How long does it take to improve when your levo... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
110,134 members128,020 posts

How long does it take to improve when your levo dose is raised?


Hi all

I was diagnosed borderline hypothyroid in summer last year (they said something about having antibodies in my results); after a fight I was prescribed 25mg levo as I had symptoms. I was referred to a consultant and he upped my dose to 50mg as he said they should treat symptoms rather than be concerned by borderline blood results. I was actually starting to feel well by Christmas. I've lost my career - I was a teacher - but I've been so ill for the past couple of years, I had to give it up. I did wonder if being out of work was contributing to feeling better too.

Anyway, more fool me - and I take total responsibility for my own stupidity - I didn't get my bloods checked in January when they were due. I felt okay, I started to do bits of work here and there and things were going okay. I don't think I fully comprehended what being hypo meant and that I was supposed to stay on top of it better.

The crash crept up on me. Suddenly, I found I was really, really ill. I went back to get my bloods done (March) and my TSH was on the way back up (5.5). The Dr has raised my Levo to 100mg and said there is now no doubt that I am hypothyroid.

I started the higher dose 10 days ago, but I still feel really awful - like I'm walking through treacle all the time. I'm really teary too. Last time I started the pills, I noticed an improvement quite quickly, although I don't think I was as unwell as I am now.

I just wondered if anyone could advise how long it should take to feel any improvement or just share uplifting stories that it will get better, because, at the moment, I feel very low about everything.


6 Replies

abbymeg Was your dose raised from 50mcg to 100mcg in one go? It should be done in 25mcg increments with a retest 6-8 weeks later after each increase tomsee of further adjustment of dose is necessary.

It will take 6 weeks to feel the full effect of a dose increase.

As you have positive antibodies this means that you have autoimmune thyroid disease aka Hashimoto's. This is where antibodies attack the thyroid and gradually destroy it.

You can help reduce the antibodies by adopting a strict gluten free diet which has helped many members enormously. Gluten contains gliadin which is a protein thought to trigger antibody attacks.

Gluten/thyroid connection -

Supplementing with selenium L-selenomethionine 200mcg daily and keeping TSH suppressed also help reduce antibodies.

Hashi's information:

We hypos frequently have low levels of nutrients and getting them into optimal levels helps thyroid hormone to work properly. If not already done, it would be a good idea to test

Vit D




Post the results with reference ranges for members to comment and suggest supplements where there are any deficiencies.

abbymeg in reply to SeasideSusie

Thank you for this. I did wonder if it was Hashimoto's. They never told me that - I was told I had antibodies and it would develop into full-blown hypo at some point in the near future, which it obviously has.

Yep, I got put up to 100mg in one go. I've not noticed any positive or negative results of that - am I keeping an eye out for hyper symptoms? To be honest, my GPs don't really tell me much. I've never been given my blood results to look at, I've only been told my TSH levels. I'll ask for them next time. I was told to repeat test after 12 weeks too, not 6-8.

I stopped gluten a couple of weeks ago after reading something on here. I ate some at the weekend and I had a really upset stomach, so starting to think I have developed a sensitivity to it.

Hi Abbymeg

I was first tested as it is hereditary in our family sister was diagnosed at 40 i thought i better get tested at 45.... to my surprise ( i felt great ) i was told i also had underactive thyroid...I was given 25mg felt fine....within 6 mths i couldn't walk without feeling like i was walking on cotton wool, hold a conversation, felt awful .... I was due to go on holiday it took me 6 hours to clean out 3 rabbits everything was taking so long mental fog was not a strong enough term....i rang my GP who as i was going away for 2 weeks agreed to see me... without blood tests she put my levo up by 75mg that was on the Thursday left on the Friday opened the windows to our holiday home on the Sunday... Yay.... sun was shining and I was my normal self......... Absolutely cannot believe to this day how fast it worked ....But since hitting the menopause 7 years ago nothing has been level since i had my levo increased to 125 per day ( sister takes 250 per day !!! ) I have been since told my another GP that it is difficult to get levels spot on !!!!! I really do think its down to a knowledgable GP who does your full count....Best Wishes

abbymeg in reply to Blue2you

Thank you. My half sis has it and I suspect my grandmother on that side had it too, given symptoms she had. My dad could well have it - I told him to get checked. My other sister has ME and Fibro, I have Fibro and now I think it's probably all related to hypothyroid. It's such a minefield and I feel like I have lost two decades of my life to illness - I started when I contracted glandular fever at 17. I'm now nearly 38. I am determined to do what I can to get a life as my family have suffered through so much illness (my daughter had cancer and my husband has awful stomach issues) and it is taking its toll on all of us. I want some healthier times ahead!

Treepie in reply to abbymeg

You have a legal right to have your blood results.Make sure you always get them with the ranges shown in brackets.

Most however only test TSH when you neec to have FT 4 and FT3 which is why many on here use private testing.

The late Dr Skin Dr thought that ME and fibro and thyroid could be alm the same thing. I think things have moved on a bit since his untimely death inthat thyroid symptoms are often mistakingly given the wrong name as the two are pretty dimilar symptoms but thyroid should also be checked out as well as that could be the cause. Dr Skinner had been asked to look at ME patients who were tesponding and found that they were in fact thyroid problems so gave them thyroxine and that worked so always worth considering that as an option.

You may also like...