Newly diagnosed Hashimotos

Hi

I was diagnosed with a slightly under active thyroid 2 years ago. I was prescribed Levothyroxine, which i took in different dosages for about a year. I stopped when i realised it was making me feel worse, weight gain, achy joints. Long story short i have recently seen an endo who gave me the following results can anyone help me understand what this means and whether there is anything i can do to help myself. Endo is saying not.

TSH 11.0

Free T4 10.3

Free T34 4.6

Thyroid antibody strongly positive at greater than 1000

Apparently this suggests i have Auto-immune thyroiditis, ( Hashimotos)

Any help would be great, i am not taking any medication only Vit d, magnesium. vit B12, vit c, acidophelus, & chromium supplements

I am also going through the menopause, so not sure if the weight gain could be more to do with that ?

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10 Replies

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  • Janeycp,

    TSH 11.0 means you are hypothyroid. You haven't included the lab ref ranges (figures in brackets after results) so I can't tell whether FT4 and FT3 are low or within range.

    You need Levothyroxine to replace the thyroid hormone you are unable to produce. Your weight gain is probably due to low thyroid hormone. Lifestyle and dietary changes will not enable you to replace hormone naturally.

    The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status. For most patients that will be when TSH is 1.0 or lower with FT4 in the upper range. FT4 needs to be in the upper range in order that sufficient T3 is converted. Read Treatment Options in thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

    Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's). There is no cure for Hashimoto's which causes 90% of hypothyroidism. Treatment is for the low thyroid levels it causes. Many people have found that 100% gluten-free diet is helpful in reducing Hashi flares, symptoms and eventually antibodies.

    chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

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

    For maximum absorption Levothyroxine should be taken with water 1 hour before, or 2 hours after, food and drink, 2 hours away from other medication and supplements, and 4 hours away from calcium, iron, vitamin D supplements, magnesium and oestrogen.

    It takes 7-10 days for Levothyroxine to be absorbed before it starts working and it will take up to six weeks to feel the full impact of the dose. Symptoms may lag behind good biochemistry by several months.

    You should have a follow up thyroid test 6-8 weeks after starting Levothyroxine. Arrange an early morning and fasting (water only) blood draw when TSH is highest, and take Levothyroxine after your blood draw.

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

  • janeycp Did you have vitamins and minerals tested to know that you needed to supplement B12 and Vit D? What were the results and what doses are you taking? Did you also have ferritin and folate tested?

    **

    You definitely have Hashimoto's and with your results you really need to be taking thyroid hormone replacement of some sort.

    For the Hashi's, 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 - chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

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

    Hashi's information:

    stopthethyroidmadness.com/h...

    stopthethyroidmadness.com/h...

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

    **

    It would help to have the ranges for your thyroid results, but I'm guessing that FT4 is either very low or below range??? Of course, your TSH is very much over range so you need some thyroid meds. If you don't get on with Levo there are other options. There are three or four brands of Levo in tablet form, if you've only tried one then you should ask to try the others, you could be reacting to one of the fillers. If tablet form doesn't suit there is a liquid form that can be prescribed. If all those don't suit then you could look into natural dessicated thyroid (NDT).

  • Hi thank you for your reply.

    I haven't had my vits & minerals tested but started taking these supplements after doing my own research. Not sure if they help or not i do eat a very healthy diet only ever home cooked food with lots of veg, not much fruit though. I do eat some gluten in occasional bread and i do use flour sometimes and soy sauce quite often. I really didnt feel that good on Levo and i certainly didnt lose weight, so i am reluctant to go back on, i will ask GP if there is another brand, although i did ask before and he said not. My Endo is saying i dont need treating ?

    Its all so confusing all i want to do is be able to lose weight and feel well.

  • janeycp We should only supplement when our levels aren't optimal. Some vitamins are fat soluble (A, K, E, D) and if we take more than we need then it accumulates in the body and can cause toxicity. You can see that Vit D is one of these. Also, when taking Vit D there are important cofactors needed to help it work properly. Vit D aids absorption of calcium from food. If the calcium isn't directed to bones and teeth where it is needed, it can build up in arteries and soft tissues and cause problems there such as calcification of arteries, kidney stones, etc.

    Water soluble vitamins (all B vits, and C) get pee'd out when taken in excess so if you don't need them you are wasting money if you take them.

    So you really need to get your vitamins and minerals tested and take what you need at the appropriate dose along with any cofactors.

    There are a few supplements that are useful for us Hypos that can be taken without necessarily testing, these are:

    Vit C - this supports adrenals (and the immune system) and it's recommended to take 2000mg daily in divided doses, more can be taken up to bowel tolerance.

    B Complex - also helps support adrenals. Not B12 as a single supplement but B Complex. If you take B12 as a single supplement you should also take a B Complex to balance all the B vitamins. A B Complex usually includes all the B vitamins in balance, including some B12 which will suffice if not deficient in it.

    A mineral Complex that doesn't include iron (stops the others working and shouldn't be supplemented unless needed), iodine or calcium (they shouldn't be supplemented unless deficient).

    Selenium (if not in the mineral complex) - helps conversion of T4 to T3 and helps reduce antibodies when present.

    You have to get all the building blocks in place for thyroid hormone to work properly, so testing and optimising vitamins and minerals is essential.

    **

    As you have Hashi's, then you should go completely gluten free, having 'just a bit' or being 'almost gluten free' won't help.

    Soy in any form is a no-no for us thyroidies, unless it is fermented soy.

    **

    If your GP said there is no other brand of Levo then he is lying. There is in tablet form:

    Wockhardt

    Actavis

    Mercury Pharma

    Teva

    Plus liquids

    See thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatm... and click on each purple bar.

    With a TSH of 11 you need some form of thyroid hormone replacement, without it you will only become more and more ill, and if your endo is saying that you don't need treating then he is beyond stupid. Change your endo before he kills you.

  • ok i will request a vitamin and mineral test. and update when i have results, thank you for your help. I think Endo is not treating me because i have tried Levo twice, once for a year then a 4 month break and a second time for 4 months both times i felt worse tired, achy and had no success with weight loss either.

  • Well, you couldn't expect to lose weight instantly. It's not a weight-loss treatment. It is just replacing the hormone your thyroid can no longer make for itself. And, only when your thyroid hormones are back to optimal, will you be able to start losing weight. And, besides, weight should not be your primary concern at the moment, it should be staying alive. This is not just going to go away, it is going to get worse. The antibodies are slowly going to destroy your thyroid, until they are completely dependant on thyroid hormone replacement to live.

    People often feel worse before they feel better on levo. But, you've got to get your levels up before you'll be able to see if other things, like T3, might be helpful. But, before you can get the levels up, you actually have to start taking the levo. :)

  • Hi thank you for your reply

    I did take Levo for a year and my levels wee normal but I felt awful

    All my joints ached and I was gaining weight . I am left overweight but feeling better off of Levo

  • codswallop ...a TSH of 11.0 =severely hypothyroid

    your t4 is low as is your t3

    ferritin must be tested fast

    stop blaming menopause and start learning about hypothyroid

  • What should T4 and T3 be ?

    you say it is low?

  • This is why I asked if you had the reference ranges for them.

    A treated hypo patient generally should have TSH 1 or below or wherever it is needed for FT4 and FT3 to be in the upper part of their respective reference ranges if that is where you feel best. Usually FT4 in the upper third and FT3 in the upper quarter of their range.

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