Help with symptoms and getting diagnosed/treated

Hi (again).. Wonder if any one has any advice for me. Since I posted last, i've felt even worse.. desperate tiredness, (going to bed at 3pm) more hair loss (nearly 2/3rds of hair since October 2013) , suicidal depression and aching joint, plus heavy periods and a racing/thumping heart at night... (I'm living in the warm Mediterranean sunshine, shouldn't be feeling like this!) My results in March were:

Iron 18.6 umol/L(6.6-26)

FT4 - 18.3 - 12-22

FT3 - 4.6 (2.8-7.1)

TSH 3.0 (0.27-4.2)

And then in UK in April

TSH 2.36 (0.35-3.50)

FT4 - 14 (8-21)

B12 415 (130-1100)

Ferritin 27

Cholesterol 7 (normal range to 5)

I have been taking supplements and oral B12.. but I feel no better and in fact have lost more hair ... and feel even more lethargic

My question is, what do I say when I got to my Doc in UK in a few weeks and discuss all of this.. How do I stop being fobbed off with 'it's your age, you're depressed, peri-menopause" How do I get treatment and a choice in the medication? Would I be able to get Armour or another NDT medication prescribed?

Thinking back, since I've been reading these forums, i've had many of these symptoms since my teens, particularly the aching joints and was told at one stage it was 'growing pains'.. My hair started shedding in my early 20's and I've struggled with depression on and off since my teens too, could all of this be an undiagnosed underactive thyroid?

Thanks for reading


38 Replies

And also, if my TSH came down in April, but the range is slightly different, does that still mean my TSH is too high?

Your ferritin is only 27 IT MUST BE 70

Your cholesterol is too high which indicates hypothyroid

are you on levothyroxine if so what dose because your t4 is low and your tsh should be below 1

Have you had tests for thyroid antibodies they are vital because its likely you have hashimotos and have done since you were young

I have had no tests for antibodies, I'm going to be seeing my doctor in a few weeks (back in uk)... will they test me for antibodies? from what I've been reading, I'm dreading them just telling me everything is normal and go away.. Will they do the test for antibodies if I ask? or will I hvae to go private?

To clarify - SOME people do not feel well until their TSH is towards the bottom of the reference range or lower.

thanks Louise is it worth mentioning this to docs?

It is! :) You can email me for some info on this...


I had a phone discussion with doc after these results and she said there was absolutely no need to worry about my ferritin and that my high cholesterol was probably diet related (I think I said this before) I have NO faith that my practice will take anything seriously and that I will not be helped at all.. Should I take someone with me for support?

Your ferritin is way too low.

High cholesterol is definitely associated with undiagnosed hypothyroidism:

Can you see a different Dr who knows more about thyroid conditions?

Have you printed off one of the lists of symptoms, and ticked which are relevant to you? You can take it in with you as an aide memoire, plus yes, do take someone with you to prompt you about anything you forget to mention to the Dr.

I will ask at surgery if anyone has experience in this area... and I will print off the symptom list on thank you

Change your doctor.

sorry, no not on any meds, these results are me, unmedicated and really not feeling good..:(

Ultimately sometimes we have to go down the road of self-medicating, if Drs won't acknowledge the possibility of there being a need for thyroid support.

I have to ask you how old are you now? It maybe hypo but if you're suicidal really I would recommend you start taking antidepressants see if you feel better, you cannot live like that, that's too much suffering. Do you know if your cholesterol was always high as besides hypo symptom it can be genetics as mine. Also has GP ruled out arthritis? Fibromyalgia can give you joint pain also.

HI, I'm 50.. otherwise fit healthy and only feeling terrible (depressions wise) in the last 8 months.. I don't want to take ADs I really want to get to the bottom of this.. I have been really active and fit up until now, with bouts of every day tiredness, but the fatigue I've experienced lately is not normal... I have been tested for arthritis, all clear..

I have taken them in past.. they really don't help in fact make things worse.. i'm not sure about cholesterol being high before, but I'm a slim, fit, active vegetarian yoga teacher... I guess it could run in family but not sure (as mum dead now)... will ask my father. thanks! :-)

On no account take anti depressants they are flouride based and this damages the thyroid

also on no account ever tell a doctor you are depressed or they will label you and they will not tske the thyroid issue seriously

ferritin and often folate nose dives with hypothyroid and cholesterol rises

its happened to 5 members of my family and they all have Hashimotos

we see the same thing and the ssme results on here day after day

RFU123, I wish you'd back off with the depression is undiagnosed hypothyroidism and antidepressants are the spawn of the devil. Depression can be due to non-thyroidal illness and antidepressants have a role in coping with depression.

It's irresponsible to tell a poster who says in her OP she is suicidally depressed to hide this from her GP for fear of being labelled. GPs will not be able to make a clinical diagnosis if patients aren't candid about their clinical symptoms.

I have been treated for depression in the past, to clarify.. I now wonder if my 'depression' has not been because of un-diagnosed thyroid.. I have never found the drugs (AD's) any help and are terrible to come off, I hear what you are saying but I'd rather pursue another avenue right now and see how that pans out.. I have absolutely no reason to be depressed right now btw...which is why its all the more obvious to me that something else is up.. thanks for your concern though


Good to hear that you aren't suicidal now. Ask your GP to prescribe a 3 month trial of replacement Levothyroxine 75mcg/100mcg. If symptoms improve then low thyroid hormone was the reason. If they don't improve non-thyroidal illness is likely the reason you are unwell.

ok thanks for that!

I have suffered from depression due to child abuse and I have found anti depressants useful to enable me to think clearly enough to engage with therapy, which is what I really needed. But they don't suit everyone obviously. I think the only reason I haven't been fobbed off its depression since I became unwell with thyroid issues is that I know what depression is like and I knew that what I was feeling wasn't the same at all. So you know best how you feel, in my opinion. I hope you feel better soon xx

hi Harry, thank you.. yes I feel similarly that its different... thanks a lot xx

and to clarify, i'm not suicidal right now! I do not feel good but not so awful as in Jan of this year...thank you for your concern...

I am well aware that depression exists outside of thyroid illness

i do though know that when a patient is likely hypothyroid the worst thing they can do is mention to a doctor they are depressed because too many doctors will focus on that and hand out ADs

i also know the horrific effect ADs have on thyroid patients and just how hard they are to get off

RFU, it can never be right to hide suicidal depressive feelings from a GP in the hope of getting a hypothyroid diagnosis. You know that most diagnoses will be based on the TSH level and little account taken of clinical symptoms. I would rather GPs trialled Levothyroxine in euthyroid depressed patients than ADs but it doesn't mean that ADs don't have their uses.

If only GPs would trial levo it might help but whats really needed is clinical skills need training urgently

medics are too fond of saying "blood tests are perfect "but when patients are still ill they say "medicine is not a precise science"

Sorry RFU, but I think you are perhaps not 100% right to claim that anti-depressants "are flouride based". Some do indeed have fluorine atoms in them - several that do have the string of letters "fluo" in their names.

Sertraline, Venlafaxine, Milnacipran, Duloxetine, Levomilnacipran, Amitriptyline, Trimipramine, Bupropion and many others have none.

The presence of a single fluorine atom bound into the molecule might have a very different effect to a substance such a salt of fluorine. Without further understanding, I couldn't possibly say whether the fluorine atoms are ever freed and so able to directly affect anything. Would be interesting to know for sure.


I agree it would be nice to know for sure, for some reason amitriptyline seems to react very badly with thyroid patients i wonder why that is, seroxat caused my husband hell,my daughter has been given heaven knows how many different ones before her hashimotos got diagnosed and all of them had her pretty suicidal....

thank you!

Just curious - have you ever had a head/neck injury, car accident, whiplash...? xx

B12 looks low to me - a lot of the symptoms can be very similar! xx

Hi Louise, not that I'm aware of, at least not in adult life... remember having some sort of prang as a child but not sure if any neck injury... Was told B12 'normal'!!!!! thank you

These things can take a while to show through - was just wondering about the possibility of a pituitary connection...



Hi Abby

I spoke to somebody last week who was bed-bound with a B12 of 500 and somebody else with neurological symptoms with a B12 of 485.

Re: B12, there's an online assessment form where you can enter your signs and symptoms:

Also, have a look at this site, and particularly the films about B12 deficiency.

thank you, I will check these out...

Great info there about B12! :)

We have strong links with the Pernicious Anaemia Society:


Their Chair, Martyn Hooper, is speaking at our conference...



Thank you for all your helpful comments Louise!

So, update on Doctor's response. As expected. You are 'normal' (when asked for a referral to an Endo - I got no endo will look at these results, you are NOT hypothyroid).. It's apparently 'normal' to lose over 2/3's of your hair, 'normal' to be so tired you cant climb stairs and I was told that really I should just accept these symptoms as part of ageing... (yes really!).. bearing in mind I am a yoga teacher, an exercise professional have post grad degrees in it etc etc, the funniest (well not really funny, more like tragic) one was 'if you don't feel like exercising you will just have to force yourself, it's good for you... SERIOUSLY!!!!! I was so tired I couldn't climb the stairs... let alone do cardiovascular exercise ... I am so pissed off, anyway I managed to get a thyroid antibody test out of her, but the bottom line is, they will not treat me ..Oh yeah, got offered a Mirena coil because of my heavy periods...

i will not be going back to my GP for any help in this area, I have basically been told that feeling like this is all normal and part of getting older and I really need to accept it, or take anti-dpressants, or have a Mirena coil and go away .... disgusting!

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