Treatment required for subclinical hypothyroidism?

Hello all,

I have just recently had some blood test results back which show I have subclinical hypothyroidism. My GP said that <4 was normal and mine showed at 4.2. (not sure what she was referring to exactly). She advised me to come back for another blood test in 6 months to 1 years time, however, I am concerned to just leave it?

After looking up the symptoms, I do have very dry skin and hair and tiredness. I am 25 and despite a healthy diet, I am finding it difficult to lose any weight.

I was just wondering if anyone had any advice, or whether you would recommend treatment at this stage?

Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated!

Sophie :)

9 Replies

  • When I read posts like yours, I always wonder whether if the GP himself/herself had a TSH of 4.2 - and felt unwell, had dry skin and struggled to lose weight - they'd not self medicate? Bet they would. Bet they'd insist on having the full gamut of tests run too.

    Your thyroid is struggling for some reason. Is the tiredness/dry skin/difficulty losing weight a new thing? Is there any family history of thyroid problems?

  • Sophie, go back to the doctor in3 months if symptoms haven't improved and ask for another thyroid test. NICE recommends 3 months to repeat as this is long enough to rule out non-thyroidal illness causing TSH to rise.

    Have the blood test early in the morning when TSH is highest and fast before the blood draw as TSH drops after eating. If TSH is still over range your GP should prescribe Levothyroxine.

  • My TSH never got above 4 but I was desperately ill. Keep going back & try to get him to test the actual thyroid hormones, not just TSH. Also antibodies, both types

  • Welcome Sophiemack

    It was probably just the TSH test you had done - you could go back to your docs and ask for a print out of your test results (you are entitled to them) that's the first step in finding out how to feel better, & empowering yourself.

    I wasn't treated as 'sub-clinical' even TSH 5.something, for 4+ years (despite half thyroid out!). So meanwhile I looked at how I could help myself with vitamins & minerals - check if you have had your iron, ferritin, folate & B12 and Vit D tested (you can get these tested privately if you want).

    And as Clutter says, go back in 3 months, don't wait too long - life's too short to feel rotten J :D

  • Thank you all for your feedback, it's much appreciated! I went and got a copy of my blood test results from the doctors this evening, (which they charged me 40p for printing?!) My TSH level was 4.2 and T4 level was 14.6. They also flagged up my 'mean corpusc. haemoglobin count' which was 34.6.

    Thyroid problems don't run in my family and it was only in the last couple of months I've particularly noticed dry, thinning hair and my skin getting worse, I just put this down to the weather and disagreeable shampoo!

    This is all still very new to me and I'm trying to educate myself on it. I was just wondering, is it a case of the higher the TSH level, the worse the symptoms? And can your TSH level ever lower without medication?

    Thanks again for the help!

  • Have you got the (ranges) in brackets? - as these can vary from lab to lab, and helps folk comment. 40p! - but well spent!

    Yes my TSH lowered to 1.6 after I sorted my low Vitamin D (co-incidence?) but was eventually diagnosed with a TSH of 19.7 - I didn't feel that bad. (just my experience).

    Some notice improvements by cutting out gluten, low Thyroid function is usually autoimmune and antibodies are created in response to foreign invaders inc, gliadin, thyroid tissue is attacked (antibody remnants from the attack, too complicated for me to explain - you probably know anyway).

    What symptoms made you visit the GP in the first place? they do tend to come on gradually, unnoticable.

    Although docs take notice of the TSH it is unreliable, free T4 is a better indicator (free T3 is better still) and the presence of TPO, TGA antibodies.

    Just noticed MCH -low is one sort of anaemia - high indicates low B12 (I think) which is VERY often reported with Hypothyroid (but docs don't realise this - YET!. I think 34 is slightly high according to my lab range anyway). B12 is often low for vegetarians, and SO important for nerve function.

    Stabbing in the dark a bit - anyone please correct me if I've got MCH wrong...

    No-one wants to be on any hormone replacement for life, if there's a chance to stop it getting to that stage - take it!

    Have a looksie at this chap.... J :D

  • Aha, what was that mean corpuscular volume count? Do you have what it was exactly and what the range was? I'm wondering about B12 deficiency...

  • The TSH range was from 0.3 - 4.0. I originally went to the doctor with chest pains that i'd been having, which is why they conducted the blood tests. The chest pains seem to have gone now but thankfully they uncovered this!

    That videos really helpful, thanks! :)

  • Glad the chest pains have gone, my DIL was diagnosed angina years ago at 21? it was wrong.

    Just a thought - I had a crushing chest feeling - trying to remember how to describe it - my ribs were stuck & very painful - GP sent me for a chest X-ray - meanwhile I found out I was low Vit D - who'd have thought something so simple?

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