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Thyroid UK
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Do I have a thyroid issue?

Hi all! Hope you can help, after 20 years of battling with Doctors/NHS I have given up with them and now on a mission to sort myself out, without their help. I have some recent blood test results and would like support in understanding if I really do have an issue.

I've had a long history of endocrine issues (PCOS, fibroids, anemia) which has been the primary focus but the thing that bothers me most of all is my once thick hair which just started to fall out at 18 is now very poor. I've gotten my PCOS under control but my hair has not recovered, so I wonder if this is really hypothyroidism beneath it all?

Last few years of blood tests (they all have different levels/different tests done so not easy for me to interpret/compare)

2012

T4 14

Serum Free Triiodothyronine Level 2.35

2013

TR4 14.6

Triiodothyronine Level 2.46

2017

T4 13

Triiodothyronine Level 3.7 (below range)

The latest results, the GP went 'eh, it's only just below range' (Yes, but it's consistently low for me! Are you even interested?!').

Given my hair loss and longterm slight swelling on the left side of my neck, I'm hoping someone can give some insight into a.) if hypothyroidism is likely given those results and b.) if I just bite the bullet and take a natural desiccated thyroid supplement if it will do any harm if not?

Thanks so much for any help!

11 Replies
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Swonky

We really need current test results, and if you haven't got any then maybe you can manage to do a private home test of your GP won't do them.

We have recommended labs and you can do a fingerprick test or have a venous blood draw at extra cost.

Ideally we need to see

TSH

FT4

FT3

Thyroid antibodies

Vit D

B12

Folate

Ferritin

The private tests are

medichecks.com/thyroid-func... which is on special offer this month at £79 (£20 off)

bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk/t...

Come back with your new results plus reference ranges, and members will comment.

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In order to help interpret the tests we need the ranges as different labs have different machines with different ranges. For a comprehensive look at thyroid function you need TSH, ft3 ft4 and thyroid antibodies, and in an ideal world vit d, vit b12, ferritin and folate. It is not always easy to get these on the nhs but private blood tests are available from blue horizon or medichecks.

Taking ndt without knowledge of these blood results could be dangerous because over medication is equally dangerous as untreated hypothyroidism.

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Thanks so much for your quick replies!

My latest NHS blood tests from 2017 to answer your questions:

TSH: 2.20 mu/L

FT4: 13 pmol/L

FT3: ?

Thyroid antibodies: 20.0 iu/mL

Vit D: 30nmol/L (Below Range)

B12: 424 ng/L

Folate: 12.1 ug/L

Ferritin: 35 ug/L

if relevant, I also had above range C reactive protein level, alanine aminotransferase level and everything below range on haemoglobin, haemotocrit, mean cell volume and mean cell hemogoblin level (but then I am anaemic constantly due to fibroids) . I'm guessing the lack of FT3 is going to be the issue?

I have looked at private testing, but their privacy policy puts me off (selling my data to third parties including my name!) so I'm hoping to just get some idea and maybe take a supplement and see if that helps?

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As SeasideSusie and cjrsquared said, we need the ranges for those results to be able to interpret them. Sorry. :)

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Updated with ranges, is this what you would need? Thanks for your help

TSH: 2.20 mu/L: 0.35 - 3.5

FT4: 13 pmol/L: 8.0 - 21.0

FT3: ?

Thyroid antibodies: <20.0 iu/mL: <40.00

Vit D: 30nmol/L : 50.0 - 120.0 (Below Range)

B12: 424 ng/L: 130.0 - 1100.0

Folate: 12.1 ug/L: 2.7-15.0

Ferritin: 35 ug/: 23.00 - 300.00

Reply

Well, your thyroid isn't very happy, to have a TSH that high. But, you're not hypo yet, as far as we can tell. Those antibodies are negative, but there's always a chance that the other thyroid antibodies, Tg, would be positive.

However, your vit D and ferritin are horribly low, and that could be what's making you feel bad. Even your B12 could be higher. It should be at least over 500. So, it would be a good idea to raise those levels, and then see how you feel. :)

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If they are typical UK ranges then yes your hypothyroid but without ranges we cant be sure

Lately the hospitals are not providing ranges in an apparent atempt to keep patients in the dark ....I have just had to battle for a barrage of test results and their ranges from back in October

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You will need to get your Vitamin D and Ferritin levels up if you want your body to be able to use any thyroid medication you take to its fullest extent. Doctors will advise you to take 800iu of Vitamin D a day, which is classified as the RDA, but this won't get your levels up. Look for some of SeasideSusie's replies for advice on how much and what type to take.

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I've been taking oral D3 since September so hopefully that is back in the normal range now, ferritin appears to be in range but I do take oral iron supplement as well.

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How much VitD are you taking ? Do you also take Magnesium and VitK2-MK7 - both are important co-factors when taking VitD .... Taking VitC with your Iron can help absorption.

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As for trying some NDT, yes you could do that. It's worth knowing that thyroid hormones take 6-8 weeks to build up in your bloodstream, so you need to start with a low dose, wait 6-8 weeks, and if you feel you need more increase the dose. You can get something called Thyro Gold, which has quite low levels of hormone in, and is marketed as a food supplement rather than a medication. The cheapest way to buy NDT is from Thailand (Thiroyd or Thyroid-S) but the smallest dose they do is 1 grain (60mg) so you would end up cutting the pills up to begin with. The only problem with taking NDT is that your doctor won't know how to interpret your results (she/he will think you are 'going hyper'), so you may need to pay privately for blood tests (costs £80-100) and learn how to interpret them for yourself. Lots of people on this forum have taken matters into their own hands and do exactly that, so you would get support here.

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