Can these blood results be correct?

Earlier this month I went to see my GP - to cut a long story short she said I should have a blood test & rung me up a few days later to tell me I was hypothyroid. This was a huge shock, as other than a bit of dry skin & hair I felt ok -ish. I hadn't been sleeping for a few weeks & blamed other symptoms (forgetful, grumpy etc) on this. It was the sleep issue that prompted me to see GP. Anyhow, having read up on the topic & read posts on here, I asked for a copy of blood results -

Serum T4 6.7 pmol/L (9-19)

Serum TSH 91.13 mu/L (0.355-4.94mu/L)

TSH seems so off the scale,so I am wondering if there is an error?

On GP's instruction I have been taking meds, but feel worse in some ways than before - legs often feel heavy, I feel a bit spaced out sometimes & have a constant throb/ache in throat. 'Get up & go' has got up & gone!

Should the meds have kicked in by now?

4 Replies

  • Welcome to the forum, Rustyspokes.

    If you have a printout of the results there's unlikely to be an error. TSH is very high but should be within normal range in a few months. Please be very cautious driving, TSH >20 has been shown to impair driving reactions more than being over the drink drive limit.

    You don't say what dose you are taking, but it is usual to start on a lowish dose 50mcg-75mcg and have follow up blood tests 6/8 weeks later to see whether dose needs increasing until TSH is just above/below 1.0. Increases/decreases are usually in 25mcg increments.

    The throb/ache in your throat is probably because your thyroid became swollen when your TSH was thumping it to produce more hormone. It generally takes 7/10 after starting Levothyroxine to feel any improvement but it may take several months after you are optimally dosed before your symptoms resolve.

    Take your Levothyroxine with a full glass of water on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after food and drink, two hours away from other medication and supplements and four hours away from vitamin D3, calcium, iron and oestrogen.

    Ask your GP to test ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate as hypothyroid patients are often deficient/low and these deficiencies can cause musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms. Post your results with the lab ref ranges (the figures in brackets after your results) in a new question and members will advise whether supplementation is required.

  • When I was first diagnosed the doctor told me she'd seen someone once with a TSH of 150. So big TSH numbers do happen, but not very often.

    Hope you feel better soon,


  • TSH doesn't just rise a bit when you are hypothyroid, it can rise a lot. Your pituitary is not seeing enough thyroid hormone in your blood, so it makes a bit more TSH. If that increases your thyroid hormones levels, all is well. But if your thyroid does not respond adequately, your pituitary will make yet more TSH. And keep doing so as far as it is able. Even to the extent of your pituitary gland growing in order to produce more TSH.

    Once you get into high TSH, it seems to be a combination of how long you have been hypothyroid, and how far your pituitary can go in producing more and more TSH. It really does not properly reflect how low your thyroid hormones are or how ill you are. Someone with half the TSH level, or double, might be doing better or worse than you.

    There are reports of TSH levels of at least 600 and higher.

    How long did it take you to get to this point? Quite possibly years. It is, sadly, likely to take something like as long to recover as it did to get this unwell. Looking at it positively, you can hope to continue improving for along time.

    It is extremely unlikely that you won't need a series of tests and increases in dose to achieve a much better level of thyroid hormone.


  • Thanks guys. Weird thing is that until just a couple of months ago I was running 3 times a week & sleeping ok. Then I got out of the habit of running, sleepless nights took over, I was too tired to run & its all gone down hill! I still can't believe that suddenly my thyroid has stopped working & I'm going to be on meds for rest of my life!

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