Getting a diagnosis of hypothyroidism

Hi all, sorry this is long...could really do with some advice on my test results and on getting a diagnosis of hypothyroidism, as I'm pretty much certain this is the problem but I feel the docs are dragging their feet!

First went to docs with symptoms in March 2013 and was sent away with antidepressants, went back in Nov and they agreed to do a blood test, my TSH came back as 4.6 so they said normal and sent me away. Over next year symptoms got slowly worse and so I went back - 2nd blood test revealed TSH of 8.3, normal T4 though I forgot to ask for the exact number- they said its a bit high so test again in 3 months, and also check antibodies - so I went again this March and here were my results-

TSH - 8.84

T4 - 12.1

When I rang the reception they told me 'normal come back in 3 months' but I decided to book a docs appointment to speak to the doctor. Turns out they neglected to test my antibodies so I'm glad I didn't just wait another 3 months, going back next week for another blood test.

I'm a bit sick of waiting as the symptoms are worse than ever - it feels like I'm living in a constant fog and it's starting to affect my work and my ability to drive, my joints hurt and I've gained 3 stone. I never thought I would be hoping for a diagnosis but I'm fed up of living with this illness! If it's hashimotos they said they will put me straight on medication but if my antibodies are normal and TSH under 9.9 I could face waiting yet another 3 months. How can I make sure the TSH is as high as possible? Does it make a difference what time I have my blood test? I really don't want to wait much longer, feel like I'm going crazy!

- lemonlollies

6 Replies

  • Have your blood test as early in the morning as possible, preferably before 9am if you can manage it. What time have your other tests been done?

    Another thing you can do is take the test while fasting - fast for 12 hours before the blood draw (except for water which you can drink freely). The need for fasting is not clear-cut, and I'm not sure if there is any good quality evidence for it. The suggestion has been made that TSH lowers after eating, and you want yours to be as high as possible, so it's worth trying.

  • Hi, thanks for your response- my last blood test was done around 10.45am, but the one before that was around 9.20am. I think I'll have to arrive early at the walk in centre and try to be the first person seen as the docs won't test me in the morning due to it being non-fasting. I'll try fasting before it as well, thanks for the advice!

  • Welcome to the forum, Lemonlollies.

    Quite honestly, if your antibodies are negative and your GP won't treat you with TSH 8.84 and low FT4 I would change GP practice. Most GPs treat when TSH is >5 but there are a few who think they must wait until their patient is overtly hypothyroid with TSH >10.

    Have your next thryoid blood test as early in the morning as possible when TSH is highest and fast, except for water, before as eating lowers TSH.

  • Thanks clutter, I'll try the fasting with my next test and definitely considering moving practises if they do come back below the magic number 10. Thanks for the advice!

  • Hey lemonlollies! Don't worry you are not alone! I am in exactly the same boat as you! Been going back every three months for the past 2 and half years and seen 2 different doctors! It's taken many breakdowns in their room even to get blood tests! Keep me updated! Enough is enough and doctors need to look at quality of life than their guidelines

  • Thanks Leahkimber, good to know I'm not alone. Last blood test showed th antibodies to be 86, but the TSH is getting 'better' in the doctors opinion as its was 5.6, last time was 8.9. So waiting yet another 3 months. I don't feel any better and they seem to deny my symptoms have anything to do with the thyroid anymore. Very frustrating!

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