High blood pressure and levo dose: High blood... - Thyroid UK

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High blood pressure and levo dose

mostlyhappy profile image

High blood pressure question- I have not been great for 4 months or so, feeling 'wobbly', sleeping pattern erratic (nowhere near enough sleep), dull headaches and just generally less robust and ready for life. Made an appointment with GP to discuss trying HRT, she thinks my symptoms are menopausal. I am 53, no hot flushes but periods are on their way out so yes, quite likely I think. She writes the prescription then takes my blood pressure to find it is very high 192/81. Scrap that HRT, I have to go back a couple days later and it is even higher. Advised to record it at home over the next three weeks then back to GP. At this point we discuss medication, I say I'd rather find out why I have gone from healthy to high BP so she refers me to go on a waiting list to get a 24 hr monitor fitted to get a better idea as my readings are a bit all over the place. I request a thyroid test to rule this out as a cause, I'm on 125 levo (Hashimotos diagnosed a few years ago), increased from 100 in April. The receptionist phones me yesterday to say the TSH indicates I should increase levo by 25 per day with immediate effect. This doesn't feel right for me so I ask for the actual result, to which she says 'less than 0.05'. I then question the increase, 'oh, yes, the doctor has noted here that you need an increase'. I ask her to go back to the doctor and double check, the practice manager then phones me back later in the day and says it is a mistake, I need to DECREASE my dose by 25mmg. I am so glad I didn't just take the first instruction, I'd really rather not have a stroke for Xmas!

I so far conclude that, no, menopause can't be blamed for absolutely everything and doctors are human and make mistakes, always get your actual results and be well enough informed to challenge them if need be.

Meanwhile, does anyone else have experience of dosage changes and high blood pressure? Could it now start to settle down?

13 Replies

I doubt if increasing your levo by 25 mcg would have given you a stroke. :) Levo (T4) is basically a storage hormone, it's not renowned for giving people strokes, but does depend how much you convert to T3, the active hormone. And, to know that, you would have to have your FT4 and FT3 tested at the same time. In any case, your doctor should not be dosing by the TSH alone. High blood pressure can be a hypo symptom, but you won't know if you're still hypo just by testing the TSH. Only the FT3 would tell you that. :)

Thanks, I was alluding to my BP progressing towards a stroke if it was being bumped up by being hyper, my BP is way too high already. There is no way my GP will test for anything other than TSH, even when she has, the lab Gods don't actually do it. She has taken my blue horizon tests in the past so I am planning to get a full test done privately to try and work it out. Seems like any decrease is going to take some time to take effect, I want to feel better now!

I expect you do. But, there's no guarantee that you being 'hyper' is the cause - or that you actually are 'hyper' (over-medicated). A mere TSH isn't going to tell you that. And, as I said, high blood pressure can be a hypO symptom. So, yes, getting private tests done is the way to go. BUT, either do it before you reduce your dose, or wait six weeks after you've reduced it if you want to know your exact levels.

good call, I'll order one up today. I am getting better at recognising hypo symptoms but this 'wobbliness' is new to me. I have tonnes of things going on at the moment but that is nothing unusual for me, but I know stress can be a big factor in BP so that's another area for me to look at. I do get a bit fed up of the hormone explanation for everything....pmt, pregnancy, menopause as if nothing else can be going on...

How are your nutrients? Vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin? If they're low they could make you feel wobbly.

they were ok 8 months ago, I use a B12 spray to keep that up to a good level, I have now ordered a BT test (offer still on!) so that will check them again. I've always had good BP and GP sys it is more usual to creep up than suddenly go nuts, but then again it hasn't been checked for a few months.

Hi greygoose, i have been taking T3 since November 2018, and have been getting violent headaches daily. I was just wondering could it be the T3 causing the headaches, plus my BP has become very high, I always have had a good BP ..

Thank you

How much T3 are you taking? If you just started gently with 1/4 tablet, then it's highly unlikely that it is causing your headaches. Headaches and high blood pressure can be caused by so many things.

SlowDragon profile image

Just testing TSH is completely inadequate

Before reducing dose would suggest you get FULL Thyroid and vitamin testing

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 you have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) diagnosed by raised Thyroid antibodies

Low vitamins lower tsh

Ask GP to test vitamin levels or test privately

You may need to get full Thyroid testing privately as NHS refuses to test TG antibodies if TPO antibodies are negative

Recommended on here that all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and before eating or drinking anything other than water .

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

This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, best not mentioned to GP or phlebotomist)

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

Cheapest option for just TSH, FT4 and FT3 £29 (via NHS private service )



For thyroid including antibodies and vitamins

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

thanks SD, I generally do a Blue Horizons 11+ test once a year to keep an eye on antibody and vitamin levels, I will order up another test today and see what the score is....just as their black friday deals have ended grrh.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to mostlyhappy

They might do another...just before Christmas

they are still on- happy days :)

Can an increase from T4 75 to T4 100mcg cause BP to rise..


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