Understanding blood test results

Hi

Edit: 8th July - blood test results

TSH 6.1 (0.2-4.2)

FT4 16.8 (12-22)

TT4 100.9 (59-154)

FT3 5.2 (3.1-6.8)

TgAb 12.5 (0-115)

TPO 6.2 (0-34)

B12 288.1 (191-663)

Folate 9.7 (4.6-18.7)

CRP 0.3 (0-5)

Ferritin 87.8 (30-400)

-----

I have symptoms of hypothyroidism (weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, lack of motivation, dry skin) and my blood test results are as follows:

TSH = 3.6 and 2.6 (taken two weeks apart in different hospitals)

FT4 = 17.1 (range 11-26)

FT3 = 5.2 (range 3.1-6.8)

Antibodies = <10 (range <80)

As a result my endocrinologist has recommended an anti-depressant to my GP to deal with fatigue and lack of motivation. Suffice to say I haven't taken them up on the offer.

How do these figures sit in the greater scheme of things? Everything else blood test related is "within normal range"

Ferritin = 112 (range 30-400)

Cortisol = 369 (range 138-690)

all results: oi64.tinypic.com/2ljg8jt.jpg

Thanks, Kristian

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33 Replies

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  • kp278 Do please post any other test results that you have, to give a better picture.

    Your ferritin is too low. It needs to be at least a minimum of 70 but better half way through the range. I have an idea it may need to be a bit higher for men. Low ferritin can cause fatigue amongst other things. These are all possible symptoms of low ferritin levels •unexplained fatigue.

    •dizziness.

    •chronic headaches.

    •unexplained weakness.

    •ringing in your ears.

    •irritability.

    •leg pains.

    •shortness of breath.

    Not sure about your TSH without the ranges. If the labs use the same range then obviously your TSH has increased but your FT4 and FT3 don't scream hypo.

    I can't comment on your cortisol because I only know about the 24hr adrenal saliva test.

  • hi thanks for replying. my ferritin is over 70 but at 112 maybe not high enough?

    headaches was the first symptom that made me go to the doctors - it started 6 weeks ago where i would feel light headed/ spaced out straight after eating, which after a week manifested into chronic lightheadedness which lasted two weeks. since then i get bouts of light headed and feeling spaced out but it's better. the brain fog is the one thing that's getting increasingly almost rapidly worse.

    tsh range is 0.4 - 4.5 for both readings

    it's gone the other way - it was 3.6 three weeks ago and a week ago it was 2.6

    i'll post up the rest of the results.

    thanks, kristian

  • kp278 Ah, sorry, I got the TSH the wrong way round then. So looking at your results there's nothing pointing towards a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. If your TSH had increased from 2.6 to 3.6 it could possibly indicate your thyroid is starting to struggle.

    You had TPO antibodies tested. Sometimes they are negative and the Thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies are positive, but unfortunately these are not routinely tested. You could ask your GP if he will test for those.

    Your ferritin is generally quite good but as we are all individuals it may be better for you to be higher. It's generally advised minimum 70 to half way through range. I wonder if an iron panel would show anything else? Perhaps your GP could do that?

    As for the other test results you've linked to, if no-one else comes along to help interpret them you could look at this link, go to Index of Tests, and check each one out labtestsonline.org.uk/under... It is a UK site so the units of measurement should be the same.

  • What time of day were these TSH tests done? Because TSH is highest early in the morning, and lowers throughout the day. If they weren't both done at the same time of day, then you can't compare them.

    Did you have your vit d, vit B12 and folate tested? These are extremely important, and will make you feel very ill if they are low, with hypo-like symptoms.

  • 3.6 was around 1030am and 2.6 around 1pm. What am i looking for on my blood tests for vit b12? Looking at another blood test from 26th may my serum ferritin was 56 in a range of 15-300 which is certainly at the low end. Haemoglobin is high though, average 170 in a range of 130-180

  • Well, there you are then. It would be even higher at 8.0 am, which is when you should have it tested. You cannot compare those two results and say you're getting worse/better, because they weren't done at the same time.

    So, for your next test, make sure it is as early as possible in the morning, and fasting - just drink water.

    You're looking to have a B12 result around 1000 - even though the ranges often don't go that high, that is optimal. Anything under 500 puts you at risk of irreparable neurological damage.

    Your ferritin is too low. You need it about mid-range. Somewhere between 100 - 150.

    I don't know about Haemoglobin, I'm afraid.

  • ok i have a home blood test kit in front of me to test all of the above. Is 10 hours enough fast and 8am a good time to test, or go earlier?

  • Well, by fast, what we mean is have your meal in the evening, then skip breakfast until after the test.

    If you can go before 8, then all well and good. But, will you be able to do that every time you have a test?

  • i got different results from different places - 8hrs, 10hrs, 12hrs, so on and so forth, 10hrs seems a happy medium. noted on the test time, thanks for your help

  • Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. Are you talking about 'fasting'? If you have your test at 8 am. Ten hours previous to that would be 10 pm. Do you normally have your dinner at 10 pm? I would say don't worry about how long, just have your dinner at the normal time in the evening, have the test in the morning, and breakfast after the test. :)

  • Maybe not 10pm but last nights dinner was after 9. Sometimes I eat small and often and always wake up hungry at 6am hence all the questions on how long to fast. thanks for your help.

  • You're welcome.

  • i read somewhere on this forum i should reply directly to users so they see updates...? fresh test results added to the top post. thanks

  • I think it would have been better to put these new results in a new question. Not many people are going to see this thread, now, because it will be way down on the list.

    But your TSH is still much too high - higher than last time, you really are hypo with that result - and your B12 too low. Something needs to be done about both of them. I would show these results to your doctor, if I were you. :(

  • Just got back from gp appointment, they prescribed me anti-depressants. What do i do now :(

  • Well, I wouldn't take the anti-depressants, if I were you, that's for sure! Although, one has to say, they are depressingly ignorant!

    So, if I were you, I would work on my B12, try and bring that up, and that might eliminate some of the symptoms.

    Try taking 5000 mcg sublingual methylcobalamin daily - you can find that on Amazon, by Solgar, or Jarrows. And, with that, take a B complex to balance the Bs. Get one with methylfolate, rather than folic acid, and that will bring your folate up nicely.

    For the thyroid, I would just get tested again in 6 months time, and see how things are progressing. I wouldn't start self-treating at this point, I don't think, because your FT3 isn't too low, yet, you are converting well, and you don't appear to have Hashi's. Bringing up the B12 could help a lot.

  • thanks will do. struggling to find a b complex with methylfolate, at least on amazon

  • found one

  • Oh, sorry! I meant to suggest Thorne's, and then l forgot.

  • still waiting for delivery of the 5000 mcg solgar but i've had the vit b complex for three days and my urine is neon yellow which apparently means i'm getting too much vitamins! or the vitamins aren't being absorbed properly

  • No, it doesn't mean that. It just means that there's a slight excess of B... 6? I believe. Not sure which one. But it really isn't a problem, and happens to most people.

  • It's vitamin B2 (riboflavin) that makes urine go bright yellow. As you say, greygoose, it really isn't a problem and does no harm.

  • Thank you, HB. Momentary lose of memory, there! lol

  • Hi, I've been taking the B12 supplements for nearly a month and I do have much better days now. There is still the odd low periods here and there. The constant sensitive head is a permanent fixture - it's not so much a headache, more like my brain is wading through water a little, as if i'm on the verge of a bout of lightheadedness. But generally I'm doing much better now on the supplements. Thank you greygoose and for everyone who has helped.

    Intention is to carry on (think it's a 60 tablet pack so another month to go) then have another fasting blood test done and compare results.

    Regarding the clinical side I'm letting the consultants do whatever checks they need to, in the hope of narrowing it down to maybe getting correct thyroid treatment! I had a gastro take a look in my stomach with a camera which showed everything is well, he did take a biopsy to check that iron is being used correctly and I have a follow up appointment this afternoon.

  • T3 is the active thyroid hormone which controls the metabolism and therefore the symptoms. Your Free T3 is just over the mid point of the normal range so you should not have hypothyroid symptoms.

    As you are still having severe symptoms one possible cause is Impaired Sensitivity to Thyroid Hormone (more often known as Thyroid Hormone Resistance). It is genetic and requires very high T3 levels in the body to overcome the resistance. If there are other family members with fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, Coeliac Disease, MS, Heart Disease, thyroid or depression this would further support this.

  • My mum has lupus/sle and my auntie has a thyroid disorder (but i assume my auntie falls outside the immediate family box)

  • Some of the symptoms of lupus are very close to those of fibromyalgia and thyroid illness and the association of lupus with hypothyroidism was first noted in 1888.

    If your auntie is a sister of either your father or mother then it is very relevant and a strong indicator of thyroid hormone resistance.

    It there are grandparents, cousins, nephews or nieces with these conditions is will further confirm the likelihood of the condition.

    I will send you a personal message with information.

  • Thanks all for your input on this, it's very helpful. Will do a blood test tomorrow and the lab is local-ish so will deliver the samples tomorrow and with a 1-2 day turnaround will hopefully have results to share before the weekend

  • I've added latest blood tests results to the top of the page. TSH is outside range but everything else is inside. Iron is on the low side.

  • Hi, I've been taking the B12 supplements for nearly a month and I do have much better days now. There is still the odd low periods here and there. The constant sensitive head is a permanent fixture - it's not so much a headache, more like my brain is wading through water a little, as if i'm on the verge of a bout of lightheadedness. But generally I'm doing much better now on the supplements. Thank you greygoose and for everyone who has helped.

    Intention is to carry on (think it's a 60 tablet pack so another month to go) then have another fasting blood test done and compare results.

    Regarding the clinical side I'm letting the consultants do whatever checks they need to, in the hope of narrowing it down to maybe getting correct thyroid treatment! I had a gastro take a look in my stomach with a camera which showed everything is well, he did take a biopsy to check that iron is being used but everything is normal.

  • i should also add that i'm losing weight (78kg three months ago now i'm 75kg) despite being bigger round the middle

  • hello KP78, sorry but I've only seen your original post today , plus read all the replies. I'm pleased to see the weigh loss you recorded, you must be delighted also! It looks like you are getting there slowly but surely :-) the initial weight loss is probably water, the inches will also come down, but take longer to have noticeable effects which is one reason why slow and sure works, where diets don't. Yes the correct food regime is essential in terms of intake of vitamins,minerals, carbohydrates,protein, etc etc.

    it's interesting to note the BBC news today has reported on the benefits of the "Mediterranean" Diet. I'll eat a small handful of nuts as a snack (Protein) have a banana another time (potassium) I even like I ginger biscuit (carbohydrate) and it's usually the first thing I eat 95% of days, while I'm making the cup of tea. it settles my stomach because the Levo sits there slowly dissolving! Then I have a glass of no-sugar/colourants, mixed fruit juice, to down the biscuit! Several vitamins in the juice, albeit probably not enough for the RDA.

    I like to call it my "tri-it" eating plan, not a diet because they never did work for me! if "diet programmes" worked why are they still making £thousands out of us?

    I eat what I need to provide my bodŷ with the essential nutrients, all in moderation - and like you, I eat little and often, but with different nutrients eaten at different times of day - once the hour is up after taking my Levo 1st thing in the morning - as written above. I'm lucky I only have me to look after and feed, which makes it possible to follow my regime. I often eat around 9pm myself when I do have a cooked meal - about one every 3/4 days only. basically because I don't get hungry! I repeat, it works for me, but we are all individuals, so have to do what works for and suits ourselves best! .

    However, I rarely if ever comment on others blood test results. It's the symptoms that catch my eye. Your lightheadedness could be down to a mixture of whatever meds you take, prescribed or OTC. There are several, which if taken together or not taken as per manufacturers exact instructions can have side effects. many can have some of the same ingredients in them, which can lead to an overdose of one particular ingredient. you can always check out your meds on drugs.com, then choose your country once the site opens.

    From personal experience I'm happy to throw in my 2penneth when it comes to symptoms. I notice you wrote originally about the lightheadedness and foggy symptoms. When you said Dr wanting you to take antidepressants I'm of same opinion as GreyGoose - for me it's another case of personal experience and once I stopped taking them, I was fine!

    In fact I avoid meds like the plague - I only take my prescribed Levo and Vit D3, plus yes I buy Vit B12 - never I need to take Paracetamol, any other painkiller, which are not good for our stomachs if taken in quantity or regularly, despite having a few odd health issues. my Dr still prescribes some tabs I've told him I refuse to take and I'm still here to tell the tale, for the moment anyway :-)

    Post your next results on here, keep following TUK posts and you'll see the information given by the Admins and Regulars. it's amazing what we can learn about ourselves and our conditions, but don't necessarily assume all your symptoms or side-effects are all down to the Thyroid.

  • Hi thanks for your detailed reply. I should have been more descriptive on my weight loss, it's not a great thing for me, I lift weights and was 78kg with very little fat but since May have dropped to 75kg, lost muscle and gained fat, but just around the middle - at least I think its fat, it might be bloat. I've experienced rashes in the past two weeks, one a week, very much like heat rash - tingly - and it goes away after an antihistamine. no pattern in what triggers them, but i read an excess of vitamin b can cause this. have noticed recently i can't burp very easily unless i push my stomach below the sternum. i agree what you say about not everything being down to the thyroid. there is definitely something going on, would love it know what it is. i have an appt with an immunologist for food allergy testing next week, will see what that brings.

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