Age 44: thyroxine side effects or menopause? - Thyroid UK

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Age 44: thyroxine side effects or menopause?

JackieS74
JackieS74
12 Replies

I've been on 75mg levothyroxine since last September. It has helped in that my system runs faster, I've had more energy and symptoms like constipation all gone.

But I have thinning hair, am irritable and anxious, and my blood pressure is higher than it should be.

Doc considers me to have health anxiety which is fair enough since two awful family deaths in recent years.

Any advice? Am I a tired and busy working mum of two young kids? Is it the menopause? Is it the thyroxine?

Thanks x

12 Replies
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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

Well 75mcg is only one step up from starter dose of 50mcg Levothyroxine

First thing is, do you have any actual blood test results? if not will need to get hold of copies.

You are legally entitled to printed copies of your blood test results and ranges.

UK GP practices are supposed to offer online access for blood test results. Ring and ask if this is available and apply to do so if possible, if it is you may need "enhanced access" to see blood results.

In reality many GP surgeries do not have blood test results online yet

Alternatively ring receptionist and request printed copies of results. Allow couple of days and then go and pick up.

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested. Also EXTREMELY important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Low vitamin levels are extremely common, especially if Thyroid antibodies are raised

Anxiety is common hypothyroid symptom

Hair loss often low ferritin

Recommended on here that all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, best not mentioned to GP or phlebotomist)

Last Levothyroxine dose should be 24 hours prior to test, (taking delayed dose immediately after blood draw).

Is this how you do your tests?

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

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 special offers, Medichecks usually have offers on Thursdays, Blue Horizon its more random

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 primary 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

thyroiduk.org/tuk/testing/t...

Link about antibodies and Hashimoto's

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

List of hypothyroid symptoms

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

The aim of Levothyroxine is to increase the dose slowly in 25mcg steps upwards until TSH is under 2 (many need TSH significantly under one) and most important is that FT4 in top third of range and FT3 at least half way in range

All four vitamins need to be regularly tested and frequently need supplementing to maintain optimal levels

NHS guidelines on Levothyroxine including that most patients eventually need somewhere between 100mcg and 200mcg Levothyroxine.

nhs.uk/medicines/levothyrox...

Also what foods to avoid (eg recommended to avoid calcium rich foods at least four hours from taking Levo)

Many people find Levothyroxine brands are not interchangeable.

Once you find a brand that suits you, 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. Teva is the only brand that makes 75mcg tablet.

Levothyroxine should always be taken on empty stomach and then nothing apart from water for at least an hour after

Many people take Levothyroxine soon after waking, but it may be more convenient and more effective taken at bedtime

All medication at least two hours away from Levo. Some like HRT, PPI's, magnesium, iron or vitamin D, at least four hours away

verywellhealth.com/best-tim...

Add results and ranges if you have any

Or come back with new post once you get results

3 likes
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JackieS74

Wow thank you that is alot to take in. I'm at doc on Wednesday so I will ask him although he considers that I have health anxiety !

Reply
SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to JackieS74

Majority of us forced to test privately, certainly NHS very unlikely to test FT3. You need to test TSH, FT4 and FT3 together (and also both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies, if not been tested yet)

GP should test vitamins

Best to just ask receptionist for copies of your blood test results ......BEFORE you see GP ideally.....so you can ask members advice before seeing GP

New NHS England Liothyronine guidelines July 2019 clearly state on page 13 that TSH should be between 0.4-1.5 when treated with just Levothyroxine

Note that it says test should be in morning BEFORE taking Levo thyroxine

Also to test vitamin D, folate, B12 and ferritin

sps.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploa...

3 likes
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JackieS74

I've checked out Medichecks and think I'll go down that route, thanks 🖒

Reply
Nanaedake
Nanaedake
in reply to JackieS74

I would ignore the health anxiety idea because if you believe it then you won't pursue the physical symptoms and get to the bottom of it. Do what Slowdragon says and get test results, find out the facts, do any futher necessary tests and then decide course of action. In the meantime, if you think you might have some anxieties then get a hypnotherapy tape or do yoga for calm. The doctor's job is to rule out physical causes for your symptoms.

6 likes
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Jnetti
Jnetti
in reply to JackieS74

Ask the receptionist for copy of your blood tests when you go. At my surgery they normally print them out on the spot, no questions.

Reply
dizzy864

Hi, if you are concerned about being in the menopause, your GP can order a simple blood test. It's not 100% accurate due to women having different hormone levels pre menopause. Most women do, however get a definitive answer. I think it' always better to know than to worry!

6 likes
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jgelliss

Knowing your most recent FT4 FT3 TSH would be very helpful . This Great Forum experts can chime in and help you . Please include reference ranges .

Nutrients are very important too .

Vitamin "D" /K2 , B-Complex , B12/folate, Iron if low can cause irritability/ hair loss /high BP, vitamin "C" , magnesium, Minerals .

Having Adrenal/Cortisol levels checked out via 24 hour saliva is very helpful . DHEA-S is via serum testing .

Gut/digestive health is *Extremely* important . Going gluten dairy sugar eggs soy coffee free is very helpful . It sounds like lot to sort out but with time you will see many benefits .

Best Wishes .

1 like
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JackieS74
JackieS74
in reply to jgelliss

Thanks so much x

1 like
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JackieS74
JackieS74
in reply to jgelliss

Interesting as I have high BP, irritability and hair loss! Such fun !

1 like
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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to JackieS74

If you get copies of most recent results from Gp

See what’s been tested and what hasn’t

If testing privately include all four vitamins if not been done by GP

2 likes
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jgelliss
jgelliss
in reply to JackieS74

Low Iron can cause this too .

2 likes
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