Thyroid UK
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Advice please


I have had symptoms for an underactive thyroid my entire life. It runs in my family and I even have a goitre. However, every time I get tested I come back within the 'normal' range. My last results were TSH level of 4.89 and antibodies of 56. I'm not sure what this means but the Docs don't seem concerned.

I have an appointment to talk through the results (at my request, not theirs!) this week and wondered if I should be pushing for some help from them or not? Am I really normal??

Any advice you could give me before I see the docs would be really helpful.


8 Replies

I was only recently diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis and my TSH is only 2.5! The deciding factor was levels of thyroid antibodies, have you had these tested?

Also... your TSH may be 'within range' but you are actually near the top of the range which is not 'normal' by any means. Your endo should be aiming to get your levels to the lower end of the range.

Others on this forum will be able to give you more information. Well done for persisting and pushing - unfortunately you have to fight for help with this condition.


Hi Jo,

Thanks. My last test showed that my antibodies were 56. I'm not sure what that means.


You need the range to understand it. Ranges vary from lab to lab, they aren't standard, so you need the range your lab uses.

That said, TSH is TSH, and although the top level might change in in some labs, the concensus is that anything over 3 is hypo - in a lot of countries you would get treated with a TSH of 3 - but not in the good old UK! They like it to be over 10, but which time most people are dead on their feet.

Ranges are just guides, and pretty meaningless, really - especially for the TSH. The way they were derived is pretty unscientific, but doctors love them - saves them having to use their brains, you see. So, the top of the range for TSH could be anything from 3.00 to 5.5. But those that know about these things know that 3.00 is not 'normal' and you are, in fact, hypo. A TSH of someone with no sort of thyroid problem is 0.8 to 1.25.

Did he do any other tests? FT4? FT3? No? Then he doesn't even have the full picture. Your FT3 - the important one - is probably very low.

When you go for your appointment, insist on your symptoms and how bad you feel, and suggest a trial of 50 mcg Levo. Be verbal! Don't just sit there and tug your forelock. Doctors Don't know everything - and where thyroid is concerned, they Don't know very much at all. But if you Don't say anything, they assume that you agree with them. I know doctors can be intimidating, just be intimidating back! lol

Take care.


Thanks so much!

Very helpful. I've asked for a print off of my results so hopefully will be able to see the bigger picture.

Thanks again


You're welcome. Hope you get the print-out with no further hassel! :)


Thank you for this. I've never heard of this but will do some research


Do you know if there is treatment for this?


A tsh of 4.89 is not normal at all

Its just your GP is following the daft RCP/BTF/BTA rules about only treating when tsh is over 10


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