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If you’ve been feeling well and stable on your thyroid medication and treatment for a while, only to start feeling unwell again and notice some of those telltale signs of possibly needing a medication/dosage review coming back, here are some things to do straight away.
If you’ve been on thyroid medication for a while and still feel unwell, see this post.
1. Call Your Doctor/Endocrinologist Etc. and Schedule to See Them.
First things first, call your doctor, endocrinologist or whoever it is you see as your primary healthcare provider for your hypothyroidism. Schedule an appointment in to see them as soon as possible and prepare for your appointment thoroughly.
You can do this by:
- Writing down any symptoms that have returned and how you’re feeling more unwell lately.
- Writing down the tests you want running. See this post for more help: Tests You Need and Optimal Levels as a Hypothyroid Patient.
- Considering booking a ‘double appointment’ or longer slot if you have quite a bit to talk about with them.
- Considering whether it would help to take someone along with you. They may be able to back up what you’re saying and help you feel more taken seriously.
See my article: How to Get The Most Out of Your Doctors Appointment here for more tips.
2. Move Any Tests Forward to Check Levels Sooner.
Most doctors seem to check thyroid levels once or twice a year, once you’re stable on medication (though twice a year is preferable – once in the warmer months and once in the cooler months). If your next set of tests aren’t due for a while but you have an inkling that they’re already showing a need to change your medication dosage, then bring them forward to check sooner.
As always, it is also crucial to ensure that the full thyroid panel is being checked and not just one or two components.
The full panel consists of:
- Free T3
- Free T4
3. Prioritise Resting and Taking Care of Yourself.
It’s easy to overdo things when you have a chronic illness such as hypothyroidism, so at times when you’re struggling with symptoms and management a bit more than usual, it is very important to look after yourself so as not to make things worse.
Learning to prioritise and say “No” to things that aren’t worth the extra energy expenditure right now, taking it easier on exercise if this is making your thyroid symptoms worse, sleeping when your body needs sleep and cutting back on commitments that can wait, can all help.
Our life often can’t come to a complete standstill, but learning to manage your ‘spoons‘ (read about the ‘Spoon Theory’ here) can really help you to manage your hypothyroidism that bit better until you’ve seen the doctor, perhaps had a medication increase and then felt this kicking in.
Have you needed a medication review lately? Join the conversation in the comments section.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.