Thyroid UK
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Help with self medication

I have posted previously and have persuaded my husband, who has been unwell for several years, to start self medicating, but I feel so confused with how to go about it. He has just gone gluten free but I feel he also needs to supplement with vitamins. His test results (non fasting) were as follows:

Serum TSH level 1.78 mu/L. 0.27 - 4.2mu/L

Thyroid peroxidase 81 IU/ml range 0 - 34

Free T3 3.9 pmol/l Range 4.0 - 6.8

Rheumatoid factor 21.8 IU/ml range 0 - 14

Vitamin B12 326 pg/ml range 197 - 771

serum folate 4.3 ng/ml. Range 3.9 - 20.00

Ferritin 148 ug/L range 30 - 400

Vitamin D and Free T4 have been tested but no results yet.

Severe fatigue has been the main symptom, along with bad headaches. 18 months ago he started to suffer from tingling in his hands, plus numbness. In time this progressed on to his feet and up his legs and he now has some pain in his heels when walking. He has been diagnosed with migraines, carpal tunnel and plantar fasciitis. He also has night sweats and joint pain.

We will consider NDT once we have the T4 result and have a clearer picture, but for the moment would like to start supplementing the vitamins needed, especially B12 and folate. Would appreciate any help you can give on what we should buy - I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the information out there. Thanks.

8 Replies


Vitamin B12 326 pg/ml range 197 - 771 - anything under 500 can cause neurological problems and this is likely to be the cause of tingling, etc. The recommended level is very top of the range, even 900-1000.

You can buy hubby some sublingual methylcobalamin lozenges 5000mcg and he should take one a day, let it dissolve under the tongue to get directly into the bloodstream, don't chew or swallow. When the bottle is finished (usually about 60 lozenges) buy the 1000mcg dose and continue with that as a maintenance dose.

Folate 4.3 ng/ml. Range 3.9 - 20.00 - this should be at least half way through it's range so at least 12+ with that range. When taking B12, we need a B Complex to balance all the B vitamins. If you buy one with 400mcg methylfolate then it will raise the folate level. Have a look at Thorne Basic B or Metabolics B Complex, both are very good. Thorne is 1 x capsule, Metabolics is 2 x capsules. I've had both and prefer the Metabolics. Urine will probably turn bright yellow after taking a B Complex, this is the B2, Riboflavin, and is normal.


Ferritin 148 ug/L range 30 - 400 - ferritin is recommended to be half way through it's range so aim for 215. If you want the fuss of iron tablets then each one should be taken with 1000mg Vit C to aid absorption and help prevent constipation. Iron must be taken four hours away from thyroid meds and two hours away from any other medication and supplements as it affects their absorption.

The easiest way to raise ferritin is to eat liver once or twice a week. I understand the maximum amount should be 200g. Maybe one meal of liver and then add minced liver to anything meaty that you cook, eg cottage pie, casseroles, curry, bolognese, etc.


Thyroid peroxidase 81 IU/ml range 0 - 34 - positive for autoimmune thyroid disease aka Hashimoto's. This is where antibodies attack the thyroid and gradually destroy it. Adopting a strict gluten free diet has helped many members to reduce their antibodies. Gluten contains gliadin which is a protein thought to trigger antibody attacks.

Gluten/Thyroid connection -

Supplementing with selenium L-selenomethionine 200mcg daily and keeping TSH suppressed also help reduce antibodies.

Hashi's information:


Introduce supplements one at a time. Start with one, leave it a week or two and if no reaction then add the second one, leave a week or two, again if no reaction then add the next one, etc. That way if there is a reaction you will know what caused it.


Sorry, I can't help with rheumatoid factor

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Thanks...this is a great help. We will start with B12 then move on to B complex and see how it's going.


High values

High RF levels may be caused by:

Rheumatoid arthritis.

Other autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma, Sjögren's syndrome, and vasculitis.

Infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, mononucleosis, syphilis, and malaria.

Liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and hepatitis.

Infection of the heart (endocarditis).


What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

Blood that is very high in fats.

Age. Some people older than age 65 have a high RF level.

Having had multiple vaccinations or blood transfusions.

I would not start your husband taking any iron. He needs to get checked out for why his Rheumatoid Factor is elevated.


i would not wait around to start NDT and theres plenty of detailied info on how to take it safely

however his Rheumatoid factor cannot be ignored either sadly the 2 problems of thyroid and RA can go together


I self-medicate, & started on 1/4 grain of WP Thyroid, & increased every two weeks, as I was being cautious. Prior to this, I did the Barnes basal body temperature test, for four months, whilst upping my nutrient intake. My temperature didn't increase much until I was up to 1 grain, but is now a full degree higher at 36.1C. I also monitored my initially feeble pulse, which is the same BPM now, but considerably stronger.


Would you mind sending me a PM with details of where you source the WP thyroid? I am just researching options. Thanks.

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The B12 vitamins have arrived today so at least we can get started! It all just feels a bit odd - I guess we are brought up to think that most Dr's know their stuff and that on the whole we should trust them and defer to their greater knowledge. All the posts on this, and other thyroid forums, goes against this thinking. The idea that we will have to go it alone is taking some getting used to, but we will get there.


Its a sad state of affairs, and my continued wilful neglect by the medics has not only undermined my trust in doctors but in all experts.

I would be happier to have professionals I can trust, but I'd have been dead without self medication.

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