Thyroid UK
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Testing and when to avoid supps/NDT

Okay so today I ended up in A&E. Ugh. I've had breathing issues for over 2 weeks now and it's just getting worse. Tight chest and can't get a full breath. I can't figure out if it's an allergy to something (although I have no history of asthma) or a deficiency. Anyway! They told me it's just anxiety and anxiety isn't related to thyroid (the nurse was an expert as she has thyroid issues....So yeah....) And they sent me on my merry way to my GP. WHO basically said the sake thing. I'm over breathing. It's anxiety. NDT is the devil. Here have some diazepam for a short while.

I managed to convince him to refer me back to the endos, not sure what good that will do and also got him to give me a blood test form for lots of tests. I think he left the iron off though ugh.

I want these tests to be as accurate as possible so, how long before the test do I need to stop taking my NDT and any supplements?

6 Replies

Various nutrient deficiencies can lead to breathlessness and air hunger e.g. low iron, B12 and vitamin D all impact on breathing and the lungs.

Another thing that I think is common is breathing only with the top of the lungs rather than properly emptying and re-filling the lungs.

Look into shallow breathing or clavicular breathing. If this sounds like you, then you can do something about it.

One thing I do if I realise I am starting to breathe with just the top of my lungs is I purposely empty my lungs (I don't force it or distress myself or make myself uncomfortable) and then try re-filling them from the belly upwards. This is how people are supposed to breathe all the time.

I developed hyperventilation when I was very, very low in iron and my vitamin D was sub-optimal. This was a few years ago now, and I was lucky (for a change), and instead of being told I needed anti-depressants or treatment for anxiety, and it was all in my head, I was referred to the surgery's respiratory nurse. I was given breathing exercises to do. I have to admit I wasn't grateful at the time, and thought they would never work. But, much to my surprise it did help. It wasn't fun though, the exercises were hard to begin with, and I felt like I was being suffocated for a while.

Whenever my nutrient levels start to drop I start breathing poorly, presumably because I have fewer oxygen-carrying blood cells available. I still use the breathing exercises I was given when I think my breathing is in danger of getting out of control. But I do have to keep close tabs on my iron and ferritin levels and keep them optimal.

Some things for you to search for :

a) diaphragmatic breathing

b) belly breathing

c) Buteyko breathing

d) 7/11 breathing

I catch myself falling into bad breathing habits quite often. However, I now know how to nip the problem in the bud, which helps a lot.


Thank you. I mentioned deficiencies causing breathing issues but the GP said no that's nonsense. It only started when I switched from NDT back to levo and was put on way too low a dose. I reckon my levels of something crashed. That's what I need to figure out.

My breathing issues get worse after eating. But it's not a reflux thing as far as I can tell. Maybe it is I don't know. All I know is, it's not comfortable.


All your GP has to do is to google "symptoms of low iron" and "symptoms of low B12" and shortness of breath is mentioned for both.

Also, hypothyroidism is known to reduce circulating blood volume.

Also, there is a problem of low blood volume in hypothyroid patients. This means that any blood test value will appear higher than it actually is because the patient has a lower than normal blood volume. In many patients with "normal" or "high" thyroid blood levels, but many clinical symptoms, the patient's blood levels actually drop lower once the patient is given thyroid hormones simply because their blood volume increases.

Source :

This article mentions that T3 increases blood volume :

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That's really interesting I've never heard that before!

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I'm not saying will work but youve got nothing to loose.

It's called 4 7 8. It helped me after having some serious debilitating panic attacks and being unable to breath subconsciously.

Breath in for 4 seconds through nose, hold breath for 7 and breath out through mouth for 8. When you breath out hold your tongue against your top teeth.

It helps to reset everything and also great aid for sleep, after doing it for 3 or 4 times in a row.


The advice from your docs may be pretty useless, but please take my advice which is to ensure you are breathing deeply and regularly as what you describe could easily result in you getting pneumonia. Happened to me several times when I had a goitre constricting my breathing. Not particularly harmful when young (only 42 at that time) but quite deadly if a lot older.


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