Thyroid results but no ranges given! Is there a standard range available?

Sigh, so I got my results ( I have no diagnosis of hypothyroid but just a lot of symptoms including muscle/joint pain, fatigue & weight gain).

The thyroid appears normal as there are no flags but I was also NOT given ranges!

TSH - 2.31 mU/L

Free T4 -16.3 pmol/L

Free T3 - 4.8 pmol/L

Other tests

Prolactin - 190 mU/L

IGF-1 - 37.2 nmol/L

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate - 20 mm/h (high)

So I guess I am barking up the wrong tree with testing for thyroid issues?


I can't find the ranges BUT I have found a test I had done last year with ranges (may be the same?)

TSH 2.96 mIU/L 0.27 - 4.2

T4 101 nmol/L 59 - 154

Free T4 16.8 pmol/l 12.0 - 22.0

Free T3 5.0 pmol/L 3.1 - 6.8

12 Replies

  • No, there are no 'standard ranges'. The only range that's applicable to your test results is that of the lab that did the test.

    That said, if your results came from my local lab, I would say that they do not indicate a thyroid issue... at the moment. It doesn't mean you can definitively rule out thyroid as the cause of your problems though, as often symptoms manifest long before test results show the evidence.

    I would suggest that if you've not found another cause, and still have symptoms in say six months time, it would be worth testing again and comparing with these results to see if there's any obvious change.

  • Equally, where I am in the West Midlands, those results would seem to indicate a thyroid issue as the TSH is raised and both the FT4 and FT3 are in the bottom half of the range, ie too low. I would also be concerned about the IGF-1, which is above our lab range by a noticeable amount.

    Can you go back and ask for the ranges and go from there?


  • Are you saying that a GP in your area would prescribe thyroid medication with these results? If so, I'm very surprised! Experience here on the forum shows that most GPs would not treat until TSH is above range at the very least, and often FT4 / FT3 results also need to be rock bottom or below before treatment is offered.

  • Mine haven't yet treated despite being outside the ranges on both T4 and TSH (below (10.4) and above (4.9) respectively). I don't how 'ill' I'm supposed to feel before they treat but right now I couldn't work one day a week (good job I'm a full time carer for my son at home and can rest) let alone hold down a job.

  • That is awful, and sadly not that uncommon :(

    What time of day was the blood drawn for that test?

  • It was afternoon, around 4pm I think.

  • Don't take no for an answer from your GP. There is no good reason for you to be denied treatment when your test results are outside the range. Go back and insist on being tested again, and if necessary, see a different GP for a second opinion. :)

    And for the next test, try to get the blood drawn as early as possible in the morning. TSH is not something that stays stable but naturally changes throughout the day, The early hours of the morning is when it is usually at it's highest. So, if you can get it done then, there's a good chance it may come back higher than when taken in the afternoon.

  • >both the FT4 and FT3 are in the bottom half of the range, ie too low.

    The thing is, approximately 50% of the general population will have results in the lower half of the reference range - this cannot be said to represent thyroid disease. Similarly, approx. 50% of the population will have results in the upper half of the reference range.

    In this case, fT3 and fT4 were both almost exactly in the centre of the reference range.

  • I will have to go back and get some ranges I think

  • The ESR is interesting, because that indicates some form of inflammation in your body, but not necessarily independent of any thyroid issues. With low thyroid, inflammation can be a problem because hypothyroid people are prone to infection and joint inflammation, plantar fasciits (pain in heels) and so on, all of which would show as a raised ESR.

    Without the ranges it is hard to comment on the thyroid function tests, which is a shame, because I suspect that there could be some possibility that the TSH, while it might be in the normal range, might not be normal for you. The T3, too, would look low on most of the ranges I have seen. They do vary, but not by a huge amount. It would be odd if they did vary by a huge amount, one might ask whose results they were using for their ranges!

    Unfortunately it IS just speculation without the ranges from the particular lab. In days gone by (not too long ago, says the old codger! It is in my lifetime) they would have given you some thyroid meds, just to see how you get on! Sadly, those days have gone.

    In the meanwhile, perhaps you could make the best of what you have by optimising your vitamins and minerals? If you look at the information here:

    There are two articles on the page and on each there is an option to download the whole article. Even those who have a hypothyroid diagnosis find that they can feel better by following some of this advice.

    You could do your best in the meanwhile and see what happens when you go back next.

    I do hope that this can help you a little.

    Marie XX

  • bump, can't get the ranges but posted up an old test with ranges (may be the same?) see first post.

  • The ranges you have posted are the same as my lab and seem to be fairly common. To be honest your results look ok to me - I had similar results in a test last week (not TSH - mine is suppressed) and personally feel ok at this level, although you may be different. Sorry I can be of more help. Xx

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