Thyroid UK
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Help understanding numbers

Hello everyone,

I hope you're well. I got some bloods back today - iron at 18 and tsh at 0.14. Does this mean I'm close to hyperthyroidism? (I'm on levothyroxine and have been hypothyroid for 6.5 years.) I'm going to go to the doctors next week. Could anyone explain my numbers to me? I'm going to get a full thyroid diagnostic from the nutritionist soon but for now this is all I have to work with. If you could help I would really appreciate it. :)

7 Replies

Is that result for iron? Or ferritin? It's the ferritin you need to look at.

No, that TSH does not mean you are close to hyperthyroidism. For one thing, you're hypo, your gland can't suddenly start making too much hormone. Thyroid glands just don't do that sort of thing. And, for another thing, once you're on levo, the TSH doesn't tell you anything at all - unless it goes high, which would mean you're under-medicated. But a TSH of 0.14 doesn't tell you anything. You would at least need your FT4 tested to have any idea how you're doing. That and your symptoms. How do you feel?


Hi Grey Goose, thank you so much for getting back to me. I actually feel better than I have for years - I'm volunteering and have worked the first full 8 hour day in 6 years, before I've felt so sick I could only work part time [and because my TSH was ok they diagnosed me with M.E./CFS]). I have been on a higher dose of levo for a few months but I didn't know whether I was feeing better because I have started taken an iron supplement (the gluten free version of Floradix). I have no idea if it was iron or ferritin I was tested for.....the doctor just said iron. I will ask them. If I feel good do you think I should prevent them from dropping my levothyroxine? Thank you so much for your time. Why is the ferritin important and not the iron? Once again, thank you for your time. X


If you feel good, you should protest loudly about having your dose reduced. Tell them you do not agree, and if they consider there is some sort of danger attached to a low TSH (there isn't) then you are prepared to take the risk. :)

Well, iron is important, of course, but ferritin is a measure of your stored iron. The body takes iron out of storage and puts it back in as needed. But, if you have low stores, there's not going to be iron for the body when it needs it. That's why we look at the ferritin to see if you need to supplement iron. If 18 is your ferritin, then it is very low, and you need to supplement. You also need to know the range. So, ask your doctor for a print-out of your results. If you live in the UK, it is your legal right to have one. :)

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Thanks Grey Goose. I really appreciate your help. I will ask the doctor and find out about what exactly they have tested me for. How on earth have you found out about all this stuff? If the doctors have kept me ill all these years and it hasn't actually been ME I'll be beyond upset. XX (PS I do live in the UK)


Grey Goose, I'm just checking in, can a low tsh cause insomnia? If not I'll look to other causes.


no you are not going hyperthyroid

TSH should never e er be used to assess thyroid function

freet4 and freet3 are the only results able to do that


Thank you very much. I'm going to get a full panel done. ☺


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