Various symptoms.....Hypothyroidism?

Hi everyone,

I've been feeling unwell for a few months (well, more like over 2 years), but symptoms have worsened in the past few months.

These include: joint pain/soreness and stiffness (bones feel tender to touch, mainly upper back, breastbone, arms, shoulder blade)

severe and worsening acid reflux (ongoing despite Esomeprazole and Ranitidine)

frequent viruses, heart flutters, exhaustion after doing one activity in a day (eg going to the supermarket), breathlessness/tightness in chest (intermittent)

tinnitus, muscle weakness, weak, bendy nails

poor memory/feeling drowsy, depression, anxiety, intolerance to cold, cold hands and feet.

I know this is a long list, but it's the fatigue that's the worst part. Recent blood test results revealed low ferritin levels (8 ug) for which I have been taking ferrous sulphate for a few weeks. With regards to my Thyroid results, GP said this was 'normal' but the levels read: Serum TSH 1.15 ml (normal range 0.34 - 5.6) and T4 level 9.30 pmol (7.5 - 21.1). To me that looks like the low end of normal (maybe too low for me?). Could these readings explain any of my symptoms? Is it worth pursuing this (Thyroid issue) with my GP? I'm fed up of feeling this way and it's having a significant impact on my functioning.

I'm 37 years of age and have been on and off anti depressants (SSRIs) for at least 20 years.

Thanks

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17 Replies

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  • there is no way whatever your thyroid results are normal

    your GP is only looking at TSH when actually they should look at the fact the freeT4 is also low

    thus the chances are you have CENTRAL hypothyroid as opposed to more common Primary Hypothyroid where TSH rises

    go back to your GP and ask if they had considered CENTRAL hypothyroid because member of NHS Choices website has strongly suggested this is the reason your unwell

    hypothyroid trashes vits and minerals in your body and its vital that

    ferritin

    folate

    b12

    vit d3

    are all at least halfway in their ranges otherwise your body js unable to utilise levothyroxine and convert it into the T3 that every cell in your body needs to function

    Free T3 also needs testing but the labs wont do that unless your GP puts ? Central Hypothyroid on the form

  • Thanks for your reply. That's interesting - I hadn't heard of Central Hypothyroidism. Just read it's related to the pituitary gland, is that correct? Most of my blood tests have revealed low readings of various vitamins and minerals, most recently low calcium and ferritin. I'm thinking maybe poor absorption due to the digestive issues or thyroid function.

  • Also ask for thyroid antibodies to be tested to check for autoimmune thyroid- called Hashimoto's

  • Thanks SlowDragon. I did look up Hashimoto's a while ago and could relate to a lot of the symptoms. Would you have a swelling in the Thyroid gland with this? As far as I can tell, mine is not swollen

  • I do not know why doctors are so poorly trained in treating patients with hypothyroidism. Instead they treat a number on a piece of paper and make the whole decision based upon a result which is from the pituitary gland. They know not one clinical symptom.

    What you need is a decent blood test. If GP or lab wont do them all you can get a private test from a recommended lab.

    Blood tests have to be at the very earliest, fasting (you can drink water) and allow a gap of approx 24 hours from your last dose of levo and the test and take it afterwards.

    Ask GP for a Full Thyroid Function Test as advised by the NHS Choices for information/advice on dysfunctions of the thyroid gland, i.e. Thyroiduk.org.uk

    You've lost your youth due to being unwell and being diagnosed as 'depressed' without, I should imagine, having your Free T3 tested at all. FT3 is the most important as it informs how much T3 is actually circulating. T3 is the only active thyrid hormone required in our receptor cells. T4 (levothyroxine) is inactive and has to convert to T3 but may not do so efficiently. T3 is needed in our billions of receptor cells. Request:

    TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free t3 and thyroid antibodies. B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate.

    Get a print-out from the surgery with the ranges. Ranges are important as labs differ.

    I think you have low free T3 (I am in no way medically qualified) if you've been 'depressed' for years and if you did have a blood test your TSH probably wouldn't have reached the 10 that is required in the UK for being diagnosed. In other countries it would be when it is 3+.

    I think all doctors should 'google' although they would tell us not to :)

    google.co.uk/search?q=depre...

  • Thanks for all the information. To be honest, I've long suspected my symptoms could be Thyroid related, but they were never that bad and did not interfere with my daily functioning until about 2+ years ago (even more so in the past few months). I have never had my T3 levels checked (at least I don't think I have), but will ask my GP about this. Would my current TSH and T4 levels really explain all of my symptoms (are the readings low enough to account for my health issues)? I have considered having a private blood test, but my concern is my GP may disregard the results - would a private GP have a different Thyroid range to NHS? I agree GPs need to be more educated/open minded when it comes to hormone/endocrine issues. After all, symptoms are subjective and with blood tests it's not 'one size fits all'!!

  • i have already told you very very clearly what i strongly believe is the problem

    My husband,daughter and grandaughters all have Central Hypothyroid go back to the GP with the info i have given you and take it from there

    i have never yet been wrong on this aspect of hypothyroid

  • Reallyfedup123, I appreciate your advice, just I've never heard of Central Hypothyroid before and am curious. Can you tell me a bit more about it please? What are the typical symptoms?

  • symptoms are same as for primary hypothyroid

    difference is the TSH will always be low as its pituarity or hypothalmus failure

    freet4 and freet3 will also be low because the pituarity cannot push out TSH to kick the thyroid

    thus TSH must not ever be used to assess thyroid function

  • Below is a list of symptoms and you'll find a wealth of info from Members and as reallyfedup123 states, there's nothing like a personal experience through unnecessary suffering when doctors are incapable of looking beyond the TSH.

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

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    Doctors will do as they've been 'trained' to do and as far as I know to only take notice of the TSH alone for diagnosis. Few take notice of clinical symptoms as they don't know any.

  • Thanks for the links Shaws, I can relate to a lot of those symptoms. I've especially been having a lot of breathing difficulties, tightness in chest (as well as the other symptoms mentioned) mainly when using stairs - not sure, but think this may be a separate issue. It never ends! I have a GP appointment on the 15th June, so will have to discuss the Thyroid issues etc, will see what they say.

  • what results do you have do far ?

    most GPs have no clue what Central or Tertiary Hypothyroid is

  • I had a blood test on 27th April, which included Thyroid - serum TSH 1.15 (0.34 - 5.6) and serum free T4 9.30 (7.5 - 21.1).

    Ferritin levels were also low at 8ug (11.0 - 336.0)

    Eosinophil 0.1 (0.0 - 0.5)

    Basophils 0.0 (0.0 - 0.2),

    HA1C 42mmol (20.0 - 42.0).

    I have listed all the results that looked out of range/borderline. Vitamin B12 was 518ng (187.0 - 883.0)

  • Low ferritin must be addressed

    Low TSH along with low T4 still highly indicative of Central Hypothyroid

  • Oh and Serum folate was 15.1ug (3.1 - 19.9)

  • Hypo is an 'all-over experience' from head to toe, unfortunately for us.

    This is another link.

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

    Tick off all your symptoms and present them to him. He probably knows none but it shows you have an interest in helping yourself.

    Remember all blood tests for thyroid hormones have to be at the very earliest, fasting (you can drink water) and if on hormones you should allow about 24 hours between the last dose and the test.

    Ask GP to also test B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate.

  • Thanks for the link - I did click on it and the website wasn't available. Not to worry, I printed the checklist from the first (Thyroid UK) link you sent. I could identify with many of the symptoms, but not all.

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