Nurses With Hypothyroidism

  1. Here's a brief history on me. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (hyperthyroidism) in 1998 at the age of 17. In 2005, at age 24, I decided to have radioiodine ablation to slow down my thyroid. It worked within 2 months, and I am now slightly hypothyroid. I take Synthroid daily.

    How do those of you with hypothyroidism maintain energy for work or school and manage to have regular sleep cycles? Thanks in advance for any replies that might be received.
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    About TheCommuter, BSN, RN

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 38,032; Likes: 69,287
    CRRN, now a case management RN; from US
    Specialty: Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych


  3. by   Bluehair
    I have the more 'traditional' sluggish thyroid, the one a lot of aging women seem to get. I had mentioned to my MD I felt like my brain had gone to mush, memory like a sieve, etc. He did a TSH and voila, I am now on Levoxyl. I had been low energy before, and feel like I have just gotten back to normal. Got my brain back and everything. Sleep is not a problem for me. I take my Levoxyl in the morning as soon as I get up on an empty stomach, and have a coffee chaser a little later. I work day shift, tho. If you work nights, it could be a pain trying to figure out when to take the lil begger.
    One thing I do notice is how I respond to vitamins. I take a multi, vit C, Calcium and some glucosamine. Most of them recommend you take them a couple times a day. I noticed if I do pull a night shift, I have a lot more energy/mental acuity if I take them with my meal around midnight or so. Seems to get me past that 4 a.m. hump a lot easier. If I take them too late in the day, forget going to bed at a reasonable hour. So - maybe a few well timed vitamins could help you out? One of those 'can't hurt' things.
  4. by   WickedRedRN
    Fellow hypothyroid here too. I take my synthroid in the AM when I get up, then follow it with my coffee on the commute. My sleep does pretty well, I only notice problems if my levels are slipping. At this point, I can almost call the doc and tell her I think I am off again.

    I do take vitamins daily and I think that helps me too. When I am on a night shift rotation I take my Synthroid in the AM when I get home so it keeps me on the same time frame as before. I just have to remember no munching 2 hrs prior to getting off work. (Which is usually no prob since that last 2 hours are busy as can be!)
  5. by   lilbitloa
    i too have hypothyroidism. over the years there have been days where i have forgotten to take my med and sometimes didn't take it on an empty stomach or take my medicine and then eat something. i have found this has not hurt me in the least. at least i don't think so. i try not to make a habit of it, but it does happen.
  6. by   Simplepleasures
    Hi. Ive been hypothyroid since 1987, when despite going to several doctors and having a misdiagnosis of congestive heart failure, sleep apnea and blaming every symptom on obesity, I was finally diagnosed with Hypothyroidism secondary to Hashimotos Thyroiditis.I always blamed my fatigue on working nights .I am now on 200mcg Synthroid.Dont take before going to bed if you work night shift.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Jan 1, '07
  7. by   ginger58
    Been hypothyroid most of my life. Diagnosed with Hashimoto's about 6 years ago. Continue on Levoxyl. I also take HRT and when I upped the estradiol my TSH went up due to the protein binding business. So the doc had to increase my Levoxyl. I knew it was off as I'm laying in bed with warm PJs, down, cotton and wool blankets feeling cold for hours!!
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Thanks to all of you! I am truly appreciative of the advice and tips that have been offered so far.
  9. by   MIA-RN1
    I've been Hashi's hypo for almost 13 years. I take the pill first thing every morning--well, most mornings lol. Sometimes its afternoon when I remember but generally in the morning.
    I got really tired, sluggish, cold, and gained weight recently. My regular MD said I was WNL and refused to increase my dose, so I went to the endocrinologist, who said I am just on the outside of normal (3.4) but MY normal is 1.7 so I got my dose upped by him. Plus I have more noduels and got an ultrasound too. So my best advice with coping is to listen to your body and advocate for yourself when you feel your levels are off. Don't hesitate to seek out a good endocrinologist if you don't feel your pcp is listening to you.
    As far as the cold and fatigue, that tends to go away when my levels even out. Sleep is almost never a problem for me, unless I am anxious about getting up early in the morning, but thats totally not related to my thyroid.
  10. by   burn out
    After my first year of working night shift I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. several years ago my health insurance was screwed up and I couldn't get in to see a physiciain for my prescription to be renewed so I went several months without medication. When I finally got in to my new physician my TSH level was 245 my fiend in the lab said he had to dilute it 16 times to get an accurate report. Let me tell you I felt like hell and could hardly walk or move. Mostly though fatique has become a part
    of my life that I have just come to accept. This is usually a bad thing though because I end up pushing myself harder than if I didn't have a thyroid problem.
  11. by   Daytonite
    i had a total thyroidectomy followed by total ablation with i-131 thirty years ago for cancer. i've been on thyroid replacement since, more recently synthroid. the only time i've ever had a problem was when i was taken off thyroid hormone to have thyroid scans to see if all the tissue had been destroyed. i had to stop taking thyroid replacement and they couldn't scan me until all the hormone was out of my system. the fatigue was so bad that i didn't want to move. i wanted to lie down all the time, but lying down didn't help. honestly, as long as my t3, t4 and tsh levels are ok, and my doctor checks them frequently, i don't have any problems with feeling low on energy.
  12. by   Sue Damonas
    I've been dealing with hypothyroidism for about 10 years. I was okay on Synthroid but the insurance company switched me to Levothyroxine and I've had my dose increased several times since then. Everytime the pharmacist tells me that they've switched manufacturers I say here we go again!! I'll be seeing my doctor again soon and I'll beg him to get me switched back to Synthroid. And no matter what shift I've worked I faithfully take it every morning on an empty stomach.
  13. by   WickedRedRN
    The insurance switch is a problem, I cannot get stable on Levo, but ins won't pay as well for the synthroid since there is a generic available. I just pay the difference for the synthroid now, not worth it to me to suffer on the levo.
  14. by   Retired R.N.
    I also have hypothyroidism. Fortunately, it is not severe, and can be controlled easily with Synthroid. I had the same problem with insurance company refusing to pay for Synthroid so they switched me to the generic. When I went back to my doctor and told her what had happened she was more than happy to write me a prescription for Synthroid and, at my request, she added the words, "Dispense as written in original unopened container from factory." Naturally, the insurance company would not stand for that, because it comes in bottles of 100 tablets, and they want me to have only 30 tablets at a time. Based on the sad experiences I have had, I would much rather pay for the drug myself than have the pharmacy slip me a generic or sugar pills substitute.

    The nasty little secret about generic levothyroxine is that different brands are not the same as each other, and there is no really good way to get it regulated for your body if you don't get the same drug each time. As I see it, life is too short to let some insurance company make me miserable!