Confused and need some advice on Hypothyroidism diagnosis

After two years of struggling with feeling exhausted and many other symptoms it appears I may have be getting somewhere. To cut a long story short, I haven't felt well for over two years, feeling tired all the time, brain fog, aches and pains and serious mood swings and feelings of anxiety and depression for no apparent reason.

After many visits and tests by doctors who offered no explanation for the way I felt except to say it was stress related I was eventually referred to a sleep clinic as I have trouble sleeping. They did a blood test and discovered that my TSH was slightly high at 4.75, two more tests have been done since measuring 5.63 and 6.75.

I had an appointment today with my GP to discuss the issues and he believes that they are on the high side but claimed that my T3 and T4 results were fine although he couldn't find them and suggested that that they may not have even tested for that as my TSH tests weren't that abnormal. I reminded him about all of my other symptoms and he suggested I should start taking a light dose (25 Micro Grams) of levothyroxine.

I paid for my prescription but I believe I can get this for free in the future but I have a few questions that I would like answers too.

Does the advice I am being given sound about right? He suggests I have some more bloods done in 3 months to see if it has improved things. How long should it be before I start to feel any improvements? Is the dosage enough to make improvements and is there anything else I should be taking to help my overall recovery.

Anything anyone can add would be really appreciated.

Many Thanks


5 Replies

  • Hi Chris. You should have a further blood test in six weeks to monitor the effect of the Levo, not 3 months. It is a very low dose as you say, and you may need it to be increased, but you need to monitor blood tests and symptoms. Also it's important to have lab ranges as well as results, as they vary, and when you post here folks can comment more appropriately if they can see where your results are sitting. I don't know why you paid for levothyroxine as it is prescribed within the NHS as the go to treatment for an underactive thyroid. Take it one hour before food or two hours after, and separately from any other supplements or medication. Don't take the Levo until after your blood test. Certain foods are considered goitrogens, but the problem is mainly in their raw state, so cook the vegs and eat all in moderation, but as many are nutrient dense, don't omit them from your diet, apart from soy products.

  • I had to pay for my prescriptions until my exemption certificate came through. I was not able to reclaim the cost of prescriptions bought since diagnosis but before I got the certificate.

  • You can reclaim prescription charges in England:

    Q. I need some prescriptions now but I do not have a certificate. Do I have to wait until it arrives?

    A. Your certificate will start from the date one month before the date we get your application. You can claim a refund of any charges paid from that date, however, you must ask your pharmacist for an FP57 receipt and refund claim form when you pay. You cannot get one later.

    It is very likely that no-one thought to tell you about the FP57 receipt process.


  • Chris,

    As Hynoteq said, ask for a thyroid test in 6 weeks as 25mcg isn't likely to be very helpful and you'll almost certainly need an increase.

    Your GP surgery or pharmacist will probably have the payment exemption form you need to complete and get your GP to sign. Hypothyroidism is called Myxoedema on the form.

  • Your TSH was slightly high at 4.75 ,5.63 and 6.75

    Boy thats an understatement !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You should have been treated 2 years ago

    What MUST also be tested urgently is

    Thyroid Antibodies

    Free T4

    Free T3




    Vit D3


    Without Ferritin being above halfway in its reference range your body cannot utilise the thyroxine you have paid for but should have got free

    Go back to your doctor tell him you have done a lot of research

    request the correct paperwork to say your hypothyroid so you can claim presciption exemption and at the same time request very firmly the tests above because having been ill this long i will be amazed if at the very least ferritin is on the floor sure to get a print out of all the results inc reference ranges and post them here

    25mg Thyroxine is indeed a starting dose which should be increased every 3 to 4 weeks until your symptoms resolve

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