Thyroid UK
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Does anyone understand TSH results? I've had no other bloods taken, and the doc says my results were fine in July 1.76. I'm on 125mcg of Levothyroxine. My hair is falling out, I've had horrendous Plantar Fasciitis since December, my gastro issues are too bad to list. My pain is constant. Something's got to give right? My liver is hovering over the boarder line on my blood results and my weight only goes up. I'm active and eat very healthy. What's your thoughts?

9 Replies

Gemp, TSH is a pituitary hormone which rises in response to low thyroid hormone (T4 and T3) and drops when sufficient circulating hormone is detected. It's impossible to tell where your FT4 is because your GP hasn't tested it :x Testing FT4 and FT3 will give a much better picture of thyroid status.

TSH 1.76 is slightly high. The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status and for most this will be when TSH is just above or below 1.0 with FT4 in the upper range. Read Treatment Options in If you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP when you request a dose increase email

You should ask your GP to test ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate. They're commonly low in hypothyroid patients and can cause hairloss, musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms.

If your GP won't order the tests you can order a private thyroid panel, vitamins and minerals from Blue Horizon or Genova via


I can't tell you how grateful I am for your help. My GP makes me feel like I'm going crazy and eating badly to get this way. Thank you for the links too


Gemp, it's known as 'patient blaming', and is due to doctors' lack of awareness and rigid adherence to bad guidelines which hamper good treatment and wellness.


Hello Gemp,

Before jumping into NDT, I would ask doctor for a dose increase of Levothyroxine as you sound clearly under medicated. ALL symptoms could be attributed to low thyroid hormones.

Many people medicating on Levothyroxine function best with a TSH of 1.0 or below. Also get ALL thyroid hormones tested ...Clutter has supplied details ...and nutrients tested. Deficiencies in Vit D, Vit B12, ferritin and folate can indirectly effect how thyroid meds work in your body.

Post all results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.

I hope you feel better soon,



Hi It can take years for hair to improve, on treatment. I would pay if possible Blue Horizon for TSH, T4 and Free T3 a lot of gP`s will only test annually.


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You might also consider a private test to rule out celiac disease, given you have gut symptoms, if you haven't already ruled it out. (The GP might do it, but it sounds like s/he's not the helpful sort.) They are available as on line kits quite cheaply. Around one in 20 hypos are celiac, according to research, and obviously the risk must be higher with gut symptoms. I think it is worth excluding as a possibility.

If you are already totally gluten free it won't work of course, and gluten will not be playing in to your symptoms.

You could also ask for an h pylori test, if you haven't already had one, and s/he will probably agree to this if you say you have reflux and it is getting worse. Again, worth excluding the possibility that gastritis caused by h pylori is feeding in to your gut issues. It is a stool test at my GPs.

If you have been supplementing B12 and folate then that will skew your results. But if you have not, and your B12 test is low, you should ask for serum gastrin to be tested and also for anti parietal and anti intrinsic factor antibodies to be checked. This is to see if you have markers for autoimmune gastritis which coexists with hypo for around 35 per cent of patients, according to current research. My guess is the number might be higher, since it is very difficult to diagnose and the absence of markers doesn't necessarily mean the absence of the disease. But you have more than a one in three chance of having this and again, I would think that the probability is higher than that with gut symptoms.

Of course Flower is correct that your gut symptoms may just be down to the hypo. But you could go down this exclusion checklist if your gut issues do not improve.


Hi I would get your doctor to run an FT4 test as well, however, what they don't understand is that the TSH on it's own does not show what is going on in the cells. If you have these symptoms, hair falling out etc then you are not converting the T4 he is giving you to the active T3 hormone, this is why now there are more doctors giving T4 and T3 together. The adrenals must be checked with a saliva test, and also ferritin levels to ensure your iron is ok. If it's low then this can affect the conversion.

If your doctor won't help then find one that will. I know it's difficult but they are out there. Ask Thyroid UK they have a list of doctors that may help more.

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The free's don't tell you what is going on in the cells either, only what is available for the cells to use. You would have to have cardiac function testing, reflex testing and a whole slew of others, to see if your organs etc..are getting enough thyroid hormone.


Hi no the FT4 and the FT3 don't tell you what is in the cells. My doctor in Belgium listens to my heartbeat, tests my reflexes, looks at any symptoms I may have, looks at the TSH, FT3 and the FT4, rising pulse in the morning, body temperature, only then can you see if you are getting cellular uptake on the receptor sites.

I lay in bed for 18 months with fibromyalgia after they took my gland away. I could not convert T4 to T3 and I nearly didn't make it. I found Dr Peatfield and he explained to me that I was toxic on T4, stopped it and put me on T3 only and then I started to get better, however, I needed specialist treatment and when I could walk again I flew to the USA and was treated by Dr Lowe who is the worlds leading scientist in fibromyalgia. It took time but I am now completely well. I have been studying the metabolism for 20 years and I'm still learning. What I do know is that there are so many suffering out there through these blood tests. They were brought in as a guide not to take over physical examination. If these doctors learnt that and started listening to their patients and understood what happens in the cells then we wouldn't have this catastrophe that we have now.


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