Thyroid test results - how to read

(24 Posts)
Bluesheep8 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:44:43

Hello, I've just had my thyroid tested and called to ask for the results. I'm told the result is "satisfactory". I was also told this when it was tested a year ago. I've told the surgery that I want a copy of the results. Does anyone know how to read them/What I should be looking for? Tia

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NeurotrashWarrior Thu 20-Feb-20 12:27:27

Yep, tsh should be really under 2.5 but ranges will state around 4.

Do you have symptoms?

NeurotrashWarrior Thu 20-Feb-20 12:28:20

You can ask for the results to be read over the phone I always do but it might be because they know me!

NeurotrashWarrior Thu 20-Feb-20 12:30:39

Ideally, if really healthy, tsh would be around 1 and t4 if tested, upper tef range eg 18.

They may not test the t4 unless it's over 4.

Tsh can fluctuate during the day though it's worth nothing, as can t4.

Bluesheep8 Thu 20-Feb-20 13:10:43

Symptoms are:
Inability to lose weight despite upping exercise and eating carefully
Aches and pains
Increased fatigue...Although I have got MS so some could be that.

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Bluesheep8 Thu 20-Feb-20 13:32:15

Thanks for advice so far, I'm due to collect a copy of results this evening.

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NeurotrashWarrior Thu 20-Feb-20 14:25:48

Do you know if they tested antibodies? Auto immune issues often go hand in hand.

Did you get any other blood tests?


psychedelephant Thu 20-Feb-20 14:41:27

OP probably lab ranges will be there but make sure they are, makes it easier to know what you're looking at. They may only test tsh but as Neuro says antibodies are helpful, esp if you're 'borderline'.

Bluesheep8 Thu 20-Feb-20 15:07:49

I was just told they were testing thyroid. To be honest, they've been awful at dealing with MS or exploring any links to it. I was told the day I registered that MS wasn't something they could deal with as it needed to be handled by a specialist neurologist. Which was nice.

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psychedelephant Thu 20-Feb-20 16:22:54

Lol well at least you know to lower your expectations. Have they referred you to a neurologist?

Bluesheep8 Thu 20-Feb-20 17:10:32

Luckily I see a neurologist once a year and this was in place long before I relocated and joined thus practice. I was diagnosed 21 years ago

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SinkGirl Thu 20-Feb-20 17:18:06

TSH normal range is typically around 0.3 - 5.5

Above 4 can be considered “subclinical hypothyroidism” and NICE guidelines say they can trial treatment.

Technically they don’t consider it hypothyroidism in this country until TSH is over 10. In other countries they’ll treat over 2.5 or 3

Other levels such as FT4, FT3 should ideally be in the top quartile of the normal range but if it’s in the normal range you’ll be told it’s fine.

My thyroid levels are all over the shop and I have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. I’ve done numerous private tests where TSH ranges from 3.7 - 3.95 with one being 5.95. Every time the GP tests it it’s below 1.5, even testing first thing in the morning. It’s bizarre.

LittleCandle Thu 20-Feb-20 17:27:19

GPs are shit at thyroid. Some labs work on out of date guidelines and then tell you you are over medicated when actually you are in the middle of the range. Some endocrinologists are quite good, but most of them are shit too, and if you have another 'condition', then everything is blamed on that. Currently everything is blamed on the menopause for me, and when I went recently for bloods for something else, they insisted on taking blood for thyroid too, despite me telling them I had taken my drugs already that morning, so would get a false reading. I haven't bothered to phone for the results, as it was a complete waste of my time and NHS resources.

OP, you will get good advice on Thyroid UK and always ask for a print out of your results. You are legally entitled to it even though some receptionists don't know that.

NeurotrashWarrior Thu 20-Feb-20 17:31:50

Oh a point that I've recently learnt is to make sure you're not taking any vitamins containing biotin around 3 days - a week before a test. It actually affects many tests but definitely can affect all the results for thyroid. This is only if the lab use a particular assay but it's impossible to know if they do or not.

Very interestingly the lab my Gp uses has started to flag anything over 3 as out of range, unless that was because I'm on thyroxine.

NeurotrashWarrior Thu 20-Feb-20 17:32:38

Op it might be time to get a different Gp by the sounds of it. That's shocking care.

NeurotrashWarrior Thu 20-Feb-20 17:34:11

Biotin can give a false high t4 and low tsh reading which means poor function can be missed.

They discovered it through patients who were scoring for hyperthyroidism but actually weren't.

psychedelephant Thu 20-Feb-20 17:47:36

Sink you're probably aware but sometimes elevated ABs + tsh can prompt a trial of thyroxine. Have your antibodies been tested?

Bluesheep8 Fri 21-Feb-20 05:40:13

Thanks all. Unfortunately I can't change gp due to geographical area. Or so I was told when I moved here. In honesty I was upset and horrified by what was said to me about having MS but that's a whole other story. Thyroid results:

Serum TSH level - 2.1
Serum TSH level - 2.3

This is listed twice for some reason. Turns out lots more tests were done, cell counts, haemoglobin etc, which I was unaware of.

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Bluesheep8 Fri 21-Feb-20 06:22:06

Ok so it turns out that when I went in to the surgery to ask for a print out of results, I was asked if I wanted "all of them" from the date of the blood test (last week) "Well, yes" said I, thinking that they must've tested more than just thyroid and wondering why I wasn't aware of this.... So I've got a list of tests, including thyroid but have just checked and most of the results including the first thyroid one are from last year (?!) Apart from the final thyroid one. So last year it was 2.1 and this year 2.3.

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NeurotrashWarrior Fri 21-Feb-20 07:08:44

That's not actually bad and remember that tsh varies during the day. What time of day was it done?

Do you have vit d, ferritin and b12 tests?

Bluesheep8 Fri 21-Feb-20 07:41:36

Late afternoon both times. No, I don't have the other tests you mention. Although vit D has been tested before. Was v low twice and treated. After the last treatment (3 yrs ago) I was told by gp to take a vit D supplement. Hasn't been tested since and I've certainly not had the other tests you mention.

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NeurotrashWarrior Fri 21-Feb-20 09:16:06

Tsh is usually higher in the morning. Also sometimes in winter. Next time try to book a test as early as possible. It's possible it's borderline. Ideally antibodies should be tested - have these been done?

In the mean time, ferritin (iron) iodine and selenium are all really supportive thyroid minerals.

I think Floridax has them in or eat one Brazil nut a day and lots of dairy and white fish, mussels. Rare steaks, and with orange juice.

Only issue can be that calcium can block iron absorption so take / eat a good hour or so apart.

Don't take iodine supplements or seaweed as too much can cause issues. The rda is fine in a normal vitamin if you choose to take one but don't have a thyroid test within 4-7 days of any vitamins containing biotin, as it can affect results.

Some of your symptoms could be low ferritin, vit 12 or vit d, it's hard to tell. Plus your MS too; it must be hard flowers

NeurotrashWarrior Fri 21-Feb-20 09:21:49

I'd ask for vit d test again actually. Your gps sound a bit clueless.

Magnesium can work wonders for aching muscles; especially as an Epsom salt bath. I buy food grade big bags off amazon and put in several cups. Once a week or fortnight. (Flotation tanks are pure magnesium!) it also helps vit d some how.

You can get 5000ui (iu?) sprays from Holland and barret or a 3000 one with additional vit k which helps bones assimilate the vit d and calcium.

Are you a member of any ms groups or on health unlocked? I think they could be supportive.

Bluesheep8 Fri 21-Feb-20 10:56:00

Thanks again for replies and to neurotrash for your helpful suggestions, all of which I will look into. My gp practice is not just clueless, it's downright dismissive. The only support I have is an annual neurologist appointment. Apart from that i am totally alone. As I said, I was diagnosed with MS 21 years ago. My previous practice were great tbh, I didn't realise that having a gp who was capable of treating the whole person was such a rare thing.

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