Curious New Patient

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Hi, After going to my doctor regarding unexplained muscle pain in my back, and answering some further questions from him affirming some symptoms that I'd put down to aging and menopause my doctor sent me for a blood test which resulted in him diagnosing me with hypothyroidism. (Thank you for being pro active doctor!)

He said that I was 'borderline' hypothyroid and started me on 25mg of Levothyroxine for 2 weeks  moving up to 50mg for the next 4 weeks.

These first 6 weeks are just ending and when I went to him for another perscription of medication, he asked that I book another blood test for January (which will be 3 months since my first one) where my thyroid antibodies will be tested too.  At this most recent appointment I asked for a copy of my original blood test results (which is the results he diagnosed me on) as I would like to understand these results better, if I can, before I go back for the results of my next test.

Can anyone tell me if these results are just on the border of hypothyroidism?

Serum free T4 level (pmol/L)      10

Serum TSH Level (miu/L)            11.2

(My cholestrol was also quite high at 7.6 - I don't know if this could be a symptom too?)

He's keeping me on my 50mg dose at the moment and I do feel quite good now. However, I've been reading online and maybe I'm getting confused because I thought my results should have been under 5 to be normal so a 10 and 11.2 result seem not to be boderline but quite high to me. Have I got that right?  Any help understanding the severity (or not!) of the original problem before I go back for my next results would be much appreciated.


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  • Posted

    Hello Sins:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I also have Hashimoto's thyroid disease. Hashimoto's is autoimmune and runs in families and can be passed on.

    Okay let me help you with your lab work. 

    Thyroid antibodies are to rule out Hashimoto's or autoimmune, since it is passed on via DNA.

    TSH  should be between 0.45 to 4.50 and at 11.2 your on the high end of thescale which indicates Hypothyroidism.  If the number was on the lower end of the scale it would be HYPER. Hyper is TOO MUCH Hormone.

    T4 should be 4.5 to 11.2 and you are at 10 which is normal but close to the border and is considered  BORDERLINE.  Borderline is not good.  You need to be more in the middle of the range.

    Cholesterol should be lower than 4.5 and at  7.6 it is high and you can reduce it by cutting out FATS in the diet and eating low cholesterol foods.  Some people take Statins or medication that lower it.  An example would be Lipitor.

    Now a few things:  Strokes can happen when your arteries fill up with a plaque that adheres to the arteries and it comes from high cholesterol.  So you should see a heart doc called a cardiologist and have an EKG done to look at your heart patterns.  Also eliminate as much salt from foods as possible since sodium can cause high blood pressure.

    Some cholestrol is a genetic thing, you get from a family trait.  When we are hypothyroid we gain weight faster and it can be related to being obese.

    Keep taking the 50mcg and do some other diet changes and avoid bad dairy use 2% milk  instead.  In 6 to 8 weeks your thyroid level will build up to a proper level and the doctor will want to have your blood tested again.

    Once you are at the correct dose, you should do some walking.  I do that and I lost 32 pounds doing it.  Just do about 1/2 hour of it  a day.

    I hope I helped,



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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply Shelly, I now see that I was confusing the TSH with the T4 - thinking it should be under 5 - there is certainly a lot to learn about these hormones -  and I have to confess to being one of those people who had never thought about their thyroid even once in their life previous to this diagnosis, so I'm pretty ignorant about it and right at the beginning stages of the learning process. I have neen reading but it's a lot ot take in all at once.

      I fear the cholestrol is going to be an issue because if it's not related to the thyroid problem I think it may probably turn out to be an hereditary thing afterall, because after going on a low fat diet in late 80;s I don't use butter, I only use fully skimmed milk in my morning porridge, I drink black coffee and I never fry my food.  So ouch to that one, I think I can see more medication coming my way in my future. Ugh. (I was on nothing before this Levothyroxine pescription)

      I have been keeping my weight more or less under control since I was in my early 20's as I've always had both a sweet tooth, and an tendency to put on weight, (not a good combination!) but it really has become increasingly harder and harder to do so these past few years, This diagnosis may (along with the menopause) help to explain why.

      I used to run when I was younger to help with my weight, but my bones couldn't take it anymore and I really put on weight when I stopped that. I discovered an Amerrican lady called Leslie Sansone about a year ago though and I find her very inspiring and encouraging, so using her walking dvd's every day has been enormously helpful in  me now managing to keep my weight down to the top end of normal - but it is a constant and never ending battle for me (Along with trying to control my sweet tooth). I'm praying that with this Levothyroxine treatment things may become a little easier for me in that regard.

      Well done on your own weight loss Shelly, believe me I know how hard it can be, and Thank you once again for your reply, you have most certainly put my mind to rest, and been very supportive.  I'm looking forward to seeing what my next results are, and now thanks to you, I have a better grasp of what it is I should be looking at and what ranges apply to which result.  I'm particularly interested about the anti bodies, I really would like to know 'why' my throid doesn't work properly now and discover whether I too, join you in having Hashimoto's. (Another thing I had never heard of until recently!)

      Thanks again for taking the time to reply to me,



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    • Posted

      Hello Sins:

      Thyroid disease hits women 20-45 and sometimes after menopuase.  It comes from a variety of things.

      #1- Family trait (autoimmune Like Hashimoto's my sister & I have it and my father's sister (my aunt) had it).  Certain protein antibodies in the body attack the thyroid gland thinking it is a foreign body, this is not clearly understood and it happens to be passed on in the genes.  It tends to skip men and mostly hits women 9 to 1.

      #2- A virus called Epstein -Barr also called Mononucleosis, it causes damage to the gland.

      #3- Being Pregnant, or after stress to the body.

      #4 - Cancer,  & Lupus, and medication to treat these conditions can sometimes cause problems example chemotherapy.

      #5-Poor Iodine in the diet. Mostly in 3rd world countries. Not seen in USA or UK as salt is iodized and we get enough in our diet.

      The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland and sits on top of the trachea (windpipe) and normally you do not see all it does.  It works along with other glands in the body and it regulates our periods, gives us energy, regulates metabolism, helps the heart rate, and keeps our bodies active. and it also controls temp's in our body.

      It sure does a lot of things, and it sadly goes haywire and we don't get another one.  So they have meds to give us the hormone.  We live in good times and it is treatable.  I am 54 and still kicking.  LOL.

      When you are up to it, do some walking and do some diet changes, and it helps.  Set small goals, and you will get there.

      Levothyroxine will help give you back the normal hormone level you need to function and it takes a bit of trial and error on some of us.  that is why they need blood to see how well the meds work on you.

      So give it a bit of time as the med goes to work and builds a level. You should start to feel much better.




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    • Posted

      I too am recently diagnosed hypo and also had no idea and am as I say "clueless" about our thyroid.  It is complicated and both fascinating now that I've been doing lots of reading up on it.  Leslie Sansone is a great resource, I know many lady friends have had success with her tapes, and over the years I've been to weight watchers and lots of people recommend those tapes, I've recently found one I use for when it's bad weather and I cannot get out to walk or go to the Y.  I've put on weight slowly since I had my first child I love to walk and go to a nearby trail and even the local cemetery for a walk when it's nice out, my YMA has stationary bikes and an indoor track I use as well.  I fight hard just to take off a couple pounds so I'm hoping now on the levo maybe it will be a little easier to loose some weight.  I'm grateful for this resource as well because like you said it's a lot to take in and can be overwhelming.  Best of luck. 
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    • Posted

      Hello Jobismom:

      All exercise helps. I watch carbs carefully. That helps.

      I know several people that did the weight watcher's program and they lost weight.  It is a very good program.  I will have to check out Leslie Sansone.

      You are right, the thyroid is complex and does so much for our bodies, there is always something new to learn about it.


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