Thyroid UK
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Thyroid advice needed

I was diagnosed with hypothyrodism last May. I went to the doctor as my fingers were stiff and painful when I woke up each morning. The pains and stiffness subsided almost immediately after waking, although the joints would remain tender throughout the day if I squeezed them.

The doctor originally thought it was some sort of arthritis, although as a 39 year old man I was surprised it would have set in so young :-)

Blood test sweep detected FT4 of 10.5 and TSH of 20.25 and I had the usual side effects of rapid weight gain and memory loss/foggy head.

I was immediately put on 50mcg of levo and sent on my way. The pains in my fingers stopped about a week later and thought last year I would have my blood tested and the dose was upped to 75 and then in Nov last year to 100 mcg.

The pains in ny hands started again so I had a blood test and then went to the doctor to discuss expecting the doc to recommend an increase.

He said the numbers were in range and that was that, without asking me if I had any symptoms. I told him about my hands and he said it was probably unrelated (this is a new doc as I moved in January). He told me it was probably a strain from using a keyboard and gave me some hand moving exercises to do. He clearly isn't well informed on this condition, although as his biography in the waiting room tells one and all how he is the lead practitioner who trains new GPs I'm not hopeful he'd want to admit that. I need some help telling him what I need to have tested to make a full diagnosis as the fogginess and memory lapses are also creeping back. I was also told I had raised antibodies so is most likely hashimotos.

Thank you

3 Replies

My latest test results in March show FT4 of 18.7 and TSH of 1.89



do you know what the ranges are?

Ideally when you're being treated for this condition, people feel better with TSH less then 1.

Why don't you ask if you can increase by 25mcg and or even 12.5mcg levothyroxine? And then re-test TFT s in 2 mths? That may make all the difference to you.

Plus have all the tests that human bean details :)


Ask your doctor for tests of vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, ferritin and folate. People with hypothyroidism have problems maintaining good levels of nutrients. Make sure you ask for a copy of the results including reference ranges and post them here.

Get in the habit of asking for results and reference ranges for every blood test you have no matter what it is for, and keep a history. On each day you have blood taken for tests, note down what your symptoms were, what time the blood was taken, whether fasting or not, what dosage of meds you were on, when your last meds were taken. It would also be helpful if you noted your early morning temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, if possible, because being hypo/hyper affects all these things.

On each day that you have a test make sure your :

a) Test is done as early as you can make it. Between 8am and 9am would be ideal.

b) Test is done fasting (but water can be drunk freely).

c) If you normally take your levo in the morning, miss it out on the morning of the test, and take it after the blood draw instead.

d) If you normally take your levo in the evening, don't take any the day before the test, and instead take the missed dose immediately after the blood draw. Then take your evening levo as normal.

Have you ever had thyroid antibodies tested?

There are various "rules" about when to take levo in relation to food and supplements, but I can never remember them. Hopefully someone can post them for you.

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