Thyroid UK
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Normal, Abnormal - My car get's an MOT, why not me?

Over the past few days I’ve been somewhat more pensive, reflecting on my person “pre-thyroid madness”. Like most of you I was vibrant and alive enjoying the joys of the world. Energy (compared to now) was boundless and I was just like any other 28 year old lass. So I’ve been thinking: ‘I wonder what my full thyroid panel was like then?’.

Is it possible that people who go through life and never have a thyroid issue (or any issue) could – if tested – have abnormal results? What if “pre-thyroid madness” my TSH was non-existent and T4/T3 were above the normal ranges BUT without being hyperactive. It would make the comparative decline dramatic even though blood tests have never truly show a severe case of hypothyroidism. The range is based on a population sample who have said they are fine so there must be truth to this. The range is frustrating in itself because it assumes that every person’s body, physiology, biochemistry is the same when it clearly IS NOT. For example when this population sample was taken let’s look at 2 “fine” people:

Person A has a T4 level of 13

Person B has a T4 level of 20

What if person B’s health starts to deteriorate. He pops along to his GP who promptly runs some blood tests. They have come back within the normal range and his T4 is now 13. Although a T4 level of 13 seems ok for Person A it has hugely impacted Person B’s wellbeing.

This is something we all know but what we don’t all know and most of us on this site are striving towards is a level of constant wellbeing, good health – the sacred sweet spot in your full thyroid panel. This is going to take us time; my journey is in it’s very early stages compared to some. But surely this is something the medical profession can help for future potential thyroid sufferers – in fact this goes for most health issues:


I believe that had we had a yearly MOT (like we must do with cars!) then there would be the data that we can now go back on and think – “Yip, that’s the level I felt well on, let me aim for that”. It’s a much better starting point and potentially end point. The GP’s couldn’t argue if your TSH was suppressed or T3 slightly high because for umpteen years previously it had been the case and there were no symptoms.

The point of the MOT is a yearly check-up and catch up with your GP when you are feeling well. I can see why this hasn’t been rolled out. You get one abnormal result back and change your life because of it even if the abnormal result is normal for you.

There’s nothing I can do now other than tinker and tweak my thyroid meds, ensure my vitamins and minerals are being looked after, eat well, play nicely and try and have fun. Although I can also inform my family and friends and make sure they get regular check-ups when everything is normal.


3 Replies

It's so easy to be wise after the event, but it really is something that should be done periodically through life even if you are well. Doctors might believe differently then.


Glad it's not just me who thinks like this. :) It's all relative, isn't it? I'm someone who's never had much energy, much get up and go, right from childhood. That's my normal state and has been for as long as I can remember. But until I started reading here, would I have said I was unwell? No, of course not. I would have said there's nothing wrong with me other than being a bit tired all the time. And I would've blamed that and being overweight on my inactivity levels and decided I was lazy rather than unhealthy.

So it stands to reason that the normal range was derived using results from people like me, doesn't it? (My latest

TSH was 2.71, by the way...)

I'm waiting for the day we get one of those Star Trek medical tricoder thingy-mees.


I once asked a GP if they ever did a kind of MOT-type service which, of course, they don't. I've been offered testing at a Well Woman clinic, the end result of that is that they would probably test my cholesterol (and offer medication if it was bad), panic about my ever-rising blood pressure, suggest some exercise and dish out healthy diet advice because of my weight, and ignore my heart palpitations, and other health issues. I am sure I'd get medication if I told them how depressed I was at the state of my health :)


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