Do I have a looming/potential thyroid problem - Thyroid UK

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Do I have a looming/potential thyroid problem

musicaljune
musicaljune

I’m almost half way through my second pregnancy and because my mum was concerned about certain symptoms, which I’ve always had and certain blood test results from a few years ago, being less than optimal, she suggested I get re-tested. This I did and here they are. For some reason I could only upload one photo, so two A4s have been squished into one. Hope you can see it.

Symptoms (all before pregnancies):

Anxiety

Tearfulness

Weight gain

Low BP

Cold extremities (most of the time)

Irritability

Small amount of hair loss

Mood swings

And a few others

These are the rest of the numbers:

Thyroid peroxidase antibody 28iu/ml (0.0-60.0)

T3 4.6 pmol/L (3.5-6.5)

TSH 2.52 mU/L (0.35-5.5)

T4 14.1 pmol/L (10.5-21)

Folate 13..35 ug//L (>5.38)

B12 359.0 ng/L (211.0-911.0)

Ferritin 19.8 ug/L (10.0-291.0)

Vit D 74.5 nmol/L I supplement and because of being mixed race I’m happy for it to be even higher but 74.5, most clinicians would regard as sufficient.

I hope I’ve included everything you need to know to enable some insight into what my problem may/may not be.

Interestingly, my doctor hasn’t contacted me with any concerns and at my midwife appt last week, she said all was normal.

My mum says this is because they’re ignorant and rely too heavily on the fact the all are within normal range. I’m inclined to think she exaggerates. For instance, the Reynaud’s I’ve been diagnosed with she says, could simply be a matter of tweaking things and if I get my nutrient levels higher into the ranges my thyroid function could improve. She’s a member here herself and regards this forum highly

Obviously, I want the way I feel to improve and if it turns out my thyroid that’s causing some of this, then so be it, I’ll take appropriate action, therefore, your thoughts would be very helpful

Thank you

15 Replies
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My mum says this is because they’re ignorant and rely too heavily on the fact the all are within normal range. I’m inclined to think she exaggerates.

I'm inclined to agree with your mother!

Imagine this scenario - you have three patients A, B and C and they are all tested for ferritin. The reference range is the same as yours (10 - 291).

Patient A : Result = 10

Patient B : Result = 150 (roughly mid-range)

Patient C : Result = 291

To doctors these results are all fine because they are all in range. But to patients, how they feel is what counts. The patient who is likely to feel best is Patient B with the mid-range result. The one who feels worst is likely to be Patient A with the bottom of range result.

Your own result is 3.5% of the way through the range. Optimal, based on patient experience on this forum, is round about 50% of the way through the range.

For safety, you might want to do a proper iron panel.

The reasons for this are explained in this thread :

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

To do a full iron panel without needing a doctor, it can be tested with a finger-prick test :

medichecks.com/iron-tests/i...

You can get 10% off the price with the discount code given on this link :

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...

Your B12 is very poor too - optimal would be around top of the range (900 - 1000).

Thank you humanbean for illustrating. What you say makes sense

Do you have anything to add regarding the results in the photo?

I agree with your mum, too! She does not exaggerate. Especially not where thyroid is concerned. Your doctor wouldn't bat an eyelid at those results - he'd probably only look at the TSH, anyway, because he doesn't know anything about the other two. But, we would tend to say that that TSH showed your thyroid was beginning to struggle.

However, up until recently, you've been producing thyroid hormone for two, as the baby didn't have a thyroid of its own in the beginning. I think it probably does have, now. So, if it were me, I think I'd wait until after the birth before testing your thyroid again. You may find the TSH has shot up, or that it has gone down, either is possible. But, at the moment, your whole hormonal system is too upset to get meaningful results. :)

Thank you greygoose, what you say makes sense too. Do you have any comments on the rest of the blood results shown in photo?

Your ferritin is very low! Has nobody commented on that? I think that needs further investigation. Especially as you're pregnant! In my day - over 50 years ago - they didn't do blood tests for iron, they just automatically gave you a prescription for iron as soon as you got pregnant because they knew how important it was. Apparently, they don't think it's important these days. But, I would make a point of that, anyway.

And, your B12 could be higher - I would want mine higher than that. But, I don't know how that ties in with pregnancy. Once again, I think you should retest it post natal.

Thank you greygoose, no-one else has commented on it but my mum pointed it out. We’re in a pickle about the difference between iron and ferritin though and don’t know whether I should supplement with one, the other or both! As we understand it, ferritin’s a protein stored in the liver and used as necessary we suppose. I’m supplementing with iron and wonder does it make a difference to ferritin levels. If so, can you recommend a brand? Doesn’t seem all that easy to find.

Ferritin is a protein that stores iron. The body takes iron out and puts it back in as necessary - bit like a bank account. Supplementing with iron should raise ferritin levels, but it's a tricky area and I don't know that much about it. And different brands/types of iron suit different people. I do very well with Solgar Gentle Iron, but it doesn't suit everybody. It's said that eating liver once a week is the best way - the safest way - to raise your ferritin. Or liver pâté, or black pudding. Can you do that?

j9j8j7
j9j8j7 in reply to greygoose

Just wanted to add that eating liver during pregnancy isn't recommend due to high levels of vitamin A. Black pudding is absolutely fine. In fact, I had low iron during my first pregnancy and was prescribed iron tablets but they didn't agree with me and I threw up every single time I took them so my levels didn't improve. I started eating black pudding a few times a week and by my next blood test my iron levels were absolutely fine. During my second pregnancy I just ate the black pudding and maintained good levels without any problems. Great stuff (particularly if you like it).

greygoose
greygoose in reply to j9j8j7

Not something I want to eat! But, then, I'm a fussy eater. :)

I don't have enough experience to offer an opinion on your symptoms/current results. But i would say , the hormone changes in your body during /after pregnancy and birth , are obviously huge and i think often these changes can be a trigger that sets off underlying/ hereditary thyroid problems.

In my family, myself, my mums sister, and i strongly suspect, my grandmother, all developed thyroid issues shortly after 2nd child was born.

Mine started with a hyper phase but not diagnosed till 4 years later when became very hypo (with TPOab over 2000) My aunt , had 'lump in neck,very ill, surgery to remove some of thyroid gand ,replacement Levo at some point later) which sounds like Graves. My Granny (in1933 ) sadly was committed to an asylum and given ECT. no actual diagnosis, possibly postnatal psychosis/depression i suspect, but i wonder about a thyroid connection now , given what happened to her daughter and then to me (i went a bit 'nuts' briefly and very thin and over-energetic 7 months after 2nd birth)

I'm definately not suggesting you might go nut's, but i wish i'd thought to have my thyroid and antibody activity checked and recorded earlier than i did, and i'd love to have that information from my now deceased aunt/granny.

So i think your mum's advice is useful even if all you take from it is to keep an eye out for problems since they are there in your family.

If you can manage to keep a history of thyroid results over time , it might be helpful one day.

Gosh , i have waffled on haven't i , but then i am a mummy!

Wishing you all the best for you and your new baby

No, you didn’t waffle, it was interesting to read because it’s a very similar story to my own.

My granny too was committed to an asylum in the 50s and it wasn’t until much later that an overactive thyroid was discovered. My mum has Hashimoto’s and her aunts are all affected one way or another so it will be no great surprise should I develop it as well

Luckily, because of my mum and this forum, I know what to look out for now. I also know that there’s much I can do in the form of nutrition to help support my thyroid. It’s strange because I eat a tremendously good diet and yet so many of my results are low. I think I may have a malabsorption problem; also in the family!

I suspect quite a few on here may have had their grannies locked up. But i'm sure that also results in strength of character.Mine got out after 5 yrs (not easy back then), and went on to do a degree at oxford and be a headmistress . You cant escape your Gene's. (or fit into them anymore i assume !)

x

I like your Mum 👍🏻 Listen to her, she's right about them being ignorant, if they weren't taught it then it doesn't exist!

musicaljune
musicaljune in reply to Espeegee

Thank you espeegee. So many people say the same thing. Shocking and deeply worrying.

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