Very confused about my next move!

A month ago I had a Thyroid test done after suffering numerous symptoms for quite a while. When the fatigue and weight gain became a bigger issue I went to the Drs. My results came back as :

TSH: 3.0 (range 0.27 - 4.2)

Ferritin 10.0 YES 10!!! (range 41 - 400)

Cholestol 5.0 (high for me, usually around 3)

B12 597 (Range 180 - 2000)

Folate 8.5 (Range 1.5 -20)

Glucose 4.4

I was told I was the 'top of normal' for Underactive thyroid and no need for treatment. However after me complaining that it was all very good giving me Ferrous Fumarate for my Ferritin levels but they would not help all my other symptoms, she decided to run the TSH test again. It came back as 2.87. I have not been tested for T3 T4 or antibodies as I do not fall into a high enough bracket with the TSH.

I am, unfortunately, one of those people who hate going to the Drs to start with so I have come home to consider my options.

1) Do nothing, continue as I am with some good days, lots of rubbish days.

2) Press on with the Ferritin tablets and hope they improve some of my symptoms

3) Go back and insist on some Thyroid treatment, which I really DON'T want to take if I don't need it

4) Consider some sort of self help options (I was considering Kelp...which I have just gone out and bought only to read it is not good!)

I am a lady of a certain age :-P So of course a lot of my symptoms are being blamed on menopause and I accept that they may well be. However my bloods for menopause came back great. So symptoms = menopause = bloods say no! Symptoms = Underactive thyroid = Bloods say Hmmmm?

Can anyone advise me? Ta x

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12 Replies

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  • You certainly need to raise your iron as low iron can cause many symptoms similar to hypothyroid symptoms. Be warned that it can take months to improve your ferritin. Your B12 and folate are both low and would benefit from supplementing. You can get combined B12 & folate but make sure you get methylcobalamin B12. b12deficiency.info/what-to-...

    Elevated cholesterol is often a result of hypothyroidism and many people would feel extremely unwell with TSH at your level, even though it is within range. TSH just above or below 1 is generally felt to be more comfortable. I'd be inclined to push for a trial period of 50/75mcg to see if your symptoms improve and your cholesterol drops. What's the point in enduring rubbish days when you don't have to?

    If you don't want to push for treatment it would be wise to have a repeat thyroid function test in 3 months to check your TSH level. When you do go through menopause it can trigger hypothyroidism so keep an eye on it.

    You should also have your vitamin D level checked as you can feel crap if it isn't in high in range.

    vitamindcouncil.org/vitamin...

  • Can you buy the B12 and folate supplement over the counter Clutter?

  • Yes, good health food stores or you can use the TUK pinned affiliate link and buy from Amazon.

  • In the USA you would be treated with a TSH of 3. In the UK the guidelines say we have to wait till TSH reaches 10 - regardless of how many clinical symptoms we have, although some GPs will prescribe earlier.

    These are a couple of links and click on Getting a Diagnosis and Starting Treatment.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/index....

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    If you click on About the Thyroid and then hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism there are symptoms lists you can check. A higher cholesterol is a clinical symptom. Someone will comment on your blood tests but you are right about ferritin. It is very low. Your B12 should also be towards the upper range. Also ask for Vitamin D to be done.

  • So sorry to hear that you are struggling. Low ferritin levels would affect the uptake of your thyroid hormones -so addressing their level may help your thyroid.

    Unfortunately your GP did a TSH test which is the stimulating hormone sent from the pituitary which tells the thyroid to produce more or less thyroid hormones. TSH goes up when the thyroid needs to produce more thyroid hormones -so a rising TSH level is the gold standard that the NHS uses to indicate if you have an under active thyroid. A TSH of 3.0 on other countries would trigger treatment for an under active thyroid gland but not in the UK. Your GP should be suspicious though. However TSH only shows a little bit of the picture.

    A blood test for FT4 would be useful -this is one of the thyroid hormones and it would be interesting to see what that level is within the reference range. Rising cholesterol and lowering ferritin can be linked to the thyroid and can be what happens when the thyroid is not working as well. How is your blood pressure? You say that your test for the menopause came back fine and so therefore it is not that.

    Ask your GP if they will test your Ft4, Ft3 (you will be very lucky if the labs do Ft3!), copper ,zinc, magnesium, vit D and B12.

    once you get the results -post them on here.

    Always ask for a copy of your blood tests and keep a file of them -they can be useful in showing up a trend e.g TSH getting higher, Ft4 getting lower.

    You might find it helpful to read up on an under active thyroid -and to check your symptoms against Thyroid Uk's checklist -quite useful to show your GP too. You don't mention specifically what your other symptoms are besides weight gain and fatigue? GP's are meant to take symptoms into account as well as blood test results but quite often they don't. Thyroid UK have a book list of useful books to loan out if you wish. Knowledge is power :)

    .

  • Sorry -just seen your B12 has been checked -Over 500 the Pernicious Anemia Society would say is fine

  • Thank you all so much, my head is battered with thinking about it all and as you know confusion is a symptom I believe!! One of mine anyway.

    I have filled in one of the symptom lists and took it to my GP. She said oh yes' Loss of libido...menopause, repeated urinary tract infections...menopause, tiredness....menopause, High blood pressure....menopause, memory loss and confusion....menopause, anxiety....menopause, weight gain....menopause!' I remarked yes but these are also symptoms of underactive thyroid and my bloods show it's not menopause but could possibly be thyroid!....Hmmm she says :-(

    These are just my main symptoms not the things like migraines, pressure headaches, constipation, heavy/scanty periods, easily upset, poor concentration etc etc etc.

    My BP was monitored over two weeks and although on the high side ranging from VERY high at 159/107 down to 129/78. I think the average worked out at 141/87 which yes is too high but I have no particular BP symptoms so no treatment required.

    I will take a list of the bloods that you have all suggested and also look at the B12/folate supplement

    Thank you x

  • You really need to find out if it is your thyroid making you sick. For that you need free T3, free T4 and the antybodies tests (ATTPO, ATTg). If they come back normal, its not your thyroid and the answer if elsewhere (most likely in your low iron levels). Have you tested your prolactin levels? Some of your complaints can be explained by a raised prolactin.

  • Not that I am aware of Inna, I will ask when I go thank you.

  • Aww poor you -typical response am afraid from GP's once you hit any potential age group for the menopause....lol -I remember it well! Eventually I was treated for my thyroid and my absent periods reappeared for a while longer!!!

    Heavy periods and raised blood pressure are also symptoms of an under-active thyroid. You do have quite a number of symptoms that point you that way. Have a look at Dr Peatfield's book -'living with your thyroid,.

  • When you get your thyroid blood tests done remember to get them done as early as possible in the morning because TSH is highest then.

  • Hi eeng, yes both my tests were done first thing on a morning.

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