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Thyroid UK
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Postpartum thyroid problems


Just abit of history about myself. I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition but not medicated. However I am under constant supervision from my GP.

I gave birth June 2017 and have a 5 month old baby whom I am breastfeeding.

GP tested my thyroid function when I was pregnant May 2017. TSH was 0.05 and t4 was 10.5 ( range is 11-20 ) . GP was concerned and referred me to consultant. Consultant said if my symptoms increase he will Medicate me with t4 . However he discharged me from his care at the time of birth.

GP tested again recently as I was displaying a lot of symptoms and extremely tired, hair loss , low mood etc.

TSH - 0.02

T4 - 15

T3- 5.6

Also antibodies were present .

GP has again referred me to consultant because he says my case seems complex . He says he cannot give me thyroxine as that would make me hyperthyroidism. He says I am sub clinical and need further investigation.

My question is what is going on with my body. I find my results baffling . I am just so tired . I feel like my life is on hold right now and I just want my life back . If anybody could please help me interpret my results. Do you think this has something to do with breastfeeding. Should i stop ?

10 Replies

I forgot to add GP also said it looks like my thyroid is on it’s way to burning itself out because of the antibodies.


Well, it will, eventually, But, with a TSH that low, it still has quite a way to go. You will become hypo when your thyroid dies, which means your TSH will be high, not low. Your doctor doesn't know very much about thyroid, does he. :)

So, are you on a 100% gluten-free diet, to lower your antibodies?

You can expect your results to be all over the place, with Hashi's. You're probably just coming down from an immune attack, and your TSH hasn't caught up with the Frees, yet. I don't think it has anything to do with breastfeeding.

The 'specialist' probably won't put you on thyroid hormone replacement, either, with those results. But, do be warned, the so-called 'specialists' don't know much about thyroid, either. They are mainly diabetes specialists who think thyroid is a doddle.

But, please be clear on one thing: whilst you may not, technically, need thyroid hormone replacement yet, taking it can never, ever make you hyper! You are slowly going hypo, and the thyroid gland is a one-way street. It can't reverse itself and 'go hyper', no matter what your doctor thinks. But, you can be over-medicated, so, that is something to avoid. :)

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Thanks for your reply.

Yes I have tried the gluten free diet for a couple of weeks. However it didn’t lower my antibodies it made them worse and I didn’t feel well on it at all. Therefore I stopped .

Are you saying I should just wait it out and see if the TSH normalises ? I have another blood test in 6 weeks and see if anything’s changed.

My T4 and T3 seem ok. I think I may try vitamin supplements to see if they help me feel better .


Well, it wouldn't do anything for you in a couple of weeks! You'd need to stick it for at least a couple of months, if not a lot longer. No instant 'cures' in the world of hormones!

No, I wasn't saying just wait it out and see if the TSH normalises, I was saying wait it out and see if the TSH goes over-range, and the Frees drop, and you need to start taking levo - which you will eventually.

What vitamins supplements are you thinking of trying? Be very careful! It's a mine field. And, if I were you, I wouldn't try anything much without getting my vit D, vit B12, folate, ferritin tested, first.

But, you could try vit C, magnesium and selenium without testing - although don't start taking them all at the same time, because if one of them didn't agree with you, you wouldn't know which one it was and would have to start all over again. :)



I’m already on vitamin D3 , calcium and iron. I also take a breastfeeding multivitamin which has omega 3 included

I’m going to add selenium and ashwaghanda.

Also hoping to add N Acetyl cysteine later on.


Why are you taking calcium? That's not a good thing to take unless you really need it.


Your T4 level in May was low. Did you not have a T3 test in May? You haven't added the range for your most recent tests. I'm wondering what your T3 was like in both May and the most recent test. T3 levels are vital to know.



My t3 level in May was 4.1 ( range 3-6 pmol)

Currently 5.5.

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I can understand why your GP thought you were a complex case and referred you to a consultant. Looking at your first set of results your thyroid hormone levels (FT4) was below range, so your TSH should have been high, instead yours was low. This would indicate a pituitary problem. People with pituitary problems can have problems breast-feeding, but you clearly haven't got that problem. Stick with it, by the way, even if you need thyroid hormone replacement.

Your second set of results look more normal, except that your TSH is abnormally low. It is normally to feel pretty wrecked when you have a 5 month old baby, but you clearly feel this isn't normal. People with thyroid issues often have Vitamin deficiencies - has your doctor checked your iron, ferritin, B12, Folate and Vit D recently? Any of these being low would cause you to feel exhausted.

Your doctor should be checking your thyroid blood levels every 6 months or so. It is possible that everything will sort itself out gradually - some people find giving birth causes a temporary disruption of thyroid hormones that recovers eventually. Your T3 and T4 levels seem to be going in the right direction, it's just your TSH level that is abnormally low. By the way it helps a lot if you include the reference ranges for blood test results.



I’m on iron treatment for low iron prescribed by the dr. My iron levels are slowly rising. Ferritin is in the 30s now so I’m hoping that will improve properly in the next 2-3 months.


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