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Thyroid UK
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Help Thyroid or not?

Hi all I am new here.i am 42,for a long time I have had such tiredness,and wake up just as tired.my hair has really thinned my nails are ridged I get breathless foggy head pins and needles hands feet bloated tummy on off I had blood test last week came back normal more this week which they say are ok but the nurse at docs this morning said tsh is 1.8 is that normal,does any one know? Nurse has booked me back in for tommorow to check intrinsic factor and thyroid proxidays whatever they are.if they come back normal they will refer me to a specialist.thanks

9 Replies

If I could just add I'm cold all the time when every one else is warm.


Welcome Zoe, unfortunately nowadays doctors only consider a TSH result and ignore clincal symptoms. The top of a normal range is around 5 but the British Thyroid Association has deemed we don't get aprescription until it reaches 10. Quite barbaric if we have symptoms.

What you need is a Full Thyroid Function Test and we rarely get this. TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies. Plus B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate.

You can get a private test through one of our recommended labs and they are home tests mainly but GP should do the vitamins/minerals.

Always get print-out of your results with the ranges for your own records and you can post if you have a query. Ranges are needed as labs differ in them.


I think some people get clinical symptoms a while before they are diagnosed.

Blood tests should be at the very earliest, fasting (you can drink water) and if on thyroid hormones allow 24 hour gap between last dose and test and take them afterwards.

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Many thanks for taking the time to reply.xx


Hello Zoec1975 you really heed to have tested preferably all at the same time or close together:


Free T4

Free T3

vitamin B12


vitamin D


A full blood count as this will show your haemoglobin level and any issues with your red cells, white cells and platelets.

Thyroid antibodies

Your GP should do these for you with not a lot of difficulty:


vitamin B12

A full blood count

When they do the tests you need to ask for a copy of the results this is your right under the Data Protection Act 1998. You need the results and ranges.

Some GPs will do:

Folate - if they think you are likely to have vitamin B12 issues. Often people with vitamin B12 deficiency actually have a folate deficiency as well or instead.

Ferritin - if they know what it is and you have a history of iron deficiency aneamia. Ferritin is a iron storage protein. If you have a history of iron deficiency anaemia either due to menstruation, pregnancy or gut problems you can ask for this to be tested as this could be low instead of your haemoglobin. (You can actually have an adequate heamoglobin level but low ferritin level, vice versa and both low.) However some GPs refuse to test it as they don't know what it is and why it is relevant.

Vitamin D - if they don't believe it is a fad. Lots of people in the UK have very low levels of vitamin D due to lifestyle e.g. being indoors virtually all the time. (Use the term "housebound")

Thyroid antibodies - to see whether you have autoimmune thyroid disease.

However getting FT4 and FT3 tested through the NHS is difficult this is because even if the GP decides to it, the lab can refuse to do the tests. Lab technicians are well qualified people and can make decisions on where NHS money can be saved even though they don't see the patient.

So I would ask your GP for the full range of tests listed mentioning that you know why you want some of them.

Some GPs, not all, when they realise the patient has a clue on why they want them will test things. Unfortunately others see a clued up patient as a challenge and will do everything possible to make the patient look and feel stupid however politely and humble the patient is in asking.

If the GP asks you where you got the information from state - "Thyroid UK which is a charity recommended by NHS Choices for those who have thyroid conditions."

Finally if you get no joy from the GP consider paying for private tests. Come back here for advice if you need to go down that route.


Many thanks xx


TSH alone must never be used to assess thyroid function

because it can only indicate Primary Hypothyroid if its high but in Central or tertiary Hypothyroid the TSH will be low and so will freet4 and freet3

so go back and raise the issue of the possibility of Central or Tertiary Hypothyroid


Thanks,you guys on here certainly know your stuff.glad I found you all x


Try doing the Barnes basal body temperature test. I found it useful, when blood tests were "normal".


Thanks will do.xx

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