THYROID PROBLEMS

I think I may have a thyroid problem.

I have had the standard NHS blood checks ie TSH and T4.

I have a reading of around 3 for TSH which is quite high (range 0.27 - 4.2) and a reading of around 14 for T4 which is quite low(12-22)

Doctors I have consulted have consistently told me that as I am within each of the ranges, there is no problem.

However I read on the web that these ranges are often not accurate and that I should request 4 additional thyroid tests viz Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies

Have others been diagnosed with a thyroid problem when they have returned 'normal' readings for TSH and/or T4 ?

and

are the other 4 tests available on the National Health Service?

5 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum, Jeffers613.

    TSH and FT4 testing and ranges are generally accurate and while FT4 is within range it is very unlikely FT3 will be below range.

    TSH 3.0 does indicate your thyroid is beginning to struggle to produce thyroid hormone. Symptoms can precede abnormal bloods by months/years but unfortunately, your GP is unlikely to make a diagnosis until TSH is >4.2 or FT4 <12.0.

    Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOab) are tested on NHS but some doctors and labs do not do so until TSH is over range. Thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) are rarely tested in NHS primary care. FT3 is rarely tested in primary care unless TSH is <0.03 when hyperthyroidism may be suspected. As far as I'm aware reverse T3 (rT3) is not tested by the NHS.

    You can order private thyroid tests ie TSH, FT4, FT3, TPOab, TGab and rT3 from Blue Horizon or Genova via thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin... but a person not taking thyroid replacement is very unlikely to have high rT3 which is usually caused by unconverted thyroxine (T4) from replacement hormone.

    You may find supplementing 200mcg selenium and a thyroid supplement like NutriThyroid improves thyroid function and symptoms for a while. You could also ask your GP to test ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate as low levels can cause musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms. If you post the results and ranges in a new question members will advise whether to supplement.

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    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • This is exactly what the NHS told me. My readings were like yours and I have it in writing that there us no endocrine reason for my symptoms. Strange then that when persuaded a GP to give he Levo, I made a 90% recovery within weeks after nine years of increasing disability, and Thyroid S gave me the other 10%.

  • Thanks. I'm new to thyroid parlance! What are 'Levo' and 'Throid S'?

  • Sorry. I am on an iPad and cannot see what I am typing, or edit it properly. Levothyroxine, T4 replacement from the NHS, Thyroid S natural desiccated thyroid extract from Thailand.

  • Thanks

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