Thyroid UK
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Blood Test Results

Hi this is the first time that I've posted on this forum. I was diagnosed about 4 years ago with an underactive thyroid and prescribed 50mg Levothyroxine, after 6 months this was increased to 75mg and I have stayed on that dose ever since.

I have swollen ankles, itchy skin, and my whole body feels bloated, I have put on 3 stones in weight and have tried all the usual diets, which have mostly been unsuccessful, even with keeping a food diary, people cannot understand why I am still gaining weight. I have joined a gym and exercise at least 4 times per week, but am still struggling. I am constantly cold and have battled for years with M.E.

After reading some posts, I decided to get my blood tested privately and it has just come back that they are all within normal range, so it looks like I have drawn a blank.

The blood test results are below and I would appreciate any comments that any of you may have on them.

TSH 1.02 range 0.27 - 4.2

Free Thyroxine 20.1 range 12.0 - 22.00

Free T3 4.6 range 3.1 - 6.8

Thank you

10 Replies

Hi peppysue,

I am sorry you are still unwell 4 years after your diagnosis.The usual reason for people to gain weight when hypothyroid is that their metabolism is too low, so weight gain can even happen before being diagnosed.

Unfortunately, too, levothyroxine can also be the culprit if the dose is kept too low and if you develop other clinical symptoms it is definitely too low. Doctors usually keep us medicated according to the TSH and instead of giving us medication until we feel well, they stop when TSH is 'in range'. Doctors are told that only levothyroxine is to be prescribed but many of us don't get completely well. Some do.

We have to read and learn in order to recover our health.

I think your T3 will be low although you have only posted the range but ask your GP to add 10mcg to your T4 and that may help you. I only got better the more I reduced T4 and took T3 only. Email and ask for a copy of the Pulse online article and highlight question 6 to discuss with GP. Ignore the last para as that's what they really think when we become a 'nuisance', i.e. asking them 'why am I not better when I am taking medication for 4 years'. They cannot answer but will prescribe another medication for the 'symptom' instead of a decent thyroid hormone.


Hi Shaws

Yes I think that I do need to do more research, my doctor will not prescribe me anything else as my TSH is within range and indeed is the lowest that it has ever been. I missed the Free T3 result off which is 4.6 range 3.1 - 6.8


T3 is in the middle, so you could go higher. Email and ask for a copy of the Pulse Online article by Dr Toft. Highlight question 6 (ignoring last para as we know that's what they really think) pointing out how low your TSH can go plus the addition of T3. Some doctors refuse.


Beppysue, did you leave 24 hours between your last dose of Levothyroxine and your blood draw?


Hi Clutter,

I think it was probably about 22 hours, but didn't think that 2 hours would make much difference, this is the lowest reading I have ever had, about 6 months ago it was 3.6, 18months ago it was 4.2, but I am not sure of the ranges.


Beppysue, 22 hours is fine. I think you could do with a 25mcg dose increase. Most people are comfortable with TSH around 1.0 but some need it lower, or even suppressed, to feel well. Read the comments Dr. A. Toft, ex-president of the BTA, made to Pulse Magazine If you want a copy of the full article to show your GP email

Your FT4 is good but your FT3 isn't even half way in range. An increase in Levothyroxine should help but if FT3 remains less than halfway in range you may benefit from the addition of some T3 to a reduced dose of Levothyroxine. It's very difficult to find GPs who will prescribe T3 without recommendation from an endo.


Thank you, I think that I will self-medicate and try increasing my Levothyroxine dose by 25mcg.


I wonder whether you could advise if I need to have B12 etc tested for Blue Horizon still have my blood samples and asked if I require any more tests on them before they are destroyed. I don't want to request these unnecessarily as cost is a consideration.


Beppysue, if you can't persuade your GP to do ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate it would be a good idea to have BH do them if you can afford to. They're often low/deficient in hypo patients and deficiency can cause musculoskeletal pain, low mood and fatigue similar to hypothyroid symptoms.

If you can only run to one, go for ferritin because it isn't a good idea to supplement without knowing your iron levels and too much iron is as bad as too little.


Thank you Clutter, I really appreciate all the advice that you've given to me, I think that I will get these tested by BH, as I have got to the point where I need to try to get this sorted out as best I can.


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