How long does this take : Hi I have been newly... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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How long does this take



I have been newly diagnosed and taking levothyroxine 50mcg for around two weeks now.

How long did it take for most to see an effect?

I am still so exhausted. It is a struggle to get out if bed in the morning my body is so stiff. Almost every morning I contemplate calling in to work sick as I'm so tired. Every night i get into bed and my legs are aching and burning it makes me so upset

14 Replies

Dewberry1 Unfortunately it's not a quick fix. It takes up to 6 weeks after starting Levo, or having an increase in dose, for it to be fully effective. You are going to need retesting plus dose increase of 25mcg every 6-8 weeks until your symptoms abate and you feel well. Even after a few increases in dose, your levels might look good but feeling good can take longer.

The aim of a treated hypo patient generally is for TSH to be 1 or below or wherever it is needed for FT4 and FT3 to be in the upper part of their respective reference ranges if that is where you feel well.

Take your Levo on an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after food, with a glass of water only, no tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, etc, for an hour as absorption will be affected. Also, keep Levo away from other medication and supplements by two hours, some need four hours.

When having thyroid tests, always book the earliest appointment of the morning, fast overnight (water allowed) and leave off Levo for 24 hours (take after blood draw). This gives the highest possible TSH which is needed when looking for an increase in dose or to avoid a reduction. TSH is highest very early in the morning and lowers throughout the day, it also lowers after eating.

hebden in reply to SeasideSusie

Thanks for the info Seasidesusie. I too have just started 50mg of levothyroxine and was going to post a similar question. Ive been in shock because Ive had such a battle over so many years to get doctors to take me seriously and suddenly I found a GP that listened and has given me a trial of levo. Just hoping its the start of feeling better. Sorry for butting in your post Dewberry1. Hope you start to feel better soon too. hugs Joolz.x

Dewberry1 in reply to hebden


Its not a problem! Seems like alot of us are struggling. Hope you feel better soon x

Thanks for all the information that was very helpful!

It can be daunting starting out and naturally you both want to feel better quickly. But patience is needed and nothing works quickly with the thyroid. Even testing has to be in measured periods but it can't be speeded up. It's a slow process but you should get there in time.

A good couple of months. Make sure you get vit D,b12, folate and ferritin tested as all can be very low with thyroid issues. Also antibodies to check for Hashinotos, very common.

T3 and RT3 levels are hugely important too. You're not likely to get tested on the NHS unless you are very lucky. If you still feel rottin on T4 mono therapy (Levo) then good to get tested as lots of have conversion problems and then need to add T3 or switch to NDT to feel well.

Isabella Wentz Hashimotos protocol is a good first read.

Mary Shomon books

Chris Kresser website

Amy Myers MD

Dana Trentini hypothyroidmom is a great website if you are young and thinking of children.

You really need to educate yourself as the GP's don't tell you half you need to know. x

Dewberry1 in reply to Katepots

Thanks for the literature advice will have a read!

What has it been like for those of you with a demanding career? I work 9 hours a day on retail so am on my feet all day. Only get 10/20 mins to sit and eat lunch if that.

Also as i do shifts i often work more than 5 days in a row.

Think I may need to speak to employers as I am struggling

Rmichelle in reply to Dewberry1

Hi get your doc to sign you off sick you dont want to end up in hospital. You need to think off you, i lknow work is important but if you werent there they would have to manage. I have been off work now for a month and half and im nowhere near sorted. I have hyper and hashimotos and doc is calling today to sign me off as med cert runs out today. Someone said to me from this lovely forum "be kind to yourself" its hard i know - i worked 5 days a week, with a 12 yr daughter always running around after her, doing housework, shopping and a husband who works lates but it all had to change. Take care.xx

Rmichelle in reply to Dewberry1

You may be off for a long time your body will let you know when its ready. Life is precious😊

Stourie in reply to Dewberry1

Hi when I was diagnosed nearly 11 years ago I worked in a hospital and worked shifts which included earlies lates and nightshift. The doctor signed me off for 6 weeks and back I went but after a few days realised that it was too soon and was off for a few more weeks. I then dropped a shift a week and that suited me. Hope that helps. xx

Some symptoms nay go quick but it was nearly 12 months before I felt much better.

I was diagnosed in my mid 20s and it took a year before I felt I could work full time again. It's hard to be patient!

Thank you for all the replies guy they have been very helpful. Will have to maybe see my doctor about a sick note and try and be patient till next blood test.

Very hard when my legs are constantly aching! Anybody have any tips for this ?

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