Thyroid UK
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Colder than a dead body - follow up results

Firstly, thank you to all those that responded to my first post two weeks ago 'colder than a dead body'. It was heartening to first of all find that this forum exists, and then to find others recognise these symptoms after a series of doctors haven't!

The great advice on here gave me the confidence and knowledge to ask for the ( now well documented) set of blood tests that may be relevant to a thyroid issue.

I presented to doctor with a written request for the tests as well as documented symptoms, he read through and said "that's fine I can arrange to have all of those done ......with the exception of T3, which we don't do as primary investigation test in Leicestershire "

My heart sank, as I understood this to be the most important of all the tests.

So below are the test results to determine why I am literally 'colder than a dead body' ( minus a missing t3 of course),

TSH : 0.86 (0.3 -5.0)

T4: 13. (9.0 - 25)

Vit B12: 297. (220 - 700)

Folate 4. ( 2.6 - 17.3)

Ferritin. 167. ( 23 - 540)

Vit D. 32. described as 'inadequate'

Iron 9. ( 14 - 28) this is the only result highlighted in bold with an exclamation mark on the lab sheet

Thyroid perixidase antibodies <20

Cortisol. 243. (138 - 620)

Additionally, other tests have shown a low white blood-cell count and low testosterone .

Any thoughts, suggestions or guides on what to do to find what is wrong. All I know regarding the doctor at the moment is that he didnt think it necessary for me to go back and see him for a follow up appointment as he had mentioned to front desk that he wanted to arrange a 'telephone consultation '

For anyone that missed my original post, I had described my symptoms of very low body temperature , extreme fatigue, brain fog and lack of drive.

Again, may I say what a huge lift the discovery of this site has given me and thank you to all.

10 Replies

Ditch the NHS and get your own blood test results through a private provider- you are missing a key piece of information without which you cannot work.

Low white cell count is typical when you have auto immune diseases - found this out through a private gp, NHS ignored the fact for years. When i raised it they said it was normal.......for Africans; i am Caucasian.

Lack of d3 makes you very tired, as does low b12, which yours is. "normal" does not equal optimal. Start supplementing immediately. Many people need a suppressed tsh to feel right. You may be one of them.

You may end up having to go it alone like many of us have, but frankly, ditching the NHS and self medicating is the best thing i ever did


BlueDafodil - thank you for taking the time to reply . I think you may be right, I am 9 years into trying find the problem and the first shred of light has been finding this community. Discharged already from two endocrine departments, yet people are amazed when they feel how cold I am.

I will research getting private blood tests done, thanks.



Jon this is a link re private blood tests. Blue Horizon does pin prick ones too and gives a discount to members.

Before the blood tests were introduced with the corresponding levothyroxine, we were diagnosed on symptoms only and given a trial of NDT. If we felt much better we had hypothyroidism. In some people the TSH isn't a good guide but that's how the endocrinologists are trained these days i.e. to only diagnose by the TSH and are unaware of clinical symptoms (extreme cold is one of the around 300 symptoms).

Some people have got their blood drawn (where this is necessary by the nurse at the doctor's surgery).

Did your doctor prescribe anything for your very low vitamins/minerals? These will cause you problems too.

Vitamin B12 is very, very important and is actually a hormone which can cause neurological and nerve damage. Supplement with sublingual methylcobalamin B12 (I get mine from Amazon as they have a selection). Usually, if hypo, we can also have stomach problems but may be unaware of this initially so sublingual bypasses the gut and goes directly into the bloodstream. Vitamin D is a pro-hormone and very important too. Your aim is to get your B12 towards the upper level but we cannot take too much as our body takes what it needs daily and excretes surplus.

This is a link re Vit D which should be around 70:

Vitamin C daily as it is very helpful. Vitamin D should be D3 and not D2.

Everything is very low above and no wonder you're feeling so bad.

1 like

Really very much appreciated. Thank you


No wonder you are cold and tired. I'll comment on the iron-related results.

Your serum iron is below the range and your ferritin (iron stores) is approx 28% of the way through the range. You would feel a lot better if you got both much closer to mid-range i.e. iron up to about 20 or so and ferritin up to about 290. Don't aim for higher than mid-range.

Many people have difficulties supplementing iron because it is irritating to the gut. So, try one supplement and if you can't tolerate it then try a different one. The one I use is :

Ferrous fumarate 210mg bought in a box of 84 from a pharmacy.

Boots won't sell it without prescription but other pharmacies will. I've bought from Tesco and Lloyds pharmacies.

Each box of 84 tablets is enough for 3 separate doses per day for 28 days. Expect to pay about £4 - £5 per box. You might want to try 1 tablet a day for a couple of days, then increase to 2 if you tolerate it well, then increase to 3. Spread your doses out throughout the day.

The patient information leaflet for ferrous fumarate can be read here :

Take each iron tablet with 500mg - 1000mg of vitamin C. This helps for two reasons. It helps your body to absorb the iron. Also, iron tablets may cause constipation. And high dose vitamin C may cause diarrhoea. A combination of the two makes things "comfortable". Experiment with your dose of vitamin C to get the desired effect.

If you don't tolerate ferrous fumarate very well there are other iron supplements available. The important thing is the amount of elemental iron in the supplement. One tablet of ferrous fumarate 210mg contains 69mg of elemental iron. Most iron supplements which are more easily tolerated are more expensive and have less elemental iron in, so will slow down the rate at which your iron and ferritin levels rise. Avoid ferrous sulphate - it's the cheapest, nastiest, least well-tolerated supplement available. The NHS uses it.

The info your doctor relies on when prescribing iron supplements can be read here :

Iron is poisonous in overdose. Therefore it is essential to get regular testing to check your levels aren't rising too high. The problem is that nobody knows until they take iron and then do testing how fast they will absorb it. Some people absorb it well, some don't. Until you have some idea how your own body reacts be very cautious. Get tested a couple of months after starting to supplement. Please don't forget!

1 like

Your time on this reply is hugely appreciated. Thank you so much.



your B12 is dire so I would be suspecting pernicious anaemia which masks as hypothyroid

I think your low iron implicates this

However your Free T4 is pretty low and while your TSH is also low this could be because you have Central hypothyroid which is pituarity failure

Go back to your doctor and say its been strongly suggested by those who know that

Pernicous Aneamia

or Central Hypothyroid (as opposed to primary hypothyroid) could be the cause

Given the low iron I would want to know if theres anything else sinister going on

because only those who are totally vegan or with a bleeding ulcer or extremely heavy periods ( no idea if your male or female ) or a tumor that's latched onto a blood supply would have iron that low

Something somewhere is wrong and you need it investigated properly

see another GP if nessecary


Thank you reallyfedup, I am male so that rules out heavy periods. Very appreciative of your time. Jon


In which case your GP should take your low iron VERY SERIOUSLY INDEED definitely NOT a telephone consult


On the contrary, had the appointment this afternoon and he described the iron result as 'possibly a red herring'.

A contributor on here mentioned that the low vits were possibly responsible for not converting t4 to t3 so I've suggested he now gets my t3 done to see if this is the case.

As someone else suggested, the NHS really does seem a waste of time and unhelpful.

Again, thank goodness for this forum!


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