Length of time to bring hyperthyroid levels into normal range

Hi, I’m a 43 year old female who was told by her GP in March 2016, that my blood test results showed I was hyperthyroid (T3= 12, T4=29). I had a thyroid ultrasound examination performed while I was on a waitlist to see an Endocrinologist. It was mid May 2016 when I had my first consultation with the Endocrinologist and I was given the diagnosis of Graves Disease and told that my levels had now increased to T3=20 and T4=50.

I opted to give anti-thyroid medication a go as I wanted to preserve my thyroid if possible. I was started on 20mg of Carbimazole which was increased to 30mg in September (T3=9.2, T4=29) and then to 40mg at the beginning of November (T3=8.8, T4=24). Just before Christmas, I visited the Endocrinologist again and my levels were T3=7.4 and T4=23.

As can be seen from the last three blood tests, my levels have been disappointing- they haven’t increased but have only reduced by small amounts. The Endocrinologist emphasized that I had now been on anti-thyroid medication for 7 months, I was on a reasonably high dose and yet my levels had still not been brought back into the normal range and I’ve been experiencing emotional issues related to Graves and so he suggested that I should now begin to give some serious thought to the alternative treatment options. Very disappointed to hear this.

Was wondering about other people and how normal my “story” is. How long has it taken other people to get their levels into the normal range? I really wanted to give my thyroid the chance to go into remission and this can only be achieved with medication. The alternative treatment options will result in removal or destruction (for want of a better word) of my thyroid.

I am getting to the point where I do want to come to some resolution now and start getting my life back on track and so have started to think that perhaps the alternatives won’t be that bad. I think I’m scared of the thought of swapping one condition for another. If I choose surgery or radioactive iodine treatment there is no going back and I will be relying on thyroxine replacement therapy for the rest of my life. All I seem to read about are the problems that people have in getting the right dosage and the misery people encounter. Is this truly representative of all those people on hypothyroid treatment?

3 Replies

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  • Jo-an,

    I think your endo was slow to increase your Carbimazole dose to 40mcg and that's why it's taking a long time to bring your thyroid levels into range. My understanding is that hyperthyroid patients are usually on Carbimazole for 12-18 months before trying for remission. Remission is temporary in around 50% of patients with Graves antibodies and if yours fails option is to resume Carbimazole or consider thyroidectomy or radioactive iodine ablatement (RAI). If you have signs of thyroid eye disease (TED) RAI can make it worse and thyroidectomy may be a better option.

  • Hi everyone is different regarding when there bloods will stabilise. Your story is very similar to mine and that I have had periods of being free from carbimazole. Learning relaxation I would say is key and if there has been past trauma in your life this needs to be healed I believe. I am currently looking at my diet and following a gluten free diet and thinking of taking some supplements to support the thyroid because the last thing I want is no thyroid. I believe that we can heal our bodies.

  • Go by how you feel not numbers.

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