Thyroid UK
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just received bad results and worried!

hello. I had my thyroid tested as i have been unwell for years. I received a letter today saying my doctor is on leave but gave my results anyway. I have no idea what the results mean but it looks scary. The letter says my fT4 is 8.7 pmlo/L and TSH is 14.96. The more i google it the more confused i get. I am seeing that over 4 THS is bad ... but 14.96 !??? I would like to know how concerned i should be. It is the weekend, my doctor is on leave and i feel a tad scared. Did anyone else get similar results? The reason i was tested was chronic migraines. I just dont know what to think. Is it serious?

Thank you.


14 Replies

Usually pepople become hypothyroid when their TSH is high, above 10 and the fT4 is low in its interval or below the lower limit. However, there are many patients who were hypothyroid with pretty normal results. I have noticed this group is usually more difficult to treat. Many patients have a TSH of 50 or 70 when diagnosed. As the thyroid gland fails the TSH jumps up exponentially. So you should not be concerned. Your results show that you are hypothyroid and should be treated but a week or two here or there will not cause any harm. I would visit your doctor when you can and let them have your results. They should prescribe levothyroxine. Many doctors start off on 25 mcg which really is too little unless you have a heart condition or are elderly. I would ask for 50 mcg if they suggest 25 mcg. It really depends on your symptoms. There is little or no link between TSH and the severity of hypothyroidism. A high TSH / low fT4 indicates the thyroid gland is failing, probably due to an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's. I wouldn't worry, this is very common.


Thank you so much! I can calm down a bit now.

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if you have been unwell for years why on earth has your underactive thyroid not been recognised before its got to this appalling state

whats vital now is that they test




vit d3

because hypothyroid trashes all of the votamins that are totally vital if your body is to be able to utilise the levothyroxine they will now prescribe

1) your gps are negligent

2) you are hypothyroid

3) your vitamin levels need to be rapidly raised to halfway in their ranges before

levothyroxine can have any effect

4) you need to be signed off work for at least a month if not longer

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My TSH was 49 when diagnosed , needless to say I didn't feel at all well.


I see what you're saying about slow diagnosis. It has taken me years of constant nagging at my GP and they only tested my thyroid because i demanded it. I am feeling really let down today as i have had chronic pain for so long due to hormonal migraines which almost had me registered disabled (which i really didn't want ). .. along with all the other typical hypothyroid symptoms. I am just pleased now that i have confirmation that something is wrong and hope people now realise I'm actually very sick rather than a hypochondriac. I wouldn't be surprised if my GP couldn't fit me in for yet another 2 months, even after seeing my results.

Thank you for your resposes. This has really helped me.

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The blood tests for thyroid hormones have to be the earliest possible, fasting (you can drink water) and if you are taking thyroid hormones allow a 24 hour gap between last dose and the test and take afterwards.

Phone your surgery tomorrow and leave a message saying as your TSH is now 49 can he leave a prescription for you to collect the same day. He should start you on 50mcg (not 25mcg unless you are frail with a heart disease) of levothyroxine which should be taken on an empty stomach with one full glass of water and wait about an hour before eating. The quicker you are on levothyroxine the better and you should have a blood test every six weeks with an increase in dose of 25mcg until TSH is 1 or lower. Not somewhere in the range which can be up to 5.

From now on always get a print-out of your resuts for your own records and you can post if you have a query. Also make an appointment to have your B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate checked (we are usually deficient) if you've not already had them.


whats vital now is to get those vitamin levels tested and corrected asap and everyone including you has patience and understanding to help you through the next few months while you recover

i suspect your doctor is uneducated about hypothyroid and you will need to follow help here to guide her

firstly you are now entitled to free prescriptions ask her for the requisite paperwork

email for a copy of the PULSE article by Dr Toft written for GPs so you have a copy for yourself and one for the GP


Wow. I'm noting all of this down. Thank you!!!


An additional note. Your TSH is rather low given your fT4 is very low. This suggests your pituitary is not working as well as it should do. This can happen during depression. In your case it is possible that the hypothyroidism is causing your migranes (or at least contributing) and this affects your pituitary via mood. In which case hopefully things will pick up once you are medicated with levothyroxine. However, assuming your doctor does prescribe levothyroxine I would make sure they titrate your dose based on your fT4 figure rather than the TSH and most important on your symptoms.

I would suggest you try supplementing with magnesium citrate as this can help with migranes and chronic pain. Hypothyroidism can cause low intracellular levels of magnesium which as not reflected in magnesium blood tests. So, you may not notice a response to magnesium supplementation until your hypothyrodism is treated and it will take a month or two.

Once treated it can take about six months to recover from hypothyroidism although you should notice an improvement after a week or two.


You guys are amazing! X

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Just a word of warning - when you get the pills nothing at all will change for a very long time. Two weeks is the minimum, and often it can be months before you feel better. Everything hypothyroid takes forever! Of course that includes getting a diagnosis!

But you will get there.


Thank you Ruthi. I will try to be patient. X


I found an improvement in fluid in body within a week and less tired in a few weeks. Good luck xx

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Have a look at the Thyroid Uk site as lots of info to help you and some advice on ehstcto do and more importantly what not to do. Patience is very good advice as we can't wait to feel. Enter but it takes 6 weeks to get the full dosage inside of you then you need to be retested and probably need another increase which should be done in 25 mcg's. Wait another 6 weeks and retest. Trying to speed this up, well you can't and would risk going over medicated which isn't a good feeling!


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