Thyroid Disorders Community
Hypothyroidism and Libido?
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to thyroid issues, goiter, Graves disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, metabolism, parathyroid, pituitary gland, thyroiditis, and thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

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Hypothyroidism and Libido?

I am in a relationship with a man that was recently (4 months ago) diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  Needless to say we haven't had much of a sex life for years, which has been very difficult for me to accept and deal with.  

I was initially very excited that maybe there was a medical explanation and a cure, and thought we might have a normal sex life.  However, I haven't seen much improvement in the past months, perhaps if any.

From what I've read it seems a LOT of people still suffer from no sexual desire even after return to euthyroid, is this correct?  I'm curious if I am wasting my time hoping for something that will never happen.  I'm looking for honest answers here...
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Avatar_m_tn
I would be hopeful that correcting the hypo problem would relieve any of his hypo symptoms.  I would be suspicious that what you read about no improvement even after return to euthyroid, is based on the common misconception of euthyroid as being a TSH level that is somewhere within the reference range.  

Since TSH is a pituitary hormone that is only a signal to the thyroid glands to increase/decrease thyroid hormone output, TSH is inadequate as a diagnostic for thyroid problems.  At best it is an indicator to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms, along with the levels of the actual, biologically active thyroid hormones which are free T3 and free T4.  

FT3 is actually the most important because it is four times as active as FT4, plus studies have shown that FT3 correlates best with hypo symptoms.  Symptom relief should be all important.  Frequently we hear from members that symptom relief for them required that FT3 was adjusted into the upper part of its range and FT4 adjusted to at least midpoint.

I would not be surprised at all to learn that your guy hasn't even been tested for FT3 and FT4, much less medicated enough to relieve symptoms.  If that is the case, then insist that the doctor do that testing and then try to get him treated for symptoms by adjusting FT3 and FT4 as I outlined.  If current doctor doesn't agree, then find a good thyroid doctor that will treat his symptoms in that way.  I think you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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Avatar_f_tn
As someone who has it, and has done an awful lot of reading on the subject, here are a couple of things that might be helpful on the matter..

First, it can take a while for someone who has been hypo to return to feeling normal after treatment.  Proper food and exercise help *immensely*.  Also, extended release thyroid meds seem to get people back on their feet faster and more reliably than synthroid from what I understand.  

Often, people with thyroid problems can be low on other hormones too.. Your BF may wish to have his doctor run a specific hormone panel.  Treatment with testosterone has been known to kick start the old drive for guys who need a little help in that regard, but only if it's safe.  Some other things that can be helpful are argenine, niacin, DHEA, panax ginseng, ginko biloba, or horny goat weed.. HOWEVER, most of these things effect blood nitrogen,oxygen,or serotonin levels, so ALWAYS check with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen!

Mostly, patience, a positive attitude, and a little playful experimentation will usually get the job done.  Good luck!
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649848_tn?1357751184
I'm not sure what type of med your guy is on, but I would agree with gimel - once his med has been adjusted according to symptoms and FT3 and FT4 levels, you will most likely see some changes.

It quite often takes time to get thyroid levels to what the patient needs, not just into the "normal" lab ranges.  Most thyroid meds will work equally well, depending on the individual needs.  Some of us need the dessicated hormones, others of us must have synthroid, still others do fine on generic levo; some need to add a T3 med to the levo.  The trick is to get the proper testing and make sure the lab reports are interpreted properly - just being in range isn't good enough if the patient still has symptoms.  

Many of us find that we need our FT4 levels at around mid point of its range and FT3 in upper 1/3 of its range.  Patience and proper testing are critical.  I'm 2 yrs into my experience and still not totally at the right point yet.  

Again, I agree with gimel - if your current doctor will not treat the FT3, FT4 and symptoms, don't waste time - just find another doctor.   It might also be helpful to get antibody testing to confirm/rule out Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  

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Avatar_m_tn
That Horny Goatweed certainly sounds interesting.  LOL
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