Thyroid UK
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Thyroid Medicine & Osteoporosis


Hello I'm new to this site but not Hashimoto's.

I just want to make all aware of the fact that Thyroid Medication in high doses can lead to Osteoporosis .

Doctors fail to mention so you have to ask.

My husbands old Boss has Hashimoto's too & when my husband mention that I have Hashimoto's he told my husband I should request a Bone Density test & at 55 found out I have Osteoporosis. I'm now 56 and doctor I'm seeing now said it was caused by High doses.

So something you should ask about

34 Replies

First of all, I am very sorry you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

I have read this a few times but am not sure it's true as it is rare in the UK to be given sufficient doses of levo never mind 'high' doses.

I would put it down to levothyroxine as they nowadays don't prescribe Natural Dessicated Thyroid Hormones which includes T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin (calcitonin helps prevent osteo).

Did you take high doses, enough to make you feel very overstimulated?

This doctor/scientist who would never, ever prescribe levo states:-


What exactly do you call 'high doses'? Do you mean over-dosing?

This is just another of those myths that doctors like to scare patients with when they want an increase in dose. We've heard it all before. There is no scientific basis to it.

People with Graves disease, with long-term over-range T3 have an increase risk - just a risk, not a certitude - of developing osteoporosis. But that is because it is over-range, and it is long-term. Anyone taking thyroid hormone replacement would soon realise they were over-medicated and reduce their dose long before they got to that stage.

Being hypo and untreated is far more likely to cause osteoporosis than over-dosing on thyroid hormone replacement, because low stomach acid, caused by low T3, means that people become deficient in nutrients essential to good bones, such as vitamin D3, magnesium, zinc, etc. Which is why we always advise people to get tested for nutrients.

You must realise that just because a doctor says something, doesn't mean it's got to be true. And it's really not very kind to come on here scaring people who are just starting out on this journey with unsubstantiated rumours such as this. We should always do our own research whenever a doctor says anything as unhelpful as this, because if we are hypo, we have no choice but to take thyroid hormone replacement if we want to live. And, if we want to live well, we have to take as much as it takes. :)


Was not scaring was letting people know to keep & eye on their calcium due to this can happen if on high doses

Better to take care of now then after


Levethyroxine 300 -275 Mcg


Been dealing with this roller coaster for 16 years Meds Up& Down TSH Up & Down

Was just trying to make others aware so they can make sure calcium levels are checked

Don't get why you would think otherwise


I explained why, very carefully, above.

It would appear, from what you say, that your doctor is just dosing by the TSH. A sure-fire way to cause problems!

And, if you think that calcium is the only thing that bones need, then you really are in trouble - I do hope that you're not taking calcium supplements!

You say further down that you have trouble absorbing - well, there you have your problem in a nu-shell! If you are not absorbing the nutrients that bones need, then you are going to get osteoporosis, nothing to do with the thyroid hormone replacement.

You also say that you are taking vit D3 'once a week'. I very much doubt that that is enough - what was your blood test result, and how much are you taking once a week?

You know, of course, that taking vit D increases the absorption of calcium from food. So, are you taking vit K.2 to make sure the extra calcium goes into the bones and, and not the tissues? Or you could end up with kidney stones, or a heart attack!


Due to my Hashimoto's Thryroiditis my TSH constantly goes up&down.

My antibiodies were very high & I was really sick is reason they up my dose to 300mcg.

With in 1 years time it decreased to 275,250,200,

175,& now 200 for 2 says & 150 for 5 days is how they have me taking it I also take T3 5mcg.

I understand their is a lot of controversy among the medical field regarding Thyroid medication & long term use and dosage in regards to Osteoporosis.

Once again did not intend to scare or disrespect anyone was just trying to say its important to keep an eye on your bone health.

I was just saying what happen to me and what my doctors told me which every doctor has their own medical opinions.

They all agree to disagree.

Thank you all for your information & opinions.

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Your TSH goes up and down because he keeps changing your dose. Is he testing your FT4 and FT3 as well?


Hmmm, Thyroid medication containing t3, if taken to excess, so that the free t3 is raised over the range, might cause osteoporosis..... And thyroid medication containing t4 only, might ause a problem as with nohyroid gland output, there would be no calcitonin, to keep cakcuim in the bones and prevent it leeching into the blood stream.

Which version of thyroid medication was your friend warning about? Was it too much t3 or too little calcitonin?

g. X

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Have they checked your Vit D? If you are taking Vit D3 supplements you should also take Vit K2 as this is best for your bones.

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Have to take Vitamine D 2 50,000 once a week & B12 ( I don't absorb) once a month

Oh calcium 600 once aday

But damage is already done

Have to get teeth pulled due to Osteoporosis

Just wanted those that didn't know about affects high doses of Levethyroxine can do to your bones.


Do you mean you are taking vitamin D2 at a dose of 50,000 iU per week?

Or vitamin D at a dose of 250,000 iU per week?

A space in the wrong place can make things rather confusing! :)


Vitamin D2 50,000 UNT CAP Once a week


You really should switch to vitamin D3 :


I will ask my doctor about the Vitamine D 3.

Because I don't do well in the sun I break out & can't handle the heat.


Vitamin D3 supplements are easy to get hold of on sites like Amazon or iherb, and in comparison to some supplements they aren't actually that expensive. They also come in a wide range of dosages.


And another link on the same subject :

(There is loads of stuff on this subject on the web.)


Retrowoman, if you nourish the bones correctly, the damage can be reversed. But 600 (mg? mcg?) of calcium daily is not the correct way. Are you taking vit K2 to make sure that calcium is directed into the bones? Are you taking magnesium, zinc and vit A? These all have to be balanced. And, you're not even taking the right form of vit D! I really think you ought to do some serious research into all this before you go laying all the blame on your thyroid hormone replacement. It's just not logical, and your doctor obviously has no idea what he's doing. Rather than repairing your bones, you're going to end up with a heart attack or kidney stones from all that calcium.


hi greygoose can you tell me what is K2 I have just been prescribed Faltium D800 IU and told to up my calcium through diet until I can get injections of Zoledronate for my osteoporosis


K2 is a vitamin. It works with calcium to make sure it goes into the bones and teeth, and doesn't accumulate in the tissues, like the kidneys and the heart. You should never take calcium without it for that reason.

You should also take it with vitamin D3, because D3 increases absorption of the calcium from food. So that extra calcium needs to be directed into the bones and teeth, too.

Unfortunately, doctors know absolutely nothing about nutrition, so they don't know all this. But, if you have osteoporosis, it is worth researching natural ways of treating it, rather than taking drugs with side effects - all drugs have some side effects. Bones don't just need calcium, as doctors seem to think. They need lots of different vitamins and minerals.


thanks for the info maybe I can buy the K2 vit to go with the D3 he prescribed he is a Rhuematologist you would think he should know!! he is going to arrange for me to have infussions only taken me 2 years to get this referal

I have some T3 which is 5 weeks over its expiry date any idea if it will still be ok to take? I have been trying to stock up as my gp is threatening to discontinue.


Yes, you'll find K2 on Amazon.

I should think the T3 will be OK. I've taken it older thanthat.


Well I'd have to agree on the fact that he doesn't understand all he should & fact is the Endocrinologist he sent me to was worse then him.

It's hard here in the states to find doctors that care more about the patient then the all mighty dollar.

Just when you think their listening turns out they weren't .

Sounds like doctors in the UK are more caring about the care of their patients.

So I will be following up on everything you have said & thank you


You're welcome.

Do you have any labs results to share with us? Because I'm still convinced that your doctor is just dosing by the TSH. You need to understand your results so that you can fight your corner to get better treatment. If your doctor doesn't know what he's doing, then you have to!


I have Hashimotos - take T3 - Crohns for over 45 years so won't be absorbing well and yet a recent bone scan was nigh on perfect at 70.

Check out osteoclasts and osteoblasts - there is a difference.


Am sorry this is not a proven scanario re osteoporosis & thyroid meds......its a hot potato in the endocrinology world. My endocrinologist told me & has put it in writing to my GP that so long as my thyroid hormones remain in range then they will not cause hatm.

Retrowoman with due respect, far more likely thats its your poor absorption level & low vitamin D levels that has caused the osteoporosis! I was under a metabolic bone specialist on the NHS for a while because my bones became very weak and actually broke due to lack of vit D -am unable to tolerate any sunshine even in the uk Consequently becuase my vit d was so low I was not absorbing any calcium in my diet. Once my vit D level was restored my calcium uptake improved dramatically and with prescribed calcium supplememts my bone density improved hugely. This all happened in the last 10years and my GP had no idea that was the cause despite me asking if inability to go in the sun would cause any problems. This is far more likely then any disputed claims over thyroid medication levels and thyroid hormones......

in your shoes I would ask to be referred to a bone density specialist. Its the least your GP could do.


The op has a very valid point. We should in any case all request regular bone density tests because preventative action can be taken before it's too late - regardless of the possible cause.

My endo sent me for one because he was worried about my suppressed TSH and my bones were in great shape. But I think problems only start to set in after menopause so will make sure I ask for a repeat a few years later.


I'm afraid I agree with those who have said that it is only when you take too much thyroid medication for your body that you might be at higher than normal risk of osteoporosis. The same goes for atrial fibrillation (another thing that doctors like to scare us with).

My FT4 was over-range for many years, but I was actually under-medicated because my FT3 was too low due to a conversion problem. I now buy my own T3 and things are improving, including my FT4 (on the same dose as before) being only mid-range now.

I have just had my first bone scan, and the result, as I expected, is normal.

We are at risk of many health problems if we are over-medicated or under-medicated. Also, we all have our own ideal levels, somewhere in the ranges, not just anywhere in the range, and this is why most doctors don't interpret the results properly. They think that anywhere in the range is ok. Or, in my case, they used to think that having FT3 under range is ok. They just worry about over-range.

It is all more complicated than the doctors realise. We all have to make thyroid function and treatment our specialist subject, and learn as much as we can!

Good luck with your treatment, I hope that between you and your doctors you can get your levels balanced.


Not true, if its a family trait that is different. Thyroid meds DO NOT cause osteoporosis.


Following the comment above, and further to my previous comment: high thyroid levels do not cause osteoporosis.

However, if you have osteoporosis, (for other reasons ie you would have got it anyway, without thyroid problems), and your thyroid levels are too high for you, then the disease will progress faster than it would with the appropriate levels for you.

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Well I don't know about that!

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis about 10 years ago, and only started taking NDT just over a year ago; I think I was already hypoT with NO thyroid meds., when I was diagnosed - so quite the opposite to your info!!


Hi RetroWoman,

You may find my two fact-based Blogs re Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 helpful. 🤓


Untreated hypothyroidism will cause/exacerbate osteoporosis, as will Vitamin D deficiency, etc. 😕




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