Diagnosed with underactive thyroid about a year ago. How reliable is blood test?

I started on 50mcg levothyroxine and in March this was increased to 100mcg. Latest blood test says medication is appropriate (June) but I am SO exhausted. I have constant aches and pains, headaches and doing anything takes a supreme effort of will. I have quite a stressful job (which I love), I force myself to go to the gym at least three times a week but I can't shift any weight. 5 years ago was a size 8 and am now a 14 - 16 and very depressed. Am seeing doctor tomorrow - what shoudl I be asking? Thank you.

11 Replies

  • Blood test results have never reflected how i'm feeling and i think they're largely inaccurate, esp TSH. They should never be used in isolation and your symptoms do count. The doctor should be taking your temperature, pulse, looking at swelling around your eyes,dry skin etc. Your temperature will be low if you are still hypo. 100mcg is a pretty low dose. Before the TSH for instance dosages of 200-400mcg of levo were normal.

  • That's really helpful thanks. I have had nothing explained to me apart from fact I "might feel a bit ropey" now and again. Only found out about T3 and T4 last week after a chance conversation with a colleague whose mother suffers with it. Feel 100 years old and not even 47 til October!!

  • Ask for your iron, ferritin, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D to be checked. Any or all of them could be contributing to your symptoms. Iron is particularly important for your body to use the thyroxine. You want your ferritin (stored iron) to be 70-90, not at the bottom of the range. Vitamin D is actually a hormone involved in over 300 metabolic processes so this could be important too. When I was deficient in vit D I felt awful.

    I hope that helps

    Carolyn x

  • Yes it does help thank you; have been

    anaemic in the past so will definitely ask about it. Lynda x

  • anaemia is actually a late-stage symptom of iron deficiency which means you can start feeling ropey long before you actually become anaemic. There was recent research to show that non-anaemic women with a ferritin level below 50 benefited from iron supplementation. It is definitely worth looking into if you have been anaemic before.

    Good luck and I hope you feel better soon :)

  • No problem! My gp who diagnosed me 2 years ago it was obvioisly a learning curve for her too! I found out so much after coming on this site. I like the remark feel ropey sometimes, make that all the time lol! Everyone here will help you so don't worry! X

  • Sorry my reply is below, d'oh!

  • I don't know what's going on! Hope you see my reply!

  • Yup, got it thanks. I managed to send sane comment twice earlier. Will let you know how it goes x

  • I'm amazed! Don't know if it's me or my phone lol!

    It would be a huge help if you get the "understanding thyroid disorders" book by Anthony Toft. He's a mainstream endo, lots you can show your gp and quote from. You can get it from some chemists and WH Smith, i only paid £3 for mine. Gp's will listen to his advice as it's approved by the BMA. You always have to be one step ahead at appointments and don't take any c**p. Let me know how it goes. X

  • Saw new gp on Wed - think he's a maternity cover - he was fab. Explained everything really clearly, LISTENED to me!! Agreed there seemed to be a discrepancy between blood results and my symptoms and ordered up a whole new battery of blood tests. Going back next Wed to discuss results. Feel a whole lot better just for being taken seriously :)

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