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Just diagnosed with hypothyroidism- what do I need to know?

(11 Posts)
ihavenewsockson Mon 04-Jul-11 18:25:40

I've been feeling unwell for 10 years. always exhausted and achy. gained weight steadily over the last 6 years.
Been diagnosed as having fibromyalgia, CFS, pre-diabetes, hypoglyceamia, adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, pyschosomatic fatigue, anemia, IBS, non-specific stress disorder.
Moved house and my new GP has sent me for a fasting blood test then rang me today to start thyroxine tomorrow as my levels are very low. Last time I was tested was when I was pregnant- they were borderline low but the GP refused to put me on a low dose.

What should I expect?Will I lose weight, or even just stop gaining? I go to the gym 4 times a week and eat 1500 cals a day. Will I get energy and what's the theory behind it?

i assume as it's a hormone, it might help with other hormone related problems- such as the insulin levels and painful, heavy periods.

Anyone else have this?
I cried with relief when she told me. I'm not a faker, or lazy or greedy. I have a deficiency. grin

shellmc Mon 04-Jul-11 19:55:14

Hello if your levels are low, you would have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) which would speed your metabolism up and you would lose weight and be on he go all the time along with many other symptoms.
I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism 2 years ago and my levels were high and kept increasing after 3 lots of tests being taken within a 4-5 week period.
I am now on 75mcg. What dose have to to start on??

tyler80 Mon 04-Jul-11 20:22:23

Shellmc you are talking about levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) being high which is an indicator of hypothyrodism.

Sounds like the OP has had test which measure the level of hormone itself which if low also mean hypothyrodism.

ihavenewsockson it sounds like you may have been suffering for sometime and from what I've read the longer before treatment the slower you'll start to see improvements so don't expect to see changes overnight. I was diagnosed fairly early as part of routine blood test, but my main symptoms were hypoglycaemia and ibs issues and now I look back some level of depression. My periods remain heavy but are noticeably lighter than when I was hypothyroid. Anaemia often goes hand in hand with hypothyroidism, ensure you are treating for both.

leapyleo Mon 04-Jul-11 20:36:40

Hi, I've had this for 13 years. Felt better about 2 weeks into taking Thyroxine, but despite being told that all my symptoms woud resolve once on medication it took 10 years (Yes!!!!) for my periods to return to normal (was on a cycle anything from 50 - 75 days). Other symptoms include dry skin, hair, flaky nails, constipation, moodiness, weight gain, depression the list goes on. Google the British Thyroid Foundation - they're fantastic and I learned so much from them - my GP didn't see to tell me very much. Hope this helps!

ihavenewsockson Mon 04-Jul-11 22:59:55

thanks ladies.
I'm on 50mg daily. I get so many of the symptoms- constipation, really bad post natal depression even tho my son is now 2.4. aneamia, weight gain, dry skin, itchy scalp, broken nails, brain fog.....the more I read about it the more shocked I am that it took this long!

I don't understand the TSH, T3 & T4 things tho- is it that you produce high levels of TSH but the body doens't make it into T4 (the active hormone right?) so they know the thyroid is not responding to prompts from the pituiatory gland? I've always thought I had a hormone problem- I can't take synthetic hormones without them giving me really excessive side effects. When I was induced with DS1, they gave me a low dose of prostin to go over night- I gave birth within 2 hours- from closed, high cervix to delivery. And my body reacts so badly to sugar, insulin etc.

It's for life isn't it. Do the levels even out or change alot?

doozle Mon 04-Jul-11 23:07:12

Yes usually for life.

Your doc will retest your levels in 6 weeks - 2 months and then probably I suspect, up your dose.

Many of us start off on 50mg and then increase. Am now on 150mg.

Mine has got worse over the years and so have needed more and more thyroxine.

You can a lot of fluctuations. I sometimes go into an overactive state and back again to underactive.

When your T3 and T4 levels drop, your brain produces more TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). This in turn then stimulates more thyroid production.

So the higher your tsh, the more likely underactive your thyroid.

Can you find out your numbers? I suspect when you say low, you mean your T3 and T4 were low.

Your TSH was probably high. It should be around 0.5 -3.

ihavenewsockson Mon 04-Jul-11 23:25:46

Thanks Doozle,
She told me over the phone that it was underactive but didn't give me any figures...

TBH, I was just so relieved that something finally showed up on a test that I didn't think to ask about the technicalities. It's such a relief to know it's not in my head. I told my GP I thought I had underactive thyroid when I was 18, he put me on beta-blockers confused He's no longer practising.

My mum and 5 aunts are all on thyroxine.

DS1 has autism and looking on some med sites, it seems that auto imune hypothyroidism is a risk factor for autism sad He is on a gluten-free diet and some diets recommend that for u/a thyroid too. Am I just looking for links or are all these coincidences common?

Thanks for answering my questions, it's nice to 'talk' to other people with more experience of this. smile

doozle Mon 04-Jul-11 23:33:39

It's very odd when you first get diagnosed.

It's like the shock of discovering you have a chronic condition. But also the relief you're not totally mad and that there is an explanation.

I have/had a lot of the same conditions. I'm dumbfounded they didn't keep an eye on you when pregnant and had the borderline results.

If I were you, I'd get the actual results - they will tell you or print them out. It's just good to know for your own reference. And then to see how they change when you start thyroxine.

Clear family connection in your case eh?

It's hard to say what is linked and what isn't. DD was born prem and I always wonder if it was my underdiagnosed hypothyroidism.

zanz1bar Tue 05-Jul-11 21:57:04

I am on 75mg now and the fog has lifted.

My dentist has warned me of the effect fluoride toothpaste had on the absorption of thyroxine tablets.
I now use a fluoride free toothpaste and it really has made a huge difference. Beware sensitive toothpaste its really high in fluoride.

AmberLeaf Wed 06-Jul-11 11:16:44

Hi Ihavenewsockson, I too have an underactive thyroid.

Also on 50mcg daily. I was diagnosed when my youngest DC was a baby, I had an awful pregnancy with him, felt really rough and tired also found it hard to shift post baby weight. The doctor said id probably had it all through my pregnancy. I was treated for anemia [sp?] during the later stages of my pregnancy.

I felt a lot better about 3 months after starting thyroxine, the heavy periods evened out by then which for me alongside the tiredness was one of the worst symptoms.

My youngest also has autism! I read recently of a possible link to undiagnosed underactive thyroid during pregnancy and autism, not sure how concrete that evidence is though.

You will feel better soon.

Did your GP mention that if you need thryoxine you are entitled to a medical exemption certificate? If you dont know this means that you will never have to pay for any of your prescriptions not just the ones for thryoxine.
Ask your GP about the exemption certificate.

Islandlady Wed 06-Jul-11 19:48:48

Amberleaf you are right about the ME cerificate was going to post this myself

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