Do I have an under active thyroid?

For four years I have suffered from tingly hands and fingers, peeling dry scaly skin, extreme fatigue, massive weight gain and inability to lose it, extreme tiredness, depression and digestive problems.

My test results over this period for T4 are (latest first): 12.9, 13.3, 11.4, 10.6 11.7

and for TSH 2.08, 4.28, 2.17, 1.85,3.55

My GP says my results are normal but are they not on the low side of the normal range? Is it possible to have the condition without falling directly into the lower end of the range of results?

I am worried as my symptoms are really getting me down and are affecting my life in an adverse way.

I don't like to doubt my GP but it took 20 years of me asking to finally diagnose coeliac disease and it would never have been investigated without my insistence. I now feel that I am at the beginning of another battle and wonder if there are any shortcuts or other tests which can be taken? I am quite desperate and would really appreciate any advise.

22 Replies

  • ps I forgot to mention, my sister and late grandfather suffered with thyroid problems

  • Thyroid problems in several close family members could be indicative of a genetic condition - thyroid hormone resistance, also referred to as reduced sensitivity to thyroid hormone.

  • Thanks. Is there a test for this and does it influence the other test results>

  • Some research has been done and some defective genes identified, but all the research so far has been on families where the genetic defect causes hypothyroid symptoms and also causes severe physical and mental issues. This does not mean that families without severe handicaps do not have a defective gene.

    I have compiled a lot of information on the condition but it is too big to post here. If interested send me a personal message with your email address and I will send it to you.

  • Thanks Sandy

    I don't know how to personal message (someone else has also suggested I do this with them). I haven't used the internet before to obtain help so unfortunately I am a little naive as it its workings.


  • Gluten3, do you have the lab ref ranges for your FT4 results (figures in brackets after results). It helps members interpret results and advise.

  • Yes the range for T4 was 10.3 to 24.5 and for TSH it was 2.08 to 4.2

  • Do you have the range for that FT4, gluten3? The results look low but it's difficult to say with any certanty without the range.

    Your TSH is too high, in the main, but not high enough for a doctor to diagnose you. Have you had your antibodies tested? That is most important, because it could be what's causing your TSH to vary - unless you've had it taken at varying times of the day. And it's possible you do have antibodies because hypo would appear to run in your family. Have you told your doctor that your sister has it, and your grandfather had it? Ask him for TPOab and Tgab tests.

    Fatigue, depression, weight-gain, and digestive problems are all hypo symptoms, but can also be due to other things, so everything needs to be ruled out. For example, tingling hands could be due to low B12. Have you been tested for vit B12 and/or Pernicious Anemia? And while you're at it, ask your doctor to also test for vit D, folate, iron and ferritin. Especially as you have digestive problems, you could be low in a number of nutrients.

    Actually, where thyroid is concerned, you should doubt your doctor. In the main, doctors know nothing about diagnosing and treating thyroid. They have no idea what the symptoms are and just go by the blood tests and the rediculous ranges. There are other tests, but I doubt your doctor knows enough about thyroid to do them or understand them! As I said above, ask for antibodies, nutrients and also FT3, because - although doctors Don't know it - it's the most important number.

    And if he refuses to do them all - as he well might - you could always have them done privately.

    Hugs, Grey

  • The range for the tests was :

    T4: 10.3 to 24.5

    TSH: 2.08 to 4.2

  • So, that FT4 is very low, and your doctor should have started you on treatment. He's useless! Any chance of seeing someone else?

    But in any case, do get those other tests done that I mentioned. It will help give a clearer picture.

    Next time you go for a TSH test, go as early in the morning as possible - before nine - because the TSH is highest first thing in the morning. And Don't eat before the test, because eating will lower the TSH.

  • Thank you. My doctor has not to date told me to fast before testing. I have also always been told everything is normal!

    I forgot to mention I have hair falling out in handfuls and a sort of brain fog. i know these are all symptoms so I really don't want to be fobbed off any more.

    Are you a Doctor yourself?

  • No, not a doctor, just an experienced patient!!! Of course your doctor didn't tell you to fast, he has no idea. None of them have. But, it has been proved that eating lowers TSH, so best to leave your breakfast until after the test. :)

  • I know what you mean about GP's. It was exactly the same getting my coeliac disease diagnosed. I am now experienced patient in that field too!

    I will get the tests done and if I get no joy, will ask to see a specialist.

    In four years my BMI has increased from 22 to 30 - my symptoms are screaming at me

    I really appreciate your kindness

  • You're more than welcome, gluten3. I hope you get your tests done. :)

  • Its pretty clear to me your hypothyroid as well as coeliac the 2 conditions go together without doubt

    Your t4 is low in its range

    Your TSH is bouncing around probably tests have been at different times of the day

    Its thyroid antibodies and free t3 and ferritin that need testing and will prove the clincher to anyone eho really knows thyroid

  • Thank you so much for your advise. I will get these further tests done as soon as possible

  • Check those TSH ranges too - the lower end of the range looks suspicously high. I would expect it to be more like .28 than 2.08

  • ok thanks

  • Tingling fingers and hair loss are also symptoms B12 deficiency, I'm not sure but think I've read on this forum that people suffering from hypothyroidism quite commonly, are also low in B12.

  • Thanks for the tip. I will invest in some B12 vitamins

  • If you can get Dr to test B12, Vit D etc best to not start taking B12 until after had blood test or it won't show a true test result

  • oh that's useful.

    Now I know I am not going mad, I will have all these tests done. When I was trying to get to the bottom of all the symptoms of coeliac disease, I was fobbed off for almost 20 years, I will not allow this to happen again so will pay privately and with luck this time things will move along quicker.

    The people on this site have been truly helpful

You may also like...