Increased Thyroid Meds, MORE Tired?

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Help ...I haven't had this experience before. I've been on Levothyroxine for eight years. My RX has increased a few times. I had been good with 88mcg for over a year, I think it was. Then I started to tank - it all felt familiar, constipation, tiredness, increased depression - but when I had labs done my TSH was way down so my dosage decreased to 75mcg.

I hung in there but anxiety and depression were awful. Went to an endo who said TSH was way up (7) and T3 wasn't looking all that stellar either so he increased my RX to 100mcg. This is the highest dosage I've ever been on...and weirdly, I am so, so, so tired. Now this is only Day 3, plus I have a pretty bad cold. But I mean I can't get get out of bed. I'm just dying! Help.

Is this supposed to happen?

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  • Posted

    Hi CalMel. This all sounds par for the course from my experience.

    There are thousands of posts from people having difficulties regulating meds.

    Try not to change the dose too much. There isn't a good way to adjust the meds because the TSH has such a long lag time. So it takes a full three months for things to really settle down after changing the dose. This lagtime alone is enough to make this medication regimin undesirable.

    You felt yourself tanking, but your TSH didn't show this, possibly because of the lag time. So if you had waited, your TSH may have spiked even without lowering your dose.

    One thing you can do to help stabilize, is take a little extra one day if its feeling very low.

    Another thing to consider is that a lot of patients find they need higher doses of meds in the winter.

    Consider also that the formulations for thyroid meds seem to be changed frequently by manufacturers. There is also an allowable +/-10% variation from the label dose. So its possible to get as much as 20% difference in doses between manufactured lots.

    All these factors can really mess with thyroid patients!

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    • Posted

      No problem. Thyroid meds are extremely difficult to regulate because they act in the middle of the thyroid feedback loop.

      There are thousands of posts on this.

      Also, I highly recommend reading up on the side effects of your medications. None of the meds have the same ratios as your own body's T3/T4. So as the dose increases, the ratios get farther off from natural. Notice, you mentioned your T3 is on the low side. I assume your T4 is fine.

      You're on levothyroxin, which is T4 only (sounds like). It causes a lot of side effects because of the imbalance it creates in the T3/T4 ratios. Your body thinks you're hyper (high T4) and hypo (lowT3) at the same time. That's why you feel like you're on a flippin' emotional roller coaster. All your other hormones are trying to pitch in to balance things, but they can't accommodate for the high doses of thyroid medication. The meds cause anxiety, which is why a lot if thyroid patients also take Xanax.

      The tough thing is separating out the real hypothyroid symptoms from the side effects of the meds.

      Once you hit the point you're at, most people start getting into real trouble and have a heck of a time turning things around. They eventually start researching other treatments. Most wind up going with ThyroGold, even though it isn't covered by insurance.

      In my case, the side effects were so bad, I gave up on the meds and went completely holistic. I'm still dealing with the side effects. because when the docs are all freaked out about bone loss, I can tell you, they're very serious. You think its bad now, but I can tell you at the end if the crazy medication roller coaster is bone loss that's so bad, I can't exercise or do other normal things because the small bones in my hands and feet keep breaking. The bones are so deteriorated, there isn't a way to fix things. I was on the meds about five years in all.

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    • Posted

      Oh my gosh, MtViewCatherine. I am so sad and horrified to hear of your bone loss issues.

      It's yet another thing to be frightened of. 😦

      Is there any hope of getting better?

      What you said about the ratios makes so much sense. Would you be willing to share any of your holistic methods?

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  • Posted

    Whenever I increase my medication I tend to feel more tired for 7 weeks then it levels out. Could also be low t3 as levo doesn't contain it. I would give it a couple of months then maybe consider a t3 containing medication if things haven't improved. It's always important to get retested after each dose change to see where you are

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