Could this be an underactive thyroid?

Hello,

I am new to this board and am hoping you may be able to shed some light on this. Over the last year or so I have been feeling very tired even after 10 hours sleep, itchy dry skin, always cold, feeling dizzy, nausea, headaches, forgetful, sore throat, and permanent cold like symptoms. I went to the Drs a couple of weeks back who suggested I had a blood test, I received the results yesterday and Dr said my TSH level was slightly high at 6.5, on further probing he disclosed my T4 was at 17.4, they dont routinely test for T3. he said he would like me to have another blood test in 6 months time incase of hypothyroidism, which I agreed to but came away from the Dr's feeling very disheartened after being told my symptoms were very real but that I should visit a homeopath. As i knew very little about thyroid before I did the usual thing and came home and read up lots, on making a further call to the Dr's surgery I was persuaded by the nurse to speak to another Dr. When i spoke with him and explained the thought of feeling like this for another 6 months without explanations or treatment was unbearable he suggested i have the test in 3 months.

I am still struggling to understand the levels of TSH and T4 and what these can mean. Would anyone be able to tell me what their levels were when they were first diagnosed and started treament? I am reluctant to leave this too long as I don't feel I am having any quality of life as just feel permanently out of breath and tired.

If anyone could offer any advice I would be grateful.

Thanks,

ariesgerl

6 Replies

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  • Some people remain completely undiagnosed for a long time.

    Your TSH is high and many doctors would prescribe on your clinical symptoms and your TSH but the guidelines of the British Thyroid Association decree that they should not prescribe until the TSH is 10 which think is deplorable as they ignore clinical symptoms altogether. When you post your blood test results it is important to put the ranges as labs differ and it makes it difficult to comment. Also ask for a Vit B12 and VitD, iron, ferritin and folate as you may be deficient.

    If you can afford a private consultation ThyroidUk have a list of sympathetic doctors and if you email Louise.Warvill@Thyroiduk.org she will send details.

  • Hi Shaws,

    Thank you for your post, I was told that everything else tested had come back ok - to be honest I didn't question what else they had tested for but do remember seeing ferratin on the sheet - was the only one I could read! the Dr said that TSH was normal up to 5.0 but could go into the 100's. But i will contact the surgery and ask for a print out as now realise I don't have a true picture. Is it usual to wait so long between blood tests? I've never had any experience of thyroid previously and was surprised for him to mention possible hypothyroidism, is there anything else I should be requesting from the GP?

    Thanks for your help.

    aries.

  • Hi welcome to this site, it is very informative and there are loads of people on here who could help you, I can only tell you my exoeriences and maybe it will help.

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 18 years ago just before I had my last child, took a while to get it sorted but finally did after about 3-4 years. Was always on a high dose compared to my mother who was diagnosed after me she has always been on 50mcg and I was on 150mcg.

    6or the last couple of years I have been experiencing aches and pains in my hands and then at the beginning of last yeatrs I started getting aches and opains in my legs and hips, went to the drs a couple of times but to no avail, then last october I had had enuff and the dr gave me a "full mot" in which he found out that my tsh was 17.16 (rabge 0.0-5.0) so whay too high and that I had pernicious anemia which means I have no intinsic factor which helps your body absorb B12 so I was given a loading dose of B12 which mean an intermusculsar injection every other day for two weeks then another injection of B12 after 3mths just to top me up and this is for life, was told "you'll feel buzzing when you have this done" but I didn't so when I went back to tell him that I still didn't feel great he upped my dose and my tsh went down to 1.4 so he lowered it and now its gone up to 52 so now I'm being referred to an endocrinologist as my body is "all out of whack" and we can't seem to get it right.

    I hope this helps, and I really think you should ask to have your B12 and your folate and ferritin check and also your vit D.

    I hope this helps

    Tina

  • Hi In the old days my hypo , which was really quite severe, was diagnosed on the automatic Free T 3 test, and treated on it. It was a lot later when T4 showed a problem.Foremost you need that and vit D ( hormonal) tested. I now use Blue Horizon, through TUK, bloods,as they use a well known Lab recognised by any doc you show them to. I have the intermediate test, £61 with the £10 off if you quote TUK 10. the intermediate test is TSH, T4 and Free T3. Then, try and get treatment, if necessary ask to see an endo. Untreated thyroid disease is unpleasant but can also lead to other problems.

    Jackie

  • Yeah I had more of less the same test results as you and was put on thyroid meds right away. On the form from the blood people it said check again in six months but gp and I agreed let's start right away as I had similar symptoms to you. Got to be worth a trial of levothyroixin hasn't it....... Rather than waiting six months!!

    Si

  • Hi,

    Thank you all for your replies, its really interesting to hear your experiences - I realise I have a lot of reading up to do before my next Dr's appointment in order not to get fobbed off. I think I need a full print out of my results as I know ferratin was checked but not sure of the others, when the blood was originally taken the GP had just said he was going to check for various things - Its really unlike me not to question what he was testing for but I think I was having a bad day that I just didnt push for any other info.

    Mummytina I hope you Begin to feel better, makes me feel like whinging when I read how high you're TSH is.

    Sporty333 how quickly did you feel improvements once on levothryoxin?

    Jackie if diagnosed and treatment is prescribed do patients automatically get referred to a endocrinologist?

    Anyway thanks again for your replies - Will keep you posted.

    Aries

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