Thyroid UK
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Noobie Joiner and questions

For the last 8 years I have suffered from hypothyroidism an extra gift from the radiation treatment I had in 2009 a condition I suffered with for quite some time as my oncologists did not feel the need to inform me that thyroid damage was a distinct possibility from the radiation, but that is another story.

Today I read an article that the third most prescribed drug in the UK (Levirothyroxin) is ineffective/useless particularlly in older folk, I am 63, so I thought that perhaps I should do a bit of research and pitched up here.

I live with aches and pains but this is difficult to attribute to the cancer treatment side effects as they can last for years or even be permanent, my sleep patterns are appalling with insomnia and none restorative sleep syndrome being particularly unpleasant.

For a person that can no longer swallow solid food and pretty much lives on a diet of Fortisip my weight has increased considerably from cancer treatment days because unpleasant though it is it certainly is an effective diet.

What are the alternatives I should be looking at, I will see my GP next Wednesday and will voice my concerns to him but forearmed is forewarned as they say. So any advice would be welcome.

3 Replies

Hi MrFraggle, welcome to the forum.

I don't know where you read that article, but it really isn't true. Millions of people do very well on levo. However, if you come on a forum like this, the odds are that you're going to find the minority that don't. I'm afraid some people who don't do well on levo, often become very bitter, and write articles like that, ignoring the fact that the majority take levo and live normal lives. As they always say, you can't believe everything you read on the internet - or elsewhere, come to that.

Apart from the fact that you are 63 - mere stripling! - you don't give much in the way of detail about yourself. How much levo are you taking? Do you have copies of your blood test results? If so, please post them on here - with the ranges - and then we will be better equipped to help you. :)

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The article was written by a Professor David J. Stott of Glasgow university though in this piece and not the actual article it does mention "mildly under active thyroid gland" which was not in the newspaper article and of course does make a difference.

As I said I intend visiting my GP next week and will request a copy of my last test results and will post them here. I am taking 100mg's a day.


I don't know Professor David J. Stott of Glasgow university, but the reason levo often seems not to work, is that doctors don't prescribe enough of it. Nothing is going to work if you don't take enough. And the idea that just because it's 'mildly' under-active, that you only need a tiny dose just makes things worse, because a tiny dose is usually enough to stop the production of your thyroid gland completely, but not give you enough hormone to make you well. So, people get worse and believe that the levo isn't working. So, no, it doesn't make a difference. The point still is that it will only work if you take enough of it. :)

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