Living abroad and need help understanding blood results?

Hi everyone, I am new on here and I thought I would just try and get some help understanding the blood results that I received today.

After a multitude of nondescript health issues over the last few years it was suggested that I get my Thyroid checked. My results as follows:

FT4 = 10.4

TSH = 1.50

Can somebody please tell me what this means and whether I should get any further testing and if so, what?

Really appreciate it, thank you!!!

10 Replies

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  • BiancaMonique Do you have the reference ranges for those results please, they are usually at the side of the numbers and maybe in brackets.

    As ranges differ from lab to lab it's not possible to comment with any accuracy without them.

  • Yeh sure, sorry, here you go.

    FreeT4 10.4 (7.8 - 16)

    TSH 1.5 (0.27-4.2)

    Thanks for taking a look!!

  • Thanks :)

    Your TSH is actually in a good place. For any hint of hypothyroidism it would be at the upper end of the range or over range.

    Your FT4 is only about 30% through range but no-one knows where you feel best, assuming you've not been tested before.

    Those results don't indicate a thyroid problem.

    What about your symptoms? If you list them someone might pick up on something.

    Have you had any other tests done? We often find members low in essential vitamins and minerals which can cause many symptoms so we always recommend the following be tested:

    B12

    Vit D

    Ferritin

    Folate

    It would be an idea to get those tested, come back and post results (with ranges :) ) and there may be some clues there.

  • Fantastic, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Its really useful to know what I should ask to be tested for and I really appreciate it!

    My symptoms as they stand are all over the place. My investigation started 2 years ago when I suffered from chronic UTI's for almost a year. The only way I was able to stop them was by removing sugar from my diet completely. Since then I have had a series of health issues.

    I have gained a fair amount of weight over the last year which is unusual for me (my diet is great).

    My hair is thinning which is not a new problem but it seems to be getting worse.

    I am constantly fatigued and I am finding it really difficult to do physical activity as I just feel like I don't have the energy. Before I was ill I used to go to the gym 6 times a week.

    I suffer with chronic constipation, again not a new problem but it seems to be getting worse.

    When I was younger I was always tired, cold, pale and my eye lashes were forever falling out.

    Removing sugar from my diet feels like I am masking a bigger problem. I work in a chlorinated environment and I know that I am vitamin D deficient as I was tested with a bone density scanner. Most likely from having to cover up for the past 5 years.

    Having an 'unknown' ailment is difficult to treat and it just feels like ever since I was really ill with UTI's and on a series of strong antibiotics for almost a year, it has been one thing after another. I was once a fit, healthy and happy person and I feel like I am becoming a shadow of my former self.

    I hope this doesn't sound too confusing, they are confusing symptoms so I would understand if this sounded a little unclear. I will get tested with your suggestions above and re-post.

    Thank you SeasideSusie !!

  • From what you say I think you do have some deficencies, guessing ferritin (fatigue, hair loss) for a start.

    As you know you are Vit D deficient, what are you doing about that? What was your level? Members can advise on supplements with cofactors and dosage if you would like suggestions.

    Constipation you can try Psyllium with Apple Pectin, it's what I use and find it effective, it gets things moving without a laxative effect. Not sure where you live or what is available to you but I use Nutri Advanced brand. I don't need anywhere near what it says on the pack, two a day is fine for me and I've been the queen of constipation :D .

    2000mg ascorbic acid vitamin C before bed can have a laxative effect, also magnesium citrate.

    When you have taken all those antibiotics, have you also taken a probiotic to replace the good bacteria that the antibiotic is killing along with the bad bacteria? Gut health is very important. It would be an idea to start taking a probiotic, I'm sorry I only know what's available here in the UK but something like Acidophilus Plus from Cytoplan or Bio-kult Advanced Multi strain. Build up the probiotics and then feed them with a prebiotic. Never take a prebiotic when taking antibiotics as all you'll do is feed the bad bacteria the antibiotic is supposed to be killing.

    Lots of UTIs and removing sugar to help makes me wonder if you've ever looked into candida? I don't know too much about it, I tested for it, was negative so didn't look any further. It might be worth you looking into it, maybe testing if it's available.

    I wonder if the chlorinated environment is affecting you in some way. Worth looking into that too.

    Just a little something to be going on with :D

  • Thank you so much. Loads of great info here. I am going to dig out my Vit D test and see exactly what it says. The people testing me said that it was pointless taking VitD supplements as it has to be injected in order to be absorbed. I trusted them at the time but perhaps in hindsight this was more a promotion of their own injectable solution.

    And great constipation suggestions, I am going to look into all of those.

    I don't know much about Ferritin so I am going to do some research but I feel quite well armed with a few new lab requests now;) that exactly what i needed.

    I have also looked into Candida and I might have another look, I ruled it out as I think I have a pretty good diet, sugar free and I only suffer from thrush when taking antibiotics but perhaps this was a little short sighted, I'm going to check it out.

    You have given me heaps to go on so I really appreciate your time!! :-)

  • BiancaMonique The people testing me said that it was pointless taking VitD supplements as it has to be injected in order to be absorbed.

    Well what a load of tosh! Who were they? When you find your paperwork then post what it says. Mine was severely deficient at 15nmol/L and I got mine up to 200nmol/L in 2.5 months by supplementing with a D3 softgel (loading dose to start for 2-3 weeks, then lowered the dose). D3 is a fat soluble vitamin so orally it has to be taken with dietary fat. I don't know anything about injections personally but this from the Vitamin D Council is interesting and sways towards oral supplementation vitamindcouncil.org/vitamin...

    Ferritin is your iron store and you should be half way through range. Low ferritin can cause

    •unexplained fatigue.

    •dizziness.

    •chronic headaches.

    •unexplained weakness.

    •ringing in your ears.

    •irritability.

    •leg pains.

    •shortness of breath.

    This may help nhs.uk/Conditions/Anaemia-i... (UK site but information is universal)

    Do consider the probiotics as a general supplement, and particularly if you need to take antibiotics again they are a must to build the good bacteria in your gut back up.

  • The chlorine could be blocking the iodine you need to make thyroid hormone. However, your FT4 isn't that low. Have you had your antibodies tested? TPO antibodies and Tg antibodies - no idea what they would be called wherever you are, though!

    Reading through your symptoms, I was thinking low iron, too. And, if your iron is as low as it sounds, and you know your vit D is low, then your vit B12 is probably low, too. And low B12 will cause a lot of symptoms that mimic low thyroid. So, it would be a really good idea to get that tested. :)

  • Hi Greygoose,

    I haven't had the antibodies tested but I think that is next on my list of lab requests. I think I should definitely add iron, B12 to that list. I naively thought they would do a full blood work but turns out I need to be more specific. I have also heard that T3 levels are important to know as it is possible that the TSH and the FreeT4 levels can be normal but T3 the active hormone can be really low. Well, anyway I am just going to get them all checked.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I am almost convinced that my work environment is putting my health at risk and it is only recently that I have heard of chlorine interacting with other bio-chemicals properties in the body. Definitely something I am going to look more into. I wonder if they can test Iodine levels as well.

    Thank you greygoose !!!

  • Yes, I'm afraid you do need to be much more specific for most doctors, they haven't got much of a clue - it's an international problem!

    And you're right, TSH can be perfect (whatever that is!) and FT4 at the top of the range, but the FT3 can still be low because of a conversion problem. But you will never know if you have a conversion problem without testing the FT4 and FT3 at the same time, to compare them.

    Good luck! :)

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