Thyroid UK

Advice for my Mum if that’s ok

Hello all,

Mum Mum who is 85, has diabetics type 2, high blood pressure, very difficult arthritis in her spine, hands, knees has been diagnosed hypothyroid. She has always struggled with her weight, is 15 stone but I can tell you for certain she eats fairly modestly but badly, I.e. she rarely goes near fruit or veg. She will have occasional flurry’s when she will eat salads and she always provides my dad with 2or 3 veg every day and she tells me she help herself to some of it but I stay with them often and her helping herself to some means four carrot batons or a tablespoon of courgettes. She rarely goes for anything dark green or deep red. I have talked to her regularly about nutrition and have suggested that she is malnourished but to no great avail. She suffers from significant fatigue and regularly fall asleep after breakfast.

She sleeps poorly because she has neuropathic pain in her leg and foot. Although she is on a lot of meds : metformin, beta blockers, high blood pressure meds, something for cholesterol, she is very cautious about taking tramadol or co codimal. She try’s to control her pain with mostly paracetamol and noon and again neurogenic. I don’t think her pain management is sufficient but it’s her choice.

She has poor mobility because mostly we think of the neuropathy in her foot. Her balance has been check by ENT consultant as she has been having some dizzy spells and they have found nothing significant but have rayed her cerviacle vertebra, she has a long history of spondylitis.

Her GP has suggested Levo based on what I think may be borderline results. As usual the nhs will not check her T3 I personally am a bit concerned about her starting levo because she is diabetic, high blood pressure and ‘85. I have got her vit D b12 ferritin done and they were in range but low. Vit D was deficient so I got GP to put on a loading dose and now she’s on maintanence. I have just started her on vit c 1000mgs which she is complying with.

Her life is fairly miserable.

Her results are:

TSH 6.15 (3.94)

T4 12.4 (12,30 20.20)

In August 2017 she had some tests which I’ve looked at again and since my learning from this site I am appalled as the only action they took was around her vit D

TSH - 4.23 - (0.30 - 3.94)

T4 - 13.6 (12.30 - 20.20)

B12 - 369 ng/L (197 - 771)

Ferritin - 76 ug/L (30 - 400ug/L)

D - 13nmol/L this is the one thing they picked up on and she was treated for.

<30 deficient

I won’t give you the rest of what’s written, it’s a bit long winded but she did get treated

I can see myself the ferritin needs looking at - these are result last August 20017. Her GP is going to get a rocket up his you know where from me. So back in auguust her thyroid was low and no action taken. Her ferritin and b12 were pretty low but no advice or discussion at all. I know from mums diet that her vit c is none existent because she rarely goes near fruit and veg,

Sorry this post is in two halves but anyone who can offer her advice about whether she should start treatment 25 mg at her age and with the complication of her other condition, namely diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, osteoporosis arthritis

Thanks Hattie

1 Reply


I've edited your post to include the info from your 2nd post and will delete the other post. You can edit your own posts by clicking on the v down arrow underneath your post and selecting Edit.

I think it may be worth trialling Levothyroxine to see whether it improves your mother's energy and well being. 25mcg is a small dose so make sure she has a follow up thyroid test 6-8 weeks later in case a dose increase is required.

I don't think ferritin 76 is too low in a post menopausal woman.

B12 369 probably isn't deficient but cleaving B12 from nutrients reduces in the elderly so supplementing 1,000mcg methylcobalamin daily won't do any harm and may increase energy. Supplementing B12 can help prevent dementia too.

NHS won't prescribe iron or B12 as B12 and ferritin are within range.

Has folate been checked? Chances are it is low if your mother is not eating leafy green veg and may need supplementing.

Was vitD >75 when your mother was switched to a maintenance dose of presumably 800iu?


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