CURIOUS: Curious to know what a normal TSH should... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Curious to know what a normal TSH should be for someone with no Thyroid issues? My mom is 76 and recently diagnosed with Dementia. For the past 6 years she's felt unwell but doctors can find no cause. Her symptoms are, fatigue (she's very fit and active, ) , depression ( dispite taking meds and no real cause for it) , poor sleep, digestive issues, low mood, generally feeling unwell. Her last bloods showed nothing except raised cholesterol. Her TSH IS 2.78. Ive ordered a full thyroid panel at home test so we will that soon.

48 Replies

This might help ;

Nessynu in reply to tattybogle

Thank you tattybogle. I will have a read.

Many years ago before the blood test for thyroid deficiency having high cholesterol was an indicator for hypothyroidism.

Oh thats interesting. Thank you

In some countries you're diagnosed as hypothyroid when your TSH reaches 3

Nessynu in reply to geworgie3008

I never knew that. Thank you

My husband who is 65 and has no thyroid problems has a TSH of 0.97 and my son in-law who is 29 has a TSH of 1.05. Before I became ill mine was 0.94 but now it is 0.38. I think the TSH means nothing myself because it is a pituitary gland hormone and it is the T4 and T3 that counts.

Nessynu in reply to Lora7again

I always assumed the TSH would show up high in anyone with a thyroid issue prior to being medicated.


I am not medically qualified but would suggest your mother should have a TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies tested.

Blood draw has to be at the earliest possible, fasting (she can drink water). If taking thyroid hormone replacements, take dose after blood draw.

Some members get a home test - in that case arms/hands should be warm so that blood flows easily.

Every single thing in our body is activated by T3. T3 is the active thyroid hormone and T4 is inactive (should convert to T3).

A Full Thyroid Blood test should be:-

TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies.

Nessynu in reply to shaws

Thanks Shaws. The blood test arrived today so we will do it in the morning and post it back.

I think youre right to get it checked out. Diagnosis and treatment are so neglected and particularly in the elderly. Such a caring NHS x

I'm in Ireland and the aged population are not treated much better by a lot of Gps!

Low levels of Vitamin B12 can cause symptoms which can be mistaken for dementia. And since the body needs good levels of folate in order to make full use of vitamin B12, folate is important too.

So, get Vitamin B12 and folate measured if you can.

From a personal point of view, I've found that anaemia or low iron can cause severe brain fog and confusion.

So, get a full iron panel done if you can. You can get one done privately if you are prepared to pay - no doctor required :

The above discount code is old, but I think it still works.

Regarding the thyroid, just knowing the TSH isn't particularly useful in reality (although doctors would disagree). The levels of Free T3 and Free T4 are more useful.

Another personal point of view... I find that I need generous amounts of animal-sourced protein in my diet to be able to think well - meat, fish, eggs, seafood

If you get any testing done post the results and reference ranges in a new post and ask for feedback.

Nessynu in reply to humanbean

Thanks so much humanbean! She had very low b12 since childhood but doctor has said its fine the the few times he checked but Its not in the upper range! Unfortunately her brain scan showed shrinkage but I've suspected its probably from years of untreated hypothyroidism! I'm trying to find a link/ study to show a connection between untreated hypothyroidism and alzhiemers/ dementia.

humanbean in reply to Nessynu

How about this one? It is referenced.

Nessynu in reply to humanbean

I cant open it. Error code 16 access denied. Thanks though.

humanbean in reply to Nessynu

How very strange!

The website is called "Consultant360" if you want to google it.

The article was entitled "Revisiting Dementia’s Relationship to Hypothyroidism"

Nessynu in reply to humanbean

I will definitely take a look at it. Thanks again

Hillwoman in reply to humanbean

Thanks so much for this link. I was about to post about my FiL's 'dementia' symptoms and high TSH when I came across Nessynu's post.

humanbean in reply to Nessynu

Is she on statins? They increase the risk of dementia and do not confer any benefits to anybody, particularly women. I consider them to be a total con.

(I have no medical training.)

Nessynu in reply to humanbean

No, she has no medical condition other than the recent diagnosis of dementia. She takes antidepressants only.

humanbean in reply to Nessynu

Have you read the Patient Information Leaflet for the anti-depressants? They may have some undesirable effects.

The problem with anti-depressants is that coming off them is very, very difficult, and in your mother's case may not be desirable anyway.

Nessynu in reply to humanbean

Shes very depressed the last year( another symptoms of hypothyroidism?) I have Hashimotos myself and some of my cousins have graves etc so I hope I'm not grasping at straws but her symptoms are similar to mine but not as bad.

humanbean in reply to Nessynu

I hope you find something to help her, or at least make her feel happier.

If her nutrient levels are low or not optimal that will have a very bad effect on her mood.

Nessynu in reply to humanbean

Thank you. If I can alleviate even some of her symptoms that will be great.

Hi there I notice you say you live in Ireland - it goes that Irish ancestry means you are susceptible to thyroid conditions.

Have you seen this?

Yes I knew this but didn't like to say on here it was due to the famine in case it offended in some way or indeed no-one believed it - I have known about this for years and did some research on it - and when I get talking to people and they mention they have a thyroid problem I ask if they have Irish roots and yes they do more often than not. Me included but also Italian famine genes too - my ancestor Angelo came over to England (Manchester) after a famine in Italy because of a volcano that erupted that caused an issue with the sun - in the mid 1800's - so I have a double whammy. Poor soul died of pneumonia at aged 39 - leaving 5 kids - one of whom was my Grandma - going into the workhouse. My inherited genes are awful - but as someone one said to me - 'you have the genes of survival' and that I do.

I also researched why I have thyroid disease because I am half Irish and nobody else in my family suffers from it. I don't know my Irish part of my family because we are estranged but I do wonder if some of them have it.

Nessynu in reply to Lora7again

Hi Lora7again, the link is saying that the page doesn't exist. The website does so could you tell me what it was and i can try a search on the website please. Thanks

Lora7again in reply to Nessynu

I think this one works.

Nessynu in reply to Lora7again

Thank you Lora7again! I think I must have Wilsons syndrome myself. My hands, feet and lower legs are always ice cold even with the heating on!

🙈 oh no!

Thenightowl in reply to Nessynu

'very low b12' unless she was a strict vegan would usually require injections for life. B12 test results can be skewed by any b12 supplements within at least 4 months of the test. Raising folate can also mask a b12 deficiency.

Folate and b12 need each other to work. I became quite mentally unstable when my folate went low, it is optimal in the top quarter of the range. Correcting that worked really quickly and I went back to normal in a few weeks, the difference in my mood was astonishing! But then my b12 plummeted...

I've not been treated as per the NICE guidelines for most of my life, at last on b12 injections, but couldn't get them on the NHS as I raised my levels too high with sublinguals for them to agree. My mum was not treated for her b12 deficiency either.

Most GPs are surprisingly unknowledgeable about b12/folate, I've found the 'b12 wake up' Facebook group, affiliated with the b12 society incredibly helpful, they have a huge amount of files about it if you are interested.

Best of luck.

Nessynu in reply to Thenightowl

Thanks so much for this information. I think I need to get her B12, folate and iron checked privately as her go puts everything down to her age. She's 76 but was full of life up until the last 3/4years and I never taught of a thyroid or vitamin issue until I was diagnosed with Hashimotos.

My very placid mother walked out on my abusive father at 81. She was started on Lorazepam without my knowledge. She quickly deteriorated into a Dementia state. Unresponsive. Incontinent. She later said she was in a nightmare that she couldnt wake from. It was hell for 8 mnths with her in a mental health assessment unit. Even though I knew the staff professionally, no one told me she was on this medication and I did ask! I kept saying she is depressed. It was like a psychotic depression presentation. She was moved to an EMI nursing home as they said she wouldnt recover. The marvellous nursing home immediately took her off Lorazepam. I went to visit and she sprung out of her chair when she saw me!

I got my mother back! I applied to get her Capacity reinstated and took her to the court hearing to make sure they did so.

A lot of medications are toxic to the elderly. Its shocking what happened to my mother at the hands of professionals x

Omg thats shocking. Your poor mother. Im so glad she has you to advocate for her. Great to hear good news.

It was the nursing home who looked at her medication. She was always gentle and placid and was on Lorazepam and she had been loose all the admission and was on a laxative! The nursing home were brilliant and took her straight off them on her admission there. I went to visit her for the first time at the nursing home and she was completely lucid and explaining the budget to the other residents. I was in shock. I asked the staff what had happened and they told me about her meds. She remained mentally well until she passed away at 84 x

Aw thats a heartwarming little tale. Im so glad she didn't spend her last years going through bad stuff.xx

Marz in reply to Nessynu

Low B12 and Folate could be the cause of depression ...

Nessynu in reply to Marz

Great article. Thank you.

Stourie in reply to Nessynu

Hi Nessynu low t3 can also cause dementia like symptoms. The brain uses most of the t3 that is in the body. Jo. Xx

Nessynu in reply to Stourie

Thanks jo. Yes I saw an article regarding liw t3 and the effects on the brain. Thanks you.

Thenightowl in reply to Marz

That's a great (and very disturbing to read) website!

I found it last year and things started to make sense.

It's unbelievable how badly b12 deficiency is treated, or not....

Oh bless her - thank goodness she had you as a daughter. I am always so angry when I hear people with mental health issues being put on lithium - when it actually depletes T3 hormone. You may have someone who has bipolar/schizophrenia or some other symptoms relating to mental health - possibly due to a low thyroid condition who are then given this dreadful drug which makes them worse. The medical profession particularly endocrinology need to hang their heads in shame. I often wonder what the heck apart form Diabetes which is their main concern and their source of income for their research grants - do they actually do about anything else. Before I finish my dear late Aunty Lila (she was really called Lily but didn't like that name) was a real character - we all loved her so much - she got dementia or whatever they thought it was - and when we went to see her at her own home she was slumped in a chair drooling did not know who we were and was being 'looked after' by a neighbour on behalf of her son who lived a long way off. This went on for years and we felt so bad for her but thought that was the condition making her like that - the neighbour died suddenly - we went round to see Lila who previously could not even talk and were shocked to see her sitting in her chair reading the paper and when I said do you know who we are Lila - she said of course I do - what on earth makes you think I wouldn't - she had been given a chemical cosh to keep her quiet - and that must have come from the GP etc. - the way the elderly are being treated - my late Mother included is a disgrace.

Thats so awful. How could anyone treat our elderly so bad. That God shes ok.

Hi - Nursing home would have known what they were up to and were protecting her. Good for them.

Oh my, so lucky that she was able to come off it, my dear friend became accidentally addicted to it a few years ago and her mental decline is horrendous to watch. She can't reduce it, it's gone on too long and she's too fragile.

Benzos are scary.

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