blood tests

I had an operation on my thyroid about fifteen years ago and I felt fine. Then about about eight years ago I was put on lithium (long story) but within two months I had put on three stone in weight, my hair began falling out,my nails became brittle, i developed IBS, got acid reflux.muscle pain etc. After nine months I came off it but was left with all of the above symptoms. I know lithium can effect your thyroid but was told that my problems were all due to stress. Recently the symptoms have become much worse and my doctor has arranged to do blood tests. Could anybody please tell the best time of the day to get the tests done and is it better to fast or eat something..

many thanks

9 Replies

  • I assume you are not on any thyroid medication at present, so I don't think it matters what time it is done (someone may correct me). You don't have to fast for a thyroid gland test but if he is doing to do cholesterol (another hypo symptom if it is high) you will have to fast.

    If you are on levothyroxine do not take your meds until after your blood tests - if you take it at night -miss this dose and take after blood tests a.m. Ask him to do a Vit B12, Vit D, ferritin, folate and iron too as the first are usually low with a thyroid gland problem.

    This is a link re lithium/thyroid

    After your blood tests get a copy from your surgery (you are entitled) with the ranges as labs differ and post on a new question for someone to comment.

  • Thank you so much.

    Read the link. When I was put on lithium I was told that the side effects were minimal and I would feel great. When I explained to the psychiatrist how I was feeling she told me it was my age (I was 44) or it was all in my mind. I didn't imagine the extra three stone in two months and when I cut down on food I did not loose any weight. I was at college at the time my grades dropped dramatically and I felt dreadful all the time. I was fed up being fobbed off and eventually had "words" with psychiatrist and refused to go back to see her. My GP arranged for me to see another psychiatrist from a different area and she was surprised to hear I had been put on lithium. I suffer from PTSD not manic depression.

    Since then it has been downhill all the way. I had to give up my job.and there are days when I can barely get dressed. I really hope that the blood tests show something up if not I think I will have to pay to see a private doctor.

    Thanks once again

  • shaws is right that things are a bit different if taking thyroid hormone supplementation. Because then you have to think whether or not to take the thyroid hormone and how long to leave it.

    But the basic thing is, do you want your TSH to show highest? If so,then as early as possible in the morning. Have a look at this blog - follow the link there to the paper. It has graphs of how much TSH, FT4 ad FT3 can vary through the day:


  • Thank you very much.

    I checked out the link and I am getting my bloods done in the next few days so hopefully something will show up.

  • Hi I agree with Rod, this is a typical ignorant GP suggestion. Make sure your blood tests are for tSH. T4 and Free T3,, then you have the better picture. After surgery, the thyroid should be treated as it is now, Hypo common, a little always left behind.

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you very much.

    I really hope something shows up. I really don't feel well at all and my daughter and my friends keep saying that i look ill and have I been to the doctor. If nothing shows up I think I will have to see a private doctor. thanks again

  • If you have had surgery and wish to see a private doctor. If you do not mind me saying, better to see an private endo( consultant) apart form if self funding,they will, is asked instruct GP re tests etc but also of course, drugs automatically provided on their instructions by GP.Also important to see some one, like endo, who will treat all the aspects of the thyroid, including things it relates too. They have to have a tremendous knowledge of the body. Make sure you choose one your self.

    I hope you feel better soon.You know yourself how you are , just make sure you have the correct treatment. My endo`s favourite sayings are" It is your body, you know best "and You are your body`s best doctor", she means it.


  • Thank you for your advice


  • I was awful before being diagnosed and we DO rely on doctors/specialists to tell us what is wrong - NOT find our by ourselves. (I was undiagnosed and eventually it was a first-aider who suggested thyroid problem.

    Email and she has a list of sympathetic private doctors or NHS Endos.

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