Help with test results please!

Hi everyone, this is my first post though I've been suffering with a range of symptoms for 3-4 years. I just recently obtained print outs of my last 2 blood tests and if any of you could help deciphering this for me I would be very grateful! I'm 26 and female by the way.


Hair falling out, also very brittle and breaks easily, and gets tangled in knots all the time as it's so dry.

Lump in the throat just under the collar bone. Dr described it as "swollen". It doesn't hurt but sometimes feels achy.

Diarrhoa, only ever after I've eaten. Doesn't happen all the time, maybe once a week? But it's fairly immediate after I've eaten (within half an hour) and is usually only once.

Pounding chest. Chest area sometimes feels fluttery and like my heart is beating really fast for no reason. It can last for a short while or all day.

Increased sensitivity to heat. Especially in the morning. I often wake up hot and find it difficult to cool down. I also get it after walking somewhere. Like when I walk to the train station in the morning (at a mid-fast pace), I'm often hot and sweaty having taken off all my outer layers of clothing (while everyone else on the train is still in coats) and I'll feel hot and sweaty for the rest of the train journey (around half an hour.

More mouth ulcers than usual.

Weight gain (around a stone and a half).

Light periods (often don't have to wear any pads or tampons it's so light).

Brain fog/confusion/bad memory. Sometimes find it hard to follow conversations, and get distracted very easily. If I'm in a noisy place like a bar I find it difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying to me. Also forget things people have said to me.

Fatigue. Hard to explain; I don't necessarily feel tired but my body feels like it can't really deal with things sometimes, like sometimes when I'm walking my body will feel exhausted. I can't go to the gym anymore because of this and also overheating really easily.

Sometimes find it difficult to focus on things, especially if they're far away. Had an eye exam and they're perfectly fine apparently.

Ok so on to test results:

My first blood test was a few years ago. Everything came back normal except for low on Vit D so I've been taking supplements for that. I don't have a print out of the results but could probably get one if needed.

Results 17/03/2014

-Serum folate 2.96 ug/L (4.6-18.7) "low" (I'm guessing this is folic acid? Took prescribed folic acid supplements for three months and have been taking complete b-complex from Holland and Barrett since then.

-Serum vitamin B12 198 ng/L (191-663)

-Serum alkaline phosphatase 36 u/L (30-130)

-Iron level 12.8 umol/L (7-26)

-Unsat iron binding capacity 73.7 umol/L (45-70) "high"

-Iron saturation 17.4% (20%-5-%) "low"

-Serum TSH level 2.8mu/L (0.27-4.20)

There are some more (serum urea, serum creatine, serum sodium, serum potassium, GFR calculated abbreciated MDRD, serum total bilirubin level, serum ALT, serum total protein, serum globulin, serum ferritin) but they're all normal and I wasn't sure how useful they would be to you all.

Results 02/09/2014

Went back to the dr after several months as I am still experiencing all these problems. Told dr I was still worried there was some sort of thyroid issue as a lot of symptoms seemed to point to that and she said it wasn't my thyroid as the test came back normal. I kind of pushed for another blood test so she did it and also said if it came back normal she would refer me to a dermatologist. They came back normal:

-Serum free t4 13.1 pmol/L (12-22)

-Serum TSH 3.1 mu/L (0.27-4.20)

-Serum folate 13.3 ug/L (4.6-18.7)

-Serum vitamin B12 206 ng/L (191-663)

I have the appointment for the referral to the dermatologist in a few days. As it is the hair problem that troubles me the mos, as I find it upsetting, I led with that as a symptom at my appointment . Dr knows my other symptoms but didn't really mention them, just said about the dermatologist for my hair. When I go to the referral I will push more about my other symptoms.

So, what do you guys think? I've never mentioned any of these symptoms to anyone, but I know I sometimes come across as dizzy, forgetful and confused, have put on weight and my scalp is showing at my hairline and the side of my head. Do you think I would feel better confiding in my boyfriend about this? He's an amazingly supportive and kind person, but I'm just really embarassed, especially about the hair thing.

Also, do you think my symptoms indicate a thyroid issue? And what do you think to my blood test results?

Thanks for reading, I know it was really long, but I've had to condense 3-4 years into this post! :)

9 Replies

  • Katiepoopops, welcome to the forum.

    Low thyroid, low ferritin and low zinc can cause hairloss/shedding. Your TSH has risen and that indicates that your thyroid is failing. Unfortunately, symptoms often become evident long before hypothyroidism is reflected in TSH and you are unlikely to get treatment until your TSH is >4.20. When you have your next thyroid test make sure it is early in the morning when TSH is highest.

    Your B12 has improved but is still very low and you may benefit from supplementing B12 methylcobalamin sublingual lozenges, spray or patches.

  • Thanks for replying Clutter. I missed one out on the 17/03/2014 tests. My serum vitamin D was 26.1 nmol/L (50-125) "low." I was never told about this or prescribed anything, only the folic acid for the low serum folate. For my latest blood tests (02/09/2014) they said the vitamin D was about a month behind so hopefully they'll have received it when I go in on Wednesday. Does it seem weird that vitamin D is low when I have been taking vitamin D3 25ug supplements for the past couple of years?

  • Katie, 25mcg is 1,000iu which is barely a maintenance dose and isn't enough to raise your levels. I was <10 and prescribed 40,000iu loading dose daily for 7 days plus 2,000iu daily for 8 weeks until my level was >100 which is still low when the optimal range is 75-200. I continue to supplement 5,000iu daily.

  • Ok thanks for letting me know. Another thing I will ask about!

  • You have a lot of the classic symptos of hypothyroidism, plus most of the classic deficiencies in minerals and vitamins. You need to work on all those deficiencies, because they will help you feel a little better.

    As usual, they haven't even tested your thyroid properly. For some reason it is one of the few disorders that doctors actively seem not to want to diagnose.

    Go back go your doctor and ask for a full thyroid panel. For the avoidance of doubt on his/her part that means TSH, FT4, FT3 (you will probably have to insist that this is measured), thyroid antibodies. It sounds as if you possibly have a goitre (that swelling) so it is essential to have your antibodies measured. If you have antibodies, you might find that going gluten free makes a big difference to how you feel. I wonder if that diarrhoea is happening after you've eaten wheat?

    Also consider if you might have adrenal problems. There's a good questionnaire here

    If that sounds like you, order the saliva cortisol test from Genova UK

    The NHS won't do that test - they don't acknowledge adrenal problems.

  • Hi Rose. I will try and push for the full panel but she seemed reluctant to do another blood test a few weeks ago as my tsh was "normal". The diarrhoea could very possibly be when eating too much wheat. I often find it happens when I've eaten too much and feel full, and that's usually when I've eaten loads of carbs.

    Thanks for all your help :)

  • You have classic hypo signs. Push for a trial of levo-you wont get ndt. Get your vit and min levels up immediately. Strongly suggest b12 shots urgently. Buy online if u have to. And cut out gluten.

  • Thanks. So iron, vitamin d and vitamin b12? Is there anything else you think I'm missing?

  • The thyroid needs selenium and Iodine. Selenium is ok to take but you need to know your Iodine levels and also if you have antibodies before supplementing Iodine. "Iodine, why you need it" by David Brownstein is a very good book. I did a urine (private) test and my levels of iodine were at 20, should be 150-200. My TPO antibodies were very raised, no treatment suggested by Endo or GP so I started to read up. Went on gluten free and lacto free and antibodies came right down to zero but still I have some problems, hence further reading of various books. I am about half way through the protocol suggested in the Iodine book, about to start using sea salt, final step is very gradual introduction of Iodine. Hoping this is missing piece of my jigsaw. I was diagnosed hypo 7 years ago with TSH of 6 and dose of levo gradually increased from 25mg to 100.

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