Thyroid UK

test results

test done april2012. tsh 1.6 mu/L (0.2-60) serum vit B12 861 ng/L (180.0-910-0) serum folate level (42u5) 18.22 ng/ml (5.4-24.0) Then I had a blue horizon teI st done april 2013. tsh2.69 miu/L 0.27 -4.2 free thyroxine 14.5 pmol/L12.0-22.0 free t3 4.9 pmol/L 3.1 - 6.8 and then a couple of weeks ago my GP had a test done and said my TSH was 3. my question is I have made an appointment with my GP for tomorrow I have got private health care should I insist on a referal with these results or am I wasting their time. Any help would be really apprieciated .

9 Replies

It is clear from these results that there is something happening with your thyroid, because you are getting a gradual rise in the TSH which may not be much - in fact the variation could even be down to a variation in the time of day when the blood was taken - on the other hand it is a variation which seems to be steadily upwards. In addition, your T4 is low in the range and the T3 is not brilliant. When I had T4 and T3 at those levels I was feeling very ill too.

This suggests that although at the moment you may have what most of the medical profession would call 'subclinical' hypothyroidism there is no doubt that, coupled with your obvious signs such as raised cholesterol and puffy face, you are showing clinical signs of hypothyroidism. In the USA a TSH of 3 would give you the diagnosis.

Under those circumstances I would ask for a referral, and when you see your endo, make the point that there are different guidelines for different countries and mention the USA. Would you be able to see whoever you choose? If so, it may be worth emailing Louise Warvill for a list of endos to see, I'll ask her to give you the email address.

I do hope this will be the right way to go for you.

Marie XX


As acceptable standards of test results appear to vary from country to country, UK appearing to have amongst the lowest, does anyone have a list of the different international standards?

You say a TSH of 3 in the US would give a diagnosis but that appears to be acceptable here in the UK. Also I remember reading somewhere that the lower end of the range which is considered acceptable for B12 in the UK would be deficient in Japan.

Where can you see all these differing standards?

Liz x


I think Japan uses a completely different scale, so numbers are not comparable. I have seen acceptable TSH limits for other countries somewhere but can't remember where I'm afraid. Xx


Yes, 500 on the Japan scale (which is the bottom of their healthy range for B12) is about 405 on our scale. Our range for B12 is far too low!

Although the reference ranges for TSH in the US may be slightly different, they are fairly comparable. The same cannot be said for T4 and T3 though. They vary wildly even within the UK.

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thanks for your help Marie I dont have a choice in who I see as the insurance company choose the hospital I have asked my GP several times about thyroid but they always look at me as if they dont know why I am asking the question it really does put me off going again plus some of my symptoms seem to cross between hypo and hyper eg at the moment I am sweating from head and chest all the time plus I have a bloated stomach which makes me look pregnant. A lot of my other symtoms seem to come and go eg stiff knees, sore feet, my cholesterol went down with medication would this happen if I were hypo


When you say your cholesterol went down with medication - do you mean statins? Statins can worsen the pain and tiredness of Hypo but they WILL lower your cholesterol. Unfortunately they will not address the root cause of the high cholesterol which can be hypothyroidism. They also rob your body of COQ10 which can in turn cause heart problems.

Untreated hypothyroidism is a strong contraindication for statins, because they will amplify the problems tenfold. I know, because I was on them when I was under-treated and they made me bedridden eventually. I just refused to take them when I had done some research.


Thanks CB, I've never managed to find anything like that for other countries from what I have read on here it sometimes looks as if the UK accepts results that would be considered too low in other countries. Wonder if it a sneaky ploy to save money?

Liz :-)


Quite possibly as in this country a diagnosis of hypothyroidism means lifelong free prescriptions for you


Exactly. It would almost be better to scrap the free prescription and just tell you what was actually wrong with you. Difficult one though isn't it.


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