Can having a virus make your thyroid meds less effective? Or perhaps lower your thyroid levels? I am taking 50mg Levothroid and have been feeling pretty good. I've had a URI for a week, and am seeing some of my old symptoms returning- gritty eyes, fatigue, choking feeling in my neck area, not much appetite... My Doctor lowered my dosage about a month ago, I was taking 75mg, but when my TSH dropped to .03 (scale .27-4.20) my Dcotor lowered the dosage. Could it be this adjustment and not the virus? Thanks for any info you can provide.
Hi Kath. When our bodies are stressed (including by viruses), it can sometimes affect our thyroid levels. But, since you've just had a dosage reduction, it's best to investigate that avenue.
Since it takes 4-8 weeks for a Synthroid adjustment to fully assimilate in the body, it is not uncommon for symptoms to fluctuate between Hypo and Hyper during that time period. But it sounds like you're at the point where you should be levelling out. Sounds like it's time for a re-check of your blood tests. It may be that your previous dose was too high, but now this dosage is too low for you.
If possible, ask the doctor to check more than just your TSH. Free T3 and Free T4 (along with TSH) will give a more comprehensive picture. Also, if you have thyroid antibodies (which can also be tested at the same time), your TSH and your symptoms may fluctuate.
[This message has been edited by ArtfulD (edited 11-10-2002).]
Thanks, ArtfulD. I've been feeling worse by the day (virus is gone though) so I went in for a TSH on Thursday. The Doc's office called Friday to tell me that my thyroid was "fine". My TSH was 2.25 so I don't think I am fine. I'd only been on the lower dose Levothroid for 35 days. I have an appt with my internist on Tuesday, and have printed up a bunch of stuff to bring along in case he won't change my meds. I also read that our bodies need more thyroid hormone when it's cold, so perhaps that is adding to my problem. Maybe I need a different dose depending on the season? I am hoping he's well informed, but prepared just in case. I'll ask about further testing too. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
I know that some doctors like to look at a lab's reference range for normal to determine whether you should be treated, but "normal" actually varies with the individual. Most adult women feel best when their TSH is at or below 1.0, with Free T3 and Free T4 levels in the middle of the ranges. Some folks are actually disabled with a TSH of 2.25!
It sounds like 50 mcg is too low for you, but 75 mcg is too high. Would your doctor consider allowing you to alternate doses, taking 50 mcg one day and 75 mcg the next (so that your ultimate dose is somewhere between the two)?
You are correct in thinking that you may need more hormone when it's cold outside (and when your body is otherwise stressed). It's such a constant fine-tuning....
You may want to consider seeing an Endocrinologist who specializes in thyroid disease (as opposed to your internist). Also, certain supplements like Selenium and Maca may help you with your symptoms.
If you've not yet had a chance, read through our Information Archive thread
and Stories thread
for a ton of more details.
The Information Archive thread includes symptoms lists, notes about supplements that may help, and other things that can help prepare you for your doctor visit. Let us know what happens.
Saw my Doctor- Because I am running a temp and every gland in my neck is swollen, he thinks my symptoms are more virus-related than thyroid symptoms.He did say that he wants to keep my TSH between 1 and 4, and that keeping it lower would destroy my bones. ??? I'm giving the virus idea a week or two, and if I'm still not better I'll be giving him another call.
What the dr. means by destroying your bones is that sometimes,,not always,,,tyroid has on some, not all people reduced the levels of calcium in our bodies. This is a myth. Since it seems to only happen to women and guess what? We go through a monthly cycle that depletes calcium. If there is a question about this, simple solution monitor the calcium levels also. Mine have stayed low until recently, then for some odd reason went on the high side. It is easy to supplement the diet with extra calcium magnesium, you would need approx. 1000mg of calcium and 400mg of magnesium. the body without the magnesuim only utilizes 10 % of what it takes in...with the magnesium it utilizes 90%. a signicant difference.
Thanks for the info, snowbunnies. The problem is that I also have hypercalceuria- too much calcium ends up in my urine and I make calcium oxalate kidney stones, so I can't take calcium supplements. Because of this my bones are already at risk, and I have a family history of osteoporosis.Trying to find a way to keep it all in balance.