Avatar universal

How long until leg swelling resolves?

Hi all,

I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have been on Armour thyroid for approximately 6 weeks. I already have had most of my symptoms resolve: hair loss stopped, blurred vision improved, sooooo much more energy and motivation, and my face is looking younger. Yay!

I am still having swelling in my lower extremities. Not severe, but the kind where I have a sock line for more than an hour after I take them off. Does anyone know how long it will take to resolve this problem?

Thanks much,
Emily :)
9 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
While hypothyroidism can cause swelling, it's not the only thing that does... perhaps, you're consuming too much salt/sodium, which is also notorious for causing fluid retention... I have to be very careful with the amount of sodium I consume, even though my thyroid medication dosage is optimal for me.

That said, it takes at least 6 weeks for the T4 in Armour to reach full potential in your blood, and you may not be at your optimal dosage.

If you've been on the medication for 6 weeks, you should be ready for labs again... Please post your "before" labs so we can see what your levels were when you started on medication and if you've had labs since then, please post those as well.  Be sure to include reference ranges, as those vary lab to lab and have to come from your own report.

Has a cause for your hypothyroidism been determined?
Avatar universal
My labs before/after starting Armour thyroid:

TPOAb 9 then 7
TGAb <1 then not rechecked
TBG 16 then 17
Free T4 1.2 then 1.5
Free T3 2.6 then 2.9
Reverse T3 19.9 then 25.5
TSH 4.32 then 1.85.

The TSH had slowly climbed over the last two years since iodine supplementation. I was not told the cause of my hypothyroidism.

Here is another post I had posted separately before I knew they should be in the same thread:

I was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I know that iodine deficiency can contribute to hypothyroidism, but after some research I've learned that there are rare cases where iodine excess can cause hypothyroidism.

Last January (almost 2 years ago) my naturopathic doctor put me on iodine drops (Iosol) as a general health supplement. He had me gradually increase from 1-3 drops per day which is 1.83-5.49 mg of iodine daily. My TSH at that time was 2.42.

A few months ago my hair began falling out, my vision was blurry at times, I was battling constipation as well as other miscellaneous symptoms. Looking back on my labs, my TSH has been climbing slowly since last year and went to 4.32 which was when I received my hypothyroidism diagnosis. About 6 weeks ago I started on Armour thyroid and most of my symptoms have improved significantly.

I was wondering if it's possible to develop hypothyroidism from this level of iodine supplementation, if anyone else has experienced this, and if it's reversible? Some of the literature suggests that it is.

Thanks much,
Emily :)
649848 tn?1534633700
What are the reference ranges for the labs?  Ranges vary lab to lab, so they have to come from your own report, for the best comparison.  

How much time elapsed between each set of labs?
Avatar universal
The labs were about 6 weeks apart, with the second set being after I was taking 15mg Armour thyroid for a little over a month.

TPOAb 9 then 7 (0-34)
TGAb <1 then not rechecked
TBG 16 then 17 (13-39)
Free T4 1.2 then 1.5 (0.9-1.7)
Free T3 2.6 then 2.9 (2.0-4.4)
Reverse T3 19.9 then 25.5 (9.2-24.1)
TSH 4.32 then 1.85. (0.27-4.2)
649848 tn?1534633700
Neither your FT4 nor FT3 are optimal, but your rT3 is high, as well...

Rule of thumb (where most of us feel best) is for FT4 to be about mid range; yours is at 75% of the range, which is higher than it needs to be.  Rule of thumb for FT3 is upper half to upper third of the range and yours is only at 38% of range.  

Free T4 is converted into either, Free T3 or Reverse T3 and it appears that you have a lot being converted to rT3, rather than Free T3.  

The T3 in Armour is more powerful than the T4 and one would think that your FT3 would rise more quickly than your FT4...

It "is" possible to develop hypothyroidism from iodine, if your body doesn't need it.  Did your naturopath test your iodine level, prior to prescribing it?

You said your TSH was 2.42 when the iodine was prescribed; were Free T3 and Free T4 tested at that time?  Contrary to what the medical establishment would have us believe, TSH is not the be all, end all in thyroid testing and a lot of hypothyroidism gets missed by testing only TSH.  

Perhaps you were already hypo at that time and instead of being prescribed iodine, should have been placed on replacement thyroid hormones...

Clearly you need more T3, but with your FT4 near the top of the range, you don't need more T4... Would your doctor be willing to prescribe a T3, only medication, such as cytomel?
Avatar universal
Please have your doctor check your B12 and iron.
Avatar universal
I didn't know it was due to my hypothyroidism but for years now every morning I wake with very puffy eyes, if I have salt the night before I usually can barely open my eyes the next morning. My legs have had edema forever, it was worse near my period but I could swell so bad I had larger shoes for these times. I called it my "concrete legs" :( I would run etc trying to get the fluid out but nothing really fixed it.

I'm recently diagnosed hypo and 2-3 months after taking my thyroid meds (with steady increases) my face swelling just disappeared along with my leg swelling!!

I had no clue it was due to hypo! I keep checking each morning wondering if it will come back, LOL. I don't think it will, I even have my salty popcorn treat and I'm totally fine the next morning.

Its amazing to me, after being so sick it is nice to have something "extra" like this happen.

I hope this turns out to be the same for you!

Good luck and take care, Kel
649848 tn?1534633700
Even though your swelling went down, it's not good to indulge in that salty popcorn treat on a regular basis, because the swelling "can" come back... mine does whenever I indulge in the salty foods and it, typically, takes up to 2 weeks or more to get it back down again... I'm still struggling with swelling caused by eating ham for Thanksgiving and leftovers for a day or two after.

The more "off" my labs are, the worse the swelling gets and the longer it takes to get rid of it.  
Avatar universal
I hear you, I still consider it a "treat" and its not a routine. I am all too familiar with weeks needed to get swelling down, its no fun. But so far my swelling has improved 90%, every morning my lack of swollen eyes amazes me.

Interesting re when your labs are off you have increased swelling, my neck swelling/choking feeling seem to be directly correlated to my labs & how I am doing.
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