High cholesterol Hashimotos : My recent... - Thyroid UK

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High cholesterol Hashimotos

Flecmac profile image
21 Replies

My recent cholesterol result was 7.7 which is up from December last year when it was 6.7. My Endo confirmed that it’s high because of thyroid disease, my gp had previously said otherwise. My Mum had high cholesterol and took statins, she was never diagnosed with thyroid disease. I just don’t know what to do or how to reduce it, it’s never been lower than 6.3 and has been 8.4. However I’ve only been on 75 mcg levo since March and already they want to reduce it again. Any advice please?

21 Replies

Hi , With hashimottos we all have to reduce carbohydrates specially the processed ones ,bread ,pasta ,pastri bakery products rice ,gluten free , and more

,. I’m not an expert but I know we convert carbs into fat .and it will mostly be deposited in belly area .

Even with a good tyroide treatment carbs need no be reduced and exercise is a must .

Best of luck 👍

shaws profile image

Don't get too agitated about cholesterol because it is needed by our bodies. However a high cholesterol is also a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism and I am sorry your mother was given statins and she may well have had undiagnosed hypothyroidism.

I believe your doctor is another who doesn't really know much about hypothyroidism, except to "read" your TSH result and adjust, willy/nilly, your dose to try to 'fit your results' into a range.

Some advice:-

All blood tests for thyroid hormones have to be at the very earliest, fasting (you can drink water) and allow a gap of 24 hours between your last dose of levothyroxine and the test and take afterwards. This helps the TSH to be at its highest as the aim is a TSH of 1 or lower (not higher) and the Free T4 and Free T3 should be in the upper part of the ranges. The latter two are rarely tested. Thyroid hormones should be taken, usually first thing on an empty stomach, with one full glass of water and wait an hour before eating.

If your GP won't give you a Full Thyroid Function Test which is:

TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antobodies

you can get your own blood test and they are home pin-prick ones.

The near ideal is a TSH of 1 or lower and FT4 and FT3 in the upper part of the ranges. If antibodies are present you'd have an Autoimmune Thyroid Disease, also called Hashimoto's. Going gluten-free can help reduce the antibodies which attack the thyroid gland and they wax and wane until you're hypothyroid.

Many doctors seem to think that if our TSH is 1 or lower that we're going hyPERthyroid and the reason they adjust doses, but that's not the case and they wrongly adjust our dose of hormones to 'fit into a scale' and disregarding the Free T4 and Free T3.

We have to educate ourselves unfortunately but if we recover our health, that's the benefit.

If your doctor wont do a Full Thyroid Function Test you can have a private test and there are several lab that do so. I shall give you some links.

Your GP should also ensure your B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate and optimum not just somewhere in the range.




Always get a print-out of your results, with the ranges. Ranges are important to enable members to respond to you. Excerpt from last link:


An underactive thyroid can increase cholesterol levels in the body. Therefore if the thyroid treatment (in your case, Levothyroxine) is successful there may be no need to take a cholesterol-lowering medication like Simvastatin.

Muscle damage

One of the side effects of statins is called myopathy – an inflammation of your muscles, causing muscle pain, which can sometimes be severe. Having an underactive thyroid can increase the risk of statin-induced myopathy. Statins are more likely to cause muscle damage if you suffer with an underactive thyroid, therefore, while you don’t need to avoid statins completely if you’re taking thyroxine, you should report promptly any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness and should see your GP if the aching is significant or doesn’t settle.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses

Flecmac profile image
Flecmac in reply to shaws

Thanks, yes I’ve followed all of the above. Ive had all my tests done on nhs so far and see an nhs Endo recommended on here. I have been 3 times but only saw him on the first occasion. So saved a lot of money so far at least, although I fear the end of the road may be near. I will take a copy of the nhs page (I had already seen it and printed it) which explains the connection. I posted my results recently but cannot find it. My GP yesterday said my TSH is very suppressed which I know is probably OK but if I am allowed to increase then I know they will panic. I was thinking that if Endo in August says reduce then as well as showing him nhs page maybe I could say well if you do reduce then would you give a private script for T3 and try the two? This has been agreed by them for the person on here who recommended Endo but when I asked at my first appointment he said no, but that was for having T 3 on nhs so not sure if it would be agreed as private one. I will try to find a way to put the last post with results here.

Flecmac profile image
Flecmac in reply to shaws

Last B12 in Dec 2018 was >2000 ng/L (191-663) as I was supplementing, I stopped then.

Last Folate Dec 2018 was 10.0 ug/L (3.3-19.3).

Recent Vit D May 2019 112nmol/L (50.0-200.0).

Recent Ferritin May 2019 74 ug/L (12.0-300.0)

TSH 0.05 mu/L (0.5-4.4)

FT4 17.2 pmol/L (10.0-20.0)

FT3 5.5 pmol/L (3.5-6.5)

greygoose profile image

Don't worry about your high cholesterol - and whatever you do, don't take statins - it doesn't cause heart attacks or strokes, that is a myth.

However, if your cholesterol is still high, it means you're probably under-medicated, or you have a conversion problem, because cholesterol levels are linked to FT3 levels. Have you ever had your FT3 tested? If so, put your latest results on here, with the ranges, and let's have a look, see where the problem lies. Sounds to me like your doctor is only testing the TSH. :(

Forgot to add, cholesterol levels have very little to do with your diet, especially NOT fat. Fat and cholesterol are too entirely different substances and there is no connection. :)

Marz profile image

Why do they want to reduce your Levo ? Do you have your latest results with ranges ? Are you taking VitD ? - if so how much ? I once read that the only benefit of a statin was anti-inflammatory and so is Vit D .. 😊

For good information read - The Cholesterol Con - by Dr Malcolm Kendrick or watch his videos on YouTube. He alo has a website in his name with excellent blogs.

Cholesterol has been discussed here 100's of times so you could use the Search Facility or scroll down and down to Related Posts where you will find 10 similar to yours for more information if needed ...

in reply to Marz

I love Dr Kendrick's style - he's such an iconoclast and also very brave to put up with so much opposition and flak.

And from my limited experience he's usually right, as well as his conclusions being based on solid facts.

I used to take statins but after advice on here and reading some of Dr Kendrick, I gave them up!

By the way, statins apparently interfere with a substance called Q10 that our body needs for all sorts of processes, so it might be an idea to supplement. Also - if I remember rightly - you must not take them anywhere near thyroxine - as with other things such as calcium - including in food - and iron.

If you do decide to come off statins it's probably best to decrease fairly gradually. I don't know if it's essential (as it is with some medication) but just in case. I took 2 weeks.

SlowDragon profile image

High cholesterol is linked to being hypothyroid.


If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), treatment may be delayed until this problem is treated. This is because having an underactive thyroid can lead to an increased cholesterol level, and treating hypothyroidism may cause your cholesterol level to decrease, without the need for statins. Statins are also more likely to cause muscle damage in people with an underactive thyroid.

janet65 profile image

Hi, I have the thyroid and cholesterol issues too.

My last cholesterol figures were 9.2...!! I started taking Red Yeast Rice for a few weeks and then asked for another cholesterol test, it was down to 6.2. The GP grudgingly said 'improved'.

I've always had high cholesterol...in the 7s but thankfully no heart or diabetes issues in my family so not classed a risk.

I've always refused to take statins.

knitwitty profile image
knitwitty in reply to janet65

That sounds interesting Janet, how does the red rice yeast lower cholesterol?

janet65 profile image
janet65 in reply to knitwitty

I actually heard about it years ago and did some online research but never used it. It evidently works the same as a statin. I've never been able to lower my cholesterol with diet alone so I'm sure the red yeast rice helped.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to janet65

That's probably because diet has little to do with cholesterol. Cholesterol is made in the liver. The more you eat, the less your liver makes. The less you eat, the more your liver makes. And, it makes if because the body needs cholesterol. Without it you'd fall apart, because cell walls are made of cholesterol.

janet65 profile image
janet65 in reply to greygoose

Thanks, but don't want to gain the weight! Lol

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to janet65

What's the connection? High cholesterol doesn't make you put on weight.

janet65 profile image
janet65 in reply to greygoose

As per your post really...."The less you eat, the more your liver makes".

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to janet65

Sorry, still don't understand what you mean. Cholesterol does not make you put on weight, whether it's made by the liver or eaten. I was explaining that there's no point in trying to cut cholesterol out of your diet because the liver will just make more. Nothing to do with putting on weight.

Tina_Maria profile image
Tina_Maria in reply to janet65

Hi there, yes red rice yeast can lower cholesterol - the reason is that it contains the same compound (in a lower dose) than a statin (monacolin K).


If it helps that's fine, but just be aware, it can have the same side effects than a prescribed statin (since it is the same ingredient / compound). Also, as it is a natural product, the content will fluctuate and it is difficult to know how much you are taking in. It also interfers with high doses of Niacin (Vit B3) so be careful if you are taking a high dose Vitamin B supplement.

posthinking01 profile image

Hi there - this makes me so cross - not your fault but the medical profession !!!!

Cholesterol is needed by the adrenal glands to make vital hormones that are needed by the body - I agree with others who have commented it is a sign your thyroid is still not right - in fact from research I have carried out it was a diagnostic tool years ago. I have worked with two people who really had high cholesterol - 200 plus - this is a myth and makes a nice lot of money for the drug manufacturers.

Tina_Maria profile image

I agree with what was previously stated, you should get a print out of your thyroid results to see where you sit with your treatment. High cholesterol is a side effect of an under active thyroid or insufficient thyroid replacement.

No amount of 'dieting' or reduction of carbohydrate will change your cholesterol level, if it is due to under treatment, unless you get the right dosis of replacement hormones to speed up your metabolism.

Hillwoman profile image

Pointless to worry about cholesterol, except that if it's rising it's a sure sign you need more thyroid hormone.

The cholesterol-saturated fat-CVD hypothesis has been thoroughly debunked, but it will stagger on in the mainstream profession for quite a while yet.

The best way to reduce it is to be properly medicated for thyroid disease. And remember that older people live longer when their cholesterol is higher. High cholesterol doesn't cause any diseases - it is a symptom of something else being wrong.

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