Depression, Stress, long periods, tiredness, hypothyroidism


I'm a trainee teacher under a huge amount of stress. I had hypothyroidism 2 years ago and took my medication for 6 week and then stopped. Ever since then I have been on my period for 2 years, with a couple of months in between where it would stop. I have been so depressed, basically since I was eleven. But it's been much worse in the last two years and especially in the past month. Mostly due to stress, not sleeping and extreme tiredness. I went to my GP who says that I was supposed to go and see them regularly and not leave my medicines. I was wondering if anybody here knows; if I go back on those medicines, "Levothyroxine", will the depression, stress, tiredness and long menstrual periods be healed? And if so, how long would this take? I'd really appreciate anyone's experience with this, as I really can't afford to be this way whilst I'm learning how to be a teacher. Thank you.

43 Replies

  • Do you mean, you've been on your period for almost the whole two years? If so, I'm no expert so maybe see what others say, but I really think you should be referred to a specialist get this looked into properly as I don't think this is a normal hypo symptom anyway. Mine were always more far apart why hypo. You are most likely aneamic too so this should be looked at???

    But yes, if you were diagnosed hypo, you should really be taking the medication, it is something that will generally only get worse.

  • In fact, I would suggest you get this looked into as soon as possible :-)

  • Yes I'm taking a blood test today to get it checked, because my doctor says she can't determine the problem without it. It could be anything. And my periods usually last for 4-5 months and the automatically stop for 2-3 months in between.

  • Just in case I confused issues, yes my periods are always heavier and a couple of days longer when I'm hypothyroid but the lower I am the more spaced out they are etc but I don't think this normally equates to a continual period so I think this should be considered a seperate issue at least just to rule it out as a seperate issue at first to check all is functioning well there. Did she do a hormone profile in your blood tests or mention referral to a gynecologist? If all is well, it possibly could be helped with throid meds as you never know :-)

  • I had high testosterone & my periods were never regular. I got pregnant after trying for 4 yrs without mensturating for 9 months. Check your testosterone level & for POD.

  • Thank you. That is a big help. After hearing everybody's experiences, I'm really more hopeful than I was about two days ago. I hope I get better the same way that you have. 😊

  • I really think you need to see a gynaecologist. Does your GP know about your bleeding irregularity? Also if you use the pill or other hormones you definitely need to see your GP as that cycle isn't right and you could have a hormone imbalance which would also give you these symptoms. The problem with the endocrine system being off balance is other systems that need regulation go off balance and our brains react to this. Please get this checked out asap?

  • I did tell her about all the issues including the long periods. She hadn't said anything about referring me yet. She just said to get a blood test done for everything since she doesn't know what the issue is. After they get back, that's when they'll decide what to do.

  • You tell her that your young and have your life before you and your tired of all this, it's not good for you. It is normal for her to request blood test before going any further. One thing I've found over the years sometimes you just have to say enough is enough. Good luck but please don't back down?

  • Good for you! I wonder if you can tell me though, how you get Natural Armour Thyroid in the UK, as my daughter has to order hers from the US, which costs a lot of money and then, to add insult to injury, she has to pay £70 import tax. She is a poorly paid teacher. If you have a chemist prepared to get it in for you, we would love to know the address because even if the cost of the Armour Thyroid were the same, she wouldn't have to pay the import duty. Many thanks for your uplifting post. - Klytie

  • Please pm me where you can buy armours ndt I would love to be able to buy and help my girlfriend

  • Could you please let me know where in the U. S. You buy this as I would love to help my girlfriend with her thyroid problem as levo is useless

  • Heavy periods are a hypo symptom. This doesn't mean you shouldn't investigate what is behind this one long period, but if nothing untoward is found I would expect it to improve on levo.

    No one can tell you how you will feel on levo, but it is by far the most common treatment for hypothyroidism. One thing that won't restore your health is doing nothing and failing to replace inadequate hormone.

    Most people who take levo never look back. You're here among the hardcore minority who may not do well on levo or (even more common I'm guessing) are not prescribed enough levo to allow them feel well.

    Let's put it this way: if you're taking a good dose of levo, one which gets your hormones in the right place (not a skimpy dose) you will almost certainly not feel worse than you do now. You are likely to have lighter periods, some of that awful depression should lift, you should be able to sleep better, deal w stress better and you should have more energy. If any/all of these things do not happen you can have a look at your dose and whether you need to supplement various nutrients.

    When I have been undermedicated I feel just as you describe yourself now. I was sleepless, exhausted and miserable. I'm not energybags, far from it, but I could not function without my meds.

    What dose were you on when you were taking it?

  • Honestly, it was such a long time ago that I don't remember. I hadn't asked them what the medicine was for and or what it does, because I was just eager to leave. In hindsight, I probably should have researched it a bit more. It would have saved me all this trouble.

  • Ask your GP to test TSH, T4, T3, anti-Tg, anti-TPO, cortisol, iron, ferritin, folate, B12, vitamin D, celiac. Get test before 9am and drink only water beforehand. Ask for a copy of your results and put them (with ranges) in a new message and you will get lots of useful feedback from members.

    Your ferritin may be very low due to your periods, and stress can cause many symptoms. Try to address your stress level by seeking support (teacher training shouldn't make you ill) and take as much time as you can each day for deep breathing, yoga, lavender baths, mindfulness, walking in nature etc.

    Levo is thyroid hormone replacement. If your thyroid doesn't make enough then you'll need to take this or other hormone replacement on an ongoing basis. I would also ask for a referral re your periods.

    After testing you could also try weaning off gluten, which may improve your symptoms. Good luck x

  • I'm being tested today for liver function tests, thyroid function tests, ferritin, urea and electrolytes, lipid profile and fasting glucose.

    I'm getting my results in two days so I'll have to wait and see what they say.

  • Is it possible to get the other tests added? These are tests recommended by Thyroid UK, plus celiac, which would be good to test given your symptoms.

  • I could ask at the blood test centre. Or just ring up my GP. But I'll have to do it in about two hours because I have to the school pretty soon.

  • But I hope you haven't eaten and to be honest, if you are in the UK, it's already too late in the day. Your TSH fluctuates during the day and is at its highest around 4am. Most doctors don't understand this.

  • I haven't eaten since last night. The GP said not to at least 12 hours before the test.

  • If you are having long and heavy periods, it could be you are suffering with anaemia. You need to get this checked out and should be given iron supplements, sometimes folic acid and B12 jabs too. Once diagnosed with a thyroid condition, especially underactive, you are on medication for life.

    One of the reasons that you might be depressed and suffering with long prolonged periods is because you are not taking your medication correctly and/or not having enough medication. The doses can take ages to correct and your Dr is right in saying that you need regular check ups.

    Stress can make your periods worse also and the extreme tiredness is most probably a combination of incorrect medication, not taking it regularly, anaemia and B12 deficiency. They all go hand in hand and with very similar symptoms.

    Being on the medication and letting it get into your blood stream, will help the dr's diagnose you are on the correct medication, the other symptoms you are currently experiencing should diminish, but may take time. Your body is struggling and you owe it to yourself to go and talk with the doctor about what is happening and getting the relevant help.

    I would imagine, you will be referred to a gynaecologist to double check your periods, may even be referred to a Endo as well.

    The levothyroxine is to top up your thyroid levels and keep you healthy. Please go and see your GP. You need to sort it for your health and quality of life.

    Take care and keep in touch :)

  • Thank you. I didn't realise before that simply your thyroid could cause all these problems. I will be going to the GP and getting the help that is needed, because I really can't afford to be ill right now.

  • Hi,

    Oh yes! I was born with a partial gland which has never work, so the medication has done the job for me. I had no problems at all, until I was 32, was able to lose weight, normal periods, able to have children because I was on the right dose. However, it all changed when I got a new GP who didn't know what she was doing, changed my dose by lowering it to 75mcg and for the last 22 years I have had all sorts of problems.

    Ironically now, I am on the original dose of 200 mcg thyroxine T4(my highest 250 mcg) and 20 mcg of controversial Lithyronine T3. Also because it was mismanaged, I have had 5 miscarriages, really bad periods, meaning very very heavy (hospitalised once due to lack of blood/anaemia)

    I would have a period for 3 weeks, stop for 2-3 days and then start again. Blood clots the lot. It was a combination of me getting stressed out about it and anaemia. Anaemia will make you bleed more as daft as it sounds. Every time I get (not now fortunately as I have come to the menopausal part of my life, but this time last year it was like the chain saw massacre, it was that bad) stressed, I would have a period.

    I now take, iron supplements, folic acid and B12 jabs indefinitely and vitamin D supplements for my bones. I also have to take a diuretic because the lower dose caused severe oedema.

    The dose I am on now for T4, I feel is my natural dose, I do not suffer with the brain fog or feel excessively tired.

    Most GP's do not know everything, although in my case the ex GP thought she did. There are some good doctors who listen and learn, one or two have a thyroid condition, but a majority do not, so do not understand. So mess around with medication as if it was sweeties. One Tab fits all theory.

    If you are not happy, ask or get a second opinion. You know your own body. I know mine and I strongly believe that if the so called professionals listened to the patient, instead of doing the text book categorization theory, one medication suits all crap, they might, just might get it right.

    Hope this has helped but please get it sorted for yourself and let us know how you get on.

    Take care Imps1234 :)

  • It has definitely helped. Thank You 😊. When I speak to my GP this week, I'll just have to tell her everything.

  • I think we all need that bit of reassurance and I hope you get all the answers you deserve. I would like to know if you find the answers you are looking for and that your health improves. Just remember you are still you, it is the condition that is causing all the problems.

    I know when my medication was not right, I felt that I was going completely mad, but I wasn't.

    Feel free to message me anytime. I have plenty of experience, if nothing else lol.

    Take care :) x

  • Thank you very much 😊😊

  • Levothyroxine is the replacement hormone that your own thyroid isn't producing. It is not an illness that gets better, you will need hormone replacement for life. You normally get started on a smallish dose of 25 or 50 mcg then have blood tests every 6 weeks until your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) falls into range. If you don't take your medication which the body needs you can cause long term damage to the heart, bones and also your brain. Google myxodema coma and think about if you want to improve.

    Once you have your blood results post them on here with the ranges (the numbers in brackets) and I'm sure other members will be able to advise you. Goodluck.

  • HI

    I think you need to determine your levels 're your thyroid and once established ask to be referred to an endocrinologist because you would like to know the reasons behind your symptoms. It is always helpful to talk to them about why you don't want to take the meds and if they can answer your concerns behind them. Secondly ask if you can get a cortisol test as this maybe low and causing allsorts of issues for you. Most of which are easily rectified with meds and could be a knock on effect from not taking your thyroid meds.

    Check simple things like your bit b12 and iron levels. And get on a really good multi vitamin - if these turn out ok. A great company on line is Lamberts. Your guaranteed that every vitamin and nutrient is in them - not like of the shelf.

    I'm no doctor and have no medical experience but what I do have is 23 years hypothyroid and 10 years low cortisol levels. I've endless experience of dealing with GPS and consultants and learning to always ask questions.

    Drink plenty of water, eat the right healthy foods that suits you, force yourself out into nature, walking even on a bad day force yourself - it builds you up and your depressed because of the tiredness and things your lacking. You don't need depression tablets -you just have to get the old you back or reinvent the you that you want. Nurture and nature. Don't give yourself a hard time - think what you can do- not what you can't - except the right help and change a few things and you'll be rearing to go. Good Luck. Hope it helps. Xx

  • Don't beat yourself up. Your doctor should have explained what he was doing and why and insisted you came back after 6 weeks for another blood test. Everything works slowly in the thyroid world but as your doses are checked and possibly increased you will start to feel the difference. Every cell in your body needs thyroxine so symptoms can be very varied, in fact there are about 300 symptoms but you wont have many of them but it does show how varied they can be. You can find this list, you may find you have problems that you wouldn't have thought was thyroid related, and much more useful info on the Thyroid UK site and they run this forum as well. May sure you mention about your periods though, usually we miss periods but everyone is different but get it checked out. Anything you don't understand then please post and ask. We have all been in your position and a bit overwhelmed by it all but you will get there.

  • I had weak periods all through late summer and autumn. Since I increased levo, which I had urged my gp to do as I feltmiserable it finally stopped.

  • Dear Imps1234,

    You have already received a lot of good advice. Just wanted to add some of my own. I had extremely heavy and long periods like you. Taking thyroid meds, supplements (after blood tests) and maybe most important; prometrium which is a natural microgenized progesterone.

    Good luck!

  • Thank you. I'm grateful for everyone's advice and I think I know what to do now when I see the GP.

  • You need thyroid hormone in every cell in your body so it can affect everything. Always ask for printouts of your results and post them here for comments. Never take your doctor's word that things are "normal", we need optimal.

  • Where are you located? My advice is to find an integrated doctor to investigate everything that is going on in your body. It seems that your hormones are completely out of whack and this may require a long period of recuperation. I would recommend taking up yoga and meditation to help with the stress. Also diet is of critical importance during the healing process. A good integrated doctor will be able to advise and support you to heal yourself. Also ask about NDT rather than Levothroxine. It may also help.

  • I really sympathise - being a trainee teacher is stressful enough without thyroid problems on top. I did a PGCE, and ended up getting shingles and having to stop. I was taking thyroxine, but my TSH level became higher than usual and I was sure that the punishing nature of the training was affecting my health. I hope you get everything sorted out.

  • I really think that this is what's causing all the stress. The teacher training is a nightmare to deal with when you have so many health problems.

    The workload and expectations from all your mentors and sleepless nights, just make you want to quit.

  • Have you considered talking to a uni/college counsellor about your health problems and how it is affecting you with regard to the training? Or someone similar if you are not doing the training through uni or college. They might be able to give you some advice or speak to your mentor if you are on placement. I went back to finish my training eventually but found it really hard. I spoke to a counsellor in my last week, which was leaving it way too late! It would have been helpful to get support before that, although I know that even finding the time to look for help is difficult.

  • Hi

    You have received lots of wonderful advice. I just wanted to add, that if you get tested for coeliac (as a coeliac myself) - do not stop eating gluten until all the testing is complete - otherwise you will receive a false negative.

    The blood test relies on detecting a high amount of antibodies and the second test (if the blood test is positive) needs to see and examine an altered stomach lining.

    After both tests, it is ok to stop eating gluten.

    With inadequate thyroid function, every cell in your body will be affected. I was astounded at the complete alteration in my attitude and personality when my thyroxine was low, after my thyroid was removed. I only learnt about my condition after a doctor ignorantly halved my medicine and sent my TSH to 20 and plummeted me into hypothyroidism (later saying, it was hard to know what to give me because I was so small!). Which is another important point, we need to learn about our condition and what the blood results mean. However, posting on this site will give you invaluable feedback.

  • Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate everybody's help and it feels great to know that I am not alone in this. It also gives me real hope hearing that so many people have felt much better after taking the right medicines.

  • Why did u stop meds? I felt dreadful for months before my hypothyroidism diagnoses & once administered levothyroxine I felt so much better within a short space of time. I'm sure your symptoms would be helped by taking the med.

  • I didn't know I was supposed to carry on taking them. And I had no clue of the symptoms that were related to hypothyroidism. My doctor at the time didn't tell me anything about fatigue or depression or irregular periods being linked to it. I only found out recently. If I did, I wouldn't think twice about taking them. I'm just hoping that they actually fix the problem now.

  • Glad your getting tested for everything I thought I was seriously ill before my diagnosis & it took such a long time to get sorted. I know everyone is diffferent but I really felt like a new woman once I had been on Levothyroxine for a short while. Hopefully you'll get sorted very soon & feel much much better. I look forward to hearing how u get on :)

  • Untreated Hashimoto's Thyroiditis caused me to have long, heavy, periods. I had an unnecessary uterine surgery, before I was diagnosed. I was on levothyroxine for 3 1/2 yrs., while my symptoms got worse. I switched to Natural Dessicated Thyroid, and quit eating gluten, and most of my symptoms improved!

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