Thyroid UK
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Bewildered by tests - any suggestions?

Over the last 3 years I have been suffering from exhaustion following a viral disease diagnosed as shingles. I have also slowly but steadily lost weight despite progressively eating more (50% more than NHS thinks I need to eat to maintain my weight) and I am now about 5kg underweight. Blood tests (many!) show no clear issues and a digestive stool analysis shows no absorption issues. I have good levels of folate, B12 and vitamin D (vit D was very low but is now fine - I supplement almost everything!)

I have had a series of thyroid function tests

Ref range Sept 2014 June 2016 May 2017

Serum TSH level (Ref range 0.34-5.6 mIU/L) 1.23 1.1 0.69

Serum free T4 level (Ref range 7.5-21.1 pmol/L) 10.2 10.8 17.2

The trend looks a bit dodgy to me.

I have also had an adrenal stress test (saliva) which shows slightly low cortisol in the morning and slightly raised in the evening but very low DHEA 0.003 (in a ref range for age of 0.015 to 0.15).

I have now got an endo who measured blood cortisol at 201 and wants me to have a short synacthen test (which I think also measures cortisol). I'm not clear why he is focused on cortisol (which looks quite normal) rather than DHEA (which doesn't) or thyroid (which looks as if it is going the wrong way).

I'm very new to this. Does any of this this mean anything to anyone? Many thanks.

2 Replies


Your thyroid results are going the right way. TSH 0.69 is low-normal and FT4 17.2 is in the upper third of range. Previously FT4 levels were low.

I can't help with cortisol and DHEA and hope someone else will be able to comment.

1 like

Hi Clutter

Thanks - that's really reassuring - I thought I might be becoming hyperthyroid!


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