Thyroid UK
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Results & what to say to GP


I've felt unwell for last 2 years with tiredness, muscle aches, really heavy periods, foggy brain ect. I've got anemia and tsh borderline on each blood test I've had.

In June I was really suffering so went back and had more tests these are the results.

TSH 6.66. (0.4-5.5)

T4 12.3 (10.3-24.5)

Vit D 48 (50-120)

B12 370 (174-1132)

Folate 9.5 (4.2-18.7)

Ferritin 16.7 (13-150)

So TSH is high and has been creeping up over last 2 years last sep it was 5.74 then in January it was 6.17 my ferritin is higher than usual it's usually more like 12-14.

So doctor has told me to take a high dose of vit d, I'm on 5000 a day and he has said to retest in 3 months and if no improvement will trial thyroxine apparently if vit d so low thyroxine will not be effective.

I'm due to get the new bloods done first week of sep, also I've heard getting the tests done earlier in the day is better, why is this? All my other tests were done at around 1.30-2pm. I'm feeling really tired a nap is required each day. I'm waking at least 3 times a week with aches in arms and legs and my last two periods have been so heavy I've been unable to leave the house for 2 days and my hair feels a lot thinner also zero sex drive.

It seems that no gp will look at the whole picture they just treat each thing separately, any advice on what to say?

Thanks x

6 Replies

Sorry you are having a rough time.

Are you on iron tablets? Your ferritin is very low. If you were to start thyroxine, you would really need to have your ferritin around 70-90 for it to work properly. There was recent research that said women with ferritin below 50 benefit from iron supplements. Ferritin is just as important as the vitamin D. It is refreshing to hear of a GP that recognises the importance of vitamin D :)

Personally I would push for a trial of thyroxine to see if it helps but you really do need to get your iron up. The low iron may be contributing to your heavy periods and other symptoms. You may also benefit from taking a vitamin b complex as both your b12 and folate could be a little higher. Remember supplements will affect those particular blood tests.

TSH is highest at night so getting it tested first thing in the morning gives you an idea of just how high it is going. It is lowest in the afternoon so you would be getting a falsely low reading.

I hope you get the treatment you need soon but the iron/ferritin and b vitamins are also really important.

I hope that helps

Carolyn x

1 like

Hi ELR99,

I really feel for you. You sound so like me a couple of years ago pre-diagnosis. CarolynB is very right about having your blood test in the morning. TSH levels can indeed fluctuate quite a lot. "TSH has a circadian rhythm, with a peak around midnight (with much variability between individuals), and a low in the afternoon; fluctuations are normal. The change in TSH from peak to trough is approximately 72%". (Barbara Lougheed, Tired Thyroid, pg 312).

Having said which, your TSH looks high anyway. Peatfield (you will read a lot about him on this site) says that anything above 2.uU/ml should raise suspicion and anything over 2.5 should be diagnostic. (Your Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy, pg. 77). Has your GP tested for Peroxidase Antibodies? This for me was the clincher and finally got me treatment - no questions asked! One of the most common reasons for hypothyroidism is called Hashimoto's disease, which is an autoimmune condition. Have you heard of this? Like you, my readings had been steadily deteriorating, my TSH wasn't even as high as yours, but as soon as my GP investigated further and tested for antibodies the question was answered. It is a common test, so do not be afraid to ask for it.

Good luck!


Thank you both, will ask for antibody test too but it's like getting blood from a stone. On last test dr only requested vit d and I actually ticked the others off myself to get them tested! Will also make sure I go for the blood test really early.


ELR99, Ask your GP to test thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies at your next blood test. If they are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) he should start you on Levothyroxine to delay progression of overt hypothyroidism. Scroll down to Guidelines and Treatment options to read Dr. A. Toft's comments in Pulse Magazine

Email for a copy of the article if you want to show it to your GP.

Supplement iron tablets to improve your ferritin and take each dose with 500mg-1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and mitigate constipation.

I'd also recommend supplementing B12 until it's high in range. Buy methylcobalamin sub lingual lozenges, spray or patches.

if you buy via Amazon please use the TUK affiliate link


Please remember to take k2 with your D3


If you want to go for private testing have a look via TUK at Blue Horizon. They have a Comprehensive V -full range of tests on offer in August and it includes cost of phlebotomy. They give a donation to TUK. You can also get tests you do at home with pin prick/drops of blood. I have just had the compV from BH and added on antibody test and then found I could have done that one at home with pin prick. (sterile lancet). There are plenty of folks on this website who will help you interpret your results. Also lots of good books you can read and TUK has a library you can borrow from.(click on support button on TUK site) With a TSH reading like yours I was given Levo and soon started to feel better. Things went downhill when the antibodies "started up" still trying to get back on an even keel. It is a steep learning curve but you will get lots of support here.


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