Thyroid UK
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Mental Health problems

I have underactive thyroid for six years. I am under the care of my local dr i take 200mcgs of levothyroxin.i have many health issues such as depression. hair falling out..weight gain..brittle nails the list is endless I am on so many tablets for pain and depression.I asked my Dr if I could change levo to something else.she sent me to see an endo who told me they only issue levo and most of my problems are due to mental health.Didn't really help..What I want to no is there a differant thyroid medication I can take to help releive even some of my symptoms.

Any help would be much appreciated

Thanks in advace

8 Replies

angel2006 The symptoms you mention could very well be caused by you not being optimally treated, and as you are on 200mcg Levo my guess is that you aren't absorbing it or not converting T4 to T3 or you have vitamin and mineral deficiencies which are preventing the Levo from working properly.

Do you have any test results you can post, with their reference ranges, so that members can comment. You can get a print out of your results if you are in the UK as you are legally entitled to them under the Data Protection Act 1998.

What you really need is the following tests:




TPO antibodies

TG antibodies

Vit D




If your GP won't test for all these then you can get them done privately with Blue Horizon (if you're in the UK) with their Thyroid Plus Eleven test

When you have the results, post them and members can see if there are any deficiencies and suggest supplements where necessary. Also it will show if you are converting T4 to T3 well enough and suggestions can be made as to what may help if you're not.


Thanks seasidesusie for your help ,here's my blood results

TSH- 0.11



HbA1c - 49

GFR- 71

Sodium -14.1

Potassium - 4.7

I haven't a clue what all this means .on all of them it says no action.Hope you can make head or tail out of them ,thanks again


Do you have the ranges for them angel2006 ? It would look something like

TSH - 0.11 (0.20-4.20) etc

Ranges differ from lab to lab but going by what we frequently see your TSH is actually in a good place, FT4 - not quite sure, could be mid-range, definitely need the range there. FT3 - I'm guessing low.


Hi seasidesusie ,

T3-3.6 ---2.50-6.50PMOL/L





Are these what you needed


Yes, thank you angel2006

As far as your thyroid results are concerned then TSH is actually in a good place but your GP might not like it because it's below the lower end of the reference range - that isn't a problem.

FT4 is in the upper third of it's range which is generally where many people find it's best.

Your problem lies with your FT3. That is generally best in the upper quarter of it's range (if that is where you feel best) and yours is just 27% through it's range. Your FT4:FT3 ratio is 4.9:1. Good conversion takes place at 4:1 or less. Both of these facts show that you aren't converting T4 to T3 anywhere near good enough. My suggestion (and I am not medically qualified, this is from my own experience) is that you probably need the addition of T3 to your Levo. You probably need to get your FT3 up to around 5.5+. It's unlikely that your GP will know any of this or agree to it. You may want to ask for a referral to an endo who are the ones who decide if you can have T3 and then your GP should take over prescribing it. However, there are fewer and fewer people getting T3 now because it is very expensive and many CCGs are no longer allowing it to be prescribed, although they are saying that it's because there is no evidence that it works.

However, conversion can't take place unless all the vitamins and minerals are at their optimal levels ie:

Ferritin - half way through it's range, with a minimum of 70 for thyroid hormone to work properly. Hair loss is a sign of low ferritin.

Vit D - the recommended level is 100-150nmil/L. Aches and pains are a sign of low Vit D.

B12 - at the top of it's range, even 900-1000.

Folalte - at least half way through it's range.

So you really need to know where your levels lie. If there are any deficiencies you should supplement to get them all to optimal levels - details in my previous post of where to get these done if your GP wont do them. It's also useful to know if antibodies are present as well, if you have autoimmune thyroid disease then a gluten free diet should help reduce the antibody attacks.

Personally, I would get these tests done before considering T3, because poor conversion might be happening purely because of deficiencies.

You could also supplement with selenium, 200mcg L-selenomethionine daily, as that helps with conversion of T4 to T3.

HbA1c is used when testing for diabetes. With yours at 49, and the range being <41, I would ask your GP why he has said no action is required. Please look at the table in this link under 'HbA1c in diagnosis' and ask your GP why he is ignoring your raised HbA1c.

GFR is to do with kidney function and your result is within range so no red flags there. However as diabetes is a risk factor in kidney disease, again discuss your HbA1c result with your GP in relation to your GFR result.

1 like

Thanks seasidesusie for all your help .I did see an endo last week but she brushed off my symptoms saying they where to do with depression. She did bloods am waiting for them results also she's sending me for a scan of my thyroid as it feels like I have something tight around my neck ,I'll post the new tests when I get them

Thanks again


angel2006 Oh, they do like to throw the depression diagnosis at us. Depression is often a symptom of hypothyroidism, so being optimally medicated frequently means no more depression! They just don't get that all these symptoms are tied up. They tend to treat each symptom individually and say it's nothing to do with hypothyroidism :(

1 like

Low T3 will cause depression in many people.

T3 has been withdrawn by the NHS from almost everyone who takes it because of the expense. But I wanted to point out that the NHS pays much, much, MUCH more for T3 than people who buy it online. So don't give up on the idea of getting T3 - you could buy it yourself.

I would definitely recommend you first get your nutrient levels tested as SeasideSusie suggested, before making any radical changes to your thyroid medication. Improving nutrients can improve conversion from T4 to T3 in some people.

If you can afford to get your own testing done privately, then the following test should be considered :

The test above (first link) can be bought as a microtainer test (finger-prick test - see second link) or a vacutainer test (blood sample from the arm like the NHS does).

If you buy the vacutainer test you would have to find someone to take blood for you. This may be expensive unless you happen to know a nurse or phlebotomist.


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