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Thread: first labs since starting levothyroxine

  
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    first labs since starting levothyroxine

    Hey guys, I'd love any feedback at all on my blood test results.
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 2 months ago. I was tested twice before starting treatment though as the first test was just with my family planning clinic, and the second was with my doctor. For some reason my levels eased a bit during this short time without any treatment. I've been on eltroxin 50mcg for 6 weeks a have my results below:


    New Result:
    TSH: 2 (.27 - 4.2)
    FT4: 15.9 (10.5 - 22)



    Before starting Eltroxin: (doctor)
    TSH: 5.11 (.27 - 4.2)
    FT4: 8.2 (10.5 - 22)


    And also before starting Eltroxin, 2 weeks earlier: (family planning clinic)
    TSH: 10.2 (.27 - 4.2)
    FT4: 7.2 (10.5 - 22)

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    Re: first labs since starting levothyroxine

    Hi glitterbug, glad to learn you have finally started on treatment for your hypo. It looks as though your
    results are heading in the right direction, most people feel at their best when the TSH is about 1 and the
    T4 in the top quartile of its range and you are nearly there.

    The big thing is, how do you feel? Thyroid disease should be treated by symptoms and not lab results, but
    most doctors will only treat to lab results, this is how they are taught. When do you see your doctor next,
    do you have another appointment in three months? I imagine your doctor will want to leave you on this dosage for a while to give your body time to fully adapt to receiving thyroid hormone support, but if after
    a few months your symptoms have not gone, do go back to your GP and tell him if you are still not well.

    Keep in touch.

    Ginny

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    Re: first labs since starting levothyroxine

    Hi Ginny,
    For the first 3 and a half weeks after starting the tablets I felt nothing. If anything I think I felt worse. But after that I felt a boost, in my energy levels and my mood. Still dont think I feel 100% myself and havnt lost any of the weight I've gained.

    I really wasnt expecting my thyroid levels to have improved so much, and was expecting to get my dose increased. I guess in my own mind I was looking forward to the increase thinking I'd be able lose weight then. But now I just gotta hope it starts to happen for me. I do have to get retested in 3 months like you said. I guess if I dont feel good before that I might go back a little earlier or ask for a slight increase in dose. I really thought I'd feel a bigger difference by the time my thyroid levels got to where they currently are! Was surprised they were that good

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    Re: first labs since starting levothyroxine

    Hi again glitterbug. It is not at all unusual for people just starting on thyroid meds to feel a bit worse initially
    before the hormones kick in properly. Levothyroxine (T4) has a very long half-life and it can take from 4-6 weeks for the full effects to be felt. Some people also have this little drop back when doses are increased, but we are all so very different and respond in many different ways to any medication.

    The problem with hypothyroidism is the everything is so s-l-o-w, the onset is slow and can be over many years, and it is no quick fix to get better again. If you respond well to the Levo it can be as much as a year before you feel more like your old self, titrating the dose can be a bit tricky sometimes. The weight loss
    can be a bit slow coming and you will have to work for it, but when you are optimally medicated you should
    see results. But do not starve yourself, as this will only slow your metabolism even more and you will
    suffer needlessly with no results.

    To sum up, you need to be a very patient patient - not easy is it?

    If you still have symptoms when you see your doctor again, do let him know, as most doctors treat to
    blood results and not to how the patient is feeling, and just because bloods are "in range" it does not
    necessarily mean that it is right for you. Most people feel best when their TSH is about 1 and their T4
    in the top quarter of its range, in your case perhaps about 19-20, no hard and fast rules.


    Ginny

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    Re: first labs since starting levothyroxine

    Hi Ginny,

    I wondered if you could offer me some advice please

    As you know, Im currently taking 50mcg Eltroxin daily. I want to up my dose slightly myself. I still dont feel better and cannot lose any weight. It's getting very hard as I'm in my final year of college and don't feel I'm doing as well as I should be. I eat less than 1000 calories a day, and have done so for months now and I'm not losing any weight. I know thats not good for me or my metabolism either but I couldnt bear to gain any more weight and thought after a few weeks of tabs I'd start to lose and could increase food slowly. Hasnt happened though and now my levels are normal I know the doctor wont give me an increase if I ask. I am not due another blood test for 2 months. I want to increase dosage myself slightly and will be seeing a new doctor for my next blood test because I dont like my current doc.

    Last blood test results:
    TSH: 2 (.27 - 4.2)
    FT4: 15.9 (10.5 - 22)

    I think there is room for a small increase, to get TSH around 1, but I dont want make myself hyper either obviously. I tried to cut a tablet in half last night but it went very powdery so i think I'll have to stick to taking full 50mcg tablets. Do you think it would it be too much to take an extra tablet twice a week (Wed and Sun). Or would one extra tablet per week be enough of an increase. Or what would you recommend?

    I know I'm essentially asking you to guess my dosage, but I think you'd have a more informed guess than me!

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    Re: first labs since starting levothyroxine

    Hi Glitterbug, I am sorry to hear you are not doing much better on your Levothyroxine, and it is only a
    small dose; It does look as thgough you are due for an increase.
    A 50mcg pill is a lot to take at once as an addition, you can get a very good pill cutter from Boots for only about 5 and it is worth it as it is a real help in adjusting doses upmor down. Even then you sometimes
    get crumbs, but just scoop them up and take as normal - do not discard them.
    Many people adjust their doses by as little as l2.5 mcg, another way of doing it is as you suggest, to
    take extra once or twice a week, and that is fine too but I think you would be well advised to split those
    50 mcg at least in half. I need 1/4 tablet of T3 to get my dose right, so I cut the tablet in half, then
    bite the half tablet to get the quarter, saving the bits till the next day in a little pill box.,
    I cannot advise you how much to take, that has to be your decision, but the safest way is small increases and SLOWLY, perhaps start with a 1/4 pill twice weekly increasing to every other day then if you are not
    suffering any side effects, to every day.

    But, if you get on reasonably well with the new GP you try it would be best to confess what you have done
    and be guided by him, as your blood tests will be out of kilter for a 50 mcg dose - and its cheaper to get
    your meds through the NHS. You are entitled to free prescriptions for life for thyroid meds, are you aware?

    Until you are optimally medicated with thyroid meds you should not starve yourself as this will only slow
    your metabolism down even more, when you are feeling better you will be better able to control your weight with sensible eating and exercise.


    I hope this is helpful to you.

    Ginny

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    Re: first labs since starting levothyroxine

    Thank you Ginny for the reply. I already took an extra full tablet on wednesday and am going to do the same tomorrow, Sunday. But from then on I will try cut my pills in half again, and take them over 4 days instead of 2. I'm just going straight for that dose, rather than building slowly as I want my next blood test in 7 weeks to definately reflect the dosage I'm on. I will inform the new doc of what I've been taking. Hopefully then I'll be presribed that amount, if my blood test is ok, and will be able to get 25mcg pills along with the 50's so I wont have to cut them anymore.. I guess I'll just have to wait and see, for your help again

 

 

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