Update

Had review on 12 Septmber as 50mcgs Thyroxine was too high giving me palpitations and chest pains, had ECG which came back ok. Dr decided to keep me off Levo until symptoms worsened as I was borderline being hypothyroid and this is why I had such bad side effects. Have been feeling ok trying to keep active and eating as well as I can including taking fish oils, vitamin B and Selenium/zinc supplements. Gradually I have been feeling unwell with original symptoms coming back so 23 September decided to put myself back on 25mcgs, only second day in but depression in mornings is chronic. I was some months ago on Sertraline but decided I wanted to come off them slowly and see if I can sort out this thyroid problem first. Do you think depression is due to thyroid or something else and should I go back on antidepressants, can't keep feeling this way🙁 Did ask again to make sure all tests were done and that they were normal with the exception of Vit D test which wasn't done but my kidney function was good so he thought it was ok.

15 Replies

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  • Depression is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. The brain has to have sufficient thyroid hormones to function properly, and if your levels are low anything could happen - depression, memory problems, psychosis, cognitive problems. Some people have been diagnosed bipolar which has vanished when they were treated with sufficient thyroid hormone.

    If you want something helpful for your depression, then have you ever heard of 5-HTP? It is an over-the-counter supplement that is a very good anti-depressant. It is not addictive. Look up reviews on Amazon and do your own research. Anti-depressants of all kinds must only ever be taken alone, so if you are still taking Sertraline you can't take 5-HTP. And vice-versa, if you take 5-HTP you can't take Sertraline as well.

    If 5-HTP appeals to you, I would suggest taking no more than 50mg at night to begin with. The commonest tablet/capsule size is 100mg, but I think that is too much. You can always go up in dose if you want. Buy a small bottle to begin with. 5-HTP doesn't work for everyone (but then prescribed anti-depressants don't work for everyone either!) so it could end up being of no use to you.

    Chest pain for which there is no obvious cause may be caused by iron deficiency. Nutrient deficiencies are extremely common in people with thyroid problems of all sorts.

    Ask your doctor to test your ferritin, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate. Get a copy of the results including the reference ranges and post them in a new post, and ask for feedback. Low nutrients, particularly iron, can make tolerating levo almost impossible.

    Another common issue is adrenal problems. If you have low or high cortisol (cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands) tolerating thyroid meds can be difficult or impossible. It actually says in the Patient Information Leaflet supplied with levo that it should not be taken if you have adrenal problems but doctors never think about this and never test for it before prescribing levo. The longer you have been hypothyroid but untreated the more likely you are to have high or low cortisol.

    medicines.org.uk/emc/PIL.18...

  • Thank you that was interesting reading and will take on board what you suggest, I feel I need to explore other avenues rather than go back on Sertraline, thanks again for your reply😊

  • You mentioned you had all the tests done and they were normal. That really is an opinion - did you actually see the results ? Do you have copies - if so do post them with the ranges for people to comment.

    Low FT3 - Low B12 - Low VitD can all be part of LOW mood. Also the gut - do you have any issues there ?

  • Yes I have two results which I posted and have seen 3 GPs at the practice last one was a locum who was quite helpful and seemed to go in depth a bit more. I feel the symptoms I have are physical which are causing my low mood, I have had gut problems but at the moment has settled down, thanks for your reply and I will post again in a few more days when the Levo has kicked in😊

  • Sorry Zizzy1591 but where did you post those two results you mentioned - I cannot see them :-)

  • Hi Marz they are on my profile account but the first reading was

    serum TSH level 5.12mU/L (0.30-4.40) high

    Serum free T4 level 11.0 pro/L (9.0-19.1) on this reading I was prescribed 50mcgs

    The second reading serum TSH level 1.56 mU/L (0.30-4.40) they said was normal but I was getting the palpitations and chest pains so Dr took me off Levo as he told me I was on too high a dose and as I was marginally hypothyroid not to take it because of bad side effects and to go back if things got worse. I have done this but over a couple of weeks had some original symptoms return so Saturday 24th decided to take half tablet and see how I feel on 25mcg, what do you make of the readings would be interested on your views😊

  • You really need the FT3 reading for the second test. it would be helpful to see if the storage hormone T4 that you were taking is converting into the Active thyroid hormone T3. It seems you only have the TSH result - which is almost fine - but tells you so little about the workings/success of your Levo. I cannot believe that 50mcg was too high a dose - it is possible the opposite is true. The heart needs good levels of thyroid hormones for good functioning.

    I am T3 only and in the early days my heart would flutter and tell me the next dose was needed. At that time I was dosing throughout the day. That was over 3 years ago.

    There is a book on Amazon called - Thyroid and Heart Failure. A book full of research papers into the Thyroid/ Heart connection. You can look at it on-line. Obviously your Doc has not read it or seen any of the research papers contained within. If you google Heart and Low T3 syndrome you could be amazed.

    Also I cannot see any mention of Thyroid Anti-bodies being tested - were they ? Anti-TPO and Anti-Tg.

    Your results above may have been in one of your threads - but the Profile is the bit at the top. Many of us do not have time to scroll through earlier posts to find things. Click onto my name above and you will see what I mean :-)

  • I'm following you now, your profile was interesting reading. I will Google heart and low T3, many thanks for your reply😊

  • Palpitations can be low magnesium too. No point testing that (standard NHS magnesium test is unreliable) often low if Vit D is low. Lots of us supplement magnesium. If you do, start low & slow

    Very likely you are low in vitamin D. If GP really won't test this then you can get done for £28 via vitamindtest.org.uk.

    Or if want to check everything recommended then (like very many of us) use Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven test is good - £99

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    Both are finger prick tests you do at home. Post back & they email you the results 2-3 days later

    Usual advice on ALL thyroid tests, (home one or on NHS) is to do early in morning, ideally before 9am. No food or drink beforehand (other than water) If you are taking Levo, then don't take it in 24 hours before (take straight after). This way your tests are always consistent, and it will show highest TSH, and as this is mainly all the medics decide dose on, best idea is to keep result as high as possible

    Also have you had thyroid antibodies checked? There are two sorts TPO Ab and TG Ab. (Thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin) Both need checking, if either, or both are high this means autoimmune thyroid - called Hashimoto's the most common cause in UK of being hypo.

    (NHS rarely checks TPO and almost never checks TG. NHS believes it is impossible to have negative TPO and raised TG. It's rare, but not impossible, there are a few members on here that have this.)

    If you have Hashimoto's then you may find adopting 100% gluten free diet can help reduce symptoms, and lower antibodies too.

    You do not need to have ANY obvious gut issues, to still have poor absorption or gluten intolerance

    hypothyroidmom.com/92-of-ha...

    drgominak.com/vitamin-d-hor...

    vitamindcouncil.org/tag/aut...

    chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

  • Thanks for your reply and links I will try the Vit D test as you suggest as I know this wasn't done, I am taking fish oil caps Vit B and selenium/zinc tabs so is taking magnesium ok with this. Thanks again😊

  • I would get your Vit D checked first. Then if it's not at good level (ideally around 100 nmol/L) either start with adding Vit D or magnesium.

    When you get Vit D result, best to put a new post on here and ask advice, depending on how low it is, as to size of dose you might need daily

    We can not get rid of excess Vit D, so you do need to monitor it, (typically twice a year) while you work what dose you need to keep level up.

    Might need to vary dose slightly according to seasons, depending how much you get out into summer sunshine.

    Only start one supplement at a time, so you can check for good or bad reaction.

    Personally, through trial & error, I found I needed to improve magnesium first.

  • Thanks for that info, I walk dogs most days so getting reasonable amount of sunshine but would be useful to know Vit D results as wasn't tested for it. Will post results when I get them, thanks again 😊

  • I had angina type pains but on wrong side of chest/ arm. This is not uncommon after starting levo and the treatment I received was beta blockers.

  • Thanks 😊

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