Thyroid UK
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'Borderline high' - what does it mean?

I recently went to my doctor because I was suffering from palpitations. I've had these before, a few years ago, but my heart checked out OK then. The doctor sent me for blood tests, including thyroid function. When I got the results I was told that this was 'borderline high' and I've been asked to go for a repeat test in three months.

I've put on weight in the last twelve months, having been the same weight up to now for a number of years. But otherwise I seem to have a few symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including anxiety and a general feeling of 'jitteriness' and irritability at times. I also get double vision sometimes, if only briefly, when I've been bending my head to focus on something I'm reading and then look up. (I mentioned this to a doctor about a year ago and was told it was a kind of 'postural vertigo'.) I'm sleeping less than I used to, and often wake up in the early hours and find it hard to get back to sleep. The palpitations sometimes keep me awake, or I wake up from a dream with my heart pounding.

I'm seeing the doctor again next week with a view to getting something to ease the palpitations, and will ask more questions about the blood tests. In the meantime I would be grateful for any information anyone here can offer.


4 Replies

Please help us to help you. You really need to get the actual blood test results - very importantly including reference ranges. Have a look here:

If you are only a little bit hyperthyroid then it could be reasonable to at least give you some Propranolol (a beta blocker which both helps to prevent the palpitations and also can help to reduce some thyroid hormone levels).



Thanks for your reply, I will ask for the full results when I next see the doctor. I am familiar with Propranolol, having been prescribed it in the past for anxiety. The blood tests I am to have next time are TSH and 'TSH not on T4'. I have no idea what the latter means despite extensive googling. Time for some searching questions I think!


What that means is simply that you are not taking levothyroxine so, when they see the TSH result, they should interpret it with that in mind. This might mean that they also do a Free T4 test - but might not.

(T4 is the short way of referring to levothyroxine - whether it comes from your thyroid or from a tablet!)


OK, I see what you mean. Thanks again, and I will no doubt be back after seeing the doc!


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