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Thyroid UK
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Alcohol intolerance

Hi

Early this year I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid

Since then I have noticed when I drink alcohol I am quite poorly even with a small amount I seem to blackout for a short time too

18 Replies
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How much Levothyroxine are you on and how long since dose last increased?

Can you post most recent blood test results plus do you have high thyroid antibodies

Have you had vitamin D, Folate, ferritin and B12 tested? If so post results and ranges

You may be under medicated or low vitamins are common. This can stop Thyroid hormones working well. May need to supplement

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I'm on 50 micro I only got diagnosed in last January

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You should have been retested after 6-8 weeks. Were you?

If so what was result?

We see hundreds (may be 1000's) left on far too small a dose

It should be increased in 25mcg steps until TSH is around one and FT4 towards top of range

For full evaluation you need TSH, FT4, FT3, TT4, TPO and TG antibodies, plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 tested

If you can not get full thyroid and vitamin testing from GP

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should be done as early as possible in morning and fasting and don't take Levo in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH and most consistent results

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I have had an underactive thyroid for 21 years. Apart from the usual thyroid tests like T4 and TSH I've not had any other tests the SlowDragon mentions. I had a vit D check approx 2 years ago and was quite low so given treatment and next blood test was in high range of normal. No further treatment.

This year my levothyroxin has been reduced following a fasting check and TSH was low. I had my levothyroxine before test so was low whereas I had one two months earlier not fasted was in range. Levothyroxine was reduced further.

I wonder whether my treatment is too low as I feel more tired and weight going up fast like it did 21 years ago.

It's difficult for me to ask my GP who keeps changing as they have a high turn around so don't often see the same doctor twice.

I find I cat tolerate alcohol too

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For full evaluation you need TSH, FT4, FT3, TT4, TPO and TG antibodies, plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 tested

You are unlikely to get full thyroid and vitamin testing from GP

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should be done as early as possible in morning and fasting and don't take Levo in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH and most consistent results

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I will look into this. I was diagnosed with RA last year so have several tests on a monthly basis due to the medication I need to take. Therefore I am immunosuppressed

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Hello Derbylass

I too am underactive and have found I'm not great with alcohol, although I've not experienced the blackout moments that you do (although I did in my youth😉)

I had one small of rose one time & my face was traffic light red in moments. It looked awful & my stomach didn't feel right either.

I've decided it's not worth the bother to feel so uncomfortable, I save my liver in the process & there's no 'wasting a day' feeling rough.

I don't feel like I'm missing out as I partied in my youth, leave it to the kids I say😀

That said I do like Baileys at Christmas albeit small ones & my body seems to cope with that.

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Hi Derbylass, blacking out is serious and maybe you’re drinking a bit more than you realise, and maybe your body is trying to tell you to stop. Alcohol is ethanol, and in the same poisons category as tobacco and asbestos. It is associated with many cancers including breast cancer in women, prostate in men, and oesophageal cancer in everyone. I only found out I had Hashimoto’s some months after I stopped drinking alcohol. That’s because I had been using it to dull my exhaustion and aching body. I knew something was wrong; I stopped drinking alcohol in an effort to get healthier. With thyroid disease you need all your wits about you to listen to your body, see how you respond to different meds, track your responses and find the best meds combo for you. On top of that, from what I read here and just about everywhere else, good health — regular 8 plus hours sleep, stress less, good nutrition and the right level of exercise for you — is part of the healing journey too. Alcohol has nothing to offer in terms of healing; it just numbs. I hope you feel better soon, and wishing you well. Take care. BBxx

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Hi thanks for your reply I'm not a drinker only when I go out socialising. Last Saturday when I had a drink we were having a meal I had 2 glasses of wine. I've since been to the drs she has ordered tests on my thyroid levels.

Derbylass x

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Derbylass,

Some people do seem to lose their tolerance to alcohol after they become hypothyroid.

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Derbylass

Alcohol intolerance is very definitely a "symptom" of being hypo. When I was on a cruise in April of this year, due to being over medicated on Carbimazole and Propranalol, I could drink no more than one glass of wine without being ill in bed for a whole day. This was quite annoying as I had paid for a drinks package that I could not make use of! - but enough of my problems :). It does suggest that you are under medicated and should definitely follow the advise posted by others on this thread as regards getting all of your levels optimum.

Oh, and if you choose to drink, then that is entirely your prerogative.

Hope you feel well soon.

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I don't drink very often I was at a friend's house last night I had 3 glasses of wine & we was eating during the evening, when I fell to the floor & was very sick. This is the 3rd time this year I've felt bad after drinking, the penny's finally dropped.

Didn't feel too good this morning felt like I had drunk a vat of wine lol but starting to pick up a bit now. Shall stick to my coffee from now on. Got to learn to have fun without the drink.

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3 glasses can equal a bottle of wine, not a massive amount to drink once in a while I think but is much more than is recommended. I too am affected by alcohol now I am hypo as I no longer enjoy it I just dodnt bother.

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Hi Derbylass, you realize that RA and Hashimoto's thyroiditis are both autoimmune diseases? You really should repress the immune system as it is trying to protect you. Has anyone mentioned low dose naltrexone (LDN) to you? It seems to help some conditions like MS. These conditions often start in the stomach with inflammation. Do you feel something specifically disagreeing with you. It's usually gluten or dairy.

Your doctor seems to know nothing about thyroid mechanism. I would find a better one or educate yourself or both would be excellent.

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A few years ago I had a similar problem though sometimes fine and sometime groggy so no drinking when I was driving as no idea how I would feel! Thankfully now stable but I won't risk it if I've got the car as I'll never forget those earlier days

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Me too! Yes, I cannot drink as much as I used to. Use this phenomenon to your advantage. My thyroid meds (NDT) costs me about $40 per month so I gave up a couple of bottles of wine a month, I can now easily afford my NDT. Complete disclosure: I tried to give up wine altogether so that I didn't feel so gouged by the cost of my NDT - but that didn't work. Oh spaghetti without a beautiful Petite Sirah is a travesty, life is too short.

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I have found I too am very sensitive to alcohol with awful hangovers the next day. I have avoided drinking all together but while on vacation did and experienced black outs. I didn’t connect it to my Hashimoto’s though. I thought I may be an alcoholic. I looked at a question test but I never crave alcohol and can take it or leave it. I do it as a social thing, but even having 1 or 2 glasses of wine makes me feel aweful especially the next day. I gave up gluten and dairy on the advice of my doctor. I noticed what it did to my body. I had no idea alcohol even one glass with Hashimoto’s could cause problems but it makes perfect sense. I feel better finding other people who have experienced this and that I’m not alone in this.

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It was the first symptom for me. Long before diagnosis. I sat reading a book one Christmas with a glass of red by my side. I was about halfway down the glass when I got up to go to the loo and I staggered. My head was all over the place. I felt drunk. I could not understand it. I gave the rest of the glass to my husband. Tried again a day or so later, same thing.

I have more or less given up alcohol. I find I can have 1 spirt drink in the later evening if I want one. Mostly I don't. I can drink a pint of beer, perhaps 2 with a meal.

Now I am on more medication (although not enough I feel at present) I can drink a couple of glasses of red with a meal. But I hardly ever do. If we go out I drive so that gives me a good reason not too. If we have Sunday dinner together at home I have recently had some wine a couple of times.

Number of glasses of wine consumed this year - less than 10.

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