Thyroid UK
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Hypothyroid / Hashimotos?!

I have recently been diagnosed with auto immune problem Hypothyroid. I had a number of symptoms but facial dry skin flares were unusual to me and bothered me along with some menstrual changes. GP told me (I'm 46) it was probably that time in life...! I asked for bloods and my TSH levels were 5/6. After doing research online I later asked for more tests (took a long time to get permissions) They turned out like this:-

Vit D - 24

Ferratin /iron - 25

Oestrogn - 1718

Progesterone - 5

Cortisol (9am) 388 and then again was 300

TPO - 966

Free t4 - 11.2

Celiac - negative

H-Pylori - negative

B12 - normal

With other blood serums and folate in normal range. Liver function ok.

So the bio chemist did not think anything unusual with the cortisol although it was nearly half of the cut off point. Knowing I've had a stressful ten years or so and five years of that with a child with sick health due to lack of NHS accurate diagnosis - rendering four consistent night on night loss of sleep, a bankruptcy, loss of job, loss of home, loss of business and income, skipped meals, poor diet, moving home 5 times in 3 years... 2 years with parents with child and so forth its been challenging to say the least.

My father aged 84 has Hashimotos about ten years now but no great symptoms, and has been on levothyroxin ten years. A retired Dr is used to medicating anything. However I have lost half an eyebrow, know my stomach acid has been low, acid reflux, know the exhaustion and fatigue has been there for years, have had a pale puffy face and loosing collagen in the skin around and under my jawline, weight gain around the abdomen and skin areas, hair thinning and dried out a lot, eyes fuzzy and sometimes feeling sore, red and dry creating blurry vision.

The GPs haven't given any answers other than, you are subclinical, expect it to get worse, here's medication if you want it.. and book in to see and endocrinologist in 3 months (soonest poss) to do some more cortisol tests... we're not really sure what causes it, or what else you can do but there is no cure... That's it.

So, after reading as much as I could on line I have made dietary changes by eliminating dairy, soy and wheat/gluten, alcohol, caffeine, no exposure to cigarettes (wasn't really a smoker but on occasion in last year had had occasional cigarette), eating whole foods and organic and trying a bit of protein in every meal, and avoiding blood sugars dipping where possible... also taking Selenium, Zinc, Vit D, Vit C, Iron, Adrenal Support, Pro Biotics, L Glutamine, L Acytel, Magnesium - was taking THyrocin but read that Iodine support can be unhelpful - Can't avoid the stress but am doing my best. Also visited a homeopath and booking in with an osteopath for massage and possibly an acupuncturist.

I understand that everyone's Hashimotos is or likely to be slightly different but the above input is on the whole good for all.... although the dietary change is hard its something I'm committed to as I've given myself 3 months to see improvements although I am not expecting them to be huge and may end up taking Levothyroxin if the symptoms are severe still whilst trying to progress a natural and complementary course of action.

Its very hard as its quite a lonely road with few people understanding the lethargy, depression, flare ups, and so forth. I understand that estrogen dominance can cause too much thyroid binding globulin which retains active T3. I've also understood that poor adrenal function can reduce progesterone causing a pregnenolone steal from cortisol which too will create an imbalance.

Its a bit of a mine field - and I'm really asking anyone out there for their advice or opinion on whether I should take Levothyroxin or if there's something I'm missing out on doing - and if anyone has had similar results and managed to reduce inflammation and TSH successfully? I'm awaiting final blood panel this week which will finally give me T3 results and I am also sending off hair for mineral analysis and food sensitivity.

Amazing that the GPs don't hand you a booklet from diagnosis that isn't big pharma biased, that actually allows you to make informed decisions and support the overall picture better... as I read on many blogs that although people are on the medication they don't always see a great improvement in symptoms and the auto immune problems obviously remain and can continue to cause tissue destruction. I do hope over time someone sets up a clinic dedicated to this condition where people can get help... as the private and GP system really don't seem to offer it.

5 Replies

Welcome to the forum, Sara747. I don't understand why you haven't accepted your GP's offer of thyroxine to replace the hormone you are lacking. You say your father's been taking Levothyroxine for 10 years with 'no great symptoms' - well his lack of symptoms will be because he is replacing his low hormone. Hashimoto's attacks and ultimately destroys the thyroid gland until it is incapable of producing hormone. Dietary and lifestyle changes may slow the progression but rarely stop it and can't restore lost thyroid function from damage sustained. Gluten free certainly helps a lot of members reduce Hashi flares and antibodies so it's well worth trying for a few months to see whether symptoms improve.

TSH of 5/6 and low-within range FT4 means you are subclinically hypothyroid but the subclinical part should only apply to patients who are symptom free. You can wait until you are overtly hypothyroid ie TSH >10 and FT4 below range before you start taking Levothyroxine but your symptoms will worsen in the meantime and be harder and take longer to shift. There are adverse health implications with untreated subclinical as well as untreated overt hypothyroidism.

Most people do fine on Levothyroxine but thyroid fora have a high proportion of members who don't do so well on it because the well people don't need support forums. If you find Levothyroxine doesn't suit you after you are optimally medicated in a few months there are alternative treatments,all pharmacological, although they may not be readily available via the NHS.

Your vitD 24 is very low, almost deficient. Optimal is 75-200. How much vitD3 are you taking?

Ferritin is also very low. Optimal is halfway through range. Take each iron tablet with 500mg-1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and mitigate constipation.

What is normal B12? <500 can cause neurological symptoms but it is within range, so 'normal'.

Please include the lab ref ranges when you post your FT3 results as it helps members interpret.

I can't advise on sex hormones or cortisol. If you don't get answers post a separate question asking for advice on sex hormone and cortisol results.


'Amazing that the GPs don't hand you a booklet from diagnosis that isn't big pharma biased'

There isn't such a booklet. GPs - and even endos - know nothing of all the things you've mentioned above. They Don't learn it in med school, but are taught that antibodies are irrelevant and hypo is easy to treat. They have absolutely no idea what we go through because they Don't listen to their patients. Hypothyroidism - be it autoimmune or other - is the most neglected disease there is. If you complain about symptoms they will come up with any excuse - like the time of life - to avoid admitting that it could possibly be anything to do with your thyroid. Don't expect much help from doctors and you won't be disappointed!

'The GPs haven't given any answers other than, you are subclinical, expect it to get worse, here's medication if you want it.. and book in to see and endocrinologist in 3 months (soonest poss) to do some more cortisol tests... we're not really sure what causes it, or what else you can do but there is no cure... That's it.'

Yes, that is it. That's all they know. They Don't have any answers. I'm afraid you're more or less on your own on this. But go and see the endo, you never know, he might be more helpfull. And take the hormone. Why not? If your gland has been damaged by the anitbodies, there is no 'natural' way to replace the missing hormone other than taking hormone. So many people have tried, but to my knowledge, none have succeeded.

I have had Hashi's since I was a small child, but had no idea what was wrong with me. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 55 - and then only by accident - because doctors had no idea, either. None of them mentioned thyroid, and I didn't even know what a thyroid was! You at least have the advantage of being diagnosed a bit younger, and you know something about it. Take advantage of that, go onto thyroid hormone replacement, get your TSH suppressed and that should cut down on the antibody attacks and save your thyroid from further damage. If they ever find a cure for Hashi's, you will still have some gland intact! I won't. Mine has been destroyed. I would give anything to have it back.

Hugs, Grey


Sara, The kinds of stress you have suffered it would be no wonder you have problems and especially the age when hormones are naturally going to undergo their own fluctuations. I applaud what you are doing healthwise but here is some information about TPO.


Thank you both for your replies! Very comforting...

The problem is if I take levothyroxin with exhausted adrenals then I risk damaging the adrenals further... this is not good as it puts too much strain on them. I'm trying to find a dr who can assess both and treat both as the adrenals HAVE to heal first. Bit catch 22 though. I've had Barry Peatfield suggested and as soon as I know my T3 will post here and maybe start with a visit to him as he seems to get the whole picture well. I realise something may make me feel less rubbish - its like everything is just grey and looking back I may have had passing symptoms over the years... and not known but the last ten probably pushed a few more buttons with the stress I've had.

It seems to be a disease that has different nuances for everyone - I really want to feel good again - and with the symptoms of dry skin, hair, gritty eyes, lethargy and low libido, depression, weight gain and collagen loss its really a kick in the teeth to any woman already bracing herself for middle age with an 8 year old energetic boy on top expecting me to kick a football everywhere!

His father and I tried re-uniting recently but now I've got this - I m not sure I'm able to be the partner he needs me to be! Frustrating,.. so will seek some more answers. Off to get some B vitamins as although in threshold think mine should be higher, and some Vitamin A etc and dry cough linctus as a homeopath visited recently to help with this gave me a remedy related to childhood family dynamics that I think has brought on a bad cough reaction! The joys !!!


Just re-read my post I think I should be writing - I'm not sure if he's going to be the partner I need in terms of support for this condition - and because its just not widely known - not much awareness, it makes the communication of the problem to men with little attention span on such matters, that much harder!


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