Thyroid UK
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Blood results

Hi everyone,

I posted a few weeks ago after having a horrible GP appointment. I am having many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism which are really beginning to affect my life. I can't seem to get a doctor to take me seriously though and was told I was eating too much and depressed at my last appointment. A few people said to post my results on here so people could say what they thought of them. I'd really love to have anyone's input as I really don't know what I'm looking at!

January 2016

Vitamin D 97.1 nmol/L

TSH 2.9 (0.27-4.2)

Ferritin 20ug/L (15-150)

March 2016

Thyroid peroxidase 14iu/mL (<34.00)

Serum folate 6.3ug/L (4.60-18.70)

Vitamin B12 322 ng/L (197-771)

TSH 4.3 (0.27-4.2)

Cortisol 1613 nmol/L (171-536)

I insisted on having T4 and T3 tested as well but they haven't done it.

The GP has advised testing again in 3-6 months, I'm assuming because the TSH is not far enough above the normal range to warrant treatment. Would you guys agree with this or should I be pushing for treatment now? Can't say I'm thrilled at the thought of leaving everything to get worse.

Also I wanted some advice on the cortisol level. It's not been flagged as a problem on the results which I was confused by as it is so much higher than the normal range. I'm on the contraceptive pill, which I know can raise the level but I don't know by how much is normal. Also, I get very nervous for blood tests, is that likely to be why it is high?

Would really appreciate anyone's thoughts on these results and what I should plan to do next. I hope I one day know enough to contribute as much as you guys do!

Thanks x

16 Replies

That cortisol level is rather high. I'm surprised your doctor hasn't asked for further testing - it might be that which is causing your thyroid hormone levels to be where they are (showing signs of hypothyroidism).

Your ferritin level is also very low - anaemia seems very likely. Think I'd be off to see another doctor in the practice and asking them to investigate that cortisol level.

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Thanks for your reply! I definitely agree that cortisol should be checked out, even though I think it may be due to nerves about the blood test.

Is it possible for the cortisol to increase the TSH level as well? Also, is it standard procedure to wait 3-6 months to test again or should I be trying to get the full range of thyroid tests done soon? I'm really sorry for the questions but appreciate the help! x


I felt ill when my tsh was 3.28 on investigation and yes you have to push my t3 was under even their ridiculously broad ranges.


As well as your ferritin your B12 is too low it should be at the top of the range. Your folate is low as well.

Also if you did not have a full blood count to see if you had iron deficiency anaemia you need one due to your low ferritin levels.

You definitely need to get a doctor to find out why your cortisol is so high asap not in 3 months. See another doctor and ask. You are not being a difficult patient.

Show that other doctor physical symptoms e.g. your nails on hands and feet, skin problems even if you think they are minor like bruising to highlight it is a problem.

Also if you drink any alcohol, which is unlikely if you feel bad, stop completely until you have had the second test. Also don't take any supplements until you find out the issue.

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Hi Bluebug, thanks for your reply. I had wondered whether ferritin was too low as well. What do you mean by a full blood count for iron deficiency anemia? My January result include a full blood count but I can't see anything about iron on it. What words would I be looking for? Thank you!


I'm on a phone so can't post links

A full blood count looks at the number of red cells, white cells and platelets you have.

In regards to the red cells it looks at certain things to determine if they are working normally. One of these is your haemoglobin level. Haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen around your body and it needs iron to be made. If your haemoglobin level is lower than the lab range you have iron deficiency anaemia.

If you have low ferritin levels like you do it is likely you will suffer from iron deficiency aneamia in a few months if you have periods.

(If your full blood count test was taken when you were on your period it is possible that it would register that you have iron deficient anaemia already depending on how heavy your period is.)

In regards to white cells and platelets if you have hormone test results out of range these values are needed to rule out things like infections.

In short get the results from January and see another GP to find out why your cortisol is so high.

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That's really helpful thank you so much! I'm considering getting a full thyroid test done with Blue Horizon as well so I can take that to the gp as they won't test it all. Would you suggest investigating this cortisol level entirely before doing that? I'm anxious to find the problem so I can begin to feel better as soon as possible but obviously don't want to waste the money on blue horizon if the figures won't be reliable because of the cortisol. Does that make sense? :/


It makes perfect sense.

Ask the next GP to tell you exactly why your cortisol is high.

It would be better if you could take a companion (a good friend who keeps their mouth shut) in to observe so you are not fobbed of again, but it means you would have to wait longer for an appointment.

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Sadly many GPs only look at TSH and not at individual levels. So for example T3 could be v low and T4 higher. You need to push them through.

T3 is not the drug of choice as many surgeries find it too expensive or just don't say why you cannot have it.


Have you had your adrenal gland checked out too.

Yes the cortisol is v high. do you use mouth washes ? If so they must be avoided.


I don't think I've had the adrenal gland checked no but I don't really know as they don't explain why they're testing the various things :/.

I think my next move will be to get a saliva cortisol test and see what it suggests. Then I may look at getting a full thyroid test done with Blue Horizon and take those results in (they seem to be point blank refusing to test anything but TSH and antibodies!)

Thanks everybody for your help, it's so appreciated! x


I had my cortisol and adrenal gland test done at the same time. Its is called an ASP test and you are correct it test your Saliva over a 24 hour period. There are six possible scenario's.( You will have a possible three with high cortisol levels. You need both done as they interlink and affect each other. That is the only way you can have a solution.)

You can read about them on my Specialists web page - if you private message me I will give you the details. The information is massive and gives you a step by step guide to every eventuality.


Thanks for the info. Does that mean doing a cortisol test and an ASP test or are they both covered in one test?

Also, did you have it checked with a GP? I read on another post that the NHS doesn't support saliva cortisol tests and I'm starting to worry how much I'm going to need to spend on private tests!!


No mine was done privately am guessing I paid for the both to be done aprox £220. I is worth it as you will know for definite what is going on.


Seriously consider giving up gluten.


Yes I've just done the gluten free thing it's starting to make a difference . Cutting down on caffeine and sugar too

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