Thyroid UK
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Is there an alternative to levothyroxin for an underactive thyroid

I have had an underactive thyroid for around 25 years and have now developed an irregular heartbeat, and low pulse, which I noticed is a side effect of levothyroxin. I also get very breathless when out walking. My blood tests say my thyroid levels are normal, but I feel terrible, and feel so tired especially in the afternoons. Is there an alternative to taking levothyroxin?

6 Replies

Do you have your recent blood tests? Not all doctors understand the difference between normal and optimal, optimal results are required for hypothyroid patients.

Alternatives are T3 (Liothyronine) and NDT (natural dessicated thyroid).


Hiya Dang, I'm going to the doctors later on today. What would you say is an optimal range?


Optimal if you're on levo thyroxine alone is a TSH of around 1 or under, and FT3 and FT4 around the top quarter of their ranges (different labs use different ranges so I can't tell you the exact number).

Please keep in mind everyone is different, while this is the case for most people, some do better with TSH a bit higher, others need their TSH at 0.1. FT3/4 results give us a better picture than TSH.

What truly matters is how you feel, if you feel lousy most of the time this is reflected in the results, unfortunately some doctors ignore symptoms with this condition, in fear that they may "overmedicate" you.


Irregular heartbeats and low pulse are also symptoms of un/under-treated hypo.

Do you have any labs to share with us? No-one is going to be able to help you much without seeing them? And, how much levo are you taking?

I have to say, it is very, very difficult to get anything other than levo out of the NHS! So, before embarking on that difficult journey, it's better to make sure you're on the correct dose of levo, and you aren't nutritionally deficient in any way, because that will also cause symptoms, and affect your conversion. :)


You bet there is an alternative . I use Thyroid -s , NDT from Thailand. if you don't know what it is , you have a lot of reading to do. This site will help, and there's a site called 'stop the thyroid madness ' which will also give you a lot of condensed, valuable info . good luck.


Am interested in your comment and am having trouble as my doctor has withdrawn my T3. As a result really struggling. Any suggestions as to obtaining it. Ann Simpson

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