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Interpreting thyroid results

(11 Posts)
IWillYeah Sat 07-Jun-14 18:03:52

I have been feeling shattered, achy, low mood and just generally grotty for months. Had a lot of tests at the doctors that all came back normal. Was gven iron tablets, although apparently my iron levels and ferritin (sp?) are OK.

Last lot of results was from a thyroid test. Doc's receptionist gave them to me over the phone, but said they were normal. Are they? She couldn't explain what they meant, just said 'all fine'.

Here they are:

13.6 t4
tsh 0.99

Thank you

jamtoast12 Sun 08-Jun-14 08:30:36

Your tsh is very good at 0.99 - I'm on thyroxine and struggle to get mine below 2.5 without everything else going out of range! What is your iron result? Mine dropped to 15 which is still considered normal but the range is something like 12-300 so if it had been 280 it would still have been normal but a huge difference!!, I was suffering hair loss (thyroid levels ok when on thyroxine) so went on iron tablets for 2 years (!!!) and it eventually got to 68 and I noticed a massive improvement. I still take a iron tablet every day (just a normal one not the higher dose ones) Tbh the only thing that really lifts my energy levels and mood is exercise and I find if I don't go the gym every other day then I feel sluggish.

FourForksAche Sun 08-Jun-14 08:37:29

is that T4 a bit high?

jamtoast12 Sun 08-Jun-14 08:42:03

There is not much point asking us or looking online really as the way the tests are done and the reference ranges used differ between hospitals. Online is says t4 is high above 11 ish but clearly it's a different test to my hospitals as here your T4 would be seen as on the low side - normal range for the t4 test here is 11 upto 22- mine is around 19 and considered a good level. Ask your gp for the reference ranges that will be included with those results so you can see exactly where you lie in those ranges

FourForksAche Sun 08-Jun-14 08:42:38

nope, ignore me, Dr Google wink says it's normal range.

Are you still feeling grotty?

IWillYeah Sun 08-Jun-14 10:16:04

Thanks all. I suppose I should just go back and discuss with my GP, but got myself confused with online advice, which seems to suggest the t4 result is only just within the range of normal.

I have to admit, I dont do any exercise at the moment. Really going to try to address that. I eat healthily, only a bit of booze, gave up smoking in January, so I'm trying!

I'm going to persist with the iron tablets. I didnt get the actual result from the doc, she just said it was normal but on the low side of normal. I've got high strength tablets, which turn my poo black (TMI, sorry!)....bit off putting.

jamtoast12 Sun 08-Jun-14 10:20:06

I agree about the iron tablets! I was prescribed 2 per day but only took one as I found they made me I'll. that's why I was on them so long as it takes ages to get the levels up on only one a day

RockinD Sun 08-Jun-14 10:28:26

Whether your results are OK or not will depend where they sit within the reference ranges, so you really need to quote these as well.

Using the ranges where I live, it looks as if the TSH is good, because the range is 0.35-6), but it is lower than most unmedicated people's results.

Where I live, the range for FT4 is 9-26, so 13.6 is within the range, but a lot lower than one would expect.

If your GP had also asked for FT3 to be checked, you would have a much better idea what is going on.

You also need to know the exact results of the iron tests. Being within range is not enough. They need to be optimal.

IWillYeah Sun 08-Jun-14 10:35:59

Thank you. To be honest, my GP is pretty useless. Just wants to get you out of there asap and doesnt listen. Thinking I might pay for a private health check. What tests should I be asking for?

Symptoms are:
- exhaustion (need an afternoon nap most days and sleep 10 hours a night or cant survive during the day)
- feeling generally lethargic and grotty, skin is grey
- thinning hair, kind of receding either side of my hairline
- achy, legs and back/shoulders feel really achy all the time. In the past, I've exercised, seen an osteopath and had massages, but doesnt help.

I'm diagnosed as bipolar type 2, so the GP tends to put these things down to my depression, but it feels physical. I have had my B12 tested on an annual basis since my last child was born 5 years ag, as my dad has pernicious anaemia, and it can run in families/develop in later life.

I sometimes question whether the depression is actually the result of something hormonal or some deficiency, hence why I am trying to investigate all possible causes.

I'm making myself out to sound like a right hypochondriac, sorry! Just feel that there may be something underlying. I also suffer from horrendous periods - not painful, but heavy, and awful mood. Have had smears, ultrasounds etc and all fine and I am not perimenopausal.


FourForksAche Sun 08-Jun-14 10:49:42

Get vitamin D checked. Your GP should refer you to an endochrinologist.

RockinD Sun 08-Jun-14 13:32:30

You wouldn't be the first person with a bipolar diagnosis whose MH symptoms were rooted in a physical cause.

Tests to get done are as follows:


Full iron panel
vitamin B12
Vitamin D

These are all available on the NHS, but increasingly GPs are reluctant, either because of cost or because they do not know how to interpret the results.

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