Is this a significant fluctuation in TSH and FT4 levels over a 4-month period?

Hi everyone,

I posted my last thyroid results when I had them done 4 months ago. My TSH was 1.89 then and my FT4 17.1. That was when I had just begun to feel ill and since then I've gradually felt worse but assumed it was not thyroid-related as my GP told me it wasn't possible and not worth investigating further.

Anyway, recently I've been feeling quite horrendous and having new symptoms cropping up so I went to a different GP at my local practice and he sent me for thyroid tests. My TSH is now 1.53 and my FT4 13.0. Is it just me or does the FT4 seem quite a significant fluctuation since my last results? I thought people who had no thyroid problems only saw a nominal fluctuation in their results. It is also worth pointing out my most recent results were done in the morning and the older ones the afternoon.

Sorry, I don't have the ranges as I got the results over the phone and the receptionist seemed busy so I didn't ask. Yet again my results were categorised as "normal". Would you say the fluctuation alone and my worsening symptoms since the first tests warrants more tests/an endo referral?

5 Replies

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  • I forgot to add, one of the symptoms I've had other than the usual fatigue, dry skin/hair, mouth ulcers, visual problems etc. is unexplained weight loss in the last few months (I've dropped two dress sizes) and I'm at the typical onset age for Graves' but a low FT4 would suggest hypothyroidism not hyperthyroidism? Sorry if this is a silly question but I thought I'd ask as most of you seem to know what you're talking about having experienced thyroid disease and talk more sense than a lot of GPs.

  • Have you had a test for antibodies, TPO?

  • No, both times my GPs have just checked the basic thyroid profile (TSH & FT4). Do the NHS routinely test antibodies? I believe I read on this board that even if GPs agree to test those the labs often refuse so I guess I might have to wait to sort those out myself.

  • Have you got the ranges for your results? The t4 does look like it took a dive but they won't recognise it unless/until it goes under the range. And as crimple says an antibody test might help (so you'd know if your thyroid is actively under attack in which case the assumption would be that you'd eventually need meds). A private test with antibodies, t3 and t4 might shed some light on what's going on but your gp might not pay attention to the results.

  • I should have asked about the ranges but they seemed busy, I will next time I have an appointment. I assume the same lab was used both times.

    Why would a GP not take private test results into account, is that commonplace? They won't do more comprehensive tests on the NHS but also won't review the results when you have no choice but to get them done privately?! I know the healthcare system in this country has a lot of red tape but that is just ludicrous.

    My current GP at least seems to be taking my various symptoms seriously so hopefully he will continue to investigate. I'm sick of feeling sick all the time and if my thyroid is to blame I just want to start the necessary treatment ASAP.

    Thank you both for your responses, I genuinely appreciate it. As I said, I'm new to interpreting thyroid tests but the FT4 diving from 17.1 to 13.0 in a few months along with my worsening symptoms is worrying and I feel there must be a correlation. I read on the ThyroidUK site when the thyroid is struggling FT4 levels drop.

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