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Hypothyroid Diagnosis - how long will it take to see a difference please?

(83 Posts)
PerAr6ua Wed 31-Aug-11 13:38:16

Got the diagnosis out of the blue yesterday - doc spent ages talking me through it (I love my doctor, he's utterly lovely). I'd gone in a couple of weeks previously re ongoing period problems, and a couple of tests later I've got a completely unexpected diagnosis for hypothyroid. Apparently my TSH was 3 times higher than it should be, and antibodies 10 times higher.

So, all the stuff I'd been putting down to age, stress and hypermobility could be sorted with one magic pill a day? And I could be losing some weight again?

Who wants to tell me the positives please?! Other than free prescriptions for life wink. I think it's good news. I mean, it's not often you go to the doctor's for one thing and get given a medical excuse for being fat and lazy... But at the same time it's weird having something I'm going to have to take stuff for for the rest of my life.

And that's another thing. I'm going to have to add ram-raiding a chemist for supplies of levo-wotsit to my zombie plan aren't I... hmm

debinaboat Wed 31-Aug-11 15:07:50

well one positive is that your period problems might be sorted(assuming you were suffering heavy periods)yes you should find it a little easier to lose the extra weight when the right dose of thyroxine is should have a bit more energy and be a little less tired. your hair might stop falling out and become less course.all good news.but dont expect it all to happen fast. for some it does,but for others it takes quite a while . Here in scotland we all get free prescriptions smile

PerAr6ua Wed 31-Aug-11 15:22:47

had no hair loss at all, and will be in serious trouble if it gets any thicker shock

PerAr6ua Wed 31-Aug-11 15:23:42

how long did it take for you?

PerAr6ua Wed 31-Aug-11 15:24:33

had no hair loss at all, and will be in serious trouble if it gets any thicker shock

debinaboat Wed 31-Aug-11 17:40:19

i dont know if i am a typical case or not but it took years for me to feel like i was back to normal,but i had gone undiagnosed for two years and i think that did not help,
i still dont feel like i am on a high enough dose of thyroxine but my gp says my dose is correct and as much as i would like to up the dose myself, i know that too much thyroxine is dangerous. but you might be one of the lucky ones and will fell better within a few weeks,most people do. sounds like your gp found the problem quickly. my gp did not really listen to me when i said i could not lose weight ,was losing hair, was exhausted all the time etc. I was actually diagnosed by the hospital where i was being investigated for ovarian cysts,they found none, all my problems were from the thyroid. they have similar symptoms.hopefully you will feel better soon .good luck.

It might take a little while - mainly because they tend to start you off on a low dose and then keep testing and adjusting the dose until they get it 'right'. To give you an example, I'm on 175mg now but was started on 25mg (which did bugger all frankly) and it took over 3 years to get settled on that dose. That isn't to say I felt as bad for those 3 years, but it can take a few months/changes for it to be really noticeable, and by then it'll mainly be by comparing how you are now with how you are then that highlight the differences.

It's worth the wait though smile

Positives for me (I was on thyroxine for years and then for various reasons was off them for 18 months. I've been back on for 2 months now, and this is based on that...)

No hormone induced fits of depression
Asthma inproves
Lactose/sorbitol intolerance improves
Sleep better/have more energy when I'm awake
Libido improves (\o/)
Skin/hair looks better
Brain wakes up (start redoing all the craft/decorating/hobbies I dropped)
All around perkiness grin

ArthurPewty Wed 31-Aug-11 18:04:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PerAr6ua Wed 31-Aug-11 21:38:41

oo er. Thanks for all the replies. No idea how long i've had it - just been feeling progressively older for a while.

good to hear you got yourselves sorted smile

IwishIwasmoreorganised Wed 31-Aug-11 21:46:09

My TSH was 79 when I was diagnosed (unexpectedly while seeing a consultant about something totally unrelated).

I was started on 50mcg levothyroxine in January and felt an improvement in my energy levels and was much less achey and less constipated within a few weeks. I had 6 weekly blood tests until July and I'm now taking 125mcg daily and am having 3 monthly blood tests.

My dry skin took longer to improve and only now are my periods becoming more manageable.

I too wonder why I hadn't twigged that something was wrong with before before I was diagnosed, but I'd put all the symptoms don to being busy with 2 young ds, a hectic job, it being winter time and my diet sometimes leaving a bit to be desired.

I hope you start to feel better soon (and get your zombie plan sorted!)

yellowkiwi Wed 31-Aug-11 21:56:11

It took a while for my gp to work out the correct dose - I've been on 100 for about a year now. I know i am much better than I was - no aches and only the occasional migraine. I have slightly more energy. I still feel lethargic though and none of my weight has shifted.

camdancer Thu 01-Sep-11 09:06:54

It's worth keeping an eye on your TSH results. The normal range is vast (up to 5.5 here) and most people don't feel 100% better until their TSH is under 2. Some GPs are happy to keep upping doses until you feel better, as long as your TSH isn't too high, but others think as soon as you get in the normal range that is ok. Find a good GP who will listen to you and stick with them!

catpark Thu 01-Sep-11 14:13:58

It can take a few months or a lot longer to get levels adjusted properly. I don't have a thyroid due to cancer and i'm now on 150mgs a day. My TSH is undetectable and my free T4 reading is just above the normal range for a person with a thyroid (I have to be kept higher) so going by blood tests the level i'm on is sufficient, but i'm still suffering with tiredness at times and feel a bit crappy. My endocinologist is going to see how i feel at the next appointment but if I feel the same he'll increase my dose. They don't purely go by blood results.

Weight put on due to having an underactive thyroid is harder to lose than if it has been put on due to overeating/lack of exercise . The fat cells were created due to not having enough hormones to change calories into energy in your body not due to consuming too many calories.

Ormirian Fri 02-Sep-11 08:45:09

Good timing! For me I mean grin

I have been feeling like death for a while now. A few years ago I was put on citalopram for anxiety but at the time I was tested for hyperthyroidism - I can't remember what the results were tbh. During the time I was on the ads I initially felt better but the tiredness, weight gain, sleepiness, muscle aches and dry skin just got worse. Dd keeps commenting on how thin my hair is now sad. I look utterly exhausted all the time and have 0 libido.

So I am wondering if I might have an underactive thyroid now.

Probably not. I just desperate to find a simple reason for how I feel. A year or so ago I was running 20 miles a week _ yesterday I had to walk into town and back a few times and was wiped out.

Complicated by the fact I am on her for menopausal symptoms too.

Ormirian Fri 02-Sep-11 22:28:42

Can I ask whether anyone has really bad dark circles under their eyes?I've had them slightly for years but really badly recently.

ledkr Fri 02-Sep-11 22:53:44

ormirian i have all that too,was also blaming it on menopause but periods stil normal and regular.I am constantly hot too and get flushes and sweats.Horrible.

Bearskinwoolies Sat 03-Sep-11 17:07:25

I saw a difference in a couple of weeks, but my tsh was high, and my thyroxine level miniscule. Until I started taking the meds, I hadn't realised quite how bad I felt, apart from being alarmed at the amount I was sleeping.

I've been on 100mcg for six months, but need to go back and get it upped, as all the old symptoms are popping up again.

PerAr6ua Sun 04-Sep-11 22:03:43

Blimey - I'd managed to forget about this thread!

So, I need to start some sort of diet as well. Arse.

I'm on 50mcg for now, but doctor said he's starting low for safety - blood test in 8 weeks, and the limit for TSH here is 3.5.

Orm - no dark circles here, but otherwise all sounds the same. Except I still have insomnia and it's been worse lately, so craving more sugar and starch than ever.

I'm also wondering how you set a 'norm' for how you're feeling, when it's all crept up over time. I'm looking around the sitting room that I painted single-handed 6 years ago when DS was a toddler - including floor and 11 foot high ceiling, and I couldn't dream of doing that at the moment. I can't even practice a musical instrument longer than half an hour without muscle cramps.

I'm now feeling like a 90 year old. Or someone at the end of the 3rd trimester. But I'm not sure how good I should be feeling, as a 42 yo with some dodgy joints.

So - when the thyroxin kicks in, will I start to feel better quite quickly - in comparison to how long it took to feel shitty? Do I just ask for a dose increase till I feel like a roller-skater in a bodyform advert (old gimmer reference) or what?

Sort of feel like I'm stuck in a waiting room now, IYSWIM...

Ormirian Mon 05-Sep-11 13:29:59

Hope you feel better soon peradua.

I have made an appointment for next Monday. They must be sick of seeing me recently. Until I had DS1 I never went apart from having my athsma assessed every few years. Now I seem to be constantly in and out with depression or anxiety, meno symptoms etc. I'm sure they'd love to find out what the matter is with me too...

Ormirian Mon 05-Sep-11 13:31:28

"I'm looking around the sitting room that I painted single-handed 6 years ago when DS was a toddler - including floor and 11 foot high ceiling, and I couldn't dream of doing that at the moment"


I was running 20 miles a week as well as a full-time job and 3 DC. Now I struggle to cope with the basics

Bearskinwoolies Mon 05-Sep-11 13:57:48

I do a quite physical job - when I first started (before the thyroid probs) I had no trouble doing it, and doing loads around the house, plus dog walking and sleeping about 7 hrs. I had energy to burn, and was thinking up new things to do, that I could do, just because!

I had ten hours sleep last night, and am still tired. I'm self medicating with coffee and other caffeine drinks; just hoovering is enough to want to sit down for an hour, and work is requiring all my energy.

Perar6ua - you will get regular blood tests until the level of t4 is in the normal range, then a test every 6 or 12 months depending on your local guidelines; I found I went from being shattered no matter how much sleep I'd had, to feeling fully awake (for the first time in ages) in a couple of weeks, and it was great.

PerAr6ua Mon 05-Sep-11 20:41:23

Oh good luck Orm - hope they can find something definite. Let us know how it goes?

Bearskin - sounds rubbish for you - have you got another test scheduled soon? I'm trying to stay off the caffeine - not just as I have no problem staying awake - quite the reverse - I just don't have the concentration/clear-headedness. And I need to sit down. A lot. Bah. 6 days and counting...

Bearskinwoolies Tue 06-Sep-11 02:33:59

PerAr6ua - I've got an appt at the end of next week thankfully, I just have to make sure I stay awake long enough to get there wink I'm drinking enough Rockstar to buy shares in the company!

I hope it all turns out well for you, the guideline used to be a mcg per lb of bodyweight, but that varies depending on your dr. 50mcg is the starting dose for adults, but as your blood tests come back, they will up it until it's at the best theraputic dose for you.

Sofabitch Tue 06-Sep-11 09:54:47

I've been on thyroxine for 6 years now. It took over a year to get my levels right I'm now on 250mcg a day but still don't feel right.

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