Newbie here - help evaluating blood results & y... - Thyroid UK

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Newbie here - help evaluating blood results & yellow finger nails

cazbatt profile image

Hi I'm in uk and had levels checked 8 months ago as had symptoms of low thyroid, depression, pins n needles in hands, lethargy, weight gain, dry skin. Results came back 'in range' so no treatment needed according to doc.

TSH 2.78 (.35-4.94)

Free T4 9.1 (9.0-19.0)

Jump to now, 8 months on with same symptoms plus now have had unsightly yellow finger nails for last 3 months. Had blood test in India whilst on holiday to get t3 level (and only cost £4 for test) and results are:

T3 74.57 (70-204)

T4 10.34 (4.87-11.72)

TSH 3.70 (.45-4.5)

So still with range but feel dreadful, appt with docs soon to take my results but forewarned is forarmed and would love to know from you guys what I should be asking for from him and what my stats mean.

Thanks so much in anticipation xx

20 Replies

You could read this - ignore the ads and the commercial bits and read the nitty-gritty :

I don't know if the website is reliable or not, but at least it gives you somewhere to start researching.

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to humanbean

Thank you very much for this, nails are worrying me and needs investigating as it's not cosmetic - I dont wear varnish, just wanted the correlation with nails/thyroid poss confirming too or may be on wrong track who knows!

helvella profile image

Yellow finger nails could be caused by several things, it appears. You could have a look at the NHS page here:

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to helvella

Thank you very much, lots to investigate, hope my go is thorough.

shaws profile image

Go to GP. You may have a fungal infection and GP should prescribe. I've read that Garlic capsules are also helpful.

Thank you, i don't know why I didn't go a couple of months ago, I thought it would just grow out but looks like it's here to stay till it's investigated. Will look at garlic thanks again.

Welcome to the forum, Cazbatt.

TSH >2.0 indicates your thyroid is beginning to struggle and your last NHS FT4 level was almost bottom of range. NHS won't usually diagnose hypothyroidism until either TSH is over range or FT4 below range.

Your Indian blood test indicates your TSH has become higher (worse) but your FT4 is excellent at top of range. The T3 you had tested is total T3 (ie bound to protein). Total T3 isn't much used any longer in the UK as Free T3 (unbound to protein) is seen as more accurate.

I would ask your GP to retest TSH and FT4 mainly to check out your FT4. It is unlikely FT3 will be tested in primary care. You can order private TSH, FT4 and FT3 via

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to Clutter

Hi clutter,

Thank you for explaining this. I don't want to be diagnosed with something I haven't got but I do think the guidelines are exactly that. I think then I need to look at why my TSH is increasing and why I'm not converting my seemingly healthy T4 to T3, and, after looking online this process is carried out in the liver so it would make sense to look at improving my liver function, so in essence no alcohol, milk thistle tablets, lots of water and perhaps some sort of detox. I can read up on these things but it helps an awful lot to pick brains of those going and gone through the the sausage machine that is our NHS. Thank you very much for your time.

Clutter profile image
Clutter in reply to cazbatt


You are becoming hypothyroid but current guidelines determine that a diagnosis isn't made until TSH is over range or FT4 below range as I said. In some other countries TSH >3.0 would qualify for a hypothyroid diagnosis.

90% of hypothyroidism is caused by autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's). Your GP can test thyroid peroxidase antibodies to determine this but many won't do so until TSH is abnormal. If you decide to order private thyroid tests add thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies to the TSH, FT4 and FT3.

Conversion of T4 to T3 occurs 20-40% in the thyroid gland and the rest via kidneys and liver. Unless you have indications of liver disease I doubt you need to go teetotal or to detox.

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to Clutter

Aww thank you so much, I will definitely take your advice and have a discussion with my doc before I do anything.

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to Clutter

Hi Clutter

I've been reading a website which seems very informative, you probably have seen it but if not it's

Best wishes

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to cazbatt

In particular mercury effects on thyroid (I'm planning on replacing my mercury fillings), the effect of mercury on t4-t3 conversion and depression of which I have suffered too, very interesting. I need digest this..

Have you had your B12 levels checked?

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to waveylines

Hi, no I haven't ever, do u think this would be a factor? I didn't think about that. Thank you

Tingling in finger tips alongside fatigue are symptoms of B12. Do you get tingling or numbness in feet too? If you look at the B12 Deficiancy website it has a symptom checker.

Its also commonly low in untreated or under treated hypothyroidism.

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to waveylines

I had tingling in hands last year on waking a lot of mornings, then it went away for ages but is back again now but mainly in a morning when I wake up. Not had tingling in feet. U will look at b12 website. Don't know if it makes a difference but it's m also Peri menopausal too, thank you v much

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to cazbatt

At the time the Doc wanted me to wear hand straps but I couldn't see the point, I'd rather look at the cause than treat the symptoms. I've also had ferrous sulphate prescribed on a couple of occasions in the last few years as I've been a vegetarian for 15 years and don't get as much iron as I should. It's hard to look at each symptom and come up with one answer to all issues, nothing life threatening so a lot to be grateful for ☺️

B12 defficiency is common in vegetarians. Your GP can do a blood test to check. Make sure you get a print out of the results as the range (numbers in brackets) is wide and many people can be just in range but in reality deficient. Dont take suppoements until after blood test or it will skew the results. The minimum level should be 500 according to the PA society.

cazbatt profile image
cazbatt in reply to waveylines

Thank you very much, I wasn't aware of this - I'll stop my multi vits just in case for a little while. I'll post when I get results. Thanks again

If your multi vit contains B12 then you need to allow 2-3months before testing. This will give you your true level of B12.

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