Thyroid UK
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Can underactive thyroid cause low lymphocyte count and folate levels?

Hi guys

I have been on levothyroxine pills for over a year with the dose gradually increasing to currently 100mg. As i still feel the same in terms of extreme tiredness, fatigue, faintness etc i asked for more blood test from which it shows i am below range on folate levels and lymphocyte count and too high on albumin.

I only picked up my results yesterday so i am expecting a call from the doctor to discuss further, however i just wondered if any of these things could be linked to underactive thyroid problems?

Thanks :) x

11 Replies

I *suspect* they are Sarah. My VitD and folate recently came back as extremely deficient, despite assurances from the endo in Aug that my FBC is fine.

I've just got copies of my medical records from my GP practice and think I shall have to get my hospital records to see what's been tested and results to see what else they haven't bothered to tell me/address.


Hi Sarahuk86, if your folate is low then your Vit B12 is likely to be low too as these b vits work together. I started fainting in this last year and i'm having investigations for pernicious anaemia.


My B12 was 363 (190-900). I'm within range so Dr by numbers isn't interested that a) serum B12 testing is notoriously inaccurate, (b) up to 80% may be intracellularly inactive & (c) hypothyroid patients need to be near the top of the range, not bumping along the bottom.

I'm using a B12 spray to boost.


Hi Clutter, tell me about it. Have had huge red swollen tongue for 10 years now fainting exhaustion nerve pain in my feet etc etc. First thing she said was you're in range, so i had that warning notice about serum B12 not always being accurate etc and put it under her nose. I take cimetidine which knobbles your intrinsic factor and makes you have low stomach acid. To me it's a no brainer. All down to blood tests these days :-(


Have you joined the PAS support group? There is a FB group which you ask to join.

If you have nerve damage you probably need B12 injections if you're to have any chance of repairing or reversing the damage. You'll have to self medicate if you're in range, bloody NHS is useless with PA and thyroid.

A lot of folk use raw apple cider vinegar to balance stomach acid, particularly if they've been damaged by drugs like omeprazole.


Hi Clutter, i was diagnosed with PA on Wednesday and have my next injection on Tuesday. I took a ticked list of symptoms from site. A pub med paper on Cimetidine's effect on the intrinsic factor and stomach acid. And the NICE guidelines for treatment. It's a shame you have to do your homework, it's hard work. They do make it so difficult to get anywhere these days. But the new GP is really good and she commented on how cheap the injections are.

Trouble is i got bladder pain within a few hours of the injection as the injection contains acetic acid and i'm not allowed anything acidic :-( xxx


Not only might you have PA but if your Ferritin is low you cannot utilise Levothyroxine

Your ferritin MUST be at least 70 but pref 90 in order to utilise levothyroxine or any t4 containing meds


Lots of info on B12 deficiency / PA here (low folate and low white blood count is commonly found):

Your doctor will tell you your B12 is normal when right at the bottom of the range. It's a rubbish test anyway, compounded by medical ignorance.

If your folate is low you should also be tested for Coeliac disease.

Has the doctor given you a 5mg folic acid supplement?


Thanks, Hampster1. My WBC is 11.8 (4.00-11.00). One GP at the practice wrote to say I may have an infection and should book an appt. to review. When I raised it with Dr. A during the thyroid review he said "I'm not concerned about that". VitD was <10 and I loaded 40,000u x 7 days & now 2,000 for 3 months. Folate was 1.9 (2.00-14.5) & I'm taking 5mg Folic Acid. Coeliac screen in July was 'normal'. Ferritin is high 371 (10-291).

I'll raise it again with Dr. A when he reviews thyroid in 2 weeks & if he's still not concerned I'll contact Dr. C to see why s/he is.


Did you have calcium tested?


Hi everyone, only just been back on and seen these messages. Thanks for the replies i love this site for support!

The receptionist at the doctor called and told me just to take iron tablets and eat more greens and that was it really. I was concerned on the lymphocyte count which was 1.3 but the range is only 1.5 - 4.5 so maybe it's not much of a deal as this was not mentioned?

So i will see how this goes, i think in general i am still just under-dosed on my 100mg levothyroxine but have to wait til Jan for the next thyroid blood test.

In response to some other posts - no i didn't have calcium or vitamin D tested. Most of my other tests are in range, here are a few of the results:

Alkaline Phosphatase 83 (30 - 120)

Total Bilirubin 18 (3 - 20)

Albumin 53 (35 - 50)

B12 is 1,332 (Range 150 - 99,999)

Ferritin 39 (15 - 50)

Folate 2.9 (4.6 - 18.7)

Red blood count 4.86 (3.9 - 5.6)

Total white blood count 4.6 (4 - 13)

any further observations appreciated, if not then lets hope the iron tablets and brocolli sort me out ;) x


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