Thyroid UK
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Opinion on results


I have recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, although was told that my blood results were borderline. The decision was made to start treatment with Levothyroxine 50mcg as I have been symptomatic for over 6 months (10kg weight gain, lethargic, temperature intolerance).

My blood results were:

Free T4 10.5

TSH 4.76

I am 26 years old and male and I'd be interested what people would consider to be normal levels for someone of my age. Also what are the chances of the dose needing to be increased from 50mcg or would this dose likely be enough for me.

I am a mental health nurse so do have an understanding of this condition but would like to hear other people's opinions and experiences.



10 Replies

You need the ranges as the they are different for different labs, but most healthy people have a TSH around 1 and free T4 towards the top of the range. The most important test is free T3, but the NHS don't do it in most cases.


I believe the ranges were 11-22 for ft4 and 0.4 - 4.5 for tsh


In that case, you are certainly not 'borderline'! Your FT4 is Under-range, which cannot, Under any circumstances, be considered 'normal'.

Once you are on thyroid hormone replacement, you should have a TSH of below one, and the FT4 up near the top of the range. But the most important number is the FT3 - which, of course, they Don't do! If you can't convert correctly, it doesn't matter how high your FT4 is, you will still be hypo.

The protocol is - or should be - to get retested six weeks after starting thyroid hormone replacement, and then having an increase of 25 mcg - no more than that. Then six weeks after the increase, get tested again, and so on until all your symptoms are gone.

But, you really need that FT3 test to see if you're converting. And, antibody tests : TPOab and TgAB - to see if you have Hashimoto's disease. It's best to know that, even if the NSH treatment is still the same. :)


Did the gp test yr antibodies? If that test is refused consider getting a private test (can be done via the Thyroid uk website, small discount). I think it is good to be sure whether or not u have Hashis.

Do u have it in the family?


50mcg is a starting dose and as you say, GP, said you are borderline. I think your thyroid hormones will keep decreasing. As suggested you should have an antibodies test which will show that your thyroid gland is under attack and you will become hypothyroid.

It's good your GP prescribed for you because many wont unless the TSH reaches 10.

Always get your blood test at the earliest, fast also. You can drink water. Leave about 24 hours between your dose of levo and the test and take levo afterwards. Also ask for Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate to be tested as we are usually deficient.

You take levo first thing with 1 glass of water and don't eat for about an hour. Food can interfere with the uptake.


2 members of my family (not immediate family but still blood relatives) have had hypothyroidism but as far as I know not hashimoto's.


Hi Bradley, if you have the correct reference range for your free T4 then your result is below 0%! Definitely hypothyroid as you have no T4! Free T3 result would be interesting. Good job you've been started on the levothyroxine, you're definitely in need of it! How's your hair, have you had any loss/balding? You definitely need to monitor your free T4 and take as much levothyroxine as is needed to get you above 50% at the very least of the reference range.


My hair is kind of dry and I have thinning in some areas and it doesn't grow as fast as it used to.


If you have antibodies you can expect to experience a gradual decline in thyroid function over the next months and years, and so to need an increasing dose of Levothyroxine. That's why it's important to know.


My GP said the lab won't retest until 2 months after the first test, they will just send the sample back apparently. So that's what I will do, I just hope that my G.P will aim for that TSH level of 1 rather than just "within range".


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