Thyroid UK
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Concerned about my girlfriend who I think has Hypothyroidism

Hi there, and thanks for taking the time to read this.

For probably the past 12 - 16 months my girlfriend has been getting steadily worse. With symptoms including:

– Brittle nails

– Constipation

– Low libido

– Fatigue

– Heavy periods

– Dry skin (especially at corners of the mouth)

– Cold sores

– Dry eyes (visibly dry eyelids)

– Cold extremities (feet/hands very cold)

– Depression/mood swings

The symptoms can come and go but there's usually 2-3 present at any one time and things usual get worse when she comes onto her period.

She has 5 family members (all on her mother's side) that have all been diagnosed with an under-active thyroid (including her mother, grandmother and several aunties).

She is already seeing her local surgery (and has been for about 10 months) but it's been a struggle as so far she's seen 3 different GPs with varying responses from 'Your levels are fine, go away' to 'Let's start you on Levothyroxine'. She's currently on a dosage of 100 but she still doesn't seem to be improving.

Are we reading too much into the family history and barking up the wrong tree or should we be more forceful with the GP and insist on a more thorough investigation?

Thanks again for any help/advice.

Kind regards,

Andy x

8 Replies

No you are not barking up the wrong tree as far as the family connection is concerned. It is well documented that underactive thyroid runs in families.

and yes I would be more forceful with the GP - try and find one that you like (who you think is the best of the bunch) and stick with that one. Its no good keep swapping GP's as, as you have found out, their opinions will differ.

Get to to have her VitD, B12, Iron and Ferritin checked.

How/when is she taking her Levo - it needs to be well away from food, suppliments and the birth control pill as all these will hinder the drug working to its full potential. Tell her to take it of an evening, just before she turns out the light with only water and not to eat fro at least two hrs before.

Dont want to throw to much in the mix at the moment but hopefully all the above will give you food for thought.

Moggie x


p.s. forgot to say that I think she is a very lucky lady to have such a caring boyfriend and that the reason I said to get B12 etc checked is because if these are not at a good level they will also hinder the Levo working properly.

Let us know what she thinks of mine and others suggestions and maybe she will be able to ask questions herself soon.

and lastly Welcome to the site.

Moggie x


Andy PLEASE PLEASE get your girlfriend to be checked for vitamin B12 levels, all of those symptoms are 'classic' of a B12 deficiency (especially the depression/fatigue/dry skin at corner of mouth/low libido), I do agree they can also by low thyroid but the dry skin at corner of mouth is classic of B12 and she may have both problems, low B12 can lead to irreversible damage if left untreated for years x

here is a couple of links for you:


I very strongly agree! I have permanent nerve damage in my toes which I believe is due to B12 deficiency. I have increased my dose of B12 to 5000mcg the last few days and I'm already feeling a difference. The most noticeable one being that my heart beats faster if the doorbell rings or something makes me jump or feel anxious, which is what should happen! Also I have warm feet. Ok, I am wearing those slipper boots which are nice and warm but normally I would still have cold feet! I have a bounce in my step again :D


Hi Moggie/Nobodysdriving,

Thank you so much for getting back so quickly – I'm starting to feel more positive about getting somewhere with it now. Will definitely get those B12 levels checked out, and the others that you listed Moggie.

Thanks for that link as well nobodysdriving, that's my lunchtime reading sorted!

Will keep you posted on how we get on.

Thanks again,



Your more than welcome and yes please do keep us updated.

Moggie x


your girlfriend is lucky to have a person like you caring for her :)


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