Thyroid UK

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applecroft1512 profile image

Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone could give me a little advice, as I am feeling a little let down by my doctors.

In August of this year, I went to the doctors as I was feeling pretty ill, I felt so fatigued, had terrible aches and pains all over my body with terrible pins and needles in my arms and legs (at night time). I also have put on over 1.5 stone in six months (and my weight hadn't changed in 5/6 years)

At the time, I also had a urine infection but said to the nurse, as I was 52 its probably all down to the menopause. She said my symptoms also were very similar to thyroid problems, so sent me off for tests.

The tests revealed that my iron levels were very low, I also had a kidney infection and my tsh levels were 5.52 and T4 levels were 14.6. The doctors advised that I was borderline for an under active thyroid and asked me to follow it up with further tests within 6 weeks.

I have since had 2 more lots of tests. The second lot were tsh: 4.66 and t4: 13.5 - the doctor said these were normal but I should have further tests in another 8 weeks.

Therefore last week, I had more tests done and when I rang for the results the secretary said that the hospital confirmed that my iron levels were abnormal and so were my thyroid, These results were tsh: 5.37 and t4: 13.6. When I asked to speak to the doctor, he said my results were within the normal perimeters and everything was good. Although he did confirm that my iron levels were very low.

I am at a loss of what to do. I feel dreadful. Could it be because my iron levels are low, or could it be that my thyroid is causing me to feel so unwell.

Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

12 Replies
SlowDragon profile image

Do you have the actual iron and ferritin results and ranges ?

Have you been prescribed ferrous fumerate for low iron? If so how many per day

Had levels retested since?

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested. Also extremely important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Low vitamin levels are extremely common, especially if Thyroid antibodies are raised

All thyroid blood 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, best not mentioned to GP or phlebotomist)

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

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 special offers, Medichecks usually have offers on Thursdays, Blue Horizon its more random

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 are very common too, especially gluten. So it's important to get TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested at least once .

Link about thyroid blood tests

Link about antibodies and Hashimoto's

List of hypothyroid symptoms

UTI are more common when hypothyroid

You probably have both a thyroid and an iron problem and your GPs response is disappointing.You might want to discuss with another doctor in your practice and arrange to have bloods done as slowdragon has suggested. If you have not been put on iron you canbuy some from our local chemist very cheaply. When going for any thyroid related bloods in the future have you blood taken as early as possible in the morning before eating as this is when your TSH is likely to be at its highest.

We do need the range for an FT4, because ranges vary from lab to lab. But, your TSH is too high. You are hypo with a TSH of 3. But, very few GPs know anything about thyroid, so trust the hospital on this, and start treatment.

Do you always have your blood draw at the same time of day? TSH is highest early in the morning, and drops throughout the day. So, if they were done at the same time, then you can't compare them. :)

Hi everyone, thank you for advice, particularly Slow Draggon as you were very informative. I am pretty clueless, so will have to do a lot of research to get myself sorted out. I will go back to the doctors and try to see a GP who is willing to help!!!! Cheers once again, :)

Don't worry about being clueless, many GP's are! This forum is administered by Thyroid U.K. so lotsof additional info on there site. There is also a list of symptoms, don't worry you won't get them all but you may well have a few so you could print that off and tick the ones you have to show your GP. Thyroid problems can vary a lot so there are some that you doctor may not be aware are down to the thyroid. The site and this forum are also recommended by NHS Choices for dysfunction of the thyroid so he should take heed !

Thank you Silverfox for your reply. I have booked an appointment this morning to see my doctor, so hopefully she will be a little more helpful - fingers crossed.

"Could it be because my iron levels are low, or could it be that my thyroid is causing me to feel so unwell."

Both! Hypothyroidism actually causes low iron and low a number of other vitamins and minerals. Everything slows down so your gut isn't able to absorb nutrients as well as it should. Cholesterol tends to be high too because your body can't clear it from the blood as quickly as it should.

No wonder you feel ill! It is disgusting that you haven't been offered a clinical trial of thyroxine long before this. Ask for one. I always say that if it is called a "Trial" you can't sue them if it doesn't work or makes you worse!

My TSH was never over 6 when tested, and T4 within range, though lowish, like yours. But I still felt unwell, especially after getting some sort of virus. Thankfully they did finally prescribe Levothyroxine.

But I don't understand why your doctor wouldn't prescribe you iron tablets. I was started on iron and folate long before being officially diagnosed.

Hi Jnetti and Silverfox.

I went to the doctors today and was again told my 'levels' were ok. After that comment, I just 'lost' it and asked for my last 3 sets of lab results to be printed. To my amazement, I found that of the 3 print outs - 2 hospital lab results came back abornmal. When I argued this point, my doctor finally relented and prescribed the medication. She has put me on 25mg of levothyroxine to start, with a view to upping the dose next month. This, she says, was mainly because my "antibodies" were very high. Needless to say, I am very happy with the end result - I just hope I begin to feel better soon.

Thanks everyone for your support, it has really made a difference.

in reply to applecroft1512

Congratulations!!!! :-) :-) :-)

Hi applecroft1512.

Hidden and silverfox7 may not see your reply, so I have alerted them for you.

Btw, well done for standing up for yourself.

in reply to crabapple

Thank you. Good news!!!!!

Cheers everyone - just trying to get used to this website too - thanks Crabapple for altering Jnetti and Silverfox7.

Start my tabs tomorrow - yipee. Will keep you posted on how I am doing in a few days.

Have a good weekend everyone.

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