Thyroid levels "normal" but still feel terrible

Extreme fatigue, cold all the time

Hello All

Just joined the forum following a frustrating blood test result in Spain

I'm a 40 year old male in relatively good health, exercise regularly, eat as well as I can, lots of fresh fruit and veg

I was diagnosed with under-active thyroid several years ago and took Eltroxin for a number of years, have been off the meds for about 3 years but can't fight the extreme fatigue, I'm feeling cold all the time (despite living in the Canary Islands), my nails are brittle, no hair left to fall out

Doc in the Canaries says that my Thyroid is normal and has no idea why I'm fatigued all the time

There is soo much info available on the net that I feel like I'm drowning, talk of free T3 etc

Always been an active person, swim 2-3 k five times a week, do Yoga (back problems), run 8-10 k when I am traveling and can't get to a pool but am still putting on weight

Any help, advice

Anything that would help, have thought about iodine supplements

Am almost at the end of my tether

Thanks Will

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14 Replies

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  • Ask the doctor for a print out of your blood test results. It's something you should always do. By the sound of your symptoms you almost certainly do have thyroid issues, especially as you know that you've been treated for them before. Make sure your doc has tested TSH, FT4 andd FT3. The FT3 test is the most important. When you have the results come back and post them here.

  • Hi Rosetrees

    The normal test results don't mention FT4 and/or FT3

    They just reference "free Thyroxine" and Hormona Tiroestimulante, see below the readings

    Valoracion de tiroxina libre 16.15 pmol/L - Lab Ranges 12.00 - 22.00

    Hormona Tiroestimulante 2.45 mcu/ml - Lab Ranges 0.27 - 4.20

    Thanks Will

  • Valoracion de tiroxina libre is free T4 (could be higher)

    Hormona Tiroestimulante is TSH (probably too high)

  • Thanks Angel_of_the_North

    So does this mean that I have hypothyroid?

    I just convinced my doc to let me try Eltroxin again to try balance the levels out

    Will

  • Very likely to be. You have the symptoms and most propel feel better with TSH around 1 and T4 up near the top of the range. It would be good to know free T3 (probably Valoracion de triyodotironina libre)

  • Will, welcome to the forum. Can you post your recent thyroid results with the lab ref ranges please? Normal can mean high or low in a very broad range.

    Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine (T4 or FT4). T4 is an inactive pre-hormone which is converted in the liver and other organs to produce the active hormone T3 or FT3 which is needed in every cell in the body. Most people are comfortable with TSH just above or below 1.0 and FT4 and FT3 in the top 75% of range.

    Why did you stop taking Eltroxin? Hypothyroidism is a lifelong condition requiring daily medication.

    Low or deficient ferritin, vitaminD, B12 and folate can contribute to the symptoms you describe so it may be worth having these checked. I note that you are in the sunny Canaries but it is possible to have low vitD despite the sunshine. Post your results with lab ref ranges when you have them and members will comment.

    You shouldn't over exercise until you get this sorted although swimming and yoga shouldn't be a problem.

  • Hi Clutter

    The reason for me stopping the Eltroxin was after a scheduled blood test the GP said that my Thyroid function had returned to "normal" so to stop the meds

    I felt fine for about 2 years then started feeling wasted/exhausted, I went back for another check but the same GP again stated that the results were normal and no need for Eltroxin, he suggested the feelings of exhaustion were due to work related stress and suggested meditation (still doing the same job but relocated to the Canaries)

    The latest lab results from the Canaries are as follows, I just left my new Doc's office in the Canaries this morning and she again said that the Thyroid function was normal and no need for medication

    Thyroid Function/Hormonas

    Valoracion de tiroxina libre 16.15 pmol/L - Lab Ranges 12.00 - 22.00

    Hormona Tiroestimulante 2.45 mcu/ml - Lab Ranges 0.27 - 4.20

    Vitamin B12 587 pg/ml Lab Ranges 200 - 950

    Folic Acid 15.0 ng/ml Lab Ranges 4.6 - 18.7

    Iron (Hierro) 113.7 ug/dl Lab Ranges 61.0 - 157.0

    Thanks in advance

    Will

  • Will, were you still on Eltroxin when your GP said your levels were normal? Sounds very odd to stop meds when they normalise your thyroid function! Do you have access to thyroid results from back then?

    Your current levels are within range, but not great. TSH of 2.45 is high enough to make cause uncomfortable hypothyroid symptoms and your FT4 16.15 could be a lot higher.

    Iron, B12 and folate look good so I really think it is a thyroid issue. Has you GP suggested repeat tests? I'm disappointed to see that Spanish docs are diagnosing by TSH and not taking into account symptoms like the NHS.

  • Hi Clutter

    Yes, I was still taking the Eltroxin when my GP said that my levels were normal and to stop taking the meds, always trust your doctor, right!!

    To be honest, when first diagnosed I didn't notice hardly any symptoms, now the symptoms seem exaggerated and I generally have low to zero energy

    I don't have access right now to my results from back then but I'm sure the GP's secretary has them on file, it could be worth a phone call to get a copy of them sent to me

    My current Doctor did suggest repeat tests, I have to have a repeat test in about 10 days (following a business trip) this is due to an anomaly on my liver output which she thought was due to Atorvastatin (which my old GP prescribed for high cholesterol when I was first prescribed Eltroxin)

    Will

  • Your old GP sounds like an incompetent and dangerous maniac! Thyroid hormone is supposed to normalise your thyroid function but it is supposed to be taken for life unlike an antibiotic that you take to cure a temporary infection. Unmedicated and undermedicated hypothyroid patients usually have elevated cholesterol. Optimal thyroid medication usually causes cholesterol to correct without using statins.

    You could press your doctor for a trial of 75mcg Levothyroxine, a starter dose, to see whether your symptoms improve.

  • Hi Clutter

    Just talked to the old GP's secretary, she will send me a copy of the old blood tests by snail mail

    Once I get them I can post them for review

    I will be seeing the new doctor in about 2 weeks and will broach the Levothyroxine starter dose, fingers crossed

    Thanks for the advice, it is a relief to hear that it is not all in my head

    Will

  • Hi will, where are you in the Canaries, ? I´m in Tenerife.

    Have you tried a non gluten diet and eliminating sugar ?

    I reversed Hashimotos by doing this together with supplementation.

  • Hi Terry_1

    I live in Gran Canaria

    I haven't tried the gluten diet, to be honest I'd try it to see how I get on

    I have just convinced my doctor to let me try Eltroxin again to see if the symptoms ease (as clutter suggested)

    I will let you all know the results

    Thanks

    Will

  • Morning All

    I have been taking 100mg of Eltroxin (Eutirox) for the past 2 - 2 ½ weeks now and have to say that the difference is night and day

    I have been on an extended business trip in West Africa since I started the Extroxin with long days/busy days but still my energy levels have been good, no fatigue (apart from what feels like normal well earned tiredness)

    Gone are the energy level "crashes" that I have been experiencing more and more over the past 3-4 years

    The difference in energy levels was almost immediate, I know that this could have been a placebo effect and was conscious of this but still am surprised at the improvement, I expected the Eltroxin to take a week or so to start working

    I was due a blood test a few days ago but missed it as I am still traveling

    I will have one next week when I get back to the Canaries and post the results

    Thanks to everyone for their advice and support, especially Clutter who advised on forcing my doctor to give me Eltroxin to see how the symptoms would be

    Will

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