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Thyroid UK
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TSH levels effect on cholestral

I have high cholestral levels my gp I know is going to put me on statins.

Have just found out high cholestral runs in my family.

My last TSH was 4.25 range 0.3 - 5.50

I have Graves’ disease my levels been chaotic lately TSH going from low to high

Not to happy about taking statins

I eat a healthy diet and do lots of exercise.

Any views would be appreciated

Thank you

Ali56

77 Replies
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Your doctor cannot 'put' you on statins if you don't want to take them. You are supposed to give your informed consent. This is a little difficult, I know, as your doctor knows nothing about statins! But, you don't have to take them, just because he writes the prescription.

The TSH itself has no effect on cholesterol levels. It is the FT3 level. If your FT3 is low - which it probably will be with a TSH that high - your cholesterol can be high. That is because you don't have enough T3 to process the cholesterol correctly.

Your diet has little to do with your cholesterol level. Cholesterol is made in the liver, and it's made in the liver because your body needs it. Your cell walls are made of cholesterol, your brain is partly made of cholesterol, and so are some of your hormones. And, it's more dangerous to have low levels of cholesterol than high levels.

Statins are not recommended for hypos and they're not recommended for women. So, there's no real reason why you should take them. But your doctor will be keen to prescribe them because he will get funding points for doing so. But, it's your body, your health and your life, so the ultimate decision is yours.

What you really need is decent treatment for your thyroid. Are you sure you have Grave's? Sounds more like Hashi's the way you describe it. Have you had any antibodies tested? TRAB, TSI, TPOab, TgAB? Why not post your lab results here, and let us have a look? :)

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Definitely doesn't sound like Graves unless you've had your thyroid removed. You wouldn't get a TSH that high, and low cholesterol usually goes with Graves. I bet you've never had Graves, but were diagnosed just after a Hashi flare when you TSH was low

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Thank you for replying

Never had ab tested by consultant diagnosed by symptoms

Got them done by blue horizon

TPO ab 253. <34

TGAB. 245. < 115

They don’t do TRAB or TSI so no idea what they are

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The results you have are for Hashimotos. The other two are Graves anti-bodies. You can have both. Have you shown them to your consultant ?

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thanks for replyingConsultant says not interested in ab results

Have been discharged back to my gp

Am very confused

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You must be confused. I can't help thinking you were having a Hashi's flare when first diagnosed. Was your Endo a diabetes man ? - seems his thyroid knowledge is poor. Read through your earlier posts and replies and it has been mentioned before about you having Hashimotos.

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Totally agree, Marz. These damned 'endos' that refuse to do the proper testing, are a public menace!

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Such a serious mistake and yet nothing happens to these Endos. Even if it is a case of both Hashi's and Graves then surely it should be established BEFORE treatment begins ...

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Thank youMarz

Have seen different consultants one was a women who was very rude and when I said I didn’t feel well she just dismissed me and said I am not going to treat you and discharged me back to my gp.

Get the impression they are more interested in diabetes. We with thyroid problems are just a nuisance.

Am thinking of going to see a private consultant who’s speciality is

Thyroid. If I can find one.

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You've hit the nail on the head, there! They are not in the least interested in thyroid, diabetes is their thing. I find that very strange. Both are part of the endocrine system, and endos as supposed to know about the whole system, not just one little bit.

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This is such a helpful site where would we be without people like yourself who take such an interest. I am so grateful for everyone’s input.

Thank you

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You're welcome. :)

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Indeed! Some people have lost their thyroids for no good reason, due to them not doing the essential tests. Plus people stay on carbi for far too long when they didn't even need it in the first place!

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They do actually now offer Graves testing

Private testing for suspected Graves - TSI or TRab antibodies

medichecks.com/thyroid-func...

I would suggest you get Graves antibodies tested.

You most likely have Hashimoto's

Important to test vitamin levels with Graves or Hashimoto's

Have you got recent vitamin test results and ranges?

If not would strongly recommend you test

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies and also very important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

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

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

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. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies

Ideally ask GP for coeliac blood test first

amymyersmd.com/2017/02/3-im...

chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

scdlifestyle.com/2014/08/th...

drknews.com/changing-your-d...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

Come back with new post once you have Graves antibodies and vitamin test results for advice on next steps

Email Thyroid UK for list of recommended thyroid specialists,

please email Dionne


tukadmin@thyroiduk.org

High cholesterol can be due to being hypothyroid.

NHS advice is to treat Hashimoto's first

nhs.uk/conditions/statins/c...

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Thank you slow dragon

Will get graves ab tested privatley

Am taking vitamin d and K7 maintenance dose

VitD was low went on loading dose which brought it up.

Am taking b12 as advised on here.

Ferritin and folate were normal

Will post ab results when received

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Hi SlowDragon

Have just been on medichecks they only do TPO and TGAB ab

Couldn’t find TRAB Or TSI ab.

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Hi SlowDragon

Sorry disregard last message have found the blood test for trab

Ab on medichecks

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Yes weirdly it doesn't come up on thyroid tests search

I might email them about that

medichecks.com/thyroid-func...

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Hi grey goose

Had my TRAB antibodies taken privately received results today

Trab. 0.33 range 0.81 - 3.00 Borderline

Result was negative. Does this mean I have never had Graves?

Thank you

Ali56

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I imagine it does. I think if you have it your antibodies will always be high, I don't think they fluctuate like Hashi's antibodies.

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Thank you for your reply I have high Tpo ab and high TGAB ab

Does this mean Hashimotos I don’t understand how I could have been diagnosed with graves on symptoms alone by consultant.

For seven years have been researching Graves’ disease and following all advice about treatment diet etc. Is there a big difference between Graves and Hashimotos.

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Yes, you have Hashi's.

It happens because doctors are so pig-headed they think they know best despite the blood test results - or maybe because they think the TSH tells them all they need to know, which it doesn't. They are convinced that if the TSH is low, it means you're hyper - no need to do the FT4 and FT3! - and if you're hyper you must have Grave's. I'm afraid it happens a lot.

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Surely that is medical negligence ,misdiagnosis can have a huge psychological effect on patients. They should be held accountable.

I know how difficult that would be to prove but it isn’t right.

Thank you for your help.

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I totally agree with you! I've been saying that for a long time. Are you still seeing the doctor that 'diagnosed' you with Grave's? If so, I would at least write a letter of complaint to his superiors.

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It was a consultant at the hospital. I changed consultants and then saw so many different ones. I didn’t think to question them, if I did they got very defensive, as I was always on my own I felt very vulnerable and sometimes not very well. One said to me when I said I don’t feel well “ you could have something worse” you are right, pig headed is too polite a word. I am under my gp at present

Saw her last week. She agreed that my cholestral level is probably to do with my thyroid and told me I was low risk for heart disease

and stroke. Will write to hospital and complain, if anything will give me satisfaction.

Once again thanks for your help

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You're more than welcome. I'm so sorry this has happened to you. Everything is wrong with endocrinology at the moment. And the sad thing is, it seems to be getting worse, not better.

And why should you think to question them? They were supposed to know what they were doing. But they don't, and they take advantage of people who are too ill to fight to practice their quackery and conduct their little experiments - probably for their own amusement! Since reading on here I have been shocked to the core to find out that I wasn't just unlucky with the four endos I saw, they're all like that! And some of them are worse. It's a terrible, terrible situation. x

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Your GP cannot "put you on statins". You have to agree. If you don't want them, don't take them. You could ask for scientific evidence that taking them would improve your quality of life or prevent a heart attack (there is none if you are female) and not increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes (again, there is none). If you are older, you could also ask for evidence that lower cholesterol increase life expectancy (studies show that higher cholesterol means less chance of dying in older people). But generally there's no real satisfaction in scoring points off your GP in a 5 min appointment - just refuse the prescription.

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Thank you

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I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes nearly 4 years ago. My cholesterol was 5.7. My blood pressure was raised and my HbA1c was 49.

I was put on blood pressure tablets, statins and Metformin.

I made more changes to my lifestyle and I have been in remission for the last 3 years or so.

Considering, I have lost 6 first cousins due to the complications of diabetes (amputations, heart attacks & strokes), I will never come off my medications now, just reduce them. My cholesterol is 3.4 and my HbA1c is 35 for over 3 years!

I have had no side effects to the meds at all.

So, the choice is yours.

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Thank you

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Whatever it is that has caused your family to have health issues, it won't be their cholesterol level.

See this link and take a look at the graphs :

drmalcolmkendrick.org/2012/...

.

You haven't specified the type of diabetes your family gets, but I'll assume it is Type 2.

Statins increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes :

diabetes.co.uk/news/2017/oc...

This might be of interest too :

drmalcolmkendrick.org/2018/...

Changing your diet to a ketogenic or low carbohydrate diet would decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes :

diabetes.co.uk/keto/

.

You might find these links from the website "The NNT" of interest - follow the links within :

Cardiac interventions that do work :

thennt.com/category/system/...

Cardiac interventions that don't work :

thennt.com/category/system/...

Cardiac interventions that need more study :

thennt.com/category/system/...

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Unless you are a doctor or you know the complications and risks of type 2 diabetes, I wouldn’t go around telling people that statins give them type 2 diabetes. Thank you.

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Statins gave a friend of mine diabetes. It's a well-known side-effect - among others!

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Studies show that statins increase risk of type 2 diabetes. It's a well-known fact. They also increase risk of calcification of the arteries.

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Statins have also been implicated in pseudodementia. My wife has been on a statin for 8 or nine years and her memory is deteriorating, I've told about the statin connection but she keeps taking it. My primary is old school in a good way and has recommended thyroid to lower my cholesterol since my TSH is 2.68. Diet changes are also s-l-o-w-l-y improving my lipid panel. I know a man who became crippled from a statin. He needs a walker and can no longer exercise.

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The brain takes up 25 % plus of cholesterol produced - so why block it ? If anyone has ever wondered why dementia and alzheimers is so prevalent - then you only have to look at the 12 million people on Statins - or at least prescribed it ! - just so you can continue being a valued customer of Big Pharma - needing more and more pills and potions :-)

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It's a well recognised issue

Statins increase risk of type 2 diabetes in at risk patients

diabetes.co.uk/news/2017/oc...

medicalnewstoday.com/articl...

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

pharmaceutical-journal.com/...

telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/0...

Also if hypothyroid even NHS advises caution and getting hypothyroid correctly treated before considering prescribing

nhs.uk/conditions/statins/c...

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Then I must buck the trend. I think some of the replies on here, are confused. I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes, my cholesterol was elevated. Due to the meds, it has lowered to NICE guidelines for diabetics, below 4. My diabetes has been in remission for over 3 years... now according to all these studies, it should have got worse. And it hasn’t.

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My partner was pressured into starting statins due to familial high cholesterol. Now within months is pre-diabetic, not a coincidence I suspect

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Some people (I’m not saying your husband) carry visceral fat (fat around the organs) which increases their risk of type 2. Regardless, of what meds you take, long term health still depends on the percentage of visceral fat being low. So, high cholesterol, raised BP etc., could be precursors to T2 and they could be caused by T2.

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It's not a given, IMO, that everyone who takes a statin will develop T2D but there is evidence, based on years of stain prescribing, that there is a statistical increase of T2D. A doctor, if he or she is well informed, should tell a patient about that risk, along with risks of memory issues and muscle deterioration. None of this is meant to scare you or pressure you into stopping your medication, but, doctors don't always understand the side effects or risks of the medications they're prescribing. I have untreatable bipolar illness and have been on 30 different meds over 26 years and I developed side effects that doctors had never seen in any of their patients.

Keep up with your bloodwork and if you start to develop anything odd or strange, report it to your doctor, asap.

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I don't want cholesterol that low (mine is that low) as studies show that low cholesterol (under 4.4) increases risk of all cause mortality in the elderly. I have enough trouble making hormones as it is.

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Search “optimal cholesterol for diabetics” on your search engine of choice.

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Google doesn’t make one a medical professional.

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I have never said I was a health professional or a doctor, and nobody on this forum should be assumed to be a medical professional - it's one of the forum posting guidelines.

However, I am very, very curious about the things that might affect my health now or in the future, and that includes things like "What is my risk of becoming diabetic, and what can I do about it to delay or prevent it happening?" and "Should I take statins?". I sometimes come across people who aren't curious, and I find this baffling.

I do not believe that all doctors keep up to date on the latest research, nor do I believe that they are unaffected by the financial advantages of getting patients to take statins.

I am puzzled by your comment that I shouldn't tell people that statins increases their risk of developing diabetes. I linked to a web page from a huge diabetes charity for the link on that connection. If you don't find a diabetes charity at least worthy of extra notice, then that's okay. It won't stop me being curious though.

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Not possible your helpful links could have been read in a two minute gap between your post above and the reply. 😊

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For some reason I don't think they were read. ;)

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I think in my individual case, my results speak for itself. I’m genetically prone to diabetes type 2 and I would rather take a statin than die of arteriosclerosis, like my mother. Next time you are Googling, Google up the genetic factor of type 2 diabetes on certain race groups. By the way, diabetics are given a different statin than ordinary Joe, to protect their kidneys. They are skip given a different hypertensive medication.

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ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/256...

You must have missed the above piece of research about Statins and Atherosclerosis. I hope your GP also prescribed VitK2-MK7 and CoQ10 when prescribing a Statin ...

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Sorry, but there aren't 'special' statins given to people with diabetes. There are several types with different degrees of efficacy, but in the end, all carry the same potential risks. As I've written, my wife has had T2D for over a decade. She's been on a statin, along with glucose lowering drugs and a drug to lower blood pressure, which is the one meant to protect kidney function. Her memory has been getting worse over the past six years and statins are clearly implicated in memory problems but she doesn't want to hear about that. She gets confused, can't recall conversations we had, has to write down many things, lest she forgets. Even her primary said it would be okay to go off of Mevocor for several months to see if her memory improves. She wouldn't. As I struggle with bipolar and sleep problems, I wonder what I'll have to do if her memory keeps declining.

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My father-in-law and I (both T2) are on Arvostatin while my who is not diabetic, is on Simvastatin.

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I don't use Google - the results are too poor. But even Google's censorship algorithms can't change the content of scientific studies. And a doctor is just someone who did a degree in a different subject from me. Doesn't mean they are any more intelligent or capable of learning or understanding than someone with a degree in geography or biochemistry, for example.

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Which search engine(s) do you use, just out of curiosity?

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Qwant Lite and Duck duck go

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I don't think you understand the purpose of this forum. As far as we know, no-one on here is a medical professional - in fact, we come here to get away from medical professionals who keep us sick. A lot of people on here know more about thyroid than most medical professionals.

We exchange views and experiences on here, and - usually - we're nice to each other. I don't think that was a very nice thing to say. Nor was implying that people are 'confused' in their responses. Nor is calling people 'ordinary Joes'. You've had a lot of replies on here from people who want to help you. This is a strange way to repay them by being unkind.

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Mino40 you say, "Google doesn’t make one a medical professional"

Did anyone here suggest that it did?

What discerning use of a search engine does is make the person better informed, you have been kindly offered a number of sources which I assume you have now read.

It is worth considering that "medical professionals"/doctors are not the only people who have the ability to extrapolate relevant information from a text, analyse its content and apply that to the problem in hand...before drawing a conclusion.

I decided to reply to you because your responses appear rude and ungrateful, perhaps, however you don't realise the value of this forum. The people here have, collectively and individually, more knowledge and experience of thyroid matters than most of the "medical professionals" to whom you allude.

If medical students received a more intensive education in thyroid matters then this forum would not need to exist. Instead of recovering and getting on wth life, huge numbers of people who arrived here would, instead, be very ill....or dead! I am one of them!

Just to be clear this patient to patient forum is supported by the NHS.

Meantime...

Have you had a full thyroid panel blood test carried out?

Are you confident your T3 level is optimal?

Wishing you good health

DD

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I hope that you are well. If I feel unwell, I will have a full thyroid panel. At the moment I feel fab. I sometimes think too much testing can lead one to hypochondriac-like behaviour. Just my personal opinion. Thank you for your good wishes. Same to you.

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Mino40 clearly you are entitled to form your own opinion but you will find here on TUK that, conversely, testing has dismissed suggestions by medics that people's symptoms are "all in their head" or as you say, showing "hypochondriac- like behaviour". That conclusion is drawn far too frequently because doctors fail to understand the complexities of the thyroid gland and lack the training to correctly diagnose and treat patients with thyroid disfunctions.

ali56 asked about cholesterol/statins

/Graves disease and has been offered good advice by knowledgeable members....nobody is "confused" as you scathingly suggest.

If you are well and happy with your treatment for diabetes then hopefully that state continues....it doesn't appear, however, that you are fully conversant with statins and their use... your unfortunate reference to "ordinary joe" v diabetic patients underlines this assertion.

I suggested that you have a full thyroid panel test, not because you felt unwell, but because low T3 and raised cholesterol can often be coincidental. Waiting until you feel unwell may not help matters... with your family's medical history I would be investigating all possibilities.

Thank you, I am now much improved after decades of declining health, this is due to the support and advice offered, without judgement, by people here who kindly give up their time to help.

Keep well

DD

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I don't bellive you read my post properly. Way before my sub-clinical hypotyroid diagnosis, I was diagnosed with diabetes and high cholestrol, so... t3 had nothing to do with it. Now, have a nice day and as I am not a doctor, I stick to stories about my personal experience. :)

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My point exactly....you have been diagnosed with both conditions. I will leave you to work out how T3 may be involved (cholesterol/ statins) since I sense you are telling me to mind my own business!

Good luck

DD

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Thank you for getting the message, my cholesterol is absolutely on point.

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....by taking statins!!

I rest my case.

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Finally!

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Finally, and to be clear, "I rest my case" is said when you believe that something that has just happened or been said proves that you are right or telling the truth.

SlowDragon and humanbean have kindly given you links to research/articles which connect statins (prescribed for high cholesterol) and diabetes. Cholesterol levels can be affected by thyroid hormone levels/T3.

Thank you for an interesting exchange, this forum offers invaluable support, how you view what is offered is clearly up to you

I hope you continue to feel "fab".

DD

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Yes and feeling fab is much easier with a positive mindset and a real medical doctor for a daughter. ☺️

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All hail metformin! Apparently it can decrease risk of cancer, too (really). Life style changes, I'm sure, are the key.

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Metformin is the bomb! I love it! Keeps me regular 😂 and kept my weight down. There are studies that show it keeps you “younger” metabolically. Google thAt too! X

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Please don't say "Google" when you mean "search the web". I don't need to use Google (and wouldn't - the new evil empire), I can read journals and books on paper in a proper library (I'm a Luddite).

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Well, some people are quite adept at posting links regardless of search engine.

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Hi Angel and Mini, I a also on metformin (slow release) how much do you guys take a day? I am on 1000 but I never see any benefits until I stopped it one for two months and put a ton of weight 😐

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I take 1000 a day, the normal one(fast release) split into two dosages. It should have brought your HbA1c down or held it steady. There was study done on 10 year usage and people on Metformin only put on an average of 1kg compared to diabetics who were not. If your BMI is over 28, you could also talk to your diabetic nurse about Byetta, though like Insulin, you would have to inform the DVLA, as you could go hypo. It also manages weight and HbA1c. xx

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Hi Mino, I suppose its one of these that you only know what it did for you when it’s gone. I stopped as read it drops B12 and iron down and I was deficient but got weight gain in return so that wasn’t a great move. I am not diabetic and my BMI is 23.

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A friend of mine reversed his type 2 (and now doesn't need the metformin any more) with metformin and keto diet. He reminded me that you need to take extra B12 as metformin interferes with B12 absorbtion. LEF mentioned a study that showed that people on metformin had a 46% lower risk of head and neck cancers and it also apparently has anti aging effects - so a good thing to take as long as you remember the B12 (and not to drink alcohol).

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Oh wow! Who knew! I’ve only really came across bad press on metformin that’s why was keen to drop it. Was so silly to do that... that’s the mistakes we make when we have to set medicate, I just don’t trust a single doctor anymore.

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I would do some research as not everything suits everyone.

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Oh I’ve been taking it as long as I’ve been diagnosed with Hashi so over 10 years. I stopped twice because was questioning its use but both time gained weight immediately. So it’s surely doing something ☺️

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You may wish to check out Dr Brain Mowll - I think that is how you spell it :-) He has some good on-line Seminars ...

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