Is decreasing a dose slowly as important as increasing?

I just found out that the effects of an overdose of thyroxin can last for weeks. My docs don't feel qualified to answer my question. So I'll ask here: My uninformed doc upped me by 62mcg in one dose (without checking my adrenals or heart). When I had a terrible reaction, I pulled it back to 50 the next day then tried a 27mcg increase the next. So I switched to a natural supplement but I am still having some hyperthyroid episodes 12 days later. My numbers are normal. Would you stop supplementing thyroxine completely?

Thanks for your suggestions.

FYI I have *finally* been referred to an endocrinologist, so hopefully I'll get some better care.


TSH 4.06 (0.40 - 4.50)

FT4 0.9 (0.8 - 1.8)

FT3 3.0 (2.3 - 4.2)

B-12 575 (231 - 931)

Folate 15.4 (>=5.0)

Total 25-hydroxy vit D 52 ng/mL (30-80)

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84 Replies

  • Oops. I meant to add that even the 27mcg increase created a bad reaction.

  • What sort of a reaction?

  • Can you give us some idea of the time scale, here? How long after taking the extra levo did you have the reaction? Increases and decreases should only be done by 25 mcg at a time.

    How much were you taking at the time of the increase? What 'natural supplement' are you now taking? It's difficult to make any suggestions without more details.

  • 6 weeks 50mcg

    I Day 112

    I Day 50

    1 Day 77

    10 days Thyro Life Force (5 days full dose, slowly dropping off - now just 1/4-1/3 cap am and pm)

    general overdose symptoms - fast heartbeat, shaky, feel faint, weakness, tight chest, ...

  • OK, so Thyro Life Force doesn't have any hormone in it, so you've been ten days without any hormone at all. It should be almost all out of your system, now. If you're still having the symptoms, then it was probably nothing to do with the levo.

  • Where did you get that information? It has desiccated bovine thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus

  • Well, it's impossible to check the ingredients on the site, because you have to register. But, it says it's vegetarian, so I don't see how it could contain bits of cow. I don't know.

  • Yeah that site is annoying. I had to have my doc register to see the complete write-up on it.

  • Makes you wonder what they've got to hide!

  • It does, doesn't it.

    However, ingredients appear to be:

    Causal Chain Ingredients: Ant Pituitary 20 mg, Ashwagandha 400 mg, Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) Water hyssop 300 mg, Bladderwrack powder 250 mg, Chromium GTF 100 mcg, Coleus forskohlii extract 50 mg, Commiphora Mukul (Guggal gum) extract 100 mg, Hypothalamus 20 mg, Iodine (Bladderwrack) 150 mcg, Manganese glycinate 10 mg, N-Acetyl Tyrosine 500 mg, Potassium iodide 100 mcg, Selenium 55 mcg, Thyroid 200 mg, Zinc glycinate chelate 25 mg

  • 100 mg hypothalamus?!? Whose hypothalamus? How can they call that 'vegetarian'? Is it cabbage hypothalamus? Or pineapple hypothalamus?

    Other than that, it's just the usual mishmash of bits and pieces that people think help their thyroid. Although I don't see how hypothalamus helps thyroid... Or am I missing something, here?

    Still no thyroid hormone, though.

  • There is thyroid. This is to balance the whole HPA axis as well.

  • Oh, yes. Missed that. But, it's just the Dessicated glands, no guarantee there's any hormone in it. If there were, they wouldn't be allowed to sell it OTC.

    There's also rather a lot of iodine in it. I don't think that's a very good idea.

  • You can buy desiccated thyroid OTC?!

  • No, that's what I'm saying. It isn't NDT because it doesn't have any hormone in it. No measurable amount, anyway.

  • Ant Pituitary 20 mg

    Sorry, I saw that, and burst out laughing! A human pituitary is the size of a pea. What size is an ant pituitary?

  • Hahahaha! 🤣

  • I should point out, of course, that no ants would have been used in this product.

    Ant pituitary will be short for anterior pituitary.

    But, just like greygoose said about the hypothalamus, it can't possibly be a vegetarian product with pituitary in it.

  • Ho ho! :-)

    Just possibly, ant = anterior:

    (For anyone who finds themselves here and confused!)

  • I beat you to it by 2 minutes. See the post above yours, from me. ;)

  • Of course, we do see some pea-brains (especially some who treat thyroid issues) - would they count as vegetarian source? :-)

  • Hahahaha Yes, I think we can count them as a vegetarian source. 😄

  • The thought had crossed my mind!

  • Also, Levo has a half life of ten days in those with a slow thyroid and will leave waves for longer from an overdose. So this is definitely related.

  • OK

  • How are your levels of ferritin - folate - B12 - VitD ?? - if low in range could be the cause of symptoms you describe. Are you taking other meds ? Gut issues ?

  • All normal; no other meds. Gut is off and def a factor but not the cause

  • Do you have the actual results ? - only trying to help. Normal does not say anything 😊 Most illness starts with the gut I have read ...

  • You're right. I'm unaccustomed to conversing with those who know that. I have the results but too shaky to look for them now.

    The endocrine system is a mystery. No on truly knows where it starts or stops, in my opinion. But gut is definitley an influence for sure!

  • If you are shaky that could be adrenals - low B12 or low T3. Do hope you soon feel stronger .....

  • I am sure the adrenals were severely impacted by the overdose. I just want to make sure that by completely stopping the Thyro Life Force I won't be making things harder on myself. I'm tired of these spikes. They are almost always between 10am and noon but yesterday I had a bad one from 12:30-1:30. It was scary. I have never ever had this experience before the doc shot my dose up by 60mcg.

    Thankfully I ran for years and have a very strong and healthy heart!

    Thank you!

  • Hi Jam, I've read your responses. If your thyroid goes too low, your adrenals will go high. So, adrenaline will be very strong in order to make the difference. This may make it difficult to know whether you are over medicated and having hyper reactions or so low your adrenals are running to your defense. I totally stopped everything when I felt over medicated but not for long. Give your adrenals support.

  • Thank you. So it seems I should stop it completely. ...for now.

  • For a complete explanation how the thyroid works or not work, this man is excellent.

  • How do you support adrenals? That article is long. Maybe it's buried in there.

  • They love vitamin C and magnesium. If the are healthy enough to handle a stimulant, licorice root and siberian ginseng.

    This video might be better.

  • Oh! Maybe that's why I crave an inordinate amount of fruit!!

    Thank you oodles and bunches and geet loads!

  • You're welcome jampuppy. Keep learning because you'll be a better doctor than the ones being paid.

  • Yeah I am stunned by how misinformed the pros are!!

  • Don't expect much from the endocrinologist either. You are hearing from voices of experience.

  • I edited to add my results

  • Ranges ? Were you supplementing B12 at the time of the test ? Folate works with B12 in the body so it would be good to have that result. No Ferritin result - or VitD. Good levels needed for thyroid hormones to work well even in perfect health 😊

  • I don't see the Ferrutin numbers on the lab work. It lists it but it's blank. I'll have to see what's up.

  • Were you supplementing B12 at the time of the test ? VitD result ?

  • I wasn't supplementing & still haven't found the VitD result.

  • Vit D is 52 (ref30-80)

  • Guess that is the US range measured in ng/L. So looking good ....

  • Those numbers don't look normal for someone with a thyroid problem, but the ranges would help. Looks like you need some thyroid hormone.

  • They have changed immensely since my diagnosis. Ranges added.

  • If those numbers represent your current thyroid status , youre hypo .

    I would be upping my meds and making sure I was taking something which contained a known amount of actual thyroid hormone ,t4 or real ndt such as thyroid -s

  • Really? So you think I should stop the ThyroLifeForce add the Levothyroxin back in and that'll stabilise me? I do have a pill cutter and could take a very low dose - say, 25-30mcg.

  • I don't know anything about thyroid life force except for the discussion in this thread , but those blood levels are low for someone with hypothyroidism and the tsh is higher than recommended , suggesting you are either youre not taking enough meds or you are taking meds without enough actual hormone content .

    On those bloods , i would up the t4 , and consider ditching the thyroid life force due to being unsure as to what benefits it was giving my hormone levels.

    If I was disappointed with using t4 only , I would use a real ndt which has varifiable and stable t4 and T3 contents . Thyroid s can be sourced relatively easily online.

  • I'm just wanting to stabilise. These feelings are awful. If some of the t4 I have will even me out I'll gladly take some until I can get on something I prefer.

  • I would increase by 25mcg as you say you had a bad reaction to too high an increase. Then get your levels checked again in 4-6weeks.

    Your t4 and T3 are well low in the range so you have some way to go , but remember,with your levels low and the higher tsh ,your own gland is giving you some hormone at the moment and when you increase your tsh will come down and your own gland will produce less , so you may feel a little worse before it gets better and think you are hyper,which would be almost impossible from where you are at the moment. Best of luck.

  • That sounds good...and makes sense. Thanks for your input!!

  • You are welcome

  • One quick question - how worse? I can't afford worse. I am dysfunctional as it is. I'm even thinking I should take 12.5 tonight to divert another spike and 25 in the morning.

    When my T4 and T3 were normal, my TSH was 12. So I assume by lowering the TSH my thyroid stopped producing enough to keep me stable.

  • Try spitting into two doses and take in the morning and evening.

    You shouldn't feel much worse , I meant more that some symptoms may go and you may think there are new ones.

    Remember ,when you up the dose it takes a week to get into your system.

  • I feel so awful. I thinking of trying to raise my T4 with the leftover Levothyroxin just so I don't have these scary spikes.

    I could try to get through the night and take 25-30mcg tomorrow morning and see if my adrenals calm down.

    I have already gone to the ER once. I really don't want to go again.

  • When I took Levo I took it at night,my GP and Endo also suggest trying it at night for anyone with problems similar to yours.

  • Oh good! That sounds like a good option for me. There's way too much stress on my adrenals. Thank you!

  • Spikes? Have your antibodies been checked? Do you have Hashimoto's?

  • Yes they were checked and within range. By spikes I suppose I mean the adrenals - shaky, etc.

  • if your adrenals are fatigued then any increase in thyroxide will give a bad reaction as the T4 is not converting to T3 and will increase your chances of having toxaemia.

    my adrenals where in failure and the Gps still told me to increase thyroxide.. hence this resulted in toxaemia . I stopped 150 at one go ... and now take natural supplements for both adrenals and thyroid ?

    In January as I stumbled blindly / crawled out of the Gps room.. she said

    " you can't live without thyroixde.. you'll be back begging for some "

    5 months later feel better than I have in 25 years...

    doesn't always pay to listen to GPs!!?

  • Well I don't know if they're fatigued. They certainly seem to be reacting very strongly to this new arrangement. Before this my levels were completely normal except for TSH, which as 12.1

  • I know everyone is different, but whenever I make ANY change to my Levo dose, no matter how small and no matter if it's an increase or decrease, I go through 5-6 weeks of "symptoms" before the new dose settles in and my body adapts to it. I don't care if there is any medical evidence to back it up - I know my body and after many years of dealing with this, I have seen what will happen to me, physically and emotionally, whenever I have to change my dose. Or even when I am taking temporarily taking another drug (totally unrelated to thyroid) that affects the absorption of my Levo, I go through the same thing. Once my levels are steady, I feel fine, but while they are transitioning, I feel it for 5-6 weeks.

  • What symptoms do you experience?

    These are so bad it's dangerous to drive and I lie on the couch most of the day.

  • They don't come all at once but instead fade in and out for the duration of 5-6 weeks. Irritable, moody, angry, crying, light-headed, dizzy, nauseous, diarrhea, ANXIETY, depression, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, pins and needles/tingling of skin , headache, too much energy, then crashing fatigue. Just to name a few. It throws my hormone system totally out of whack whenever I change doses.

  • Wow!!! That's acceptable to you?! OMG!

  • Acceptable? Not really, but what choice do I have? I have a very sensitive system and I am very aware of every little thing that happens in my body. Knowing in advance that this is part of the process and that it won't last forever helps a lot.

  • I sure hope you find/someone creates an alternative! How awful!

  • You can't just assume your adrenals are playing up. Have you had a cortisol saliva test? I can't work out if you think you have low or high cortisol. Without evidence, you cannot blame your adrenals - they may be working perfectly. It could just be hormone medication or mins and vits. To be sure, you need all the information at your fingertips.

  • Of course I don't know. No one does. But I'm not going to sit around doing the same thing that has landed me in the ER. It is likely that the severe and sudden dip in all my levels - TSH, FT4 and FT3 has stressed my adrenals. That's all I have to go on.

  • Yes they do - know that is. They, like me and many others here, have had a 24 hour cortisol saliva test. It's inexpensive and accurate. You simply cannot just guess that this is your problem. Sorry, but I'm right on this.

  • No one knows now, is the point. And no one will know until the doc orders the test. Or can I order my own test? If so, where?

  • Doctor will order blood test. It is not very accurate. 24 hour saliva test is far more accurate.

    Private - inexpensive tests can be obtained from:


    Search on saliva test for cortisol or adrenals


  • THank you very much!

  • I am in the US but this helps me to see what the test is and how to choose the right one. Unfortunately, they appear to be 3-4 times as costly here. 😥

  • Ah. Sorry about that - didn't realise...

  • I'm sorry too, given our current political situation! 😄 It's okay. I do expect to be referred to UK sites, given it is a UK forum! 👍

  • No worries. Hey, I hear you got a new president. Maybe he has a dodgy thyroid? :-)

  • 😄 I think most of him is dodgy! Thankfully it's temporary and not contagious!

  • George Harrison recorded a great album back in days of yore: 'All Things Must Pass'. Seems appropriate somehow...

  • I remember that brilliant piece of songwriting!

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