Thyroid UK
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Advice regarding results and symptoms please

Hi please could someone help me to understand why I continue to feel so poorly on a reasonable dose of Levo (175mcg) and T3 (10mcg) and normal results?

I was diagnosed with hypothyroid 4 years ago, blood test results below.


TSH - 1.65 (0.2 - 4.2)

Free T4 - 16.1 (12 - 22)

Free T3 - 4.3 (3.1 - 6.8)

TPO antibody - 584.1 (<34)

TG antibody - 605.3 (<115)

Symptoms are

Bone pain

Dry skin

Gritty eyes


Heavy periods


Ears ringing

Feeling cold

Looking washed out

Muscle cramps

Irregular periods

Weight gain

Loss of appetite



Difficulty swallowing

Tightness in throat

Thank you

10 Replies

fiora Have you had the following tested

Vit D




Some of your symptoms are indicative of low levels of some of these. If you've been tested, please post the results with reference ranges for comment. If not, ask your GP to do them. Optimal levels of vitamins and minerals are necessary for thyroid hormone to work properly.

Also, as your antibodies are high, you are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease aka Hashimoto's. This is where antibodies attack the thyroid and gradually destroy it. You can help reduce the antibodies by adopting a strict gluten free diet. Gluten contains gliadin which is a protein thought to trigger antibody attacks.

Gluten/Thyroid connection -

Supplementing with Selenium L-selenomethionine 200mcg daily also helps reduce antibodies, as does keeping TSH suppressed. Selenium also helps T4 convert to T3.

Hashi's Information:

So addressing all those will help. But also, most people feel best when TSH is 1 or below and your FT3 would benefit from being a lot higher in it's range, on the top quarter is where most people feel best. An increase in T3 would be a good idea.


Thank you yes all vitamins and minerals have been tested, also calcium which has come back low (?)


What are your results, it's optimal we need which is

Ferritin - half way through it's range with an absolute minimum of 70 for thyroid hormone to work properly

Vit D - 100-150nmol/L

B12 - very top of range, even 900-1000 according to the Pernicious Anaemia Society

Folate - at least half way through it's range

Anything less than those results requires supplementing.

Vit D aids absorption of calcium from food ,so if your Vit D level is low then supplementing should help raise your calcium level.


Vitamin D is in a separate thread, can post the others with that one.


You have many clinical symptoms and your TSH is too high. Some of us need it to be lower than 1 some even need it suppressed. The perfect dose is one that relieves symptoms and we feel well. Your FT4 and FT3 are too low. The following links may be helpful. These were by Dr John Lowe who was an Adviser to TUK before his accidental death.


Are you taking generic levothyroxine? I never really felt well when taking levothyroxine even when combined with Cytomel (T3). Recently I switched to the name brand of levothyroxine, in my case Synthroid, which made all the difference. I feel entirely normal (FINALLY) and I don't even take Cytomel at all. It's unbelievable what a difference it made. I don't understand it but I like to tell people in case it's the same for them. Even my endocrinologist admitted that many people do better on real Synthroid vs. generic levothyroxine.


In the UK we really don't have the same branded versus generic issues.

Although technically the Eltroxin make is claimed to be a brand, it is also available without the Eltroxin name! So we have four different fomulations of levothyroxine here. We see people who cannot tolerate one, doing fine on another. And the exact reverse.

In my view, it has nothing to do with whether a product is deemed "branded" or "generic" - and everything to do with whether the individual taking it gets on with it or not.

The marketing power of Synthroid is incredible. The price of Synthroid is incredible.


many of the symptoms like bone pain could well be the effect of synthetic meds like levo and t3

a lot of thyroid patients are incredibly sensitive to chemicals and simply cannot tolerate levo or t3

a trial of NDT may make all the difference but actual levels of ferritin,folate,b12 are utterly vital and they have not been posted on this thread


Interestingly, I only have to pay $40 per month for Synthroid and that's without insurance! After this month, insurance will cover it so hopefully it'll be even less. Generic costed me $18 for 3 months, but it didn't help my symptoms. It was strange how different I felt by just switching over to Synthroid. You'd think they were exactly the same but apparently there is some leeway on the amount of content for the generics in the US. I had to take T3 with generic levo (and still didn't feel quite right), but I need nothing additional when taking Synthroid.


What you call "leeway" is a defined range of 95 to 105% of declared potency. (In the UK the range is 90 to 105%. But in neither case do we expect to see any product at the extremes of those ranges - only approaching them as the product approaches and goes over expiry date.)

That range applies absolutely equally to ALL levothyroxine tablets in the USA regardless of the name on the package. That is, the same leeway for Unithroid, Lannett and Synthroid.

I do not question your feeling better on one make than another. We see that all the time. But I have most certainly seen a number of people say how much better they were when switched to, for example, Unithroid than when they were on Synthroid.

I do seriously question whether there is any specific thing that is better about Synthroid (which for those who care, contains acacia and lactose and corn) than every other make which is what seems to come from your response? (Synthroid is coloured by dose. So it also contains a wonderful range of colourants except in the 50 microgram tablet.)

Synthroid ingredients:

Acacia, confectioner's sugar (contains corn starch),

lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate,

povidone, and talc.


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