Knowing the facts

I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism about 8 years ago, not because I was feeling unwell, but as the result of a blood test for something else which showed higher than normal cholesterol (approx 6), which led to a thyroid test. I was initially prescribed 25 mcg of Levothyroxine, subsequently raised to 50 mcg where it has stayed. I have never felt unwell, as many people seem to, with this disorder and have just accepted my G.P's advice but I'm beginning to wonder whether I should be more proactive and question more deeply whether I really need this medication and what exactly is causing the disorder. When I read American sites, they mention numerous other blood tests for liver function etc. and I'm sure that all I ever have is a TSH test. Should I be asking more questions and, if so, what?

4 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Millie, welcome to the forum.

    If you had high cholesterol, and were prescribed levo, then you are hypOthyroid, not hyper.

    The best thing you can do, to answer your question, is get a copy of all your blood test, from the time you were diagnosed. It is your legal right to have them. Once you know exactly what the results were, and what was tested, you will know better what you ought to do next.

    There are over 300 symptoms of low thyroid, not all of them dramatic, just little things that we probably put down to aging. But, the point is, if your thyroid is struggling, things are going to get worse, not better. So, best to nip things in the bud, so to speak, to avoid problems later on. But we'll be able to explain things more carefully, once we've seen your blood test results. :)

  • Millee,

    You may have had a liver function test when you were first diagnosed with hypothyroidism. You could ask your GP receptionist to check your records. You may also have had thyroid peroxidase antibodies tested when abnormal TSH was discovered. Again, ask the receptionist to check.

    90% of hypothyroidism is caused by autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's) which is usually confirmed by elevated antibodies. However, even if the cause is not autoimmune most people require thyroid replacement for life. If you are not convinced you need Levothyroxine stop taking it. I think you will probably start feeling quite symptomatic within 7-14 days and will want to resume taking Levothyroxine.

    Why you would want other thyroid tests if you are feeling well? FT4, FT3 and thyroid antibody test results aren't important when you feel well. The only reason to ask for more tests is to determine why one continues to feel UNwell. You can order private thyroid tests if your interest is purely intellectual. Blue Horizon Thyroid Plus 6 or Thyroid Plus 11 are worth looking at thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    If you have questions about hypothyroidism you can ask them on the the forum. Members are likely to be as knowledgeable as most GPs.

    These links will tell you more about hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's:

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

  • Correction - yes, hypOthyroidism - I don't know how on earth I typed the wrong thing! Thanks for your suggestions and advice. I'll ask more about blood tests the next time I have my prescription review. Usually, I get the results over the phone from the receptionist and I just began to wonder if I was being a bit passive about it all. I have had my interest awakened by reading about hypothyroidism and Intermittent Fasting (which I've been doing for 3 years) and, as browsing often does, one inquiry led to another.

  • Millee,

    Your practice probably won't order FT4 unless your TSH is abnormal and as you are already treated for hypothyroidism they may not agree to test thyroid antibodies. Very few GP practices test FT3 unless TSH is <0.03. They are looking for evidence of high FT3 in hyperthyroid patients not low FT3 in hypothyroid patients.

You may also like...