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Old 07-29-2009, 09:49 AM   #1
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Could Levothyroxine cause high blood sugar when pregnant?

I went in for my 1 hour glucose test and it came back a little high (144 and the cut off is 130). I am currently taking .88mcg of Levothyroxine. When they tested my glucose I asked for my thyroid to be checked and the results are as follows:

TSH - 0.95 (0.45-4.50)
FT4 - 1.3 (0.8-1.7)
FT3 - 2.8 (2.0-4.8)

I have to go back for a 3 hour glucose test. I have never had an issue with high blood sugar in my life, in fact, the only issue I have had was with my blood sugar being low. In that case, I would just carry candy or vitamin C tablets (with sucrose in them) with me. Also, I have noticed that my heart rate is higher than usual. Normally, my heart rate is 65-75 bpm, now it's around 85-90 bpm. My blood pressure is on the low side, but it has always been low, I'm measuring it around 92/54 - 110/70.

Could the levothyroxine be throwing off my blood glucose test? I really don't want to have to be labeled as having gestational diabetes if my medication could be causing it.

 
Old 07-29-2009, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: Could Levothyroxine cause high blood sugar when pregnant?

The only effects that levoT should cause are those that are related to over- or under-dosage. That is... It doesn't alter the way the body naturally works. The levoT is vital to a successful pregnancy. Right now, your TSH is at a great level; more importantly, your FT4 is an adequate 55% of its range. Your FT3 is a little low, but FT3 is more important to you than to the pregnancy. If anything, you could stand a tiny bump in dose... but you should be fine the way things are for now.

In short, no... the levoT should not be negatively affecting your blood glucose.

 
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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Re: Could Levothyroxine cause high blood sugar when pregnant?

I just want to say that out of 3 pregnancies, I was flagged to take the 3 hour test (yucky stuff to drink!), for 2, and both of those tests came out normal. (thyroid wasn't an issue, just pregnancy).

It's really common, nothing to worry about, and it's common that the next test will be fine.

 
Old 07-29-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Could Levothyroxine cause high blood sugar when pregnant?

I did read that if someone is diabetic and is taking Levothyroxine, that they must moniter their sugar levels. I am not diabetic, but for some reason this was one of the drug warnings. Also, I read that certain drugs may cause Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar) and levothyroxine was listed as one of them.

So, with what I found I'm thinking that the reason why my heart races and my blood sugar was a bit higher. I know that pregnancy changes a lot too, but I am not at high risk for gestational diabetes. In fact, I had problems with low blood sugar prior to pregnancy.

The reading that I did was on the internet, so I was just wondering if anyone has had or heard of any of or experienced any of these problems associated with levothyroxine? My situation is that I just started taking levothyroxine and then became pregnant a couple of months later, so I don't have any experience with any other thyroid medication. I am a bit worried about switching medications until my baby is born. Also, I have had hair loss (it has slowed down a bit), which I have heard is a common side effect.

 
Old 07-30-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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Re: Could Levothyroxine cause high blood sugar when pregnant?

I'm back again. Your question intrigued me, so I did a quick net search on the subject.

You're correct about glucose and thyroxine - to a point, at least. While it definitely can cause an elevation, I haven't found exactly how high. And I discovered that the glut of natural hormone found in hyperthyroidism is more of a threat than a modest therapeutic dose of endogenous thyroxine.

Untreated hypothyroidism also can cause elevated glucose.
Pregnancy causes it, too.

In short, there may be no way to know whether your dose of thyroxine is playing havoc with your blood sugar. But I do know your MD has to figure out a way around that if it is, because your baby is depending on that hormone for its needs too. You really can't risk going without it.

This is a pretty complex subject for a lay message board. You must have a heart to heart with your doc about it.
Best of luck!

 
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