Thyroid UK

New to all this

I am new to the forum having been diagnosed with hypothyroidism in July after a routine 'well woman' blood test. The doc spoke to me on the phone, diagnosed the problem and gave me the meds (50mg levothyroxin) I felt better - had another test after 2 months which showed the FSH level had come down from 9 to 4. She said that was good so I stayed on that dose for another 3 months. After another test I was surprised to find the level was now 6.1. Thought I'd better take it all more seriously and go to speak to a doctor armed with decent information. I did initially feel better and relieved that all these minor-ish symptoms I had felt for so long had a real cause. I'm not one for the docs so had put up with insomnia, confusion, palpitations, aching joints, constipation, lack of libido etc. Nothing life threatening. Now I can see that maybe my quality of life could be better (not bad now you understand) but I think I deserve it and the family deserve it. Question is...1). is 4 a 'normal TSH level? (I am now on 50mg one day and 75mg the next.) 2). They quoted, again on the phone, another level of 14 which the doc said was normal but didn't tell me what it was. I was too surprised by the call to ask. I am 61yrs old, working as a teacher and usually know how to stand up for myself but feel a bit at sea without enough information. Finding this forum has galvanised me into action...I just need some facts now. All help gratefully received! Thank you.

9 Replies

Firstly its vital you always get a print out of any test results and keep them in a file

i guess your TSH is 4 and free T4 is 14

this means you are well undermedicated

however before levothyroxine can do any good at all its vital that




are all checked

they MUST BE over halfway up in their respective ranges or your body cannot absorb / utilise the levothyroxine

also NEVER take thyroxine in the 24hrs before your test

i suspect ferritin is very low and will need aggresive treatment for some months and b12 may be the same


Thank you. I didn't take the thyroxine before the test by chance but will remember that next time. I'm going to make an appointment with my doctor (have heard from 3 different ones so far). Thanks for your advice.


Welcome to the forum, Maisie 53. You are very undermedicated. TSH of people on Levothyroxine is usually comfortable just above or below 1.0. Read Dr. A. Toft's comments on dosing and levels in this link Email if you want a copy of the full article to show your GP.

The figure of 14 is probably your FT4 result. It doesn't mean much without the lab ref range (figures in brackets after your results) but given your TSH is high FT4 14 will be low. Get into the habit of asking for a printout of all blood tests with the lab ref ranges as you can then post them for advice/comment.

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.

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Many thanks for all this info. I will gather all the info and get to see my doctor as I haven't seen anyone to talk to yet. I'm beginning to feel more positive already!


Where do these doctors get trained???? On levothyroxine and they haven't a clue really to tell someone with hypo that a TSH of 4 is fine. Please follow Clutter and reallyfedup's advice.

These are a couple of links as we have to read and learn to get ourselves better.

Read all the question/ans on this link particularly the one dated November 28, 2003


Will certainly look up all the information and ask for a print out of results. As I have mentioned to the others I have had phone discussions with different doctors but seen no one to discuss anything at length. I'll certainly be better prepared next time. Thank you so much. I've got some reading to do!


I do hope the doctor will listen to you but, unfortunately, they are apt to toe the guidelines and think they know best.


Think I will have to be persistent and see one doctor for a long chat! Am arming myself with info thanks to you all. I'll let you know how I get on!


better book a double appointment for a 'long chat' - good luck!


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