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Three periods this month and three months of back pain. Can this be down to underactive thyroid?

I'm sure its nothing to worry about but it has been a very noticeable change to my cycle which up until 2 months ago was as regular as clockwork 28 days. Since November I've had three periods which have lasted 4 days with all the usual menstrual symtoms. In addition to this I have had lower back pain for the last three months which I can only describe as the pain you get in the early stages of labour with limiting movement. I am not sexually active and haven't been for over 18 months, I'm not on any form of contraception. I will make an appointment with my GP but wanted to ask if anyone else has experienced anything similar and can it be down to underactive thyroid? I take 50 and 75 levothyroxine on alternate day, diagnosed with subclinical underactive thyroid May 2016 with positive anti-bodies. Thank you in advance

22 Replies

That's a low dose, do you have most recent thyroid tests, full evaluation you ideally need TSH, FT4, FT3, TT4, TPO and TG antibodies, plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 tested

If not been done recently see if you can get full thyroid and vitamin testing from GP. Unlikely to get FT3 but it's essential

Private tests are available


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, lowest FT4 and most consistent results

What supplements do you take for low vitamin D? Do you take selenium

Are you on gluten free diet as you have Hashimoto's?


Hi SlowDragon,

Thank you for your response. I had bloods done early May 2017 THS was 35 GP increased Levo back to 50 and vit D was low so was given course of vit D for 6 months, I had them done privately late June and TSH was 22 GP increased levo to 75 alternate days with blood tests three months after which came back 'normal'. I asked GP about whether I had Hashimotos or not and he told me it was subclinical underactive thyroid. If I'm honest I avoid going to the GP unless I'm desperate, I could go in with a sore finger and they would try and give me anti-depressants.

I am still learning about the thyroid and manage any symptoms I have by working my life around them. I work full time and rest and do nothing much else, I go to bed at 9.00pm every night and rest more of a weekend just doing what I need to do (if I do too much I'm not fit for work the following week). I thought exercise would help so joined the gym, I felt burned out after three very short visits in one week so stopped going. I am very accepting of what is happening to me and have an amazing ability to cope which is what I do but I don't know how long that will last before I crash and burn again because 99% of the time I feel like rubbish. I know there are a lot of symptoms with underactive thyroid but is three periods in one month one of them? My periods have never been affected before.

I get quite envious of my friends and colleagues who live life to the full and have a fulfilling life outside work.


You are so undermedicated and you need to change GPasap. Your periods problems could be down to thyroid issues and probably are but I think you need to have other causes eliminated. The best chance of feeling well on levo is when you have your T4 at the top of the range and your TSH at or below 1. Your GP does not even seem to be trying to get you into range. I am sure you will feel hugely better once you have good thyroid treatment. I treat myself as I do not want the battles with the NHS. If you can find out from a local pharmacist if any of the Local doctors to you have been prescribing T3 a doctor who has been doing this would be a good one to go to.


I'll make an appointment tomorrow and I will stand my ground and try not to get upset. I always try not to get upset but 9 times out of 10 I do which is when he asks if I feel that I need anti-depressants. Thank you for your advice

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Post all your test results with ranges as it is likely you are under medicated.

In addition what was your vitamin D test result? Often GPs prescribe people 800iu when their vitamin D level is one of severe deficiency. 800iu daily will do SFA if you have severe deficiency you more likely need 8000iu per day instead.


Hi Bluebug, my vit D result was 17, I was prescribed 20,000iu of plenachol once a day for 5 days then one per month for 6 months. That was 6 months ago so I am due to be tested again. It is time to grin and bear it and visit GP, I'm going to make an appointment first thing in the morning. Thank you


I’m sorry to say that your doctor doesn’t appear to understand much about the thyroid. Make an urgent appointment and don’t leave without a dose increase if your TSH is above 2. Most of us feel better with a TSH around 1 and that is what they should be aiming for in dosing us. High out of range levels mean a 25mcg dose increase and a test 6-8 weeks later, when the body has had time to adjust to the dose. And get a print out of all your tests to date. They may make a small charge but no matter what they say you are legally entitled to the print outs. May be phone tomorrow and tell them you will pick them up at the appointment.

When posting results on here give us the result including the ranges.

Don’t try to exercise until your symptoms are under control and your dose established. See the Thyroid UK page for dosing guidelines. No doubt others will give you more info to present to a GP should they think that this management is normal.


Thanks cwill, I'm going to write myself a list of things I want and take it with me to my GP. This is just not nice at all, I need to drop the brave face and get to the bottom of it. Thank you for your encouragement.

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I don't want to upset anyone but ive seen my energy and muscle strength decline dramatically since being on t4 only. When my tsh came back at 0.1 my muscle strength was at an all time low and to even lift my leg felt like a was lifting a ton weight. T4 only gives you the energy to get out of bed but for me and others decreases the muscle strength so that you feel unable to use that energy provided by the T4, which for me resulted in nervous energy as I couldn't use it physically. As a result I couldn't sleep at night due to excessive energy levels.


I too have had disabling and movement limiting back pain since on levo even when my tsh was 0.1 so that's not whats causing this back pain.


A TSH of 22 requires a larger dose increase than 12.5mcg daily

Highly likely you have Hashimoto's.

Very likely low ferritin, folate and B12 as well as vitamin D

Insist on Thyroid antibodies testing if not ever been done as well as all four vitamins

Your GP obviously hasn't a clue what Hashimoto's might be

Gluten free diet likely to help, especially if antibodies are raised

Poor gut function due to hypothyroidism can lead leaky gut (literally holes in gut wall) this can cause food intolerances. Most common by far is gluten

According to Izabella Wentz the Thyroid Pharmacist approx 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps significantly. Either due to direct gluten intolerance (no test available) or due to leaky gut and gluten causing molecular mimicry (see Amy Myers link)

But don't be surprised that GP or endo never mention gut, gluten or low vitamins. Hashimoto's is very poorly understood

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies







Dr Toft, past president of the British Thyroid Association and leading endocrinologist, states in Pulse Magazine,

"The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range - 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l.

Most patients will feel well in that circumstance. But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l.

This 'exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism' is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l)."

You can obtain a copy of the articles from Thyroid UK email dionne.fulcher@thyroidUK.org. print it and highlight question 6 to show your doctor.


Hi there my periods are still abit like that sometimes but have had them checked last year- i am 47 and at the age where i get hot flushes and more or less bleeding and mine have become abit more frequent since having a thyroid problem hyper and hashis and suspected graves, however i would visit a different gp ( maybe a lady one) and just tell her your concern-always best to check, i had app with gynae and various procedures and all fine.

Yes the pain you desribe to me i only had a couple of times and it was just like being in labour and it was excruciating and remember having to count to 10 and then a break of 10 and it would be back. But do get it checked.😊


Hi Rmichelle, I'm going to make an appointment with my GP tomorrow and get to the bottom of it. Whatever symptom I have I put down to thyroid problem but will get my woman's problem looked at separately. Thank you for sharing


I think we know when something is connected and it wouldnt surprise me if it was thyroid connected, ive been told many times that if youre tbyroid is not functioning correctly then everything else in your body wont as it affects other parts. Ii know how you feel also you look at other people and think i want to feel like them and do what i was able to do before- i was diagnosed hyper in july and also hashimotos and suspected graves disease and felt and looked very poorly indeed, on titration doses at present and at the moment i have days where i feel reasonably human and more days feeling dire but doctor has signed me off work since august, i too was a energetic mum of one with a demanding 12 year old gothic daughter with a busy social life.ha!and working 5 days a week 9 to 2.30. Then shopping and housework and always going out with my hubby and daughter at weekends and a hubby who worked lates but this all had to change as it was to demanding on my body. If you can take time off and maybe ditch the gym for now. Best advice given to me from another forum user is be kind to yourself. There is light at tge end of the tunnel and i understand for your yearning of your old life back. 😧😊


I don’t want to point out the obvious but have you damaged your back at all ? I have had 7 major operations on my spine and every year come October when the weather gets colder I suffer really bad !! Like takes me 2 hours to move ?

Is it back pain ? Nerve pain ? Numbness? Tingling feeling in legs sore bum cheeks ?? Any other symptoms???

It could be something else going on ??


Hi Russellb73, you make a valid point but no haven't injured it. It is very stiff and painful when I walk, move it in any direction and standing still is not something that I can do and when just sitting there is a dull ache like the early stages of labour. I'm going to the GP for a full MOT and get it all sorted. I want my life back!!!! Thank you for your input.


With the spine it could be one of a thousand problems I suffer with degenerative disc disorder ! Which also has nerve damage and muscular problems! But yes sounds like Gp is the best option, you will be referred to hospital for tests and then maybe an MRI it takes months to get to the bottom of it so be patient and they may give you some pain relief but then you have additional problems learning not to do too much when your feeling good !

I’ve been having treatment since I was 21 !! I’m now 45 !! I’ve been told my condition will only get worse with time and I need to manage it as best I can



Sorry but ive been down that road and painkillers are whats on offer which for me are not an option. levo decreases muscle strength, I think that's the problem. I'm also wondering that that's why my eyes have become weak as it has also weakened those muscles and probably heart muscle too.



could it be the loss of muscle strength around the spine leaving the spine under supported.


Hi, I am 46 been going through the menopause for over 6 years, I have hashis and my periods stopped for 3 years and now are anything from 10 days to 10 weeks apart, a complete nightmare, hormones all over the place, horrendous acne, back pain, stomach pain, doc has ruled anything else out so yes I think it us all connected, another nightmare to add to the ever extending list! But do and get yourself checked out to be on the safe side x

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when i was low i had 2 severe periods each month - before crap thyroid days i barely had anything. the big issue with this is you become very anaemic and that sets off a whole new raft of problems. i didnt take it seriously enough early on and doctors REALLY dont so PUSH


Hello everyone, I went to my GP yesterday. I was expecting her to say it was down to thyroid or that I was premenapausal. However, after an internal examination she referred me for two week urgent referral to gynocology. She said my cervix was inflamed and she found what she thought was a cluster of cysts on my cervix. I have also had a number of blood tests including CA125 and thyroid (I forgot to get my previous thyroid readings).

I feel a little bit nervous but I'm keeping my worries down to a minimum.

I put everything down to thyroid and just get on with it. Thanks to all of you for responding to my post


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