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Thyroid UK
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Blood test help, please

Hello everyone, I haven't written a post on here for a good while because I've been feeling well, though I track posts from the daily emails. Now I need your help again, if you wouldn't mind.

I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism 2 years ago with a TSH of 240, but after an initial scary time I made a slow but straightforward recovery. I take 125mcg levothyroxine (Euthyrox) first thing in the morning. I have become a little lax about drinking a cup of tea within an hour of taking it, but I rarely eat anything within an hour. I'm gluten- and mostly dairy-free.

All last year I felt extremely well, lost weight and felt fit and healthy - climbing mountains and cycling long distances. Over the winter I had 2 bad infections - one a mild pnuemonia, which made me breathless but not really ill, but I had antibiotics for it in the end ( at first I thought it was an asthma flare-up). Then I had one of those viruses that knock you out for 2 or 3 weeks, and more antibiotics for a urine infection.

When I feel really well my blood tests are like this (this one is from last October but they more or less the same all through last year):

TSH 0.026 (0.40-4.00)

T3 5.170 (3.1-6.8)

T4 24.210 (12.0-22.0


When I was ill over the winter I felt kind of out of synch, so I asked for a blood test and got these results (January):

TSH 0.129 (0.40-4.00)

T3 4.460 (3.1-6.8)

T4 22.360 (12.0-22.0


I put this down to the infections. A few weeks later I had another test with slightly improved results (February):

TSH 0.110 (0.40-4.00)

T3 4.750 (3.1-6.8)

T4 21.530 (12.0-22.0)

Recently, however, I've noticed one or two troubling symptoms: a couple of kgs weight gain, dry skin, and slight digestive issues (obviously a weak spot for me, as it was digestive problems rather than anything else that sent me to the doctor when I was first diagnosed) - although overall I still feel quite well. I had a blood test last week which came back with these results:

TSH 0.114 (0.40-4.00)

T3 4.270 (3.1-6.8)

T4 21.440 (12.0-22.0


I'm concerned that my T3 is now well below half the range (mid-range is 4.95) and don't know what to do or to suggest to my doctor. I've been getting some 'messages from the Universe' to take magnesium more regularly (notably Marz' excellent post yesterday) and I see it can affect T3 conversion.

I'm sorry to post so many blood tests but I wanted you to have an up-to-date picture. Any comments are most welcome - thank you.

5 Replies

You really aren't converting very well, are you. Could be nutritional deficiencies, perhaps. Best to test vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin before you start supplementing anything. These four all need to be optimal for your body to be able to absorb and convert the hormone you're giving it.

You can just take magnesium without testing, and the tests aren't very reliable, and most people are deficient in magnesium. But, remember, that nutrients, like hormones, need to be balanced. Magnesium isn't going to do much if D3 is low, and vice versa.

So, get the basic four tested, and see where you go from there.

Are you eating enough? Because low calorie will also adversely affect conversion. And, drinking tea with your Levo will reduce absorption. But, perhaps you really need an increase in dose, because you obviously need to have your T4 over-range to be able to convert enough T3 to make you well. And your FT4 level has dropped.

1 like

Thank you, greygoose! I see a nutritionist (though only once a year or so as she is in the UK and I'm not) and have magnesium, zinc, D3 and a B complex to take, but I have to admit I'm not very reliable about taking them, unlike my levo which I never forget. I'm eating enough - no problems there.

I'm thinking of starting by taking my supplements regularly and taking my levo when I wake in the night, rather than before a cup of tea. I'll go to the doctor and ask for a full vits test, and then see.

I don't think I've ever seen on here the advice to go up a dose (ie from 125 to 150) for a short time, say about a month, and then drop down again. Anyone got any views on this?

Also, is it normal for conversion for gradually deteriorate, because my levels were fine a year ago on exactly the same dose?


Who advised you to go up a dose for a month and then come down again? I really can't see the point of that. What's it supposed to acheive?

Why are you taking a B complex? If you're low in B12, a complex won't have enough B12 in it to help. But, stay off all forms of B12 until after you've been tested, or it will skew the results.

I wouldn't say it's normal for conversion to deteriorate, but it can happen - especially if you have Hashi's. Perhaps you adrenals are getting fatigued? So many things can have a effect.

Did your nutritionist not tell you to take vit K2 if you're taking vit D3? It's very important to do so.


No-one advised it, I just wondered if it was worth doing, to bring the levels back up reasonably quickly. I've been lucky that I haven't had to fiddle much with my dose, so this is new to me.

I didn't know about K2 - thanks for that!

When I was last tested, about a year ago I think, I wasn't low in B12, so the B complex was more general than specific.

Thanks for your reply!


Please. I really need some more help with this. Is the difference in my blood tests enough to merit going up a half dose - ie taking 125 one day and 150 the next? Now that I am thinking about it a bit more, I'm alarmed at the number of symptoms that are returning. Or should I be thinking about adding T3? I don't know anything about this.


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