Thyroid stimulating hormone

I am 54. I had two doses of radioactive iodine back in the early 90s. I was told that I would return to feeling my 'normal' self when my thyroid levels were stabilized. I haven't felt well since. My Dr tells me that my TSH is not functioning correctly, however she hasn't given me any help. She has lowered my thyrozine but the tsh is still not right. I'm tired all the time. My skin is dry, itchy and will split. Sex drive is nearly non existent. Emotional I'm a wreck and am very tearful. Can anyone advise me on what to do next. I've been to see 4 drs so far and no help or answers from any of them.

15 Replies

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  • Your symptoms suggest you are under medicated. Can you post your thyroid function results ie TSH, FT4 and FT3 (if tested) with the laboratory reference ranges and tell us what dose of medication you are taking. Hopefully we'll be able to help you.

  • I'll try again to get my results and get back to you. Thank you for responding

  • Hello. GP tells me that my tsh is 0.07. 3t4 is 17. Thats what it was in December. Had anothe blood test thursday. Waiting on those results. Before I had the radioactive iodine t count was 438. Notsure what all this means

  • Hi Jane,

    TSH is produced by the pituitary gland to nudge the thyroid to produce the inactive storage hormone FT4. FT4 is converted in the liver to produce the active hormone FT3. High TSH means the thyroid is struggling ie underactive (hypothyroidism). Low TSH (without thyroxine) indicates over active thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

    Your TSH is low, but isn't suppressed. Ideally FT4 would be in the top 75% of range. Please make sure you get the lab ref ranges on your next results.

    You don't look to be under medicated but you may not be converting FT4 to FT3 well as evidenced by your ongoing symptoms. Your GP could request a FT3 test or could prescribe T3 in addition to Levothyroxine.

    There is evidence showing that thyroidless patients don't always do well on T4 monotherapy and need the addition of T3 to feel well. I self medicated with T3 after 18 months of feeling poisoned on T4 until I was mostly bedridden. Happily, seeing my improved health my endo agreed to prescribe T3 in addition to T4 and I'm now recovering. PM me if you need a link to an online source.

  • Thank you. Awaiting on the results of the blood test last thursday 15 may

  • Latest blood test. T4 17 tsh 0.05. No T3 result. I'm on 200mg daily. I do not understand these results

  • Jane,

    The results of your TSH and FT4 are usually followed by the ranges in brackets ie TSH 0.05 (0.4-5.0). The figures in brackets are the lab ref ranges. Can you post them please.

  • You need to post your latest blood results on here, it's impossible to know whats going on without them. Sounds like you may be on the wrong dose.

  • Hang on JaneBarrie, you say your TSH isn't functioning properly, and your doctor has reduced your medication? Is your TSH high or low? The symptoms you describe are more than likely you are under medicated. The higher your TSH the more medication you need.

    Are your ferritin, iron, vit b12, folate & vit d levels OK? If you're not sure they should be tested. Something else that should be tested is your adrenal function, as this all has been going on a very long time.

    It's such a shame we don't get treated by symptoms, not wretched numbers.

    Another thought, if you're on levothyroxine you may not be converting the T4 in it to T3 that you body needs. This low T3 is indicated in depression.

  • Latest blood test. T4 17 tsh 0.05. They didnt do a T3 which I don't understand. Dr says no change in medication need. I'm no 200mg daily

  • Hi JaneBarrie, some labs automatically do a FT3 if the TSH is out of range, which yours seems to be. Depending on lab ranges the FT4 can go up to 22. I can't help wondering if you'd be better off with NDT. At least that provides all the thyroid hormones we need. You have no idea if you're converting T4 to T3 without this result.

    All I can say is I was on Levothyroxine at 200mcg and I never felt or saw any improvements. I couldn't get NDT from a doctor so I'm now self medicating. But that is a big responsibility.

  • Ask your Drs surgery for a print out of ur Tsh blood tests. They told me to decrease my meds and sent me severely Hypo! After research and questioning my results, they apologised and agreed they should of told me to increase my meds. Bit too late as I've been struggling to get back on track! My advise is to check ur results on here, as very little Drs understand Thyroid levels anyway! Good Luck x

  • If you are going to ask for blood test results it would be useful to know you blood test results just before you had the radioiodine as well.

  • You are definitely UNDER medicated, ignore TSH it means very little, in fact none of the blood tests will test what is actually being absorbed / working, go by HOW YOU FEEL and MAKE your doctor listen to you, sorry I know its a pain but its the only way!!

  • Hi. Been to the Drs today. I'm told my tsh is depressed, test results are 0.07. My 3T4 was 17. This was back in december 2013. I have no idea what these results or figures mean. I asked about seeing a specialist and she wants me to have another blood test before deciding if I'll need to see the specialist. My T count before the radioactiveiodine was 438, which is why I had the iodine. I'm on 100mg a day

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