Does under active thyroid cause excess mucus - Thyroid UK

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Does under active thyroid cause excess mucus


Hi everyone I'm new to the group so thank you for allowing me to join. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid approx 2 years ago, on 25mcgrammes of levothyroxine. I develop a lot of mucus at the back of my throat, its constant, does anyone else suffer with this ? Thank you

30 Replies

I believe it can be one of the symptoms, yes.

But, why are you still on 25 mcg levo after two years? When did you last have labs done? They should have been done six weeks after starting levo, and your dose increased to 50 mcg.

Hi greygoose, thank you for your response. I was originally put on a higher dose (cant remember how much) but it was too high, I was then reduced to the 25 after the initial 8 weeks. Since the pandamic decided to rear its ugly head and everything went haywire. Just prior to this, I had a mental health breakdown and goung out was a huge issue. I haven't had a check up for over a year

OK, but being under-medicated for hypo is not going to help either your physical, nor your mental health. You really do need a blood test as soon as possible.

Thank you, I know, I just wish someone could come to the house and do it, as the logistics are just so complicated! I live in a rural area, suffer terribly with anxiety and depression and am petrified that if I go out il bring back the virus to my 86 year old mum who I now live with after the loss of my husband.

Oh, I do so understand. But, surely, under the circumstances, it should be possible for someone to come to the house, no? At least ask your doctor, or someone at the surgery, and explain that it really is important, see if something can be arranged.

Thank you, you're right, I need to get my big girl pants on and sort something out. I appreciate your response. Have a good day.

Thank you, you too. :)

Hi Itsallshit21 Yeah... I have this all the time (since diagnosed). Not sure if it's a food intolerance or thyroid symptom.

Hope that helps?


Thank BShankly, I have been doing a lot of reading, it could be perinasal drip, it could be my stomach (reflux) therefore do I try a gluten free diet (i am overweight) or it could be the new electric radiators my mum has recently had installed!!!!! Can't take those out!!!! Or it could be stress, which I suffer with ..........lots of could bes

it could be my stomach (reflux) therefore do I try a gluten free diet

If you have acid reflux, it could be that you have low stomach acid - a lot of hypos do. Have a look at this article, and try the home test at the end:

Hi - having mucous can suggest inflammation - either in the gut or the sinuses. Have also read that Post Nasal Drip can be connected to low thyroid.

On 25mcg Levo only could impact your T3 level - which is the active hormone.

Home Testing kits are available through Thyroid UK. Results by email. Used by 100's on this forum.

Why was your dose reduced ? Are you taking any supplements ? Do you have Hashimotos ? 🌻

Itsallshit21 in reply to Marz

Hi Marz, before diagnosis, I was getting a lot of infections, they tested but was looking at Myeloma!! That came back clear, but said I was borderline under active, im not sure what they put me on at first, but couldn't tolerate it. I also was heading for a mental health breakdown and everything was going haywire!!! I also take Venlafaxine. No I'm not on any supplements and I don't know the answer to the last question!!

Marz in reply to Itsallshit21

Hashimotos is an auto-immune condition and the most common thyroid condition globally. Testing the Anti-bodies TPO & Tg can rule it out - or confirm. If you type Hashimotos into the Search Box at the top if this page 1,000's of posts will appear.

Low T3 can be linked to low mood - as can low B12.


Standard starter dose of levothyroxine is 50mcg, unless over 60 years old

Which brand of levothyroxine are you currently taking?

Are you currently taking any vitamin supplements?

You’re likely extremely under medicated

Levothyroxine doesn’t top up failing thyroid it replaces it, so it’s important to get dose correct. We usually start on 50mcg and increase in 25mcg steps until on at least 100mcg levothyroxine per day (unless very petite)

Have you considered doing a private DIY finger prick blood test at home

First thing is, do you have any actual blood test results from BEFORE starting on levothyroxine?

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

The best way to get access to current and historic blood test results is to register for online access to your medical record and blood test results

UK GP practices are supposed to offer everyone 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.

Link re access

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.

Important to see exactly what has been tested and equally important what hasn’t been tested yet

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

About 90% of primary hypothyroidism is autoimmune thyroid disease

Ask GP to test vitamin levels (and thyroid antibodies if not been tested)

Or test privately

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)

Private tests are available as NHS currently rarely tests Ft3 or thyroid antibodies or all relevant vitamins

List of private testing options

Medichecks Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins

Thriva Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins By DIY fingerpick test

Thriva also offer just vitamin testing

Blue Horizon Thyroid Premium Gold includes antibodies, cortisol and vitamins by DIY fingerprick test

If you can get GP to test vitamins and antibodies then cheapest option for just TSH, FT4 and FT3

£29 (via NHS private service ) and 10% off down to £26.10 if go on thyroid uk for code

Also vitamin D available as separate test via MMH

Or alternative Vitamin D NHS postal kit

Woah, that is a lot of information....thank you so much. I am over 60, dont know tge brand, just levothyroxine sodium 25 microgram tablets one a day. No dont take any supplements and haven't done a private blood test either!

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Itsallshit21

So as someone over 60 years old generally starting on 25mcg levothyroxine....bloods should be retested 6-8 weeks after each dose change or brand change in levothyroxine

Dose is increased upwards in 25mcg steps as fast as tolerated

When hypothyroid we frequently have very low vitamin levels as direct result

Ask GP to book you an early morning test at the surgery so you can avoid other patients as shielding because of your elderly mother

Or wait until your Mum has had first Covid vaccination

Presumably your Mum will get vaccination imminently....has she got a date yet

guidelines on dose levothyroxine by weight

Even if we don’t start on full replacement dose, most people need to increase levothyroxine dose slowly upwards in 25mcg steps (retesting 6-8 weeks after each increase) until on, or near full replacement dose

NICE guidelines on full replacement dose


Consider starting levothyroxine at a dosage of 1.6 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (rounded to the nearest 25 micrograms) for adults under 65 with primary hypothyroidism and no history of cardiovascular disease.

Also here

For patients aged >60y or with ischaemic heart disease, start levothyroxine at 25–50μg daily and titrate up every 3 to 6 weeks as tolerated.

For ALL other patients start at full replacement dose. For most this will equate to 1.6 μg/kg/day (approximately 100μg for a 60kg woman and 125μg for a 75kg man).

If you are starting treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism, this article advises starting at a dose close to the full treatment dose on the basis that it is difficult to assess symptom response unless a therapeutic dose has been trialled.

BMJ also clear on dose required

Thank you again. Yes, mum has had both parts of vaccine thankfully 🙏 I have decided, thanks to you, to order a home kit, that way I don't have to go through the rigmarole of trying to get in touch with the surgery, having to travel 10 miles to get to the surgery and sit in a confined space with a mask on, plus I will know that the correct tests are being done. I have also decided to go on a gluten free diet as I do eat, since living with mum, a lot of bread and cereal. I'm so grateful for the time you have taken out to respond to my question. I was reluctant and anxious to do it, but I'm so pleased I have now 😊

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Itsallshit21

Ideally you would get coeliac blood test done first before starting on strictly gluten free diet

buy test online for under £20, just to rule it out first

Assuming test is negative you can immediately go on strictly gluten free diet

(If test is positive you will need to remain on high gluten diet until endoscopy, maximum 6 weeks wait officially)

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Itsallshit21

Tips on how to do DIY finger prick test

Exercise before hand and/or hot shower or bath

Drink plenty water day before

Stand up while doing it

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Itsallshit21

Come back with new post once you get results

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Itsallshit21

On do test on Monday or Tuesday morning and post back via tracked 24 hour postal service

(Should be included in kit)

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Itsallshit21

Do thyroid testing BEFORE going on gluten free diet

Hi, I am aware of mucus at the back of my throat nearly all the time. Sometimes it is obvious when I swallow and worse if I lay on my back. I am (was) a keen cyclist and the problem was awful then but I found covering my nose and mouth helped a bit. When I get home I would be able to bring up ‘frothy sputum’! :( Advice given is to drink plenty of water but that just caused bloating. Sorry I can’t offer any help.

Thank you, knowing I'm not the only one has helped

Yes I constantly have this, nasal spray does help, but can dry the eyes, I get relief every now and then for about a week , then back again


I have this, especially at night. Diagnosed as being due to GERD

Itsallshit21 in reply to Hidden

Thank you, knowing I'm not the only one has helped

Hello Itsallshit21

It sounds as if you are undermedicated!

What on earth is your GP thinking about, you should have been re tested 8 weeks after starting levo 2 years ago, and your dose increased to 50 mcg which is the usual starter dose except for the don't sound elderly! Repeat testing until you feel well and your numbers improve.

Do you have the results of your blood test taken when you were diagnosed? If not you are legally entitled to ask for a copy.

Lab results would help members get a better picture of what is going on....and how to help.

Being hypo can seem a lot to cope with but if you take things a step at a time it is usually much easier. The thought is usually worse than the deed!!

Anxiety and depression are typical hypothyroid symptoms I suspect that once you are correctly medicated this will resolve.....many of us have been there.

SlowDragon has given you first class advice re testing at home using the finger prick, I'm going to do another of those tests tomorrow using Medichecks....this time to check my nutrient levels.

The test kit is delivered in the post and the completed test is returned in a pre- paid envelope within the kit box, this can be popped into a PRIORITY post box. Don't need to meet anyone! The results arrive in your in box in a few days. Discounts available on Thursdays.

This link explains how - with non contact - to return your sample, it features covid tests but explains about returning non covid samples too.

I use Medichecks but other labs are available, info will be on their sites

You say you live in a rural area, do you drive so that you can get to a Priority post box....if not, do you have someone who could do this for you?

Being correctly medicated would make a huge difference to your quality of life.

You can do it and as you said, get those " big girl pants on and sort something out". The first step is the hardest....this post is your first step!!

Good luck, members are always here to respond to any questions you have. Just ask!



Awww thank you DippyDame ....I'm definitely going to do the home blood check rather then go through all the rigmarole of the GP and my anxiety levels increasing, plus I won't have to be in a confined space wearing a mask. Just need to find out which one is best and yes I'm old ....approaching mid 60's. I can then go armed with my own information to the GP. I do drive yes, but I'm isolating at the moment. I'm also going to try a gluten free diet as I do eat a lot of bread/cereal etc xx

Chin up! I'm 75 and nobody is going to tell me I'm old....we're just recycled teenagers!!! That is despite the fact that I've had a very long bumpy thyroid journey over decades.....long story, wrong misdiagnoses and treatments. That changed after I arrived here over 3 years ago.

Wise decision to do the finger prick test, I'm not sure that it's a case of which is best - the labs suggested here are all accredited and also used by the NHS. I've used Blue Horizon and Medichecks mainly and have no complaints.

GF is usually advised for Hashimoto's a full thyroid test including antibodies will eliminate that for you....or not.

Your Mum should be vaccinated soon that will help sister and brother in law, in their 80s, were vaccinated on problems.

Please keep us posted


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