Valium and thyroid

Hi, am new here and only just posted earlier... about being undiagnosed but got many symptoms of underactive thyroid and my mum is diagnosed. Am on the way towards blood tests and a Dr Peatfield appt over the next month.in the meantime I'm very anxious and exhausted and the only thing I find helps me to just stop is valium. Otherwise I am too twitchy to try and do things and end up more exhausted... But I wanted to check, am I potentially damaging my thyroid further by taking valium?? I feel like it's the only thing to help me over the next few days... temporary of course as I know it is addictive.

Many thanks

53 Replies

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  • I don't think you will damage it, but I can't be 100% sure as I'm not a doctor. I also take Valium occasionally as I have a bad back and sometimes get spasms. My doctor knows about both medications as does my pharmacist and neither flagged up a contra-indication.

  • tinkerbell22

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I had a friend whose thyroid problem came on because she was taking Valium. She was rushed into hospital because she was being treated with Valium when it should have been Thyroxine.

    I am prescribed Propranolol (Beta Blocker) to calm me down but I only take it when I'm desperate and it isn't addictive but it is very effective and calms my tremor. I find the lowest dose is enough for me.

    I hope this helps you!

  • If they prescribed Valium when they should have prescribed thyroxine - often happens - then she already had a thyroid problem before she was prescribed the valium - otherwise, they wouldn't have prescribed anything at all - so it wasn't the valium caused her thyroid problem, was it.

  • That is a good point greygoose. I'm still taking the warning as I am undiagnosed too.

  • greygoose

    I can't tolerate any of the Valium type products but since tinkerbell is finding some benefit then I guess it's ok.... and yes I think you're right about prescribed the wrong drug initially.

  • Thank you both of you for your replies xx mych appreciated. It sounds like it could be one of those things where everyone reacts differently. But I'm definitely taking the warning seriously. I am reducing to the lowest dose I can, 2.5mg as this gives me a gentle calm and only using it to make me stop and rest.

    Propranolol. .. this keeps popping up around me and may be something to try again! I was prescribed it once but my counsellor encouraged me off it. Afterwards I felt that had been wrong of her to do so as it had been helping. I was also told I needed to take it daily and to let it build up in my system. Is this wrong?? Could I just have taken it as and when needed?

    Thank you muchly

  • tinkerbell22

    The best way to take Propranolol is 45mins before you are expecting a stressful situation although I have taken it after trauma but just stick to a very low dose and only for the stressful situation. If taken too frequently I've found it doubles up on the brain fog rather than relieving it.

  • Hi, Valium is highly addictive and a couple naturopaths tried to scare me off it . I don't take it regularly at all . If I take it I take 10 mg .. I take it for the body pain , spasms and fatigue. Sometimes I feel it helps release the tension ( fatigue ) - little and I get to have a good night sleep as I have insomnia. As long as you recognise as you are doing to wean down you should be find ... I think it helped me a lot during the beginning . I actually hate pharmaceuticals but I tried all natural supplements first .

  • Valium is prescribed for muscle pain.

  • It certainly helps with that! And spasms xx

  • Everything you say relates to me Carrob! I agree on all accounts! The max I've ever taken is 5mg. But just found 2.5mg helps take the edge off. It is great for all the symptoms you listed which I have too. I have tried every alternative / natural approach too. I even do crystal healing lol, and that helps to some degree. But some natural products like valerian give me anxiety as they wear off and make me even more tired during the day and I can't be doing with that! I take evening primrose oil daily and that helps, but if I miss one day boy do I suffer! Thank you for confirming everything

  • I take a 5mg tablet sometimes at night for the leg pain and spasms. Also helps with migraine. I cant tolerate too much. I have enough prescribed for me to take one every other day.

  • Gosh, my GP would never prescribe such a high dose as 5mg. I was given diazepam for muscle spasms. Prescription was for 2mg tablets, with a max dose of three a day, and I was so scared of getting addicted that I mostly took half a tablet at a time. I don't think I ever took more than two x 2mg tabelts in a 24 hour period.

  • Sorry, I should have clarified there that I was never given enough 2mg tablets to take more than one every other day, not enough for 3 x 2mg every day :)

  • Horses for courses. I have the option of splitting the pill,and because I have enough to take two a week doesnt mean that I do it. In any case 2 a week is hardly going to get me addicted. The addiction factor of cocodamol or DF118 is far higher.

  • I've been splitting mine into 2.5mg so I can ease my anxiety. It releases the brain fog so I can think clearer. It makes me have more energy but I have to be careful with that, very careful, as I can easily overdo it. But it's nice relief... and reduces muscle tension while I'm at it

  • PS I found if I took a whole 2mg valium it gave me candida feelings! But half a 5mg valium was fine! I think I react to all the junk they put in the 2mg tablet to pad it out into a full tablet?

  • My GP prescribes 5 mg tablets for back spasms, but in reality if I have a spasm the most I'd take to start is half that, so 2.5 mg and after that, a quarter tablet if I need it, which would be 7-8 hrs later. It's very rare for me to take half a tablet, a quarter (1.25mg) makes me feel dopey and I can feel my muscles relaxing. I get through a pack (21 tablets) in around 6-7 months.

  • I'd have to take a full 10mcg tablet to make me feel dopey. Ive had so many tablets of various sorts over the years that I have a high resistance. But it does relax me, which cant be bad for my adrenals considering the amount of stress I am under atm. Also helps pain and muscle spasms too.

  • I am glad someone brought up the subject of benzodiazepines . Unfortunately valium doesn't help me much at all and the shame of it is that now one can buy it (it seems legally) via a u.k. company on line. I have to say though that many health professionals don't understand how thyroid can affect you mentally. I had a bad experience last year and was put on mirtazapine because psychs have tunnel vision and everything is blamed on depression or anxiety. I am not on any thyroid medication but have hugely over the range antibodies and of course because GP surgeries do not do the required tests, everything comes back within the normal range. I've started a gluten free diet and in a few weeks will do the all in one test kit. I cannot take propranolol as I suffer with mild asthma but I remember when my mother was put on them and my uncle they felt terrible as if they were dragging a ball and chain around. This was for high blood pressure. I find the only thing that calms me down but again a benzo which is addictive is bromazepam. Just one 3mg tablet seems to wash away a lot of fears about my health. I have numerous problems, thyroid, parathyroid, severe osteoporosis and on Friday ultrasound confirmed bursitis, impingement and a tear in my shoulder. I wonder what is next to come, lol!

    I am sure that these drugs do nothing to aggravate or cause thyroid problems. The only thing I have found out is with hyperparathyroidism that the drug given for bi-polar (can't think of the name having a brain fog morning) can cause hyperparathyroidism but not sure if or how it affects the thyroid. So I wouldn't worry too much about valium, just popping one now and again to relieve anxiety I am sure will not do any harm. I intend to just pop a Lexotan now and again for as long as I can get them.

  • Bless you I'm so sorry you are struggling alot and like me finding it hard to get clarity from the drs! I'm glad you have found something to take the edge off too. You know a lot of this crazy anxiety is caused by the fights we have to have with our drs to get our symptoms recognised!!! Jeez.

    I worry about putting strain on my thyroid with any chemical, hence worrying if valium is ok... but the worrying is what's taking me further into a spin, so valium has to be the lesser of two evils right now lol!

    Re the supply of benzos online... I have to say yes this is risky given the severe addictive side of things but when you are faced with a dr who won't prescribe a benzo due to fear you won't use them respectfully and carefully and assume you're a drug fiend.... well that's another ridiculous situation again. And again people are forced to self prescribe just like with thyroid..... just saying! Xx

  • I couldn't agree more. We are in the hopeless situation with GP's even endocrinologists. If its "within the normal range" my most hated phrase, then that's it. Same with hyperparathyroidism, calcium and HPT can be high end normal which is not normal but "its within the normal range". I would never want to get hooked on benzo's so I take them maybe once a week or under duress twice, crazy as it sounds like I like a treat. When my husband died decades ago, I lived in Australia and was left with a three year old and the doctor prescribed these Lexotan. They were wonderful but after eight years and then coming back to the U.K. I decided to get off them. As it was I had a struggle to get them here and then my GP used to write a prescription for 50 a year. Pharmacy had to get them from Denmark I think and was a private prescription and they were not cheap but after several years he retired and I couldn't be bothered to go through all the performance with new GP so I get them elsewhere now. It was hell getting off them but I managed it so I know what I would be in for, to start them properly again. If I had a guaranteed supply for the rest of my life and that sometimes doesn't seem very far off (I'm 69 now) I would take one a day xx

  • Elaine , I possibly have recurrent hyperparathyroidism and it's horrible . Will you have surgery? There is an awesome uk group and I started the Aussie group hyperparathyroidism support group Australia if you would like to join. Are you getting surgery ? That will hopefully alleviate a lot of symptoms for you. If my issue is thr parathyroid all I can say is " the despair and brain fog and anhedonia that I get with it is awful .. depression as well but it's the cloudy head that is tormenting as it never goes away .. is your calcium and pth high ?

  • Hi Carrob

    Glad you have started the Aussie group. Surgery for me, well I only thought parathyroidism was the least of my worries and osteoporosis but now got this antibodies thing to contend with and the shoulder injury. I keep asking myself what next. I went down the private route because GP's are so useless and ended up spending over £6k on a really bad endo and then subsequently went to a surgeon in London who was interested the fact that a previous ultrasound had said possible adenoma. However, he wanted his sonographer just to confirm it and the latter said he didn't think so but shadowing which made the first sonographer think it was a small growth. He also picked up the fact that I had inflammation and suspected Graves and suggested an antibodies test, that was in march and the dopey surgeon ignored that and said lets concentrate on the vitamin D experiment. Hoping to stir up the calcium and pth. I wasn't deplete anyway, was around 89 and after 12 weeks it was raised to 158 but didn't do much to stir up the pth or calcium, in fact slightly increased pth and slightly decreased calcium. In the meantime I had the antibodies test and he sent me to another endo about my osteoporosis, who also wanted antibodies test. So months 18 months on I am back where I started plus more problems.

  • Anxiety attacks in any case seem to be par for the course with hypothyroid. Its a really nasty disease. I wake up with one every morning, but manage to stave it off using mindfullness. A lot of my problem is that being as ill as Ihave has totally destroyed my self-confidence, but at the same time my intolerance level has gone through the roof, and if anybody upsets or annoys me I go in studs first and dont take prisoners. A bit like a crab coming out of its shell brandishing its pincers.

  • Hi Mrs Raven

    I am glad you said that as these damned gp's and psychiatrists have tunnel vision and so if you are anxious it has to be depression and mental anxiety. They never think that a physical ailment could be causing a mental problem so its anti depressants. I too wake up every morning after a not very pleasant sleep and wonder what the hell the day will bring. Sometimes I feel like I am dying mentally and physically. If I set a target, stupid as it sounds like half or a whole bromazepam say on a Wednesday usually on the sunday I am just longing for Wednesday to arrive. It is a terrible way to be, I have nightmares about old people's homes and how long before I end up in one, having been through hell with both parents with horrendous nursing homes. I never did have much confidence but now it's zilch. If I am going anywhere out of my comfort zone I want to pop a benzo. Nearly three weeks ago one of my cats had to have a hind leg amputated and I don't know who reacted the worst, the poor cat or myself. I cannot take anything in my stride any more. I feel very sorry for you as we sound like we have similar problems.

    My tolerance level is not so great either and I get very impatient. Whilst I was taking these mirtazapine back earlier this year, they insisted on increasing the dose. I knew it wasn't right and I began to start swearing and getting really angry, the four cats got the verbal abuse as I live on my own. I said to the psych and she just laughed and said if you were doing that outdoors I might be worried. Anyway, I gradually weaned myself off them completely.

    I hope you have a pleasant week if you can, not a good start today with the depressing weather.

  • The dull weather makes me depressed anyway. Stumbling around in semi darkness unless we have all the lights on. I lose my temper and swear at the slightest thing. So bad tempered some times I think my husband wonders why he married me. I hate it, because I was always so laid back and capable. Ive increased my T3 slightly, and some things have improved. Giving it another week and might slightly increase again.

    Everything seems so pointless.

  • The weather doesn't help. I would like to be a Dormouse or hedgehog and just go to sleep and wake up in Spring, or in fact sometimes not wake up at all. Not a good day for me today, felt like I was dying mentally and physically this morning. It started yesterday evening felt queasy after drinking a cup of lemon balm tea and then I go into panic mode (thinking of the 13 weeks of hell last year), popped a 2mg valium but to no avail. I just read a post on a Thyroid group on Facebook where someone asked if anyone has other symptoms or diseases apart from thyroid. My goodness it was scary and I supposed I should think myself lucky but worry I will eventually get like some of them. It's only my four cats that bear the brunt of my irritability. My husband died 31 years ago when my daughter was 3 so I live alone.

  • And still the drs blame anxiety.... it's shameful. Same has been going on for me for nearly 30 years

  • i have been prescribed valium for years, i only take it when needed but have found now i am near optimally medicated with my thyroid i need it much less than i use to. I use to take it prob 10-14 days a month now it is maybe 1-3 days a month) i believe a lot of my anxiety was hypo thyroid related and an inability to handle stress, i was undiagnosed for 7 years after thyroidectomy! I try to keep stress to a minimum but lets face it with work and dealing with drs (lol) its not always easy. Remember high stress/cortisol block thyroid function and thyroid med absorbtion.

    Personally i think once optimally medicated a lot of other stuff falls into place. I have heel bursitis at moment after a very busy few days on my feet, the better i feel, the more i want to do, then i over do it and end up over tired or in pain, i became very weak after so many years untreated and being house bound, so i need to build strength and stamina.

    Elaine please be sure of your shoulder diagnosis. I had excruciating shoulder pain, misdiagnosed as torn muscle, then ligament, then detached ligament, then neck injury all instructions were DO NOT move shoulder/arm and heavy pain killers which didnt help. I went for 2nd scan and she asked few questions one was 'are you hypo' i had a frozen shoulder which is very common in hypo people, worst thing i could have done was not move it as i was instructed for 6 months. 3 months of physio which made me cry in pain every day and i am back to normal, that arm and shoulder is weaker now and i use light weights every day but no pain. Once again wrong diagnosis made me worse.

    xx

  • I'm really sorry to hear you have suffered so much. Yes the shoulder thing is awful. The pain goes right up into my jaw and down to my elbow. It all started in July when I overreached to get a front door curtain up to shield off the sun. I was lazy, should have got a stool. I have put up with it all this time, thinking or hoping it was a frozen shoulder. I say that because I had a frozen shoulder in the other shoulder for a long time about 12 years ago. Had acupuncture for 5 weeks twice a week and did nothing. I said to the physio department at the time, my mother had ultrasound treatment in Australia and the reply was we only do that when it's chronic. Well by that time it was chronic. I had two sessions, and I am sure it wasn't psychological but it felt slightly easier and I had a walking stick from the old girl next door and I lay on the bed and held onto it with both arms and forced them up until they were flat on the bed behind me, it hurt like hell but did the trick. As you know a frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis. So I was hoping this was the same.

    I eventally went to GP in September as I have had so many other appointments and I asked her is it possible to get a frozen shoulder from over reaching to which she replied yes. Turns out this wasn't so. I didn't want to do anything lethal in the way of exercise until I found out what it was.

    The sonographer pointed out the bursitis and the tear on the screen but it all looked like bubbling grey and black mess to me. He said go to gp next week and discuss I said ha ha be lucky if I get an appointment in three weeks. He suggested acupuncture or light physio. I said physio have said 16 weeks plus waiting time! He said that osteoporosis and arthritis doesn't help. It is the tear that has upset me the most and will only get bigger and doesn't heal only surgery which I could not face.

    All I need is for the other shoulder to go!! I live on my own and have four cats. I had made handles on litter trays, got no bend bowls but life is quite difficult especially not having a car.

  • There is a link between frozen shoulder - and lots of joint issues - with LOW thyroid - ie T3 :-)

  • So I believe but GP's don't know this???? Even the second endo I saw was puzzled by terrible backache and he did actually ask gp for various blood tests including one for bone cancer and the antibodies which nobody else has ever bothered about. Took three attempts at the latter as it's not on their "pick list" as is HPTH not on either (the excuse for than being, "it can go off in the van").

  • i forgot to say i am prescribed 2mg tablets and have never needed to take more than 3 in a day when really bad. I have never felt withdrawals off them when i dont use them so maybe i take too small a dose to feel any withdrawals. I would deff have been worse without them and even now the odd occasion i take them, it nips the anxiety in the bud rather than let it escalate.

    x

  • My dr gave me Valium for flights (12monthsago) and when I had lost parents(4 years) so I think you should be ok, I've been diagnosed about 10 yrs and only allowedshort term for Valium as they are addictive (says dr)

  • I believe that. I was on mirtazapine because of the horrendous 13 weeks I went through last autumn, non stop racing heart, nausea and insomnia. I believed all along it was something physical but oh no, it has to be depression and anxiety. I took them for a few months and they were trying to increase them but I didn't feel right and eventually weaned myself off them. I really think they were masking something. But as I say I am not on any thyroid meds.

  • That's from the hyperparathyroidism 😢 Hugs

  • I was using Valium like you and Propanol- I didn't realise just how bad it was damaging my well being. I flew back from Turkey and had to be taken in a wheel chair was so bad, I think Valium does not work well with NDT or Propranolol- now I don't take either but I can really understand how you can use them to help you through anxiety but on reflection what I thought was helping was truly escalating the problem. A year on- anxiety so much better and taking NDT which took nearly a year to settle at thee right level. I think propranolol really made me low and Valium on top of that. I hope you find a way through- you will- I used the Linden Method for anxiety and before that I was really bad but now life looks much brighter so believe you can do it. Gradually you will get there. The thyroid creates all sorts of issues and then anxiety can roller coasters as you think what the hell is happening to my body - it took me over a year off work and changing my career as well as other changes but now I'm getting there. I have Hashimotos. Take care

  • I also saw Dr Peatfield and found him a great help, guide and comfort

  • There is science to demonstrate that benzodiazepines suppress T3. It is easy to google. You may find this helpful: benzobuddies.org/forum/inde...

  • There are several papers (about 15) which raise at least questions about the interaction of benzodiazepine (valium) and thyroid. If interested, have a look here:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?te...

    Make life easy by changing Format: Summary to Format: Abstract (near top left of page).

  • Just wanted to thank everyone for all your replies on this!! Very helpful. Sorry I'm unable to reply to everyone personally right now, having a dip this evening xx

  • Hopefully you get diagnosed! All of my blood work is completely in the middle of normal range. And I've had every blood test done. I take klonopin 0.5mg occasionally, usually only 1/2 tab at a time. Unfortunately I'm now getting a second option from a psychiatrist because my mood is so bad I cannot function or think. It's getting so bad I may have to take a semester off of college. I just cannot think. Also take adderall as was diagnosed ADHD. It only helps keep me awake now. Best of luck!

  • Crzygirl I'm so sorry to read this. Are your readings normal meaning, drs version of normal? But when compared to Thyroid UK website are they not normal? I'm reading Dr Peatfield's book and he mentions ADHD as related to thyroid..?

  • Hi, Yes-all of my thyroid bloodwork & antibioties show completely normal. No antibodies, etc. slightly deficit in vit D, have been taking supplements. I did have an EMG today which did show nerve damage. I get mild-severe pain throughout my body. Hands & feet always cold. Neurologist ran a bunch of bloodwork & will get head/neck MRI with bloodwork results end of next month. I'm in my 20's with. Nerve damage! I'm not diabetic which is the #1 cause. Don't drink, haven't been exposed to toxins etc....another waiting game. Thanks for checking in, I just want to have energy again!

  • Hi use of Valium can alter your blood results and make them inaccurate so if you are trying to get your dose of levothyroxine correct, bear that in mind. My source was a peer reviewed paper from an experiment sorry I don't have the link to hand.

  • Thank you. Ironically, because my GP surgery is of no help, I have to travel to London to get any tests done or see an endocrine specialist and because of the upheaval of trains and underground I always pop a benzo. So if you are right, my results would be affected by that. I don't take any other medication. I'm going to do the £99 finger prick test in a couple of weeks or so.

  • Elaine2447 I'm about to do that finger prick test too! Beats travelling ;)

  • Good luck with that. I am a little nervous as although I have done a couple of vitamin D tests successfully, from what I saw on the video demo, you have to squeeze enough blood out into tubes. You see even the thought of that fills me with anguish, I feel like I am going mad. I would ask my dear cleaning girl to assist but when I took my cat to the vet with her and their was blood pumping out of his leg, she nearly passed out. On one of the tests when I did a dummy run into the shopping basket it asked "with assistance". Cant remember which one but I wondered what the assistance was. Unfortunately the calcium and pth has to be done at one of Blue Horizon's allotted hospitals and costs around £200 as far as I remember, but that is still cheaper than paying to see an endo and then having the tests done via him. Last time I did a vitamin D test via an endo it cost £158 at the Spire in Cambridge whereas the Birmingham NHS Assay place do the kit for £28. Please let me know how you get on. I cant see myself having any reduction in antibodies at this short stage of cutting out gluten and on Saturday I was furious, felt a bit peckish on the train goig to my daughters, and ate a very small packet of Nairns cheesey cracker things which I got in the Sainsbury free from aisle. I was horrified to see when I was folding up the packet to throw away it said NOT GLUTEN FREE. It wasn't very clear and I mistook it for gluten free. I read somewhere that eating something with gluten after going GF can set you back 6 months!!

  • Spm1 thank you for this! My dr is testing for only TSH in 2 days, and I am taking valium at the moment but planning to stop all tomorrow (24hours before my tests). Should this be ok? (Except for my anxiety lol)

  • Not sure chuck. It depends on how it works in your system..

    If you google thyroid and Valium this site - thyroid uk list it as a drug that 'strains the thyroid'

    As interfering with the working of the gland or test results -

    There's a paper in Br Med J that concludes you don't need to stop taking Valium but the sample size fur that experiment is very small.

    In the 60s n 70s there was speculation that use of Benzos were actually causing thyroid Issues..

    In short, there's a plethora of articles on google but it would take a great deal of time to wade through and understand it.

    My personal view is 24hrs might not make a great deal of difference (though it might) so it might be worth discussing the accuracy of your results with your doctor or Endocrinologist.

    Good luck.

  • I did a bit of googling: (source: medicines.org.uk/emc/medici...

    Diazepam is readily and completely absorbed from the GI tract, peak plasma concentrations occurring within about 30-90 minutes of oral administration. Diazepam crosses the blood-brain barrier and is highly lipid soluble. Diazepam has a biphasic half-life with an initial rapid distribution phase followed by a prolonged terminal elimination phase of 1 or 2 days; its action is further prolonged by the even longer half-life of 2-5 days of its principle active metabolite, desmethyldiazepam (nordiazepam), the relative proportion of which increases in the body on long-term administration.

    There are a few meds that increase the half life and they're mentioned on that page. Hope that helps! :)

  • Very interesting articles thank you Helvella and Willerbee.

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