Thyroid UK
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I am currently taking 100 Levo daily. I have been suffering from almost daily headaches for a year now. On top of that I have become depressed, lethargic and having problems sleeping. It could simply be that I'm worrying about the headaches, or aged 49, female hormones, but through this site, saw the recommendation to have a thorough Thyroid check through Medichecks. These are the results and comments from their Doctor but I would be happy for others to comment please. They note my free T3 is the only test that is under range. To lower my TSH also would that mean increasing or decreasing my daily Levo?

ENDOCRINOLOGY

Thyroid Function

THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE 3.94 mIU/L 0.27 - 4.20

FREE THYROXINE 17.6 pmol/L 12.00 - 22.00

TOTAL THYROXINE(T4) 96.6 nmol/L 59.00 - 154.00

FREE T3 *2.54 pmol/L 3.10 - 6.80

THYROGLOBULIN ANTIBODY <10 IU/mL 0.00 - 115.00

THYROID PEROXIDASE ANTIBODIES 29 IU/mL 0.00-34.00

HAEMATOLOGY

Vitamins

VITAMIN B12 290 pmol/L 140.00 - 724.00

FOLATE (SERUM) 8.01 ug/L 2.91 - 50.00

BIOCHEMISTRY

Inflammation Marker

CRP - HIGH SENSITIVITY 0.5 mg/l 0.00 - 5.00

Iron Status

FERRITIN 139 ug/L 13.00 - 150.00

Their comment:

We note that you are taking this test to monitor your thyroid disorder. Apart from this, you report suffering from primary biliary cholangitis and depression.

Your thyroid stimulating hormone is in the upper half of the normal range. Some people who are taking thyroxine feel better when their thyroid stimulating hormone is maintained in the lower half of the normal range. If you are experiencing symptoms of an underactive thyroid (tiredness, weight gain, mood problems, hair/skin problems) then I recommend that you discuss this result further with your GP.

You have normal levels of thyroxine and a slightly low Free T3. I recommend that you see your GP with these results.

Your antibody levels are within normal limits and so an autoimmune condition of the thyroid is not detected.

Your levels of vitamin B12 and folate are normal.

Your CRP level is normal, suggesting low levels of inflammation within the body.

Your ferritin level is normal indicating healthy iron stores.

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"Your thyroid stimulating hormone is in the upper half of the normal range" and "You have normal levels of thyroxine and a slightly low Free T3. I recommend that you see your GP with these results".

These two phrases may be fine if the person wasn't already diagnosed as hypo. I hate the word 'normal' when we are experiencing difficulties daily and we don't feel 'normal' but doctors are happy when results are within the normal range.

First, you are on a insufficient dose of levothyroxine as the aim is a TSH of 1 or below. Your FT4 is o.k. but the only Active Thyroid Hormone is below range showing that you are having difficulty converting T4 to T3. That is what T4 is supposed to do i.e. convert into T3. It is T3 that is required in all of our T3 receptor cells and we have millions.

I am glad Medichecks state you should see your doctor with the results. It will be interesting to know how your doctor reads them. Your FT3 is too low. It should be nearer the top of the range and depression can also be caused due to low T3.

Members will respond re your other results.

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Thankyou Shaws. I don't have any confidence in my GP. I have never taken more than 100 Levo, are you suggesting I go up to 125? I have an auto immune condition of the bile ducts called PBC, I asked my Gastroenterologist IF it was possible that my condition or the medication I take for that, stops my body (liver?) converting the T4 to T3, but no-one wants to answer that?

I understand GPs won't prescribe T3 on the NHS, but upping the T4 might help???

Reply

I am not medically qualified so am not able to advise on doses.

Many members have increased their doses to reduce the TSH.

Increasing T4 may reduce your TSH and increase T3 (some people are poor converters) and some of us are nervous of increasing when the doctor hasn't advised us to.

The fact is that they seem to be unaware that a TSH of 1 or lower can improve the patient's symptoms.

Always take a note of your temp/pulse because if we take too much and either of the above are on the high side, we reduce thyroid hormones. Sometimes I have felt very hot indeed but temp hadn't change at all

Your GP should also test, if he/she hasn't done so, B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. All have to be optimal.

Reply

Thankyou again Shaws - I have an appointment to see GP next week. They never run the full gamut of Thyroid tests but the Medichecks test I paid for did include the B12 iron ferritin and folate which they say are OK. I have previously asked for referral to NHS Endo to get a higher opinion but GP outright refused saying "Thyroid is managed in Primary Care", despite the fact my TSH went from over normal range to under normal range in the space of 6 months. From what I read on this site, neither GPs or Endos have much understanding, so God help us all!

I occasionally get palpitations but put that more down to worrying about my health at the mo. I'm having acupuncture, I just want to feel well!

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Most of us on the forum look after our own thyroid health and many source their own thyroid hormones and like you get their own blood tests.

Palpitations can be caused by low FT3, because the heart and brain need the most T3 (which is the only active thyroid hormone) Low T3 can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms. Your FT4 is good but it also could mean you don't convert it into FT3 as this too low. The aim of B12 is to be nearer 1,000 and many supplement with sublingual methylcobalamin B12. We have millions of T3 receptor cells which you could refer to as the 'battery' as it has to get into our receptor cells to enable our metabolism to work efficiently.

You can read on the following about FT4 and FT3:

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

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

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It is possible your Low T3 could be as you mentioned - due to your liver problems. You could start to self medicate and buy T3 from abroad. Ask for PM's from those that can help with that in a new post. It might be a good idea to test VitD too.

Hope you soon feel well ....

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I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid last year and put on levothyroxine. A month later I was also diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Not sure which is more serious but both make you tired and moody... Oh joy. Gp not told me much so I've relied on Google... Not always a good idea 🤔

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No Dr Google has a lot of old info but this site is always good for finding people that suffer the same. Both your conditions can prob make you fatigued and unwell so look after yourself and make sure your GP regularly monitors you. Xx

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