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Borderline thyroid problems.

(42 Posts)
SaltyMyDear Sat 25-Feb-17 20:50:32

In Nov I got bloods done on you guys recommendation.

Dr said they were fine but she wanted to repeat in May.

I googled 'tired after eating' and realised I have an underactive thyroid. My symptoms are:
- tiredness. Particularly after eating.
- weight gain
- depression
- mood swings
- tingling in hands

So I requested my blood results from Nov and they say my thyroid is borderline. T4 is 7.2 and it should be between 7.5 - 15

Why is 7.2 borderline and not an underactive thyroid?

Am I in some kind of pre underactive thyroid state?

And if I act now with diet and vitamins can I stop it turning into full blown problem?

My mum has lupus. So I would think I'm more likely to get this.......

EggysMom Sat 25-Feb-17 20:55:19

Do you know what your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) figure was? That will indicate how hard your body is telling your thyroid to work to get the T4 figure ...

I've been for testing since last Spring and, at Christmas, my TSH level went sufficiently high for my GP to be concerned (despite "normal" T4 levels). I'm officially diagnosed borderline hypothyroidic, and started thyroxine pills at new year. They are working, I feel far less tired and no brain fog.

Check your symptoms against this long list: www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_the_thyroid/hypothyroidism_signs_symptoms.html

There is a good discussion forum at: healthunlocked.com/thyroiduk and also on FB, look for the group "Thyroid Family: Hypothyroidism Advice & Support Group".

SaltyMyDear Sat 25-Feb-17 20:58:48

TSH was 1.97

SaltyMyDear Sat 25-Feb-17 21:01:46

I have lots of those symptoms......

Unicorn81 Sat 25-Feb-17 21:06:31

I had lots of symtoms including massive weight gain in a few months. I was also borderline but they gave me 25mg thyroxine to start. That was 2.5yrs ago and up to 125mg with my levels still all over the place. From what ive read you need to push your gp to treat your symptoms. Dont give up, everyone is different so not everyone falls into normal stats, my gp agreed with that too

imadeamistake123 Sat 25-Feb-17 21:17:34

You need your TSH, FT4 and FT3 checked and ferritin (stored iron) checked. You should also have your antibodies checked for Hashimotos (autoimmune thyroid disorder).
Some people (like me!) Can be borderline for FT4 but not convert to FT3 and until corrected, will not get well.

SaltyMyDear Sat 25-Feb-17 21:21:20

I don't want to push my gp to diagnose and treat me if I'm still in a 'pre' state and it can be treated by diet (for example going gluten free) and vitamins / exercise.

I want to try that for a couple of months first.

Was wanting to know if that's possible.......

SaltyMyDear Sat 25-Feb-17 21:23:50

Given that Mum has lupus, I'm sure this will be Hashimotos.

TSH 1.97
Free T4 7.2

T3 wasn't tested.
Ferritin wasn't tested.

imadeamistake123 Sat 25-Feb-17 22:39:25

There is evidence to suggest that supporting the thyroid (when you are borderline) as soon as you become symptomatic helps maintain better long-term thyroid health. I have a good GP so I've been fortunate to get early treatment!
Other life-style changes as you mention are worthwhile but it all comes down to whether you feel 'optimally' well.

imadeamistake123 Sat 25-Feb-17 22:41:13

And the tingling in hands could be B12 related. Hashimotos sufferers often have low B12.

SaltyMyDear Sat 25-Feb-17 22:50:49

B12 was surprisingly fine. Tingling in hands is just when I wake up. Not immediately like I've slept on it, but soon after. It's quite weird, has come on in the last few months, and is not like normal pins and needles.

How can treatment maintain thyroid health? I thought the treatment was synthetic thyroid replacement which destroyed your natural thyroid production. Have I got that wrong?

imadeamistake123 Sat 25-Feb-17 23:02:10

I'm not an expert so I'd suggest you look up thyroid UK website, but from i understand, Hashimotos attacks the thyroid and so your thyroid struggles is damaged/depleted. Then your TSH will rise as it struggles more. At this point you're likely to have a more damaged thyroid and will need a higher dose of levothroxine to maintain levels of FT4. Some people also need ft3 treatment but that's a whole other story! It's a real learning curve and I only know what I've needed to learn to advocate for myself.
All I would say is that there's no benefit in battling on when there is treatment to replace the hormones your body is unable to produce.

Bleu2 Sat 25-Feb-17 23:57:01

Tingling hands sounds like carpal tunnel type symptoms-extremely common with hypothyroidism.
Did you have your thyroid function bloods taken first thing in the morning? It's crucial to do this-as TSH follows a 24 hour circadian rthym-highest in the early hours and then falling throughout the day again, creeping upwards again after midnight etc.
I'm not convinced it's possible to prevent autoimmune hypothyroidism just by vitamin/mineral/dietary interventions alone. In my experience it'll just deteriorate to a point where hormone replacement is inevitable; but at this point supporting vitamin/diet etc alongside T3/T4 replacement does seem to help manage the condition better.

SaltyMyDear Sun 26-Feb-17 00:01:20

Blood test was a fasting test. But think it was taken around 11:30. So not that early.

So, you think my TSH would have been higher if they'd done the bloods earlier? And that would strengthen the diagnosis?

imadeamistake123 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:33:45

Yes TSH is higher later in the morning. Remember it's how you feel though. Even with a TSH of 1, you wouldn't feel well if your FT3 was under range. It's how you feel that matters. Don't be mislead by blood tests alone, especially as they often don't do the critical FT3 test!

SaltyMyDear Sun 26-Feb-17 10:38:18

The only really concerning symptom is how tired I am. Often I need a nap in the afternoon which is annoying.

They didn't test FT3 only FT4 (which was under range)

I'll keep an eye on myself smile

Bleu2 Sun 26-Feb-17 11:16:05

Yes re 11.30 am being too late for TFT.

7.30am next time if you're lucky enough to live near a phlebotomy department that opens that early; otherwise 9am will have to do!

They never test T3. I take T3 only & believe it or not, despite my GP always requesting T3 on the blood form, the lab refuses to anything other than T4 & TSH ......confused!

imadeamistake123 Sun 26-Feb-17 11:49:20

If your ft4 is under range you have good cause to request ft3 tested. Iron and ferritin causes fatigue so ask for your results. If they are near the bottom of range, they are far from optimum! I very much doubt your ft3 is in range of your ft4 is below range! Sadly, quality of care for thyroid issues tends to be poor unless you advocate for yourself and monitor your test results.

ExplodedCloud Sun 26-Feb-17 12:07:32

Can I come and lurk here too? I have had hypothyroid symptoms to a greater or lesser degree for years. I now have tingling in one hand and both feet. My GP is adamant that this is nothing to do with thyroid. I posted recently that my TSH had gone from a steady 1.5 to 3.2 but was told that wasn't important. He did agree to retest and it was 2.8. I am gluten free and have UC too.
My tingling extremities are being referred to musculoskeletal and neurology. Pointlessly imo.
I am waiting on the thyroid antibodies result. My ferritin and B12 are good and I'm not menopausal.
Will private doctors consider me for thyroid treatment?

SaltyMyDear Sun 26-Feb-17 12:15:34

Exploded - hi.

Did going gluten free help at all?

ExplodedCloud Sun 26-Feb-17 12:19:58

Yes it did. Hugely. It may have been because of my colitis but it was like a fog lifting. It's been over a decade since I did it.

SaltyMyDear Sun 26-Feb-17 12:21:50

That's really good to know.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment.

Spoke to my Mum and she said there's a huge family history of thyroid problems!

ExplodedCloud Sun 26-Feb-17 12:31:06

I did feel a difference within a week so it would be easy to try.
After going gf I had a good patch for a few years. After my last dc my periods went haywire and I had an ablation because my iron was through the floor and I felt terrible. Bounced back and then down again. Thought it might be menopause but bloods said no. And I'm still tired but the tingling is a new thing.
This is ruining our lives but I'm written off as fat, forty and tired.

Pleasemrstweedie Sun 26-Feb-17 15:20:31

With a TSH under 2, but FT4 under range, you would be better off reading up on secondary hypothyroidism and asking your GP to follow the NICE guidelines and refer you to an endocrinologist.

Your symptoms are coming from your low levels of Thyroid hormones, irrespective if the fact that your TSH is well within the reference range.

Pleasemrstweedie Sun 26-Feb-17 15:25:19

http://bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice/monograph/1121.html

https://cks.nice.org.uk/hypothyroidism#!scenario:2

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