Thyroid reading TSH 4.85 and free T4 11 normal GP said

Hi I'm a newbie but been suffering for a few years with symptoms and previously been told via my old GP I had a underactive thyroid but not treatable as yet needs to be at least 10 before they will treat even though I'm in constant pain with my joints and bones and suffer with spinal problems had two spinal operations and had emergency surgery for cauda equina. Even suffer with Feeling sick all the time, put four stone on in a year , retaining water, palpitations, and extremely tierd from getting up to going to bed and literally falling asleep early in a evening. And yet the GP will not treat me it's normal she said . What can I do I don't think it is ? Anyone experience similar levels and getting treatment. Help or advice would be greatly appreciate as I'm at the end of my teather with it all.

31 Replies

You need to get your thyroid antibodies checked.

The GP would be more likely to treat you if the antibodies are out of range, it would mean you have an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's.

Change your GP?

Sharon212 Can you post your latest thyroid test results, with reference ranges, for members to comment.

Have you ever had antibodies tested before?

What is the laboratory reference range for your tests? Did you get a print out of your results? If not get a copy from your GP surgery.

4.85 is not normal in the reference range for our location. In any case, most people don't feel well until they reach something like 1.0 or a little less. You also need to have your antibodies tested. You can read about antibodies testing on the Thyroid UK website and take the information to your doctor so you get the right tests.

While you're at it, get B12, folate, ferritin, vitamin D and iron levels tested to rule out other deficiencies.

My GP said anything up to 10 on the tsh level will not be treated .i live in Teesside

Your doctor is out of date - this is what the British Thyroid Association says,

'To establish a “normal” reference range in the first place we look at large group of people who do not have thyroid disease and are otherwise well. By convention this only comprises 95% of a reference population.

Therefore it is understood that, 2.5% of ‘normal’ individuals will fall above the reference range and 2.5% will fall below the range.

By doing this the reference range for serum TSH in thyroid- disease- free individuals is accepted as between 0.4 and 4.0 mU/l.'

Print out the page from the British Thyroid Association website. This is the website the Endocrine surgeons recommend so your doctor should take notice of this. Ask to be treated as per the current guidelines.


Thankyou I did say the norm was 4 she shook her head and said no ten

Well, this proves she is wrong. The norm is actually somewhere between 0.4 and 4.0 so for many people something like 1.0 would be normal.

Get full private testing ASAP

Very many of us have had to resort to private tests to get full Thyroid and related vitamins tested

Most popular choice is Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven. Same group of tests, just different companies. £99 for DIY postal finger prick test, or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both often have money off offers

All thyroid tests should be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. (Can drink water to keep hydrated) This way TSH is at its highest.

Very common when hypo to have low vitamin D, folate, B12 & ferritin. If these are too low they stop us being able to use thyroid hormones in cells. You may need supplements

If you have high antibodies this is autoimmune thyroid (Hashimoto's) and GP should treat even if TSH remains below 10 (most rest of the world is not so barbaric & has much lower range)

Hashimoto's often has hidden food intolerances most common is gluten.

Once you have results come back here for advice

Thyroid Uk has a list of recommended thyroid specialists by email that you may wish to see once you have test results

Thankyou I may have to get this done have to save first.

Hi I've never had my antibodies checked and I had to push for them to tell me my last results she refused to go back further so I have put a letter in to get the last few years results so I can see but my last one was TSH levels only and were 4.95 I had to push for her to do the free T4 this time and she wouldn't test the B12 etc she said she doesn't think it's my thyroid even though my spinal surgeon thinks there is something going on with my thyroid. I've never heard of the antibodies one what's that about ? Ther is no surges taking on at the min in our area, and if I ask for a second opinion it's from the same surgery and there all running off the same tables she said.

So Iet me know if I have this right I'm wanting my tsh levels free t4 and freeT3 and also antibodies B12 Feritin levels and iron levels done is that right ? My GP just refuses to do stuff says it's not my thyroid even though I said the levels are over 4 which the uk thyroid runs to she said no fine.

Check for thyroid antibodies, that is the real test for hashimotos

Well, if your doctor is waiting 10 years to diagnose you with hashimoto's , I wouldn't wait

I would switch to a gluten free diet, this really helps and get tested for other foods which aggravate the thyroid

Sometimes soy is best to avoid

After that you will feel so much better

Some say to get a full thyroid panel

I'm in the same boat. My TSH is 9.4 but since I have symptoms the doc is doing a check for antibodies. I had the bloods taken today so I guess I need to wait for those coming back.

You can register online to get all your blood test results. Your surgery must give you a pin number and you register through a website. Your surgery should give you details. You may have to take ID or have your ID verified by your GP. Reception desk at your GP should be able to sort it out. Bear in mind you will see ALL your results which can be a bit overwhelming so you have to decide.

I would write to your GP with the factual information from the BTA website about reference ranges and ask to be treated as per the guidelines.

Your GP can view the list of contibutors to the guidelines on the website and see that the committee prepare the national guidelines for thyroid treatment for the NHS. I would ask for your antibodies to be tested to rule out autoimmune thyroid disease and be specific about the tests required.

You could battle the vitamin issue once you've got that sorted.

Sadly not all GP practices have blood test results available online - though government guidelines say that we should all be able to do this by now

They have to its part of their GP contract. All practices in the country have the ability to set up online accounts some like mine just don't advertise it or admit to it as they do not agree with it or don't want the initial work. Please see the patientonline website. It is your right to see your results in this way. Do not be put off ask for access today.

I have an system online account for booking appointments but I was told that the surgery does not authorise the use of it for viewing test results.

Oh my goodness this is outrageous please google patient online or my previous posts. You apply for the extra service to see your online medical records. At the risk of upsetting anyone do not listen to the receptionists they sometimes do not know. My surgery was also adamant until I spoke to the IT manager. The receptionists had not been informed. The surgery is breaching their NHS contract by not offering you this service. Please look up the patient online print outs and take them with you!

Here is the link to your rights about seeing your medical record online which includes your results. Print it off if necessary and go to the surgery and do the application

Thank you DJR1

Looked into it. Apparently they are trying to roll it out to everyone by 2018. I found a website that listed surgeries and what online services they offer and it said appointments and repeat prescriptions then suggested logging in to sytem online to change access. I looked up my system online 'account management' and under access to records it says my surgery does not yet provide access but there was a button to send a request so they are now aware that I want access.

Hello please tell me who told you this. This is incorrect every GP practice in the country has had to have this in place by March 2016. My OH works for the Department of Health and he has checked this out with the GP who set this up. Please ring Patient Online. If you pm me the name of the practice I will confirm by checking officially 😊

I sent a pm thanks. This is the page that says they hope to have it rolled out fully by 2018.

Somewhere on that page was the link to check if your surgery has the ability.

It doesn't surpise me that our practice would be one of the last.

No this refers to the Full patient record with every appointment etc. The detailed coded access level is available to everyone in the country NOW. You have to go into your GP to apply for this as you have to sign an agreement. If you read the link I sent you it describes the levels of access. Full record access has not been written into the GP contract but the aim is to get this done by 2018. The access currently available is summary notes, test results and consultation codes. Ask your surgery for an application form to access your detailed coded online record. Let us know how you get on! It takes practices about 2 weeks to activate

Ah! Thank you very much. No one has mentioned the extra level either when I signed up initially or when I have asked for my test results since. I'll make a point of asking for it next time I go.

Change GPs. She is keeping you ill. She is not looking at symptoms first and sounds like she knows very little if anything about thyroid disease. I'm so sorry you have suffered like this. I'd get private tests done for TSH free T3 and freeT4 TPO antibodies, B12, folate, ferritin and vit D. Post results with ranges on here and thyroid forum get advice and take your health back. Your TSH is high your symptoms point to underactive thyroid. You can get well. There is hope.

Can I ask why everybody has different levels that they are measured against isn't it a national table ? And if not why is it so different from one place to another is it like a postcode lottery thing ?

Hi Sharon. I'm not sure if it does vary UK wide but I was told like you that TSH needs to be over 10 AND FT4 needs to be under 11 for a diagnosis OR further tests are needed (antibodies) if symptoms are showing. My TSH was 9.4 and my FT4 was 13.6 but I am feeling ill with sysmptoms so I was given the extra tests. I still don't know what happens next because I am waiting for the new results. I'm in the Humberside health authority area.

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