Hypothyroidism : My husband is 69 1/2 years old... - Thyroid UK

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Hypothyroidism

jacjlc profile image

My husband is 69 1/2 years old, always been healthy and is not on any medication other than the supplements I give him. Recent blood work in August 2021, showed a low B12 level of 300, he is now on supplements to help with this. The problem lies with his TSH levels. The chart ranges I have found have an upper range of 4.5 to 5.0, his is 5.1. He was prescribed levothyroxine, however, he does not want to take it. His cholesterol is 269, as well, an issue withy hypothyroidism I read. Put him on a red yeast rice based cholesterol aid, also on fish oil for this. He has no symptoms but is losing weight, not gaining. I know hypothyroidism can cause weight loss also. He feels fine, works 45 hours a week outside in the sun, only lost 7 pounds in 3 years according to the same doctor scales, however, it looks like more. Last week before his colonoscopy, I took his temperature after working on a cool evening, 50's in Florida, and it was 95.8. Runs up and down from normal to 95.5. Please help me help him, as I am at a loss.

27 Replies

Hi

Weight gain is more common with hypothyroidism, it's overactive thyroid that can cause weight loss.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator

Welcome to the forum

Just testing TSH is completely inadequate

With high TSH, likely low Ft4/Ft3

Were these tested or thyroid antibodies?

Always test thyroid levels early morning before eating or drinking anything other than water (and last dose levothyroxine 24 hours before test)

What are vitamin D, folate, ferritin results and ranges (and range on B12)

High cholesterol is linked to high TSH

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

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.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to SlowDragon

His TSH is just that, TSH. It is actually 5.02, not 5.1 I stated, sorry. He works in the sun and takes 1000 IU of D3 and 100 mcg of K2. He does physical work loading and moving product in outside garden at a big retail store. Has been active with hard work and physical all his life. I also give him folate, 800 mcg a day. His albumin is 3.2, D is 30ng/ml. magnesium is 1.5, am planning to order that. He does not want to take medicine, always been physically active and feels fine, says there isn't a need for it. He would be okay if he could take levothyroxine and it fixed it, but taking forever is what he doesn't want. I am a germ nut and like more natural remedies, we never have colds or flu, rarely any kind of infection. Eat well, but not perfect. He says he's fine. Sugar levels are great, colonoscopy fine, abdominal scan good.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to SlowDragon

Thank you so much. Got blood test results out to check on things you wanted to know. From what I can tell, no ferritin test, but hemoglobin and hematocrit, both iron carrying shows very good. His iron count used to be very high, took him off multi vitamins, waste of money. Thank you.

if he currently feels and functions well , why would you want to persuade him to take Levo ?

If he ever begins to feel any symptoms of hypothyroidism (which may never happen) .. then he would happily take it in an attempt to feel better.

Taking a fixed dose of Levo everyday brings it's own problems, it is always a compromise that can never be as good as the thyroids own ability to regulate it's production of T4 AND T3 in response to demand and seasonal changes ... and as soon as you start adding Levo , that complex natural regulation system is altered.... if he feels well now and you get him to take Levo it is possible he'd not feel as well as he does now.

Not everyone with mild hypothyroidism feels symptoms . some people like me were really bad with TSH only 5.7 /6.8 .. but some people still feel fine at that level and may do for many many years ... if i felt fine with TSH 5.2 there's no way i'd want to take Levo at that point.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to tattybogle

Our thoughts exactly. He is flat out against taking it and I'm thinking getting B12 up will have good results for his weight. Older now, with loss of muscle mass but just looks very skinny compared to what he did, why I had him take all these tests. I am against prescribing for everything, why I joined this forum to see if anything natural or whatever to help without levo. Thank you!

Why are you giving him folate? Did he test low for it? Did you get his B12 tested as well? All the Bs work together so, just taking one of them is not a good idea.

If he's taking vit D, he needs magnesium. Never mind the magnesium blood tests, they are very unreliable. But, most people are low in magnesium, and taking vit D will use up what little he has, so very important to get him take some of that.

I think before he starts taking levo, he needs full thyroid testing:

TSH

FT4

FT3 - high cholesterol is linked to low T3 - which of course would cause the TSH to rise.

TPO antibodies

Tg antibodies

Vit D - needs to be tested frequently, in case he becomes over-dosed

B12

Folate

Ferritin (iron stores)

Once you have the full facts, then he can make an informed decision about whether he wants to take levo or not. But, it certainly isn't a case of taking it til the TSH come down and then stop. It would be for life. The TSH would come down because he was taking it. Stop taking it and the TSH would rise again. :)

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to greygoose

B12 was 300, too low for anyone and especially at 69. Folic acid is what I give him, not folate, sorry, two different things.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to jacjlc

supplementing a good quality daily vitamin B complex, one with folate in (not folic acid) may be beneficial.

This can help keep all B vitamins in balance and will help improve B12 levels too

Difference between folate and folic acid

chriskresser.com/folate-vs-...

B vitamins best taken after breakfast

Thorne Basic B or Jarrow B Right are recommended options that contains folate, but both are large capsules. (You can tip powder out if can’t swallow capsule)

IMPORTANT......If taking vitamin B complex, or any supplements containing biotin, remember to stop these 7 days before ALL BLOOD TESTS , as biotin can falsely affect test results

endo.confex.com/endo/2016en...

endocrinenews.endocrine.org...

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to jacjlc

Folic acid is synthetic folate. It's still a B vitamin, but not as well absorbed as methylfolate.

So, if his B12 was so low, aren't you giving him that, too?

Yes he is taking B12 and thanks, I appreciate your help.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to jacjlc

OK, so he's taking B12 and folic acid. But, what he should be taking is B12 - methylcobalaming, sublingual - PLUS a B complex with methylfolate. Thorne Basic B is a good one. :)

if stomach acid is low, and often is in later life, breaking down and absorption is dependent on stomach acid, it's why some folks can take them and not raise their levels. plus as mentioned earlier B's need a B complex ideally especially without testing all levels.

hope that helps...

During his endoscopy they found gastric acid that they are testing. Don't know if he has enough or too much, just going to try and see if it improves or have to go with more medical than over the counter. Thank you.

was the acid found outside the stomach... if so with low stomach acid the sphincter relaxes as it's not used/needed as much the phrase "use it or lose it is apt here" there's 3 nutrients needed to make stomach acid, Zinc, vitamin B1/thiamine, and the amino acid Histadine, if your deficient in any of these then you'll struggle to make enough

sorry for the late reply

Thank you, am going to have him retested in couple months to see if any change. I have pernicious anemia and can't absorb it so I take injections weekly for 20 years now. He had an endoscopy to check stomach and see if any issues there, but not sure if their testing for everything concerning this. Hope they did, but they don't always remember or lost instructions.

Your husband needs all thyroid tests done ASAP as they've now got him on a statin and this could cause a condition called rhabdomyolisis, which is where the muscles break down and end up in the bloodstream and cause the kidneys to fail and can be fatal. Not trying to panic you but I'm sure you wouldn't want this to happen as your husband appears,to he in good health. Statins are very dangerous and should not be given to anyone with hypothyroidism. Please get these blood tests done ASAP, if necessary get them done privately, good site is Monitormyhealth and the testing is done through an NHS lab, so GP cannot argue with the results.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to sobs1962

Thank you. I'm not one to panic with information, the more information I have, the better armed I am to find solutions.

vocalEK profile image
vocalEK in reply to jacjlc

Years back I was put on a statin. I started waking up with a sharp pain across my back, about where the kidneys are located. I thought it was my mattress and bought a new one, but the pain continued. Finally I read something about rhabdomyolisis and wondered whether the statin was the problem. So I stopped taking it. Two days later the pain was gone. There is a scientific principle called "re-challenge". So after 2 weeks of being pain-free, I began taking the statin again. And the pain came right back, proving to me that it was the statin causing the problem. I decided that my HDL was nice and high, so I wasn't going to worry about the other cholesterol numbers. But recently, after I began taking T3, my total and bad cholesterol numbers are at an all-time low. Well within "normal."

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to vocalEK

Well said, my GP wanted to put me on statins but luckily it didn't happen, but went to my appointment armed with information regarding why I shouldn't be put on statins as have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia as well, but wonder if all the fibro symptoms over the years are actually hypothyroidism symptoms. We are living in an age where doctors are being brainwashed by the pharmaceutical companies and doing their patients much more harm than good. It's truly scary 😨. Apart from that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that statins are of any benefit to women and never has been. I don't care how much they try to bully me into taking statins, it's NEVER going to happen and I'll just take my chances.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to jacjlc

I agree, knowledge is power.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to sobs1962

We have refused the prescriptions for statins, trashed actually before being filled, for several years as my Aunt had a bad experience with hers, death the result, and I decided we weren't taking them. This natural over the internet with research is what we are taking. However, it does have red yeast rice in it, doctor said to find one with it, and I believe that is an ingredient in statins, well one of it's compounds. So along with niacin and other herbal remedies, I'm discontinuing this product. There are others that do not have red yeast rice in them I may look into, and we have not been using the red yeast rice one for very long. I know his cholesterol is high, but has been much higher, triglycerides are my issue, outrageous, but cholesterol is at high end. I always try to find a more natural way to solve issues, I hate a prescription for everything, getting a new doctor after all tests are back, seems like that is what she wants to do. I appreciate the input from all of you so much, as I had taken doctors advice and didn't realize the connection to statins. Hypothyroidism can cause high cholesterol on tests, so it may not as bad. This is why I searched and found this site and have learned much in the short time I've joined. Had no idea there could be these kind of issues caused by it and glad to know my "help" won't end up harming him further. Thanks again and I look forward to reading any other feedback and suggestions on what I can do.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to jacjlc

You can use plant sterols to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, I took them for a few weeks but stopped as they don't increase HDL cholesterol. If you wanted to try them, I recommend using British Supplements, as their products don't contain anything "nasty", only pure ingredients and their products are very reasonably priced too.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to sobs1962

Do you have any suggestions as to what to take or how much, any particular brand? As I don't deal much with UK medicines and herbal supplements, I do feel the UK does more research than US at times and requires more testing maybe on the products being sold. Would love to find something to help. Thank you!

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to jacjlc

The ones I ordered were Clean Plant Sterols, from British Supplements (British-Supplements.net). Not everyone knows about them but have ordered a few different supplements from them and never had a problem with any of them and they are a highly ethical company. Hope that helps and you can get what you want, as they cannot give advice legally so you might want to do some research. The other thing that I considered using is Berberine which is apparently called the "the metabolic master switch and can regulate blood sugar, cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Like I say, do some research and decide what you think is best for your husband and yourself, surely much safer to take something natural, than risk the often dangerous side effects of synthetic drugs.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc in reply to sobs1962

Thank you so much. Will start researching today.

sobs1962 profile image
sobs1962 in reply to jacjlc

Good luck with it all😊

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