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Thyroid UK
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I have my results!

Ok, I have the blood test results. When I first got them - no ranges. I asked for the ranges but they couldn't print them so I had to phone back and she read them to me over the pho e.

There is a whole long list but I'll give you the ones I think are relevant

Here we go

Serum vitamin b12 300 (range 180-900)

Serum ferritin 40.5 (range 10 - 200)

Serum folate 6.70 (range 3.0 - 20.0)

Serum iron tests 15.4 (range 11 - 30)

GP comment - acceptable

Plasma tsh 3.76 (range 0.35 - 5.5)

Plasma free t4 14.2 (range 10.5 - 20)

Plasma free t3 4.40 (range 3.5 - 6.5)

GP comment - normal

can anyone advise. I have an appt on Monday with the gp. I still have terrible joint pain. Iwasreferred to physio as they thought it was osteo arthritis. Went for appt today but physio couldn't help as joints too painful to move easily. I am always cold, tired and I am getting heavier even though i I try to exercise.

I eat a good diet and love fish eggs and have yoghurt every day. I try not to have cheese and only have skimmed milk cos of weight issues.

Any advice gratefully received.

17 Replies

Hi Nursey

first of all: what time of the day were the tests taken?

TSH will be at its highest at approx 1 to 2 am and then goes down, lowest late pm/evening

therefore if you are not yet diagnosed, having the bloods taken as early as possible in the morning can make a difference.

Just an example: my TSH was 3.47 at 5pm, test re-done a week later at 8am and TSH was 4.27 this gave me my 'precious' diagnosis with GP who would only go by lab range and normal range in my lab is up to 4.20!!

fT4 and fT3 will be at their lowest early in morning so that can also make a difference to diagnosis.

your vitamin B12/folic acid and ferritin can all do with being higher, however your GP will not give you anything for them as they are in 'range' (not optimal though, b12 should be upper part of range, ferritin 70 to 90 and folate >10 around 12 better)

you can supplement yourself with floradix for your ferritin (or spa-tone) and sublingual vit b12, floradix will also give som folate.


Thank you for your reply. The test was done at 8.30 in the morning. I sort of know that doc will say everything is ok, go away! To me it explains why I feel so horrible, everything is working but only just. I suppose I can take the supplements, see how I feel any perhaps 're-test in a few months.


Hi nursey, just have to say, I don't think your doctor would find your TSH, T4 and T3 'normal' if they were his! TSH is too high. The lab is using the old range but it isn't even in range for the new range. Your T4 and T3 aren't even mid range and most people find they need them up the top of the range to feel well. I would say it's not surprising you don't feel well. Just 'in range' is a long way from 'optimum'.

But I have to ask, where is the fat in your diet? 'Skimmed mild cos of weight isues'? Fat doesn't make you fat. (It's your low thyroid hormones making you put on weight.) Fat is necessary for a healthy body - as is cholesterol. By cutting out fat, you are further disrupting your delecate hormonal balance. Do you know that people die from fat starvation?

Hope you manage to convince your doctor that there is a problem with your thyroid - you have the symptoms - but it doesn't sound like he knows very much about the subject...

Hugs, Grey


I sort of knew that about fat but thought if I put less fat in my body would use what it had!! Last year I did the DuKan diet with a friend. She lost 10lbs and I lost 2lbs. She doesn't eat cheese and has skimmed milk so I thought I would try it. Last year I played competitive netball weekly and steadily gained weight. I cannot play now cos of joint pains and extreme fatigue so I thought I needed to eat less to compensate for not exercising. I still eat red meat, eggs and fish. When I saw gp last September I was told nothing wrong with me and losing some weight 'wouldn't hurt'!


Yeah, well, I've never met a doctor that knew the first thing about weight and diet!

I understand your reasoning about the fat, but it just doesn't work that way. And when you're hypo, eating less to compensate for lack of exercise doesn't work either. In fact, when you're hypo, you can diet yourself fat! You need a certain number of calories to sustain conversion - it varies from person to person just how many calories, but if you don't eat enough, your conversion is lowered and you become more hypo and therefore put on more weight.

Calories in vs calories out just doesn't work for hypos, I'm afraid. What you need is optimal levels of hormones.

But I wouldn't expect a doctor to understand that...

Hugs, Grey


Sorry to sound thick but does this mean that because I have low t3 this is making me hypo because I am not conversing and the b12 is because I am mildly hypo or the b12 is in addition. This is so interesting but I feel I need to get it straight in my head to present my case to the gp on Monday.


Yes, the low T3 means you are hypo, you don't have enough to function correctly, but not because you aren't converting. It's because you don't have enough T4 to convert.

As for the B12, the hypo probably means that you have problems absorbing vitamins and minerals.

No, you don't sound thick at all! You are on the learning curve that all of us here have been on. We aren't born knowing about thyroid - unfortunately! So, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask them. There's bound to be at least one person on here that knows the answers.

Good luck with the GP on Monday! Grey x


Thanks greygoose. So even thought all my results are within range so gp considers me 'normal' I could still feel better with treatment.? It's difficult to get across how you feel and have any meaningful discussion in 10min appointment. Is the low b12 and ferritin causing more problems. Or should I push the low t3?? I am a bit confused!


I personally think you could feel better with treatment, yes. Thing is, as I see it, it's probably only going to get worse anyway, once a thyroid starts to fail it usually carries on failing. And early treatment can make a difference to how you feel longterm.

Yes, the low b12 and ferritin are causing more problems but for the time being I should concentrate on the low T3, because that's probably causing the most problems. And you can always suppliment iron and B12 yourself.

The problem with ranges is that we have no guarantee that the people used to set the ranges didn't themselves have thyroid problems. I have certainly never heard of anyone feeling well with their levels of FT4 and FT3 right down at the bottom of the range. Quite why doctors don't realise this, I don't know. But then again, I haven't met many doctors capable of independant thought!

What you hear time and time again is that people need their levels up near the top of the range - or even slightly over - for them to feel well.

But for TSH, it would appear that a person with a truly normal thyroid has a TSH of around 1.25, so that range is a complete nonsense and yours is too high.



agree! "you can diet yourself fat!" and "fat doesn't make fat" (sugar & carbs do). Malnourishment can actually create a 'fat' appearance.

sadly we are in the minority of thinking this way, fat has such bad press, especially dairy (and skimmed means the goodness skimmed off and 'paint' added to keep it white!)- brains and nerves need fat!

J :D


So pleased to know that someone agrees with me! lol

Fat has been given a bad press because 'they' are making a fortune selling 'lite' versions of everything. Such a load of nonsense!

But another good thing about fat is that it's satisfying, keeps you feeling fuller longer. Whereas sugar just sharpens your appetite.

And fat is a flavour enhancer. Nothing tastes good without some kind of 'fat'.



Hi Nursey,

In my opinion (for what it's worth) I think ALL your results are too low despite your GP saying they are 'acceptable'. I mean, acceptable to whom? Him?

In my area the reference range for TSH is (0.15 - 3.5) so your results are showing borderline hypothyroid. Are you being treated for this? Your B12 levels are far too low as is your ferritin.Optimal ferritin levels would be between 70 and 90 ng/mL.

I don't do too well with dairy and keep it to a minimum.Perhaps a splash of milk in my tea and and a smear of butter in a baked potato.Otherwise it causes severe bloating and I'm sure it contributes to inflammation in my muscles and joints. Perhaps something to think about.

Regards Joan


Joanofarc thanks for your reply. I am not being treated for anything at the moment although I was offered Prozac last September. I don't think my gp will change his mind so I am trying to be as informed as possible to present the best possible case.


If you can possibly afford it I would have a consultation with a doctor on Thyroiduk.org 's list. If you email Louise.Warvill@Thyroiduk.org she will give you details.


Thanks for your advice. Can you sky why you think I should do that.? Is it because they are thyroid specialists? Money will be an issue, but it depends on cost.


They have a special interest in thyroid problems.


x :-) x


Hi How I love your doctor`s comment! I, like lots of people need my FT 3 near the top of range. If you feel rotten, I would press for treatment. T3 will lower the TSH but for myself ,I cannot do without T3.Joints problems, as I am sure you know could relate to low vit d. If it persists, think about seeing a good rheumatologist, mine picked up lots of things.My endo always says ,it is your body and you know best, if you feel rotten, I have learnt , over many years with all my consultants to be proactive.

I hope you soon feel better.



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