Thyroid UK
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Doctor says symptoms are from diet

Hello, I have just joined. I am 22 years old and I have been told by my doctor in 2012 I have Hashimoto‘s. The number of antibodies has been fluctuating up and down as well as my TSH and Free T4 and Free T3 levels. I have been taking Levothyroxine since 2012. I have Vitamin D and iron deficiency as well which are being treated and the doctor this week is happy that both are in range and she now thinks all my symptoms are down to diet and some days I have “duvet days“ and just feel lazy. I always seem to want to have lots of “me time" which doesn’t always seem to be long enough for me.

My Endo gave me 3 months worth of Lliothyroinine (10mcg) as well as reduce my Levothyroxine from 175 micrograms to 100mcg. I am now feeling under medicated but my results from August don’t reflect this. I saw a doctor at an out of hours centre a few weeks ago about a cough. I got a same day appointment with my doctor because one of my rib muscles was swollen. I wasn’t told this at the centre but the notes back to my doctor said I was “febrile” and my usual doctor said my symptoms seemed to be from a virus (no blocked/runny nose, no headache - just a cough because I was coughing up gobs of mucus - sorry, too much information!) so I was told to take Lemsip and some Nurofen because all the coughing I have done has strained one of my rib muscles and is swollen under my skin which has made it hurt to breathe/laugh.

Because my doctor I saw this week has been saying most of my symptoms are from my diet (I have had symptoms since I was 8 years old) and my family have always brought me up on 5 of my fruit and veg a day and fed me balanced meals so I have trouble understanding why she said what she did and I have changed doctor practices.

The practice I am now with has said they will do their best to fit me in for a medication review which is due in 2 weeks’ time and I have only just registered with them so fingers crossed. :)

Results are at the end for feedback.

Thank you.

List of symptoms are below:

Loss of appetite

Dry skin (some of the skin on my fingers is peeling away and my skin is getting sore and bleeding. Doctor gave me hydrocortisone years ago but I read this thins the skin and it gets better when I cover the flaking and bleeding with plasters. I don’t know why)



Looking washed out/pale (worst on periods. I have been offered the coil, Pill and patch to stop periods which would stop the bleeding but because I‘m not sexually active I haven‘t had any of them)

Choking fits (goitre has been found on ultrasound)

Joint pains (knees, wrists, elbows, hips)

Pins and needles (in legs and feet)

White spots on fingernails

Breaking nails

Discoloured nails (these have been black but they are now a brown colour. There are black bits in the nail beds and they smell a bit - doctor thinks it is nutrition related but I think the black bits in the nail beds are a fungal infection)

Cracked heels

Light periods

Painful periods

Early periods


Feeling cold

Hair loss

Breaking hair

Bruising (always on legs and I can never remember hurting them)

Dark circles under eyes


Not sweating as much

No stamina (mostly in legs - they shake when I am holding/carrying something heavy or when I am on tiptoes sitting down or standing)

Puffy eyes

Puffy arms



Dry eyes (grit coming from eyes)


Legs and arms feeling heavy

Cold hands

Cold feet

Cold bum (I have read this is a hypo symptom?)

Painful bladder (worse on period. I have had cystitis many, many times)

Air hunger

Inability to concentrate



Allergic reactions to food and medications (shellfish, latex, nickel, codeine and diclofenac. Shellfish, latex and nickel bring me out in itchy rashes. Codeine and diclofenac have made me breathless and feeling sick)

Swollen lymph glands (on sides of neck and in groin)

Low body temperature (34 degrees Celsius)

High blood pressure (145/67. Doctor said this was normal)

Ringing in ears

Itchy ears (they are always full of wax or dry white stuff)

Itchy scalp (even when I have washed my hair)

“Hot flushes” in legs and back

Easy sickness


Dry mouth (at about the same time the back of my mouth hurts and under my jaw I can feel lumps either side. I have been told by my doctor I have swollen salivary glands which can wax and wane)

Easy weight gain (I went from 49.3kg to 51.8kg in a week and I haven’t eaten any more than normal)


TSH level - 31 (0.2-4.2) “abnormal contact patient”

Free T4 level - 11.4 (12-22) “abnormal contact patient”

Levothyroxine 25mcg and then 50mcg


TSH level - 3.2 (0.2-4.2) “normal no action”

Levothyroxine the same


TSH level - 0.74 (0.2-4.2) “normal no action”

Anti-TPOab - 71 (<34) “raised level”

Levothyroxine the same


TSH level - 5.4 (0.2-4.2) “abnormal contact patient”

Free T4 level - 14.6 (12-22) “normal no action”

Levothyroxine 75mcg


TSH level - 6.2 (0.2-4.2) “abnormal contact patient”

Free T4 level - 15.3 (12-22) “normal no action”

Ferritin - 14 (30-400) “abnormal contact patient”

Vitamin D - 41.3 (>75) “deficient Vitamin D”

Levothyroxine 100mcg

Ferrous fumarate 210mg started

Cholecalciferol 800iu started


TSH level - 7.1 (0.2-4.2) “abnormal contact patient”

Free T4 level - 15.6 (12-22) “normal no action”

Free T3 level - 6.1 (3.9-6.7) “normal no action”

Anti TPOab - 52 (<34) “raised level”

Levothyroxine 125mcg


TSH level - 2.87 (0.2-4.2) “normal no action”

Vitamin D - 61.2 (>75) “sub optimal Vitamin D”

Levothyroxine the same


TSH level - 1.54 (0.2-4.2) “normal no action”

Anti TPOab - 31.5 (<34) “negative ”

Anti TGab - 99.3 (<115) “negative”

Levothyroxine the same

Endo sent a letter to my doctor asking for Free T4 and Free T3 to be measured as well as TSH even if TSH is normal and for the Levothyroxine to be changed up or down in line with Free T4 and Free T4 not just TSH.


TSH level - 8.01 (0.2-4.2) “abnormal contact patient”

Free T4 level - 19.7 (12-22) “normal no action”

Free T3 level - 4 (3.9-6.7) “normal no action”

Ferritin level - 16 (30-400) “abnormal contact patient and increase iron”

Levothyroxine 150mcg


TSH level - 0.02 (0.2-4.2) “over medicated”

Free T4 level - 21.4 (12-22) “over medicated”

Free T3 level - 6 (3.9-6.7) “over medicated”

Anti TPOab - 161 (<34) “raised level”

Levothyroxine 75mcg


TSH level - 4.1 (0.2-4.2) “normal no action”

Free T4 level - 15.7 (12-22) “normal no action”

Free T3 level - 4.6 (3.9-6.7) “normal no action”

Vitamin D level - 59.2 (>75) “sub optimal Vitamin D”

Levothyroxine 100mcg


TSH level - 0.66 (0.2-4.2) “normal no action”

Free T4 level - 13.1 (12-22) “normal no action”

Free T3 level - 4.5 (3.9-6.7) “normal no action”

Ferritin level - 41 (15-150) “normal no action”

Levothyroxine 125mcg


TSH level - 6.4 (0.2-4.2) “abnormal contact patient”

Free T4 level - 27.1 (12-22) “abnormal contact patient”

Free T3 level - 6.9 (3.9-6.7) “abnormal contact patient”

Anti TPOab - 285 (<34) “raised level”

Anti Tgab - 372 (<115) “raised level”

Levothyroxine 150mcg


TSH level - 1.36 (0.2-4.2) “normal no action”

Free T4 level - 19.1 (12-22) “normal no action”

Free T3 level - 4.3 (3.9-6.7) “normal no action”

Ferritin level - 13 (15-150) “abnormal contact patient”

Levothyroxine 175mcg


TSH level - 0 02 (0.2-4.2) “over medicated”

Free T4 level - 23.7 (12-22) “over medicated”

Free T3 level - 5.4 (3.9-6.7) “over medicated”

Levothyroxine 100mcg


Vitamin B12 level - 381 (190-600) “normal no action”

Folate level - 4.9 (4.6-18.7) “normal no action”

Vitamin D level - 65.8 (>75) “sub optimal Vitamin D”

Ferritin level - 19 (15-150) “acceptable”

13 Replies


1) did you stop taking levo or t3 in the 24 hours before the tests ? And were the tests done fasting early morning .........thats vital

2) have you gone totally gluten free and dairy free for 3 months ?

3) you may have Candida

4) be very very sure that you never eat food cooked in aluminium or non stick coated or new ceramic coated or from slow cookers,george foreman grills ,foil etc

Only ever glass or stainless steel or cast iron

Check your water supply has not been treated with flouride or any form of aluminium


When did you feel best (even if not great)?


Bimey Kittycat you've been through the mill & only 22!

Well done for having the confidence to post on joining up. And recording all your information and getting D & iron up too (if still a bit low) - you are the only person who can make yourself better - with a decent doctor's help (seems he's not bad to test 5 times a year). e.g. 150mcg Levo cut to 75mcg is a scary decrease

Where to start? You could visit this site - lots of info

Sorry but I agree you need to sort your food intake/nutrition first - GPs know nothing about nutrition. B12 & folate are still low these need addressing (especially if you avoid meat & animal fat).

From my own (& family's) personal experience - it could be:-

a good idea to avoid contraception if you don't need it.

coldness is a definite indicator of low thyroid function (under-medication)

dry skin - more dietary fat - or something like gluten/candida upsetting you.

joint pain - gluten again and/or low Vit D (& calcium absorption) can be culprits

pins/needles - can be low B12 - as well as lots of other neuro symptoms

Nails tell a lot - white spots indicate low zinc, breaking nails could be biotin (also hairloss) no moons low B12 (no idea about black smelly bits? - def check out fungal infection - I thought yellow?)

Mum/brother cracked heels - very painful - again check out candida overgrowth

Apparently you won't sweat if not enough iodine (About 65% by weight of levothyroxine is iodine)

I could go on guessing to try & help but it's a long list

I can't help wondering if you were/are on any other medication apart from Thyroid hormone replacement?


I'm not a doctor or medical professional, just a fellow sufferer of thyroid problems - please see my profile


Sparerib, my iodine is extremely high, but I Don't sweat, either. I thought it was more to do with low testosterone and/or low thyroid.


GG - it's just from something I read, I wish I could remember the link - we're all different of course.

On a personal note I hadn't sweated for years until I went on NDT, it is strangely reassuring!


Nothing seems to have started me sweating again - even when I had a very high FT3 I didn't sweat - well, not on my body, just the top of my head. Which is awful! I always looked as if I'd just stepped out of the shower. But I read that that was caused by low vit D, and since I've been taking D3, that's got better. But I still Don't sweat anywhere else much. I Wonder why I Don't blow up like a frog and explode...


Please don't explode!

Yes I read head sweats can be Vit D too.

I now seem to break out in a 'glow' on the slightest exertion, I'd prefer not to.


Vitamin d ferritin and b12 are all too low. Until you get those right you are going to feel grotty.

What do they mean on the last set of tests? Overmedicated? I would say the figures looked reasonable...... Hope you havent changed your meds because of the comments.

Xx g

1 like

Agreed! I'd be lucky to function with those levels! Also folate could be better.


Hi Kittycat,

As Sparerib says you have certainly been through the mill... Have you thought of visiting an integrative medical practitioner? They are GPs who have an interest in the holistic health of their patients and might possibly find something the GP missed. They utilise other therapies as well as conventional medicine. I am a pharmacist, homeopathy student and hypnotherapist as well as a Bach Flower Practitioner and author. I know that looking more widely or holistically is useful and GPs are not renowned for this! That's not to say there aren't good doctors out there (she says hastily!!).

I am not going to comment on your results. Other people are giving you advice on this... except to say many of your symptoms are what you would expect if you have hypothyroidism. And diet is also a key to health and wellbeing... But I have a book you might find very interesting and a link too.

Dr Sandra Cabot is an Australian GP who works holistically and has several published books particularly in the area of women's health and hormonal/endocrine problems. "Your Thyroid Problems Solved; Holistic Solutions to improve your thyroid" may be helpful to read. It is co-authored by naturopath Margaret Jasinska ND.

One of the most interesting points she (and others) is making in this book is that the 'conventional' reference ranges for the TFT or Thyroid Function Tests are too broad. The stated upper limit for TSH is 4.5mIU/L whereas people usually feel healthiest with a TSH level around 1 - 2mIU/L. That puts a different perspective on your results doesn't it?! As Angel_Of_The_North says - when did you feel healthy? So that you know where you sit on this scale.

The link below is about Hashimoto's and is a bit long but the mention of optimal TSH levels is in the first few minutes I think.

Sorry this is so long but hope it helps a little...


It can be so hard getting to grips with all this thyroid stuff. I was suffering multiple nutrient deficiencies, which my GP was very reluctant to test for in the first place, and treatment for those deficiencies was pretty slow too, but I now have prescribed vitamin D and B12 injections. The symptoms of nutrient deficiencies often overlap each other, and can be totally debilitating (many of which are on your symptom list).

The blame for those deficiencies was very firmly made out to be my fault, and that I needed to sort out my diet. At no point did any doctor EVER ask what I was eating or offer any help. It was only my own reading and research that helped me realise that it was far more likely that it was all linked with Hashimoto's (and very low stomach acid). It makes me so cross that doctors are so quick to blame their patients for having bad diets, without any acknowledgement that it could be related to our thyroid issues.

I still have my B12 and vitamin D treatment, but have now given up with my GP and am seeing a private nutritionist. She is a star :)


Kittycat, it's not so much about what you eat, as what you absorb. People with hypothyroidism - Hashi's or other - tend to have low stomach acid which makes it difficult to break-down food and absorb the nutrients. That's why we usually end up with nutritional deficiencies. And then, we become low in iron, and that causes stomach acid to drop even further.

If we have low stomach acid, it even makes it difficult for us to absorb our suppléments - and our thyroid hormone replacement - Levo and T3. So, it's a vicious circle, really. The way out is to address the low stomach acid by taking betain or apple cider vinager. You could try asking a seperate question about that as nobody has mentioned it, and I'm no expert! lol

Actually, your August results do reflect that you are Under-medicated. Your TSH is suppressed, and your FT4 is over-range. But they aren't the important ones. Your FT3 is only about mid-range, and that is obviously too low for you - would be too low for most people, actually. The reason your FT4 is over-range is less that you are taking too much T4, but more that you just aren't converting it - which is why your FT3 is lowish. 10 mcg T3 is not really enough to make a difference. It would be better if they lowered your T4 and increased your T3, because you Don't want all that unconverted T4 sloshing around in your blood causing trouble. And a lot of your symptoms are caused by that low T3, which is the active hormone that you need in every cell in your body. T4 is basically a storage hormone.

But some of the symptoms, as others have said, are very likely to be due to the nutritional deficiencies that you still have. And the nutritional deficiencies are probably why you're having difficulty converting. As I said, it's one big vicious circle!

Don't take what your doctor said personally. Doctor's as a general rule, know nothing about nutrition or hormones. But, like electricity, doctors take the path of least resistance (that's why they're so shocking! Boom boom! (got that one out of the Beano! lol)) And the path of least resistance is - blaming the patient! That absolves them of all resposibility and removes the necessity of doing further investigation. I Don't believe he even believed what he said. They often just say the first thing that comes into their heads!

So, first things to do, to get on the path to wellness, is to sort out that low stomach acid, and get those deficiencies sorted out. Then, we can take it from there. :)

Take care.


Heaven save us from doctors who fail to realy understand thyroid

your b12



are all woefully low and is totally why you are not well

you have the entire bucket list of every single hypothyroid symptom in the book




vit d3


Its utterly vital that they are all treated urgently and meantime you really need just increasing doses of t3

because the t4 will simply pool in your body making you toxic

its likely you have low stomach acid and probably gluten sensitivity which mean you have trouble absorbing vitamins its a concomitant of hypothyroid

it takes many months of iron plus at least 2000mg vit c to get ferritin back up

similarily it needs methylcobalamin form of B12 and compound vitamin b

Vit d3 is also needed


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