High cholesterol as indicator for thyroid probl... - Thyroid UK

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High cholesterol as indicator for thyroid problems?

RiaRiver profile image
12 Replies

Hi - I'm new!

I've been diagnosed with cfs/me for the last 4 years. Have had thyroid problems ruled out along the years. However my cholesterol has significantly raised over the last year or so and I've read that this can be an indicator of thyroid problems.

My last lot of blood tests results showed as:

TSH 1.31 (0.4 - 4.0)

T4 14.8 (12-22)

I also have a goitre on the right half of my thyroid that came up about 18 mths ago (has been scanned and is nothing scary so nfa unless it gets huge then it'll be removed). Could this be having an impact on the thyroid?

Should I ask for an antibodies test? Or anything else.

I've been permanently freezing since I was a child (now mid 40's) and this has got worse since the cfs). Think lots of layers, blue fingers and only being able to warm up once submerged in a boiling bath! Brain fog, pain in joints /muscles also prevalent. There has been some weight loss but that's mainly due to lack of appetite and perhaps a conscious effort to eat more healthily since I'm now not so active.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Thyroid problems despite initial results being within range?


12 Replies
shaws profile image

I am sorry you have symptoms which are very unpleasant and the problem is that nowadays, instead of the doctor taking into account the disabling symptoms the patient complains of but who will only diagnose upon the TSH alone and ignore symptoms (they don't know any in the first place).

When our TSH isn't in the right place we remain undiagnosed so the clinical symptoms we suffer from are given another 'name'. plus prescriptions for the symptoms but not for the root cause. A couple of links for you to ponder upon.



Tick off your symptoms:-


If you want to have blood tests and GP wont do them we have recommended labs. Sometimes we have to take things into our own hands as the doctors have lost a very important skill. How is it we were given trials of NDT before the blood tests were introduced, only upon our clinical symptoms alone? Modern methods - Old Wives Tales - I think I'd plump for old wives tales at least we'd be in charge of our own health and recovery.

RiaRiver profile image
RiaRiver in reply to shaws

Thanks - I tick about 60% of the check list.

Clutter profile image

Welcome to the forum, RiaRiver.

High cholesterol was only one of several indicators of hypothyroidism before blood tests were devised.

Goitre isn't impacting your thyroid levels because TSH 1.31 and FT4 14.8 are euthyroid (normal).

You can ask for a thyroid antibody test but your GP practice may not be willing to order it until TSH is abnormal.

Joint pain and muscle pain is often due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Ask your GP to test ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate.

If your GP won't order the tests you want you can order private thyroid antibody and vitamin and mineral tests via thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

RiaRiver profile image
RiaRiver in reply to Clutter

Thanks - the rest of my bloodwork is OK. It's hard as so many of the symptoms of cfs/me are so similar to other conditions. I'm not looking for a cure-all but want every avenue to be investigated as this cfs/me is so debilitating so if there's a slim chance it could be my thyroid I want it double checked!

Clutter profile image
Clutter in reply to RiaRiver


I understand that. It is worth having the vitamins and minerals checked because low level symptoms can be similar to hypothyroid symptoms.

RiaRiver profile image
RiaRiver in reply to Clutter

Yep - they've all been done and are within range.

Clutter profile image
Clutter in reply to RiaRiver


Some of the ranges are very broad. What are the results and ranges?

RiaRiver profile image

They're all mid range - I've been supplementing with b12, vit d and taking a good quality multi-vit too for the last three years as well as other vits/minerals to support the krebs cycle.

Ansteynomad profile image

Clutter, do you not think that an FT4 in the bottom third of the reference range is an issue, especially with a goitre and a CFS/ME diagnosis?

Are we not potentially looking at secondary hypothyroidism here?

Blue_Lagoon profile image


If you haven't had an ft3 check then you can't rule out hypothyroidism. It may be that your pituitary gland is a bit sluggish and not producing enough TSH and you are not converting t4 to t3 well. Your GP will likely not do this test as it's expensive and your TSH and ft4 are normal. You can get a blood test done yourself and people on here have the info on how to do it. You can get the NHS to take the blood as long as you pay £10 I think and then you post it off. Take care.

humanbean profile image

Like Blue_Lagoon above, I would say that hypothyroidism can't be ruled out without a Free T3 test. Since you've been diagnosed with ME/CFS I would say a Reverse T3 test might be interesting as well, but that test is likely to be expensive. Do you live in the UK?

Mid-range isn't necessarily optimal for all minerals and vitamins.

For example, iron and iron-related optimal levels are described here :


Most of us feel best with a B12 at the top of the range or even over the range.

Personally, I feel best with folate well into the upper half of the range.

Vitamin D is optimal around 100 - 150 nmol/L (these are European units of measurement). Please note that US units of measurement are different to European ones. Also, please note that some people don't tolerate vitamin D supplements and have to raise vitamin D with sunshine lamps and sunlight.

Almost everyone on the planet is deficient in magnesium, and the blood test is not reliable.

And vitamin K2 is required to move calcium from the diet or supplements into bones and teeth rather than lining the arteries. Also note that calcium shouldn't be supplemented unless it is tested and proved to be deficient.

RiaRiver profile image

Thanks for links - I'll do some reading up.

I haven't had a ft3 test so will see what the GP says.

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