Thyroid UK
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My other half's results (help please!) & possible self medication?


For years my other half has displayed numerous symptoms of an under active thyroid which has culminated in her getting chest infections every other month for the past 2 years and being unable to be active 50% of the time which is really upsetting for her.

She's been tested by the NHS and they constantly tell her she either:

a) Has asthma

b) Is borderline on her thyroid results and its nothing to worry about.

Were pretty sick of getting fobbed off and told there is nothing wrong when there clearly is so I got her to go and get some blood tests done privately so we could understand what 'borderline' actually means.

These are her results:

TOTAL THYROXINE(T4) 99 nmol/L 59 - 154


FREE THYROXINE 13.3 pmol/l 12.0 - 22.0

FREE T3 4.4 pmol/L 3.1 - 6.8

Thyroglobulin Antibody 16.5 IU/mL 0-115

Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies 12.9 IU/mL 0 - 34

Method used for Anti-Tg: Roche Modular

It seems to me that her TSH reading is (according to anyone other than the NHS) far too high and a good indicator of a problem.

Can someone please confirm this and give us any advice on whether any of the other readings are bad and what we she should be thinking about taking to sort them out? Was thinking thyroxine but not sure about quantity etc.

Any help is greatly appreciated! :)

7 Replies

schmores The TSH result does look high but can you please put the reference ranges for the tests (you can edit the post by clicking on the down arrow under your message). Ranges vary from lab to lab so it's best to have them, guessing isn't a good idea :)

ETA: I meant to say, what has been done about the chest infections? Has she ever taken a sputum sample in for testing to see if it is bacterial? There are some bacteria that colonise in the lungs and flare up from time to time - I have COPD and also have pseudomonas colonised. Have they done spirometry tests to back up the 'asthma'?



Thanks for getting back to me! :)

Ranges added.

Yes she had some of the green sputum to the doctors and I believe nothing came back from the tests.

She is given antibiotics every time she gets sick and goes to the doctor but often doesn't want to take them as they are obviously really bad to take. Depending on the severity of her coughing I often insist she does as Im really worried about the long term effects of being ill so often.

On another note, the blood was actually drawn in the afternoon after she had been eating all day, I understand this can skew the results. Would it be worth her getting retested? Are the results likely to be more or less skewed towards it indicating a problem?


Thank you schmores

Yes, I would get another test. Get the first appointment of the morning, fast (water only, nothing to eat since previous night, breakfast when you get back home). This is because TSH is naturally at it's highest then and will give a better picture. It probably will be high as the afternoon one was but it will be more accurate. Also, infection can cause TSH to be high, which is why a first time high TSH will often be re-tested after a few weeks before diagnosing hypothyroidism, in case it is infection causing it.

Green sputum indicates infection. The bacteria should be identified by the Lab from the sample and the correct antibiotic given for that particular bacteria. It would be worth asking what bacteria has caused the infections in the past to see if it is the same one recurring. If it is then the antibiotic either isn't the right one or the course hasn't been long enough. Does she take the full course and follow the instructions, reading the patient information about when to take them, spacing them out properly, avoiding certain food and drink that the PIL tells you to. That's all important for the antibiotic to work. It would also be worth sending in another sputum sample for testing when the course of antibiotics has finished to see if the bacteria is still there.

When taking antibiotics, also take probiotics to replace the good bacteria as the antibiotics will kill off both good and bad bacteria. Then when the course of ABs is finished, continue with the probiotics and also take prebiotics which feed the probiotics.

1 like

It is helpful to put the ranges - the reason being that labs differ in their machines, so different ranges.

This is the interpretation of blood tests from and you will find it self-explanatory.

I assume the blood test was at the earliest possible and fasting?


A TSH of 6.84 is most definitely Hypothyroid

Both free t4 and free t3 are low

Its utterly vital that they are treated however its likely that




Vit d3

Are low and will block or hinder the body being able to convert levothyroxine t4 into the t3 that every cell in her body needs to function

So i would order NDT online and self treat


I'm surprised you haven't had a more emphatic reply, that yes, these thyroid results are terrible! To give you a rough idea of what they should be, for TSH most people feel well with a TSH close to 1, or even well below the range. But this is your sticking point, because many doctors will not treat unless it gets to 10.

The freeT4 should be in the top quarter, and freeT3 in the top third, with freeT3 the amount of active hormone in the blood, so the most important of all the tests. Hers are both right at the bottom of the range.

The antibodies I'm less sure about as I don't have Hashimotos myself. But it looks like she also doesn't have Hashimotos (the autoimmune disease these antibodies are associated with, which slowly attack and destroy the thyroid). This is surprising, as that is by far the most common cause of hypothyroid in adults.

In terms of what to do about it. It might be worth challenging the doctor on what levels they are looking for before treating. If they say a TSH of 10, or even 8, you might be out of luck. Some doctors will give a trial of Levothyroxine if you hassle them and beg - the guidelines state that they should treat before the TSH reaches their threshold of there are symptoms. Although as I've found, they love to toss other explanations at you.

The other alternative is self-medicating. Many members here buy their own. Probably NDT( or T3) as these are generally considered better than the Levothyroxine (T4) you can get on the NHS. I now do this, I started out just reading the forum every day until the information about how to do it sunk in.


Hello - it's me again- so sorry I read your post incorrectly and your wife's problem is NOT coughing but chest infections! Feeling pretty stupid!!!!


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