High Cholesterol and hypothyroidism query re le... - Thyroid UK

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High Cholesterol and hypothyroidism query re levothyroxine

DMaryD profile image
10 Replies

Hi, I understand there's a link between high cholesterol, triglycerides etc and hypothyroidism. The consultant told me that if I'm taking medication for hypothyroidism then the link between lipid issues and thyroid no longer apply. All the tests show that my cholesterol levels are too high despite taking thyroxine. I lead a relatively healthy lifestyle and am wondering if there could still be a link despite what the consultant says. Can anyone help? I think my hypothyroidism is sub clinical.

10 Replies
shaws profile image

Can you post a copy of your latest results, with the ranges. Do you have your blood tests at the very earliest and fasting (you can drink water) and allow a gap of 24 hours between last dose of levo and test and take afterwards. This procedure gives us a more accurate result.

This is a list of clinical symptoms and you may have more than high cholesterol. It should reduce as thyroid hormones are increased.

If you can post your latest blood test results with the ranges, members will comment upon them. The ranges must also be stated not just the results. Labs differ and that's why ranges are important.


Your GP should also test B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. Everything has to be optimal not just somewhere int he range.

DMaryD profile image
DMaryD in reply to shaws

Thank you very much for your reply. I don't have my latest stats (from last week) but I will be seeing the GP once the letter comes back from the consultant. If I don't hear soon I will phone the Lipid clinic and try to get the detail over the phone. If it's OK with you I'll pass on your suggestions to the GP re. testing for those other things, and make sure when I have the next blood test that I haven't taken the thryoxine for 24 hours. I'm almost sure that for my last (fasting) test I would have taken the thyroxine only an hour beforehand because I always take it first thing in the morning.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to DMaryD

The night before the blood test, put your thyroid meds in another place - as most times we're on an autopilot and can take meds before test.

The ones I've suggested I doubt GP (or lab) will test. If not you can get a private one. You don't need private ones often when you begin to feel better on a particular dose. Some doctors prescribe statins for higher cholesterol but avoid these as it should reduce when optimally medicated.

greygoose profile image

Oh dear. These consultants really aren't very bright, are they. It's not JUST taking levo that has an effect on anything. It's taking enough of it and how well you convert it.

It's low T3 that is the link with high cholesterol. Has he even tested your FT3? If not, then he has no idea what he'd talking about. Well, he doesn't anyway. If you're not taking enough levo, and/or you don't convert very well, your FT3 will be low and your cholesterol high. Was he trying to put you on statins? :)

DMaryD profile image
DMaryD in reply to greygoose

Many thanks - yes, he advised statins though he said that if I was against them, it wasn't imperative. I am routinely tested (every year?) for thyroid levels but I have no idea if they test the things you mention or not. I will check my records with the GP.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to DMaryD

Always get actual results and ranges on all thyroid tests

You are legally entitled to printed copies of your blood test results

UK GP practices are supposed to offer online access for blood test results. Ring and ask if this is available and apply to do so if possible, if it is you may need enhanced access to see blood results.

In reality many GP surgeries do not have blood test results online yet

Alternatively ring receptionist and request printed copies of results. Allow couple of days and then go and pick up. They can make nominal charge for printing but many will do so for free (£10 max and can not charge at all after May 25th 2018)

How much Levothyroxine are you taking

Can you add most recent results and ranges for TSH, FT3 and FT4, plus have you also had thyroid antibodies tested

Also helpful if had vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 tested. Add results and ranges if you have them

So For FULL Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4, TT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies. Plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12.

Essential to test thyroid antibodies, FT3 and FT4, plus vitamins

Private tests are available. Thousands on here forced to do this as NHS often refuses to test FT3 or antibodies


Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. If on Levothyroxine, don't take in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

If antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's. Low vitamins are especially common with Hashimoto's. Food intolerances too, especially gluten. So it's important to get tested.

It's very common for patients to be under medicated and symptoms not fully resolved

Statins and hypo link


DMaryD profile image
DMaryD in reply to SlowDragon

Thank you so much - this is so helpful. Will follow up.....

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to DMaryD

Most when they join this forum haven't recovered their health but after support from other members many do so. In fact the majority know far more than doctors or endocrinologists.

Paquita profile image

I just read that Levothyroxine may not lower cholesterol like it should. eurekalert.org/pub_releases...

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Paquita

I posted this the other day:


Which got this post from our respected diogenes:


The expectation that a TSH which falls within range for healthy folk applies in those on levothyroxine treatment is wrong-headed. TSH will need to be lower in order to hope to achieve adequate dosing.

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