Puff. Puff. Puff. If you are a cigarette smoker & hypothyroid, you might want to read this!

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 11.01.08 AM(Though this post was originally written in 2008, it has been updated to the present day and time! Enjoy!)

Who, as a smoker, hasn’t heard how deleterious tobacco smoking is for your health. Not only will you acquire health problems directly related to smoking, but your life is shortened by 10-15 years average according to statistics. My own father died at age 63 directly related to his smoking i.e he got emphysema, then lung cancer. (Update: Discovered from doing my own genetics that I have inherited a mutation which can cause me not to break down Nicotine well. This may explain why my Dad died so young from smoking!)

But in spite of strong reasons to quit, most smokers will tell you it’s NOT easy. Why? Because the nicotine in tobacco is the addictive bogeyman. Nicotine stimulates those pleasure centers in your brain, besides being a substance which “gets you going” by releasing both blood sugar and adrenaline. The American Heart Association states that “Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break.”

But for hypothyroid patients, tobacco smoking presents another whammy.

Namely, smoking may be stressing your adrenals over and over. And with adrenal problems being a common side effect of treating hypothyroidism with T4 meds like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Eltroxin, et al, as well as being dosed by the lousy TSH, you’ve got a third reason to fall into adrenal issues if you are a smoker.

Additionally, another factor in the difficulty of quitting is that cortisol decreases when you try to quit.

A 2006 research report found that the lowered cortisol after quitting is associated with smoking relapse and with reports of increased withdrawal severity and distress. So, when you already have adrenal stress, and you quit smoking–a double whammy against being successful.

Does being a smoker affect the TSH lab test?

Yes, in such a way that smoking will lower your TSH, which can hide the fact that you can be undiagnosed hypothyroid, or undertreated. See an interesting research study on smoking and your TSH here.

What’s the solution?

If you don’t have adrenal fatigue and want to quit, it may be wise to have a good adrenal support on hand, such as adrenal cortex or any quality OTC adrenal product at your health food store. If you DO have adrenal fatigue, staying away from cigs may require adding additional cortisol to your daily amount. Chapters 5 and 6 in the STTM book have good information to help you with cortisol support. Also be prepared that by quitting, your hypothyroid state may be revealed, or may get worse.

Are you a smoker with hypo? Don’t hesitate to respond to this post with your experience. We learn from each other!









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91 Responses to “Puff. Puff. Puff. If you are a cigarette smoker & hypothyroid, you might want to read this!”

  1. June Reid

    Hello Everyone,

    I realise most of the pots on here are from 2018 and before. I found this info after researching into whether quitting smoking was affecting my medication therapy for Hypothyroidism.

    I have taken NDT for the last 10 years or so. Firstly Armour and then ERFA, which I still take,

    I gave up smoking cold turkey 6 weeks ago, consequently now have problems with sleep and fatigue, sore throat etc. which I realise many folk do also.
    However, I now wonder whether I should increase my ERFA or just hang in there and see if my problems resolve themselves?

  2. Nicole

    (sorry for my English in advance … I am from Switzerland)
    I am pretty confused about the smoking and thyroid topic.
    5 years ago I had a very bad time. I was a non smoker then for 8 years. For almost a year I was suffering from panic, sleeping disorder and always felt like I’ve had 10 Espresso at once. A year later I smoked (more or less because I was so frustrated not leaving the house anymore). Since then I feel better.
    I would like to quit smoking. But what happens, even after half a day of non smoking: First I feel much better, fit, energetic … a few hours later I end up panicking. It’s a nightmare.

    I do not really get what’s happening in my body. Does smoking decrease T3? If yes, why I feel so much more energetic then? Or does it somethin else hormonewise?
    Also the role of cortisol is not logic to me. In the article they say if quit smoking decreases cortisol and this would lead to adrenal problems. But, as far as I know, cortisol plays a huge role in the conversion of T4 into T3. I am a person with a low conversion rate. So for me it there should be a very good effect when quit smoking. But there isn’t. As mentioned before I get panic, I am overagitated and nervous all day.

    So, why is this happening? What happens with my T3 or T4 when quitting? And what happens with my cortisol levels?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      What we understand is this: the nicotine was stimulating you while smoking via getting your neurotransmitters revved up. And because you develop a tolerance to that stimulation over time, people end up smoking more to rev it all back up. But, it’s harmful. It starts to backfire and can tank your adrenal function. So when you cease to stop, what was going on underneath is now fully revealed i.e. you’ve got an adrenal problem…usually low cortisol plus excess adrenaline!! So instead of returning to smoking, it’s about doing a 24 hour adrenal saliva test, finding out exactly how it has effected your cortisol production and treat! The following page shows places where it can be ordered, including in Europe: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork You might also have to supplement with amino acids to build your neurotransmitters back up. You’re welcome. 🙂 🙂


      B Vitamin — From Nutritional Yeast

      • Abby

        Nice to see some new posts. I have the same thing happening every time I quit but I am already on Cortef, Florinef, and thyroid. My research shows that inhaled tobacco effects MAO A AND B. Nicotine is also a acetylcholine agonist. Seems to me quitting throws the neurotransmitters out of whack and causes and over production of adrenaline and directly effects dopamine as well. As far as cortisol, yes, the research shows that inhaled nicotine increases cortisol in a way that nicotine therapies do not and there is marked reduction at 1 day, 2 weeks and 6 weeks but the study only went that far. So cortisol and thyroid are big players but I feel the MAO and acetylcholine connection has been overlooked. I’m not educated enough in methylation and neurotransmitters to solve this but maybe someone else has a clue?

    • Kathy L

      You have same problem as me. I was already diagnosed with hypothyroidism and every time I would try to quit I would go HYPER-thyroid which speeds up your metabolism and makes you a nervous wreck. Even when I just cut back on the number of cigs, I would get hyper. This was all proven via TSH test. My medication would be reduced and I would feel fine unless the amount I smoked changed. I finally quit 2 years ago but still have problems. I still can’t say I am glad I quit after what I have been through. Best of luck.

  3. Lisa

    Ive been studying about this for years on my own. And interestingly it seems that iodine and potassium iodide is in tobacco which actually HELPS thyroid (regardless of the other chemicals). Iodine is CRUCIAL to so many health needs, it goes way beyond just metabolism. Iodine is not in the foods anymore because the gov took OUT iodine in most foods and replaced it with BROMINE which works like flouride and chlorine which they all BLOCK iodine absorption (which flouride and chlorine is in our waters and lots of medications). Not saying smoking is healthy but the CDC even says only 10% of smokers actually die from smoking related diseases. Organic pure tobacco is not the problem. It never was. American shamans smoked it for centries without any issues. Its COMMERCIAL ciggs that do damage. MOST COMMERICAL CIGS ARE MADE WITH SHEET TOBACCO AND FILLERS-NOT MADE WITH PURE “LEAF” TOBACCO!! And this is not a promotion to smoke. I do felt like death since i quit and im feeling better now that i have used organic tobacco. But people need their iodine levels checked. B12 and selenium is important but IODINE rulls most important and the gov took it out of foods on purpose to keep us sick!! Perhaps tobacco is a good source of it cause most iodized salt does not work because once the canister opens the iodine evaporates or oxodizes! Plus cheap salt has fillers and anti caking agents that are bad for you anyway!! No wonder we all gain weight once we quit because EVERYONE is iodine deficient prettty much (even non smokers). Ciggs contain iodine!!!

    • Lisa

      Btw I know this thread is a little old but glad I stumbled on it. Everyone needs to watch videos from doctor Brownstein on YouTube!!! Huge eye opening about odine!! My guess and semi conclusion is only good iodine sources are from kelp, pink Himalayan salt, and organic cranberries and yes..even in organic tobacco. But again NOT promoting smoking but that explains hypothyroidism when quitting smoking in most people!

      • Gerald

        Lisa, why should someone smoke for iodine? You can get iodine in the drugstore 50-250mcg or even lugols solution. Smoking, even organic tobacco, is full of heavy metals which destroy health (lead, bromide, etc)

        • Sandy

          That’s not what she said. She’s hypothesizing that quitting smoking tobacco may be reducing peoples iodine intake, and thus making people more hypo when they quit. It’s an interesting theory. I’m going to look into it. Thanks, Lisa.

          • Lisa

            very sorry I am replying a lot later lol. its not just iodine, but nicotine also is known to lower insulin which explains why many ex smokers gain weight not to mention also tobacco is a natural inflammatory which is why it lowers the Tsh in our thyroids (which explains hypo thyroid alot of times once people quit). ask yourself this question; why are commercial pre made ciggarettes taxed, but non chemical laced tobacco/pipe tobacco is not? my guess is, commercial cigs contain drugs and added chemcials/additives making it more of a “drug product” which is why its more of a controlled substance. again not saying smoking is 100% healthy, but look up the article called “Tobacco, a forgotten Healing Plant” natural tobacco was used to treat RESPIRATORY problems. yes. interesting as it seems we may be being lied to.

  4. tosha

    What a horribly discouraging article. Aren’t we supposed to encourage people to quit smoking? I’m shocked that this has been put on this website

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Tosha, nothing in the article is encouraging people to continue smoking. lol. It’s about problems and how to counter them, such as the hit the adrenals take.

  5. susan

    I started smoking at 13, just quit for good 4 months ago. I have had a hypothyroid for 25 years. At first it was great, no coughing, I am doing this. Then at the 5 weeks point it went haywire. I now do not sleep thru the night, even with sleep aids. I have slept thru the night my whole life. The worse is I now have anxiety, panic and depression and can not shake it. I am on wellbutrin, 300mg. I can not handle this. Never had a problem before I quit, I was the happy one, the one who always saw the 1/2 full glass. Now I am scared, have anxiety all the time. my lips tingle and my head feels like there is cotton in it. My mind is always worried about everything, especially about getting old and being alone. I have alot of stupid bad thoughts, worry worry worry, I want this to stop but do not want to take up smoking again.
    Just maybe my Levothyroxine dosage is too high now, doctor just raised my medication level before I quit smoking. I am just reaching out to anyone who experienced the same things.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Susan. Really sorry to read of the challenges you are going through! It’s not easy. First, understand that being on Levothyroxine is the worst way to treat your hypothyroid state. and that isn’t helping you at all. Starting by reading why here: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work Because it’s important that YOU become informed.

      Second, because of being on a poor treatment for so long, on top of the adjustment of not smoking anymore, it sounds like your adrenals are now reacting with excess adrenaline, thus the extreme anxiety. That is the main reason we start having sleeping issues. So start with this page to see if you now have an adrenal problem: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info There are self-tests you can do that will give a clue…and then ordering a 24 hour adrenal saliva test…

      Hopefully others will respond here, too….

  6. Steve

    I was a smoker for over 10 years. Back in 2012 I made myself a vow and quit smoking. By nature I am a very peaceful man, but for a month or two I had to be locked up in my own bedroom – I was a threat to my family and felt (what I would think) schizophrenic and insane. That was the mental part… the physical part was that instead of weight gain I started LOSING weight from severe depression and had no appetite. I couldn’t take a poo and my heart rate went from steady 70 to average of 55. It was one of the most horrible part of my life, sometimes I was awake for 2 days begging the Lord to please help me fall asleep. I was very sickly before I first quit: sleep apnea despite average weight, fatigue, pain in legs, pain in lower back, pain all over my body, no erections, no stamina… to relieve the depression I started doing some pushups daily and eventually more exercise that you could do at home. After two months of horror I got my life back for whatever reason: I jumped out of bed in the morning like a 12 years old would, no more sleep apnea, no more lower back pain, no more anxiety, no more hypoglycemia – basically the most symptoms I was suffering for years have disappeared just like that. I was in the best shape of my life until I reached the 6 month mark where a very stressful event happened, and I started smoking again…… that’s when I went downhill. Fast forward to 2015, I was diagnosed with T1D. Been trying to quit for a year but I can’t get through day one due to the fear of falling asleep and waking up to insane blood sugar levels that need immediate medical attention (when nobody is there for me). I know the unpleasant feelings of hypothyroid symptoms after quitting and I’m not scared of them, however I’m frightened of not knowing what to expect for my blood sugar after I quit? Will my levels temporarily go up or down and then stabilize? Will quitting affect my blood sugar so severly that I will end up in the hospital? I honestly don’t know and I’m scared. And please take my word for this: in my opinion, if you quit smoking once, then it will be much HARDER to quit the second time. If you do manage to quit, then stick to it no matter what! I made the foolish mistake of going back and stopping my exercise routine that I will regret for as long as I live.

  7. Melissa

    Hello, I am 44 years old and had smoked since the age of about 16. I have quit smoking a couple different times throughout my life but only for real short periods and before I new it I was smoking again. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 2010, although had been tested for it a few different times from 2007 and on but was always in the “normal range” on the high side (that was before i started asking questions about lab numbers) Anyways, i had been feeling pretty good, or what i thought was the best I would be able to feel with Hypothyroidism for a good 6 months or more. Then I quit smoking January 6th 2016. That is when the – – – – hit the fan on how I feel. I am still not smoking though, woo hoo! But after quitting I started to feel the horrible tiredness, burning eyes, retaining water, absolutely no energy, my hair thinning and breaking worse and I gained 9 pounds. After a few weeks of going down hill I finally decided to email my doctor and get my Thyroid levels tested and sure enough my TSH had jumped a few points to just under 6.00, although my T4 was in normal range (always has been) The doctor raised my dose of Synthroid to 150mcg and after 8 weeks I went in for labs again and my TSH is now at .73. When I heard that, I cried, not out of joy, but frustration! I STILL DON”T FEEL GOOD 🙁 All the time during the last 8 weeks I thought for sure the medicine was not working right. Now with my TSH being below 1, which is supposed to be optimal, I thought I should feel wonderful. I have been watching and tracking about 1500 – 1600 calories a day and doing cardio/strength training 5 – 6 days a week, I cannot lose a pound, or if I do I gain it right back, I am so frustrated. I have been doing a TON of searching online about Hypothyroidism and I thank God that I have found this website. I feel maybe I still have a little hope to feel better. I have an appointment with my doctor in 2 weeks and am going to insist that I try NDT either Armour or Nature Throid. In doing all of this research and searching, I discovered a study was done on the effects of quitting smoking and Hypothyroidism. It basically established that there can be a link between quitting smoking and bringing on unknown Hypothyroidism or making the condition worse. I believe I can keep on with not smoking, it is ALL mind over matter at this point, I’ve got the nicotine out of my system. Anyone who thinks that they can’t stop smoking because of Hypothyroidism, you can! Just be on the lookout for negative symptoms again.

  8. Rita

    @Fareleyagain: in this article they compare the effects nicotine has on the memory of rats with and and without thyroid. It seems that cotinine compensates for some of the consequences of not having a thyroid… at least it seems to work for rats 🙂


  9. Rita

    Fareleyagain in this article they compare the effects nicotine has on the memory of rats with and and without thyroid. It seems that cotinine compensates for some of the consequences of not having a thyroid… at least in rats 🙂


  10. Ed Arnold

    I don’t smoke tobacco, so I haven’t tried this myself. I live in a marijuana-legal state, and there have been some studies that cannabinoids can help people stop smoking tobacco. For instance, this article claims a CBD inhaler (CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid) will help you stop smoking tobacco.


  11. Farleyagain

    I am hypothyroid – treated successfully for 10 years with a compound T4/T3, slightly increased dosages over time. Suddenly, last Fall (2014), I got sick eating gluten and had to eliminate it. I immediately lost 10 lbs in two weeks and continued losing weight over the next several months. My labs said I was hyperthyroid. And I still am. Every reduction in my dosages causes a brief lull, a two day period of feeling great, followed by the rest of the 6 weeks waiting period on that dose with almost no TSH (0.01) and elevated free T4 and free T3. I’ve started supplementing with occasional Selenium, Zinc, and Copper, already took Magnesium, B-5 (1000 mg of that), 5000 IU D3, and have now doubled the Mg to 500 mg/day (for the cramping, charlie horses, and joint pain), added a multi-B with 100% of all B’s 2/day, and that seems to help as I decrease my thyroid dosages. I also take 7-Keto DHEA occasionally for bp and consciousness problems. Whew. I have craved salt since I can remember, and have generally had a low bp and low heartrate except when I first became hyperthyroid. No one will test the things that will confirm or debunk exhausted adrenal glands other than the saliva test, which was negative 10 years ago, but at this point (30 lbs underweight) eating is exhausting and I need a nap after any meal, and I still lose weight. I’ve even paid out of pocket for lab tests to see where I stand while changing my meds. But I’m getting too tired to do that anymore. Adding things to my list is not on my list anymore. Taking a shower is about all I can handle. I started smoking shortly before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and now smoke almost constantly – it helps! But I’m pooped, stressed out, and ready for a change.

  12. Diana

    Ok I read almost all the comments here..I cannot continue….too depressing! I see no hope in quitting my bad cig habit. grr. But I surmise it is best to have my adrenals stable n optimal prior to quitting. I am one o and vit D and. Ontemplating another pill to stop my cig habit. Ihope im right n have success. Do not want hypo symptoms again. Btw I dont have a thyroid, do any of you, or does that not matter when quitting?
    I tried hypnosis, e cigs, patch and acupuncture to quit and im still smoking grr! I hope I dont go hupo gain when i stop cigs July 1st.

  13. lilli

    I am able to quit using Swedish Snus, a smokeless tobacco product. It is crushed tobacco in a tiny teabag like pouch that you put under your lip, and is absorbed harmlessly direct to the bloodstream.

    I found a couple of studies with other reasons that smoking, or taking a smokeless tobacco product, helps with hashimoto’s.

    Smoking and autoimmune thyroid disease: the plot thickens
    – Smoking appears to help with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, but not Grave’s hyperthyroidism.

    Anatabine ameliorates experimental autoimmune thyroiditis.
    – Anatabine is an alkaloid found in tobacco & other deadly nightshades – not found in nicotine replacement therapy.

    Snus can be quite difficult to get but it is legal. It is available in shops in the US. I’m in Australia and have to order online. I have to quit smoking tobacco because of exhaustion & palpitations. I feel so much better on snus.

    Cheers, lilli

  14. Darren

    Hi guys, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism not long after quitting smoking a few years ago. Ok, I’m quite sure that my hypothyroidism wasn’t caused by quitting smoking iteslf- but, nothing and I mean nothing has seemed to help- except starting smoking again. I had smoked nothing but electronic cigarettes for the last two years and was/ am on levothyroxine. I felt like crap all the time- I got fat, I’m sure I had adrenal issues, problems with my eyes in that they were always sore, red and watering which was embarrassing. I tried every diet you can imagine, went gluten free etc etc. I had my dose of levothyroxine increased and still no improvement. Anyway, I recently in the last few weeks started smoking real cigarettes- well roll ups. again, kind of just thought I’d treat myself with those a couple of times- my thinking was that I feel so crap anyway why not treat myself to a real cigarette etc. Well the funny thing I noticed is that after a couple of days on the real cigarettes I noticed my eyes didnt feel so bad. My anxiety felt a bit better as well- I’m pretty sure that some of my anxiety stemmed from being embarrassed about having red/ watery eyes all the time. Well anyway, after so long of feeling crap I know things dont happen over night but straight up I feel better at the moment than I have since being diagnosed hypo?- seems to me that smoking might be the thing that helped here. Yeah I know that smoking isn’t a good idea- but if it is going back to smoking that has made me feel better then what the hell!- I’d rather risk living a few years less and have half a life than live a few years longer but feel crap all the time and be fat with watering eyes and no energy to do anything. I’ve literally lost more weight in the last few weeks without even trying!. No brainer for me- if this is due to smoking than I’ll take the smoking and its risks- and maybe start having a life again.

    • Michelle

      This is interesting Darren, thank you for sharing it. Although, I do hope the future can somehow become cig free.

  15. Matt

    Wow, this whole smoking-cessation-with-untreatable-hypothyroid/adrenal-blowback thing is a huge elephant in the room, judging by all the comments on this page. And I’ve yet to see one success story on this page. Really sad and frustrating.

  16. Jim

    I smoked all my life and thought electronic cigarettes were the miracle cure to finally quit and I did stop for 2 years. A doctor really opened my eyes to the situation when I mentioned how extremely hard it was to quit and he looked at me with a confused expression and replied “I’m sure it is hard to stop but I can assure you recovering from a heart attack or having to carry a oxygen tank with you 24-7 is a lot harder. He never tried to lecture me on the dangers of smoking because he knew I had to want to want to quit. That is when I tried the e-cig and it lowered the craving for a cigarette enough to stop. To my dismay I happened to see a web site on e-cigs and learned with regular cigarettes that nicotine stays in your system for 2-3 hours and with e-cigs 2-3 DAYS because of the way your body absorbs nicotine from the vapor. You do not have to inhale e-cigs into your lungs because your mucous membranes can absorb the nicotine. Some people inhale anyway some don’t. It seems obvious to me e-cigs strain your adrenal system even worse than tobacco does and I have classic symptoms of. adrenal fatigue like getting a”second wind” after being awake 24 hours and easily going another 24 hours with no sleep ( “wired but tired”). I was also recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism with a tsh of 6.2. I was prescribed 50 mcgms. of generic synthroid and it was supposed to take 4-6 weeks to notice a difference. They got the time part right because 5 weeks after I started the meds I bolted awake one night and spent the next 5 days with no sleep and being tortured by the most extreme anxiety and depression you could imagine. I did not “tough it out” I was just fortunate to have survived it. The levothyroxine was the very first prescription I did not thoroughly research and it almost cost me my life.Now, AGAIN I have to do this doctors job for him because adrenal fatigue “does not exist” LOL When he casually mentioned to just “lower the dosage , your system just needs to adjust to the medication” I replied ” You always hear oh never try to self diagnose yourself or self medicate bla bla bla. It seems pretty obvious to me that it would take a complete idiot to follow that advice”.I handed him back the new prescription for the “lower dosage” and said “You have all these diplomas and college degrees plastered on the wall I shouldn’t have to tell you what you can do with this”. It is infuriating to know most doctors will blindly take the word of a pharmaceutical salesman whose only concern whatsoever is to make the sale.I’m sure greed plays a role also with all the freebies and bribes that come with it e.g. “But doc I heard this medication has killed people ! “. He gives you a blank stare like “what does that have to do with my free vacation to Hawaii for every 20 prescriptions I write ” ? I admit I was ignorant to how the system works but I have since learned the ugly reality of it. I had to learn the hard way but survived and know it could be worse. Some people are so sick they would give anything to be in my shoes and my heart goes out these people. As for my problems the name of your website says it best. STOP THE THYROID MADNESS. Unfortunately to accomplish that will take replacing one paper $$$ trail with another. Blind greed is the biggest problem along with a couldn’t care less attitude. Sorry doc but I DO care and just because you are used to patients that bleat like well trained sheep that is your problem.

  17. Millie

    I dont have adrenal fatigue, but I have had hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s disease) since the birth of my son 11 years go. I didn’t smoke when I found out I was pregnant with him and stayed a non-smoker for 3 1/2 years. Stress led me back to smoking, unfortunately. I quit again about 4-5 years ago. Within 6 weeks of quitting, I gained 30 pounds and started having all kinds of weird physical effects. I got bloodwork done and my thyroid spiked up 13 points. (It was 8 weeks after my last physical and labwork). A year later I started smoking again…UGH I just quit almost 4 weeks ago… I started feeling really tired and not like myself, so I went and got bloodwork done….and it is off by 3.25 points already! The first time when it spiked 13 points, I quit cold turkey. I was told it could have been a shock to my body and that’s why my thyroid went up. So, this time, I used the patch, so I could ween the nicotine down and not shock my body. Well, apparently that theory was wrong. It’s very frustrating when you’re trying to do something good for yourself and it turns out to make you feel even worse.

  18. Cheryl

    I quit 8 years ago (took 5 tries over 10 years) and crashed hard, gained weight and went into complete exhaustion. Adrenal fatigue, hypo, and hashi now. Starting to finally feel a bit better, but am popping supplements up the gazoo, no dairy, gluten, doing AIP and yoga. Can’t figure out if it was more expensive smoking or now getting grass fed meats, organic foods, and a ton of supplements. Still feel like a train wreck! Endo’s are of no help, most doctors are not educated in the whole body area, and insurance doesn’t cover functional doctors.

  19. Linda

    This is very interesting reading. I have smoked for nearly 50 years and quit 20 years ago (pre diagnosis), and went down with severe depression and had to stop work. After three years of complete misery I was advised by two health officials separately that perhaps I should take up smoking again.
    I recently had a PET scan which showed a nodule on my right lung. The pulmonologist does not believe it is cancer, but wants to check it out further. Of course I got the give up smoking talk, but when I explained just how hard it is for me he asked if I would be able to cut back to 5 a day with the help of e-cigs. This is achievable for me – not quite there yet but working at it. So I would say if you are a light smoker then don’t worry about it, or do what I am doing. Hypo/hashis are chronic diseases and we don’t need additional stress (yes, of course there is so much additional stress on the adrenals). Sometimes you just have to go with what is workable for you – it’s hard enough as it is.

    • Barts

      I was diagnosed with Hashis when I was 14, and been on meds ever since. Smoked since I was 20. I quit smoking with Champix in November 2013, by January 2014 was miserable with hypo symptoms and started smoking again, went to the Dr, TSH 11.5, upped my synthroid from 75 mcg to 100 mcg. September TSH was 1.75, quit smoking again in December 2014 with Champix, Dr. thought I was crazy to connect quitting and thyroid, but I got him to write two blood test requests as I told him it would make my quit easier if I could prove to myself that it wasn’t my thyroid contributing to my misery, just quitting. Tested at the end of December, TSH up to 2.75, now at the end of the second month of quit, weight up 7 lbs, even though swimming 5x a week for 45 min, eating very lightly, chewing Nicorette gum occasionally. Will probably get blood work done again in the next few weeks and monitor morning temp, as I know last time when TSH was low my temp was running around 97°. For me there seems to be a very definite connection between thyroid and smoking. This time, rather than giving up my quit, I’m going to try to get medicated properly, and worst case chew gum. Don’t want to go back to smoking to control thyroid symptoms

  20. Beth

    I am so glad to read that I’m not the only one with issues after you quit smoking and are hypo. I’m to the point of where either I smoke and die of cancer or all the other million health issues that come with smoking or die from fat related issues. I quit AGAIN because my Mother was a smoker and was diagnosed 3 yrs. ago with lung cancer due to smoking. I really didn’t want to go through what she has had to in order to battle the disease. Like chemo and all that comes with filling your body with poison….but having gained 30 lbs so far after quitting and NOT eating anymore than I did before is insane. I feel like I’m carrying an elephant around with me and I look like one also! This happens every time I have quit and I have quit at least 5 times in my lifetime. I’m 56 and started smoking when I was 16/17 but quit for 13 yrs. when my kids were little and off and on the rest of the time. Of course I wasn’t hypo until 35 and I really see now that being hypo and quitting is what is causing the big weight gain every time I have quit since 35. I’ve tried the walking everyday and reducing food intake to 1000 to 1200 calories a day with no success. Only smoking again brings the weight back down. I’m at a crossroad of choices here and it just doesn’t seem fair that there isn’t more being done to research this and coming up with a solution in this day and age of technology and advancement in medicine. I’m without health insurance so all the testing is too costly and I’ve gone that road before with no answers except to start smoking again to get the weight off. It’s so frustrating because all that effort to quit smoking is not rewarded with the pot of gold but with a pot belly! Any feedback is most welcome but really I’m just venting as we all are in this boat!

  21. Michele

    I stopped smoking on July 2nd 2013. My TSH went thru the roof within one year. I had to do a double take at the reading. My level was at 126.00 and yes you read that correct. I have gained 30lbs since I stopped smoking. I have fibormyalgia type systems. I have a heart that now likes to beat in its own time and rhythm. These are only a couple of the issues.Yep this is so awesome, I cannot stand it. Rolling my eyes to the back of my skull. I am into my 10 week of levothyodine at .75 mcg. I am so done with all of it. I am waiting to feel normal again and I hope that happens soon. I will say that even though all this stuff has happened, picking up is not an option I feel. I also just turned 49, it has to get better right.

    • Kathleen

      Yup, that’s exactly what happened to me. I quit in October of 2013 and within a year my TSH was abnormally high. My energy has slowly declined and I’m dealing with increased hypo symptoms. I was on hypo medication prior to quitting, but I am now on an increased dosage while I am going through the quitting symptoms. Here’s the deal – I am close to your age (53) and I knew that these symptoms were going to occur having quit previously several years ago (it was stupid to start again – trust me on this one). Because I did start again, my hypo symptoms were ‘masked’ by the smoking. I really, really regret that I started smoking again (and did for another 10 years) as I feel that I would not be suffering as much now with this second ‘forever’ quit. The symptoms are difficult because I am now older and all the other little things that come with age (menopause, etc.) are probably not adding anything good to my symptoms. However, by dealing with it now – it will probably take a good couple of years to work through the quitting symptoms – will mean that I will be healthier and better in long term as I get older. The sooner you deal with the quitting, the better. That is why people say to quit before it too late – i.e. your health deteriorates so much that it is impossible to quit. So, hang in there, get educated about hypo symptoms, get a good doctor, eat healthy and just try to stay quit because no matter when you quit, as you get older, you will have to deal with the blow back of quitting. Good luck!!

    • Michelle

      Me too Michele. You might google your medication. I found many people feel very strongly about their synthetic treatment.

  22. nancy

    I quit smoking April 1999. I weighed about 155lbs. by December I was over 200lbs. I kept going back to doctor with hypo complaints, she said tsh was good and that I just needed to eat less and move more. I told her that I was eating less and moving more. She would say you quit smoking food so tastes better and you eat more. I to felt better when I smoked. Will never start again. But now I deal with weighing 265lbs. I walk for a living and my knees are now shot, I need 2 total knee replacements. I tried compounded t3 last summer, it did not agree with me. I was sick for two weeks before I realized it was the t3. It took another 3 weeks to get back enough strength to even think of going back to work. So here I am still looking for answers of how to lose the weight. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I was finally diagnosed hypo 2 years ago. Was put on levothyroxin which I am still on.Thanks!!!

    • Cate

      Nancy, levothyroxin made me gain 5 lbs. overnight. I was having problems with the fillers in Armour and thought I would try levothyroxin with T3, it was a huge mistake. I stay away from Synthroid and any pharmaceutical medication that is T4 only now. There are other NDT meds that you can purchase online without a prescription. There are sites online located in Canada.
      Hope this helps.

    • Michelle

      Hi Nancy, I hope that you are able to look at previous posts. I replied to Rita just today. I am not willing to believe it is a nicotine issue in particular because i am experiencing the same thing you are while using a form of nicotine. I hope someone comes along and comments. I am very interested in the issue.

      I actually think the Levo made me gain the weight.

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Michelle, for all too many, having one’s hypothyroidism treated with only one of five thyroid hormones leaves one hypothyroid, and thus, weight gain. See this: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work

      • Rita


        yes, apparently it is not only the nicotine that is messing with the hormonal system. Thank you very much for your valuable report. I was thinking about changing to vaporizing as well, or to gums or something else. There are studies that show that nicotine alone does not influence the system too much. There must be other components as well.

        The brain fog can be a problem due to low cortisol, you can try to support your adrenal glands with Vitamin C 1-2 g a day. Start with 500mg and then increase to 2 g . You need more Vitamin C than non-smokers anyway. If you start immediately with 2 gramm it can cause digestive problems.

        I wished I had read your comment earlier, but I am not checking this site every day too often. I created an email adress hypothyroidandsmoking (a-t-) g***.com such that you and others can contact me. Replace (a-t-) with the common a and g***.com is googles service.

        I hope you stayed quit and that you already improved. I understand what you are going through. It is tough.

        All the best,

  23. Amanda

    I quit smoking 24 days ago and I feel great. I have more energy, I can breathe better, I am not taking naps all the time, and I don’t feel anxious anymore. I have had hypothyroidism for 6 years now and this is the best I have ever felt. Yes I have gain 5lbs and I knew I would but feeling better is worth the 5lbs. I can get that off later. I recommend quitting smoking with hypo. I thought it would make my symptoms worse but for me I have improved. I get lab work done tomorrow so we will see what has happened so far.

  24. Emma

    Hi I was diagnosed with hypothyroid three years ago, until doing research now due to realising smoking has much more far reaching effects to the body, i was diagnosed after i first quit smoking, for two months i slept up to 23 hours a day, i gained 6kg , my hair feel out, my memory was terrible, my dr kept telling me it was depression, i finally googled my symptoms and landed on hypothyroid, i got the blood tests and was put on levothyroxine after six weeks i was finally well again. last year i tried to quit smoking again and had the same syptoms but was depressed so started smoking after just 11 days. 18 days ago I quit again, and it’s rapidly become de javu, i rung my dr’s office this morning they told me i was crazy and to start smoking again. Does anyone have or know of an established source my dr will believe? I’m 33 years old I live in New Zealand and the drs are terrible, also during this time quitting i found out the chemicals in smokes interact with some psychiatric meds, no one had ever told me that, i had asked psychiatrists if there was a reason for feeling like this, but without the internet i’d know none of what i do, i don’t want to start smoking i want to convince my dr i’m not crazy! that these are thyroid symptoms! Also will a raise in meds help? please if anyone can help i’ll be so very much appreciative! Emma.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Yes, it can sure be difficult!! A better alternative is to have T3 in your treatment and to support your adrenals with adrenal cortex supplements for awhile.

      • Barb

        How much do you know to take …the adrenal cortex supplements each day? The exhaustion is terrible from quitting smoking and being hypothyroid even though upping the dose.

        • Ak Sandy

          I am looking for a reply to this question as well. Has anybody used Cortrex? How much? When? TIA

  25. So confused

    Hi, could someone tell me the best cortisol to be put on? I know I have adrenal fatigue. I had a simple operation go horribly wrong 2 years ago. I need another to put mesh in from hernia 3 months later. I’ve been debilitated and in severe pain ever since. I can’t walk, sit, or do any form of exercise due to all the nerve damage. I want to quit smoking and have date set for Aug 1st. This is first time I’ve read this. I’m hypo and my free t3 is always low. Free T4 is low too. I take 25 mg cytomel and . 75 synthroid. I can’t change Drs for no one wants to take me on with all my problems. I can’t drive. What can I say to my Dr next week? He won’t give me hydrocortisone because of the over 30 steroid injections I had in last 15 months. Thank you

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      We have learned the hard way that it’s never wise to say you have adrenal fatique without first doing a 24 hour adrenal saliva test to see exactly what is going on. Treatment is based on those results.

  26. Claudia

    I am curious to know if second hand smoke has the same affect? My dad is a chain smoker and I was exposed to his smoking all my childhood and teenager years. I have know, at age 34, had a thyroidectomy due to papillary carcinoma cancer.

  27. Matt

    Going on 3+ weeks quit now and am doing a lot better, but keep this in mind, Hashi’s smokers:

    Start rebuilding or at least supporting your adrenals if you quit smoking, cuz the smoking’s been doing a lot of the heavy lifting for your endocrine system; there’s a lot of info on this online. I would suggest paying special attention to your coffee intake as well.

    You’re probably in for a rougher ride than a comparable non-Hashi’s smoker. Possibly a lot rougher, as in my case (compared to previous quits). Prepare for this mentally and set aside a couple weeks of non-productivity, if possible.

    Good luck!

    • N"ers

      Matt – please tell me that you found a solution? Or anyone please say the same. I have read through hours upon hours of this stuff and all I see is people saying, “stay strong” or “it gets easier” etc.
      Prior to quitting my doctor said my T4-T3 conversion rate was ever so slightly off. That was leading to slight shedding and some sleeping during the day that was uncalled for. Since then, I quite over 2 months ago and did have minor constipation at first without much else to complain about. I used Allen Carr (highly recommend!) and t was easy, just as he said it to be. However since quitting, about 6 weeks into everything I have changed to constant constipation, skin is dry and flaking everywhere, my hair is falling out (not shedding…falling out), I have heart palpitations, and have gone from sleeping 6 – 7 hours a night to nearly 15. Everyone says, hang on and I keep thinking “to what?” My thyroid which was not great anyway has obviously gave up on me after I gave up smoking. Oh that doesnt even count weight gain …. and I am celiac and eat a full gluten free & paleo diet and have done so for the past 4 years. I also work out 6 times a week. I am not over eating and eat very rare processed things at all and exercise is not the issue. I just need someone…anyone to tell me that through medications it did get better. I have an appointment with my doc coming up and am hoping that she can give some medications or something that wil offsett this. Otherwise, I know I will smoke again. I like being a non smoker. I like not hiding out from everyone or spraying perfume on 17 times a day and lots of other things. However, when am I gonna get on with life? All those things I was supposed to have time for without smoking, well I sleep those hours away or cry them away.

      • Matt


        I don’t really know that I have a solution, but I’ve noticed a pattern…and please realize that because of the unique relationship between smoking increasing T4-T3 conversion and reducing thyroid antibodies, that I’m only speaking for autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashi’s), NOT hypothyroidism from other causes.

        What I’ve found over the past few years is that if you quit, the symptoms creep back in until they become friggin’ unbearable and debilitating…medication, exercise, supplements, and diet be damned. On the other hand, if you smoke, due to the psychologically and physically addictive properties of cigs re your neurotransmitters and also the effects on your adrenals, your daily usage tends to creep back up until you start to feel bad from the smoking itself and your body starts to reject the idea of smoking and you get ready to quit. Not surprisingly, I’ve been on a cycle the past year or two where I bounce back and forth between smoking “too much” and “too little.”

        In response, one might say, “just find the sweet spot,” but trust me, much easier said than done.

        One might also say, “just quit and up your thyroid med dosage (in my case NDT) to combat the increased hypothyroidism post-quit.” Tried that already, and it doesn’t work that way…not for me, anyway. Even with increasing the dosage slowly/carefully and giving things ample time to re-balance…well, in my case it just added some hyperthyroid symptoms alongside my new post-quit hypothyroid symptoms…in other words, it made things even worse.

        Smoking both “masks” hypothyroid symptoms and causes further thyroid inflammation (bad), but it also has the benefits I listed above (good). How I should deal with this is still a mystery to me. Anybody else have any ideas?

        • Rita

          Matt and N”ers

          There are also relations between smoking and magnesium.

          When I quit some months ago I also went back to hypothyroidism. I also has similar symptoms as N”ers. In addition I had troubles breathing, my voice was hoarse, and my arms where numb every morning. I was not able to function, all the day my mind was kind of “off”. After three weeks I decided that I cannot quit at the moment since as you said, I would need months in order to allow my body to fully adjust to the change. I believe that if we understand the mechanism by which smoking influences us we can find a possibilty to quit without returning to hypo.

          Did you try nicotine replacement stuff? What about gradually decreasing the amount of cigarettes? Is anyone interested in working on this together? I would really like to quit.

          One problem seems to be the influence nicotine has on cortisol production. After you quit cortisol falls. This is also why hypothyroidism is often diagnosed after smoking cessation.

          What I am doing currently is adding a lot more Vitamin C and magnesium to my diet. There are several articles written by Nechifor about correlations between smoking cessation and magnesium. He, however, looks at it not from a perspective of nicotine addiction being part of a compensating behaviour. I more and more develop the believe that many addictions are actually compensatory behaviours.

          Assume you have a lack in a certain nutrient, lets say magensium – I read a lot about magnesium recently 😉 – then e.g. alcohol releases magnesium from the storages. At some point then it is not clear anymore whether people drink because of being low in magnesium – yes, there are also other effects but that is also one – or being low in magnesium because of drinking so much.

          I guess that there are similar mechanisms for smoking. It is just so difficult to find them.

          However, adding Vitamin C can support adrenal glands in producing Cortisol – after being forced by the nicotine to produce excess cortisol, they might be tired anyway 😉 – another possibility is using amino acids to try to boost the production of neurotransmitters. E.g. when I quit the last time (two months ago) I added approx. 2 g of Tryptophan to my Cooca drink and it helped me a lot to get over the cravings. Tryptophan is needed for Serotonine production.

          There is also Tyrosine from which e.g. Dopamine and also Thyroid perioxidase are built.

          I found however this article


          which states that Tyrosine can also increase the adrenals work and thus by increase of adrenal homones (adrenaline, cortisol and so on) can supress thyroid hormone production.

          However, if we quit smoking, we will at first have lower adrenal hormones, since the adrenal glands are stimulated by nicotine. So, I believe that anything which is supporting the adrenals will also help in quitting smoking 🙂

          If anyone is interested in playing and trying. I would love to discuss this with someone 🙂 and maybe together we will be able to find something 🙂

          • Michelle

            Hi Rita
            I am having a terrible time figuring out what just happened when I quit smoking but use the vapor at 18 mg. So long story short. Diagnosed Hypo 10 years ago, on levo started out small like 112mcg, over time increased slowly. 117, 125, 2 years ago as a result of routine blood work. In March right BEFORE I converted to vapor, I was upped to 137. Ok here comes the interesting part. I just had my routine labs done a week ago (9 months into vapor) and I had complained about new symptoms of brain fog, fatigue, muscles hurt like mad, and since I increased levo/stopped smoking … I have gained almost 50 lbs, insomnia which we have already medicated. My recent lab results prompted my PC to reduce my levo because I was getting too much based on the lab results. Took me back down to 125 to adjust.

            This sounds seriously backward to me. Many of my combined symptoms are both hypo and hyper over the last two years. I had lost 30 lbs a few years ago…. quick like. If I could think straight or remember what happened yesterday it would be great. I can do without these extra pounds too. I am 47 and now 10lbs heavier than when I gave birth to my last child. HELP!
            I strongly recommend the vapor alternative. I smoked a pack a day for 30 plus years. Once committed, its a cake walk. So, I am willing to talk more about all of this. I am so freaked I have not started the lowered dose. I figure my body might like to have a go at it on its own!!
            I need to be able to function and work daily. I just cant move.

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            Learn this page: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work Though being on Levo or Synthroid has helped some people at the beginning, they report seeing more and more symptoms of a poor treatment creep up the longer they stay on. Your insomnia implies that your adrenals are now stressed due to a poor treatment.

        • Jodi

          What you are/have experienced sounds exactly like what I am and have experienced with Hashi’s and quitting. I recently quit cigarettes and switched to vaping with little success but am not giving up yet. I’m exhausted. I’m curious if you’ve tried any alternative nicotine methods with success?

  28. Matt

    Been diagnosed with Hashi’s for about five years now, and have been gluten free, exercising daily, eating appropriately, some supplements, and taking NDT for almost 2 years, which has made a huge positive difference in my health…as an estimate, let’s say this all has brought me from 50% to 90% functionality. I’ve quit smoking (3-4 cigs a day) in the past 2 years three times now (currently 3.5 days quit) and it just seems I feel disproportionately terrible after quitting with each attempt…I mean, “long-term return of hypothyroid symptoms” terrible, not “transient nicotine withdrawal” terrible. I’m talking about going from 90% to 60%, with maybe a slow creep back up to 70-75%, tops. Pre-Hashi quits (from 5-10 cigs a day…I used to smoke more) were a friggin’ picnic by comparison!!

    This may annoy people and fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but I’m going to say it: For me, the subjective health benefits of low-dose smoking (i.e. energy level, aches/pains, mood, brain functioning, not having dry skin, swollen face, etc.) greatly outweigh the subjective health downsides (i.e. occasional minor cough and throat irritation, occasional minor hyper symptoms of irritability/hunger/blood sugar drop.) And I bet you I’m not the only one.

    Ok, so we all know smoking masks hypothyroid symptoms and when you quit, you notice them more. Granted. (Increasing my NDT dose gradually post-quit does help some, but I’ve always had to stop due to side effects before I achieve the same symptom relief level I had when I was smoking)

    We also know it has negative effects on the rest of your body systems. Granted. (Though did you know it also shows negative correlations with knee-replacement surgery and Parkinson’s? I digress.)

    However, smoking also:

    – Increases T4 to T3 conversion
    – Releases blood sugar from stored fats (yes, by stressing the adrenals, I know)

    AND, ….

    – Reduces Hashi’s thyroid-attacking antibodies, often significantly (http://www.eje-online.org/content/154/6/777.full); there are a few other articles about this with both anecdotal and clinical evidence if you want to look ’em up. (Also, please don’t talk to me about Anatabine as an alternative to nicotine–it’s too expensive, the results vary, and there are sourcing problems with it right now anyway.)

    Who else feels the same way I do? Who else already spends enough time and energy researching, testing, perfecting, and maintaining a lifestyle that helps them function with Hashi’s like a normal human being? Who else doesn’t like taking a tremendous step back, symptom-wise, just to avoid a few cigarettes a day? I know we should be digging at the underlying cause and avoid band-aid cures, but when do we hit the point of diminishing returns with this? When should we stop at “good enough” and just get on with our lives?

    I’m going to try to stay quit for awhile, but I’m decreasingly seeing the point; I need to function at my job and my life…i’ve already lost enough time to Hashi’s as it is. Please, anyone, add some ideas or information to my viewpoint. Challenge me. Give me a new avenue to pursue. Give me a valid reason to stay quit, because I’m not really seeing the upside at this point. I’m not looking for an excuse to smoke, I’m hoping for a continued reason NOT to.

    • Kathy

      Wow, you said exactly what I am thinking. Why did I do this to myself. I too am looking for a reason to NOT start smoking again. 14 months and still can’t say I am better off.

      • Laurie

        After smoking for almost 40 years – I am 18 months quit now and having many many hypo symptoms. Labs all marginal. 60 lbs heavier. 1/3 the hair. Nails down to nubs. Carpal tunnel. Plantar fascitis – leading to a rupture – leading to 2 months in a cast. Hearing loss. Highish cholesterol for the first time in my life. Thank goodness the brain fog has eased, and the depression is mostly gone. Still very tired though.
        I just ordered a dessicated thyroid supplement online from Nutri-med hoping that it will get me through. I will not start smoking again, because I’m really happy not coughing constantly and not battling bronchitis with every cold and every exposure to irritants. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  29. Jenny

    I quit cigarettes in 2011. I currently use a Pro-Vari electronic vaporizer. The juice I use DOES contain nicotine! After all the tests were run, and re run, nothing has changed for the worse. You may want to consider using this method if you can’t (or don’t want to) quit cold turkey. The nicotine in the juices go from 48 mg (very high) to 0 mg (no nicotine), so you can also use this as a step down method to quitting all together. I am not advocating smoking, I’m simply saying there are alternatives!

  30. Lynn Yang

    Thnx for help, i really appreciate all people who shared this info, em not a smoker but i needed it to convince my dad for quitting smoking

  31. ChelleleeZ

    I came back to this site because I couldn’t find Deborah’s story in my book. I quit smoking after about 20+ years. I didn’t quit because I am so awesome, I quit as a result of medical mystery pain on my right side that felt like it was inside my ribcage, radiated to my shoulder blade down to my hip flexor. I do not have Gullbladder or appendix all MRI’s, CT’s, Xray’s, and blood test were normal. My Bariatric Dr. said that my smoking may be aggravating the pain (which was so bad, I have not had a cig since 10/4). The pain went away on its own, nothing every found. Most interesting thing is I have not had an cravings, withdrawls or the likes until last week. I was having a melt down and in the last 2 weeks as each day passed, but Hypo symptoms have started raging one by one and are worse everyday. I have gone from 152 to 171 in the last 2 weeks. I see a new Endo on the 10th because the one I was seeing is a “B” and I don’t say that lightly, I mean shockingly so. My PC Doctor assisted me in ordering my full labs completed last Monday. I am looking for research because I have been suffering from addrenal fatique symptoms, but Doctor has not listened. I need to make sure I am educated and prepared for my appointment.

  32. Kiki

    You are all vitamin D deficient

    Test it and load up from 5000ui per day

  33. Olivia

    I am a 31 y/o female. I just quit a 15 year smoking habit. I too read Allen Carr’s book and when he said I was to have my last cigarette, I followed his instruction. I have suffered from adrenal fatigue for years and years. Prior to my quitting smoking, however, I was doing AWESOME!! I started eating paleo, was on natural progesterone etc cream for adrenal support, and was living my life UP!!! No wonder I quit smoking – why smoke when you are feeling amazing!!!
    So I quit …. that was 6 weeks ago … I feel like death, that is how bad my fatigue is. I gained 10 pounds right away, I cannot get rid of the painful fatigue, and I ache all over. Who says, “I have never felt worse since quitting smoking!” I do … I just hope that I can get my adrenals happy again and soon because nothing is working.

    • Janie

      I’ve read people mention this–that there were several weeks of not feeling well, but after awhile, they do start to feel better. The 3-month mark is a goal while raising endorphins and treating what quitting reveals, which can be hypothyroidism and related.

      • Joyce

        I plan on making an appointment with my PCP to have my TSH checked. I have been quit for four months now and am starting to feel some effects of something, as I am not sure what it is. I have thought of anxiety, but it may be my TSH, I have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism for over 10 years. I have not had this checked since I quit smoking.

        • jim

          Hey Joyce, I too am quit now for just under 4 months (My allergic asthma almost killed me when i switched to e-cigs and would abuse them then light up a real cigarette during an allergic asthma response to being allergic to tobacco.) and i am noticing major adrenal fatigue that really started about a month ago. I was diagnosed as hypoglycemic due to hypothyroid as a child of about 11 years. I began smoking just a few years later and by 17 or so was a pack a day smoker til now , I am 37. I had been feeling the familiar “aches and usual fatigue of thyroid problems developing alongside of my asthma as of late til i quit , i may need to go get checked too . Power to you , just keep quit. Go the healthier route and don’t start to smoke again , it’s harder now but it’ll pay off in the end.

        • susan

          I started smoking at 13, just quit for good 4 months ago. I have had a hypothyroid for 25 years. At first it was great, no coughing, I am doing this. Then at the 5 weeks point it went haywire. I now do not sleep thru the night, even with sleep aids. I have slept thru the night my whole life. The worse is I now have anxiety, panic and depression and can not shake it. I am on wellbutrin, 300mg. I can not handle this. Never had a problem before I quit, I was the happy one, the one who always saw the 1/2 full glass. Now I am scared, have anxiety all the time. my lips tingle and my head feels like there is cotton in it. My mind is always worried about everything, especially about getting old and being alone. I have alot of stupid bad thoughts, worry worry worry, I want this to stop but do not want to take up smoking again.
          Just maybe my Levothyroxine dosage is too high now, doctor just raised my medication level before I quit smoking. I am just reaching out to anyone who experienced the same things.

  34. Zorica Vuletic

    I’m using nicotine as an aromatase inhibitor (only on day 2).

    The energy I am getting is great (must be the conversion of T4 to T3) since when I took my first dose I felt a specific liberation of FFA (similar to the first few weeks I tried LC two years ago). Also it was a similar clear head feeling I got from amino acids that I took in Feb/March/Apr.

    I am a fan so far. I believe it’s a legit medication. (Plus I chew gum anyway).

    p.s. I also have a GH deficiency so I am expecting to see improvement in this area as well. If nothing else, at least the cognitive gains I am experiencing will be worth it.

  35. Abby

    I am hypo and severe adrenal insufficiency. The first time I stopped smoking (2007) I ended up hospitalized for an adrenal crisis that I have never fully recovered from. At that time I did not attribute it to quitting smoking. In 2010 I tried again and in 6 weeks I knew I was headed back for a hospital stay. My ND had to put me on cortisol and up my thyroid Meds just to get me out of bed. 2 years later I’m still exhausted, taking cortef and smoking away. Research shows that smoking increases cortisol and nicotine replacement does not. I want badly to quit but haven’t figured this enigma out. As it stands for me now it seems healthier to smoke.

    • Olivia

      I feel your pain. I just posted with a bit of detail about my struggle with quitting. What a ridiculous twist on attempting to get healthy right???

    • Lisa

      smoking is helping you? i quit 2 months ago and I seem to be going down hill with my thyroid and I think my adrenal gland. I have never been diagnosed with any kind of adrenal but I know I have something. I was wondering if I should go back to smoking ugh.

    • Kathy

      I am having same problems. I quit for 4 months about 5 years ago and ended up in the hospital. Doctors are worthless and don\’t even care. I started smoking again b/c I kept passing out and was too afraid to drive. Quit smoking again 14 months ago and it has been 10 times the nightmare of my last quit. I am post-menopausal this time and think that is why it is so much worse. I have not had a single day in 14 months that I felt \”healthier\” than when I last smoked. That is horrible. The only reason I have not given up and started smoking again is I am afraid smoking will not undo the damage that has been done and might just make everything worse. Heads up. I have SEVERE neuropathy in my feet, SEVERE restless leg syndrome, unbearable brain fog and memory loss, HUGE weight gain, panic attacks, mental confusion. I never had any of these problems before I quit this last time. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. QUITTING WHEN YOU ALREADY HAVE HYPOTHYROIDISM CAN BE DANGEROUS (especially after menopause). FYI, I used mini lozenges to quit.

  36. Kay

    I quit smoking in 01/2010 after reading “The easy way to quit” by Alan Carr. It WAS so easy I thought my life would be SO much better not smoking. 8 months later I started having constant anxiety/panic. It was 6 more months before I was diagnosed with Hashi’s.
    About a year later I saw blood test results from 5 years prior that indicated I had the hashi’s antibodies but my TSH was in the “normal” range…3.09 so the doc didn’t say anything. I think QUITTING smoking caused my Hashi’s.
    Though smoking can be “bad”…my life has never as miserable since I quit and then developed Hashi’s and consistent adrenal “problems”.

    • Nev B

      Smoking suppresses the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. Hence when we quit we feel worse than when we were smokers, it’s a long path. I quit reading Allen Carr’s books, see above, and went cold turkey. Free from 20 a day, more money in my pocket and ready to fight a new demon I.e. T4 only meds! Best of luck to you, there is light at the end of the tunnel 😊😀

  37. KATE S

    Oh great, yet another reason to ignore hashimotos! I have type I diabetes and I smoke but no endo has ever paid any attention to either the smoking or the hashis! All they care about is the hba1c and the meter download.

    • Lisa

      Me too! type 1 ex smoker and hashis. all they care about is my a1c and diabetes. 6.4 is my a1c. i did quit with allan carr’s easy way to quit smoking book, it works!

  38. Peter

    I underwent a complete thyroidectomy due to cancer and have been on thyroid replacement ever since (Synthroid). My TSH has remained high despite repeated increases in dosage and I’m now at the maximum safe dose (300mcg). I also eliminated wheat gluten from my diet (as tests revealed I was sensitive) aand have been taking my thyroid pill away from any any meals, hoping to increase my absorption. The worst thing is that I still have “mental fog” as a problem. My forgetfulness and confusion has even started to harm my relationship and my work performance, and that is frightening!

    I suspect that my body’s conversion of T4 to T3 is poor. I have started considering using a low-dose nicotine patch during the day, as I have heard nicotine increases T4 to T3 conversion. I have never smoked in my life, so for me the patch would not be used for quitting. I figure that most of the harm caused by smoking is not actually from the nicotine, and, anyway, I’d rather die a few years early than feel like I’ve come down with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

    I do eat lots of Brazil nuts, so I know that selenium deficiency is unlikely to be a problem. I think it must be something else.

    Does anyone reading this have experience with using NRT to help raise T3 levels and deal with the mental side of hypothyroid?

    (Peter, I was on Synthroid and later Levoxyl for twenty years, I converted fine, and was STILL miserable. T4-only meds don’t work!! Learn about Natural Desiccated thyroid! https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work)

    • Kolfinna

      I started smoking in 2004, quit in early 2009, and picked up vaping more recently because I miss the action of smoking, need to keep my hands and mouth busy while driving so I’m not shoving unnecessary food down my gullet, etc… but didn’t want to coat my lungs in tar and 4000 other chemicals. Vaping tastes better, too. Can’t get a cinnamon roll or blueberry custard out of a cigarette. 😉 Also, I can attest that nicotine is not the bogeyman as much as people would like to think. It’s the other chemicals in cigarettes that also affect cravings. I never have cravings to vape like I did to smoke. To anyone looking to quit cigarettes, try vaping instead. It’s helped tons and I know of several people who quit analog cigs very quickly.

      This video has been interesting and helpful to some degree: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huvPuCYoBGs

      A few months prior to starting, I had thyroid cancer so the whole thing has been removed. At this point, I’m trying to figure out if nicotine has a similar effect to caffeine (both being the same class of drug and a stimulant), and thus needing to wait an hour before starting to keep from inhibiting the absorption of my Synthroid.

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Kolfinna, there is a genetic mutation that causes individuals to have a failure in removing nicotine from their body correctly. I have that double mutation. My dad died at age 63 directly from smoking, so I’m assuming he had it, too. So there can actually be a problem with nicotine for some of us.

  39. marie

    oh it’s much more complicated than cortisol!

    Nicotine increases the T4 to t3 conversion. Also a recent January 2009 study showed that all cognitive impairment markers were completely reversed with nicotine!

  40. Angel

    I quit smoking a few times over the past couple of years and each time, I got sick and put on weight. This last time I quit, I guess around the same time my thyroid was slightly high so my endo totally took me off cytomel and it threw me into a bad depression with hypo symptoms (dry skin, shivering at night and low day temps, etc.) The only time I ever felt good was the combo of synthroid and cytomel and am pissed my stupid doctor took me off of it when it was the only time I was ever able to lose weight and feel normal. I can’t even find a doctor in my area who will treat my hypo symptoms and not just my test results, let alone my adrenals!

  41. Dallas

    I have been a smoker since age 13. I’m now 35. I have been trying to seriously quit for almost a year now, and had little success. After my two year old daughter was born, I lost all my pregnancy weight, and fit into my old clothes within six weeks. I was in my old pants at my husband’s police academy graduation.

    But I couldn’t function. I was so hormonal and upset all the time. My daughter was very colicky and I couldn’t deal with it. I was so scared of what I was going through, being a new mom. In desperation I went to see my family physician, who gave me a short questionnaire, and immediately diagnosed me with both post partum depression and bipolar II disorder. She put me on zyprexa, and lexapro, and my weight shot up to 213 lbs.

    I’ve been completely incapable of losing the weight. Even after stopping both medications and moving to something else. I am on Wellbutrin and Paxil now. I still have those symptoms. I feel like I would imagine it could be if someone pumped my body FULL of adrenaline, then ripped it all out at once, leaving me stumbling, slurring my words like I was drunk, unable to focus on anything and would not even go NEAR a car. Going up the stairs is a nightmare for me. It feels like there is a 1 ton steel yoke around my shoulders as I try to climb.

    I have always been the hot natured one. I had to have the temp inside 10 degrees cooler than everyone else. Now I am walking around all day with my pajamas on because I just don’t have the energy to get dressed and I huddle in my pink fuzzy robe because I am freezing, when my husband, who is usually the one who is always cold, says he feels comfortable.

    I’m in a different state and know no one locally to see about this. It’s a really small town so any specialty doctor is likely to be hours away from me.

    • syl72

      You should make it a point to see a doctor no matter how far away even if it is a walk in clinic and tell them that you want to be screened for your thyroid with a blood test. If they ask why, tell them your symptoms and that they are unusual for you. Apparently a thyroid problem can be very serious if left untreated for too long. So go in and get checkedvout ASAP.

    • Salman

      If you stop smoking cravings will end within 20 days. I advise all those who want to quit that they have to manage for 20 days only. Once cravings are gone smoking is gone as well

      • Sheanean

        True. But….the symptoms don’t stop there. Severe insomnia, no matter what I took and a halt to bowel movents, even with extra magnesium, lasted for 30 days after my last cigarette and went back to normal when I smoked again. I pooped 8 times and slept 8 hours. That’s my problem.

      • dicentra formosa

        20 days? hmm. I’m around 120 days out and still having dreams about it. But I also smoked for about 27 years.

  42. Jackie

    I was a smoker with hypo for many years, quit for 7 years then started again after a very tramatic event in my life. I recently quit again and November 7, 2008 it will be a year.
    First, my boyfriend and I quit on the same day. Doing it together was the best idea (I can say that b/c we didn’t kill each other). It was great b/c we supported each other and always kept in mind that we wanted to grow old with each other and if either of us cheated that would disappoint the other. basically the buddy system HELPS!
    Secondly, everyone said I should use Chantix (the drug). Although,it may work I am not a pill popper. I did however read a book. Crazy as it sounds I couldn’t have done it with out it. It is called “The easy way to qiut smoking”.
    I highy recommend it. People have said it plays with you mind….guess what…I could care-a-less! It gets rid of your cravings and it helped me quit. You smoke through out the whole thing and in the end your done. That’s it! When you think you want a cig you remember that you quit and that’s it! You may think I’m crazy but it’s true. Don’t get me wrong you still need to want to quit and you still have to have some restraint, but I’ve quit cold turkey and …well, it is ALOT more difficult that way. I really don’t care what way people choose just as long as you quit. You think hypo is tough? well it’s much more difficult when you can’t breath either. Also, the depression you get with the weight gain …well, it is worse when you have smoke induced wrinkles and are overweight. I know the weight is still there but the wrinkles are disappearing.
    It is always hard to beat an addiction but it can be done!
    Good luck to all !

    • Chris

      Yes Jackie I agree about Champix. I also had difficulty giving up smoking but with Champix it’s so easy. It targets the pleasure centre of your brain, and increasingly makes cigarets taste terrible, so terrible you can’t bear to smoke. It does have side effects, but hey, it’s 3 months out of your life to help you become healthy. Soon after giving up I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s disease. I now realise that the other times I gave up I was also hypothyroid, but just didn’t know it.


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