Hashimoto's and dizziness/faintness?

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Hi all,

I've recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's, and started on 25mcg levo about a week ago which I take first thing in the morning. For the last few months I've been experiencing faintness most days around mid morning and often later in the day that can last several hours, sometimes manageable sometimes really bad although I haven't actually passed out. My diet hasn't changed at all, I eat a substantial breakfast and always make sure to eat something when I start feeling faint but it doesn't seem to make a difference and I'll still have waves of faintness for hours afterwards. I drink plenty of water throughout the day too. It's a different feeling to the tiredness and fatigue which I also get. I had relatively low B12, Vit D and ferritin when tested around a month ago (still within normal ranges). I wondered if these could be causing it, but have been taking supplements for around a month now and haven't noticed a difference.

I haven't found any mentions of a connection online other than a few in forums, and while dizziness is mentioned on the Thyroid UK symptom list it doesn't specifically say faintness. It's really horrible and I'm scared it's going to cause me to injure myself by falling over, which I've come close to a few times. Has anyone else experienced this? Is levo likely to help when it eventually kicks in?

Thanks for any help.

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  • Posted

    Hello Alice:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA and I have Hashimoto's Thyroid disease since age 27 and I am 54 now.

    First of all, I am sorry to hear about you having Hashimoto's and some symptoms. Hashimoto's is autoimmune and can be caused by a family trait or in your DNA and it hits women more than men.  It also can skip over a generation.  My sister and I both have it and an aunt also.

    Some people do experience dizziness and they do have a med called antivert for it if it is bad.  Sometimes the body is making too much and then not enough hormone and this type of swing in us can cause it.  Another thing that can cause it is low in iron, and that means you may have a need to replace it by way of multi vitamins.  Red blood cells are made and iron helps with that and  low iron means a lower number of Red Blood cells and they carry oxygen around in the body.

    You need to have some blood work done, to include: Potassium, calcium, sodium, ferrtin, magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc, and B-12.  Also a Vit D test, as we with thyroid problems are low in that.  Any GP can order these tests.

    Hashimoto's can be treated by the Levothyroxine and your dose is a starter dose at 25mcg, it takes 6 to 8 weeks to build a level.  sadly our bodies are slow in this fast paced world.  As you take the med you will build a good level.  The dizziness may go away once you are used to the med.

    Symptoms of low thyroid (HYPOTHYROID) are: Sleepy, tired, bruising, feeling cold, aches and pains, brain foggy, weight gain, hair loss, dry scalp and acne, feeling depressed, low temp, low heart rate, dizziness can happen.  There are more these are common.

    Please ask your GP or Endo for antivert to help stop the dizziness. Get up slow and walk slow to avoid sudden changes.  That may help.  Keep hydrated.  Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day.

    I hope I helped you.

    Regards,

    Shelly

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    • Posted

      Hi im megan and i have hashimotos. I got it in my second pregnancy. I had moved and the house had mold in it. The bad kind. I didnt know that it was that bad for my health unless i messed with it. But my uncle also had a thyroid problem. He had graves disease. They burnt his out. But after my second pregnancy i quit the meds cuz i didnt realize how it important it was for me to have them. They said i was barely off. I was on 25mcg. And i didnt take them again until my next pregancy. And they put me on the same dose. And yet again after i deliver i stop the meds. But my hair started to fall out and in thought it waa my thyroid. I had dry skin but no other symptoms. The new doctor said i was way off. But i just cant believe that. So she put me on 100mcg and my hair really fell out and i felt worse. Sobshe upped it again to 125mcg. I started to have all the symptoms of hyper but i kept taking them. Until i ran out over a vacation and also got a kidney infection at this time. I was extremely anxious. I went to the doctor and he said i had a kidney infection. He also put me on 88mcg thyroid meds. After this i started to run a fever and my joints and muscle hurt. I quit taking the meds becuz of fear. Went to a new doctor and told him my symptoms. I had some new ones which was dizziness and werid buzzing sensation in feet and hands. He thought ms and got a mri which was clear. He also test my ana and it a positive fo r speckled 1 160. I was wondering if this could all be from my thyroid. My thyroid antibodies was 847. And they were still over medicating me so get git lowered to 75mcg. Since ive been in these meds the pain has gone and all other symptoms besides dry skin, buzzing sensation and dizziness. Could this be just from thyroid or do u think im looking at another autoimmune disease that causes a positive ana like lupus. Havent got a appt witha specialist yet. N im freaking out about it.
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    • Posted

      Hello Megan:

      Thyroid disease hits ages 20 to 45 and sometimes after a pregnancy. Pregnancy places stress on the body and autoimmune disease is within our bodies.  Some of the stress triggers Hashi's to get bad.

      To be diagnosed they do the ANA Direct test a TSH and TGab  antibodies test or ESR test.

      Antibodies greater than  (0 to 34 is so called normal) anything  over that shows autoimmune problems starting and 847 is way over 34.

      So from that level you have autoimmune problems.  It is a common form of thyroid disease.  Hashimoto's is a weird disease and I am 56 and have it since 27 and earlier when I look at symptoms.

      Symptoms  losing hair, weight gain, nails that break, bruises, acne, depression, feeling sleepy, unable to concentrate, low heart rate, low body temp and no periods or infrequent ones, dry mouth and muscles aches.  these are common ones and there are more. You can feel like you are 80 when you are young.

      It can be treated by thyroid replacement hormone some are Levo thyroxine, Thyrolar, Synthroid, Liothyronine, and if you take the med it helps keep it from getting worse.

      It runs in families and is passed on in the DNA.  My father's side have it and my aunt had it and my sister and I have it.  Women get it 9 times more than 1 man.

      Hashi's causes our bodies to attack our own thyroid gland and render it over a long period of time useless.  So taking the med helps and you need to take it for life.  take on an empty stomach as food blocks it from working.

      Buzzing can be from a new dose and if it does not settle down your doctor needs to adjust the dose.  Most people start at 25mcg and go up slowly.  It goes by body weight so your doctor may be giving you a dose based on weight.  It may need to go down a bit.

      I hope I helped any other questions just ask.

      Shelly

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    • Posted

      Oh headaches come from a poor thyroid level and it can take up to 12 weeks to make a level.   These symptoms should go away as you get well.

      Graves is HYPERTHYROID and the opposite of us.  That is too much thyroid.

      Shelly

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    • Posted

      Hello Megan:

      Make sure you do not have an inner ear infection and some meds can bother the inner ear as a side effect.

      To test this you can stop the med for a few days  or a week and see if you feel better.

      It is best to start at 25mcg or 50mcg and go slowly in dosing up.  You can always report this to your doctor and ask for a lower dose.

      Regards,

      Shelly

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  • Posted

    Yes, I agree with Shellly, my two cents worth is yes, I did have one morning of dizzyness after I changed my medication from Levo to another type. I was on Levo for 7 years and while I had many negative symptoms dizzyness was not one of them. I changed to Armour and one day during my first week I felt very dizzy. It was quite disapointing since in every other way I was so happy with the change. I was so scared for a few hours that this would be life from now on - but it all cleared up by that evening.
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  • Posted

    Thank you both for replying. I have had sodium, ferritin, B12 and vit D all tested recently all of which came back relatively low but still "normal". I've been on supplements for all of these plus magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, vit C and calcium for around a month now, so I would have thought even if I was deficient previously they would have had a chance to build back up now? I can't say I know much about this though.

    I'll ask my GP about antivert, thanks for the suggestion. Whether she'll give it to me is another question - it was enough of a battle to get even 25mcg levo as "your hormones are within the normal range so you must be fine!" despite my symptoms! It's lovely having this forum so that I know I'm not just being a hypochondriac.

    Best wishes to you both x

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    • Posted

      Hey there. I see this post was 9 months ago and I too suffer from debilitating hoshimotos dizziness, blood pressure flux issues, heart palpitations and a ton of other life altering problems I've been dealing with for 2 years now. No Endo will listen and all other systems have been checked. Severely high antibodies and one small nodule are my only measurable symptoms so all the others have been ignored. Can u tell me if your symptoms have resolved or gotten any better and how you did it? As I have severe episodes of dizziness and blood pressure fluctuations that have made it almost impossible to function anymore.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tasha,

      I ran into this board just recently too and your situation is almost spot on from mine. My only other debilitating symptom I have is severe fatigue! I have been through the ringer with doctors as well... Everything from depression to narcolepsy and even one said I could be bipolar! I also have Hashimotos with high antibodies, but so far normal TSH and T4. My T3 was high, but no doctors mentioned anything ab it, and low vit D (but I live in Michigan so no one really seemed worried there either). I have been put on anti depressants that I stopped after 3 months of terrible nightmares and personality changes that I did not care for, went to a psychiatrist for a year who confirmed I was not bipolar or depressed, and had a biopsy on my nodule a few times that came back inconclusive every time.

      I'm not on any prescriptions and am not receiving any treatment. It has been about 5 years of feeling this way now... Worsening every year and 2 years of Hashimotos diagnosis with no real care.

      It is torture! The only thing that helps is reading ppls situations and trying to get tips on how to function until I get the help I need. But I have felt helpless and hopeless and made to feel I am being a hypochondriac. I just want a solution.. Glad to know I'm not alone!

      Please keep me updated on your symptoms and status. Hope things get better for you!

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    • Posted

      Ideas to help...get vit D re-tested and take vit D supplements if low. Same with B12, Folate and Iron. Also test Ferritin - ideally needs to be 70+ (range may be 5-250 it varies between laboratories).
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    • Posted

      Wow this sound very similar to me except I have been taking synthroid for about six months with no symptom change. 

      It got terrible worse after an early miscarriage  - I though I was having a stroke. I went to the ER and they said it was anxiety and told me I should get some grief counselling. I went to a therapist and she confirmed it is defintely not anxiety that is the root cause but instead something such as a hormone imbalance. 

      Well it's now been about 45 days and I am constantly dizzy and nauseous. Sometimes it gets so strong I feel like I am about to black out. I've had hot sweats and I've been freezing cold. Hair thinning, headaches, stiff joints, major anxiety and panic attacks, restlessness, light sensitivity, insomnia, acne (in my ears!!), brain fog... the list goes on. Basically I'm barely functioning. 

      Recently ovarian cysts were discovered and the ER doctor said all my symptoms are related to a potentially leaking cyst and that there is essentially nothing to do about so I need to ride it out.  Obviously I was thrilled by this......

      The best news is that I found a wonderful naturopath that did a full cortisol and thyroid panel and that specializes in women's health. While at the ER my husband called her in case my thyroid results came in early and they might help the doctors. She confirmed I have Hashimoto's and we are going over all the results in a couple days. 

      I too find peace in reading other people's stories so I'm finally telling mine. 

      I hope you have found treatment and feel better since you made your post!

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  • Posted

    Alice,

    I'm sorry for your issue and hope by now you are feeling better...if you are please let us all in on what you've done

    I have been diagnosed with thyroid issues . I am currently taking iodine, vitamin D and K liquid ...immune C....

    LEVOthoxine 50........ I am now so tired I can barely function although I force myself to move and do what has to be done. Now the dizziness has started..I'm seeing a M.D. who also believes in holistic medicine..

    So I'm doing both worlds for relief western medicine and holistic....... let me know if anyone is better.....I have had huge amount of blood panels done but so far not been diagnosed with Hashimotos.....I will contact my dr. On Monday ask him if it's possible I have it thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi ladies,

    I have hashimoto dr did test on December but ever since then I have fatigue every day dizzy aches and pain I take armour thyroid 60mg I can't function my t3 t4 TSH came back normal but I still feel bad if you have any suggestions please anything .

    Thank you Jackie

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    • Posted

      Hi Jackie,

      My first reaction is to suggest that you get your thyroid levels tested. Your Free T3 should be in the upper range for you to feel well. Don't worry about TSH. When you have these results post them to get advice from this forum. My second thoughts are that you are on a very small, starter dose. 60 mcg is about one grain of NDT (Amour) and that is very low. If your doc thinks your TSH is "normal" you are probably under medicated, TSH has to be <1.0 to feel normal. But post your results so that we can make more informed comments.

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    • Posted

      Hi LAHs,

      What you say about the TSH not being a good measure if one is on Armour (i.e. NDT) mirrors what I've found myself.

      Jackie, my understanding from you saying your 'T3, T4, TSH is normal' is that your doctor has tested T3 and T4 and is using them to decide whether you are on the correct dose - which is great. But, TSH normal? This surprises and concerns me. My TSH has never been in range since Jun/Jul 2015 when I switched to NDT even though my T3 and T4 are in range.

      My thoughts are:

      1) it takes months for our cells to adapt to be able to use the replacement thyroid hormones we are given (e.g. thyroxine and NDT).

      2) One has to start on a low dose and build up to the optimum dose - for me it took 2.5 years (I went up slowly to 900mg ThyroGold daily, stabilised on 750mg, then my requirement gradually reduced until it is now 300mg daily split between two doses. Oh yes, and in between, I needed 150mg extra each winter. I don't know why it changed over the years, but the blood tests were in range! For the first two years I needed 150mg more in winter, then this year I didn't. I don't know how ThyroGold equates to grains of Armour and thyroxine, I just went on resolution of symptoms. Take heart though, I was feeling well after the first 6 months). For further information, look up 'dosing with NDT'. Tpauk is a good site. Anyway, I digress, what this means is that if the cells in your body haven't yet adapted to absorb the Armour, then even though your blood tests are in range you will be getting hypothyroid symptoms e.g. fatigue, brain fog. Are you cold as well? Is your skin dry? Are your nails soft? Are you putting weight on? (Though the nails you won't be able tell for a couple of months, until your nails have grown).

      3) Are you splitting the dose? This helps. If not, you will be getting too much T3 in one go. Take half or two thirds if the daily dose in the morning, then the rest 6-8 hours later, on an empty stomach and wait an hour before eating. Avoid medication with iron or calcium in for 4 hours (I take my calcium tablet at night).

      4) Food affects the absorption of thyroid hormones, so if you are not following the guidelines in (3) of taking Armour on an empty stomach and waiting for an hour before eating, you will be getting hypothyroid symptoms but the blood tests will show normal. This is why the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) for thyroxine says to wait for an hour before eating.

      5) Ask for a printout of your blood test results. If you are in the UK you are entitled to this. In the US, your are paying so shouldn't have a problem. The receptionist at my GP surgery prints them for me. You will then be able to see what 'normal' means. You will get the actual results but in brackets afterwards it will say the range your lab uses. The ranges differ, even between labs in the UK. You will then be able to verify for yourself whether your doctor is using your TSH alone or also your T3 & T4.

      In summary, check you are following the guidelines in (3) for taking your Armour on an empty stomach; get a printout & verify your blood test results for yourself; if in range, wait another month then get re-tested so you can see which direction the results are going in. If going down, increase your dose slightly.

      5) Try an extra quarter of a grain in the morning, and the same in the afternoon (you can chop the tablets up). After a couple of weeks do your symptoms improve?

      That's all I can think of for the moment...

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    • Posted

      Jackie, sorry I've just realised you said your blood test was in December. Definitely get it re-tested as soon as you can (& get a printout of both it and December's) as it sounds like you may need to increased your dose.

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    • Posted

      PS don't increase your dose until after you've had your blood test. On the morning of your blood test don't take your Armour until after the test.

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