Question for Mother hypothyroid exhaustion - Thyroid UK

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Question for Mother hypothyroid exhaustion


Could anyone advise my mother aged 70

History of high bp, previous stroke (3 yrs ago), kidney disease all stable recent diagnosis the ago of hypothyroidism tsh is 9.3 range 0.30 to 5; T4 11 range 9-19

Newly diagnosed My mother was on 50mcg of thyroxine for 6 months found increase to 75 caused palpitations, recently she has overwhelming tiredness, up at 8.00am in bed by 4.00pm body aches and overwhelmed by tiredness.

Sleeps at around 7.00pm until 8.00am

Feels like she spends too much time exhausted and tired and in bed!! is this normal as GP says it's thyroid. Recent weight gain of almost 1 stone in 5 weeks!! Eats healthy and not excessively by any means.

Ferritin low on iron tablets 2x day

Any advice please

Thank you

6 Replies

Sorry you mum isn't improving after her diagnosis. Four things help the Thyroid work better so I should ask her doctor to test Vit D, B12, folate and ferritin. We are often low in one or more of these and need to supplement. Doctors often a think we are fine if they are in range but they need to be optimal. Look for SeasideSusie'a post for info on what is optimal and how to get there. It can take a while though if you Mother is low to get levels up. If more than one is a problem then start treatment for one then after a couple of weeks add in the next. Then if she has any problems you know which is at fault. Don't stop when levels are increased as they can drop down very quickly. Another thing you can try is increase medication on alternate days and see if she feels fine on that. Results are saying she needs an increase but it may be down to anyone of the tests I've suggested being low so hopefully that should help. Also is she taking the medication on an empty stomach and nothing but water for an hour after? So many things slow down absorption so have a read of the Thyroid Uk site for more info-they run this forum. Shout out if anything you don't understand.

Many Thanks for advice.

Sorry, your Mum is not well I am 72 years of age and in 2015 had my thyroid removed the only way I got better was to join this site.

The people on here require more details a blood test including TSH, T4, FT3, Vit D, B12, Folate and Ferritin. This can be obtained through either Blue Horizon ( Test Thyroid plus 11) or through Medicheck. The test should be taken first thing on an empty stomach.

Post the results with the ranges on here for answers. Leave of Levo for 24 hours prior to the test.

I am not sure about the other medications your Mum might be on, you will need to ask on here before she take the test, sometimes they interfere with the results. I hope that she gets better soon.


Always take Levo on empty stomach and then nothing apart from water for at least an hour after. No other medication at same time, or within four hours

Many take Levothyroxine early morning, on waking, but it may be more convenient and possibly more effective taken at bedtime

Many people find Levothyroxine brands are not interchangeable. Once you find a brand that suits your Mum, best to make sure to only get that one at each prescription. Watch out for brand change when dose is increased or at repeat prescription.

Many patients do not get on well with Teva brand of Levothyroxine. Though it is the only one for lactose intolerant patients

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. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

As others have said it's very important to get vitamin B12, folate, ferritin and vitamin D tested

Low vitamin levels are extremely common and may need supplements to improve. Important to test

We tend to have lower B12 as we age as well

Another method to increase thyroxine, is to do it gradually. To increase suddanly by 25mcg may be too much for certain people. You may start by increasing by 5mcg, stay with it for few weeks then add next 5mcg, etc. There is a liquid thyroxine which makes possible a gradual increase of the dose.

As one ages and has chronic illnesses Reverse T3 raises. She is undermedicated but Reverse T3 can show if thyroid hormones are getting into her cells and not just circulating in her blood.

This test should be done when she has increased her dosage and lowers TSH.

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