Newly diagnosed Hypothyroidism, need advice regarding results/symptoms

I've recently been told I have hypothyroidism with a TSH level of 6.5, having two years previously being told I was borderline at 4.5. I just wanted to know;

- What exactly this means relative to what your level "should be"?

- Is this sufficient to cause symptoms?

- Do my symptoms correspond with this?

I've had poor health for some time, mainly fatigue, weakness, dizziness, vertigo and pins&needles sensations, which match with the HYPO diagnosis. However; I also have some shaking/trembling (which may be attributed to the muscle weakness) and pulse irregularities, which seems correspond to HYPER-thyroidism.

Is this contradictory or is it possible to experience a spectrum of symptoms related to thyroid irregularities? I've been prescribed lexothyroxine but am yet to start it so cannot attribute it to that.

I generally felt it wasn't explained to me well at the GP's (I have a repeat app coming up) and just wondered if anyone could shed light on how this relates to their own levels/symptoms. Much appreciated if anyone can be bothered to read and answer :)

3 Replies

  • Unfortunately, for many of us, GP's don't understand how best to diagnose or treat thyroid gland problems. It appears to me they have been told diagnose by the TSH and ignore all clinical symptoms. Whereas it should be take note of patients' and their families history, look at the patient and ask about clinical symptoms. Prescribe whichever thyroid hormone suits them and bring them back to good health.

    If you are lacking thyroid hormone pulse/heart can be affected but should rectify with proper meds.

    The last para on this link informs about the TSH.

    It is a big learning curve. Many people do fine on levothyroxine but some don't.

  • Welcome!

    So you have been 'borderline', despite symptoms for over 2 years, and they have waited until you are over 'normal' range to allow you treatment? (I'm glad you have a diagnosis but sorry you're here. Others can suffer with various symptoms until the TSH goes over the magic '10'). You haven't posted your lab range, mine is up to 5.5, so I'm assuming you are over that (lab ranges vary in UK but in the USA it is up to c. 3).

    Yes, we tend to confuse doctors as some can have both Hyper and Hypo symptoms ( I do). This is because the most common thyroid problem is autoimmune - e.g. Hashimotos - when there are periods of Hyper then Hypo as the Thyroid struggles to cope with being 'attacked'. If you don't fit into a particular box, then they are confused. Eventually it gives up to a Hypo phase indicated by being cold.

    Years ago you would be treated by symptoms not blood tests (as these are unreliable ref for Thyroid - the problem is that it's each cell which cannot produce enough energy and this does not immediately show up in your blood) have you had FT4, FT3, & Antibodies (e.g. TPO) tested? - to actually see what's going on? (TSH is only a measure of the signal from your pituitary)

    Also the Thyroid is compromised by nutrient deficiencies such as iron/ferritin folate/B12 and VitD (hormone) - for starters, as the metabolism slows down over the years , magnesium and selenium too.

    Yep - it's complicated, sorry. But hope you feel better soon on Thyroxine (T4) what dose have they started you on, is it just a trial? You should be tested again in 6 weeks to see if you need more. Jane :D

    Hypo symptoms

    Blood tests

  • Wow, thank you both so much for your prompt and informative responses!

    Yes sadly it seems I've been living with this for some time, the doctor who initially noticed the borderline reading was set on my symptoms being psychosomatic and never pursued it further. I believed him at the time because I didn't think my symptoms matched exactly with those described from the thyroid. I'm also young (mid-20's) male with no other health problems so thought it unlikely, although now I suppose the writing is on the wall following my latest results.

    I had a further blood test yesterday which I believe will test for T3 & T4, (and FSH?). I seem to remember various acronyms but it was quite a blur. I'll be following up on these results in a month which will also take me up to the end of my current levothyroxine course, which I'll be able to report my progress on. So yes basically a trial as I've currently only been given my TSH value so far.

    As much as I don't wish for ill health, this diagnosis would actually be a relief to me. I'll be sure to read up on the information you've provided in the mean time as the thyroid mechanism and biochemistry seems quite complex (I say this as a science major) and will be more clued up in discussing this with my GP on my upcoming repeat app.

    Just some further questions, what are the long-term implications to having hypothyroidism? Will I require life treatment and are there any serious complications associated with thyroid problems? Do people respond well to treatment? (I'm sure I'll find most of the answers I'm looking for in the info but any personal advice is always helpful) :)

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