Blood test results borderline underactive thyroid - Thyroid UK

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Blood test results borderline underactive thyroid


Hi i would welcome advice as ive had symptoms of underactive thyroid for 11 years since birth of my son but i keep getting told my blood tests are fine but i know they have been very borderline anyway a recent test results have now officially put me at borderline underactive thyroid

serum free t4 level is 10.3 pmo/L

serum TSH level is 4.9 miu/L

also my serum triglyceride level is slightly raised 2.4 mmo/L not sure if this is related

is anyone else on medication with these sort of results ,are there any other tests that would be more conclusive i just desperately want to feel better ,i also have polycystic ovaries which i know can be a condition alongside thyroid issues i have Drs appointment in 2 weeks and want her to listen to me this time so fed up of being fobbed off

thank you in advance for any help or advice its very much appreciated

10 Replies


Do you have the ref ranges (the figures in brackets after the results)? NHS doesn't usually diagnose and treat until TSH is over range or FT4 is below range.

in reply to Clutter

The ranges are TSH 0.2- 0.4

and T4 is 10.0-20.0

in reply to spyder


The TSH range doesn't look right. Perhaps you could doublecheck.

FT4 10.3 is very low in range.

in reply to Clutter

sorry TSH IS 0.2 -4.0 AND MINE IS 4.9 thanks

in reply to spyder


Your GP could prescribe Levothyroxine as TSH is over range and FT4 is so low.

Cholesterol is often raised when thyroid hormone is low and should drop once you are optimally dosed.

in reply to Clutter


Yes I am medicated now (25 mcg Levo) after a test result of TSH 4.95 (0.27-4.20) , so just over range aka 'borderline'. I also have high antibodies plus my mother had Grave's, so I believe that all helped sway my GP into giving me a trial.


Most people on levo need low TSH around (or even slightly below) 1 to be adequately treated.

You should be retested after 6-8 weeks on starter dose. Increases are in 25mcg steps. Testing again after each increase. (See below re tests)

Make sure you take Levo on empty stomach, and no food or drink other than water for ar least an hour after. No other medications at same time, especially iron, vit D, HRt - these should be at least 4 hours away. Many take on waking. Some prefer bedtime - recent research suggests bedtime may be more effective

If they have not been done ......Suggest you ask GP to check levels of vitamin d, b12, folate and ferratin. These all need to at GOOD (not just average) levels for thyroid hormones (our own or replacement ones) to work in our cells

Also have you had thyroid antibodies checked? There are two sorts TPO Ab and TG Ab. (Thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin) Both need checking, if either, or both are high this means autoimmune thyroid - called Hashimoto's the most common cause in UK of being hypo.

(NHS rarely checks TPO and almost never checks TG. NHS believes it is impossible to have negative TPO and raised TG. It's rare, but not impossible, there are a few members on here that have this.)

Make sure you get the actual figures from tests (including ranges - figures in brackets). You are entitled to copies of your own results. Some surgeries make nominal charge for printing out.

Alternatively you can now ask for online access to your own medical records. Though not all surgeries can do this yet, or may not have blood test results available yet online.

When you get results suggest you make a new post on here and members can offer advice on any vitamin supplements needed

If you can not get GP to do these tests, then like many of us, you can get them done privately

Blue Horizon - Thyroid plus eleven tests all these.

This is an easy to do fingerprick test you do at home, post back and they email results to you couple of days later.

Usual advice on ALL thyroid tests, (home one or on NHS) is to do early in morning, ideally before 9am. No food or drink beforehand (other than water) If you are taking Levo, then don't take it in 24 hours before (take straight after). This way your tests are always consistent, and it will show highest TSH, and as this is mainly all the medics decide dose on, best idea is to keep result as high as possible

If you have Hashimoto's then you may find adopting 100% gluten free diet can help reduce symptoms, and lower antibodies too. Selenium supplements can help too.

Thank you for replies much appreciated


Welcome to our forum,

I'd bet you are hypothyroid on your clinical symptoms alone. I'll give you a link:-

Unfortunately, the British Thyroid Association has told doctors etc only to diagnose hypothyroid when the TSH reaches 10. They've never mentioned prescribing due to the patients disabling symptoms, but of course they don't know any in the first place.

Before the blood tests were introduced along with levothyroxine, we were prescribed upon our symptoms only and it is quite common after giving birth that hypothyroidism rears its head for the first time. Polycystic Ovaries - probable: Climbing choleterol another.

In other countries we would be prescribed if the TSH was around 3. You are probably just within the higher figure of the range.

When you post results always give the ranges (these figures are in brackets). Labs differ and it makes it easier to comment.

When you have a blood test this is the recommendation (also if on levothyroxine):

Levothyroxine should be taken on an empty stomach first thing with one full glass of water and wait about an hour before eating.

Food interferes with the uptake of the hormones.

It can also be taken at bedtime as long as you've last eaten about 3 hours previously.

When you have blood tests for thyroid hormones, they should be the very earliest possible, and fasting although you can drink water. Leave about 24 hours between your last dose of levothyroxine and the test as this allows the TSH to be at its highest and that is mainly what the doctor uses to adjust hormones.

This is re Pregnancy/fertility:

Links from TUK:

If your GP has only done the basic tests, asks if he will do some of the others but may not as TSH is probably in range. You can get a private test done through one of the recommended labs on TUK. You also need thyroid antibodies tested. If you have those you'd have an Autoimmune Thyroid Disease called Hashimoto's.

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