Thyroid UK
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UK versus US standards

Hi Everyone,

Diagnosed with Hashimoto's in April with an TSH level of 8 and an antibody test of 2743.5. Does anyone know if the test measurement standards are the same in the UK as they are in the US? For example, in the US, "normal" TSH is considered anything lower than 2. Came on this board due to complete lack of confidence in the US in general and our "medical" system in particular. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!

5 Replies

TSH test reference ranges vary between labs and the testing techniques/suppliers. There seems to be as much variation within the USA as between the USA and the UK!

The UK tends to be very unwilling to treat at lower TSH results - often (wrongly) doctors seem to claim they somehow cannot treat at a lower TSH than 10. Certainly some guidelines seem to suggest this but individual doctors have to make their minds up about individual patients.

Be very careful about thyroid hormone tests - some do vary between USA and UK because we use different units.

Antibody tests vary dramatically in terms of numbers. About all you can say in most cases is that the test was negative, positive or, possibly, in the uncertain/maybe questionable area.


in the uk they often will not even treat underactive thyroid until tsh is over 10 by which

time many patients will be very very seriously ill

some doctors will treat hashimotos when tsh is over 5 others will treat when tsh is 3,5

it all depends on how clued up they are on thyroid disease


Wow. Thanks for the responses. That is shocking to hear about the UK. I was so sick with a test of almost 8 that I had to throw a fit to get a diagnosis. My Endo said that my antibody tests were incredibly high. For people who are testing above 3 and have confirmed Hashimoto's, do the docs then prescribe? I think I would have died had I not had treatment when I did.


Many people do not even get diagnosed with Hashimoto's unless their doctor has already accepted that they need treatment - usually by having significantly raised TSH. Indeed, many people simply do not get either an antibody test or an ultrasound even when they are on levothyroxine. Attitude seems to be that the treatment is the same so what is the point?

By the way, if you click on Reply to this your response will be indented and the person you are replying to will usually get an alert email. That helps to keep people aware of your responses. :-)



Just wait till the USA gets Obama care will rule not patients

in the USA you can get armour thyroid here its be rich enough to import it or die on lousy synthyroid


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