How does it feel to take Levothyroxine?

I thought it would be useful to share how I am feeling now I have been taking Levothyroxine for about three months. I have noticed, on Facebook groups and forums, people asking if they should take medication and whether it will make any difference, so I thought I would share my personal experience in the hope that it might help.

Before I went to the doctors I truly was feeling awful, I thought I had something really wrong and maybe incurable with me because of the symptoms I was having. I was getting breathless, finding it difficult to cope with everyday tasks, I was completely lethargic, all my muscles were aching, I was suffering from frequent headaches, extreme tiredness, yet waking in the middle of the night and struggling to fall back to sleep, also feeling really really cold – when actually I usually feel hot when others are cold! Oh and another major thing – I have put loads of excess weight on which actually is probabably exacerbating some of the other symptoms. So overall I knew it was time to take action.

Tentatively I went to the doctors, having no clue that I had a problem with my thyroid and not really knowing what to expect. Following blood tests I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and prescribed 50mcg of Levothyroxine. I had mixed feelings about this, fundamentally because I am the type of person who just doesn’t like to take tablets – not because I can’t swallow tablets physically but because it is putting something alien into my body. After thinking about it though I realised that it is just taking a tablet to replace a hormone that my own body is not producing and when I looked at it like that, it didn’t feel so bad.

Following this appointment, I dutifully took my tablet every morning before getting out of bed and about eight weeks after being on Levothyroxine, I had bloods done to test for antibodies. I have since found out that I have Hashimotos but actually that doesn’t really change anything as far as I am concerned. (I may research into that but at the moment I just want to feel ok.)

So how do I feel now after taking Levothyroxine for three months? Well I am glad to say the breathlessness has improved, I am definitely not so tired and I am sleeping better too, I have noticed that my muscles are no longer hurting as bad – my legs don’t ache when I walk now although doing anything with effort does still feel difficult, my headaches have stopped, thank goodness, I am still feeling cold when nobody else is though. To me that’s a bit of an odd one as I generally feel warm all the time, but hey the weather is getting warmer now so I am feeling warmer and loads better about myself too! There is nothing like a little bit of sunshine to lift your spirits is there?

I haven’t lost any weight – at all – which is really disappointing. I was hoping this little tablet was going to act like a miracle diet pill, but it didn’t. I actually don’t really eat that much and my diet is fairly healthy but I’m thinking something is going to have to change because for my own well being I feel I need to try and bin a couple of stone somehow. I used to be a regular runner, swim, go to the gym and take part in group exercise such as Pilates and yoga until about a year ago. I would love to be able to run again but have found out I have arthritis and chipped bones in one of my feet so for me that is preventing exercise, but I might try swimming after taking painkillers and see how I get on.

Generally, for me, Levothyroxine has alleviated some of my symptoms and some of them have gone completely, so in my opinion, if your doctor prescribes Levothyroxine for you, hopefully after a couple of months it really should make a difference. Even if your symptoms don’t disappear completely, if you look back to how you felt before, I am sure that you will be feeling a whole lot better!

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