Am I depressed more then usual because my thyroid medication?

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I am 29 years old. I've just been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. My GP prescribed me 50mg of Levothroxine. So I started the course. I have been taking the medication for two weeks now. I just feel that the medication is not helping me at all. There's no change. Instead I feel horrible all the time. I have really bad body aches. My thyroid feels weird all the time and I'm horribly depressed. I feel miserable all the time. I feel like crying and that the world is falling apart. My relationship is crashing. I'm just not happy. And no one I know understands how I'm feeling. They say it's just a small thyroid issue and I should man up and get on with it. I don't want to live anymore. I have lost it. Please help. How can I feel better? 

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  • Posted

    Hi Shennington,  I can understand the miserable time you are having and being newly diagnosed and not feeling any better can be daunting.  I don't have all the answers but there are things I do know as I have been taking Oroxine for almost thirty years.

    Your doctor has started you on 50mcg of Levothyroxine and will probably keep you on that dose for six weeks - then he will do more blood tests and probably raise the dose.  So you may have to persevere until that time.  50mcg is just the starting dose .. your dose will need to be more than that if you are to feel well. In my opinion you can't just take 50mcg and hope that it will prop your failing thyroid up because it won't.  It will make your existing thyroid become even more lazy and you will not feel well until your entire thyroid hormone level is provided by the tablet - and you will be on that dose for life - your thyroid will then have gone to sleep for good.   I am assuming that you are a male but either way the 'standard rule of thumb' for dosing of Levothyroxine is 1.6mcg for every kilo of bodyweight, so you can work that out and see what dose you will probably end up on. That result can be then tweaked up or down until you feel well.

    In the meantime you can research thyroid conditions on-line and learn as much as you can so that you can have relevant input into your health in the future.  You must be informed so that you can converse wisely with your doctor.  Your input is 'most' important in deciding what dose you should eventually be on.  Don't leave it entirely up to the doctor to make decisions.

    Please be sure to get copies of all your blood tests so that you can keep track of your progress.  Don't allow the doctor to dose you based on the TSH alone - all other thyroid tests need to be done as well ... once again, you must research.  You are probably in the UK and may have to pay to have further thyroid tests done from time to time as I don't think they are generally done by the NHS - someone in the forum may enlighten you about this.

    So hang in there and hopefully you will eventually feel better.  

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    • Posted

      I am in agreement with Sketchy, read up on hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) so that you are in a position to be an 'informed patient' and can participate in your treatment instead of being a passive recipient - your doctor needs your feedback to be able to determine the correct dose. It takes between 6-13 weeks before blood yests accurately reflect a change in thyroxine dose. In the UK blood tests on NHS for thyroid treatment tend to rely on measuring TSH and for many people this works well (it did for me for many years until i had children - pregnancy hormones affect thyroid hormones). However for some people this is insufficient. In these cases it is necessary to investigate further.
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  • Posted

    Hi I no what it going through iv been there it's not nice but it took at east 6 weeks to feel the benefit from thyroid medication make sure uv had vid d and calcium tested as this can make u feel really tired and depressed I have a calcium deficiency I really thought I was losing the plot hope u feel better soon can I ask what it tsh level is and ur t4 unroll it tsh is below 1 u won't feel that good
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    • Posted

      I meant unroll ur tsh is now 1 u won't feel better sorry for the spelling error s
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  • Posted

    Hi shennington, those of us who have a thyroid condition know that its effects are wide-ranging and there is no such thing as a 'small thyroid issue'. It does affect the whole of your body and well being. The good news is that things are likely to improve as you get nearer the correct dose. From your symptoms it sounds like you have more than the mild depression associated with an underactive thyroid. The title of your post 'more depressed' suggests you have already been diagnosed with depression. Are you already on medication for depression? If so, it might be interacting with the thyroxine. This area is outside my experience and I would suggest you make an urgent appointment to see your doctor.

    All the best.

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    • Posted

      Other blood tests that are relevant are: Ferritin, B12, Vit D, FBC, calcium, (all available on NHS) speak to your doctor and ask for them.
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  • Posted

    I have suffered myself quite drastically, but nowadays because I'm eating sort of properly I am feeling a lot better and a lot more positive.  They do say when you have Thyroid probs it's always best to eliminate dairy from your diet altogether and to eat fish more than one would normally eat meat.

    But a survey they did a while back, realised if you eat fish at least 3times aweek could actually prevent depression altogether.  

    The best foods to eat are nuts,hopefully you haven't a nut allergy!except peanuts; which includes Peanut butter unfortunately which I'm addicted to, you can eat Almond or Coconut butter instead which are delicious,

     

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  • Posted

    Regarding your relationship issues: are you talking to your partner and sharing this and the other posts on this forum? It will help them understand what you are going through. It may also help them to know that this a phase that will improve as the dose gets more accurate.
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  • Posted

    Also start writing your feelings down,keep a daily diary - might make you realise and see the times of when you are feeling low. I have tried, in the past, numerous of different types but not one works - until this very last one that I had prescribed to me, but 5dys in of taken them - had to come of them urgently as they were effecting my health quite drastically.so that's why I looked into this survey that they did by eating more fish in your diet and believe you me, depressed no more.  

    Also, if possible, join a gym go for long walks and keep active as busy as it's possible - I would if I could but due to my life style it's impossibl.

    goodluck, and I'm sure you will feel better soon. X

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  • Posted

    I suggest you read the discussion started by Remotheboss titled 'can anyone help me' as some of the replies may be helpful to you.
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  • Posted

    Hi guys! Thank you so much for replying. It means a lot to me. I am a female. I don't know what my tsh levels or anything is coz the doctor never told me anything in detail about it. I don't even know how this works. All I have been told that I have a mild condition of Hypothyroidism. I have not been diagnosed with depression. It's just that before I was diagnosed with it I used to feel depressed and and now it's just gotten worse. I have no idea what and how the medication works. All I was told that once I take this medication it will help my symptoms go away. Which they are clearly not. But I am very thankful that I found out that they will increase or decrease my dosage after 6 weeks. I have an appointment with the doctor on the5th or 6th of May. For my blood test and then after a week I have one with my GP to let me know how this goes. But I feel nausea and sick with body cramps all the time. 

    On on my relationship side of it. He just doesn't understand that I am not rational at the moment and it's been creating loads of unwanted arguments. Probably over things like I want to stay in bed longer. Coz I just feel drained and tired all the time. My skin is dry and brittle. I put cream and Vaseline on and it's still dry and scaly. I don't feel good about myself. I just feel ugly and dry. And I'm so nervous and awkward all the time. And I was never that kind of person. I am so exciting and lively. Now I'm just an ugly awkward person. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Shennington, It is really good news is that the doctor is treating you for hypothyroidism as you do have all the symptoms. Cognitive impairment ('or brain fog') is one of them (hence your statement 'not thinking rationally).

      If you have read other posts in this forum you will know that getting the correct dose takes time. So now the priority is to give you methods to help you survive the next few weeks until your dose is increased, and the following months until it is stabilised. Exercise is the last thing you will want to do, and one of the best things you can do, to help you get your metabolism working - so that you have some energy for the rest of life. Warm baths also help get metabolism working. In my case I used to have a hot bath (which made me better enough to have the energy to go swimming. Afterwards, for a while I felt better.

      Another thing you can do is to make sure you are taking the tablets as instructed. It is important to take thyroxine in the morning at least half an hour before food (preferably one hour, some people say 2 hours), and not take calcium, iron, or magnesium medication within 4 hours of taking thyroxine. The reason behind this is that food and certain medications affect the absorption of thyroxine. I'm not medically qualified but I interpreted this as being 'it doesn't get used by your body so it stays in your bloodstream' - net result is underactive symptoms but blood results that suggest you are overactive.

      It might help to realise that you as a person haven't changed - you haven't suddenly just become an 'ugly awkward person' – depression is one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and your low feelings of self worth are a classic symptom of depression. This should improve as the thyroxine dose is increasesd. In the meantime, the mental health charity Mind have a good leaflet/pdf on depression (type in a search engine: Mind depression, and you will find they do a pdf document on it), which should help.

      Have you had your Ferritin level checked in any of the blood tests you've had done? I was told by my endocrinologistthat to be able to absorb thyroxine your Ferritin level needs to be >50 else it impairs the absorption of thyroxine (i.e. it stays in your blood and gives incorrect T4 / TSH blood test results). Do you have any iron, mineral or vitamin deficiencies? What other blood tests did you have? Ideas of tests to prompt your GP for are: Iron, FBC (full blood count), B12, Vitamin D, Ferritin, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium.

      Regarding the conversations with your GP. Is there anyone who can go with you to help put your viewpoint and help you understand the answers, whilst you are suffering from this 'brain fog'.

      Tell your doctor you feel sick with nausea and body cramps. You may have another medical condition going on. Also ask him to test you for wheat and dairy allergies. If you don't succeed with this doctor is there another one in the same practice you can see instead?

      Good luck, let us know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    Hi shennington, well you have a diagnosis and they are treating you. STep 1 acheived.  it is going to be a journey you need to prepare yourself for that and it may not be a miracle cure.  You may have to change your diet (eg caffine is not always a good idea and also gluten).  Next time you are a the gp office, casually ask the assistant for a copy of both your initial test results, make sure you get copies every time you get tested. You may need them in the future.  Visit thyroid uk website it is the nhs approved site and has some good helpfull items on what your condition is, and how it is treated and they too have a forum.  Print off the symptom checklist and before your next appointment run through it and tick what you still have.  do this everytime you have an appointment or test so that you can monitor your progress or not and as everyone else has said the dose may go up over time, soemtimes it will be ok for 6months and then you will notice symptoms returning use the tick sheet as a guide. And keep using forums buy some basic books and do a bit of background reading (when you able)  stop the thyroid madness is a good on and Your thyroid by Dr Peatfield is a little meaty but did help me in my early discussions with my gp.

    Be prepared to stand your ground and know that as they have caught this in the early stages hopfeully your adrenals will not be too run down.

    Insist on b12, d3, calcium, fertin and folate as extra tests, when these level are in the higher ranges we hypo's react better to the levothyroxine.  Ps make sure the chemist gives you the same brand every time, make it easier in the long run.  Also if you decide to switch brand give it a while, some people find they have slight differences in how they react to different brands.

    Keep asking questions of your doctor and on the forums, it will keep you sane.  I cant help with the relationship thing but, mood swings are a common symptom of hypothyroidism and should ease as your medication sabiizes you.

    I try to look at the site once a week if you want to send me some questions I will do my best to answer what I can I am not medically trained I am two years diagnosed next week.( Not that I'm counting).

    Helsbels

     

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  • Posted

    By the way by parents nicknamed me evil dead in my early days, because I was like a zombie most of the time and was pretty mood and evil tongued at times.  I now know it was not the real me and even they have come to say how much better I am compared to where I was previously (thankfully).  You will feel better, give it time, get other half to look at the forums and once they see that other people are having very similar symptom and feelings to you it may help him understand.

    Get him to post some of his questions to us who are further down the road of treatment, it may help!

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