these symptoms will not be detected by standard thyroid testing. Additionally, due to the reduced T4 to T3 conversion induced by the inflammation in these conditions, effective treatment must include T3 (combination or, ideally, timed-released T3).

Additionally, inflammation will stimulate D3, producing more reverse T3, further causing cellular hypothyroidism not detected by TSH testing by suppressing intracellular T4 to T3 conversion and blocking the T3 receptor inside the cell (271).

1 like

This is more on inflammation.


Hi again Heloise thanks so much and the video was really interesting I can't wait to see all of what the Dr says. I also think that I will try adding 25mg of t3 as well as my ndt and see how it goes. The pins + needles & numbness has also returned again so hopefully the t3 will help relieve that again.thanks again



Does your skin feel tight and/or sore? Or, if you push your finger into your foot, does it leave an imprint/pitted? If so, it might be oedema. My feet puff up like balloons, even after a nice foot massage. Try and keep your feet elevated when sitting down and move around regularly if you can. when you sleep, try and keep your feet elevated - gravity helps getting rid of surplus fluid. Anaemia can cause all sorts of problems. I would have a chat with your GP and get him/her to check your ferritin levels for both anaemia and B12 deficiency. It might be that you need a mild diuretic.


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