Could my results indicate under active thyroid?


For the past few months, I have been feeling really exhausted (even after a good nights sleep) and sensitive to cold. My nutritionist said that my symptoms sound like an under active thyroid and asked me to carry out the Barnes Basal Temperature test. I carried out this test three mornings in a row and my temperature was below the normal range every morning. I tested under my tongue and under my armpit.

I also got a TSH and T4 Free blood test. My TSH was 2.33 and my T4 Free was 18.9. I was reading that if the TSH is over 2, this could indicate an under active thyroid but my doctor said that my results were normal.

I am a 26 year old male, quiet fit and have a really healthy diet. I don't smoke or drink much alcohol. I have had high levels of Candida for the past few months, over 90% of which is gone now after being on an anti-candida diet. Other than that, I have no major medical history. I have had a lot of other bloods test done recently such as cortisol levels, etc, and everything was fine.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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10 Replies

  • Hi, the TSH is, as the doctor says, in the 'normal' range, but who knows what is actually normal for you? It was not tested when you were well, was it! The T4 would be fairly low in some labs, but well within normal in others. Plus, you do not know what your free T3 is - this is the active hormone which, if low, can give rise to those symptoms.

    It would be good to know what lab ranges were quoted, because they do vary quite a lot.

    What I would say is that there are other deficiencies which can make you very tired and cold. Vitamin D, Vitamin 12, iron/folate/ferritin if deficient can all not only give symptoms of hypothyroidism but can also cause short-term hypothyroidism.

    It would be worth doing two things: First, try to get the actual ranges, and second, get those vitamins & minerals tested. It would enable you to have better advice and support.

    Marie XX

  • Hi Marie,

    Thanks for your reply. On my blood results, it says that the TSH normal range is 0.15-3.2 and the T4 Free normal range is 9.9-20.1. The bloods were taken when I was quiet unwell and my symptoms were present.

    I am currently taking a multi vitamin and an immune booster which is high is Vitamin D and the other vitamins that you mentioned but I will try and get those vitamins and minerals tested in case they are not being absorbed correctly.

    Many Thanks,


  • If we were in the USA, we would be treated with a TSH of 3. In the UK, GP's are told not to diagnose until the TSH is 10. If we are lucky, some GP's will prescribe over 5 taking into account the clinical symptoms. This is a quote from an archived site and you will find lots of information. Some of the links within may not be accessible.

    What our study shows is that the TSH level is not an accurate gauge of a patient’s metabolic rate. This finding is consistent with what we regularly see when we do metabolic evaluations for patients. We often find that a hypothyroid patient on T4-replacement—with an "in range" TSH level—has a metabolic rate that’s abnormally low. Often, the patient’s metabolic rate is severely low, sometimes as much as 50% below normal.

    For this all-to-common undertreated patient—who suffers from chronic hypothyroid symptoms—the TSH level is simply not an accurate gauge; that is, the TSH level fails to correctly tells us what thyroid hormone.

    This is from You can also email for a list of private doctors:-

  • Thanks, that's very interesting. I might ask my doctor to do all of the thyroid blood tests and that may give me a better picture.

    Do you know if the following Barnes Basal temperature test is accurate/reliable?

    I did this three mornings in a row and my temperature was 0.5 - 1.0 degrees Celsius below the normal range each morning.

    I also did an Adrenal stress profile using saliva samples and everything was normal there.

    I was going to start taking an iodine supplement and/or eating seaweed to see if it makes a difference. Thanks.

  • When you reply to a particular comment, you have to press the yellow Reply button otherwise the person isn't notified and be unaware you may require more info.

    With regard to the Barnes test it should also be used in conjunction with symptoms.

    I wouldn't take iodine/seaweed yet. This is a link to previous post.

  • Thanks for letting me know. I will hold off on the iodine and seaweed for now so. I am going to request all the thyroid blood tests off my doctor so hopefully that will give me a clearer picture.

  • Hello. If you have had an overload of candida for the past few months then this could well have caused you to have hypo symptoms as candida is well known to interfere with the absorption of the t3 active hormone at the cellular level and/or interfere with the conversion of t4 (reservoir of hormone) to t3 (active hormone). This is despite your levels showing an ok ish result which in theory is only an indication of your levels at that particular time (levels fluctuate throughout the day). Also, you need to have tests done (as a guide only) when you are well. Hopefully when your candida infection has been completely eliminated then you more than likely will regain your good health.

    Sorry, also meant to add - have you had a thyroid antibodies test done? This test sometimes is the only initial indication that you may be sub-clinically hypothyroid.

  • Thanks for your reply. That is interesting, I never knew that about Candida interfering with the thyroid hormones. My latest candida result shows that I have eliminated about 99% of it over the last few months so its puzzling why I still feel so exhausted, sometimes even more so that I did when I had a massive candida overgrowth.

    I have not had the thyroid anti bodies tested yet, only the TSH and T4, but I am going to request a full thyroid test and try and get all the different thyroid variables tested asap.

  • Hi bd1987.

    Just to add to the good reponses here, as others here have pointed out, the TSH test is not a perfect science.

    As Banjogirl has noted, your TSH test only indicates a result at a specific time of day and the TSH level fluctuates through the day. It is usual to have a higher TSH result in the morning and this is often lower by late afternoon. It is possible to be above range in the morning and within the range the GP works to by afternoon.

    I always have my TSH test taken as early as possible, as soon as the centre opens to try and have consistency and to get the most 'hypo' result. TSH levels with me do seem to be fairly text-book and do follow my well-being - but I don't have any other issues; vitamin/mineral dificiencies etc and I convert well from T4 to the active hormone. As others have said, this isn't always the case so the TSH looks 'normal, but the active hormone isn't. Your GP should be investigating further.

    Good luck.

  • Thanks for your reply. I have had a lot of blood tests lately but as far as I can remember, the TSH and T4 samples were taken early in the morning, around 9am. My GP said they were normal and did not investigate further. Although I do seem to have a lot of symptoms of hypothyroidism and my basal temperature is consistently below the normal ranges in the morning.

    I am going to ask to get all the thyroid blood tests done and hopefully that will shed some light. Thanks again.

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