FAQ: How long does it take to get TSH levels back to normal?


Question: If I am on medication for my thyroid, how long do you think it will take to get my TSH levels back to normal?

Answer: Since you didn’t offer much information, such as whether your TSH levels are high or low, I can only speculate on the answer.  Also, having no idea on what your TSH levels were, I cannot possibly determine how long it might take to get them back to normal.  You also did not provide the name of any medications you were taking for your thyroid condition.

If you have higher TSH levels, or what is considered hypothyroidism, you are probably taking Thyroxine.  Through the negative feedback loop of TSH levels, this should actually lower your TSH and eventually get your hormones back on track.  This can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months depending on your initial test results and the dosage of Thyroxine you are taking.

On the other hand, if your TSH levels are lower then you probably have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism… which is a different beast entirely.  You may be on a radioactive iodine treatment, or taking any number of anti-thyroid medications such as Propylthiouracil or Methimazole (Tapazole).  The more common medication is Tapazole, which has far fewer side effects than Propylthiouracil (the most common being severe liver damage with Propylthiouracil).  Tapazole usually takes about 1 to 2 months to work it’s magic, depending on your unique situation and body chemistry.

47 Responses to FAQ: How long does it take to get TSH levels back to normal?

  1. Anand

    Question: My age is 24 , my initial TSH level is 500. I have started taking 100 mcg of thyronorm 1 a day, from past 1 week. How much time will it take to reduce swelling and weakness and bring down the tsh level??? Please answer soon.

    • Dr. Dan

      Anand… Your TSH levels are pretty high, but Thyronorm is highly effective. Still, any medication that affects hormones will need to work gradually. This gradual change is a good thing… it gives the other Thyroid hormones that are associated with your TSH (T3 and T4) time to adjust. A faster change would wreck havoc on your endocrine system. Given your TSH level of 500 and the 100 mcg of Thyronorm you are taking, I would say that you should see some improvement in about 3 to 4 weeks.

  2. Tracey Crawford

    Hi. my tsh level is 5.4 I’m currently on Thyroxin due to a total thyroidectomy. Due to my stupidity I went away on holiday and forgot my pills I didn’t take them for 3 weeks now I need to get my system back to normal I’ve been taking 100 micrograms daily for over a week now the puffiness in my face is going my body isn’t aching as much as it was but I’m still having palpitations how long do you think it will take to go back to normal

    • Dr. Dan

      Tracey, unfortunately I do not know much about your medical history, or much about you at all, so I really cannot speak specifics here… only in generalities. I will assume that you are not taking any other medication, but that can also cause some strange side effects. You may have had heart palpitations caused by your low thyroid levels, but the fact of the matter is that too high of a dosage of Thyroxin itself can cause heart palpitations. So, in essence… same effect, different cause. After your body expelled the medication over your 3 week vacation, you body may just be be getting used to the level of medication you are taking again.

  3. Dessie

    Dear Dr. Dan, my TSH test results at a level of 5.1uIU/ml, FT4 = 0.94ng/dl and Prolactin 15.5 ng/ml. The doc said it is hypothyroidism and gave me L-thyroxine – 50 Mcg, starting with 0.5 pill per day and than increasing it to 1 after 4-5days. As this diagnose is quite new for me I am interested how long do you think it will take to get my TSH levels back to normal? Is there a chance at all to get it back or I should live with it for ever? Is there anything else I can do for myself to helm my body to get back to normall (beside the levothyroxine pills) – Diat, schedule, vitamins. How about the famous Spirulina (dietary supplement)? I will much appreciate your advices :) .

  4. leah

    Hi, i had radioactive iodine treatment 7 years ago. over this period my TSH, T3 & T4 have fluctuated with periods of stability (sometimes a year, sometimes 6mths). is this normal? my blood tests have been stable for a period greater than 6 months, however my latest test shows TSH increasing (4.7). my hair is falling out & i am more nervous & anxious, hotter than other people in the room. my T3 & t4 have stayed within normal range. should i go and see the endocrinologist, as his advice to me when i spoke to him a year ago was that my medication should stay the same once my blood test stabilize. i’ve also read it could be caused by adrenal stress? my GP wants to increase my levothryxoine, which in turn will drive up my t3/t4.. i feel this is not addressing the root cause of what is driving the instability over the last 7 years.

  5. Gail Sudol

    I have Graves Disease and I have been taking Synthyroid since I had the radioactive Iodine treatment years ago. I went into Atrial Fib just prior to have the Iodine treatment. This was shown to be caused by the Hyperthroidism. My thyroid doctor kept my levels regulated for years. In the past year I have moved to another state and have a new doctor (not a thyroid specialist) monitoring my levels. Everything is in range except for the TSH which continues to get lower (going from 0.28 to 0.190). Doctor is not concerned, but I am since I just spent 2 days in the hospital with an episode of heart palpitations or possibly Atrial Fib. It reverted by quickly after 2 hours and no new episodes. Do I need to be concerned and should my meds be regulated is some way to help the TSH levels returned to normal range? Thank you for your response.

  6. Chicagobluesgirl

    I was just prescribed Levothyroxine for high TSH levels due to an under active thyroid. I am 57. Although I’m tired, I do not get enough sleep and have worked long days. The other symptoms listed (weight gain, cold, etc.) do not apply to me but my TSH levels have been 11.0 several months ago and 7.9 more recently. This will be the second time I am on this medication and this time the doctor said I’d be taking it the rest of my life. He said there were no side effects, but it worries me to think I’ll be on a medication for the rest of my life. I just retired so have begun, with another doctor (psyc), to wean myself off of another medications (Welbutrin)–which I took for the incredible stress I had at my job. So to be on this medication for the next 20-30 years is a concern.

  7. Sandy

    Hi, I am a 44 yr old woman. My TSH level is 3.2. My T4 is 8.2 and T3 is 119. The doctor says my TSH is little bit on the higher end and that is why I am having a lot of hair fall these days. She has started me on a Thyroid medication called SYNTHROID 50mg once a day for a month to start with. What do you think of this medication and my condition. I am very concerned about my hair loss. Please respond quickly. Thanks

  8. Christy

    I have been trying for a baby since 2006 and finally doing IVF. My bloodwork came back with a TSH of 3.25 and my RE wants it to be 2.5 or lower. They just put me on 50MCG of Levothroid. I wonder how long it would take to get to 2.5 or below. I was going to start my BCP before IVF at the end of the month and I am not sure if it will take longer for my levels to lower.

  9. Michael S. Terrell

    my TSH levels have increased over a period of time normal at 8/09(year)…,to 5.89 on 3/10,…..6.620 on 12/10 to …….6.85 0n 9/11…what gives?..i don’t do anything extra-ordinary,have the same routines eating,drinking ,sleeping,no hyperactivity,no depressions,not sleepless,nor restlestless,not thirsty or overthirsty etc,no dizziness,no fatigues,no chest palpitations or pains,had triple bypass 1/2008….no complications since,never have called for sick day in 15 years…I do however drink a lot of coffee but have for years the doctor increased my Synthroid to 100mg from 75mg…before that it was 50mg…..what is my problem and HOW do i get my level down to normal?

  10. mary domask

    My doctor said my tsh level was 1. I am 69 years old and have been taking levothyroxine for many years. She told me to cut back. how long will it take for my tsh levels to get back to normal? I am scheduled for surgery in 3 weeks. Will it be OK by then?

  11. nicole

    I’m 22 years old and I was just put on 50mcg’s of levothyroxine a day and though I know I will have to wait for my dosage to be just right, I’m very concerned about getting my energy up and my weight down. I have only been taking this medication for 3 days now but I was wondering how long it would take for the weight to come off. My tsh level was 11.2 and I was also wondering the average dosage for this level. I went to my doctor today and I have gained a whopping 7 pounds since my last visit a month ago. This scares me something awful. How effective is this medication on delivering weightoss and an increase in energy? I have a 3 year old daughter and I’m a stay at home mother. I struggle with everyday activity which is sad considering I’m only 22. I’m 5’2″ and weigh 177 pounds that’s terrible I’m used to weighing 120.

  12. Myra

    I would like some advice. I am 41 years old. My TSH level is .0.50, other hormones are normal in after bloodtest (T4 was 1.2) my MD recommended the radioactive iodine treatment. A thyroidscan showed I have a small “hot” spot on my thyroid. I have no symptoms other than, feeling hot at night occassionally. My MD’s recommendation was radioactive iodine. I fear it because it is so “final”- destroying the thyroid so that I will have to take hormones the rest of my life. Would you say this is the best treatment for me? Should I be as fearful as I feel about it?

    • Myra

      sorry I meant my TSH level is .050 and T4 is 1.2- thyroid scan shows a small hot spot. I am just looking for a second opinion… is radioactive treatment the best solution? my symptoms are very minimal ie feeling hot on and off at night.
      Would so appreciate any feedback, thank you

  13. Vanessa Davies

    I was diagnosed with a underactive thyroid over 10 years ago. I am currently taking 175mg a day. I was due to have an operation 2 weeks ago that was cancelled because my thyroid level was at 29.6. They initally said my blood would take 1 to 3 months to get back to normal. Miraculously my blood levels are now at 3.3. Is this possible in just 10 days?? Did they get my inital results wrong? Advise would be greatly appreciated.

  14. Patricia

    Hii i just got my tsh level to 3.25 and i found out that i m pregnant is it safe level or i should worry ?
    6 month ago i was pregnant and the pregnancy stopped cause of my tsh level it was 9 at the begenning and it didnt regulate fast enough so i had a mc .

  15. Saira

    Hi. When i was 5 weeks pregnant my tsh came at 5.1 at which my doc put me on 50 mcg levothyroxine. At 8 weeks my tsh went down to 0.5 and i was having insomnia so my doc reduced my dose to 25 mcg and after a week stoped the medication. My insomnia and anxiety improved.He told me to get tested after 4 weeks. I want to know is it safe to completely stop medication during pregnancy and them start again at some point? Will it have any effects on the baby?
    Thankyou.

    • Die ever

      All should be well – I have had 3 kids while on thyroid medication and no problems – you just want to keep up on your blood work every 4 weeks to monitor your thyroid level so you don’t get to high or to low! Hope that helps!

  16. Saira

    I forgot to mention my t3 and t4 are fine and i never had any thyroid issues my whole life

  17. Cecy

    Hi I am 37 years old back in Oct 2011 i was diagnosided with Hypertyroidism my TSH was at 0.37.
    I start treatment with : tiamazol 20 mg a day, for Nov I was at 0.57
    My doctor says to continue treatment and that I should get to : 1.0
    Today I have my new medical exams and mu TSH is at 24.5 !!!!
    This means now i am Hipothyroid??? :(
    Hope you can answer my question.
    Regards

  18. Vanja

    Hello, Question: When i went to the Dr my TSH were 11,7. He put me on levothyroxine 1,5tbl a day.. Month and Half later my TSH fell down to 0,8 and m prolactin is back to normal. How long will it take me to get pregnant since my Hormones are back to ‘normal’ Thanks

    • thasni

      hi doc… i hav hypothyroidism…initial TSH level was 400, doc prescribed me for thyronorm 50mcg per day.. and it came down to normal range gradually…now almost 8 months got over…i checked my TSH level yesterday, and it came down to .09…plz advice me..should i continue medicine? plz reply doc…

  19. sue

    Hi, my tsh level is 0.01. T4 is normal and T3 become normal after treated with Propylthiouracil for one month. But actually i only took Propylthiouracil for about 2- 2 1/1 weeks (on and off) then i forgot to take the pill.
    My doc did not know that i have forgotten to take the pill and supplied propylthiouracil to be taken one month more. Do i need to continue consuming Propylthiouracil? Thanks.

  20. fotis

    hi, i am 30 years old man and just did tsh test.
    my tsh was 0.72…as i know normal levels are 0.50-4.78…
    should i worry that with this level i have, on the near future will have hyperthyroidism???

  21. Alice

    TSH 0.28 and T4, Free 1.4. Many symptons of hypothyroid. Doctor did not increase current rx of .75 levoxyl per day. Should I be concerned? Thanks.

  22. Afroza

    I m suffering from hypothyroidism for last 7 months. after taking Levothyroxine sodium from initial stage. before taking the medicine my TSH level was 89.89 but after taking tablets it lowered down at 0.30. i want to know how long i have to take this medicine. My age is 28yrs & yet i did not try for baby

  23. Vidya

    Hello,

    Question : My TSH levels are 5.65, but my T3 and T4 are normal. The only symptom i see is weight loss ,face fat and chubbyness. My doctor asked me to use Thyronorm 25mcg daily, inspite of this weight loss has become impossible, I’m able to maintai a constrant weight with a variation from 60 – 65 kg(which has bcome a standard). Please help me – I need to loose weight – i tried many things – worst case i loose 2-3 kgs thats it ..

  24. Poulami Dasgupta

    I’m 27yrs old lady having babby of 5months.I have Hypothyroid TSH – 74.28 uIU/ml, am taking Eltroxin-50 for about 11days, how long will it take to low my tsh level ? I’m getting heavy weight also which is very problematic for me.

  25. Koka

    Hi.I was diagnosticated with autoimmune thyroiditis 5 months ago, but with the gland working properly TSH 2.7. I was feeling ok, but this last month I had a big sufference in my life, so I just started to stay home, to sleep to forget, so I became more and more tired. I repeated my blood test now- TSH 6.4 and s free T4 11.8. I’ve lost 5 kg in the last 3 months but also my life has been healthier. Is it absolutely necessary to take hormons? From a couple of days ago, I’ve started fighting with myself to be more active and I’ve been feeling better.

  26. olivia

    hello!! dr.
    i want to ask sumthing…. within recent few days i got my blood test… n found that my tsh level is 29.. i m just 19 year old.. and i have been given thyroxine 50mcg.. my world has been turned upside down due to this and thinking of its future problems.. plzz give me some suggestions and plzz tell me upto when i can bring my tsh level back to normal.. i weight is 65.4kg and my height is 5.1 feet…plzzz helllpp!!!!!!

  27. sahar

    hello dear dr my tsh level is 13.5 and my free t4 is 1 .I have very itchy and dry skin.I cant bear cold weather at all.I have fatigue and very dry hair.my dr prescribed 50 mcg levothyroxin per day.NOW its 3 weeks that I thak medicin.when I should check my TSH again?

  28. John

    I have Grave’s Disease. In 2007, I was diagnosed with the condition. I had untraceable TSH at the time. I was put on Tapazole, over time, I went into remission. I was taken off the drugs. In 2009, I had spine surgery, I again became hyperthyroid (probably due to stress). I started taking Tapazole (could not take Propothioruacil [or whatever that other one was called]). This time I had liver problems, so the docs said I had to have Radio Active Iodine treatment. My mother and my sister both have Grave’s Disease and both had previously had the RAI treatment. They advised me to not get the treatment telling me their Endocrinologists would not listen to them. Well, despite their warnings, I had the treatment because I did not know what else to do. After the treatment, my TSH level rose to 120 before the doc would let me start taking any thyroid replacement hormone. I started taking 125 mcg, then was upped to 137 mcg within a period of 16 to 24 weeks. I was on this dose for some time. Maybe 6 months later I went back to the Endo and told him I was not feeling like I had any energy. He measured TSH and it was at 1.9. He let me start taking 1 extra 137 mcg pill per week (so on Tuesdays I took 2 pills instead of 1). I kept feeling more tired and more tired (at first I thought it was because I have a 10 month old here at home and I own a small business), but I finally went to my regular doctor and had her measure TSH, T3, and T4. She passed the result (TSH of 3.4) on to my Endo. So despite adding an extra pill, my TSH continued to rise. I am more than a year post RAI treatment. Two questions.

    1.) Why is my level still so inconsistent?
    2.) How long will it take me to feel the effect of the slight increase from 137 mcg to 150 mcg of TSH daily. I now take 150 mcg each day (started 4 days ago)

    Current medications I take:

    Levothyroxine (of course) 150 mcg/daily

    Neurontin – for chronic pain – 1600 mg /day

    Elavil – for chronic pain (10 mg/night)

    Methocarbamol – for spasms

    Nexium – 40 mg / 2x / day – Acid Reflux Disease (by the way, does anyone know if there is a correlation between acid reflux disease and Graves Disease? My mother also has pretty bad reflux condition)

    A multivitamin

    Meloxicam – for inflammation – it is an NSAID (one pill a day instead of many)

    Lortabs (when necessary)

    I am 33 years old and feel like I have NO ENERGY at all!

    What is your advice?

  29. wittie

    My TSH has been running at 0.3 to 0.9 on a dosage of 125 mcg/da. I’m having trouble understanding the correlation between TSH and thyroid supplementation. Guess it’s inverse. To increase TSH, reduce dosage of levothyroxine. Is there a significant difference between 125 mcg/da and, say, 62.5 mcg/da? I’m back gaining weight again and listless, the same symptoms I had when originally prescribed the supplement. Is a TSH of 1.7 “better” than 0.6? Thx.

  30. Sudhakar

    Hi, my fiance is 26years old and yesterday she has got her blood test results as follows
    T3-3.49 —-0.6 to 1.81
    T4-22.0 —-3.2 to 12.6 and
    TSH-001 —-0.35 to 5.50
    Based on the above can anyone pl. suggest in 1) Which stage is she now.
    2) What are are the precautions / treatments to be taken.
    3) What are the effects in future
    4) How long it will take for recovering from that or TSH level to get normal
    Earliest reply is much appreciated..
    Thanks..

  31. shilpa aingh

    hi.. her age is 25 and TSH is 22 while she is taking eltroxin 100mg per day what should i do

  32. chichu

    age is 24, weight 100kg, tsh 100+, taking 50mg thyroxine tablet from a week ago, my exams r ahead, plz tell when i get well soon? plz give some advice for weight loss

  33. sam

    Hi I’m 21 years old and have been trying to get pregnant for over a year now, I have Hypertyroidism and I dont know if this has anything to do with me not being able to get pregnant. I am currently taking medication called levothyroxine 25mcg. I just started and Im wondering how long it will take for me to be able to get pregnant, and what are some things I can do to speed up the process?

  34. Jay

    Hi, I am Jay 28yrs old, My T3 and T4 are normal but my TSH is at <0.01. I currently have some gastric issues, hairfall and blurred vision specially in evening. LEt me know the treatment and is it curable. If yes in how many months

  35. laxmi

    MY TSH LEVEL INDICATES 56.30UNITS. T3 67&T4 4.9
    HOW TO CONTROL MY TSH LEVELS

  36. sydneyjane

    While at the doctor getting treated for an infection, doc discovered my TSH was 6.4. She decided to retest and, about 2 weeks later, the test showed it had dropped to 4.7. Could having an infection cause TSH level to rise? (The med I took for my infection was metronidazole.) She said she didn’t think it was necessary to put me on medication for hypothyroidism, since I wasn’t showing any symptoms (except slightly lower body temp), but she’s going to test again in 6 weeks. Should I see an endocrinologist instead?

  37. Dana

    I had a vitamin D Deficiency that registered in at 17. Doctor gave me and RX for D2 50,000 a wk took it and I thought I was having an allergic reaction. Switch over to D3- 10,000 daily, now I think it is effecting my thyroid. Neck seems swollen. Never had thyroid problems. Reading up on how vitamin D effects thyroid levels…..Stopped taking D now, how long will it take swelling to go down and will TSH levels go back to normal fast? Getting side effects

  38. Robert Stone

    Hello, Question: I am 54, I’ve been feeling poorly for a while, but the now my hands and feet have swollen and the joints ache. I feel flush daily and seem to feel better after eating. I’ve crept up to 300 lbs.
    I have been on Levrothyroxine for several years. starting out at 50mcg through to 100 mcg. My TSH last week was 9.26 and T4 11.6, my doctor increased my dose to 112 mcg. I still feel like xxxxx. Are my swollen hands and feet and feeling flush symtoms of ?

  39. Usha

    Hi,I have a problem of Hypertyroidism. I am taking tyronorm 50 mcg per day. kindly let me how long does it takes to come down to normal as I would like to try for pregnency. how long I have to wait. My TSH level 10.00 .. please reply

  40. kokila

    hi my tsh is over 100,im taking levothyroxine75mcg..is this rigt dosage

  41. katy

    hi,

    I am 12 weeks pregnat, my t4 and t3 are normal, my tsh is 6.9 instead of max:4.2, what can I do, please help me, will it affect the intelligence and health of my baby??

  42. sally young

    Hello, Here is our situation: My daughter turned 15 in August. We have pictures of her with a nice long skinny neck you can see the cartilage in it. All of a sudden, just over a period of a few weeks she started feeling horrible, gained 15 pounds, in under 2 weeks and Friday, I thought I noticed her Thyroid was swollen, well by Sunday it looked like she swallowed a baseball.

    Backstory: She is following a Gluten Free diet, and I cook 90% (if not more) of her meals. We hardly have processed foods, fast foods, etc. I accidentally got the Non-iodized Salt, on about Sept 12th, 2012. The last two weeks (About 10/12)she has gone without her multivitamins which have 150 MCG of Iodine in them. I think you get where I am going with this. Right?

    So back to the present. Her TSH came back at 65 and her T4 was .20 (I think he said it was hard to hear him correctly on the phone) The thyroid antibodies and the urine to check the Iodine are not back yet. The doctors are refusing to consider Iodine Deficiency as a possible answer to this, because it is ‘rare in the USA.’ Even though I told them the same back story.

    Okay, now for my questions:
    If it is Iodine related, can we reverse it with supplemental Iodine? Or have we damaged the Thyroid too much?

    If we put her on Synthroid (50mcg), that the Dr. wants, will that make her Thyroid completely stop working and become dependent on the meds, if this is purely an Iodine Deficiency?

    Or if we put her on the meds, for a few days/weeks, will that ‘kickstart’ her thyroid and help it get started back up once we reintroduce the supplemental Iodine, then wean her back off the meds, but keep the Iodine?

    How long would it take to become Iodine deficient and then how long before it affects your thyroid with these type of Thyroid levels?

    Am I onto something or am I another crazy mother?

    Thanks so much for helping us figure this out. I do not want to HAVE to put her on meds if this is purely an Iodine Deficiency.

    Most sincerely,
    Sally