Thyroid UK
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Help Interpreting Test Results

I had my second set of test results back today. The verdict from the doctor was 'Inconclusive, let's test again in three months time and see how it is...'

My results are:

TEST 1 (from a general Blood Test):

- Serum Free T4 Level: 20.2 pmol/L [12.0 - 22.0]

- Serum TSH Level: 6.24 mu/L [0.27 - 4.2]

TEST2 (Thyroid Antibodies):

- Thyroid Peroxidase antibody level (XaDvU):

6 iu/mL [< 49.0]

<50 iu/mL = Negative

Repeat testing not indicated

What the hell do the second set of results mean? This measurement looks different to samples I can find online.

Should I push for more detailed tests, or accept the doc's plan?

5 Replies

You should be on levo with a TSH reading of 6. Ask for a trial or change doctor or see previous post


The second set of tests are looking to see if you have an autoimmune disease in which your body system attacks the thyroid. It appears OK and not the cause of your slightly high TSH which is making you feel unwell. You need T3 and rT3 (reverse T3) testing to see if you are converting T4 to T3. Some of us have problem converting T4 (the storage form of the hormone that instructs the making of energy in your body's cells) to T3 (the active form of hormone that does the work). If the conversion is going wrong, it can turn some of the T4 to rT3 instead or normal T3. The problem with that is that rT3 can't get into the cells but blocks access to the cells for normal T3. The result is that your body can't create the energy it needs and you feel unwell (foggy brain, very lethargic etc). Ask for testing of T3 and rT3 when next tested. By the way, many of us need TSH under 1.0 to feel well!


Maybe a good idea to have the following tested as well - B12 - Ferritin - Folate - Iron - VitD. If these are low in range - in particular the B12 - it can mimic being Hypo. All results need to be high in range and the Ferritin around 80 for you to feel really well. Also involved in the function of the conversion of T4 into T3....


CutAdrift, although, your T4 is brilliant, your TSH is high, which suggests that you are not converting T4 to T3 correctly. All you need to check that is an FT3 test. I'm willing to bet it will be low, despite the high T4, and it is the TSH that is indicating that. If your doctor doesn't know that, then he should be struck off!

Then, once you've found out that you're not converting properly, you should find out why. And to do that you need vit and min testing - especially iron/ferritin, B12 and selenium - but as many as you can get!

So, the answer to your question is 'yes', push for more tests: FT3, vits, mins. And in a years time you want more antibody testing - Anti peroxidase and thyroglobulin - because you cannot discount Hashi's just on one negative test. The levels fluctuate, and you might just have had that test on their day off!

Hugs, Grey


Thank you SO much for these replies! I was a little confused about the relationship between some of these different hormones (if that's the right term?)

Quite frankly, I don't think the GP's have a great deal of specialist knowledge - I asked my GP about my T3 levels and his response was 'T3 is very difficult to test accurately, so we don't typically do it'. Is that correct? I was told the same thing about testosterone when I first started trying to understand the root of these symptoms.

The description given by 'T3sortedme' sounds very plausible - it might explain the results AND why I am ridiculously tired after 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12+ hours of sleep (tried them all...) Would that inability to convert T4 to T3 cause TSH to rise and attempt to create more to push it through?

I am also curious as to what else could cause TSH to be high. I've read some info about links between depression and temporary thyroiditis, but nothing conclusive.

This forum is quite amazing....


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