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Thyroid UK
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Borderline results!!!

Hi everyone, today I was told my test for an under active thyroid was borderline. This is very frustrating as I have had many symptoms for the last few years , my sister has hypothyroidism and my mother had it. My doctor says I should have another blood test in 2 to 3 months, but to be honest, I am sick of feeling the way I do every day and the prospect of waiting even longer is very daunting.

Does anyone know if borderline cases can still be given medication? My doctor says she wants to wait.

I would be grateful for any comments as to what to do ? Should I push for treatment , leave it alone or get a second opinion.

Many thanks all.

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Milpol Was this your first test? Do you have the results? Let's see just how 'borderline' they are :) . Post the results with their reference ranges for members to comment.

If it was your first test then it is normal practice to wait and retest in 2-3 months' time.


Hi Seaside Susie, yes it was my first test. I will go tomorrow to see doc and ask for a print out of results then will post them. Many thanks for your response, it's given me some hope if at the outset, this is common practice.


Morning Seaside Susie,

Could I have your opinion on my results I got back yesterday, please.

It says: Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Serum TSH 5.01 ( range 0.3-5)

Serum free T4 15.9 (range 12-22)

Tested blood for anaemia but that was ok.

I've done a little research and it seems the upper limit ranges for TSH vary according to where you live. If I lived in Leeds , for example the upper range is 4 !!!!

This seems ludicrous!!

If I lived there I would have been given medication straight away.

If you look on the Thyroid UK site, interpreting results, it shows a diagram with results above 2.

How can this vary so much?

Isn't there a uniform standard?

Many thanks.


No Milpol there is no uniform standard, which is why so many people struggle to get a diagnosis. The guidelines state that TSH has to reach 10 before a diagnosis can be made and Levo started, so anyone with an over range TSH has to suffer until it reaches 10, so even if you lived in Leeds you may not get Levo with your result. Disgusting, especially as in some other countries once you reach 3 you start treatment.

The levels vary because they are based on apparently testing the local population. I don't know how it works because who are they testing? Are these people perfectly well or do they have health problems which may or may not affect the thyroid anyway. When was this testing done? Do they repeat the testing periodically and alter the ranges? Maybe someone knows how this works and can enlighten us.

With your level you probably don't stand a chance of getting a diagnosis at the moment. You could ask for your antibodies to be tested and if you do have over range antibodies then that is positive for autoimmune thyroid disease aka Hashimoto's. Dr Toft, past president of the British Thyroid Association and leading endocrinologist, says that if antibodies are present then Levo should be started to 'nip things in the bud'. Some doctors will start treatment when antibodies are present, some wont.

The NHS only test Thyroid Perixidase (TPO) antibodies. If they come back negative then that's it. However, there are Thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies which the NHS don't routinely test for but you can get them done privately. You can be negative for TPO but positive for TG and that confirms Hashimoto's.

If you want a complete set of thyroid tests, along with vitamin and mineral tests, then do a private fingerprick test with Blue Horizon - Thyroid Plus Eleven covers everything bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk/T... They do other bundles if you have already had vitamins and minerals tested.

"Tested blood for anaemia but that was ok." Do you have the figures? Did the GP say they were OK? Never trust a doctor's opinion, always get the figures and ranges. What was tested - a full iron panel, just ferritin? Ferritin should be at least 70 for thyroid hormone to work (our own or replacement), half way through the range is what to aim for and I've seen it said the best level for a woman is 100-130.


Thank you Seaside Susie for such a comprehensive reply. So it looks like I'm up **** creek without a paddle , at the moment until I feel really really worse.

Doc never gave me the results for anaemia, just said it was okay, so have no idea what else they may have tested for.

I will ask for them next time.

Am having antibodies checked at next blood test in 3 months time.

So until then will just sit it out and look at the private option.

Many thanks for your support, I really appreciate it. It looks like it's the start of a long journey ahead for me .....

Until the next blood test .....

Thank you 😘


Milpol I'm not sure if you already know this, but when having a blood test always book the very first appointment of the day and fast overnight, have breakfast when you get home. (If you were on Levo you would also be advised to leave it off for 24 hours.) This is because TSH is highest early on the morning and eating lowers TSH. So you want the highest possible TSH to try and get a diagnosis.

If fatigue is one of your symptoms, then low ferritin can cause that. Perhaps you could ring the surgery and ask whether ferritin was tested and what the result was.


Thank you, I will!

I was not given any advice other than doc said I did not have to go early as it wasn't a fasting blood test. Consequently I didn't get a test until lunchtime after I had eaten breakfast and lunch and several cups of tea !!!!

Thanks Seaside Susie 😘


I am tired constantly and always feel as though I never fully wake up , so will ask about ferritin ...


"Consequently I didn't get a test until lunchtime after I had eaten breakfast and lunch and several cups of tea !!!!"

Ahhh!!! Well, that would have made a difference. TSH is probably at it's lowest in the afternoon and certainly eating would have lowered it.

If you do your next test fasting and early morning you might see a difference!


Bless you, thank you.

I will heed your advice and definitely do that in 3 months when I have my retest. I will let you know.

Forever grateful 😘


You need to see what was tested. Theses are the ones you need - TSH - FT4 - FT3 - ANTI-TPO - ANTI-TG.

If just the TSH was tested then there is no justification in saying you are borderline.

Also ask for the following tests - B12 - Folate - VitD - Iron - Ferritin. If low they can mimic thyroid symptoms too.

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Many thanks Marz, will do. I suspect it will be the minimum of tests.

Will get print out of results tomorrow and will post. Would appreciate any responses when I do.

Thanks Marz.

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Put your results in a new post to ensure more people see them 😊😊

Happy to help.


Thank you, will do πŸ˜‰


MY daughter was "borderline" for the best part of a year I insisted that they test her antibodies sure enough they were high that in turn let the doctor know that it wasn't just a "phase" that would go away on its own.... I still had to make a fuss to get medication for her, but would have been a bigger fuss had the antibodies not been high... she was 17 at the time


This is all very new to me and no doubt it will take a while for me to process . Which meditation did they give your daughter after having kicked up a fuss ?


Levothyroxine 25mcgs 6 weeks later, blood test and upped it to 50mcgs. She is currently on 75 mcgs but we are asking for an increase as her THS is creeping up again...


Many thanks Pixielula. Am trying to see doc tomorrow. It just seems so unfair that one has to battle for the right to feel well!


You could go back and take a list of all your hypo symptoms and ask for a trial of thyroxine. Sadly you have to be at your most tenacious at this difficult time. Good luck and take care x


Many thanks Liverbird ! That's a great idea about a trial .... will see if I'm successful.😬


What time of day was your blood test done?

Usual advice on ALL thyroid tests, is to do early in morning, ideally before 9am. No food or drink beforehand (other than water)

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 TSH result as high as possible

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Hi, test was done at lunchtime and I had eaten breakfast and had a cup of tea beforehand!!! GP said best not to go in the morning as it wasn't a fasting blood test ! Interestingly, the nurse taking the test asked me if I had had only water. When I told her I had eaten, she looked at me as though I was an idiot and scolded me for drinking tea .

This was my first blood test for an under active thyroid and went into it with little or no knowledge.

I will definitely try your advice when I go back for another test in 2 to 3 months. I am new to all this, seems I have a lot to learn. Many thanks for your response.😳


tea contains flouride and will also have lowered your TSH


REALLY!!!!! Gosh, I have a lot to learn. Many thanks πŸ˜‰


Read read and read both here and tpauk.com and u will find we all know more than the doctors then u will too


Thank you so much


You have no need to admit that your test is fasting if you think you will be told off again though may be tell the nurse as she sounds as though she understands.

Also there is a list of thyroid symptoms on the Thyroid UK site and so I would print it off and tick the ones you have. You may well have problemsxyou haven't realised were thyroid relate-your GP probably doesn't know either and I think the fact that thyroid problems are in the family should alert a GP that you are possibly going the same way. Suggest a trial for 3 or 4 months.


Many thanks Silverfox. I will ask.


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