Question about blood tests

Hi just joined this forum looking for some answers. Is there any type of illness that can alter the thyroid blood results or does it always mean something is wrong with the thyroid?

My daughter is 11 and has been feeling a little unwell for a few months with fatigue, feeling cold/ shivery, low appetite, on/ off stomach pains and she has lost a few pounds. 

Gp has referred her to a paediatric dr but did bloods in the meantime. These are all I know, tsh 12.5 free t4 11.8

They want to repeat her bloods in a few weeks but why? Can anything else cause her bloods to be abnormal? From what I've read it is sub clinical hypothyroidism but probably needs treating as symptomatic and tsh >10 am I right? 

Any advice appreciated, the waiting to see someone is awful. 

15 Replies

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  • Welcome to the forum, Mindfull.

    A virus or infection can elevate TSH which is why patients can be asked to retest a few weeks after the first abnormal TSH result to see whether thyroid levels normalise after the virus or infection clears.

  • Thanks, lets hope it is just that. 

  • > she has lost a few pounds.

    This symptom is not very typical but possible in various decreased metabolism diseases. Of  which thyroid underactivity is just one, but the most frequent. Other causes: drive.google.com/file/d/0B9...

  • That's interesting thanks. I was wondering about coeliacs,she often has tummy aches. Her b12 was raised at 925 (upper limit 900) but all other bloods normal. She takes no supplements.

  • If her B12 is a good level, it's unlikely to be Coeliac. Hypothyroidism causes gut problems, basically because everything is sloooowwwed down, including how quickly food passes through. Does she get constipated?

  • She usually goes every day, sometimes every second day. 

  • They could be waiting to see what happens as said above. Have they tested antibodies? 

    I feel for your daughter; it's an unusual thing to have at this age and frustrating too as you feel so out of it. I hope school are understanding - the British thyroid foundation have easy to read leaflets that might be helpful for your daughter and to help school understand - thinking skills are very affected, but it is reversible. 

    One of the symptoms I had when I was diagnosed at a young 20 was weight loss. I became very frail. I loose weight as my appetite goes and my metabolism slows down. It's quite odd - however I don't naturally hold much fat around my body.  Low thyroid hormones cause mild muscle loss. I see it and feel it easily as I'm very slim. In fact when I'm well I am a couple of pounds heavier. 

    Much of the extra weight gain in hypothyroidism is water retention (my ankles do become 'cankles'). 

    As your muscles become weak you tend to do less; if your calorie intake doesn't adjust you will put on weight. 

    I feel very stressed when I'm underactive as I know I'm not functioning well - possibly affects my appetite. 

    I hope your daughter gets well soon. 

  • Thank you for replying. I don't think they checked anti bodies, I will ask. 

    She has been on school holidays for a week now, she keeps asking to go to bed! Not sure how she is going to manage school and she has sats tests coming up in May. 

  • Hi, 

    I'd agree with the replies you've had regarding tests & carefully looking at results. As for your daughter if she wants to go to bed let her - if this is the response her body needs right now. As for SATS - make my blood boil! They are a test of how well the school is doing not your child! She will go over everything she has learnt in yr5&6 again at secondary school, so don't worry about them at all.  I really feel for your daughter & you I hope you find out what's wrong & that she feels better soon. good luck x

  • Thanks for your kind response. I did let her go to bed all afternoon on sat, and she still slept at night too. She can manage half a days activities and then needs rest so we've had plenty of afternoons on the sofa. 

    I've not made a big deal over the sats, I too hate the very mention of them 😡 

  • Hi I hope your daughter gets seen soon. My daughter is 15 and in a similar position- she has raised TSH but less than 10 and normal free T4 so is in an ambiguous area for treatment. She had to have bloods done twice 2-3 months apart- they do this to check if it was a temporary thing caused by a virus or something. I had to push for this as GP said 'normal', despite the results being outside range and her feeling really awful.

    She also has a raised B12 but no supplements. That is weird as I'm B12 deficient. The first time she had raised B12 I thought she'd been taking my supplements but she hasn't and it remains raised. No-one seems to wonder why. She has similar symptoms to your daughter- cold, exhausted, stomach pains but gained weight though.

    I have arranged for her to have thyroid antibodies checked and an endocrine referral. If there is a long wait I will consider private as she has been ill for months now. Hopefully we will both get some answers/resolution soon for our daughters. It is awful seeing them unwell, isn't it?

  • It is a pity that you do not have a free T3 result as T3 is the active thyroid hormone which controls the metabolism and symptoms, so a free T3 result would be useful.

    On the limited information - high TSH, normal free T4 with hypothyroid symptoms there are several possibilities.  However if there is a family history of thyroid issues, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or depression it could point to a genetic condition thyroid hormone resistance (impaired sensitivity to thyroid hormone).

  • Everyone is so knowledgeable on here, it's a great source 😊 I presume free t3 was normal as dr just said everything else was ok. Husband has rheumatoid arthritis which I know is auto immune disorder but nothing else in family. Thanks for replying. 

  • I don't suppose they tested it. They rarely do. And it would be very odd if her FT3 was ok with a TSH that high.

    But do be aware that they tend to say the things are ok, or normal, if they are just in range. However, in range isn't the same as optimal. And it's optimal you need. 

  • Sorry to hear your daughter is in similar position. I hope I don't have to fight to get answers, I'm not very pushy! My daughters diet is terrible, can't believe she has high b12. 

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