Could I ask for a bit of advice/thoughts on my blood results please ?

Hi everyone, I'm new and this is my first post but could do with some thoughts on my recent thyroid blood results and thought this would be the best place to ask.

I have no thyroid diagnosis but (mostly) since the birth of my 4th child 18mths ago have had a number of symptoms that have bothered me,

Feeling totally drained despite a good nights sleep

Migraines approx every 2 weeks on right side of head

Depression (started taking anti depressants 4mths ago)

Low libido

Very dry ridged and splitting nails

Very dry skin

Whistling in ears

Restless legs

Really poor concentration

I took this list of symptoms to my gp and she ordered some bloods and these were some of the results

Tsh- 0.79 (0.3-5)

FT3- 4.2 (3.1-6.8)

FT4-11.8 (12-22)

Vit D- 45 (50-144)

Ferritin- 33 (15-150)

Cortisol- 379 (taken at 10.45am)

Prolactin-156 (102-496)

These weren't all of the results but only the ones I remembered to ask about (all others were normal) .Please note that a year ago my ferritin was found to be at 9 and ever since I've been taking ferrous fumerate 210mg

x3 daily. I was also unable to breastfeed any of my children due to a vitually non exsistant milk supply (the reason for prolactin being tested).

What are people's thoughts on my results ? Are they pretty much ok or could they point to a problem ? My gp has reluctantly referred me to an endocrinologist mainly due to my symptoms but I don't know whether I will be wasting the consultants time !

Thanks in advance x

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11 Replies

  • Your FT4 is very low. Normally when your T4 levels are low your pituitary produces more TSH to tell your thyroid to produce more T4, but in your case it hasn't. With a T4 result like that you would expect your TSH to be well above 5 so the doctor would start to prescribe you some T4 to make up for what your Thyroid is not producing. I think the referral to an Endocrinologist is a good idea, especially with your lactation difficulties, since lactation is controlled by the pituitary too. I hope you don't have to wait too long for your referral.

    In the mean time you might be able to alleviate some of your thyroid symptoms by taking some T4 (Thyroxine) but you may struggle to get a doctor to prescribe any because they always look at the TSH reading alone. Also the endocrinologist will probably want to do his own set of blood tests so you don't want to mask the problem. Thyroxine takes 6 weeks or so to build up in the system and another 6 weeks to leave it.

    T3 (the active hormone, which you are also not very high in) only takes a day or so to leave your system so if you are inclined to self medicate to alleviate your thyroid symptoms this would be the way to go. You need to supplement your Vitamin D and take some iron and vitamin C together to improve your ferritin levels (you will feel a lot better if these are higher - aim for ferritin = 70 and Vitamin D = 100 at least). Have you got a result for your Vitamin B12 level?

  • Ignore blood test results and go by how you feel.

  • Thyroid UK believe that the blood test results have value, but only in conjunction with symptoms.

    We would never suggest that someone simply disregard them! :)


  • Most doctors will ignore symptoms in favour of blood tests, they are inaccurate at best so I would definitely say that you need to go with how you feel not blood test results!!

  • The fT4 is low and with a low TSH quite unusual. You need to see an endocrinologist. Absolutley will not be wasting their time. Take along a list of symptoms and describe how it is affecting your life. The very dry skin is very specific to hypothyroidism. (Make sure you don't moisturise your skin before your appointment).

  • I have read that not being able to breastfeed can be linked to be Hypo. It happened to me. How big were your babies - anything over 8lbs 12ozs can indicate a Hypo Mum - me again !

    Do hope you soon find some help. Keep posting and learning from everyone here....Good Luck

  • In my opinion your free T4 is way too low

    and your ferritin is on the floor

    T4 should e nearer 19 and ferritin and folate should be above halfway in their ranges or you have little hope of feeling well

  • Wow thank you all so much for the helpful and supportive replies, I wondered if I might be laughed off the forum ! I forgot to add I have been taking a multi vit and mineral supplement for about 4 mths (it contained 100% RDA) of most vits ! I think my b12 was about 900 ish (but I had taken berocca a few times a week too which has 344% of b12 in it :-0). I was surprised my vit D wasn't higher. My babies were 6lb and 7lb ers - so not big ones ! Dr queried a pituitary problem but the other hormones inc prolactin seem ok. I'm learning a huge amount from lurking around and reading everyone's posts. I may be popping up again in future with more random questions ! Xx

  • Hi

    There is a condition called Sheehans Syndrome, it can happen if you have heavy blood loss when giving birth, and shows as an inability to produce breast milk.

    Symptoms can come on several months after giving birth, apparently the blood loss somehow effects the pituitary causing low TSH and low T4.

    I am not for one minute saying it is this but if you google it will explain more about it.

  • Thank you Browny, I had read about it and thought about the blood loss I had with my first child 17yrs ago ! I think a lot was covered up but my iron levels went from 12 to just 5 after birth (they lost my results) and I remember my gp visiting me at home to tell me ! She said I should have had a blood transfusion in hospital ! I was put on a high dose of iron and took months to recover. That's the last time it was mentioned :-/

    Only just remembered that recently although dont know if would apply to me as it was 17yrs ago ! Has anyone got sheehans on this forum ? X

  • I only know about Sheenans syndrome when I was researching for info. for my daughters problems, she has very similar symptoms to yours, she lost a lot of blood when giving birth to her first child, could not breast feed as milk did not come in and about 21 months after giving birth developed bad symptoms of extreme fatigue, wanting to sleep all the time, depression, loss of libido, severe iron deficiency, level 9, but then as all this went on she started to thinking she was hypo thyroid.

    She has now seen an endo who has checked thyroid levels and is now going to do a pituitary scan to look at things further, we are just waiting on an appointment.

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