Hi, concerned my daughter may have underactive thyroid, even if mild!

She is nearly 13 and has suffered the following symptoms for as long as I can remember:

Frequent bouts of dry/patchy skin, especially on the face, also bouts of puffiness on face, especially the eyes, causing red sore creases underneath. Have tried to work out if there is a pattern but it just seems random. Also a lot of sore throats, and generally being unwell. But then recovers, we think all fine, but not too long after another sore throat arrives (ps she has already had her tonsils out) During the last 2 years she has developed very cracked sore lips, that no amount of balms get rid of. She has recently developed cases of oral thrush and I am at a bit of a loss. Her lips and skin we manage by smothering her in a cold cream mixed with sudo at night which really helps, but the lips just don't seem to heal for more then a couple of days. She isnt constantly sick, but more then I would expect. We've been down the allergy path a couple of times with the GP, and private doctor when she was younger but no answers or reasons. Recently, I was told it was probably her age! So I started to look for other reasons myself.

I have done the Basal temperature test, by taking her temp for a few days in the morning and it was low everytime. When mentioned to my GP, he just dimissed it straight away, saying those temps were normal.

She had a couple of blood tests last year a couple of months apart of which they said nothing particular flagged up. She does gymnastics for 6 hours a week and has done for years. It is really noticable when her energy levels go down, she goes from having great energy to really struggling.

Her first blood showed her TSH as 1.42 and FT4 as 13.5

Her second blood was TSH 1.41 and FT4 as 14.5

Of which I was told was all in normal range.

Can anyone advise me what these figures mean, is the range completely accurate and are any of hers on the low side? or am I completely barking up the wrong tree?

Any advice would be welcome as I would really like her to feel well all of the time, I hate to think there was something I may have missed over the years.

20 Replies

  • please have her tested for vitamin B12, many low B12 symptoms are similar to hypo, with the B12 ask also for iron/folate/vitamin D


  • Ok, thanks for advice, I have appt with GP in 2 weeks time and will definately mention.

  • the thyroid bloods you posted are not looking too bad, though potentially the fT4 is low in range, what is the range?

    I don't think any NHS doctor will want to treat her with those blood results, but believe me, you can start helping her getting better with the things I have mentioned (b12/vitamin d/iron/folate), then if it is thyroid it will still show up after those problems have been fixed and you can still address that too if needed later.

  • I don't know what the range was to be honest, I will have to ask more next time. At the time of her blood test, I kind of expected they would say she was lacking in a vitamin or iron ect, and it would be easily solved. The only thing that does not really add up, is mentally she is very alert, she does excel at school, however I do get worried about sick days, but she is able to catch up.

  • Agreed with nobodysdriving.

    Please, please be aware that there are special paediatric ranges for thyroid tests. Many doctors either do not appreciate this, or assume they have been been used without checking.

    I suggest you get in touch with your local lab and ask them directly.

    The handbooks for many labs are available online and might contain this information - but be careful. I would re-check with the lab themselves anyway.

    Any difficulty in getting the ranges, contact your local PALS people.


  • thank you, I will definately get in touch with the local lab and ask them. What is PALS people?

  • Patient Advice and Liaison Services


    Wish you both well


  • It sounds like your poor daughter could be suffering from nutritional deficiencies, which can cause all sorts of nasty symptoms. The sore cracked lips are especially associated with low B vitamins. Low iron can cause low body temperature. Things like low iron and zinc also affect immunity.

    There must be a reason that she isn't able to fight off infections very well, and oral thrush suggests that has become quite an issue. Has your doctor looked into things that would make her susceptible to infections? With me they looked blood sugar levels and immunoglobulins. I expect there are other things to consider too.

    (I also feel the cold a lot and get oral thrush, but my thyroid gland is fine.)

  • I don't mean to imply that you're not feeding her properly! (Sometimes I'm so insensitive). People can get nutritional deficiencies even on the perfect diet, when there's an underlying health problem.

  • No, it's ok, I didn't think you were rude, but honestly the majority of the time she has an apetite, (although this was a problem last year for a few months) she eats good food (as well as goodies) we are not a fast food family. She does crave yogurts, eats loads of those. But you are right, she does seem less able then most to fight of infections, I know they tested for all sorts of things last round and just couldn't understand why nothing flagged up.

  • Craving yoghurts might be a clue. Have you tried a dairy free diet at all? I developed a bad reaction to dairy products for no obvious reason. Some symptoms similar to those you've described. Took a while to realise though as I'd always been absolutely fine with dairy products.

    Also, if it's possible, try a very low carbohydrate for a while diet by eliminating or drastically reducing things like cereals, bread, cakes, biscuits etc., as well as sugar in all it's guises. The thrush may be feeding on these.

  • Also, do make sure your GP investigates vitamin D levels. Living in the UK, we are all likely to be deficient by this time of year unless we're spending the winter sunbathing on a beach in a sunny clime somewhere, or taking supplements. Deficiency can cause a lot of symptoms that vary from one individual to another.

  • um vitamin D, I dont know if she has been tested for that. Another one to add to the list.


  • ...maybe an imbalance in the gut flora too...too many baddies and not enough goodies. This could also cause your daughter to have absorption difficulties of the nutrients the others have mentioned.

    Nutritionists are very often good people to consult when the whole body needs some understanding.....

    Hope you find the answers soon. Six hours of gymnastics a week is very good though isn't it ? I think that is impressive.

  • Again, I have also thought about difficulties in absorbing the nutrients, I will note all comments to GP


  • My daughter is just 15 and I believe she has been hypo for at least a year. Her symptoms mirror many of those you have described that your daughter suffers from. Her results came back several times 'within range' but I knew that something was wrong, her temperature was low, severe fatigue, kept crying (something she doesnt normally do). She was tested for Vit D and was severely deficient GP put her on high dose Pro D3. I took her back to see another GP because her last results showed that her TSH was over the range although her GP said that she was 'borderline'. GP wouldnt treat her but agreed to another test and her TSH has risen to 9.34 (0.5 - 4.2). Now hypothyroid.

    My advice would be to keep getting her tested on a regular basis. my daughter was tested every three months recently ( I insisted because both myself and her father have hypo).

  • Is there any other way of checking levels other then bloods? it took three horrible days to get the blood from her, even with the magic cream, it just wouldnt come (the magic cream didnt work until literally hours later, I don't think the nurse could understand it.

    I am interested in the Vit D advice,

  • Oh dear poor thing, its diffulit at this age. Unfortunalty most testing involves the drawing of blood although there are other tests available but I havent used them so cant make any judgement here is the link to Thyroid Uk information thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    I get my families VD from here vitamindtest.org.uk/ its £25.00 and you get the results via email very quickly. Its a pin prick test so hopefully your daughter may find this easier. As its an NHS lab my doctor was very willing to precribe my daughter high does Pro D3.

  • I have asked my daughter and she was more than willing to do the pin prick test - so that's a start. I will order the kit, very helpful link. It's a start anyway to investigations.


  • when i say three days, I mean the nurse abandoned trying to get blood on one occasion as it was getting stressful, so we had to go back another day.

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