Normal thyroid results but all symptoms of unde... - Thyroid UK

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Normal thyroid results but all symptoms of under active thyroid.

Skippy15 profile image

Hi all,

Am after a little advice. I’ve been having symptoms of an under active thyroid as well as family history. I’ve continuously been gaining weight no matter what alterations to my diet (which I’ve never had issues with), my period are becoming further apart and heavier, I am always exhausted, feeling the cold a lot and coming out in minor rashes due to cold weather and I go through periods of hair loos that’s been diagnosed as alopecia areata. Rather than take up an appointment with the doctor incase it was nothing I ordered some at home finger prick tests. The results for thyroid were as followed:

TSH - 1.9 mu/L

FT4 - 12.9 pmol/L

FT3 - 4.4 pmol/L

The information said they indicate a normal healthy functioning thyroid. However my FT4 is pretty low still according to optimal charts. My question is to everybody am I clutching at straws and my symptoms aren’t thyroid related or do I carry on down this path and contact GP?

Any advice would be really helpful.

Thanks in advance.

22 Replies

The FT4 & FT3 look low but each lab can have different ranges can you add the range for your results.

Was anything else tested? With low thyroid levels it might mean you have symptoms but not at levels which a doctor would treat.

It might be a good idea to test thyroid antibodies took& you haven’t. TPO & TG antibodies. This will show if there’s an autoimmune issue affecting thyroid. If positive you can argue that your thyroid will continue to deteriorate and it may convince a doctor to treat as early as possible.

Skippy15 profile image
Skippy15 in reply to PurpleNails

With regards to anything else being tested they also done cholesterol. Which strangely came back high and at risk. Strange being, I am 28 years old and although struggling to maintain normal weight I am not classed as overweight and have a healthy diet.

TSH ranges : 0.27 - 4.2 FT4 ranges: 12-22

FT3 ranges: 3.1-6.8

Technically they’re all in range but the latter two on the lower end of spectrum. I also done the test mid afternoon after food. Would this have altered results? Would I be best paying for the antibody test or would GP send for one, I have heard it’s a bit of a struggle getting a GP to agree. I get quite nervous going to GPs and asking for tests that cost the nhs that may not be needed.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator

Please add ranges on these results

Ft4 and Ft3 look low

Was test done early morning

Essential to test also thyroid antibodies and vitamin levels

Low vitamin levels linked to being hypothyroid as hypothyroidism results in LOW stomach acid and poor nutrient absorption leading to low vitamin levels tend

Low vitamin levels tend to lower TSH

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested.

Very important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 at least annually

Low vitamin levels are extremely common, especially with autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s or Ord’s thyroiditis)

Hairloss linked to low iron/ferritin

Recommended on here that all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and before eating or drinking anything other than water

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

Private tests are available as NHS currently rarely tests Ft3 or all relevant vitamins

List of private testing options

thyroiduk.org/getting-a-dia...

Medichecks Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins

medichecks.com/products/adv...

Blue Horizon Thyroid Premium Gold includes antibodies, cortisol and vitamins by DIY fingerprick test

bluehorizonbloodtests.co.uk...

NHS easy postal kit vitamin D test £29 via

vitamindtest.org.uk

If TPO or TG thyroid antibodies are high this is usually due to Hashimoto’s (commonly known in UK as autoimmune thyroid disease). Ord’s is autoimmune without goitre.

About 90% of all primary hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto’s. Low vitamin levels are particularly common with Hashimoto’s. Gluten intolerance is often a hidden issue too

Link about thyroid blood tests

thyroiduk.org/getting-a-dia...

Link about Hashimoto’s

thyroiduk.org/hypothyroid-b...

List of hypothyroid symptoms

thyroiduk.org/if-you-are-un...

High cholesterol is linked to being hypothyroid 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.

Skippy15 profile image
Skippy15 in reply to SlowDragon

I made the mistake of not doing the test in morning and done in the afternoon after food and hot drinks. I should have researched more beforehand. My iron levels are low and have been for around 2 years so dependant on ferrous sulphate 200mg 3 times daily. With regards to vitamin D, I was supposed to test for that also but didn’t produce enough blood to gain sample so currently waiting on another test kit. Thank you for all of your information, I will have a read through the links.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Skippy15

Are you vegetarian or vegan?

Low iron and ferritin often linked to being hypothyroid

cks.nice.org.uk/topics/anae...

In all people, a serum ferritin level of less than 30 micrograms/L confirms the diagnosis of iron deficiency

Look at increasing iron rich foods in diet

Eating iron rich foods like liver or liver pate once a week plus other red meat, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate, plus daily orange juice or other vitamin C rich drink can help improve iron absorption

List of iron rich foods

dailyiron.net

Links about iron and ferritin

irondisorders.org/too-littl...

davidg170.sg-host.com/wp-co...

Great in-depth article on low ferritin

oatext.com/iron-deficiency-...

drhedberg.com/ferritin-hypo...

This is interesting because I have noticed that many patients with Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism, start to feel worse when their ferritin drops below 80 and usually there is hair loss when it drops below 50.

Thyroid disease is as much about optimising vitamins as thyroid hormones

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

restartmed.com/hypothyroidi...

Post discussing just how long it can take to raise low ferritin

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Never supplement iron without doing full iron panel test for anaemia first

Iron and thyroid link

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Posts discussing why important to do full iron panel test

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Why low ferritin needs improving

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Iron/ferritin and restless legs

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Helpful post about iron supplements and testing

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Skippy15 profile image
Skippy15 in reply to SlowDragon

Nope, I have a well balanced diet including a range of meat and fish. I do agree I start to feel worse when iron stops hence the need for the medication to keep it at bay.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Skippy15

Do you have very heavy periods …obviously can exacerbate low iron levels

Heavy periods are Common hypothyroid symptom

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Skippy15

I would recommend Blue Horizon test if you can afford it, as includes cortisol test

Always test as early as possible in morning before eating or drinking anything other than water

Only test early Monday or Tuesday morning

Don’t test when weather is extremely cold or extremely hot as risk sample getting damaged in transit

Skippy,

Although TSH is in range, the ranges change constantly. In the past TSH of 2.5 was considered as being underactive...on the other hand some people have underactive thyroid and normal TSH.

In the past doctors went by symptoms...looked at the patient,rather than only at the lab work.

It soulds like you are undermedicated.

Are you taking Levothyroxine?

Skippy15 profile image
Skippy15 in reply to Ania22

Hi Ania22, I haven’t actually had a diagnosis. The blood results were obtained from an at home blood test. Which indicated they were normal.

You are not taking any medication for thyroid?In this case, it might be worth to start taking vitamin supplements...there are so many things you might be defficient in....

iodine is quite important and apparently many of us have defficiency.

Iron

Gluten free diet

Once you would start taking meds, you might have to take them for the rest of your life...

Thriva offers blood tests at a good price, including testing thyroid antibodies

Skippy15 profile image
Skippy15 in reply to Ania22

Thanks Ania, I will definitely look into vitamin supplements

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Skippy15

Only supplement if testing shows you need it

Don’t take any B vitamins until tested B12 and folate

Otherwise results are skewed

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Skippy15

Skippy15

I will definitely look into vitamin supplements

Please don't supplement vitamins willy nilly. Test the key nutrients - Vit D, B12, Folate, Ferritin - and supplement where necessary at the appropriate dose. Post results/ranges/units of measurement on the forum for suggestions and guidance.

Avoid multivitamins at all costs, they contain too little of anything to help low levels and use the cheapest, least absorbable and wrong form of ingredients. They also contain things we must test for first and only supplement if deficient otherwise excess can be stored and lead to toxicity, eg iron, Vit D, calcium, iodine.

My iron levels are low and have been for around 2 years so dependant on ferrous sulphate 200mg 3 times daily.

Hopefully this is prescribed? And your GP is regularly monitoring with a full iron panel?

With regards to anything else being tested they also done cholesterol. Which strangely came back high and at risk. Strange being, I am 28 years old and although struggling to maintain normal weight I am not classed as overweight and have a healthy diet.

High cholesterol is a symptom of hypothyroidism.

TSH - 1.9 mu/L (0.27-4.20)

FT4 - 12.9 pmol/L (12-22)

A normal healthy person would have a TSH of less than 2, often around 1, with FT4 around mid-range-ish. Your FT4 is far, far too low. If that goes down to bottom of range or below range with a normal, low or minimally elevated TSH then you could be looking at Central Hypothyroidism which is where the problem lies with the pituitary or the hypothalamus and where the signal - TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) - doesn't work to tell the thyroid to make hormone, so FT4 stays very low.

I also done the test mid afternoon after food. Would this have altered results?

Only the TSH result. TSH is highest early morning and lowers throughout the day.

Would I be best paying for the antibody test or would GP send for one, I have heard it’s a bit of a struggle getting a GP to agree.

If GP agreed to test thyroid antibodies it would only be Thyroid Peroxidase, they don't test for Thyroglobulin antibodies at primary level.

Today is the last day of Medichecks' Black Friday discount offers, you can get a full thyroid/vitamin panel - Advanced Thyroid Function Test for £58 instead of £79:

medichecks.com/products/adv...

or Thyroid Function with Antibodies for £48.75 instead of £65:

medichecks.com/products/thy...

If you haven't had all key nutrients done then the Advanced test is the better value.

Hi Seaside, yes my iron gets monitored regularly and always drops if I stop taking the medication. My main issue is my iron stores I always have very little. This is supposedly the cause of my hair loss which comes and goes. Currently waiting on my vitamin D test kit to arrive as I failed to provide enough blood in the last one. Am unsure on current b12 levels but when last checked a while ago (over a year) they’re were slightly low so I opted to adjust diet. All of the responses seem to go towards me testing antibodies and vitamins so will more than likely get them tested privately when affordable. Thank you for your time to respond.

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Skippy15

Oh, it's a shame you can't take advantage of the Black Friday discounts, they wont be that cheap again, they never have 25% discounts normally :(

There is a permanent 10% discount when no other special offer is on:

thyroiduk.org/help-and-supp...

Also check on a Thursday, there is always one thyroid related test on offer on a Thursday, the Advanced test comes round fairly frequently but not as cheap as today's price.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Ania22

Never ever supplement iodine unless tested first and found deficient

SeasideSusie has details of best iodine test

Anyone with autoimmune thyroid disease (hashimoto’s) iodine supplements can make situation worse

If you eat dairy and sea food unlikely deficient

If on levothyroxine you will be getting adequate iodine within levothyroxine

Ania22 profile image
Ania22 in reply to SlowDragon

Apparently there is an easy test, put tiny drop of lugol's iodine on your belly..if it disaapears quickly you are defficient....I agree with you Slowdragon that you have to supplement iodine very carefully.....

Although I have heard of people taking a spoon of Lugol's iodine daily.....I am not them, not a iodine specialist..so cannot really comment on that......

The poster is in a great place though...as she will get hopefully plenty of pricess knowledge.

Apparently many underactive thyroid discorders start because of vitamins deficiency.....

I had low iron through my whole life...but nobody told me to supplement it. I had dry hair since I was 15.....felt well...only when started feeling unwell I started looking into it....

Skippy15 profile image
Skippy15 in reply to Ania22

I will have a read into low iodine levels. What is it that causes it? Is it possible to adjust through diet and lifestyle changes?

Skippy, I never really looked into it, just read here and there a little bit.Apparently the iodine added to salt and etc is not good, not easily absorbable.....

Selenium is important as well

As somebody else said, it would be good if you would have blood test to find out if you are defficient in anything

Go to thriva.co/. they have very good prices and offer 30 pounbds off your first order with track30 code(not sure if this still works)

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