Thyroid: Am I taking too much medication?
Tuesday 13 February 2007
I have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid gland, and now have to take thyroxine tablets every day. I was started on a low dose, and this has gradually been increased because blood tests still show my levels to be low. The starting dose was 50mcg a day, and I am now up to 300mcg a day. Is there a maximum dose that is safe? And could I take a dose as high as 400mcg a day, if it were necessary?
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
Thyroxine therapy for an underactive thyroid gland is a form of hormone-replacement therapy. If your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone, you can take thyroxine, which is the synthetic form of thyroid hormone that is designed to replace what your body is unable to produce naturally.For most people with an underactive thyroid, it is relatively simple to find the right dose. Elderly people sometimes only need 50mcg (micrograms) a day (1,000mcg is the equivalent of one milligram). The most common dose is 100mcg a day, and occasionally I have seen a patient who needs 200mcg a day. The correct dose can be calculated by doing blood tests to look at the levels of thyroid hormone in the blood, and also the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). If you have too much thyroid hormone, TSH levels fall. If you are short of thyroid hormone, TSH levels go up as the body attempts to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more hormone. Patients are considered to be on the correct dose if their TSH level is normal. If your blood tests show that you appear to need more than 200mcg, there may be something odd going on, which needs further investigation by an endocrinologist. One possibility is that your body is resistant to the effects of thyroxine.
Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to email@example.com. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.
Life & Style blogs
This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin: How I outwitted the Gestapo
Tinder Plus: premium service launches, charging much more for those over 28
Running test reveals whether you will die in the next decade
Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join this w...
£12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Hotel Receptionists...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in Online Pro...