Thyroid UK
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Hi Everyone, I've been on T4 prescription for 3 years now, but my GP won't increase my dose from the basic 25 mcg even though my TSH levels have been increasing, from 2.6 to 3.8 at last blood test. I am still exhausted and have symptoms like brain fog, itchy ear canal, poor memory, lack of concentration etc. GP says concern over precipitating hyperthyroidism is the reason for caution and for waiting until TSH levels go above the landmark 4.25. I'm aged 61 so post menopausal. I have been trying amino acids like ALA and herbals like Mucuna, and anything natural I hear about but nothing seems to help. Someone I met on a local M.E. meetup has been to a private endo and is on T3 and feeling loads better. Please could someone private message me where I might get T3 online? I appreciate it would be irresponsible to post it openly here on the forum, and will not divulge to anyone else. Many thanks in advance :)

6 Replies


Isn't there another GP you can see at your practice? The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status. For most patients that will be when TSH is 1.0 or lower with FT4 in the upper range. FT4 needs to be in the upper range in order that sufficient T3 is converted.

Levothyroxine (T4): The main treatment for hypothyroidism. Treatment is usually started at either 25mcg or 50mcg per day, depending on the severity of the condition. Testing is carried out at various intervals and dosages increased over the next few months until the test results show within normal range. According to the BMA's booklet, "Understanding Thyroid Disorders", many people do not feel well unless their levels are at the bottom of the TSH range or below and at the top of the FT4 range or a little above.

Dr Toft (ex-president of the BTA) states in Pulse Magazine, "The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range - 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l. Most patients will feel well in that circumstance.

But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l.

This 'exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism' is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l)."

Email if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP. Thyroid UK is closed until 4th January 2017.


Thanks for your lengthy reply and explanation, but the 2 GP's in my surgery both say "Your levels are spot on, you definitely don't need any more". I hate going anyway, have always avoided them my whole life until I got post menopause and began to feel so lousy. I tried for 2 years after diagnosis of hypothyroid to sort it myself with Thyroid support, guggul etc before giving in and going on levo thyroxine. To be honest I'd rather self medicate and stay away from doctors...



I'm unable to send you a private message due to a site glitch but if you click on my username and click on Messages and send me a PM I may be able to respond to you.


Bethechanger Your GP doesn't know much about thyroid I'm afraid. Clutter has explained what the aim of a treated hypo patient should be and your GP is being negligent by keeping you on just 25mcg levo. You should have had an increase to 50mcg 6-8 weeks after starting and having a retest. Then you should have been re-tested again 6-8 weeks after that increase, and another increase again, then another re-test, etc, until your symptoms abate. You cannot precipitate hyperthyroidism, it's possible to be over medicated but not hyperthyroid, so he really doesn't know what he's talking about nornis he following the guidelines for treating hypothyroidism.

Forget about T3 for now, you would only need that if you can't convert T4 to T3, and at the moment your GP hasn't even given Levo a chance to work, you are still on a baby dose.

What would be a good idea is to test vitamins and minerals. These need to be optimal, not just in range, for thyroid hormone to work properly. You can ask your GP to test

Vit D




Plus thyroid antibodies TPO and TG (TG rarely done on the NHS).

If he won't agree then you can get them done with a home fingerprick test from Blue Horizon

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If you can not get GP to do these tests, then like many of us, you can get them done privately

Blue Horizon - Thyroid plus eleven tests all these. £99

This is an easy to do fingerprick test you do at home, post back and they email results to you couple of days later.

Usual advice on ALL thyroid tests, (home one or on NHS) is to do early in morning, ideally before 9am. No food or drink beforehand (other than water) If you are taking Levo, then don't take it in 24 hours before (take straight after). This way your tests are always consistent, and it will show highest TSH, and as this is mainly all the medics decide dose on, best idea is to keep result as high as possible

If you have Hashimoto's (high antibodies) then you may find adopting 100% gluten free diet can help reduce symptoms, and lower antibodies too.

You do not need to have ANY obvious gut issues, to still have poor nutrient absorption or low stomach acid or gluten intolerance

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Thanks so much for your help and advice. I have B12 injections, and have started taking vit D this winter as am vegan and its often low in these. The GP said my ferritin was OK but I have below reference range leucocytes, and below low reference level of plasma protein too, for no known reason. Haematologist said she wasn't worried and GP not sending me to any other specialist. A weird symptom I have is massive thirst, I drink 4 litres day, but am not diabetic, haave had this excessive drinking for a couple of years. I'm thinking possible kidney issues but GP only offered me antidepressants even though I'm not depressed, and insinuated I'm hypochondriac :(


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