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Thyroid UK
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Help with blood test results. High TSH?

Hi everyone,

I had a lot of blood tests done a few weeks ago...was sent a letter to make an appointment with my GP, so assuming that some results may not be in the range I went and got a copy this morning.

Blood drawn at 8.40am.

TSH 8.8 mu L (range 0.30 - 6.00) Comment Abnormal - No action, under endocrine clinic ( I have rang hospital, I cannot get an appointment with endo until end of August)

Free T3 5.6 pmol (range 3.60 - 6.40)

Free T4 16.8 pmol ( range 10.00 - 22.00)

Zinc 11.4 ( range 12 - 25) Comment Abnormal - No Action

Ferritin 20 ( range 13 - 150) Comment Normal - No Action

Serum iron 20.4 ( range 13 - 32)

plasma cortisol 711 nmol ( range 140 - 500) Comment Abnormal - No Action. ?On replacement - not cortisol deficient.

I am not on cortisol or any other steroids.

B12 & Folate No figures given, I don't know if they are high or low. Although I do take B12.

Comment Abnormal - No action.

Serum total cholesterol 6.8 mmol (range <5.00 mmol )

Serum triglycerides 2.2 mmol (range <2.30 mmol)

Serum HDL cholesterol 2 mmol ( range >1.00 mmol)

Serum LDL cholesterol 3.8 (calculated) (range <3.00 calculated)

serum cholesterol HDL ratio 3.4 (range <3.50 ratio)

Se non HDL cholesterol level 4.8 mmol

Any advice please, particularly about my TSH...

Thank You


7 Replies

Your TSH is high at this level although doctors may consider you "sub clinical" until you reach magic number 10. You must have many symptoms of being hypothyroid & feel shocking. This is affecting your chlosterol level, as being hypo affects that.

Your ferritin is low & I feel better with this about 70 - 90.

Your blood cortisol is high & you may wish discussing Cushings with your doctor (very rare but worth ruling out). It suggests your adrenals are under pressure & low ferritin will contribute to that.

Good luck with GP.

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My "fibromyalgia" pain has increased, there isn't a part of me including fingers and toes that is not hurting. I have noticed that I am losing more hair than usual, it has gone very thin. Muscles shaking, stiffness and burning, more headaches etc...list goes on.

What would I need to take to increase ferritin?

Thank you


Suggest you firmly but politely ask GP check both your Thyroid antibodies. (TPO and TG) If one or both are above range then this means the thyroid is due autoimmune thyroid, called Hashimoto's. (Most common cause)

If it is autoimmune then many of us have found adopting a gluten free diet improves symptoms, calms the immune response and slowly reduces antibodies.

Would be good idea to check vitamin D levels too

Vitamin D, B12, folate & ferritin all need to be at good levels for thyroid hormones to work in body cells.

Going 100% gluten free and possibly supplementing may be enough to lower TSH

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What is the logic of "abnormal - no action" .There is no action when "normal" even when not optimal like your ferritin result. Perhaps you should ask.

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If you are already taking Levothyroxine you are undermedicated and need a dose increase. If you are not yet taking Levothyroxine your GP or endo should prescribe it as TSH is over range.

You can raise ferritin by supplementing iron taken with 500mg-1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and minimise constipation.

Cholesterol rises when TSH is high. It should drop when you are optimally medicated.


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.


I am on Novothyral 75, ( T3/T4 combination) 1/2 tablet per day. I am trying to get an appointment with the private clinic that prescribe it for me but at the moment the earliest appoint is the end of July...and NHS endo has just put my August appointment back to October ( that will be 10 months since last NHS appointment).

Will start taking iron plus VIT C

Could I also ask the other symptom I have just started to get ( which I haven't had before) is a very mild palpitation feeling a couple of times a day...could this be thyroid related. Will be going to GP to ask to be checked out. It is worrying me..


Low iron can cause palpitations. So can low T3. They can both cause tachycardia too, if the problems become bad enough. (Tachycardia = fast heart rate.)

If you get your thyroid meds up to optimal you should get an improvement in T3 levels. Having good levels of ferritin, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D will aid conversion from T4 to T3. You should find palpitations improve or disappear when nutrient levels, thyroid meds and cortisol levels are better than they currently are.

The rest of this post is based on my own experience, and I am not medically trained.

Since you have high cortisol (at least at 8.40 in the morning) you might struggle to raise your thyroid meds. Taking thyroid meds on top of high cortisol can give symptoms suggesting you are over-dosed, even though you aren't.

Blood cortisol levels only tell you what is happening at the minute your blood is taken. You might have higher or lower cortisol at other times of the day.

I used private 4-part adrenal saliva testing and discovered that I had high cortisol levels all day. First thing in the morning was worst for me, although they weren't great at any time.



Knowing that my cortisol was better at certain times than others, I made use of this fact when dosing with meds containing T3. I might raise my T3 levels by quarter of a tablet. (I had to go very, very slowly with my raises because of the cortisol issue.) If I took that in the morning it might cause a fast heart rate and palpitations. But exactly the same raise taken early/mid afternoon instead of the morning might work fine. I spent months experimenting constantly with how many doses I took, and what size of dose I took at different times.

There were a lot of times I increased my dose but couldn't shoehorn that extra bit of T3 into my day anywhere without getting over-medicated symptoms, even though I was clearly still hypo. So I had to back off and reduce dose again. Then I would raise again in a week or two and it would go smoothly.

Eventually, no amount of forcing an increase would allow me to take any more T3. So I stopped where I was, and eventually even lowered my dose by 1/4 tablet.

Another thing to be aware of... What works for you in the first 6 months or the first year might not work for ever. As your thyroid-hormone-starved cells start to repair your needs may alter. I've tried levo, NDT only, T3 only, NDT+T3. The one thing that has never worked for me is T4 only (levo). But all the other treatments have worked for a while before I had to try something else or go back to something that worked before.

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