Newly diagnosed and very confused!

Hi, I went to the doctors about a small lump in my upper abdomen and constant IBS type symptoms. I was given an ultrasound and blood tests. 2 weeks later i get the results and he tells me there is no solid mass so nothing to worry about. But my blood reveals I am borderline to having an underactive Thyroid, my Ultrasound also said I have small kidneys with slight scarring on my right one. Basically he gave me some tablets for IBS (colofac) and 25mcg of Levothyroxine to take daily for 3 months and then I'm to have blood tests again to check the underachieve thyroid.

I've not taken the colofac but have taken the Levothyroxine for the last 10 days. I feel no different at all. He gave me no info on either thing, just literally said "take these."

My blood results were as below

TSH 5.89

Free T4 13.3

Ferritin 69ug/

There are other blood results but not sure which are relevant to the thyroid!

Is bloating normal with underachieve thyroid or should I be looking for another reason? My upper abdomen bloats so much it feels like I'm ready to give birth and my muscles are being pushed to their limits ( I suspect this is what is causing the small lump)

Help would be much appreciated as I've made an appointment to see a different doctor that has been good in the past at sorting any problems out for me. I have to wait nearly 3 weeks to see him though. I'd like to be informed before the appointment, unfortunately the doctors surgery i go to is large and you rarely see the same doctor twice!

Thanks in advance.


7 Replies

  • Welcome to our forum and thanks for posting your results and if you have the ranges (figures in brackets after the results) it is helpful for commenting. The reason being that labs differ all over the country in their machines so ranges may be different.

    You are hypothyroid with a TSH of nearly six. Some GPs don't prescribe till it reaches 10.

    You have to read and learn as much as possible in order to recover your health. Swelling, etc is a clinical symptoms due to our metabolism being so slow. Usually too we have a low temperature and pulse due to the lack of thyroid hormones.

    3 months is too long to wait till your next blood test and your dose is also low. Usually it is a blood test every six weeks with an increment of 25mcg (normal initial dose is 50).

    Make a blood test earlier than 3 months as with too low a dose it can have a rebound effect in some people. Say that your symptoms are bothering you. The blood test should be at the earliest and fast (you can drink water). Leave about 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take it afterwards. Always get a print-out of your blood tests for your own records and you can post if you have a query.

    If GP hasn't tested Vit B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate ask for these to be done as we can be deficient.

    For info there is also information on our main website.

  • Hi, welcome to the forum. A tsh of over 5 puts you pretty sqaurely in the hypothyroid category..... It means your thyroid is having to be driven hard to produce hormones. At the moment its managing it but its worth asking for a thyroid antibody check. If you have antibodies it means that your thyroid will not get better only worse.... And will definitely need to take medication. ( its no where near as bad as it sounds).

    Low stomach acid runs hand in hand with thyroid problems.... If your thyroid is struggling, the rest of your body struggles too. Worth checking out this link and doing the stomach acid test using bicarbonate of soda.

    The meds you are on are low dose and it takes around 6 weeks for them to build up and to make a difference. After 6 weeks you need another blood test, so that would be a good time to ask for antibody testing. You are aiming to get your tsh down to around 1 and to get your free t4 into the top end of the range.

    G x

  • I should have said you take levothyroxine when you get up with one glass of water (tablets could stick in your throat and swell). You wait about an hour before you eat.

  • i have been taking it as soon as i wake up, but only about 30 mins before food. (otherwise i won't get the chance to eat until midday! due to my job. That or I have to get up half hour earlier)

    I was going to upload a photo of my results but can't see if that is possible on here?

    Thanks for your replies, the bracketed numbers are

    TSH 5.89mU/L (H) 0.27- 4.20

    Free T4 13.3 pmoI/L 9.0 - 26.0

    Ferritin 69ug/L 15 - 350

  • When I first found out my TSH was over the range and had been for several years I bought this book :

    Your Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy: The Great Thyroid Scandal and How to Survive it by Barry Durrant-Peatfield

    It's available in paperback and kindle versions.

    I've read it all the way through, several times. It was enormously helpful and I still refer to it now. The more you know the better chance you will have to look after yourself and make yourself better. Doctors are not knowledgeable on the thyroid, the NHS guidelines are extremely poor (and sadistic in my view) and leave many of us suffering, so we have to learn about our own condition, and we have to make ourselves better. The majority of people (about 80% or 85%) do well on the standard treatment (levothyroxine). But if you are one of the people who doesn't then learning everything you can will help you to help yourself.

  • I've downloaded this book onto Kindle Humanbean thanks. Just got to find time to read it! 😏

  • One of my main symptoms was bloating. On occasions the pain was so bad i could bearly stand up straight. I was told i had ibs for years. I was always full after eating little. I asked to be tested for ovarian cancer. But my diagnosis was underactive thyroid and now optimally medicated i am absolutely fine and i dont get it anymore. So yes i would say it can cause extreme bloating but dont hesitate to ask for further testing if it doesnt.


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