Happiness: I read an article in a magazine at the... - Thyroid UK

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I read an article in a magazine at the Doc's yesterday which stated that a large percentage of Hypo sufferers also suffer from depression - cannot remember the mag or the statistics but I wondered if that was true? I know that in my case, I have found for the past few years that I (and there is not an easy way to explain this) have the 'top layer of happiness' missing!! If you could measure happiness as a percentage, I would say I was at 80% - does this mean low grade depression?? I have a good life, look after myself with GF diet, take all the supplements necessary, do not eat processed food, juice every day - in short, do all I can to keep healthy. I have 4 lovely grandchildren and at 61, have been retired (through choice) for a few years and yet......... My recent blood test showed my T3 as 3.78 (3.10 - 6.80) (I had a private test done and stupidly took a small does of levo the night before because I didn't know for sure I would be able to get blood drawn that day - not sure if that would make a difference up or down) Sooo, would NDT make a difference to my happiness level do you think, or would there be something else at play - are we all destined to feel bleugh for life??

16 Replies

I think that is true, yes. But using the word 'depression' to cover a wide spectrum of emotions. It is my belief that 'depression' is a symptom, not a disease. So, given that the brain require huge quantities of T3, it wouldn't be surprising if it didn't function correctly when T3 was low. Your T3 is much too low, so not surprising if your brain is feeling subdued.

How much levo are you taking? Either you are under-medicated or you have poor conversion. But we can't know about conversion without seeing an FT4 result taken at the same time.

Taking your levo before the test would not affect the FT3 level, just the FT4 level, which would be a false high (so no good for calculating conversion).

Loobs39 in reply to greygoose

I take 75 levo each day and have done for a few years - on the few occasions where I have increased to 100, I find that I get palpitations. My free thyroxine was 15.9 (12 - 22) and T4 was 107 (59 - 154).

You are right, I think, about depression in this case being a symptom - I can actually count on the fingers of one hand the times I have felt truly happy in the past few years - that euphoria feeling that occasionally catches you when you are doing something. In fact I can almost draw a line before and after but there isn't anything I want to take for it - St Johns Wort is a no-no on Levo and I don't want to go down the road of prescribed medication - I am trying meditation but struggling to do it. Hey ho - onward and upward.

greygoose in reply to Loobs39

Who suggested you 'take anything for it'? All you need is a decent dose of thyroid hormone. And, if you can't increase the dose, you probably have nutritional deficiencies. Have you had your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin tested?

Loobs39 in reply to greygoose

I have 3 monthly B12 injections because I suffer from PA and I take ferritin and folate as both are lowish - I also take daily vit D - I seriously do everything I can to keep well. It was the nurse yesterday (doing my B12 jab) who suggested medication. It was quite obvious to me that my B12 was low before jab, I had dreadful tinnitus for the last couple of weeks but it has now gone - and yet my mood hasn't improved so I don't think it is that, I never notice an improvement after jab? I have decided to go to chemist on Monday to enquire about NDT - he told me that if I got a private blood test done and it showed my T3 to be low he may be able to sort out a private prescription for me. Not too sure of the cost however, fingers crossed I can get some and it helps.

Marz in reply to Loobs39

It sounds to me as if you need your B12 injections more often than every 12 weeks. I would try taking the B12 Lozenges by Jarrow Methylcobalamin 5000mcg - from Amazon. to be kept under the tongue until dissolved. I can buy OTC here in Crete and inject B12 myself weekly ....

Tinnitus is considered a neurological condition and is the most common issue people with PA have to cope with. This should give you grounds for more frequent injections. Pop across to the Pernicious Anaemia Society website and have a read :-)

Have you tried taking the iron with VitC for better absorption ? Which B complex do you take for the Folate - or do you take it alone ? Maybe better to take it within a Complex as other B vitamins are of value too :-)

How much VitD do you take ?

Loobs39 in reply to Marz

I take 1000 iu of Vit D (Vitabiotics) daily. I juice every day which always includes citrus fruit but I have got some vit c chew tablets so could make sure I take that at the same time as the iron. I take Floradix Iron and Vitamin tablets. I will have a look at the PA website - thank you

Marz in reply to Loobs39

2500 is a maintenance dose for VitD - if you are optimal - around 100 :-) If you haven't yet found the PAS website I have posted the link below ....


Not sure how much active iron there is in Floradix ....

greygoose in reply to Loobs39

I think you misunderstood my meaning. I didn't say low nutrients were causing your low mood - although low B12 very well could do, and I agree with everything Marz said - I meant low nutrients are the reason you cannot raise your levo high enough to make you well. And, if that is the case, it will be even worse on NDT. You absolutely need your nutrients optimised.

Marz has mentioned taking a B complex with your B12, but there are other cofactors to think about. With vit D3 you need to take magnesium and vit K2 - MK7. And vit C with iron. It's also possible that you need zinc - most hypos are low in zinc.

As I said, your low mood is more than likely caused by your low T3. But if you're prepared to buy your own and self-treat to a certain extent, it might be better to consider buying your own T3, rather than NDT. Cheaper and might be better absorbed if your nutrients aren't all optimised than NDT.

Loobs39 in reply to greygoose

I do take Zinc (and Magnesium and Selenium) as well as all the other things but not K2 so I need to look into that. It is something that I have long assumed, the fact that although I eat really well I am not absorbing nutrients. I drink home made beef bone broth, make broth from chicken for stock etc. etc. so really do the best I can but I certainly take on board your comments about NDT and I may mention simply adding a bit of T3 to the pharmacist and see what he says.

greygoose in reply to Loobs39

I can imagine what the pharmacist will say!

No-one is suggesting that you don't do all you can to get well. I'm sure you do. I'm just suggesting reasons why it's not working.

So, if the problem is an absorption problem - which it doesn't seem to be with the levo, because you have the sort of levels one would expect on a small dose - then maybe you should look at stomach acid. Perhaps that is low. Have a look at this article. At the end it gives a home test you can do for stomach acid.


Well said Martz & Greygoose.

Sadly people often are not optimally treated for hypothyroidism....this means symptoms like low grade depression or low mood persist as they are one of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism. Optimally treated hypothyroidism does not leave you with persistant low mood or depression if it was caused by Hypothyroidism.


As you have compromised gut with low vitamins you may need addition of small dose of T3

Suggest you try Marz suggestion of supplementing daily B12 sublingual lozenges

Get full retesting of thyroid and vitamins in 6-8 weeks after via Medichecks then put up new post

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 print it and highlight question 6 to show your doctor

 please email Dionne at


Also request list of recommended thyroid specialists, some are T3 friendly

Professor Toft recent article saying, T3 may be necessary for many otherwise we need high FT4 and suppressed TSH in order to have high enough FT3



Also daily good quality vitamin B complex with folate in (not folic acid)

If you are taking vitamin B complex, or any supplements containing biotin, remember to stop these 3-5 days before any blood tests, as biotin can falsely affect test results



It probably means your free T3 is low in range as the brain needs more T3 than any other organ (and your is). If your free T4 is high in range, taking something with T3 in it would probably help. T3 is sometimes prescribed for depression that doesn't respond to other drugs.

You've had some great responses. Just to add that my psychiatrist at a time of great personal stress, approaching thirty years ago, asked that I remember that happiness is transient. Contentment on the other hand, lends itself to a greater degree of constancy if sought and nourished.


Depression goes with thyroid. I have bout of being depressed and i have hyper/graves.

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