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levothyroxine headache / antibodies results
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levothyroxine headache / antibodies results

Hi. I just started taking levothyroxine 50mcg on Saturday. Since Saturday afternoon I have had a headache and feel dizzy. Being new to this I am wondering if this is normal? Does my body just need time to get used to the medicine or is it possible my dosage is too high?

Some background info: I've had my levels checked every couple of months since last April by my pcp. I just went to an endo on Friday and this is my most recent lab results. Not sure what the antibodies results mean as I haven't heard back from my endo.

TSH: 6.62  (standard range-0.27-4.2 uIU/mL)

T4, FREE: 1.11 (standard range-0.7-1.7 ng/dL)

THYROGLOBULIN AB: 24.6 (standard range-<20-  IU/ML)

THYROID PEROXIDASE AB: 55.3 (standard range-0-35 IU/ML)

Thanks!
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167 Comments Post a Comment
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929504_tn?1332589534
Did your doctor explain to you the purpose of giving you "thyroid hormone pills"???
Reading inbetween the lines, im guessing that it is due to your thyroid levels. Your TSH is above normal however not too high. Did you have any symptoms of "hypothyroid"?? such as: fatigue, constipation, depression , brain fog, dry skin, extreme tiredness, feeling cold, headache, loss of appetite, poor memory, shortness of breath, weight gain......

Most doc's will start the patient on a low dose (25mcg being the lowest) and increase dosage as needed, If you are sensitive to med's , that can explain the headache and dizziness which i believe is a side effect. The symptoms shall subside within a week of two.

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Avatar_f_tn
yep, i was put on the medication by the endo based on previous test results. i do have several symptoms of hypothyroid but am feeling so much worse since starting this medicine.
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907968_tn?1292625804
Curiosity;  I assumed the readings would have to be low in order to take this medication which should raise the numbers, and her numbers are high already.  I could also be completely wrong on my ideology but hopefully the answer will educate me some.
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Avatar_f_tn
according to my doctor my tsh is high (as are the antibodies) and that is what i was put on the medicine for was a high tsh. my t4 and t3 are in normal range.

i'm new to this and don't have much knowledge:(
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929504_tn?1332589534
The TSH Level would be higher than normal range (indicating Hypothyroid/ underactive thyroid)....levothroxiine will lower the tsh level and bring it to normal.

A person who is hyperthyroid/overactive thyroid) will have a lower than normal TSH level.

The two have some of the same symptoms however most of them are opposite of each other.

I am also new to this and quickly educating myself by experienced patient's on this site and reading about it.
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231441_tn?1333896366
Hi,

it is not usual to have a reaction to the levothyroxine so quickly.  It is a T4 med that is converted in your body to T3 which is the active thyroid hormone.

More likely you are having a reaction to a 'filler' in the medicine.  This can be the colour or something else.  Definitely call your doctor and tell him about the headache and see what he says.
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Avatar_f_tn
i contacted my doctor and he flat out said no not from the medicine and that is all. No explanation or advice on what could be causing my headache and dizziness:( i'm feeling very frustrated now.
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929504_tn?1332589534
The problem with some docs are they would rather ignore the issue and blame something else instead of listening to the patient. Well, you do have a choice. I know for sure that the headaches are a sign of hypo and dizziness can be part of anxiety. If your symptoms continue and the doc continues to ignore, you may want to seek another endo.
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Avatar_n_tn
Another suggestion is to find a compounding pharmacy in your area, and see if they can perhaps compound the prescriptions for you-it is common to have reactions to fillers.  Many also experience more negative side effects from the synthetic thyroid prescriptions, and see a decrease/elimination of the negative side effects with a dessicated thyroid prescription such as Armour, your endo would need to write a new prescription for the Armour.  If your endo opposes using dessicated thyroid, the compounding pharmacy should be able to give you the names of several docs who do prescribe it.  Best of luck on your journey to health.
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Avatar_f_tn
If its any consolation to you, I too get a headache when increasing my T4 meds and the headaches usually settle after a week.
Also I get the side effect of hot sweats at different times of the day when I increase my dose...this also subsides after about a week.
Give your body time to adjust but next time you go for labs ..ask for the FREE T's and not the normal T's.

You must definately need the FREE T3 done which I see wasnt done.
This is the hormone that is the most important and is the major hormone in meds dosage.
All the best :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Blsdnsvd is correct - TSH is counterintuitive - when it's high you are hypo (have low thyroid function and thus need meds) and vice versa.

prttypetunia, has your doctor told you that you have Hashi's?  Elevated thyroglobulin antibodies (TGab) and thyroid peroxidse antibodies (TPOab) indicated autoimmune disease, Hashiimoto's thyroiditis.  It's by far the most prevalent cause of hypo in the U.S..

Your FT4 is not terribly low, but you might find your symptoms relieved if it were a bit higher.  Your doctor should also be testing FT3 every time you have labwork done.  T3 is the active form of the thyroid hormones and much more potent than T4.  Your body cannot use T4 (the storage form of the hormones) until it is converted to T3.  

I agree that fillers often cause people problems and that it's too soon after beginning meds for the dosage to be the problem.  It's often easily remedied by simply switching brand names or from generic to brand name .  If all else fails, a compounding pharmacy can prepare meds without fillers, but this tends to be a rather pricey option.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on 0.25 mg on levothyroxidine for about twenty days. I only realised how miserable I felt since I started taking it those pills after two consecutive huge headhaches when waking up in the morning. I couldn't even get out of bed and the headhache wasn't going not even after I took some aspirine. My heart was pulsing so firmly I could see my pijama shaking after every beat of my heart. My mouth was dry and with a weird taste. I was really scared because I couldn't understand why I felt so bad. My wife wanted to call an ambulance. And on this occasion while trying to figure out was I was feeling so bad my wife questioned the side effects of levothyroxidine. She had a look at the patient leaflet and googled "levothyroxidine side effects" and she found out that I was having several of the side effects. I stopped taking the medication on the same day. And i felt all right the day after but for a few days when the place was quite and therefore at night in bed I could hear "white noise" in my ears, like the noise of a washing machine, an intermittently an continous noise and I realised it had the rythme of my heart. For a few days I could feel that the area in my head where the headhache was quite sore, sometime a bit of pain was coming back but not so strong. Today 20 days later my head feel better and that noise in my ears has gone. But i also have a massive confusion in my head and I have realised that everyitme someone start a conversation with me or ask me something I have to ask to repeat again what he is saying. this is getting embarassing and it also worries me very much. My gp (the one who prescribed me those damned pills) is completely useless and I will see a private doctor. I feel like I was prescribed something highly toxic who has messed up my system and my health
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Avatar_f_tn
Do you have the results and reference ranges of FT3, FT4 and TSH that your diagnosis and treatment were based on?  If so, please post.

It sounds like you might not be able to tolerate one of the inactive ingredients (like the dyes) in the brand name or generic levo that you were taking.  Often, just switching to another brand or from generic to brand or vice versa will help.  Also, Synthroid 50 mcg is white and apparently has no dyes...you could split one to get 25 mcg.
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Avatar_f_tn
My levels are extremely high and doctors are always baffled when they get my labs back. i am on 175 mgs of levothyroxine. I was wondering if anyone else gets mirgraines if you haven't had  it in a week or more. I get horrific migraines to where it hurts to breathe. I've asked my doc about this but get no answers. I've had to be off it to get checked. As I do hate this because I do get sick. Does this happen to anyone else?
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Avatar_f_tn
You might try posting a new question.  Sometimes, posts on old threads like this get kind of ignored.  Also, if you post your own thread, you can get your main concerns into the headline, which will attract people who have input on your particular problem.  I think you'll get better response that way.  Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
the meds take awhile for your body to get used to them!  I have had a thyroid condition since I was 12, I'm now 29!  For a really long time i didnt' use my medicine!  Three months ago my tsh level was >150.00, blood test doesn't go higher than that.  Once your levels r good, u won't get the headaches, it's from your body going through so much change in levels...normal is different based on your age, and it's not the same for someone with no thyroid problem as it is for someone with a thyroid disorder!  You can look up the levels online, but average is .40-4.70...
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I am feeling exactly the same as the dr is adamant it's not the medication! How are you feeling now?
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Avatar_m_tn
I was on 100mcg of Levothyroxin (levothyroxine) for Hypothyroidism and my body went to Hyperthyroidism. I can not get a visit with the Endo until 2-20-12. My last lab results from my primary doctor is TSH 0.21 and Free T4 1.29, she said I should cut back to 75mcg until I see the Endo what should I do? I need help now.
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Avatar_m_tn
Patients taking large doses of thyroid meds often find that their TSH becomes suppressed.  That does not automatically mean that you are hyperthyroid, unless you really do have hyper symptoms, due to excessive levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  

For example, while taking 200 mcg of T4 med, my TSH was been about .05 for well over 25 years without ever having hyper symptoms,  In fact I had lingering hypo symptoms until learning on this Forum about the importance of Free T3.  Got mine tested and confirmed as low in the range.  Meds were switched to a T4/T3 combo type and after some tweaking of dosage, I feel best ever.  My FT3 is 3.9 (range of 2.3 - 4.2) and FT4 is .84 (range of .60 - 1.50).  You don't have a Free T3 test, but your Free T4 is well within any reference range I have ever seen for FT4, and I expect that your Free T3 is even lower in its range.

So the most important question is what symptoms are you having.  If you look at these two lists, of hypo and hyper symptoms, which one would you say that you are right now?

http://endocrine-system.emedtv.com/hypothyroidism/hypothyroidism-symptoms-and-signs.html

http://endocrine-system.emedtv.com/hyperthyroidism/hyperthyroidism-symptoms-and-signs.html
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Avatar_m_tn
Blood pressure out of control, rapid heart beats, double/blurred vision, tense heart beat pounding in the ears, shaking hands, nerviousness, rash/itchie back, dizzeness.
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Avatar_m_tn
With those symptoms, I'd cut back also, for now.  I would suggest that you get tested again for Free T4 and Free T3, along with the TSH.  Has the cause of your thyroid problems ever been diagnosed?  Since the most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's Thytoiditis, I would suggest testing for the thyroid antibodies, TPO ab and TG ab.  

If Hashi's is the cause, be aware that some Hashi's patients also have nodules form in the thyroid, that then leak thyroid hormone faster than normal, and symptoms will cycle from hypo to hyper and back.  Not saying that is your problem.  Just something to keep in mind.  You may just be over medicated for now.

When did you start on the T4 med and what was the starting dosage?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your answers as I can't seem to find out what I am to do until I finally get to the Endo. About 9 months ago, 25mcg, 50mcg, 75mcg, then 100mcg. yes a small nodual on my thyroid.
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Avatar_m_tn
When you do go in for followup testing, then it would be a good idea to get an ultrasound of your thyroid to see what the nodule looks like currently.
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Avatar_m_tn
Copied above posts and moved to the thread started for Jack5151.

Let's let this one go into files and use the new thread.
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