Thyroid UK
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First test results...what do they mean

Just had my first results, due to talk to Dr tomorrow, though I suspect she will just talk about Total cholesterol level of 5 levels at 5.

Serum free T4=11pmol/L

Serum TSH level=3.41mU/L

Can anyone point as to where I can see how these fall into a 'normal' range, and whether I should be asking for a further test.

Thank you,


14 Replies

Bluestorm There is no 'normal' range as ranges differ from lab to lab.

Were you given those results over the phone by your surgery? Ring them and ask for the ranges.

Your FT4 is probably quite low in it's range. Your TSH is definitely not high enough for a diagnosis but your thyroid is struggling. The top of the range is probably around 5ish and most GP wait until your level reaches 10 before they will diagnose and treat, although if antibodies are present they may start you on Levo before it reaches that level.

If that is all you've got then antibodies haven't been tested, and FT3 won't have been done, it rarely is unless TSH and FT4 are very abnormal.


Thanks for responding. I asked for a print out of results from the surgery. No ranges were shown.


Ask them, or ask them where the lab is and ring the lab. There will be ranges.

Have you been diagnosed and on Levo?


Not diagnosed, not medicated.


Unless FT4 is under range then you won't get a diagnosis. You need the ranges.


Here are the results again with the range now...these were done early morning as a fasting test.

T4 11 pmol/L range 9-19.1

TSH 3.41 mU/L range 0.3-4.4


OK, so your FT4 is very low within it's range and the TSH quite high in it's range. Unfortunately, neither of those will get your doctor to diagnose hypothyroidism but they do show your thyroid is struggling.

You haven't mentioned any symptoms. Here is ThyroidUK's list of signs and symptoms. You could print it off and tick any that are appropriate and show it to your GP:

You could also ask to have antibodies tested. There are two types of antibodies Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) and Thyroglobulin (TG)

The NHS generally only test TPO, sometimes that comes back negative but the patient could have positive TG antibodies.

You might also have nutritional deficiencies. Ask for the following to be tested:

Vit D




These should all be at their optimal levels, not just in range. In particular, ferritin needs to be at least 70 for thyroid hormone to work properly - our own or replacement.

High cholesterol is connected with Hypothyroidism so don't let your GP give you any medication for that, particularly statins. Once thyroid is sorted then cholesterol should come down. And if your GP throws the 'depression' card for any reason, do not agree or accept anti depressants, again that can be part of Hypothyroidism.

Let us know how it goes.


Many thanks


Yep, she was only concerned about my CH of 7.5.....but didn't talks meds for it thankfully. By discussing ranges I did get her to set up some more blood tests for antibodies, B12, Folate and Ferritin. Let's see what they say. My Vit D was 62 nmol/L Total 250H...and it stated that 'anything higher than 50 is sufficient for most individuals'.


Bluestorm Hopefully, as you've talked ranges, then she realises you have some knowledge and wont be fobbed off. At least you got some more tests out of her. When they come back you could start a new thread (this one will have disappeared way down the pages by then), post the results and reference ranges and if there are any deficiencies members will make suggestions for supplements.

For a start, your Vit D is too low at 62nmol/L. It may be in the 'sufficient' range but it's not optimal. The recommended level is 100-150nmol/L (or 40-60ng/ml which you will see on the Vit D Council website, we don't tend to use that unit of measurement in the UK though).

What you could do is get started on supplementing that now. If you do need anything else supplementing they shouldn't all be started at once, they should be started individually as if you have any adverse reaction you then know what caused it.

I would suggest you get some D3 5000iu - I like these as there are only two ingredients so no fillers or excipients that may cause a reaction, they are small and easy to swallow - - and take one daily throughout the winter. Retest in the Spring and when you've reached the recommended level reduce to one alternate days.

When taking D3 we also need it's important co-factors:

Vit D aids absorption of calcium from food and K2-MK7 directs the calcium to bones and teeth rather than arteries and soft tissues.

You could get a separate K2-MK7 supplement like this - (they also do a 60 count size for around £11 I think) or you could get a combined D3/K2 like this - - 3 drops give 1000iu D3 so you'd need 15 drops to start with then reduce later on. It just depends on how you prefer to take your supplements.

D3 and K2 are fat soluble so should be taken with the fatties meal of the day.

We all are probably deficient in magnesium, another co-factor, so check to see which one would suit you best

Magnesium is calming so most people find it best to take in the evening.

If your GP wont test your antibodies, you can get them done with a fingerprick test at home from Blue Horizon. They do a few thyroid bundles.


Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.....will take a look at all of this. They did test my calcium and it was 2.25 mmol/L/, don't have the range for this.


You're welcome Bluestorm :) .

Your calcium sounds about right (from what I can remember), I don't think it's high and I'm sure they would have mentioned it if it was a problem.

The point about D3 and K2 is that as D3 aids absorption of calcium from food, that calcium could end up being deposited in arteries and soft tissues and if it builds up there could be a problem with calcification of arteries, kidney stones, etc. K2 will direct the calcium to where it's needed, ie bones and teeth. Unfortunately, doctors don't know this because they aren't taught nutrition.



You should ask your practice for the lab ref ranges of the results they give you.

TSH 3.41 means you are under medicated. The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status. For most patients that will be when TSH is 1.0 or lower with FT4 in the upper range. FT4 needs to be in the upper range in order that sufficient T3 is converted. Read Treatment Options in Email if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP.

Cholesterol levels will usually drop once you are optimally medicated on Levothyroxine.


Statins and anti-depressants are unecessary evils.

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