Thyroid UK
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Newbie question

Hi everyone, I've recently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid - although I think I'm just on the borderline for treatment? I've been prescribed 25mcg levothyroxine, but am feeling worse since I've been taking it. Is this normal? Does it get worse before it gets better? I wake up every morning feeling like I have a hangover, have achy joints, weight gain and low mood.

My results were

Anti TPO result positive 150.8

Free T4 level 11.4

TSH 7.88

reception said there was no T3 level - do they have to test for this separately?

Any advice/pointers you can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you. x

5 Replies

Hello Maddiemoon and welcome. It's good you've got your blood test results. Could you please post the laboratory ranges next to your test results as they can vary. That way, people can give you some good advice.

FT3 can be tested at the same time as TSH and FT4 but many NHS laboratories in the UK decline to test even if GP orders it. You can get it tested privately if you wish. Thyroid UK website lists reliable laboratories that will provide tests.

It sounds like you have autoimmune antibodies which means you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis but once you post the laboratory ranges, people will be able to confirm this.

There is a lot of good advice on this site for people with autoimmune thyroid conditions.

It takes a while to get thyoid back in balance. You need to have a blood test every 6 weeks and then a dose adjustment until you feel well and your TSH is something near to 1.0 which is where most people feel well. 25mcg is a tiny dose and you will almost certainly need an increase in dose. According to others on this site, you should take your thyroid meds after the blood test, not before.

You should take your Levothryoxine on an empty stomach with one full glass of water and then leave 1 hour before eating or drinking anything except for water.

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Thanks for your reply, putting ranges here, as suggested. Will have a look around the site too. Thank you.

Anti-TPO result 150.8 (no range given)

Free T4level 11.4 - range 9.01 - 19.05

TSH 7.88 - range 0.35- 4.94


Although no range is given for the Anti-TPO result, it looks like the laboratory has stated positive which means you are positive for thyroid antibodies and therefore have Hashimotos thyroiditis.

You could also ask for TgAb antibodies test and vitamin levels blood tests for Vit D, B12, ferritin and folate as many people with Hashimotos are deficient in these.

You will find lots of good advice on other posts about trying a gluten free diet to reduce antibodies and attacks on the thyroid.

With Hashimotos, thyroid test results can vary according to the level of activity of antibodies so you may find you need to vary your dose of Levothryoxine accordingly. People with the condition will be able to give you better advice than me.

You need your vitamin levels to be good for Levothyroxine to work well, so get them checked too. If you get the blood tests results and post them here, people will give good advice because you need them to be optimal, not just somewhere within NHS range.

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Your TSH is still quite elevated above the posted range at 7.88 - but you have barely started treatment and at a very small "starter dose" of 25 mcg so as you go forward that will drop. Here we aim for it to be 1 or even less. If it hasn't been mentioned yet when you have blood drawn make sure to have it first thing, fast beforehand (water OK), and no Levo for 24 hours prior. This will give the most accurate results - but don't bother asking your GP as they simply aren't aware of these details 😏 . Be sure you get the results for your ferritin, folate, B12 and Vit D levels in the next set of tests - and you need them re-tested every 6-8 weeks to track your levels as you increase dosage. The site has a wealth of info if you read posts and delve into the archive of topics. Here's a few links to check out regarding thyroid and nutrients:

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Thanks for all the advice, I do appreciate it x


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