Thyroid UK

TSH results

Hi guys,

I had a baby in October last year.

Slowly post birth I started to notice aches and pains particularly when standing from sitting, and in my hands (mostly the thumb area).

I assumed it was my hormones all over the place following having the baby. My hair has always fallen but I have thick hair so it was never a worry but it started to literally come out in clumps everytime I put a brush through it.

GP suspected low VIT D or iron, but he called me back saying it's hypothyroidism.

I've got my results, but forgive me, I have no idea what they mean.

TSH - 13.51

FREE T4 - 9.5

25 OH VIT D - 45.2

He has put me on 25mg daily of levothyroxine since end of June. I'm still experiencing pretty much all of the symptoms I mentioned. I'm now finding myself loosing more and more hair and the pains/stiffness in my legs and hands are not easing off.

Also I'm worried about taking levothyroxine for the rest of my life and can't help thinking it may increase the possibility of cancers as reports show HRT meds do.

I'm sorry for the long post, I've contemplated many times to write on here and stopped myself as I think I'm being to cautious and worrying unnecessarily.

I just can't get my head around all the different levels and combinations.

Thanks in advance

10 Replies

Hi Fibi, you're not expected to know instinctively what it all means. It's supposed to be yur doctor's job to explain it. But they rarely do...

TSH is a hormone - secreted by your pituitary, that tells the thyroid to make more hormone. However, your thyroid - for whatever reason - cannot respond, so the TSH just gets higher and higher. A TSH of 13.51, means you're quite hypo.

FT4 is a thyroid hormone, and that results looks quite low. But, we would need the reference range to see just how low it is.

Vit D is the vitamin that you're supposed to be able to synthesise from the sun, but we can't always. Yours is too low for good health. You need to supplement that until it is about 100. I would suggest - others might disagree - about 2000 iu vit D3 daily. With that, you should take vit K2, because D3 increases absorption of calcium from food, and the K2 makes sure it goes into your bones and teeth, and not the tissues.

If your vit D is low, your folate, ferritin and B12 are possibly low, too. And they need to be optimal for your body to use the hormone you're giving it. So, ask your doctor to test them.

If you started levo at the end of June, you should have had a retest six weeks after, and your dose increased. You should not stay on 25 mcg for so long. It is going to take a while of six weekly increases to find your optimal dose. Doctors tend to forget to do that, so you need to remind him.

Don't worry about taking levo for life. Millions of people do it with no problems. It is not the same as HRT - totally different hormones. Taking the correct amount of levo does not cause cancer anywhere.

It's a good job you did decide to post on here, because there are so many things you need to know. Stick with us and we'll guide you. :)

1 like

Oh wow thanks for your reply greygoose .....from what I have read on here you are certainly one of the amazing experts!!!!

My Ranges are -

25 OH VIT d - 45.2 - nmol/L 50 - 150

TSH - 13.51 mlU/L 0.3 - 5.0

Free T4 - 9.5 pmol/L 12 - 22

Just seen this on the second page - I put missing that down to 'brain fog' 😂

B12 - 363 ng/l 180 - 700

Fertitin - 32 - ug/L 15 - 300

Serum Folate - 8.0 ug/L 4.6 - 18.7

ESR - 24 mm/h 3 - 9

I am going this Tuesday for repeat bloods, blood request form say to take bloods for TSH and Thyroid PEROXIDASE so am hoping thats a full check.

GP did say my VIT D was 'a tad' low and to self supplement. My family roots are Indian so apparently it's harder to absorb.

I just would like to know what supplements to take to help me feel better and rid feeling pretty poop most of the time and leaving a trail of hair whoever I go. And what time should I take my med?

Thanks Greygoose


Yes, your Vitamin D is pretty low. If you can bear it Cod Liver Oil (liquid, there isn't enough in the capsules) is the best source, because it comes with all the other things you need. Or you can get a spray and take vitamin K2 as well.

B12 is low - the ranges are ridiculous, and nowadays those in the know say 1000 is ideal. You can get sublingual lozenges on Amaazon (Jarrow).

Ferritin it too low as well. Eat liver at least once a week, and look at ferrous fumarate supplements. You can overdose on iron supplements, so if you go for the pills ask for another test in a while

Folate could be better too. Lots of green veggies, or get folate supplements (not folic acid, some people can't process it).

Your raised ESR is a sign of inflammation in the system. Which is why he has asked for Thyroid Peroxidase - its a marker of autoimmune thyroiditis, which is the commonest cause of hypothyroidism. If it comes back positive it would be a good idea to go gluten free. There is quite a body of evidence that a GF diet slows down the progress of the disease, and evens out its highs and lows.

Finally there is NO evidence to suggest a link between thyroid supplements and cancer. It is not like HRT where you are artificially raising your hormones above what nature intended (but nature is cruel, and doesn't care how bad we feel!) Untreated, or under treated hypothyroidism can cause all sorts of disease, and in extreme cases coma and death. If you are unable to produce your own hormone then you absolutely need to have it replaced.

1 like

Amazing info Ruthie, another knowledgeable expert!!

That's one hell of a list of supplements, I'm 36 and feel like now I'm gonna be popping pills forever 😔

Looks like a trip to holland & barratt is on the cards, I don't know where to start.

Interesting what you say about inflammation as I have suffered with IBS, excema and psoriasis for years and wonder if that's some how connected.

I need to just get my levels better and carry on with life, this really has hit me. Weird as I feel poop, have a diagnosis but no one around me understands the effects of the condition. So frustrating


No, no, no and no! No trip to Holland and Barratt, please. Their quality is questionable, so it's more difficult to find exactly what you need. Most of us on here buy our supplements on Amazon, they have everything you need.

You need to take vit D3 in some form or other. Vit D2 is no good for you. And with that you need vit K2, because D3 increases absorption of calcium from food, and the K2 makes sure it goes into the bones and teeth, and not the tissues. If you take capsules, take them four hours away from levo, with a fatty meal. You need the fat to absorb the vit D3.

For the B12, you need 5000 mcg sublingual methylcobalamin daily for a few months, then drop to 1000 mcg. With that, you need to take a B complex to keep the Bs balanced. Get one with methylfolate - Thornes is a good one - and that will bring your folate up. Sublingual B12 you can take at any time, because it by-passes the stomach. Take the B complex at least 2 hours away from levo, with food.

Iron should also be taken four hours away from levo. And take 1000 mg vit C to help absorption.

Only start with one supplement at a time, and wait a couple of weeks before the starting the next one. And, if I were you, I'd start with the vit D3.

IBS and eczema can be symptoms of low thyroid. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease. If you have that, the odds are you have auto-immune thyroiditis - Hashimoto's Disease - because autoimmune diseases tend to hunt in packs! Good job your doctor is doing the TPO antibodies, but if it's negative, that doesn't automatically mean that you don't have Hashi's. But we'll talk about that when you get the results.

Yes, you will be popping pills for the rest of your life. But, it's better than the alternative. The alternative is, taking drugs for your various symptoms, instead of vitamins and minerals to prevent the symptoms. I know which I'd choose!

1 like

I've literally got supplement overload......I don't know where to even begin.

I will start with D3 as you say.

I think I can safely say that I will be regularly calling on your support. You've both put my mind at rest regarding my worries re taking levothyroxine for life.

I can't say how grateful I am for the tips and advice.

So grateful


You're welcome. :)

1 like

Greygoose i like what you are doing it mske us feel comfortable that wr are not alone in whatever we are going thru i am going to do my thyroid update scan tomarrow so i'll will be posting my result too foryour imput geet up the good work. The doctor say i have hyperthroidism


Hey guys,

I'm back to update and again request for your expert knowledge and guidance.

It's been approx 2 months that I've been taking 50mg of levothyroxine.

I also take vitamin d supplements and magnesium, calcium and zinc.

I'm 36 but feel like I'm in the body of a woman post 80! I ache in almost every joint. My hands, arms, sacrum, pelvis and feet seem to be the worst. Stiffness, numbness and dead/heavy feeling is the only way I can describe it.

It's really beginning to get me down. I've been researching the symptoms and keep coming across fibromyalgia. I'm scared.

Please help me. Could the Levo be contributing to this pain??? I have a GP appointment this coming Thursday and need him to help me. Should I request to be referred to a specialist???

I'm sorry for the negative post, no one else understands what I'm going through



I get aches and pains in the same places including in my back in the region where I fasten my bra. I have in recent months been diagnosed with Graves


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