Blood tests and diet

Hi I am about 10 weeks into new diagnosis. Took 25mcg Levo for first 2 weeks then 50mcg since. Need to organise my bloods but wanted to check what else I should ask to get tested. My ferritin was 31 but GP said that was normal. My antibodies were positive 400 but no further information re that and what the implications are. I have since read about Hashimoto. I wanted to ask about soy products. Is it advised that no soy is to be eaten? Thanks in advance. Jo

20 Replies

  • There is a lot of controversy over soy and its effect on the thyroid but most agree that the studies show it can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication. According to Donna Gates of Body Ecology the best thing you can do for autoimmune hypothyroidism is to heal the gut. This means avoiding sugar, grains, and refined oils. There certainly is no harm in avoiding soy products. Fermented soy products are better that others.

  • Yes you have Hashimotos. Why Drs don't inform us of what we should do is sooo awful it makes me furious.

    Hashimotos is an auto immune disease. A disorder in which the immune system mistakenly turns against the body's own tissues. The immune system then attacks the thyroid.

    Hashimotos patients need to be gluten free.

    No gluten whatsoever! Soy can affect the absorption of the thyroid hormone so limit it or cut out.

    I'm better without dairy, potato and tomato but you will need to see what other foods are causing you inflammation and other issues.

    Research leaky gut.

    In nearly 100 % of people with Hashimotos it is shown that we have leaky gut.Kris Kresser website is good.

    Read books by Dr Datis Khazzarian. Hashimotos God :)

    The Immune System Recovery plan by Susan Blum is really good and interesting.

  • I can only agree about gong GF. I have Graves Disease and a few more autoimmune conditions and a year ago I decided I'd had enough and went totally gluten free.

    I've been testing every three months with the Blue Horizon home fingerprick test and this week my results were

    Antithyroidperoxidase Abs 5.5 <34

    Antithyroglobulin Abs 74.3 <115

    They are still there but in the past they were 18.7/ 180.6 - 19.7/205.9 - same ranges.

    So I'm utterly convinced I owe it to being gluten free. I also became T2diabetic after steroid treatment so now I follow a LCHF Diet low carb, high fat diet - as well as being gluten free. The LCHF got rid of the T2 in three months, my HbA1c is now lower than it has ever been.

    I don't take much dairy - I've never liked milk or yoghurt, I do eat cream with berries for a pudding and I sometimes put butter on my vegetables. I eat masses over veg because that's where I get most of my carbs. I've given up bread it's either expensive or horrible also anything grain based - even 'good' grains like gf oatcakes because that sort of stuff spikes my blood sugar as do jacket / mashed potatoes so I don't eat a lot of potatoes.

    So give Gluten Free a try, it's easy to do and I've found eating out pretty easy too. Most places offer something, some are much better than others and for emergencies I eat unsalted nuts and seeds or buy a cooked chicken breast.

  • Thanks!

  • There is some misinformation. Going gluten free apparently helps many with Hashimotos but I for one do not need to although I have cut down for other reasons i.e. being recently diagnosed with diabetes.If you try gluten free the concensus say none at all.

    "Normal" means in range but it is not necessarily optimal for you.Ranges differ dependent on the lab but you do not give the range for ferritin so folk cannot comment.

    You have the right to know the test results so always ask for them and the ranges.You need TSH,FT4, FT3 ( but NHS rarely test this despite being the active hormone) ,folate,B12 and D3.

  • I decided I'd give it a year of absolutely not a speck of gluten K my diet. If my antibodies improved then I'd stick with it, if not then I'd give up. It worked so I'm committed now.

    Like you say Treepie, it's all or nothing, you can't be 'a little bit GF.'

  • Have a look at for a good postal service to get your own blood tests done for a reasonable cost. There are others. Yes NHS should be doing them but policy is set by blinkered medics and managers cutting costs and in thrall to Levothyroxine and old dogmas about managing this highly complex condition. You probably need to monitor at least free T3 T4 and TSH (about £40) and may benefit to know others like total T4 vitamin D, Ferritin, Vit BI2, etc etc, lots of conflicting opinions about which tests are necessary and how to interpret but it you have difficulties with meds or getting Symptoms under control investigating as many metabolites as may be relevant is probably worthwhile.

  • The main thing you need to know about Hashimotos is that it is progressive (i.e. it progressively destroys your thyroid). This means that your own thyroid will produce progressively less hormone so you will need progressively more Levothyroxine. This can take months or years to happen (usually years) but learn to listen to your body and don't be afraid to ask your doctor for an increase. Make sure to have your blood test first thing in the morning, having not taken any Levothyroxine for 24 hours before the test. Your doctor will want to dose you according to your TSH level (even though TSH is a poor marker for thyroid status) and your TSH needs to be a maximum of 1 (even though the 'normal' range in the UK is something like 0.3 to 5). Some people find they feel best if their TSH is below range.

    Some people find going gluten free helps, but not all. It depends how ill you are feeling and what you eat at present as to how drastically you are prepared to change your diet.

    Making sure your Ferritin, B12 and Vitamin D levels are healthy (not just at the bottom of the range) can help people a lot. Your Ferritin level looks low to me (most people aim for 70 or above) but as you don't give the range or the units I can't be sure. People try to get their levels of all these at least half way up the range. It seems that thyroid problems tend to deplete the body of these nutrients. People have hypothesised why this might be, and suggest that it is because the stomach doesn't absorb these nutrients from our food so well as we get older, and especially if we are taking medication for acid reflux.

    Best of Luck.

  • Thanks, I actually feel ok and had been to GP for a gastro problem rather than any thyroid symptoms although I can now talk myself into quite a few symptoms.....but want to be/eat as healthy as possIsle. I don't know the range of ferritin but GP had noted it in letter to gastro specialist so I gather it is low. Thanks

  • Well, you've had a lot of advice there! :) But I would just like to add a couple of things :

    Soy : unfermented soy is bad in so many ways, not just for what it does to hypos. So best to cut that out completely. But, be careful, it can crop up in so many forms in processed foods - soy flour, soy protein, soy oil, etc. They are all bad. Fermented soy is ok in small doses.

    Hashi's - a gluten-free diet can help, but doesn't help everyone. Same goes for dairy-free and nightshade-free (potatoes, tomatoes, etc). You have to try things to see what works for you.

    Another thing that might lower antibodies is taking selenium. You can safely take up to 200 mcg a day. I believe that has been scientifically proved to lower antibodies. It also helps with conversion - and Hashi's people are notoriously bad at converting.

    Also, you should aim to keep your TSH at zero - the less gland activity, the better. However, doctors do not understand this - they don't understand the TSH. Or anything else to do with thyroid, come to that... So, that might be a struggle. But, worth it. :)

  • Just looked up a Top 10 selenium rich food list and discovered I eat most of them! Five Brazil nuts every day for a start.

  • Except that you can't count on the Brazil nuts having much selenium in them, these days.

  • Tell me!

    I've been debating trying magnesium tablets for cramp - I get the most awful cramps, mainly at night - in my calves/ feet / even my thighs. The affected muscles are still painful when I get up in the morning.

    According to my Fitbit I took 10 steps during the night last night - it must have been something to do with trying to stop my cramps because I didn't get up.

    I already have baths with magnesium flakes in but that doesn't help, I've tried the spray but it is a bit sticky, I thought of magnesium based creams that I saw in the health food store then I read that magnesium bisglycinate is good for absorption so I've been thinking about that but I'm hesitating as I take lisinopril for high blood pressure and Quinoric for arthritis and I'm not sure how they would all mix. Any helpful suggestions would be welcome.

  • Well, according to, there is not interaction between Lisinopril and magnesium :

    But, according to this site, it depends on what type of magnesium it is :

    All I could find aout Quinoric and magnesium is that you should leave at least four hours between the two.

  • I read just recently but cannot remember where that if you drink a glass of tonic water per day then that should help with or stop the cramps. Hope that helps.

    Jo xx

  • Allopathic medicine is mostly clueless about how to deal with Hashimoto's. With antibodies that high, I would look into the major alternative sources on Hashi's. One of them is Izabella Wentz' book, found on

  • Is 400 high for antibodies? I couldn't find any info apart from someone reporting that hers were 2000.

  • Mine were never that high, but even 30 over a long period of time was sufficient to ruin my thyroid. As a consequence, I believe the antibody "threshold" which many labs specify is a crock. Antibodies need to be close to zero.

  • According to my results from Blue Horizon the lab ranges are ThyroglobA. (0-115) and for ThPeroxidA. (0-34).

    So I imagine (I'm not a medical person) that anything over the upper limit isn't good and 2000 really can't be good but that's only my personal opinion. I also imagine that zero is good because presumably it means that you haven't got any antibodies but as I'm not a medical person I could be wrong there too.

    No doubt someone with greater knowledge will be able to tell us a bit more. I'm just glad mine are now well down, I'm sure it has to be better than what they were before and I feel like I'm doing something positive to help myself.

  • Thanks for all your replies and advice. Want to make sure I have some knowledge when I go back to GP. Meant to add my USS showed a dull thyroid which I guess is to be expected

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