I’m worried that my thyroid medication isn’t doing its job

Last updated on September 29, 2020



I’m 15 male and I am around 165-167 cm (5’6″). I got a thyroid test when I was 12, and it showed that I have thyroid problems. I take one levothyroxine every day, but I don’t take any on Saturdays. I feel like my hands and feet are sweaty most of the time. Could that be the needed dosage has changed? I take a blood test every 3-4 months. More than a month ago I took the last test: my T4 was 9.6, T3 1.28, and my TSH was 3.52. The doctor said it’s normal, but I don’t feel I’m normal. Also, around a month or two before I took that test, my TSH was around 2.5. I also showed him that it was higher, but he still said it’s normal. Should I take another test? Are there any working symptoms that are visible and easy for me to see? I hate thyroid problems so much! The only fear that I have by not having a normal thyroid is slow or stunted growth.


Clearly you are managing to grow even though you have problems with your thyroid.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland. It tells the thyroid gland to make and release thyroid hormones into the blood. According to the National Institute for Health, normal values for TSH range from 0.4 – 4.0 mIU/L. Your levels were within the normal range.

T4 (thyroxine) is the main hormone produced by the thyroid gland. For Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, a typical normal range is 4.5 to 11.2 mcg/dL. If your doctor ran a test called Free T4, or Free Thyroxine, the normal range is approximately 0.7 to 2.0. Your value of 9.6 was probably measuring total T4 and it is in the normal range.

Triiodothyronine (T3) is a thyroid hormone produced in response to TSH. If your doctor ran a test called Total T3, the range for normal values is 100 – 200 ng/dL. If your doctor ran a test called Free T3, the normal range is approximately 2.3 to 4.2. Your value of 1.28 is outside the normal range unless it was the Total T3 and it was scaled to something other than nanograms. In other words, your 1.28 could mean 128 ng/dL.

What I would conclude that despite your feelings, your thyroid is still functioning properly with the medication you are taking.

Levothyroxine is used to treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • A puffy face
  • Cold intolerance
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Decreased sweating
  • Fertility problems
  • Depression
  • Slowed heart rate
[From Hypothyroidism]

You are actually are sweating more, so this actually indicates that your thyroid is function in its normal range.