Is TSH 6.8 to 7.5 normal?

Hi there,

I had a thyroid test 3 months ago - the TSH result was 7.55. The doctor said this was borderline (although my research has led me to believe that 3.5 - 4 is borderline.) Anyway, I had another blood test done last week. This time the result was 6.8. The doctor told me that this was perfectly normal - and completely ignored me when I said, 'but I feel so unwell'.

I really don't know what to do now. The doctor says I can have another blood test in 5 months, but I dread the thought of another 5 months feeling this way. I feel both physically and mentally unwell. I'm tired all the time, struggle to get up in the mornings. (It's usually 2-pm in the afternoon before I've managed to get myself up, washed and dressed.) I feel as if my days are passing me by, as I just sit around, feeling too tired to do anything. I feel physically weak - my body aches, stomach pains, constipation, cramps and poor circulation in my calves, toes so cold they look blue/purple, skin rashes & allergies. Mentally I'm feeling terribly down. My moods change from day to day, and I'm depressed, teary, and irritable. I can't concentrate and focus on work anymore. As I'm working at my laptop, my eyes start drooping, and I can't get anything done. I work from home as a web designer and I'm losing clients as a result.

I would appreciate any advice anyone can offer. I don't know where to go from here, and feel generally depressed and confused about it.

I'm a 32 year old female (my mother has underactive thyroid).

Thank you.

De

10 Replies

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  • Hi De ,I'm so sorry that you are feeling so unwell ,you need to go back to your doctors,and if you can see someone else all the better,and explain again how you are feeling .You need to get yourself well again .

    Good luck Jan xx

  • The same happened to me with similar TSH levels. Then wentby chance for something else to a different doctor who looked at my results, listened to what I said and said that this was "ridiculous". She put me on 25mcg thyroxine and said that if felfelt better then I needed it. Within 4 days I felt much better and after 2 months my TTSH level was really normal. I still get some ups and downs as my thyroid is a bit erratic. Good luck.

  • They certainly aren't 'normal' Tsh results and with your family history they should take you more seriously.

    The results are in ranges and unless you had a test when you were younger and feeling well, the doctors don't know what is normal for you.

    Excellent info on the net which you should take to your doctor. I suggest a medical paper as they have to take that more seriously.

    Well patients are usuall under a TSH of 2, but usually nearer 1.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    Over the past few days I've done so much research online about underactive thyroid. It's lead me to believe that I probably won't get suitable treatment on the NHS. Seems that NHS GPs are going by the out-dated 5.5 guideline, some even waiting until the TSH reading hits 10 before prescribing medication. It all makes me despair even more. I wonder if private treatment is the only way to go...

  • This is a high reading of TSH. Try to see another GP who is willing to give you a trial of thyroid medication. Ignore the thyroid levels - it's how you feel that matters.

  • Have they done the thyroid antibody test since it is in your family? Because I have other auto immune conditions my Dr did this test and my results were in the 1,000's. Combine this with a TSH of 8.17 and he was happy to treat me. Anything over 5 was out of the range.

    Don't wait for 5 months, go back this week and get the test for antibodies and see a different Dr.

  • Thanks for the replies.

    No, I have not had the antibody test. I do feel that I could have an abnormal level of antibodies as I have lots of rashes, skin allergies, etc. General autoimmune illnesses do seem to run in my family.

    At the moment I still feel uncertain what to do. I know that I'm not well but I just don't have the energy to go back to the doctor and argue about it. Mentally I don't feel right at all - I doubt I could have a conversation with the doctor without bursting into tears and looking like an idiot.

    I'm thinking about going to a private doctor - I've read a lot of good things about Dr Skinner in Birmingham (although I would still need a referral from my own doctor.) Has anyone else been treated by Dr Skinner?

  • HI.. Im a newbie and have been trawling the posts. When i read your post i was reassured that i was not the only one that burst into tears in the gp room! So much that he wants to medicate me for depression....im really not depressed but it seems easier for him to write a quick script :( Did you go to Dr Skinner? Are you feeling better now? Karen

  • You must have the antibody test. Then you must ask for a referral to an endocrinologist as You obviously need someone experienced in these matters.

    After that, then you could think of seeing Dr. Skinner. Don't forget the referral from your GP and take along or get your GP to send all blood test results. His telephone/fax number is 0121 449 8895.

    A few references you may like to look up re the TSH.

    Firstly though there is a frequently asked question on the British Thyroid Foundation site where someone still feels under the weather when their thyroxine levels are 'normal'.

    The reply is interesting because they state that, 'Patients may feel at their most healthy when blood tests results are tending towards biochemical evidence of over-replacement'.

    btf-thyroid.org/main_frame/...

    Hypothyroidism:Thyroxine - Therapeutic use.

    Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine. June 2000. Vol issue 2. p101. 3p

    Narrow Individual Variations in Serum T4 and T3 in Normal subjects: A clue to the understanding of Subclinical Thyroid Disease.

    Stig Andersen et al

    Dept of Endocrinology and Clinical Biochemistry, Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark DK 9000

    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Vol 87, No 3 1068-1072

    TSH is a poor measure of severity of tissue hypothyroidism.

    326 (7384): 0 -- BMJ

    When Hormones Fail to Act

    Clark T. Sawin MD

    Annals of Intermal Medicine

    15th October 1995 Volume 123 Issue 8 Pages 625-627

    Research letter,

    Effects of Reducing the Upper Limit of Normal TSH Values.

    JAMA December 24.31, 2003 -Vol 290, No 24 (Page 3195)

    Thyroid function tests - time for a reassessment.

    Denis StJ O'Reilly, consultant clinical biochemist. BMJ 2000

    bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/con...

    Prevalence of thyroid disease, thyroid dysfunction and thyroid peroxidase antibodies in a large, unselected population. The Health Study of Nord-Trondelag (HUNT)

    EUROPEAN Journal of Endocrinology, Vol 143, Issue 5, 639-647

    Subclinical Hypothyroidism is Mild Thyroid Failure and Should be Treated.

    Michael T. McDermott and E. Chester.

    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

    Vol. 86, No 10 4585-4590

    Hope this will be of some help.

  • Sorry, the full internet address of Denis StJ )'Reilly's paper is

    bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/con...

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