Hormones or Hypothyroidism??

Hi, I had all the symptoms of Hypo last year, especially bad fatigue and itching all over and eventually persuaded my GP to test me. Results came back "Borderline" and she reluctantly said I could try levo 25mcg. I feel much better on them, well I did until recently. I seem to have all my symptoms returning, not quite as bad, but nearly. She tested my Hormone levels beginning of Jan as I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago and have HRT patches. These were fairly low but I thought it was ok. Anyway, hormones were low so they've upped my patch. but the past 6 weeks since doing so, I feel like I used to!! and in addition, have really bad legache and backache every day now, plus headaches!! I just cant work out what is going on? anyone have any ideas?

seeing the GP next week earlier than planned (was supposed to wait 3 months then have another blood test for hormone levels and she was gonna take me off Levo!! Yikes!! ).

Also, worried the Estrogen has flared up my endometriosis which is why I had a hysterectomy in the first place...

any help appreciated.

18 Replies

PS, after all the advice on here, I got them to check Ferritin and B12 and both were low, but ive been taking B12 supplements since (about 8 weeks)

You should make an appointment for the GP to have another blood test a.s.a.p. Borderline or not, the fact that usually when you begin on thyroid gland meds a test should be done around 6 weeks to see how things are going and an increase given. The fact that you feel worse now suggests to me you need an increase and a blood test. You obviously have clinical symptoms but they should take more notice of symptoms than the TSH result (which should only be used as a guide not a diagnosis).

Thanks Shaws. Im going to see her again on Thursday. I had bloods done after I had been on 25mcg levo for about 9 weeks. showed my levels had gone up a bit.. which was good. and felt better quite quickly. I think I need an increase, not to be taken off of it!! I appreciate she is worried im on levo and I don't need it, she thinks the symptoms are lack of Estrogen rather than a thyroid problem. I don't!!! I have lots of clinical symptoms 10+ and a strong family history of Hypo! the TSH test is not good. Ive been reading "Stop the Thyroid Madness". will see what she says on Thursday I guess..... x


I can't believe she would think about taking you off Levo! I didn't think they could do that!

By the way, I was told I was "borderline" with a TSH of 5.2 (0.27-4.2) I thought borderline meant a TSH of something like 4.3? My result didn't sound like borderline to me!

Low ferritin can cause itching. Just looked into it for you.

Like you I have low B12 but I haven't yet eased into this so I'm not able to help you with that I'm afraid. I do have low B12 too, however.

By the way your B12 levels may be in range but not high enough for you to feel better. The other guys on here will be testament to this. My B12 is 363 (180-900) and I also have leg ache and headache. Leg ache is when I'm walking.

What are your latest results for ferritin and B12? Do you have a copy of them? If not, can you ask your GP to send/give you a copy?

Good luck

Jo xxx

Thanks, I think she is worried I don't need it as she thinks my probs are hormonal not thyroid! my B12 level was 344. she said this was normal?? looked low to me..... ferritin 25 ug/l and folate was 14.8 . TSH was 0.97. after being on the Levo for 2 half months....

Ferritin should be above 70, so needs getting up

Hi there,

yes, I agree with you on the B12 looking low. I thought mine was normal until the guys at my support group meeting said that it was low, too. It's worth remembering that what is normal in the GP's world may not be normal for you.

Ferritin is low too. I think it should be above 70. Mine is low too. Folate looks good, maybe a tad higher than what is required for optimal but possibly not a problem (can't be sure of folate I'm afraid!) and TSH looks good - just below 1. That's a good reading after being on the Levo for 2 and a half months. Well done. :)

Jo xxx

I would say it's the effect of the HRT that is affecting your levels.

Slightly different but when I had a change of HRT my levels were affected (I have Graves) and I went from being reasonably stable to being hypo. Either your progesterone needs upping to balance the oestrogen (which is the one that will be affecting you) or you may need to up your levo.

Thanks. They never offer progesterone.. ive had a full hysterectomy?! So, only ever go on about Estrogen levels. I was wondering if it was because they have increased the HRT that it can affect your thyroid and/or the Levothyroxine.... I am convinced I need to up my levo - but she seems to think coz I was only borderline - yes in their world! yawn!! I don't really need it at all, but all my symptoms went. I had bad fatigue,itching, hair-loss, including my eyebrows, cold hands, itchy, sore eyes, aching finger joints.... (an odd one) and so on..... this all improved hugely until she upped the HRT 6 weeks ago :-(

This is just a suggestion, I have no basis for saying this other than a hunch...

Could you stop using an HRT patch and take HRT pills instead? Then you could separate taking your thyroid medication and your HRT medication much more easily. If you look at the patient information leaflet for levo it mentions medications containing oestrogen (such as HRT) could interfere with levo.

OMG! really? I haven't looked at the leaflet coz otherwise you tend to imagine you have side effects of drugs, so never do unless get some really bad reaction. I will read it then. that's worrying, I cant take the tablets or the gel, tried in the past and its taken ages to get it all right with the patch. I was only on 35mcg, then 50, now 75. I bet that's whats happening. Thanks x

The hair loss ,especially the eyebrows is probably due to low ferratin. Trying to get Dr's to realise that 'normal' is something I never am is impossible. I've had to push for referrals to get anywhere. When I was suffering terrible hair , I was told it was male pattern baldness and I,d have to live with it! After insisting on seeing a dermatologist he took one look at bloods and my scalp and said it was low ferratin . He was disgusted at the gp's diagnosis and the fact they will only test TSH once a year. My hair is finally growing back after a year on ferratin tablets. Good luck and don't be fobbed off

Thanks, is ferritin , iron? if so I cant take it in any form, when pregnant I couldn't either.... Glad you got sorted, but its a nightmare with the GP's!! x

yes ferrous sulphate is an iron supplement - I don't know if it's different to the usual iron ones. I hope they can do something for you xx

Ferritin is iron stored in the liver....

Though what is measured is the ferritin in blood:



Thanks Rod - just picked up !


I had a full hysterectomy in 2009 since then I have been diagnosed with fybromyalga and CfS blood disorder I have had some bad experiences with head burning itching I am so bewildered as so much is going on I am not on HRT due to side effects do you think I have something else going on

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