Thyroid UK
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Little help please

My Auntie has underactive thyroid, diagnosed 10 years ago, on Levo 125, but doesn't feel well. She is 70, feels exhausted all the time, brain fog, etc.,. her GP sounds useless.

Anyway I explained about the antibodies and she saw her GP, and it has come back positive for TP - her GP hadn't bothered to test her before. So one small step nearer to helping her.

Her latest test shows tsh 0.58 (0.35 -5.5)

Free T4 20.8 (10 -19.8) so a bit high.

I know you can't tell a lot from just these two readings, but any thoughts, could she be under medicated?

I have explained about supplements, iron, D3 etc,, test timing etc, to her and how a private test would show her a true picture of what's going on, and I think I am getting through. Is there anything that jumps out at you guys from those readings above?

Thank you in advance.

10 Replies

Is you aunt taking any other medications? As in for high blood pressure? How's her diet? Any possibility she has inadequate vitamins or minerals?



Your aunt isn't under medicated because FT4 is mildly over range. It would be useful to see what her FT3 level is and ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate.

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) which causes 90% of hypothyroidism. Your aunt could try a 100% gluten-free diet for a few month to see whether symptoms improve.

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) which causes 90% of hypothyroidism.


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.


Thank you Clutter. I will explain this to my Aunt, it's good to know she isn't under medicated. I have explained about the supplements and will try and persuade her to have a BH test so she can see what's happening.


As Clutter advises, I think an FT3 test is important as T3 is the only hormone which is Active and is required by our Receptor cells and levo has to convert to T3. Sometimes we don't do so efficiently and need some T3 added to T4.


Thank you - it all makes sense. I am hoping my Aunt will get the test done privately.

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Just the levo, I am sure she is deficient in vits etc, I will keep trying with her, we are making progress but it's baby steps! Trouble is she doesn't want to cause a fuss with the GP or has the energy to fight. Last time I wrote a note to give to the GP which worked so that's what I will do again. Least she isn't under medicated so that's one good thing. Thanks for helping.


Her FT4 is at a good level - but if that is not converting into the ACTIVE T3 then she will be feeling unwell. If her levels of Ferritin - B12 - Folate and VitD are low - then this could be the cause of her not feeling well too and preventing the T4 from converting into the T3. Explain to her that the T4 she is taking is a storage hormone - like having food in the fridge - but only becomes active when it converts into the T3 - like when food is cooked you can use it :-)

You can explain that no fuss is being made - and that you are saving the GP from having to do lots of work :-)


Thats a wonderful way of describing T3 conversion Marz. I like it!!

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Thank you Marz I will do all of that (great explanation as well) I just wanted some reassurance I was pointing her in the right direction. My Aunt, mum and me all have underactive thyroid, and all the info from this site has been so helpful I can't tell you what a difference it's made. Thank you xxx

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For private testing :

Some specific tests which are popular and are well worth doing :



The first link is for a test which includes the following :





Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies

Thyroglobulin Antibodies



Vitamin B12 (NOT ACTIVE B12)

C Reactive Protein

Vitamin D (25-OH)

The second link is the same as the first, but with the addition of Reverse T3. With your aunt's Free T4 being above range I suspect reverse T3 is probably high (but I am only guessing), and if this is the case it makes people feel diabolical.

Link one can be done as a microtainer test (finger-prick test) or a vacutainer test (full sample from the arm - needs someone to take blood).

Link two can only be done as a vacutainer test.

Any blood samples required for testing should always be produced as early in the morning as possible, and before 9am.

Don't take any optional supplements for 24 hours before testing.

Don't take any iron supplements for 5 - 7 days before testing.

Assuming levo is usually taken first thing in the morning, delay taking it on the day of the test, and instead take it after the blood draw.

If levo is usually taken at night then miss the dose the night before and take the missing dose after the blood is taken. That night take the dose as normal.

Don't eat or drink overnight and before the blood draw, except for water which should be drunk freely.


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