Advice on Pituitary gland

Hi,Could anyone advise me ( in simple terms ) how the pituitary glad affects thyroid function.

My daughter has had a blood test, TSH was 5 just above lab top of 4.5. That was six weeks ago. She's feeling and looks awful so she rang to docs today to push for advice. The reply was :- neck hormone ok brain hormone raised lab wont do another test until 3 months.

10 Replies

  • Beaton, if that was your daughter's first thyroid blood test her GP will want to rule out non-thyroidal illness or virus as the cause of her elevated TSH, hence repeat testing in 3 months.

    That is just about the most unhelpful GP comment I've read. I think it is saying TSH is raised but thyroid hormone ie FT4 is within range.

    The pituitary gland (brain) responds to circulating thyroid hormone and increases production of TSH when levels are low/dropping to prompt the thyroid gland to produce more T4 for conversion to T3. When T4 and T3 levels are good the pituitary gland senses it and reduces production of TSH.

  • Thanks Clutter.xx

    I'll forward your comments to her.xx

  • Almost exactly what my GP said 2 years ago. Come back in 3 months for a retest. Two weeks later I totally lost it with him. He put me on thyroxine to shut me up. The argument I used was "what possible harm could it do to try the medication and see if it works".

  • Thanks Rosetrees,I think she is at that level now.xx

  • With reference to my question about pituitary glad and blood test. My daughter rang the surgery again today to see what tests were done. The lab only did the TSH which was just higher than top limit. So if they did TSH test how can they say her thyroid is ok??

  • ask for a full pathology result, T4 T3 should have been done too

  • your GP should test her TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T4 thyroid intake, T3 (what T4 is converted to in order for body to use it); ask the GP for the full pathology report and post the results here. Referral to an endocrinologist is required if:

    1. anything out of normal range

    2. T4/T3 are not about the same

    3. TSH is high and T3 is low

  • Thank you Caz, will pass on to my daughter.

  • For a full test on the thyroid you need :


    Free T4

    Free T3

    TPOAb (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody)

    TgAB (Thyroglobulin Antibody)

    Since nutrition levels have a big impact on thyroid function, and people with thyroid problems often have low nutrient levels, it is also necessary to get :

    Ferritin (and Iron if you can get it)

    Vitamin B12

    Vitamin D


    I have to say though, that doctors and labs will very rarely do all these tests. It is possible to pay for the complete set privately :

    For thyroid and some of the nutrients, try this site :

    Look at the big blue badges - one of them is labelled "Thyroid Profile Advanced Plus Ten", click on that - it costs £99, and is a finger prick test, so there is no need to pay for someone to take blood. There is an extra discount available through Thyroid UK - see here :

    Vitamin D needs to be tested separately (also a finger prick test) :

  • Thank you.

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