male hypothyroid symptoms

I'm a 38-yr-old otherwise healthy male and my TSH came back as 3.36 and my T4 as 11. According to Thyroid UK and other mainstream thyroid websites, this is 'subclinical' ie on its way to being a problem - tho' I haven't got the exact range done by the lab in question. I practically had to twist my GP's arm to get T3 bloods done which I'm awaiting. Over the last couple of years I've noticed a definite decline in my energy levels and libido (such that I rely on moderate ED drug usage), which is upsetting. My muscles also mildly ache when I wake up tho' I do exercise. On the other hand, tho' i do put on weight more easily, I've not ballooned nor have I noticed my hair or nails becoming more brittle. I've always had probs with depression, so it's hard to assess whether I'm more depressed. I have read that hypothyroidism in men is proven to cause libido issues.

11 Replies

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  • I think your TSH level is ok.But you should have the latest Vitamin b12 ,vit d, and folic acid levels.Hypothyriod patients are normally deficient in these level.Depression may be the reason of low libido.When vitamin and minerals levels are better in levels.I hope u will improve libido and depression will reduce.

  • No, your TSH level is not OK. Is this a one off? Or has it come back at that level before? And 11 for the FT4 sounds very low - but would need the range to confirm Sounds like something going on, but what, who knows - at the moment. More investigation needed!

    It's not just hypo men that suffer from loss of libido, you know. lol Happens to us hypo women, too!

  • And the shocking thing was the doc was gonna waive it thru as 'acceptable for time being' and just leave it unexplored until my next routine thyroid bloods next year. Would I be within my rights to ask for a low-dosage therapeutic course of thyroxine to see if my symptoms lifted?

  • Not on the basis of one raised TSH, no. But if I were you, I would ask for another test in three months, to see if it's still raised.

  • that's sensible advice and I shall do that. Do you know what I should be looking for in the T3 test I asked for? I'm going to attend surgery in person this time and ask for full printout of the previous results (TSH & T4) as well the T3, including ranges. In the meantime, what could I do to encourage thyroid health? Once the gland decides to pack up, is it an inexorable process? Is medication really the only game in town? My mum has hypothyroidism and my halfsister had a thyroidectomy after hyperthyroidism.

  • Well, it really depends why your thyroid is failing. Have you had your antibodies tested? TPOab and TgAB. It's very important to get both tested, no matter what the NHS says!

    There are so many reasons why thyroids can stop working correctly. For instance, do you eat unfermented soy? Are you in constant connection with chlorine? Is it hereditary? Are you deficient in iodine? (That one is very rare in developed countries, so do not rush off to buy iodine supplements! It's far more complicated than that, and you would need testing!!!) Or, it could stem from problems in other parts of the body.

    At the moment, you have so little information, so one cannot jump to any conclusions. And, it may very well be that you never find out why your thyroid is under-active. So, under those circumstances, all you can do is replace the hormone that your gland can no-longer make - i.e. take levo - levo is not a treatment for the thyroid gland, I hasten to add, it does not make the gland well again. It is thyroid hormone replacement, as is T3 and NDT.

  • You are within your rights to ask, but sadly the doctor is within his rights to refuse. I would wait for your FT3 results to come back, but if they are even marginally under range your doc may well be really unhelpful. I find that doctors stick rigidly to ranges when it suits them, and then ignore them at other times when it is blindingly obvious that the patient is ill.

    So, FT3 needs to be towards the top of the range to be optimal.

    If the doc won't co-operate then you could ask for a referral to one of the doctors on Louise Warvill's list.

  • Do you have a link for Louise Warvill's list please? Enormous gratitude to you all for taking the time to reply, especially with such compassionate and wise advice.

  • Louise.warvill@thyroid.org.uk just write to her. I think most on the list are private, though.

  • So I got additional results and the ranges back today after insisting on printout. The receptionist bovinely gawped at screen and told me they had returned as 'normal', but then i discovered that my T3 was not only suboptimal, but 'below range' according to their own test! My TSH: 3.21 (range: 0.35-3.5); my serumfree T4: 10 (8-21) & my T3, which I know is the most important of all being the bioavailable hormone is 3.4 (3.8-6). I'm going to make appointment next week and again assert that i want another test in 3 months. Any other suggestions/insights gratefully received.

  • I am not an expert, but while I know TSH can rise temporarily due to a transient cause such as an infection ( hense need to retest in a few months) I would be surprised if t3 would fall so low. I am sure someone more knowledgable will comment soon, but you might think about having your antibodies checked (privately if necessary) because if you are positive for auto immune hypothyroid disease (hashimotos) then starting treatment now can help calm down the antibody response.

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