Thyroid UK
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Under active thyroid

I was wondering if anyone out there could help me! I had a blood test and my TSH level was 3.28. I know the 'normal' range is between 0.2 and 4.2 (or something similar). I have felt awful for about 2 months and since having my blood test last month my symptoms have got worse. I am constantly tired - even when waking from a good night sleep. I have a constant headache behind my eyes and around my temples. I'm suffering with 'brain fog' and I'm finding it hard to concentrate at work. I am sensitive to the cold, with cold hands and feet. I've been shivering a lot lately. My skin is dry, my nails are flaking. I have put on 2st in weight in the past 12-18 months. I know I sound like a hypochondriac but I honestly do have all of these symptoms! I'm going to book another doctors appointment but I'm worried they'll try and tell me it's down to stress/depression etc - which I have never suffered with and I know it's not either of those things!

So has anyone else suffered with these symptoms? Have you successfully been diagnosed with hypothyroidism even though you're within the 'normal' range? Is it possible to even ask the doctor's for a 'trial' on thyroid medication to see if it makes my symptoms subside?

- just as a side note - I take multi vitamins everyday and have a balanced/healthy diet so I'm sure I'm not lacking in anything. I'm also not overweight but feel uncomfortable with my recent weight gain.

Thank you for your help :)


14 Replies

We're all born in the wrong era. That's before the blood tests came into force.

Before that doctors diagnosed us on our clinical symptoms (nowadays doctors don't know or recognise what the patient is telling them). They then gave us a trial of NDT. One doctor, now deceased, said that so many people were in a parlous situation due to the fact of the reliance on the TSH alone for diagnosing when he took symptoms into consideration and the fact that sometimes the TSH doesn't rise to 10 as the UK guidelines state. In other countries people are diagnosed around 5. Sometimes our TSH might never rise so we will be diagnosed with anything but a thyroid hormone dysfunction, i.e. antid's for instance, pain relieve, etc etc.

On this link look down the left hand column and you will see About the Thyroid - within this you will see conditions and also their clinical symptoms which you can tick.

When we have blood tests for thyroid gland get the earliest and fast. you can drink water. If you are taking thyroid hormones leave about 24 hours between the last dose and the test.

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Thanks for the link shaws, I have seen it many times, but I have copied it off this time to put it under some medics noses.

( though I'd rather stick it up their noses.)


pay for a full private panel so you can see if you have antibodies. feel your neck to see if you can find nodules ....there are guides on u tube. You may have to diagnose and treat yourself.


Not for me Aspmama, I have gained good knowledge on Thyroid thanks to TUK members, the printout concerns a Child who is still gaining massive weight and still not being acknowledged by NHS as having Low Thyroid despite us finding out years later child's Thyroid bloods done at a top child's hospital were worded as 'Borderline Thyroid'. TSH was 4.5.

Recently they concentrated on child's high cholesterol

Low Thyroid/High cholesterol ???

They blamed parents for overfeeding, called in Social, tried hard, but failed to get Mother to have a mental test ??? and medics now wonder why their stupid NHS diets are not working. ??? (idiots)


The problem is that those who should know better have guidelines that state that the TSH is king. Thereafter nothing else is considered and umpteen other meds prescribed for the particular 'symptom' which I doubt can really be resolved without the necessary dose of hormones.


Along with the TSH being King, shaws, 2 Medics recently have told me using the same words (oddly) - 'one goes up as the other goes down.' ???



I wonder what they prefer for themselves - a 'UP' TSH or a DOWN T3.'

We would prefer a down TSH and and Up T3. as it is the active hormone that allows our body to work optimally and relief of symptoms. The TSH is meaningless except as a guide but not in all cases as some people's TSH never reaches 10 but they can suffer with clinical symptoms for years.

As we know re T3 or FT3, it is rarely checked. The reliance being on the TSH and T4 only.


They waste their's and our own time, NHS money and keep us all ill by not doing the correct tests.

The two medics telling me the same phrased words within a short space of time made me think they might both have recently been sent on a Thyroid retraining course, to cope with us TUK members who might give them some (well deserved,) grief.

Though they need to learn far more than just 'one goes up as the other one goes down.'

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I have a record from my doctors of testing for underactive thyroid since 2009 and was only finally diagnosed 2015. I wish I had done some research before I was diagnosed I maybe would have pushed it more. You can seen from 2009 my thyroid readings hot higher each year. I had had the symptoms all this time. I think if I'd know more about my thyroid I would have fought it. I wish you well and hope you get sorted x

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I was desperately unwell with a TSH of 4. 5 GPs & an endo refused to treat me so I had no choice but to self medicate. I was off work for 4 months & barely able to stand.

My iron in particular was extremely low, B12 not great so I have addressed those.

I am now completely well

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Lorna, multi-vits are a waste of time and money. They will not guarantee that you Don't have deficiencies. And if you are hypo - which you certainly sound to be - you will almost certainly have some deficiencies due to difficulties with absorption. Same goes for your diet. You are not what you eat, you are what you absorb!

The best thing to do would be to ask your doctor to test vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin, and use those results as a starting block. But deficiencies need to be treated one by one, not with multi-pills.

What time did you have your blood test? Was it fasting? I think your best plan of action would be to wait for about three months (yes, I know that sounds like a long time, but...) then ask for another TSH test, and ask for them also to test FT4, FT3 and antibodies : TPOab and TgAB. Make sure the test is as near to 8 o'clock as possible, and Don't eat, just drink water.

It's perfectly possible that your TSH will then come back higher - and if by any chance it's over-range, then cite your symptoms and ask for a trial of Levo. However, FYI, the ranges for TSH are absolutely ludicrous in the UK. In some other countries you would be treat at 3.00. And at 2.00 they would know that your thyroid was struggling. It's only in the UK that they're sadists and like to wait til the TSH reaches 10!!!

When you get the results from your vitamins and minerals, do not expect any help from your doctor if they are low. Doctors know nothing about nutrition and its importance. Post the results on here, and people will be able to help you with understanding them, and supplementing advice. :)


greygoose - you're spot on. There are so many things that can wreck vitamin absorption...


I've got everyone one of your symptoms and have been diagnosed with an under active thyroid for years.I take levothyroxine for does help a wee bit.but I still get the symptoms but not is bad.just get blood checks often to see if my meds need upt.I get really bad sweat hot flushes.its hard being a women x


Thank you for all of our replies :)

I went to back to my doctors today and I saw someone different - he was so helpful. He agreed to do the T3 and T4 tests along with Calcium, Vitsmin D, Parathyroid Hormone, TFT, Thyroid Peroxidase. Not sure what some of these are but at least I'm heading in the right direction now.

I gave him a list of all my current symptoms and he agreed that something wasn't right. He said that if my tests come back normal then he'll refer me to an Endocrinologist. Which I was surprised at as usually they just dismiss you once your tests come back ok.

I will keep you updated...fingers crossed I get this sorted! x


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