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Thyroid UK
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Newbie! Advice please!

Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 5 years ago, would love some help regarding symptoms and results.


Dry skin


Joint pain

Cramps in muscles

Constipation alternating with diarrhoea

Hair loss


Pale skin

Heavy periods

Loss of appetite

Swollen neck and ankles

Flaking and splitting nails

I also have iron deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, folate deficiency and B12 deficiency.

Advice welcome. Thankyou!


TSH 4.5 (0.2 - 4.2)

FT4 14.6 (12 - 22)

FT3 3.3 (3.1 - 6.8)

19 Replies

What medication and supplements do you take?


50mcg Levo only. Thankyou :)


You need an increase in your Levo, 25mcg immediately followed by retesting after 6 weeks, another increase, repeat retesting/increasing until you feel well.

The aim of a treated hypo patient generally is for TSH to be 1 or below or wherever it is needed for FT4 and FT3 to be in the upper part of their respective reference ranges.

Confirmed deficiencies must be treated appropriately by your GP so you need to ask about this. You can put your results here and we can point you in the right direction regarding appropriate treatment.


I am afraid to increase due to results going all over the place. Endo says levels are not following a trend. Will post vitamin levels now. Thankyou


So that suggests you have raised thyroid antibodies which would confirm autoimmune thyroiditis aka Hashimoto's which is where antibodies attack the thyroid and gradually destroy it. The antibody attacks cause fluctuations in symptoms and test results.

It also suggests that your endo is a diabetes specialist (most of them are) and like all of them he doesn't know much, of anything, about treating Hypothyroidism and even less about Hashi's and how it affects the patient.

Have you had antibodies tested?



TPO antibodies 804.5 (<34)

TG antibodies 1300 (<115)



Confirmed autoimmune thyroiditis (patients call it Hashimoto's). Did your doctor say anything about this? I doubt it, most dismiss antibodies as of no importance and don't understand what it's like for the patient. Read, learn and help yourself because your doctor won't.

Adopting a strict gluten free diet and supplementing with selenium L-selenomethionine 200mxg daily can help reduce antibodies.





Hashi's and gut/absorption problems tend to go hand in hand and very often low nutrient levels or deficiencies are the result, this will undoubtedly have caused yours. You need to address the gut problems so that nutrients can be absorbed, and when nutrient levels are optimal then thyroid hormone can start to work properly.


I wrote a question on another site about the antibodies. I asked if if I have autoimmune thyroiditis/Hashimotos I had replies saying I do not have it so I did not know I have it until now. Thankyou


I would stay away from the other site, they are giving you duff information!

1 like

You have it, as the antibodies are above the range specified (the number in brackets). Anyone who can't see that can't read or do basic arithmetic - unfortunately that includes some doctors. 804 is more than 34, for example. QED.


Was previously on 150mcg Levo before.


Confirmed as deficient by GP in iron, B12, folate and D. Thankyou



Confirmed iron deficient 2013 was treated with iron 2013 - 2017

Confirmed folate deficient 2016 treated with folic acid 2016 - 2018

Confirmed B12 deficient 2017 treated with B12 injections every 3 months

Confirmed vit D deficient 2013 treated with 800iu D3

Feel very lost about supplementing since levels not improving


Please post test results and say why you are no longer treated with iron.




Ferritin 57 (30 - 400)

Folate 2.3 (2.5 - 19.5)

Vitamin B12 225 (190 - 900)

Vitamin D total 53.3 (50 - 75 suboptimal. Advise on safe sun exposure and diet)

Selenium 0.92 (0.89 - 1.65)

Zinc 11 (11 - 23)

Magnesium 0.83 (0.70 - 1.00)

Was taking the following:

5mg folic acid on prescription

B12 injections every 3 months initiated 2017, on prescription

Vitamin D 800iu on prescription

Ferrous fumarate 210mg up to 2017, was stopped by GP due to levels not improving


"Ferrous fumarate 210mg up to 2017, was stopped by GP due to levels not improving"

What on earth did your GP expect was going to happen?

"She has iron deficiency, levels aren't improving despite 4 years of treatment. Oh well, never mind, let's stop treatment and forget all about it, b*gger how she feels".

"Was taking the following:"

Do you mean that you're not taking anything at all now?

Find a new GP, this one doesn't give a toss and he's not interested enough to help you. He should have done more investigations to find out why your levels weren't improving.

Optimal levels we Hypos need are (and don't listen to any doctor telling you otherwise, they aren't taught nutrition so as far as they are concerned anywhere within range is fine, not so!):

FERRITIN - minimum of 70 for thyroid hormone to work, preferably half way through range.

You can help raise ferritin by eating liver regularly, maximum 200g per week.

Do you still have iron deficiency? Low MCV, high MCHC? Are you or have you seen a haematologist and being monitored?

FOLATE - at least half way through range. You are still deficient.

B12 - best at top of range. Are you getting your 3 monthly injections now and are you getting them exactly on time? Do you flag between injections? If so you can top up, either self inject or supplement with sublingual methylcobalamin. You can ask for advice on the Pernicious Anaemia Society forum healthunlocked.com/pasoc

VIT D - the Vit D Council recommends a level of 100-150nmol/L. 800iu D3 daily won't increase your level. If it was less than 30nmol/L when originally tested back in 2013 then you should have had loading doses. Was this the case?

You now need to take a much higher dose. As you have Hashi's then for best absorption you should use an oral spray such as BetterYou. I suggest 5000iu daily for 3 months then re-test. Once you've reached the recommended level you'll need to find your maintenance dose, which could be 2000iu daily, maybe more, maybe less, it's trial and error, then retest twice a year to keep within the recommended range.

When taking D3 there are important cofactors needed vitamindcouncil.org/about-v...

D3 aids absorption of calcium from food and K2-MK7 directs the calcium to bones and teeth where it is needed and away from arteries and soft tissues where it can be deposited and cause problems. Magnesium helps D3 to work.

D3 and K2 are fat soluble so should be taken with the fattiest meal of the day, D3 four hours away from thyroid meds. Magnesium comes in different forms, check to see which would suit you best and as it's calming it's best taken in the evening, four hours away from thyroid meds naturalnews.com/046401_magn...

MAGNESIUM level should rise when you start taking it as a cofactor of D3.

SELENIUM level should rise when you start taking selenium to help reduce antibodies.

ZINC - as you were seeing a naturopath who diagnosed deficiency, are you taking anything? Zinc should be about half way through it's range and cooper should also be tested as they should be balanced.


I have possible coeliac disease and heavy periods which are sometimes clotty, I have MCV 83.1 (83 - 98) and MCHC 366 (310 - 350). Was under haematologist who confirmed recurring iron anaemia and I am actively monitored every 3 months since being discharged from him. I am getting B12 injections on time every 3 months. I had some dizziness on standing but after B12 injections this has lessened. I flag between injections as well. D was below 30 when confirmed. Not given anything for zinc. Thankyou


"Possible coeliac disease" - if you are going to do a gluten challenge then when it's over you should then adopt a strict gluten free diet. If you've already done one, go gluten free now. You need to heal your gut and sort out your absorption problems. SlowDragon has information and links about this which I am sure she will post when she is around.

It would be a good idea to be referred back to the haemotologist about your recurring iron deficiency, it can't just be left. You can see yourself from those results that it needs sorting.

I have given you information about what to do about your Vit D, also your B12.

You could supplement with zinc but it might be an idea to test copper. Often when zinc is low copper will be high and they need to be balanced. You will need to look into that as I have no further information or experience of it.


Private naturopath diagnosed me with zinc deficiency as well in 2014