Thyroid UK
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Big wake up call

I was invited for a health check at my doctors surgery,thought I would go along. I know I am 2-3 stone overweight, and have an under active thyroid along with two of my sisters. I had a big shock when my cholesterol reading was 7.1 I work outdoors. I thought I was fairly fit. Have to go for fasting b/t in two weeks. Meanwhile I have started my healthy eating plan. I am a bit scared by this wake up call. I don't smoke or drink, and I am 55. Please tell me I will be able reduce my cholesterol. I know my downfall is sweet stuff.

10 Replies

Your underactive thyroid will almost certainly be the reason for higher than normal cholesterol, particularly if you are not optimally treated, or if you are not converting the Levo to the active form, T3.

I was taking 150mcg of Levo thyroxine and my cholesterol level was 4.7. Then my dosage was dramatically reduced to 100mcg on the basis of the TSH and it shot up to 9.7 in just 8 weeks, going over 10 at one point. The GP insisted there was no connection whatsoever, trying to convince me that I had Familial Hypercholesterolaemia - a condition which should be confirmed by proper tests.

I have increased my Thyroxine and it is falling - last check it was 6.4 about 6 months ago.

It would be a very good idea to get your thyroid test results, with ranges, and post them on here.

What kind of a healthy eating plan are you following?

Marie XX


Hi Marram. Thank you for your post. I had a b/t for thyroid on Monday, health check on Friday, I did ask for my results, but was told they were satisfactory. I will get the reading and post on here. I take 100mcg daily. The nurse did mention FH to me, and I am having a fasting b/t on the 18th of nov, will this show up FH?


If you did not have high cholesterol from birth, you do not have FH. It is an inherited condition due to a defective gene which shows itself soon after birth.

It's another red herring doctors use to avoid giving the proper amount of Levo or Levo/T3 and simply aiming for a 'normal' TSH, whatever that might mean. After all, when you felt fine, they probably never tested your TSH so they would not have the slightest inkling what is normal for you.

So, rather than try to make you well, they blame all the symptoms on something else and give you a pill for it. Big Pharma is laughing all the way to the bank, so they are happy, the GPs don't have to bother to actually think, so they're happy, while you suffer and are unhappy. Who cares? Not them, that's for sure.

The fasting b/t is usually for sugar, but maybe they are going to have a look at the blood lipids as well.

Just a little caveat: They may well offer you statins - but actually they are contraindicated for untreated (or undertreated) hypothyroidism. I took them long enough to realise that they were destroying my muscles - I became bedridden. They also deplete the COQ10 which is essential for proper heart function - which would be dynamite for a hypothyroid individual.


Forgot to mention,I have started a low fat high fibre eating plan, but it is only two days in.


...cholesterol is mostly produced in the body - over 80% I have read. So it is there for a reason - the brain contains and needs cholesterol. Blocking it with statins also affects the absorption of VitD on the skin - again cholesterol is required. Low VitD levels are responsible for so much chronic illness. Homocysteine is more of an indicator - but of course no big money for Big Pharma as only lots of B vitamins including B12 are required to lower it.

I think Marie's post above is interesting and revealing......


For me I have no doubt that elevated cholesterol is connected to being undermedicated. When I was first diagnosed (BUPA health check) the doctor said that apart from raised TSH my elevated cholesterol was also an indicator.

I have had several episodes over the last 11 years of needing an increase in meds, and each time my cholesterol went up and then down when i was properly medicated. I refused to take statins on that basis.


...long before the TSH test Doctors assumed you had a thyroid problem if your cholesterol was raised. What a pity some of the old little gems have been forgotten. Well done you for standing your ground :-)


There is a link between cholesterol and hypothyroidism when i was diagnosed my cholesterol was 5 i commented to the doctor that ibthough that wad high for someone that eats very little fatty foods i mean i dont like butter i take the fat off my meat and if i do fry anything it is with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. My gp told me not to worry about it it is raised because you have hypothyroidism and promptly it has gone down significantly since on medication so your gp doesn't know what he is talking about


The healthy level for Cholesterol used to be 7.5.

Of course the total cholesterol is of no use - it's the LDL level that needs to be low. LDL target is 1. They seem to assume that if your total cholesterol is high then your LDL level is high - which isn't always the case.

A high fibre diet may not help at all - its high-GI starches that raise the cholesterol - and especially the LDL cholesterol.

you need your essential fatty acids. That's why they are called ESSENTIAL fatty acids.

A meditteranean or Paleo diet will help - high in the "good" oils - avocado, olive oil etc, high in green leafy veg, los in processed foods and manufactured fats.


Hi. I just wanted to tell my little tale about cholesterol, I'm 3 years hypo, on 75 Mic. Levo,

Had bloods done last month. Got called in as cholesterol had gone up.

Now my mum died at 52. Furred up Heart and so I'm very very paranoid about all Herat related stuff, went there, it was 5.9. From 5.8 last year. And 6,1 year before, Doc said to me. " why do you think it's gone up?" Er!!!!!

Because I'm hypothyroid perhaps????? Your the ruddy doctor!! She prob thoughts was gooing to say. " oh I eat fast food and crap all day long ".

I think it mcod be because although I'm " in range" top is 17 last tests have gone down in last year from 15 to 14 to now 13.5. So did she up me to 100 ? No ! Went out of there with a diet sheet ( it went in bin!) I eat healthy.

I am soooo fed up with the lack of help ! Just dispair , I really do!

I'm excersising and take coconut oil, oat bran and chia seeds. I'm doing 5.2 aswell. Doctors don't care! And I've been getting bad palpitations I last 6 weeks. She did my give me any help at atll!!!

So I'm just a bit stressed at mo! It's good to read bits on here. It helps that I'm not alone.


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