Newly diagnosed with Hypothyroid and antibodies in blood

Hi everyone, I've been reading a lot of your posts and finding out some really interesting information to learn about this condition. I know one of the main things you ask to understand someone's diagnosis is their readings, so this is what I have so far from my doc (I was diagnosed in May this year):

2008 2012 May 2016 Jun 2016

Serum free T4 level (pmol/L) 12 13.9

Serum TSH level (miu/L) 2.99 3.13 8.98 6.06

Serum follicle stimulating hormone level (iu/L) 5.5 8.2

Serum LH level (iu/L) 6.5 8.9

Serum oestradiol level (pmol/L) 302

Not sure if all the above relate to the condition but have included everything they gave me. I had shingles in 2011 due to boyfriend stress at the time so wondered if this has contributed to having the autoimmune bit? I've ordered the books "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause" and "The Immune System Recovery Plan: A Doctor's 4-Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease" from Amazon and saw the link Not sure if I'm researching the right stuff or if I need to ask for different tests? I wondered if the shingles might be a cause? They started me on 50 Levothyroxine and now upped to 75. Doc thinks I'll end up on 100. Can this be cured with a complete change in diet and lifestyle?

I'm female and 13 stone in weight. I really struggle with motivation and energy levels but did manage to lose 2 stone last year (it took me a year to do it). Since May though and being on Levo, I feel even less motivated and I'm shattered by the afternoon. Is this simply because my body is adjusting to the new meds? I've just turned 50 so at the start of menopause too.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Would really value your opinions.

Thank you, Kim :)

2 Replies

  • There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel, but I think it's quite a way ahead, yet. You are only just starting this journey. :)

    If I were you doctor, I would not be so sure about what dose you're going to end up needing. It could be a lot more than 100 mcg, which is still not much more than a starter dose.

    The protocol is that you start at 50, test after six weeks, increase by 25 mcg (no more than that) and repeat the process until all your symptoms have gone. Unfortunately, doctors don't seem to know that, and believe that their job is done once your TSH is back 'in range'. However, once you are on thyroid hormone replacement, the TSH is irrelevant unless it's high. It certainly shouldn't be used to dose by.

    Whilst a change in diet and lifestyle MIGHT reverse your autoimmune condition, it cannot repair the damage already done to your gland. So, you are always going to need to take thyroid hormone replacement of some kind, to make up for the hormones that your thyroid gland can no-longer make in sufficient quantities.

    Doctors have no idea how to help immune conditions, but there are things you can do for yourself. The first thing is to try a gluten-free diet - but it has to be 100% gluten-free to work. Some people also need to be dairy-free and/or sugar-free. But, it's all trial and error, finding what works for you. You can also try taking selenium, because that has been proved to dampen down antibody activity.

    Unfortunately, there are no magic foods that are 'good for your thyroid'. You need plenty of protein and good fat, fresh fruit and veg, not too much fibre, some carbs, and don't skimp on the salt. The one and only hard and fast dietary rule is : no unfermented soy! And, be careful there, because they put it in everything : soy protein, soy flour, soy oil, etc. It is bad, bad, bad for the thyroid. So best to cut out all processed foods, and cook everything from scratch.

    Having said that, you do need to have optimal nutrients. And that is hard for a hypo, because we often have low stomach acid, and therefore difficulty absorbing nutrients. So, for starters, you need to get your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin tested. Don't rely on your doctors opinion of how good or bad the results are, s/he knows nothing about it, and anything just 'in-range' is good enough for them! Remember, there is no such thing as 'normal'!

    So, post your results on here, with the ranges, and let us help you understand them.

    For the results you've posted above, the TSH is obviously too high. When you have Hashi's, it needs to come down to zero. For the FT4, it's difficult to say how bad it is without the range. Please, please, please always post the ranges with results. The rest have nothing much to do with thyroid.

    You did not post your antibody result. And, of course, there was no FT3 result - they rarely do that. But, once your TSH comes down a bit, you are going to have to get that done, together with your FT4 for comparison, to see how well you are converting the T4 you're taking (storage hormone) into the active hormone, T3. But, that's not for straight away. One step at a time, is the way to go. :)

  • Welcome to the forum, Kim3xx.

    TSH 6.06 is too high for someone prescribed Levothyroxine. Dose should be increased until TSH is 1.0 or lower with FT4 in the upper range. Read Treatment Options in Email next week if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP.

    Have you had thyroid antibodies tested? It's having antibodies over range which determines whether or not your hypothyroidism is caused by autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's).

    Hypothyroid patients often have low or deficient ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate which can cause fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms so ask your GP to test.


    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

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