Thyroid UK

16 -year-old son's blood test results finally received

Am I on a wrong forum?

Son's results are:

Serum free thyroxine 14.9 12-20.6

Serum TSH 1.40 0.5-3.6

Serum Ferritin 56 30-400

Vitamin D 58 50-120

I have been giving him iron and Vitamin D supplements as well as lots of others.

There are two other results that are elevated

Serum albumin 49 32-45

Serum potassium 5.3 3.2-5.1

I had a quick look and high potassium can be caused by Addison's Disease and high albumin by Wilson's Disease among other things. Here is the website I looked at My son certainly has

many of the symptoms.

What do you think?

I was about to contact Dr Peatfield's office today but I don't know now, his T4 and TSH levels being the above.


23 Replies

By the way , his average basal temperature over the last 4 mornings is 34.8C.

Range 34.2 - 35.2. Even when he gets up, the temperature stays the same. After eating it goes up a bit, warmest he has been is 36.2C. I've even been thinking that the thermometer must be wrong so took my temperature this morning and it was 36.09C.

What to you think is going on?


If possible, you need to get his FT3 measured. His FT4 is low in range and his TSH may not be a true reflection of his thyroid status. If you suspect he may also have adrenal problems you could consider ordering the saliva cortisol test.

If that shows issues, he might have an under performing pituitary which would lead to a range of endocrine issues.

Has he ever had a head injury? That can damage the pituitary. Might also be worth considering an MRI to see if he has a benign tumour on the pituitary.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of Lyme Disease, which can undermine the endocrine system. I'm led to believe the NHS test won't show anything if the infection isn't new - but that Igenex in the States or Infectolab in Germany are the places to go.

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Hi Rosetrees, he had a whiplash injury when he was about 10. My car was hit from behind at quite a fast speed. I was uninjured but he had very bad headaches which made him feel sick for several weeks afterwards.

His latest blood test was requested by an Infectious Diseases doctor, referred to her because I thought Lyme Disease might be a possibility. My son recalls a bite with a round rash and he was also in Scouts and spent many days hiking and camping on the South Downs which is a hot spot for ticks carrying Lyme Disease. I was in contact with Lyme Disease Action

and one of the people working there is a psychiatrist and she thought my son sounds like he could have Lyme Neuroborreliosis. Of course, as you say, his would be chronic Lyme Disease which doesn't show up on NHS tests.

I might be able afford to get some private blood tests done but which ones?

There has been such a huge personality change in him and it happened quite suddenly. All the doctors and nurses that see him now didn't know what he was like before and they think I am over anxious and fussy mother. I just desperately want him well again. Thanks


My Lyme test was done by Igenex. You need to find a doctor to sign for the test. I can PM you the one I consult.

Are you a Facebook user? If so, there is a UK Lyme group on there who might be able to help you. Again, I can PM you the link if you'd like. If it is Lyme, your son might find the correct antibiotics help and it's even possible that a sympathetic GP might prescribe them.

As he's also had whiplash, he could have an unfortunate double whammy.


Yes please PM me the details.


He was also hit by football or rugby ball on top of his head during PE lesson or lunch time at school. A boy barged into his face/nose by accident causing a first nose bleed. There might be other incidents I don't know about. He was bullied at school. He hasn't attended school for two years.


Rosetrees, did you have Lyme Disease?


Yes, I do. I'm sending a PM.


Others will comment, but I would say, as you know, he can certainly keep taking the iron supps, it is a bit low still, he is growing and adolescence is a time of high demand on iron, and get out into the sunshine. It sounds very like my son still - tantalising results, nothing very clearly wrong, TSH fine, and yet obviously something is very wrong with the individual... and they have symptoms which fit a whole range of known quite serious illnesses, and yet they don't have these illnesses.


I agree, I will give him more iron. I just worry (again) about giving too much because I can't demand him to have blood tests to check the levels and can't afford to have them done privately. True about symptoms fitting a whole range of illnesses...I should stop looking up symptoms...


Tiera, generally boys and men and post menopausal women don't need to take iron. Has he been checked for blood in his stool?


Oh. He has had blood in his stools once. I took him to the GP who thought had a fissures or tear. The GP said to go back if it happened again. It hasn't I don't think. I ask him every now and again but I think he would tell me. He has had haemorrhoids too, no doubt because of the constipation he suffers from. What might have caused the blood in stools? Tear?


The GP either needs to order a occult blood test or send your son to someone who specializes in GI problems. if he's bleeding all the time, even smallish amounts, that will make him unwell.

Constipation can be resolved with dietary changes or stool softeners. Even going for walks can improve bowel function.

Has he had a full blood panel done? Hemoglobin etc.


Walking would be good for the constipation and the low mood. I am trying to get him to come out with me but his anxiety often stops him. He also has referral to gym but it is too busy for him in there.

He has had the full blood panel done. Everything is in normal ranges apart from elevated potassium and albumin. His Hb is 147 range 135-180.


My son had constipation for around six years - we went through every laxative there was, walks made no difference, medics couldn't help. This is quite common in autism particularly. It is not an easy problem.

On iron, I quote from Agha et al, 1992:

"Iron deficiency (as sessed by serum ferritin assay) has. been reported in 40% of the adolescents in the British Isles3 which is an unexpectedly high proportion, while the number of adolescents diagnosed as anemic were 13% of the boys and 7% of the girls (using Hb concentra­tion at the recommended cut off points of 13 g/dl for adolescent boys and 12 g/dl for girls). "


We have the same problem here. Adolescent girls have low iron and a high incidence of anemia.

The fact that grain products are fortified with iron doesn't make any difference.


Yes, quite right, because both grain and milk inhibit the absorption of iron. But it's not just girls. In the study cited above, more boys were short of iron than girls.


Adolescence is a time of demand for iron, and many boys have very poor diets - the recommendation on iron are very broad brush. Vegetarians and vegans are at particular risk.


Because my son is an adult size now, height and weight, and is vegetarian, I feel safe in giving him 180 per cent of the US adult RDA daily. This is what is recommended in the US for vegetarians by the NICH. The NICH iron information on Google is very useful. I wouldn't give more than that for the reasons you say, that it is impossible to do blood tests.

Recommendations in the UK just don't seem to go into the same detail.


We can't assume that Tiera's son is vegetarian. Or if he is then there's something wrong with food choices because he's constipated.


He is not vegetarian. He eats a varied diet but possibly doesn't drink enough nor move enough.


It's not necessarily food choices which cause constipation.


That is true. But it's a start. Some people don't follow nature's signals and eventually they don't get the feeling to go anymore. Bowel retraining is sometimes the only way to go. And when someone has already had experience with anal fissures and haemorrhoids, going to the toilet is fraught with all sorts of fear of pain. I get it. I've had it. I have to be very conscientious about diet or else.


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