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Thyroid Disorders Message Board
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:49 PM   #1
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How long before thyroid meds start to work?

I was wondering how long it takes before the thyroid medicine starts working. I was diagnosed with Hashi's last week (TSH 65 - under 3 normal, FT4 and T3 under 1, Antibody 600 - normal under 40), and started taking 125 mcg of Synthroid Monday. I know 4 days is probably too early to start working, but I swear I feel worse. I can't sleep much, even though I'm extremely tired. I feel like I've lost all the strength in my muscles, and I also alternate between sweating and chilling. Of course, I have had problems with anxiety, so it could just be me overthinking it all. I haven't had any heart palps, but I do have tremors and shaking, which are anxiety related. Just tell me it's all in my head, and I'll be okay. I know I shouldn't obsess, but I really can't help it.

 
Old 05-19-2006, 05:10 PM   #2
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Re: How long before thyroid meds start to work?

Hi Shayla...
I won't tell you it's all in your head. The dose you've been given is very large for a starting dose, and it may be hitting you like a brick. Such a large amount might have been Rx'ed because your TSH is so high... but still, starting lower and gradually increasing is easier on one's system. Being without enough thyroid hormone is tough on the adrenal system, and if you try to add too much at one time, those ol' adrenals will buck it like a bronco.

I suggest you get your MD's approval to halve your tablets and take only one piece a day for about two weeks, then take a whole and a half tablet on alternate days for a week or more, so that your body gets gradually accustomed to having hormone it's been without for so long. You didn't get hypo overnight, and it can't be fixed overnight.

This is news to most people, but the medicine isn't what "works". It only supplies the missing hormone so that the body can do its own "work" of starting to operate properly again, and ultimately of healing from the damage that's been done by the shortage. None of that is fast. You will experience ups and downs along the way to finding your optimal dose, and even after you've found it, it can take several months for the damage to heal.

 
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Old 05-19-2006, 05:52 PM   #3
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Re: How long before thyroid meds start to work?

Iagree, Shayla - the typical starting dose is 50 mcg - 25 if the person is elderly or has risk factors for heart disease. It really is NOT the norm to start with 125 mcg (although you may well need that much in the long run). I'm guessing maybe your doctor doesn't know much about thyroid disease???
There is a risk of triggering a heart attack if you start too high a dose in someone who has been really hypo for a while - the heart muscle can be weakened by the hypothyroidism.

Ellie

Last edited by ellie342; 05-19-2006 at 05:52 PM.

 
Old 05-20-2006, 06:43 AM   #4
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Re: How long before thyroid meds start to work?

I was started at 200mcg after about 6 weeks of hypo following a TT. I was told that is not a huge dose for someone my size. and that it might need to be as much as 300. I would assume Shayla probably weighs less than me, probably half to 2/3rds of my weight so the 125mcg dose doesn't appear out of line.

But maybe it's just the way we do things in Georgia.

Last edited by Archie343; 05-20-2006 at 06:45 AM.

 
Old 05-20-2006, 06:59 AM   #5
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Re: How long before thyroid meds start to work?

Archie, I think it's different after a TT. That's like a total, sudden failure. Shayla can assume her gland hasn't totally failed yet (even with numbers as abysmal as they are) and is probably putting out at least a little hormone of its own.
If you weren't as hypo before the TT as she is now, your cells weren't as likely to be broadsided as hers by a large dose all at once.
I'm not questioning the size of the dose... It's in the average full replacement range. I just question the abrupt administration of it. Slower is generally better for someone who has been hypo for a long time and still has a gland.

 
Old 05-20-2006, 09:11 AM   #6
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Shayla25 HB User
Re: How long before thyroid meds start to work?

Thanks for the replys. I was feeling pretty terrible and frustrated when I wrote that yesterday. I am amazed out how kind and thoughtful the folks around here are and I find it refreshing. Hopefully I'll be able to help you guys out someday.

 
Old 05-20-2006, 06:25 PM   #7
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Re: How long before thyroid meds start to work?

I definitely agree with all the posts about the starting dose being far too high. My blood levels were almost the same as yours and I started on 50mcg daily, increasing by 25mcg every 3 weeks and testing every 6 weeks until the levels got closer to where they should be (top third of range), then the dosage was fine-tuned.

It's taken over 10 months but I'm finally feeling much better. It's baby-steps with this thing and it can't be hurried.

 
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