Confused with results

I had a partial thyrodectomy over 16 years ago and have been taking levothyroxine, but over the past few years my weight has rocketed. Lateley, I have days when I am thoroughly exhausted, very painful thigh and buttock muscles, pain in my wrist and hands and weakness in my hands. Also my hair has been thinning. I went to my GP for tests for hypo active thyroid, my results came back :- TSH level 0.33 and T4 13. My T3 level was not tested. My GP told me the results were normal/O.K. and is now sending me to reumatology after various other tests came back clear. I am not convinced, and would appreciate any input on my levels.

6 Replies

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  • It is possible to have a low TSH with low Free T4 and low Free T3. Doctors rarely think of it, but it would happen if you had central hypothyroidism rather than primary hypothyroidism.

    In primary hypothyroidism the problem is in the thyroid gland.

    In central hypothyroidism the problem is in the brain - either the pituitary (secondary hypothyroidism) or the hypothalamus (tertiary hypothyroidism).

    In all cases the treatment is the same - replacement of the missing thyroid hormones. But the blood test results present rather differently. Doctors always look for the kind of results they expect from primary hypothyroidism treated by levo, so they miss all sorts of problems, particularly since Free T3 and antibodies are hardly ever tested.

    If you can afford to go privately you could get a finger-prick blood test for all the essential thyroid and nutrient levels for £99 from Blue Horizon. You don't need to see or pay for a doctor or ask their permission. The whole thing is done by post and results are sent by email.

    bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk/T...

    bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk/W...

    Once you have your results you should post them on the forum in a new thread, and ask for feedback.

    Your doctor will never have told you this, but there are other forms of thyroid hormone treatment besides Levo. It is possible you may need one of these to have any hope of feeling better.

  • Devorn,

    Do you know what the FT4 range is (the figures in brackets after results)? TSH 0.33 is good and is normal. FT3 is rarely tested in primary care. You can order a private thyroid test to check FT3 via thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    Were ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate tested by your GP?

  • The FT4 range is 9.0 to 19.1. The only other test was Vitamin D.

  • Devorn,

    FT4 could be higher in range but a dose increase will suppress TSH which may get your GP bent out of shape. It may be worth asking though. Read Treatment Options in thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_... Email louise.roberts@thyroiduk.org.uk if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP that some patients need suppressed TSH in order to have sufficient T4 for conversion to T3.

    What was your vitamin D result?

  • I was just told normal results for Vit D.

  • Devorn,

    Normal is an opinion, it's not a result. Ask your GP receptionist for the result.

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