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Under active thyroid

(7 Posts)
Equiem89 Sun 08-May-16 10:08:54

My weight is just going up and up. It only stabilises or goes down if I eat a low carb diet. If I start eating normal food like a sandwich and packet of crisps for lunch it starts going up. I'm also always tired. I have struggled with my ferritin levels in the past and at my last test it was 40, I know optimum is about 70.
Can I just see a nurse and ask for her to take some blood to check my thyroid level or do I need to go to my GP and explain the situation for him to then say I need a blood test and to book a separate appointment?
Also I read on here that one level (TSH?) is not enough to see thyroid function, you need something else tested too.
Thanks smile

helzapoppin2 Sun 08-May-16 23:05:29

Hello, I'm hypothyroid! You have to ask your GP for a blood test, but they should be OK with that. I only get my TSH level, but! for me, that's enough!
The thyroxine seems to work fine. Try that as the first port of call!

averywittyusername Mon 09-May-16 04:27:27

Equiem I have had the same problem, I had been able to lose a bit of weight if I very strictly low carbed in the past but it got to the point where I was only maintaining, then over Christmas I ate 'normally' for a couple of weeks and gained a stone which wouldn't budge, even when I made a big effort in February and dieted with hard core exercise for a month. I had initial tests done privately but you should speak to GP, they can instruct the blood test, I don't that you can just ask a nurse. I've been on thyroxine for 8 weeks now and am still waiting for the weight loss but a lot of other issues have cleared up, muscle aches and dry skin patches, so I'm sure that it was an underlying issue for several years. I'm not sure how the low carb fits in. I am trying slimming world now, as I got fed up of being carb-phobic when it didn't seem to help, but there doesn't seem to be any correlation between low carb and hypothyroid. The tsh test is the place to start, and you may want to get tested for b12 and vitamin d as well. Good luck!

Equiem89 Mon 09-May-16 07:37:22

My steady weight was always 10.2 then it was 10.5, then 10.10 and yesterday I was 11 stone. I did the last low carb bootcamp and think I got down to 10 then I fell off the wagon and started eating normally so in a couple of months I've put on a stone!
I've had my b12 and vit d checked a little while ago, my doctor refused to believe that my low ferritin was making me feel awful, he even referred me to a ME clinic.
Thanks for you help. Will book a doctors appointment. I even took a pregnancy test this morning just to make sure it's not just fat haha

clarella Mon 09-May-16 11:18:35

Hi Op,

It is possible there is a thyroid problem, but it's important to remember that weight isn't the definitive symptom. Have your read the symptom list on patient co uk? Being constipated is another common symptom, feeling very cold, brain fog, water retention (puffy ankles) hair loss (diffuse) and muscle weakness are all key symptoms (there are more but these are the ones I notice).

I've been hypothyroid since I was 20, now nearly 40. I do need to point out weight gain isn't definitive - at my worst I loose weight, as the muscle weakness it causes, actually reduces muscle (myopathy). I loose my appetite and do not naturally carry much fat except on my bottom so just waste away. The 'weight gain' caused by hypo is slight, and mainly water retention. The weakness though leads people to do much less (including small extra bit of calorie burn eg fidgeting) and crave sugary things and so if appetite doesn't dwindle, they do gain weight.

I do also know from recent bitter experience that a good thyroid level is nothing without a good ferritin - ABOVE 70. At 50 I seem to start to crumble. It can go as high as 200 I think so getting to 100 is fine.

HOWEVER, as I said first of all, it's not unreasonable at all to get a thyroid test. Just don't focus on the weight being the main indicator.

Tsh is the first point of call as it is the most stable result and gives a picture of the whole 'thermostat' mechanism. It's when it's borderline or a little raised but still within guidelines (though these are debatable) that other tests are helpful, if your GP is open minded and helpful.

Weight is reliant on so many factors (even gut bacteria, other changing hormones etc). It's worth ruling it out, but the low ferritin could be as to blame in that it's making you less energetic.

Do get your thyroid results if tested, and do come back to post them here.

The British thyroid foundation have lots of useful info, as do Heath unlocked and thyroid uk.

Equiem89 Mon 09-May-16 13:00:51

Thank you for your detailed post!
I have managed to get a GP appointment for next Monday.
I do suffer with water retention. I horse ride and wear long boots which have a Velcro tab at the top, if I put them on at the beginning of the day if can fully cover the Velcro with the tab, if I put them on in the evening I can just about get the tab onto the Velcro. So at least an inch difference.
My fatigue is no where near as bad as it was when my ferritin was 3 but I still think im too tired for the energy I'm using. I haven't been to the gym in ages because after work I just want to go home.
Will update next week smile

clarella Mon 09-May-16 14:05:13

It's worth checking. They may ask a few qs/ consider some things too:

- have you had a baby recently / last few years?

- is it in the family?

- do you have other auto immune illnesses eg pernicious anaemia, diabetes, coeliac?

- are you perimenopausal?

These are all risk factors.

To warn you: it can take a long time to get properly diagnosed, in the early stages the thyroid results can waver a bit and there's a very grey area called subclinical hypothyroidism. This is when people do begin to suffer but the GPs often don't treat, may monitor etc. It can fluctuate up and down too, another reason they don't treat immediately. It can be very frustrating. Some patients find them selves battling and waiting for their results to hit the 'magic' numbers. It can be a very slow disease.

There are also very rare other issues that can cause it (linked to hypothalamus) which are sometimes not picked up by gps. This is when people start looking at other tests and referrals.

But that's a looooong way down the line!

Good luck at the gps.

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