Thyroid UK
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Could I have a thyroid problem?

Hi, I have recently had an episode of heart arrythmia (probably atrial fibrillation), and I also suffer from a number of other symptoms associated with thyroid disorders. The only one that is problematic is erectile dysfunction, but I also have cold hands and feet; very thin eyebrows, especially in the outer third; and a whole list of other such signs & symptoms, including a tendency to tiredness and low mood. My thyroid blood test results fall within the normal range: FT4 (13.5 pmol/L), FT3 (4.11 pmol/L), TSH (2.02 uIU/mL). However, I have read somewhere that mainstream medicine sometimes overestimates the "normal" ranges in these respects. Is it conceivable that I have a thyroid problem? Or is there definitely some other explanation for the erectile dysfunction, heart arrythmia etc? Thank you for any advice!

3 Replies

The thyroid is the master controller of the hormones and will effect all the others. So when thyroid is low the other hormones tend to be low.

Have you had testosterone checked ? When i got on to thyroid meds by testosterone level came up a lot. I didn't notice any difference in erections or that area generally, but my health improved no end.

I wouldn't think any GP will look at your results and offer treatment, but for me and what i know now i reckon loads of the population could benefit from thyroid supplementation. Certainly if you are older as well.

Heart function is affected by thyroid hormone and it wouldn't surprise me if low thyroid was causing the heart to beat differently. Is the heart slow ? This would be a hypoT symptom.

As to your results:

The FT4 is in the lower half of the range. I assume your range is 10-22.

The Ft3 is also towards the bottom of the range (3.5-6.5 as another guess).

The TSH is only at 2 so well within the GP's best determinant of thyroid function (0.4-4).

A happy TSH is 1 or under, but not totally suppressed. However, some people can only get better if it is suppressed.

I doubt you will get a doctor to trial you on some T4 so if it were me i would go for it and self treat. I really would recommend any older person (prob from 50 onwards) to trial T4 at a low dose to see if it improves health and quality of life. Even if they don't have any thyroid issues. I just think it is a hormone which can bring huge health benefits. It would be better than taking the statins which they want to push on to everyone.

So if you did go for it i would say monitor your health a few weeks before hand to see how you are normally. This means the temperature in the morning on waking, your BP and your heart rate. Find out what your norms are and then add 25 T4. Keep monitoring and see if any of the vitals change over another 4 weeks. I would then also pay to get private blood tests to see where my FT4 and 3 are.

Ideally the Ft4 will have come up a bit as will the FT3.

Depending on how you feel and the bloods i would then move up to 50 T4 per day.

You want an Ft4 in the higher teens and the Ft3 in the higher 5's and 6 area.

How old are you by the way. Progesterone for men is also an excellent hormone to consider. It protects against prostate cancer and could help with the erections. Google the steroid hormone cascade and see how progesterone is made and what it breaks down into. The best product to use is progestE made by Ray Peat. I use it and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is great for men because we only need a little hormone. One drop of the oil is = 3mg prog. I just use one drop per day. Have have the blood data from spring which shows it boosted by thyroid function and it also increased testosterone by 25%. I wasn't aiming for any testosterone increase, but it was nice to see.


Hi - Thank you for that extremely generous, informative & helpful answer. It is so kind of you. I will read again carefully a few times and definitely pursue the ideas you have given me. In answer to your question, I am now 40 years old. It's frustrating to have atrial fibrillation and a degree of erectile dysfunction at such a young age. (Actually, I've always suffered from a moderate degree of erectile dysfunction, & am pretty sure it's not psychological, but in some way physical in origin, hence my initial interest in the thyroid question.) Incidentally, I also have low blood pressure, which I think is another symptom associated with thyroid dysfunction. I mean, it's not dangerously low, but definitely at the very low end of the normal range. And also very high cholesterol, another issue associated with thyroid problems I believe.


High cholesterol is a classic sign of hypoT. Thyroid shunts the cholesterol into steroid hormone formation. So low thyroid means not enough cholesterol is being used up. This will reverse once you get on thyroid meds.

It sounds like your metabolism is slow. A lot of the processes in the body will be slow, not just thyroid.

Low blood pressure is a good thing generally, but it can indicate the adrenal output is lower (cortisol is lower). This usually fits with lower thyroid as the two hormones work together.

So increasing your metabolism needs to be looked at from the thyroid perspective, but it may also need to be seen from the adrenal angle as well (hence i mentioned the progesterone).

Men are a bit easier to get on the mend than women so you have that in your favour, plus you are still pretty young at 40.


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