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Vitiligo triggered by over dosing T4?


I have been diagnosed hypothyroid for about 10 years after symptoms of lethargy. I had been on relatively low levels of thyroxine for 7 or 8 years. Having then taken a keener interest recently I have had dose increased up to 150 microgram T4 last year my tsh was down to 1. however I felt worse, couldn't sleep well, excessively hot and sweaty, no improvement in energy, and then the start of vitiglio on my chin and throat. I have since backed off my dose of T4 and changed to NDT. I generally feel much better, more energy and feel healthy, apart from the vitiglio that is still spreading.

I am wondering if I could have been misdiagnosed originally? my tsh is currently 12 but I feel great on the lower dose. I am also wondering if the vitiglio was triggered by the overdosing of T4 if I didn't really need it?

apart from going GF what else can I do to get my immune system back to normal?

Many thanks in advance

11 Replies


Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear that you have been so unwell.

A TSH of 12 is much too high to feel well. What dose NDT are you medicating ? and are you taking any other meds ?

Have you been tested for thyroid antibodies TPOAb and TGAb denoting Hashimotos Autoimmune Disease.


Hi that for your quick reply.

I am on one grain of Nature Throid so equivalent to 50micro gram of T4. I take multivitamins and immiflex (beta glucans + d3) and I now take ginkgo biloba for vitiligo. I was tested for antibodies two years ago:

Thyroglobin antibody = 65IU/ml

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies = 6 IU/ml.

I haven't had these re tested since I change to NDT. I know tsh of 12 is high but I feel so much better than I did when it was 1.

If I was re tested and those came back positive would it change my treatment options?

Thanks again



No, treatment is the same but it is useful to know antibody levels in order to accommodate a good management plan. You haven't given the ranges so it is difficult to tell (although they look low)..

Although I feel well now, my antibodies are still higher than I would like at TPOAb >300 so I supplement curcumin and resveratrol, both known for their antioxidant qualities in helping reducing inflammation. Also Lipoic Acid, Kaprex A1 and tons of Vit C .

Vit D is a massive immune modulator, together with optimising all nutrients but especially Vit B12, folate and ferritin, which just help everything to work better. If you don't know you are optimal in these, ask your GP to test and post results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.

High antibody levels encourage damaging inflammation and put us at risk of developing other autoimmune conditions. As all the common avenues (diet, optimal nutrients, etc) had been explored, I am now investigating histamine and have just had a Diamine Oxidase Activity test.

Re T4 - Like you I could never medicate enough to feel well as my body just wouldn't tolerate it. There is a common known genetic condition that impairs the ability to convert T4 - T3. This means someone medicating Levo alone with this gene impairment might never be able to achieve well being, depending on the extent of the impairment.

I feel so much better on NDT too. Your dose sounds low. Do you have recent thyroid hormone test results to post complete with ranges (numbers in brackets). You may (hopefully) find your condition improves as thyroid hormones optimise.


I don't know anything about vitiligo but the following link explains how we can modulate the immune system to help dampen our responses to auto- immune conditions.



DIO2 Gene.

You probably won't need this testing as are already medicating NDT (containing T3) but it is interesting reading



Thank you for your detailed response I will look into those links. the ranges for the antibodies were 0 - 115 and 0 - 36 so I was well within ranges for them.

Really frustrating that I feel so much better now, and if it wasn't for vitiglio I'd be much happier!


When your TSH was 1 were you taking levothyroxine alone then.?



Yes I got my tsh down to around 1 when I was on 150 microgram levothyroxine with nothing else.


When we have one autoimmune disease we can get others. At present I have three.

This is an excerpt:

The researchers found that vitiligo was highly associated with other autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, Addison's disease, and adult-onset autoimmune diabetes.

The researchers then were able to identify a particular gene that makes people more susceptible to vitiligo and other autoimmune diseases, particularly autoimmune thyroid disease.


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As Shaws says, Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition closely associated to Hashi's.

I developed vitiligo 34 years ago and was diagnosed with Hashi's 17 years ago. I found that over the last 8 years or so, the vitiligo had started to recede, but I don't think it was related to medication levels.

I guess it just another one of the vagaries of autoimmune conditions!

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I experienced similar vitiligo all over both arms when on excessive T4.(T4 went above top of range) I had increased Levo from 125mcg to 150mcg. TSH was typically around 0.03 on increased dose (Also lost most my eyebrows)

When I reduced back to 125mcg, (definitely not easy!) vitiligo also slowly faded.

Now improving on gluten free diet, plus vitamins D, B12, b complex, selenium & vitamin C.


Thanks for your post SlowDragon and I'm glad you're symptoms are improving. How log after you dropped back did you notice the improvement of your vitiligo? I've dropped back in dose for 6 months but it seems to be spreading quicker each day.


I have had vitilogo for years, it started at least 20 years before my thryroid went stupid. I now have at least 50% of my skin with no pigment, including a Cruella DeVille streak in my hair! I cover the bits that show by using a tanning lotion, but you have to chose carefully as most of them tan by using the natural pigments in your skin. There may also be a "camoflage" clinic in your hospital which helps those cover bad scarring, but they gave me a tub of very thick cream over 10 years ago which is still in use, as I only use it on my face.

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