Borderline.. what do the results mean? - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
109,119 members126,740 posts

Borderline.. what do the results mean?

DizzLizzie
DizzLizzie

Hi Everyone

Just joined the site after reading your articles and comments. I am a 57 year old female.

Yet again I have been to the doctors re my day time fatigue and sleepiness, especially after eating, lack of energy, the brain fog and bloated stomach- I have probably been once or twice a year with the same symptoms for the past 6 years and my blood tests are always normal. I constantly keep eating to keep me awake and feel better, resorted to gum as weight is increasing!

This time the doctor rang to say my thyroid was borderline and that I should have a further test in 4 -6 weeks. My folate and iron were normal, my diabetes/sugar levels were ok, I asked about my B12 thinking this was sure to be the reason for my sleepiness during the day- as my sister has B12 injections for her tiredness (has MS).

"No your B12 are fine, in fact they are off the scale at 1044, most people are at the low end of the scale at the 219 range. Are you taking vitamins, or multi-vitamins?"

No "oh well it must be high because of your diet.

Your Cholesterol is borderline at 7.7 so it is up to you whether you want to take a statin or not?

My medications are omaprazole for hiatus hernia, GERD for 6 years and 6 years on atenolol beta blockers for migraines. (My migraines were horrendous - betablockers have been amazing) I do now wonder though - do I still need to take them as I am now passed the menopause etc

The following are minor conditions I have had for the past 6 years or so :Very itchy scalp, which is now affecting my back, athletes foot comes and go on feet and skin creases on the groin, never had this before, red sore tongue, dry skin on calves and feet, lots of skin tags on the neck. More recently; painful hip and knee, soft tissue I think rather than mechanical- wakes me up at night- getting worse as is the sore tongue. Back of throat always red, glands on the neck always raised, hands are extremely dry and chapped all year round. Lots of aches and pains and stiff legs after sitting - Blamed all these symptoms on the menopause!

Symptoms over the last 2 months tingling between my eyes and tip of nose, crawling feeling under the skin, mild itchy eyes, tender when pressing down my leg and arm- doctor said it was bursitis and to read about it on line.

Family history: my mum was type2 diabetes, been on thyroid mediation for 30 years, recovered from breast cancer but died of stomach and liver cancer 22 years later.

Sister on thyroid medication, B12 injections and has MS

Auntie been on thyroid medication for 50 years- is 93. Cousin 61, she is borderline thyroid.

Dad died after a 2nd heart attack at the the age of 57, his first thrombosis was at 42 years old, caused by high cholesterol.

Welcome any info. Just rang the surgery, the receptionist advised my Thyroid is 6.5 which is above the range 0.27 to 4.2 apparently. Don't know which T number this is.

The doctor explained that the thyroid is normal production levels but the thing in my brain is working twice as hard to maintain it....

24 Replies
oldestnewest

"my Thyroid is 6.5 which is above the range 0.27 to 4.2 apparently. Don't know which T number this is" - it's neither! That will be the level of TSH, aka Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, which is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid to produce more of its own hormones. It is therefore likely that your FT3 and FT4 levels will be low, indicating hypothyroidism; and guess what, elevated levels of cholesterol are linked to hypothyroidism. It is our constant battle that Drs wrongly use TSH to (fail to) diagnose and treat, under-active thyroid, in isolation of the thyroid levels and symptoms. You may need to have your own comprehensive testing carried out privately, as so many of us do. BTW atenonol has been shown to negatively impact serum FT4 levels; and conversely, looking to the future when you're eventually treated for your undoubted failing thyroid, that can have the effect of increasing the bioavailability of the atenonol, so you might need a dose reduction.

"The doctor explained that the thyroid is normal production levels but the thing in my brain is working twice as hard to maintain it" - presumably he's referring to the pituitary, but I'd disagree. Due to the negative feedback mechanisms, as I've mentioned, the pituitary is simply producing the amount of TSH that it is, to stimulate the thyroid. When some people have TSH levels in the hundreds, and certainly others can bemoving toward 100, 6.5 can hardly be described as twice as hard!! But what the heck, if he acknowledges that, he should be treating you accordingly. However, when a thyroid begins to fail, it is that gland which works to compensate in the short term, to maintain levels, which can lead to a goitre.

Thanks MaisieGray- looks like I will be diagnosed with hypo, got to wait a few more weeks to find out. Shame as currently feeling rough over the last few weeks, tired and aching waking up with a migraine/ hangover headache, nausea, tingling nose area, that wont respond to paracetamols or my prescribed migraine tablets and the betablockers haven't helped.

Also noticed my calves don't have any hairs on them, and forearms only a few. Eyebrows are as before, did lose some head hair but ok now, plus have very thick dry, fairly coarse hair- always have had! itchy scalp is a pain. Tried various shampoos but not helped, the only thing to help was to dab neat white vinegar on my scalp - leave for 30 minutes to an hour and shampoo as normal. Repeat fortnightly.

Also forgot to say I get extremely hot one second, and a minute or so later will be cold. Often it happens when I am doing a task and have to stop as feel so terrible. Strangely though I am not sweating at all, just so hot I feel as I will pass out! Happens during the night too, but still no sweating!

DizzieLizzie, MaisieGray might not see your responses to her because you did not click on the blue 'Reply' button under her comments. I've notified her for you. :)

thank you greygoose.

is it possible to amend my original post as wanted to add some additional comments.

Thanks

It certainly is. Underneath your post, there is the word 'More', with a downward facing arrow. Click on the arrow, and then click on 'edit'. And the you can change your post as you wish. :)

What time of day was your blood drawn? You need to have it as early in the day as possible eg 8 - 8.30am if possible as that is when TSH is at its highest. Your go should also request FT4.

DizzLizzie
DizzLizzie
in reply to Muffy

Hi Muffy

It was 4pm, so will ensure I go early for the next one. And will request T5

Thank you for the info

Lizzy

Muffy
Muffy
in reply to DizzLizzie

T4, not T5. You really need T3 as well, but doubt your NHS lab would do that. Oh yes, 4pm is far too late in the day to have blood drawn for testing.

DizzLizzie
DizzLizzie
in reply to Muffy

Yes sorry typo.

Been up an hour or so feeling so ill, with another sore head same as hangover, knee to hip pain that wakes me but goes off soon as I start walking around. Stiff neck and hot one minute and cold the next- could all this be down to my thyroid?

I have been going to the doctors for years with my sleepy daytime bouts and fatigue and described that going up the stairs I felt like a slug some days, and used the hand rail to haul myself up.

Had to give up work after 37 years as was struggling with pressure, fatigue and couldn’t think straight.

Never diagnosed with anything other than migraines and depression and acid reflux. Will be amazed and so grateful if I can start feeling normal again, have put everything down to the menopause and getting old. The last couple of years have been thinking I’d probably end up with dementia as forgeries g if I’d had breakfast, looking for light switches on the wrong walls, driving down a road and suddenly wondering where I was going and where was I as could recognise - luckily that has only happened 3 times- but did think I had the onset of dementia or similar- then put it down to the menopause!

Symptoms have got worse and worse but my blood test have always come back as normal other than it always as a raised inflammatory markings but told that that be normal ‘bit of cold’ can do it’, plus last year by cholesterol was 8.2. They put me on statins and within a few weeks was 4.2, then developed the leg pain and as recently been on a very low fat diet came off them this May. However now been told it is 7.7 so back on them this week.

Did eventually find the miracle cure for the daily migraines- My intensive migraines were cured bar a mild one now and again with beta blockers- marvelous- have to be Teva manufacturer through or get major dreams- apparently it is the coating on the tablet e.g. actavis.

Although potentially they were probably caused by my thyroid.

As even the tingling in my feet and numbness in the toes - can’t feel hot and cold- doctors just ordered blood tests - all tests ok so never went back.

Asked my family about their thyroid meds:

My sister takes 125mg and my mum was on 125 or 100- it fluctuated.

Unfortunately my sisters weight isn’t good so the meds can’t have rectified that- she used to be a bean Pole! Now struggles with her weight. Me too, but not as bad.

Muffy
Muffy
in reply to DizzLizzie

Is there any way you cd see a doctor privately who would help you. So sad that dear Dr Skinner died as he did all of the tests , but also treated the symptoms and not the blood test results. We need another Dr S.!

You would really help yourself if you cut out the foods/things that are causing the inflammation/immune response in your body.

Google Thyroid Pharmacist/Isabella Wentz and start reading. Sign up for her emails and get informed. You won’t regret it.

Your GP is just being a normal uninformed GP. 7.7 cholesterol ok???? All the symptoms you have and medications you’re on are classic for an untreated thyroid condition. Good luck in taking control and feeling well. Xx

DizzLizzie
DizzLizzie
in reply to Ziburu

Thank you I will look at cutting out the gluten, Shame as I love my food!

Results yesterday showed a further increase in T S H to 7.4 so the doctor is trialling me on thyroxine 25mg due to my symptoms, although didn’t think I will develop hypothyroidism as antibodies are negative

X

Ziburu
Ziburu
in reply to DizzLizzie

Pleased for you - no antibodies. Wishing you well.

Your family history of thyroid, autoimmune issues and cancer points to a genetic condition known as Impaired Sensitivity to Thyroid Hormone, sometimes called Thyroid Hormone Resistance. It causes hypothyroid symptoms and requires very high Free T3 levels (often above the top of the normal range) in the body to overcome the resistance.

DizzLizzie
DizzLizzie
in reply to HughH

Thank you for your reply. Had a retest last week my T-S H has now gone up to 7.4 an T4 is 13, 3.5 weeks ag was T S H 6.5 and T4 14. Saw the best go in the practise and says it is high but as I don’t have the antibodies I don’t need I g testing other than 3 yearly intervals, discused my current symptoms and gave him a hand written list, so he decided to put me on a 2 month trial of 25mg and then to have bloods again for serum B12, cholesterol, LFT, T S H (on thyroxine)

B12 is high at 1044 and then 869, cholesterol was 7.7 in December so now on statins,

From what I have learnt from everyone here the trial should be 50mg for me to see a difference and the high. The chlesterol being high is probably because of my thyroid issue so probably don’t need it.

Just hoping the horrible waking hangover type headaches, ringing in my ears and fatigue will go away or diminish on the tablets.

Will read up on the thyroid resistance - can they test for this?

Also seemed to have nearly cured my hip and knee pain that I had in the night- read about it - when I pressed hard on certain areas of the calf just below the back of the knee it was extremely painful - I kept kneading into the area and the pain subsided fairly immediately and was very little last night. Kneaded both calves in the sore patches last night and had a ver comfortable sleep - so think it was tight hamstrings. Have had the pain whilst sleeping for 8 months nearly every night- had got so bad it was waking me up.

Hoping this is the cure.

Did read somewhere that blood can collect behind the knee in the calf and that by massaging it you get relieve , so it is either that or tight hamstrings. Hopefully this may help somewhere and maybe someone can throw some light on this as to whether related to thyroidB12, cholesterol or totally independent.

Thought I’d got arthritis so pleased to find I haven’t!

Hylda
Hylda
in reply to DizzLizzie

I too have an under active thyroid, but I also have Afib so was put on statins. Once my thyroid was as well as can be expected with the current state of play of the NHS, I took myself off the statins for 6 months to see if the Levo would help with the cholesterol. Wrong call, went from a continuous 4.3 on statins to 6.7 without them so needless to say back on them again!

Di

DizzLizzie
DizzLizzie
in reply to Hylda

Hi Di

Interesting, I thought it would cure my cholesterol but sounds not.

My sister was put on statins for her MS, but no longer on them - her chlorestrol has stayed static throughout at 4.2., plus she is on 125mg or 100mg thyroxine and has been for years

Mine was up at 8.2, took statins then was on a high protein diet with very little fat so came off the statins, cholsterol rose from a 4.2 to 7.4 so looks like I need them too.

Thanks

Dizzy

HughH
HughH
in reply to Hylda

Hylda, once your thyroid hormones are corrected your cholesterol should be fixed. As your cholesterol went high without statins it could indicate that your dose of thyroid hormones is too low. This will be confirmed if you have other thyroid symptoms.

Hylda
Hylda
in reply to HughH

Thanks Hugh. I know I need T3 but not likely to get it. I have rampant AFib too. TSH 0.02. T4 24.1(12-22) T3 5.03(3.10-6.8) Take 125 Levo a day. Antibodies minimal.

Di

HughH
HughH
in reply to Hylda

Hylda, your free T3 is above the midpoint of the range but could go higher. It would be worth increasing your Levo dose to see if that increases your Free T3 and helps with your symptoms. If that does not work then consider trying T3.

Your lack of antibodies means that you do not have an autoimmune thyroid condition, which is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Your symptoms and need for a high Free T3 could indicate thyroid hormone resistance.

As it is genetic if there are other family members with thyroid problems, fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, Coeliac Disease, MS, Heart Disease or depression this would further support this possibility. Even if you cannot identify any family history of this it is still possible that you have this condition.

Hylda
Hylda
in reply to HughH

They are trying to get me to lower my Levo to get my TSH up as they want to try me on a different heart drug!

D

HughH
HughH
in reply to Hylda

It is quite incredible the way that doctors are so obsessed with the TSH blood test. It was supposed to be the only blood test necessary to diagnose and manage the treatment of hypothyroidism. TSH is not however a thyroid hormone. It is produced by the pituitary gland and travels in the blood to the thyroid gland where it signals to the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones.

Thyroxine (T4) is a thyroid hormone but is not an active hormone, it needs to be converted to T3 to become active.

T3 is the active thyroid hormone which controls the metabolism and every cell in the body and therefore the symptoms. When a Free T3 test is done it is the most important test in managing hypothyroidism. If the Free T3 is in range and there are no symptoms of over medication then the TSH level is not a reason to reduce your Levo.

Getting your thyroid hormones right will have massive benefits for your heart.

Hylda
Hylda
in reply to HughH

I hope so. That’s why I paid for a private blood test to see what my T3 level was. Now to find a private prescription.

D

You may also like...