Confused. Have symptoms of hypothyroidism but bloods normal


Have had bloods done twice this year. May 2015: TSH 0.52, Free T4, 13.2 and T3

not tested.

Jan 2015: TSH 0.40, Free T4 12.1, T3 not tested

Sept 2014 - on notes "likely peri-menopausal"

Feb 2013 TSH 0.89, Free T4, 13.4, T3 not tested

I have been having symptoms for a long time. I have always been predisposed to anxiety, though this is better through my own personal development. I had a baby last year via IVF and had synthetic hormones at the start of the pregnancy. Since September 2014 I have had pins and needles in my arms and hands, Gp said carpal tunnel syndrome and suggested surgery. No way i thought. I went to osteopath and herbalist and has got better, though its still here. MRI scan showed some wear and tear to the neck, consultant wanted me to have nerve tests, but I declined.

Sleep started getting poor about 7 years ago, no trigger, on holiday. Though have had my share of traumas throughout life.

Sleep since February this year very bad. Was waking every two hours. Went to GP and almost finished a months worth of zopiclone. Despite going to bed early, wake at 3 am and cant get back to sleep, exhausted, Have hypoglycaemia, and get very irritable and anxious , and slightly paranoid if don't eat, so generally graze to keep my energy levels up.

I have lost my libido and often feel cold. Cant lose the last 4Kg of weight and have cut out sugar and alcohol and have a healthy diet.

Have been very tearful, which improved in March this year. but this could have been post natal depression, had emergency C section, exhausted and also a bit isolated. Gp gave me antidepressants, but did not take them as didn't want to..

I feel lightheaded a couple of hours after eating and have cut out sugar, alcohol, eat brown rice and have rye bread. The osteopath said when he treated me, sometimes my adrenals reacted and my goitre was swollen. On one occasion whilst at work I lost my voice completely for a few minutes. I have had occasional bouts where I get hoarse.

Daytime, I am taking nutri adrenal extra, a multivitiman, fish oil x 3, rhodiola, 2.5 mls, and chromium, iron supplement, calcium and magnesium, 30 mls dark cherry juice, spirulina.

Nighttime, compose LT, ashphalia, serrotone 300mg, 30 mls dark cherry juice. I have a snack of oatcakes and nut butter before bed.

The nutritionist had this to say about the saliva samples and gave advice as follows:

Your post awakening and midday cortisol samples were in the reference range. These samples are good indicators of peak adrenal function and adaptive adrenal function. Your afternoon and evening cortisol samples were both below the reference range and these samples are a good indicator of glycemic control and baseline adrenal function.

It is important at this time to support your adrenal glands-especially in relation to blood sugar balancing. Please ensure you eat a protein dominant breakfast such as a 2 to 3 egg omelette stuffed with vegetables or 2 to 3 eggs scrambled with vegetables such as spinach and tomato or 2 poached eggs and smoked salmon or a home made protein shake. If you can, please eliminate starchy carbohydrates such as bread and refined cereals from your breakfast as these will spike blood sugars even when eaten alongside protein.

Please avoid fruit during the first part of the day and eat no more than 2 to 3 portions of fruit a day. When you do eat fruit then focus on berries and apples or pears. I would avoid juicing with fruit as when juiced fruit lacks fibre and becomes high in fast release sugars. Try using vegetables to juice with instead as they are naturally far lower in sugar than fruit. For example, spinach or kale or another green leafy vegetable, cucumber (leaving the skin on), avocado and carrot.

It would be best to have a protein dominant breakfast which should keep you full until lunch, please eat protein again with lunch, please have an snack at around 2.30pm to keep cortisol secreting evenly through the afternoon, a good example of a snack would be a couple of oatcakes with a nut butter or natural yoghurt with berries or a Nakd bar. Have dinner as normal. It would also be useful for you to have a snack before bed to keep blood sugar stable throughout the night. Examples are the same as for your afternoon snack.

Lifestyle is also key to supporting your adrenals at this time and encouraging your body into the parasympathetic state (relaxed) rather than the sympathetic state (aroused and responding to stress). You can do this by using relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and other forms of gentle exercise and by taking time out at points during the day.

Your melatonin was a little high in the morning and for this it would be useful to increase your morning exposure to daylight. With the lighter mornings this should be easy but towards the end of the year it may be useful for you to consider getting a light lamp to waken you on the dark mornings.

The osteopath (he is also a naturopath) suggests coming off all the supplements for 2-3 months, haven't started this yet

I now see a Chinese doctor for acupuncture, Chinese acupressure. He thinks that my pituitary is not working due to loss of blood with first pregnancy, and has given me some pills to take. also he said my metabolism is slow. He thought my hormones weren't working properly too.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but as you can see I am trying everything at the moment as it is really affecting me and I have had to take time off work.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks.


11 Replies

  • What ar we the ranges for TSH and T4 ? Both low could be secondary hypothyroidism.

  • TSH range is 0.35-500 and T4 is 9.00-21.00

  • OK, well, your Chinese doctor could well be right, it could be your pituitary, because that TSH is very low, and the FT4 looks a bit low, too, but difficult to say without the range. We always need the range for FT4 and FT3. But what did he mean by your hormones 'not working'? Sounds like a strange thing to say. And what are the pills he's given you?

    But one thing strikes me : have you had your vit D, vit B12, folate, iron and ferritin tested? Some of your symptoms sound like low B12. It should be at least 1000 - ignore the silly range. And you should supplement individual deficiencies. A multi-vitamin doesn't contain enough of anything to treat a true deficiency.

    Why are you taking calcium? Did you test low? Calcium suppléments are not good things to take, even if you do test low. Far better to get your vit D tested and supplement accordingly with D3, plus magnesium, zinc and vit K2. That will raise your calcium.

    If you are hypo - and it looks very much like you are - spirulina isn't recommended because it contains too much iodine - your multivit probably contains iodine (and calcium!) as well. Iodine is not a good thing to take unless you've tested low. And even then, you need to be over-seen by a doctor who knows what he's doing, or it can do more harm than good. Rhodiola is a stimulant, and may also be doing more harm than good. I do think that your osteopath probably has the right idea when he says to come off them all for 2/3 months - as long as he is proposing to test at the end of that time and start anew, supplementing where necessary and in appropriate doses.

    The diet your nutritionist suggests sounds a bit low on fats. You need good fats, like butter, animal fat, avocados, coconut oïl, olive oïl. And if you're worried about your adrenals - they really shouldn't be below range at any time of the day - then make sure you get plenty of salt and lots and lots of vit C. And fat. And Don't assume that if you're eating lots of fruit and veg you're getting lots of vit C. It's not about how much we eat, but how much we absorb.

    I cannot say I approve of eating just before bed. a) you'll have a problem digesting it, and that could keep you awake, and b) the body needs that night-time fast to make hormones, like HGH. And given that all hormones work interdependantly, it's not a good idea to impede the production of any one of them. Ideally, you shouldn't eat between 9.0 pm and 8.0 am. But if you absolutely have to have that snack, yoghurt would be better than oatcakes. Or even a piece of cheese. The tryptophan in it will help you sleep. But best to wean yourself off a bedtime snack altogether.

    Hugs, Grey

  • OK, so the FT4 is too low compared to the TSH, and so it's probably a problem with your pituitary rather than your thyroid gland. But the result is the same - i.e. low thyroid hormones, which need supplementing. Try asking your doctor to refer you to an endo to check out secondary hypo and mal-functioning pituitary.

  • Thanks Grey for your really detailed reply, very helpful. Not sure what chinese doc meant by "hormones not working", his English could be better.... The pills are Chinese herbal remedies, one to help with energy and one to help with sleep. I also have acupuncture and massage with acupressure points.

    In May 2015 B12 was 1091 (range 200-900), Folate 12.4 (range 3.1-20.0), no vitamin D.

    sept 14 B12 963 (range 200-900), Folate 18.00 (Range 3.1-20)

    Feb 2013, B12 1007 (Range 180-1000), Folate 17.2 (3.0-20.0).

    Taking calcium as thought its absorbed better with magnesium, is that not right?

    How do I get vit D tested, through GP?

    Thanks for the feedback about nutrition.

    Will go to GP and see if he can refer me to endocrinologist, as it seems this may be the best option.


  • Perhaps he meant that your glands aren't working properly, and he'd be right there, to a certain extent. Acupunture and massage are great, but I doubt they're going to solve the problem. As to the pills... are they working? Do you feel any better taking them? If I were you, I would want to know exactly what's in them!

    So, your Bs are good. But you really need to know your iron and vit D. Your doctor can test these if he wishes, dépends how helpful he is. Let's just say, there's no real reason for him not to do them.

    Yes, I think an endo is the best solution, but make sure you find one that is recommended as being thyroid-literate, because so many of them only know about diabètes. If you contact Louis Warville, she will send you a list of tried and tested endos for you to choose from. :)

  • Hi Greygoose if it is secondary hypothyroidism they give a medication to sniff up your nose to take to replace the hormone responsible for triggering the thyroid that the pituitary is failing to produce rather then thyroid meds- well that is my understanding.....

  • Really? I've never heard of that. I'm intrigued. Do you have any further information on that?

    By the way, I nearly didn't see that post. If you want to respond to someone, you should click on the orange 'Reply' button, and the person will be notified. :)

  • Well, I've had a bit of a Google, and everything seems to lean towards replacing T4 and T3 rather than TSH. I can't see that mentioned anywhere...

  • Hi Grey goose -sorry about not clicking on the orange button below you -thought I had but clearly I didn't. I believe Dr Skinner and Dr Peatfield mention it in their books -am no great expert on this as it isn't a condition I suffer with -I just remember being fascinated by it when I was reading up about hypothyroidism some years ago.

    Quick google : Quote : "Thyrotroph Adenomas Produce Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) ... all pituitary adenomas and come to medical attention when there are symptoms ... Polyuria may be controlled by powdered posterior pituitary or vasopressin given as snuff."


    Am not sure if this link is the one -but am rushing out so no time to look further for you and I haven't got my glasses on!!! Am certainly not setting my self up as knowledgeable on this......hopefully someone will come along who has personal experience of this though i understand it is supposed to pretty rare......well so I believe!!!

  • Well, I'm no expert either, but I've never heard that mentioned before, and I Don't really think that's what I was talking about. But, hey, what do I know! lol

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