Thyroid UK
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Didn't know I was hypothyroid

I went for a cholesterol check and the doctor decided to check everything. Cholesterol fine but I have an underactive thyroid. It fits, weight gain and little energy, but I put it down to age. Also difficulty with memory and speaking at times - which might be why I didn't realise, I should have, mother and grandmother both had this. I did ask for test result, but the doctor just hovered her mouse over a figure on the computer - 13.5. She said my pituitary had taken over thyroid production and started me on 50mg levothyroxine, and to go back in three months. I will ask for details then, but, after reading messages on this forum and elsewhere should I not be checked a bit sooner?

But, I am so much better - getting through the backlog of tasks and feel brighter, although I have to say I had no sign of depression whatsoever, or hair loss (except eyebrows have thinned) or constipation. Does this mean the onset has been recent or is very mild?

Grateful for any thoughts.

9 Replies

Yes the starting dose should be checked and increased after 6 weeks. Yes having thyroid issues can be slow to reveal themselves - but it is good it was picked up and that you are on the mend. Don't forget to ask for copies of your results with ranges. Important to map your own progress.

For the T4 to work well - it is important that the following are optimal - and not just in range. Docs love ranges :-) Ferritin - folate - Iron - B12 - VitD. They all help with the conversion of T4 - the storage hormone - into the ACTIVE hormone T3....and to help your general wellbeing.

If it was your TSH that was 13.5 - then your thyroid is definitely struggling - so I would not suggest it is mild. Others may comment differently.


sounds like she caught this just in time and if you are already feeling better then 3 months for next check may be fine

it does take time to recover and everyone is affected slightly differently when it comes to symptoms for some aches and pains predominate and can be very difficult to get rid of

I guess theres genetic differences or maybe theres a big difference between auto immune thyroiditis ( Hashimotos ) and primary hypothyroid


One thing to remember is that levothyroxine works well for many people. If you read too much of this site, you'll get the impression that is not true. Remember it's those for whom it doesn't work, or whose doctors are dismissing them that tend to use this site.

It takes 6 weeks for the full dose of thyroxine to build up in the body, which is why your doctor has suggested retesting in 3 months. She's also started you on a sensible starting dose, which is working, so hand on in there and with luck you will be fine.

Do make sure the extra tests Marz listed are asked for. It's common for hypo people to be deficient. Make sure you get print outs of all the results.

1 like

Thank you for your replies and the reassurance regarding being retested. I've made a note also of the other tests and will ask the doctor about those too.

So annoyed with myself for not realising - not at all like me to do bare minimum and then sit for the rest of the day! Or to walk and become breathless, although I thought that was the extra stone or so I have put on recently.

Thanks again


If you begin to feel not so good after around six weeks, go back to GP and ask for an increase in medication as sometimes when the dose is too low it can give us additional clinical symptoms.


Or get the other tests done at that time too if they weren't done. If they were, get the numbers.


Thanks once again, I will bear all this in mind!


She said the pituitary had taken over thyroid production? Is that really what she said? It doesn't make sense.

1 like

Just looked at my original message and it was badly worded; no those probably weren't her actual words.


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