Blood test results: Hi. First time posting and a... - Thyroid UK

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Blood test results

RaymondTurner profile image

Hi. First time posting and a bit technophobic so I'm not sure i'll be able to navigate my way around this site or read and reply. However I have to try. I have low thyroid (diagnosed about 5 years ago). i am convinced i have low T3 levels but i recently had a blood test and it all came back normal. i got the results today which were TFH=2.243, T4=10.5, and T3=4.7 These seem low when i compare them to the thyroid UK website but the Dr surgery say they are normal and the range they gave me don't match the figures on the Thyroid UK website and by those standards they are in the middle of the normal range. I feel tired all the time and can't loose weight and I have considered taking T3 but am nervous about it Can anyone give me any advice? Thanks

9 Replies
SeasideSusie profile image


You can't compare your results with any other range than the lab's that did your test. Ranges vary from lab to lab so ask your surgery for a print out then come back with them and we can comment on your results.

Thank you.

I can get the results but they are quite expensive to get so i thought this would be okay (I'm not 100% sure which bits are important and which bits are not). If this isn't enough information, then i will pay for them. If I do that do i have to make sure that they contain certain information or will the general information in the report be everything I need?

They told me these results and their normal range over the phone for free. They say TFH should be between 0.57 and 3.6 (mine was 2.243). T4 should be between 7.9 and 14 (mine was 10.5) and T3 should be between 3.1 and 6.8 (mine was 4.7). Does that help?

Looking again at the thyroid UK website I can't find TFH (I don't know what it stands for). I took my regular Levothyroxine that morning and I gather that sometimes thyroid levels can go up in the summer. But summer or winter I am tired all the time. I wake up and about an hour after getting up I am ready for a nap which I don't get until after tea but by then I feel terrible. The last couple of days I didn't manage to nap (I think it may have been too hot) and I now feel really awful. It is true that i have strange sleep patterns though. I can't seem to sleep for more than about 6 hours at a time.

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to RaymondTurner


Are you in the UK? If so then as from 25th May this year then your surgery cannot charge for copies of any results or medical records

What you need is Test name ... Result... Reference range and it should look like

TSH: 2.5 (0.2-4.7) - those are made up numbers

By the way - it's TSH not TFH, it stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone :)

So it looks as though you may have

TSH: 2.243 (0.57 - 3.6)

FT4: 10.5 (7.9 - 14)

FT3: 4.7 (3.1 - 6.8)

The aim of a treated hypo patient generally is for TSH to be 1 or below or wherever it needs to be for FT4 and FT3 to be in the upper part of their respective reference ranges when on Levo if that is where you feel well.

Your lab's range for TSH is a lot narrower than we normally see, and you are very high in that range, you need it down to 1 or lower.

FT4 is low in range - 42% through range (you may feel better when it's 75% through range or even higher, which would be around 12+

FT3 is also low in range - 43% through range (you may feel better when it's nearer 5.9)

Your FT4 and FT3 are in balance so your T4 to T3 conversion looks OK, but you are undermedicated and need an increase in your dose of Levo, there is no indication at present that you need T3. However, once you get your TSH down to 1, by increasing Levo, then you can look again at your FT4:FT3 and if they are still in balance and in the upper part of their ranges then T3 is not indicated.

The fact that you took your Levo on the morning of the test may have given false high FT4, it depends how long between your dose and the blood draw.

Always advised here, when booking thyroid tests, always book the very first appointment of the morning and fast overnight (water allowed) . This gives the highest possible TSH which is needed when looking for a diagnosis, an increase in dose or to avoid a reduction. TSH is highest early morning and lowers throughout the day. It also lowers after eating. Also, take your Levo after the blood draw because if you take it before then your FT4 will reflect this and show higher than what is normally circulating. We usually advise 24 hours between last dose of Levo and blood draw so if you take your Levo in the mornng then delay until after the test, or if you take it at night then delay that dose until after the test.These are patient to patient tips which we don't discuss with doctors or phlebotomists.

Do you take your Levo correctly for best absorption, i.e.

On an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after food

With a glass of water only, no tea, coffee, milk, etc, and water only one hour each side of Levo.

At least 2 hours away from any other medication or supplements, some need 4 hours.

Hi, I have got my blood test results back (for free) and there is a lot of information on them. I can't figure out how to attach them to this post (as a PDF) so i may have to copy out each thing. That will take me a while and I am away tomorrow for a few days so i will try to do that early next week (tuesday or Wednesday). By the way, I tried to reply to your last message but accidentally put it in this thread but not as a direct reply to you so i don't know if you saw it but it's the 2nd comment down. Thanks for all the advice and info though. It is proving very helpful and giving me a little hope that at least feeling like this isn't just normal and maybe there is something in my medication that is wrong (be it the medication itself or the dose or whatever).

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to RaymondTurner

You can attach one picture in the opening post of a thread only. However, it needs to be clear and readable so if you have a lot of results on one sheet they may appear too small. Probably best to type them out, make sure you include the reference ranges as well.

Thank you. I will do this sometime next week. Away for a few days now.

Thank you so much for this. I am finding this very helpful. I have phoned the Dr's surgery again and they seem to have changed their mind about charging me for my blood test (different receptionist) but they have to get permission from the actual Dr which will take a few days (and as I'm away, that means it'll be next week).

It does sound like I mis-heard TFH for TSH.

I have been having a blood test every year or so and have been on the present dose 150 micrograms per day for the last four years now. When was first diagnosed it took about a year of slowly increasing the amount to finally arrive at this dose but maybe they just kept going until i edged into the normal range. I don't think the Dr will increase my dose unless the levels of TSH, T3 and/or T4 go out of the normal range and having just had a blood test I won't have another for at least a year. Next time I will remember to not tak my tablets and to fast.

I took my Levothyroxine about 5 hours before the blood test but I think I did have breakfast before the test as they told me I didn't need to fast (I think they said just follow your normal morning routine).

It doesn't sound as though I am taking the thyroid at the right times though. i take it first thing in the morning with a cup of tea (i usually wash it down with a cup of tea) and then have breakfast (usually less than an hour after taking it). I drink a lot of tea (so although I eat hardly any carbs I do drink alcohol a bit and the milk in tea is actually an extra carb too). I will have to work out a time when I don't eat or drink for two hours (I work from home so I am aways having tea breaks) and figure out when to take the tablets.

I don't have much confidence that that is going to do it though. Is there any way to safely up my dose of levothyroxine if the Dr won't prescribe it?


SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to RaymondTurner

Yes, I did miss this reply Raymond. Two ways of ensuring the member is notified when you reply to fhem

1) reply directly to their post by clicking on the blue "Reply" immediately below their message

2) tag them by putting @ directly in front of their user name but don't leave a space

The member then gets an email notification, also the little bell at the top of the page will have a number next to it.

As long as a doctor has seen your result then the surgery can release them to you.

As Levo peaks in the blood 2-6 hours after taking it, if you take Levo before a blood test then you will get a false high FT4 as it will measure the dose just taken.

The milk in your tea also contains some calcium so that will affect the absorption of the Levo.

If it helps, you can take Levo at bedtime as long as it's 3 hours after a main meal or 2 hours after a smaller meal, and water only for the hour before taking it. Or if you get up in the middle of the night for the loo you could take it then. Or do you wake up in the morning and not get up straight away - maybe take it then, or shower, dress, etc and maybe that will take an hour and you could then have breakfast.

Thanks again. i think I'm going for the middle of the day. The problem is that until I get into the habit of it I will forget a few times. I tend to snack at night just before bed and also drink alcohol a bit. It sounds like I have a false high in my blood test but as you observed it still isn't very high. Don't know what to do about it really. I could petition the Dr but I really doubt it'll work. I could just take a higher dose and tell the Dr how much better i feel but she may be very disapproving of that. I will think on.

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