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Do I need to take Thyronorm for TSH ranging near 7.7?

Saturday, 15 May 2010
Answered by: Prof Dinesh Dhanwal
Prof of Medicine and Head of Endocrinology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Q. I am a 24 years old male weighing 60 kg, who has diagnosed with high TSH levels (7.7) recently. My free T3 and T4 are still in normal range but towards the lower side. I took Thyrowell (Abbott) for a month and worked hard in the gym but did not see any weight loss. Now I have been prescribed Thyronorm (25 mg). Does it have any side effects? What can I do to lose weight?

A.  You have subclinical hypothyroidism and with this level of TSH you do not need treatment unless you have strongly positive anti-TPO, high cholestrol or enlarged thyroid gland (get these checked). Do not expect weight reduction with thyronorm as your overweight is unlikely to be due to hypothyroidism. Just reduce your food intake by 20-25% and go for exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. Stop thyronorm and get TSH repeated after three months. If rising then we will take a decision about giving you treatment. Despite available guidelines for treating subclinical hypothyroidism a large number of subjects are being treated unnecessarily with thyronorm/eltroxin.

A.  You have subclinical hypothyroidism and with this level of TSH you do not need treatment unless you have strongly positive anti-TPO, high cholestrol or enlarged thyroid gland (get these checked). Do not expect weight reduction with thyronorm as your overweight is unlikely to be due to hypothyroidism. Just reduce your food intake by 20-25% and go for exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. Stop thyronorm and get TSH repeated after three months. If rising then we will take a decision about giving you treatment. Despite available guidelines for treating subclinical hypothyroidism a large number of subjects are being treated unnecessarily with thyronorm/eltroxin.

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