Second Opinion on Thyroid blood test? - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

119,255 members138,495 posts

Second Opinion on Thyroid blood test?

rrman profile image

Here are my thyroid blood tests

TSH 3.833 (.3-5)

FT4 1.1 (.7-1.5)

I have been constipated, very tired, very sleepy, memory problems and I am only 20 years old (this has been happening for 3 years). I have had my kidney, liver, vitamins, and blood count checked they are all normal. I think I have a thyroid problem but my doctor refuses to treat me. I know that there is a big debate whether the upper limit should be 3 or 5 for tsh. Mine is much greater than 3 and I am feeling horrible! I have all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and my doc still isn't listening to me. Will another doctor possibly treat me? I am running out of options and I really hate feeling like this!

12 Replies
SeasideSusie profile image


Are you in the UK?

You need Free T3 testing to see whether your T4 is converting to T3.

'Normal' means nothing other than the results lie somewhere within a range. They may not be optimal. Post your results for vitamins and minerals (Vit D, B12, Folate, Ferritin) and full blood count, with their reference ranges for comment.


TSH >3.8 indicates your thyroid is struggling but NHS won't usually diagnose hypothyroidism until TSH is >5.0 or FT4 is <1.1.

Unfortunately, symptoms can precede abnormal TSH by months/years. Your GP probably won't accept your symptoms are hypothyroid so ask for ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate to be checked as low/deficient symptoms can be similar to hypothyroid symptoms. I'm not suggesting your symptoms are not due to hypthyroidism btw.

rrman profile image
rrman in reply to Clutter

are you a doc? had those checked and all are normal :( so your saying I have to suffer until my symptoms get worse right?

Clutter profile image
Clutter in reply to rrman


No, I'm not a doctor. I'm saying NHS won't usually treat until TSH or FT4 are abnormal so symptoms may get worse.

That Free T4 level makes me think you are not in the UK, but I'm only guessing. We really need to know which country you are from in order to suggest things that may help.

rrman profile image
rrman in reply to humanbean

I am from the US. Why does free t4 tell you I am not from UK?

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to rrman

In the UK Free T4 reference ranges are much higher numbers - I assume the units of measurement are different to the US. A common reference range is 12 - 22 pmol/L.

When I see much smaller numbers this usually means the person was tested in the US.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to humanbean


For Free T4:

The US uses ng/dL

Much of the rest of the world uses pmol/L

For Free T3:

The US uses pg/mL

Much of the rest of the world uses pmol/L

Warning: The numerical values for Free T3 are very similar in both units!

Wiki actually has quite a bit of this sort of information here:

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to helvella

Thanks for all the info, helvella. :) And for the warning about Free T3 results!

rrman profile image
rrman in reply to humanbean

wait so what is your advice?

ilenuca profile image
ilenuca in reply to helvella

Pmol/l × 0,0776 = ng/dl

Ng/dl × 12,872 = pmol/l

Pmol/l × 0,776 = ng/l

1,1 ×12,872 = 14,15 (9,01-19,30)

I was going to suggest that perhaps you could get private testing done. It can be done in the US without paying for doctors and without using insurance. For companies that offer this service, see this page :

Look about halfway down the page and see the links they suggest.

Recommended tests are listed on that page, but I imagine doing them all would be quite expensive.

If you were going to get the ones recommended on this forum you would get :


Free T4

Free T3

Thyroid antibodies - TPO and TG

Vitamin B12

Vitamin D


Iron/ferritin, but preferably a full iron panel

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) is also useful.

The reason for the list above is :

Free T3 is a better marker for being hypothyroid than TSH, although this is patient-to-patient advice rather than doctor-to-patient advice.

You might find it a little bit easier to get treated if your antibodies are positive - it sometimes helps in the UK.

Hypothyroidism usually causes low stomach acid and poor gut health which leads to poor absorption of nutrients, and as a result lots of us end up nutrient deficient. This can be fixed with supplements - no doctor required. But fixing nutrient deficiencies should only be done once you know what is deficient (if anything) and how much by.

If you can't get your hypothyroidism treated despite getting more information, you can at least optimise your nutrients and improve your diet and gut health. You'd be surprised at how much better you feel, even if your thyroid hormones are still low.

The other possibility is that you buy thyroid meds online without a prescription which may be risky. I have no idea where you can safely buy thyroid meds online, or whether your customs officers are likely to confiscate meds coming into the USA.

Browse the articles and the site generally here :

You may also like...