Thyroid UK
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Worried That Hubby is Sub-Clinical Hypothyroid and Would Appreciate Your Opinion

Hello all. This my first time posting (but long time reader!) from the US. I have dealt with hypothyroidism since the birth of my third child 28 years ago. Like many of you, it took 4 doctors and varying diagnoses of heart murmur, mitral valve prolapse, chronic fatigue, depression, and just plain crazy/hypochondriac, before a doctor finally diagnosed me correctly. It has been a challenge ever since. After a couple of years and much research, I finally convinced the diagnosing doctor to switch me to Armour and FINALLY became "normal" again after a number of adjustments. After several moves and different doctors who wanted me to switch to Synthroid and/or reduce my 1.5 grain dose, I began relying on my own symptoms and treatment. With the help of this site, I have become more expert on hypothyroidism than most of the doctors who treated me over the years. I feel comfortable treating myself, but I believe my 66 year old husband has developed hypothyroidism. I would like to get confirmation from this group that he is currently sub-clinically hypothyroid. His August lab work showed the following:

TSH 2.91 Reference .4 - 4.5 Optimal 1.2 - 1.3 or lower on NDT

Free T3 2.9 Reference 2.3 - 4.2 Optimal 3.3

Free T4 1.1 Reference .8 - 1.8 Optimal 1.2 - 1.3

His Vitamin D was 32 Reference 30 - 100 (we are supplementing that with 5000 D3 and K). No other vitamins or minerals were tested. He takes a good multi-vitamin and high dose vitamin C (3 grams) as well as 12.5 Iodoral and B2 B3 cofactors.

Really the only major symptoms he has are occasional leg cramps and weight gain. He also sweats profusely with minimal exertion. We play tennis almost every day and go to the gym-he has had a hip replacement so he does the elliptical and I do the treadmill for 3 miles. We get a lot of exercise. I take Nature-Throid and order it for myself. Our current doctor did not see a problem with his thyroid. He has gained, in the last 15 years, about 40-50 lbs. and has what appears to me to be a goiter. It may just be a large double chin from the additional weight. I would greatly appreciate this groups opinion on whether or not to start a small dose of Nature-Throid with my husband (who is willing to do this). He is 6'2" (188 cm) and weighs 262 lbs. (even though his cholesterol was only 185) so I thought a trial of 1/2 grain might be appropriate.

Thank you all who graciously give your time to help others on this site. I value your opinions as they are spot on!!!

Thank you,


4 Replies

Does he have a stressful job or is he an anxious kind of person? If yes, then he may have high or low cortisol. This is one cause of lots of sweating. High cortisol causes weight gain as well. Cortisol is best tested with a 4 part saliva test.

Has he been tested for diabetes? Does he have high blood sugar?


Leg cramps and muscle spasms - could be low magnesium. Testing for magnesium is not reliable, so just going ahead and supplementing is worth doing, as long as kidneys are in reasonable health. Note that people who supplement vitamin D should also supplement magnesium.

To choose a magnesium supplement that appeals to you :

Maximum dose should be no more than 300mg - 400mg magnesium per day. Take it at night because it makes some people sleepy. Some forms of magnesium can act as mild laxatives. Some people, however, react to magnesium with diarrhoea.


Low iron can cause leg cramps.


Low potassium causes cramps and muscle spasm too. However, supplementing potassium should be done very cautiously, if at all, because it affects the heart. The best method of improving potassium is to eat more potassium-rich foods.


I've just noticed you said your husband is taking vitamin K. Anything described as vitamin K is usually vitamin K1. He should be taking vitamin K2 not vitamin K1.


Multi-vitamins aren't helpful. If they contain iron, and most of them do, then the iron prevents absorption of the other things in the supplement. They often contain calcium, which shouldn't be supplemented unless the person is known to have a low calcium level. And calcium prevents absorption of other nutrients in the pill too, including the iron because iron and calcium bind to each other. Another problem is iodine. It's another one of those things which should only be supplemented is there is a known deficiency.


For info on testing in the US without involving insurance and without needing a doctor, look for links halfway down this page :


Thank you so much humanbean. That is terrific information. I appreciate your response. We supplement with iodine for is apoptotic effect and to protect sex organs, breast, ovaries, prostate, etc. His random urine iodine was 42 Reference 34-523mcg/L. (I know that is not the best indicator). Mine was also on the low side. His complete urinalysis panel was all normal. I failed to mention that we do supplement with magnesium as well but it is a calcium, magnesium and zinc supplement. He eats a lot of bananas and I make a "kitchen sink" organic vegetable-fruit juice every morning with lots of green in it. I am retired doing only occasional pro bono work, and my husband is in his second year of "phase out" which is a reduced schedule. I actually have a cortisol test kit (saliva) here that I will have him take. The K supplement is MK-7 by NOW products which is K-2. My husband is a very happy, more or less carefree personality who is very gregarious and loves people. He rarely gets stressed about things. I had actually purchased the saliva kit for myself!!!. He does not have diabetes or blood sugar issues. His A1C was normal. His hematocrit and hemoglobin numbers were normal. I will leave off the Iodoral for a while and see if that makes a difference. The magnesium supplement I have is calcium, magnesium and zinc. I will replace that with magnesium only. I will ditch the multi-vitamin as well.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Sometimes there is a tendency to see thyroid problems where there aren't really any!!!



TSH 2.91 indicates your husband's thyroid is struggling but his FT4 and FT3 are comfortably within range. Iodine in Iodoral can suppress FT4 and FT3 causing higher TSH. It would be worth stopping the Iodoral for a few weeks and retesting to see whether FT4 and FT3 have risen and TSH dropped.


Thank you Clutter. I will leave off the Iodoral for a while and make the changes suggested by humanbean. I sincerely appreciate the great advice on this site. Thank you!!!

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