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TOPIC: Starting Levothyroxine, what to expect?

 
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May 6, 2013 3:51 PM
Hello everyone!

I am starting levothyroxine for my thyroid and was wondering if anyone could tell me what to expect. My doctor was very vague (take it on an empty stomach!) and the pharmacist was just as vague. I more or less wanted to know what to expect and how it will impact my weight loss journey.

I have been working out since last year but haven't seen any crazy results. As of January, I have only lost about 5 pounds despite the fact that I work out 5-6 days a week for an hour each day and eat a diet of 1600 calories, no processed foods or soda.

When trying to find information on the topic, most responses were kind of rude and not at all helpful.
  33132014
May 6, 2013 4:01 PM
Your doctor and pharmacist were vague? It's their job to give you information on any medication that they give you.

I would contact them and get the necessary information you desire.
  12837362
May 6, 2013 4:07 PM
Hello! I was actually born without a thyroid so I have had to take thyroid replacement since I was born. It does take a while for your levels to improve with t4 medications. Levothyroxine is t4 which converts to t3. T3 is what our cells actually use. I am taking both and I can feel the effects of the t3 pretty much right after I take it but t4 takes a few weeks. Usually you won't even be tested again for at least 4 weeks to check your dosage. My really long point is that you should slowly start feeling better over the next few weeks or so. When I don't have enough thyroid hormone replacement I feel extremely tired, gain weight, my hair falls our, my skin gets REALLY dry, my face gets puffy and my body temperature drops..just to name a few. All of these symptoms improve as I reach my ideal levels. Hopefully, your metabolism will start to speed up soon and you can finally start seeing the results that you have been working so hard for. Hope this helps!
  3793531
May 6, 2013 6:40 PM
When I started taking it, within a few weeks I stopped being to tired all the time. Prior to finding out my disastrous blood work results, I was getting home from school or work and falling asleep by 5PM every night-- and sleeping through the night! And my moods and motivation greatly improved. Because I felt better overall, I started working out all the time and having general motivation to exist rather than just sleep.
Other symptoms that went away were terrible menstrual cramps, super sensitive skin, and even some of my lactose intolerance (that's a weird one, but definitely found it to be the case).
Make sure you stay on top of regular blood work, because your required doses may change over time. My daily mg dosage has changed up and down over the years. And if your doctor is being vague, get some straight answers or get a new doctor!
  9714879
May 6, 2013 6:47 PM
It will take some time to find the right level of replacement meds for you, but once you've reached the right doseage you should find things easier. Your energy levels should improve and other such things that reponders have mentioned. I can't specifically testify to it helping with weight loss as it never seems to help me, but my aunt lost weight with hers. I guess it's the whole "everyone's individual" thing. So many factors to take into account other than thyroid.
  35952072
May 6, 2013 6:48 PM
I have been on levothyroxine for 4 years I take the lowest dose and yes its hard to lose the weight and when I have a bad day its almost like I feel like I gain 10lbs in one day. I never had trouble getting my thyroid regulated it went back to normal range after being on the medication for 3 months and have stayed the same I even had a baby (which can sometimes mess with your thyroid levels) once your thyroid is regulated you can lose weight it is possible do not get discouraged but it is hard. I have been told to take the medication first thing in the morning with a glass of water on an empty stomach and to wait 1hr after taking it before eating. That is what I was told by my doctor and it was with the instructions that come with the medication from the pharmacy you can also take it anytime of the day but it has to be 2-3hrs after eating. I find that to be a little hard to do so first thing in the morning works for me.
  4713038
May 6, 2013 7:02 PM
QUOTE:

I have been told to take the medication first thing in the morning with a glass of water on an empty stomach and to wait 1hr after taking it before eating. That is what I was told by my doctor and it was with the instructions that come with the medication from the pharmacy you can also take it anytime of the day but it has to be 2-3hrs after eating. I find that to be a little hard to do so first thing in the morning works for me.


This is how I took mine for years although now I take it first thing and wait 30 minutes before my coffee..which I can not function without..nor do I care to.. wink My endocrinologist told me NOT to take with any vitamins and overall just to be consistent. If I wait an hour..wait an hour every day..if I just wait 30 minutes, I need to try to do so every morning. As you have your levels checked and changed, when and how you take your medicine can affect the absorbancy and testing results. It seems to me that you need a new doc..or even better and endocrinologist. I am not sure why the doctor was so vague.
  3793531
May 6, 2013 7:31 PM
Thank you so much for all of the advice, you are all great. I'm hoping it will help with weight loss. I'm not expecting it to just fall off but after 5 months of 5-6 workouts a week and a regulated diet and cutting out soda... it's been very discouraging to only lose a couple of pounds (and gain in back immediately if I have bad days)....

I really want to see my energy improve, I nap almost daily (sometimes twice) and it's just awful to feel so sluggish.
  33132014
May 6, 2013 7:43 PM
I've been on thyroid meds for many years and I've never actually felt any different. I have my blood tested regularly and my results are generally normal. I did have a bout of difficulty this last year and my levels basically bottomed out and it took about 6 months to get them back up to normal levels. (Those months were NOT fun!) But even when they are at optimal levels I still feel no different and I have all the typical symptoms...hair falling out, extreme tiredness, super dry skin, hoarse voice, etc. I also take my meds in the morning before eating. I don't know if I need to try a different med or look into other options, but I've never felt a marked difference. And losing weight is definitely harder! I have lost weight easily before, but this time around, my body doesn't seem to want to cooperate. I would love to see an endocrinologist, but I can't afford it. Sometimes I get so frustrated with it all that I want to just give up! So I haven't found all the answers for myself, but I'm a fighter so I just keep plugging along! Good luck and don't ever give up!
May 7, 2013 7:07 AM
QUOTE:

I've been on thyroid meds for many years and I've never actually felt any different. I have my blood tested regularly and my results are generally normal. I did have a bout of difficulty this last year and my levels basically bottomed out and it took about 6 months to get them back up to normal levels. (Those months were NOT fun!) But even when they are at optimal levels I still feel no different and I have all the typical symptoms...hair falling out, extreme tiredness, super dry skin, hoarse voice, etc. I also take my meds in the morning before eating. I don't know if I need to try a different med or look into other options, but I've never felt a marked difference. And losing weight is definitely harder! I have lost weight easily before, but this time around, my body doesn't seem to want to cooperate. I would love to see an endocrinologist, but I can't afford it. Sometimes I get so frustrated with it all that I want to just give up! So I haven't found all the answers for myself, but I'm a fighter so I just keep plugging along! Good luck and don't ever give up!


You might want to try taking either the natural thyroid Armour, which contains T4, T3 and I think T! and T2 (which I don't think our thyroid usually makes or our bodies don't need) or you can try Thyrolar which is sytnhetic T3 and T4 (but has to be refrigerated..annoying sometimes). I am taking both Levothyroxine and Cytomel which gives me both the T4 and T3. Sometime the problem is the conversion from T4 to T3 which will show normal blood work but not give any relief to the horrible symptoms. I just started Cytomel about 7 years ago and I wish I would have SO MANY YEARS AGO!! I finally feel like a normal person..at least I think this is how normal thyroid functioning people feel? I did a lot of research on it and I had to convince my Primary doc at the time but then when I moved to SoCal I finally found an amazing endocrinologist and she works with blood work AND my symptoms and makes sure that I am happy and healthy all around.
  3793531

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