Clueless about my underactive thyroid

Hi everybody :) I have been feeling tired, exhausted , moody, forgetfull, dizzy and getting brown patches on my forehead for years and first asked for a blood test in 2011 that came back negative but I'm pretty sure I had an underactive thyroid then, something was low but doctor said I was fine and didn't have it. By chance at the beginning of June I was seeing a doctor who was covering for mine I was there to get anti depressants after speaking to him he said I should have a blood test to check my hormones he suspected I had pcos or a thyroid problem. My blood test came back I phoned the surgery to get results and they said they were waiting for the doctor to comment on my results.. They phoned me back and said my doctor said I had an underactive thyroid and to come and pick meds up that day and book another blood test for 6 weeks.. I picked my meds up it was Levo 25mg... I was disappointed that no one had even explained this condition to me so I phoned the surgery to speak to and thank the doctor who sent me for the blood test and ask a bit more about it.. He said I would definitely need my meds increased next time (it was my doctor that prescribed the 25mg not the stand in one who finally got me diagnosed) he also said my prolactin was low and he'd like it checked again but when i go back this doctor will be done covering and I'll be back to my original rubbish one that's left me Undiagnosed for years... What happens now, what should I ask for? My brother and my nan also have underactive thyroid but they live in another country and never spoke about it. Sorry for long post and for babbling on I'm just worried and confused and wish the doctor who got me sorted was there to stay!

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20 Replies

  • can you post your latest test numbers? (with ranges) then people have some idea how to help - be interesting to know at what level you were when GP recognised a problem - they don't usual prescribe until result confirmed 3 months later. Prolactin is a pituitary hormone (pituitary stimulates Thyroid hormone too. TSH)

    What's with Thyroid problems being taboo? (your brother & nan).

    Glad you're being treated but 25mcg is a starter low dose - hope you feel better x

  • I will call surgery in the morning and ask.. Thank you for replying :)

  • Thyroid isn't a taboo subject it's just were not intouch often :)

  • I'm sorry didn't know your circumstances - yet it seems to be in my family, no-one knows.

    they're tests on Your blood, you are entitled to know results (often people ask for a printout)

  • Thyroid function test

    Serum free t4 level 10.5 pmol/L (12.0-22.0)

    Serum tsh level 4.58 mu/L (0.4-4.0)

    This doesn't seem to bad but I feel so so tired and my head always aches or is dizzy :(

  • Hi I'm in the uk I have no idea what my result is or what ranges are I wasn't told. I just had a call from the receptionist after I'd chased my results up saying you have an underactive thyroid and to come and pick your tablets up today and come back in 6 weeks for another blood test.

  • So here you are Annie, packed off with a prescription and no information. When you inform yourself and go back in 6 weeks your GP will probably whinge about you getting information from the internet :-D By the way, 25mcg is unlikely to be helpful so there's no reason why you shouldn't go back for the blood test in 4 weeks and ask for an increase. Increases/decreases are usually in 25mcg increments followed by another blood test until your TSH is in range.

    It will be easier to talk you through things when you post your results. In the meantime, Levothyroxine should be taken with a large glass of water on an empty stomach an hour before or two hours after food and drink. Take it 2 hours away from any other medication and supplements, and 4 hours away from iron, calcium and oestrogen. You can take it any time of the night and day that suits you but try to be consistent.

  • Thyroid function test

    Serum free t4 level 10.5 pmol/L (12.0-22.0)

    Serum tsh level 4.58 mu/L (0.4-4.0)

    Thank you for your response looks like I'm only just underactive but doesn't match how I feel

  • Annie, you are very hypothyroid. Your TSH is above range and your FT4 is well below range which means you will struggle to convert to T3 which is the active hormone required by every cell. Patients under 60 and without heart problems are usually prescribed the full replacement dose of 75mcg/100mcg. Make sure to ask for a follow up thyroid blood test in 4 weeks. Your thyroid medication will need increasing.

  • Annie, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland to prompt the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine (T4). T4 is an inactive pre-hormone which is converted in the liver and other organs to the active hormone T3. T3 is required in every cell of the body. When it is low, as yours must be, your metabolism slows down, your temperature regulation fails so you are too cold or too hot, you are fatigued, ache and experience low mood/depression and cognitive issues which are often described as 'brain fog'. Levothyroxine at optimal dose will restore your FT4 and FT3 levels and resolve this but it isn't a quick fix.

    As ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate often become low or deficient in the year prior to hypothyroid diagnosis it's a good idea to ask your GP to test them. Ferritin needs to be 70-90 and the others high in range to aid absorption of throxine and to feel well. NHS prescribe for deficiency but not when they are low in range when self supplementation is recommended.

  • Thank you for the information.. It's all a little confusing still :/ Please can you tell me everything I need to ask my doctor to test next time I'm at the docs so I have it all in one blood test also said my prolactin was low and my serum alkaline phosphatase levels were above range (whatever that means :/ )

  • Annie, I can't help with the prolactin and phosphate but you could enter them in the HU Search box top right of screen or Google.

    Ask your GP to test thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOab) to check for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) and to test ferritin (iron storehouse), vitamin D, B12 and folate. Ask for printouts of the results with the lab ref ranges and post them in a new question for comment/advice.

  • Ok will ask for these tests.. So glad I found this website will probably save months of going back and forth with advice from you all. Thank you

  • Annie, you will be going back and forth for a few months until your meds and thyroid are stabilised but at least you'll be able to understand what's happening to you and get support from others who understand the frustrations.

  • I'm 33 so not sure why I was only put in 25

  • Lots of info as well on the Thyroid UK site which will make more sense when you have your actual results. The GP cannot keep these from you so I should get your recent ones now and post them, put the ranges as well because they tend to be different from different labs. It can take a while to find the dose which makes you well but so glad you have found us as lots of people on here to help and advise.

  • Just to add they never offer results, you have to ask

    Very patronising but they don't think the general public will understand how to interpret them.

  • Annie, closely watch your own test results asking to at least see them. PCOS, depression, and many other conditions are all part of low thyroid but they seem to prefer treating them as separate. Once you are optimally treated for your thyroid, the others should resolve.

  • Thank you everybody for replying it's very kind of you all. I'm going to the surgery now to pick my print out up :) so will post my results shortly. :)

  • Thyroid function test

    Serum free t4 level 10.5 pmol/L (12.0-22.0)

    Serum tsh level 4.58 mu/L (0.4-4.0)

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