Thyroid UK
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Totally confused and afraid

Hi, I was diagnosed low thyroid last month. Went to doc first time in years.

I was told it was very low and prescribed 25 low dose. I took 3 and got drinking kelp and spirilina. I am vegan and eat very well.

Confusion, memory loss, energy disappeared .....

Has anyone managed well without the drugs? "For life" scares me


12 Replies

Why are you scared of the medication? If you have an underactive thyroid you will not be producing enough thyroid hormones which is what is making you feel unwell. All the medication does is replace your missing hormones. Without these hormones you will be exposing yourself to many risks such as heart problems as thyroid hormones are needed by every cell in your body. Take the medication!


H Gingergirl. "for life".... umm.... if you had to have a joint replacement, that is usually for life. Would you have doubts about that too? What about taking vitamin supplements? Is that also a doubt for you? As Minimum says, if you need thyroxine you need it.

I also thought I ate well, but when I was told I was below range on iron, I had to research and re-think diet. I realised I actually ate very little iron.

I have heard of people eating their way well, but it takes quite strict regime. "Hope for Hypo" book talks about nutrition to be well.

Hope that helps.


Not 'drugs' just your missing hormone.

A lot more scary without it.


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If you have Hashimoto's disease then going gluten free can improve symptoms a lot. But you will still probably need hormone replacement.

For life has that lovely word 'life' in it. Without the hormone, you won't have much life, and it won't be very long. Its a pretty easy choice in my mind.


Hi Gingergirl, welcome to the forum.

First thing I should say is that drinking kelp and spirilina is NOT a good idea. In fact, it's a very bad idea. That's far too much iodine, and I don't suppose you had it tested first, did you? Iodine is just a trace mineral, you don't need that much of it. Taking it in excess will stimulate your thyroid. And, if your thyroid is struggling, the last thing you want to do is stimulate it. You could make yourself ten times worse.

Levo - which I presume is what you've been put on - is not a drug, so taking it for life really isn't that scary. It's a hormone - we call it T4. It's a storage hormone, so doesn't really do very much at all. It is converted into the active hormone, T3, as your body needs it. But, your body does need it. Every single cell in your body needs T3. You cannot live without it. So, trying to live without the levo is not an option.

There is no need to be scared. Quite the opposite. As your levels build up, confusion and memory loss with disappear, and energy will return. But, you need to take it correctly : on an empty stomach, one hour before eating or drinking anything except water, and two hours before other supplements or medication.

Did your doctor tell you to go back for a retest in six weeks time? When you go back for the test, make sure it is early in the morning - before 9 am - and fast over-night. Leave 24 hours between your last dose and the blood draw.

Hypothyroidism has little to do with what you eat. However, as a vegan, does that mean you eat a lot of unfermented soy? If so, I'm afraid you're going to have to give that up. It is 'lethal' for the thyroid, and can make you feel very ill as it will reduce the amount of hormone your thyroid can make, and how much can be absorbed by the cells. Being a vegan might also mean you have low iron and B12, and it is essential to have optimal levels for your levo to 'work'. So, if I were you, I would ask your doctor to test your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin. :)


Hi. Exhausting week with sick hysterical friend and,arranging funeral for another.phew

Got doctors appointment on weds. Will ask for tests you suggested

Remind me about liver?

I am sure I have diverticulsois etc ....but don't want another camera proceedure

Question please

I understand to fast before an early blood take but do I omit my thyroxine pill to leave 24 hours ?

I have been taking it when I get up in the night for the loo

Sorry to mither.


You should leave 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the blood draw. :)


Hi Gingergirl1948........welcome :)

It is natural to feel a little overwhelmed when someone tells you "You need to take these pills for life". Seems daunting doesn't it? Please don't distress yourself with this. For one, there is bags of support and information on here from us who are all in this together and willing to offer tips for our wellbeing and a safe place to share worries, rants and yes....some good times!


If you are vegan, make sure that you are taking a sublingual methcobalamin supplement (B12) and get your B12 tested if you haven't already. Although we usually have good folate levels, out B12 and ferritin are often awful which makes hypothyroidism worse. Kelp is not a good idea if you have high thyroid antibodies. It's a good idea to get B12 ferritin, folate and D3 tested as the levels need to be optimum to get the thyroid meds to work.

Basically, your thyroid can't produce the hormones necessary to keep your body running and so you need to take those hormones as a pill. It doesn't get better over time, but usually worse as the gland is destroyed. Not taking the meds can cause heart disease, dementia and death - eventually. Often going gluten-free helps with symptoms.


firstly being vegan and hypothyroid simpy do not go together

and taking kelp may worsen the situation

if you have been diagnosed hypothyroid its vital you always get exact figures and tests from the doctors and keep them in a file

stop being scared and start to take your diet and health in hand

theres plenty of help and advice on here and generally we know far more than doctors


Thankyou spongecat .....feel much better with support. Thankyou

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Welcome to the forum! You have joined a great site of many caring and knowledgeable people do you are among friends who will listen and offer help. It's all a bit scary at the start but if you think back you have already mastered many things that were scary at the start. Just look on it as your path to wellness!

The Thyroid Uk site has lots of advice but shout out if anything you don't understand. We have all been where you are now and so know that at times it. An be confusing etc.

always ask from a. Opt of your results and the ranges-the figures after them, often in brackets. The ranges are important as they differ from lab to lab and if you post your results we can help you understand what they are saying. Some doctors however may tell you that your results are good but sometimes that just means they are in range and it's where in the range that is important. Some always a good idea t get a second opinion.

So glad you have found us!


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