Hypothyroidism and blood sugar imbalances - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

121,626 members141,948 posts

Hypothyroidism and blood sugar imbalances

Pippycat89 profile image

I am new to hypothyroidism and have been on 25mcg levothyroxine for just over 3 weeks. It was a battle to get this because, despite TSH of 5.1, GP does not think I am hypothyroid.

Anyway, in the meantime I have been continuing to do some research and found that I have nearly every symptom of adrenal fatigue (something which is not generally recognised by the medical profession). Adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism are connected.

I have been stressed for quite a few years - I began studying for a healthcare degree when I was 52 years old and going through the menopause; on the day I graduated my mum was diagnosed with advanced stage four cancer (out of the blue) and given a prognosis of six months to live; from the day of diagnosis I cared for my mum at home 24/7 until the day she died (she lasted three months); I then spent six months or more clearing out the house - the home I had shared with her for many years.

I then relocated from the south to the north to find a job in healthcare. I struggled to get a job despite being one of the best students they had ever had on the course. There was definitely some ageism going on I think! Or maybe it was my 'brain fog' and possible adrenal fatigue affecting me? I have now given up on the possibility of pursuing a new career, I am 57 years old.

The above information isn't really relevant except to illustrate how various things can stress you without you realising it. You only see some things with hindsight. All of this stress coupled with the fact that I am a worrier with perfectionist tendencies, makes the possibility of adrenal fatigue quite likely.

I am continuing to research to get to the root of my problems so that I can get back to being me.

I am now looking at modifying the way I eat to see if that can help to improve things. I have always eaten quite a healthy diet and have been fairly active throughout my life, but maybe I just need to change things a little bit. I came across this useful article, it has probably been posted on here before, but no harm in posting again.


13 Replies

I think you'd like The Magic Pill documentary. If you're vegetarian, alter the protocol to your own requirements.


Pippycat89 profile image
Pippycat89 in reply to Londinium

Thanks, I'll take a look at that.

shaws profile image

I am sorry you have had all of the foregoing problems and especially your mother's death and you are still in bereavement whether or not you think you may not be. So you have been worn out physically and mentally and it will take time to slowly recover your health.

The root cause of hypothyroidism is that our thyroid glands have stopped producing sufficient thyroid hormones. It is a fatal disease if unmedicated and we need to replace thyroid hormones daily. The only replacement in the UK is levothyroxine, also called T4.

You take dose once daily, with one full glass of water and wait an hour before eating. Some prefer a bedtime dose, in that case your stomach has to be empty. If you've had a big meal it will take about three hours to digest.

On the morning of blood test (six weekly with 25mcg levo increments) it should always be the earliest appointment, fasting (you can drink water) and allow 24 hour gap between last dose of levo and test and take afterwards.

Ask GP to also test B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate as deficiencies can also cause symptoms. He should also test thyroid antibodies. If you have antibodies you will have the commonest form of hypothyroidism - called Hashimito's or hashi's for short.

Always get a print-out of your results, with the ranges for your own records and post if you wish members to comment upon them. The aim is a TSH of 1 or lower with a Free T4 and Free T3 in the upper part of the range. The latter are rarely tested by the NHS.

As your dose increases you should begin to feel better. T4 (levothyroxine) is an inactive hormone and its job is to convert to T4 (liothyronine) which is the Active hormone required in our millions of T3 receptor cells, the brain and heart contain the most.

Pippycat89 profile image
Pippycat89 in reply to shaws

Thank you for your reply. Grief is a funny thing, you tend to think it should only last a certain amount of time because many have little sympathy for you after a few months. You are expected to just get on with life as you did before....when in fact it is a very individual thing. My mum was my best friend and she has left a massive hole in my life, I am finding it very hard to adjust to life without her. So you are probably right, I am still in bereavement but feeling that I shouldn't be by now.

I have just done the Blue Horizon Thyroid Eleven blood test, so results should be back this week. I also have an NHS blood test on Friday. I will post on here once the results are in and take it from there.

It's nice to find people who are understanding :)

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Pippycat89

My sister died about 1.5 years ago and the space she left is growing even more as times goes on. We were inseparable and confidants to one another even though we lived quite a distance apart but were always on the phone. We knew we could rely on one another to keep private what we discussed etc. You cannot do that with many people who may say they wont divulge so and so but they do as they like to 'pass on' gossip they promised not to. Trust is a great gift.

Pippycat89 profile image
Pippycat89 in reply to shaws

I can imagine how you feel because I still have my sister and I would HATE to lose her too. Trust is not only a great gift but quite rare too. I am sorry for your loss...we do have to carry on but we just adjust rather than 'get over it'.

I wish losing a close relative was like the end of a relationship in that eventually you get over it and find someone else and then it doesn't hurt anymore. You can't replace a mum or a sister - you just can't, it hurts forever.

SlowDragon profile image

25mcg is only half the standard starter dose, though as you are over 50 the NHS guidelines do say START on 25mcg.

But dose should be increased in 25mcg steps until TSH is around one and FT4 towards top of range and FT3 at least half way in range. For most patients that's usually somewhere between 100mcg and 200mcg

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4, TT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies. Plus very important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Private tests are available. Thousands on here forced to do this as NHS often refuses to test FT3 or antibodies


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 ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. When on Levothyroxine, don't take in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

If antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's. Low vitamins are especially common with Hashimoto's. Food intolerances are very common too, especially gluten. So it's important to get TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested at least once .

Link about thyroid blood tests


Link about antibodies and Hashimoto's



List of hypothyroid symptoms


NHS guidelines saying standard starter dose is 50mcgs


Thanks for all the advice and tips :)

I have just sent off my Blue Horizon Thyroid Eleven blood test this morning and have an NHS blood test this coming Friday. Hoping that the results will shed some light into what is going on.

Hello Pippycat89

You have been through (and are going through still) a great deal of stress and this will only exacerbate all your existing symptoms.

During your research have you come across 'Stop The Thyroid Madness' by Janie Bowthorpe? If you don't want to buy the book; you could look at her excellent website which will also give you lots of info on both hypo and adrenals.

Not only will she advise on which tests could be done specifically for adrenals but advises how to self treat - there is no question, it's better to be treated along with professional advice but in this country (UK); GP's do not recognise adrenal problems and even if they do, I have never heard of one which would treat you for it.

Have you considered some flower remedies for your grief? You could research them too; I used Bach ones for the tragic death of a loved one and I was finally able to accept that they had gone instead of not 'accepting' it and railing against it.

The original Bach company sold on the remedies and, in my opinion, they are not now made to the same high standards. I would recommend Ainsworths; they do make them to the same exacting standards.

I had come across 'Stop The Thyroid Madness' - there is so much good and useful stuff around, particularly on this forum...and everyone is so helpful. The one thing that is clearly beginning to emerge, is that with all this sort of stuff, you really do need to take control of your own health. You can't do it without GPs, but you need to inform them (and just hope you find one that will listen).

I tried a Bach flower remedy years ago (for anxiety I think?), a friend of mine swore by it. It never did a thing for me. I have tried various natural remedies over the years for PMT and insomnia - nothing seems to work on me. Had sleeping pills prescribed a couple of times, took the maximum dose and they didn't work either. I have a hamster on a wheel type of brain, ha ha!

Hello Pippcat89

If I was you I would give the flower essences another go. You don't have much to lose as they are so cheap to buy. Just as we change and deteriorate into illness; we also change spiritually and become more 'sensitive'.

The remedy for thoughts churning round is White Chestnut. The thing with flower remedies like most things (even thyroid supplements) is that they don't work for all of the people all of the time but for such a situation as yours; I would definitely give them another shot.

I would have to disagree that you 'can't do it without GP's' if you mean that you cannot start treating your condition with supplements they may refuse to acknowledge or proscribe? I have found every single one I have consulted regarding my hypo to be unhelpful, dismissive and condescending - or just a mixture of all three.

It seems that on this forum there are boatloads of brave souls who have taken responsibility for their health into their own hands and are feeling, in the main, much better for it.

You could go down the private route but it will be expensive and that can be a lottery too as I have found.

With regard to the GP thing, I just meant you need them to get meds and to make sure you are safe to take stuff. I guess you can get your own meds tho so maybe you don't need them after all.

I've seen a few GPs and I would agree with you, not found a 'good' one yet. Their attitude is disappointing and I always come out feeling it was a complete waste of time. Makes me reluctant to go back and I start to wonder whether I am imagining it all and making a fuss about nothing.

Thanks for the info about the flower remedies. Anything has got to be worth a go.

Thank you.

Hi Pippycat

Ordinarily you will only get synthetic meds from a GP (though many people do very well on them; others don't); if you went private they can/might proscribe you alternatives like NDT (natural desiccated thyroid) or adrenal supplements. But again this forum is fit to bust with folk who attain their own supplements/meds; so you definitely aren't restricted to what a GP will deign to proscribe you.

Honestly - Good Luck trying to find a 'good' GP who will not only listen to you but take on board what you are saying/feeling! You could be in for a very long and futile wait...…..

As to feeling 'reluctant to go back and wonder if you are imagining it all...' - you are definitely describing me there for about the last 30 years and potentially most of the people who post on this forum; at some time or another.

You could also read 'Tears behind closed doors' by Diana Holmes; if you read this book, you won't ever wonder again whether this is 'all in your head'.

You could also try taking your basal temperature; for explicit instructions google Broda Barnes and basic metabolic rate. Best to do this with an 'old money' thermometer because the digital ones are not as reliable.

By the way, when I mentioned 'spiritually' in my earlier post; I meant it in a vibrational way - not a religious way - and flower remedies work on your vibrations.

So good vibrations to you!

You may also like...