Im a newbie and have just been given blood test results back which I am unsure of and wondered if anyone can help

I have just had a full blood test - have been unwell for some years being put down to anxiety etc possibly arthritis and fibromyalgia (these are not really taken very serious by GP though)

The results which have been flagged as having a problem are:-

Serum TSH level 12.2 mu/l

Serum FT4 level 11.6

B12 - 157 ng/l

Folate - 2.7 ug/l

ferritin - 13 ug/l

What is the problem with the TSH and FT4 - if any ? im rather anxious and there are no available appointments with Doctor for a few days - my father and sister both have thyroid problems and are on medication

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

13 Replies

  • TSH ranges are typically something like 0.35 to 3.5 - so 12.2 is high. We criticize doctors for not treating until TSH gets to 10 - you are above that. And should be treated.

    FT4 is more difficult because you have not given a range - and the ranges vary a lot from one lab to another. Could be 7 to 14 or 12 to 24! The fact that FT4 has been flagged up strongly suggests it is below range.

    Those two together are cast-iron indicators of hypothyroidism.

    B12 is far too low and almost certainly is below bottom of range. You will be suffering for that. I would like to see you getting a B12 injection.

    Ferritin and folate could both be higher. (Do not take any folic acid until you get B12 treatment.)

    Go and see your doctor as soon as you reasonably can.

    No wonder you are feeing unwell, anxious, possibly arthritic, maybe fibromyalgia, and goodness knows what else with results like that! All those could be due to thyroid (not guaranteed - but quite possible).


  • Hello and welcome to the site where you will find lots of people to give good advice which will hopefully help you. I have not long found it myself but have found it invaluable. My only imput is on your TSH and t4 does look high,do you have reference ranges for the lab which did the test,they are useful,but even without them it looks high and as you feel unwell it's entirely possible that is the main problem. Just for info mine were TSH 4.5 then 5.4 and my t4 was 14.9 then 14.1. I was started on thyroxine with those readings along with a few of the symptoms that usually accompany under active thyroid problems.I hope you get good treatment when you see your gp about your results.Others here will no doubt have more input and experience re the other results- those things appear to be linked in with thyroid problems.

  • Thanks for that - whilst Im worried Im also a little angry -

    is this something that can just happen?

    I think the last time they did full bloods was October when they said everything was normal - oh except my Vitamin D - ferritin was about that but they said as it was just over bottom range they did not want to treat!

  • It is important that they treat your low B12 along side your thyroid as you need a good b12 level for your thyroid medication (when you get it) to work properly.

    Here are a couple of link from a very good site regarding how important iron and B12 with thyroid troubles.

    Have a good read and then you will be more informed the next time you go to your GP's

    And last but not least - Welcome to the site.

    Moggie x

  • Thank you for all your answers much appreciated

    One final thing I have this morning got from the Receptionist at GPs last years results from September B12 was not done -

    ferritin was 18

    TSH - 7.8

    Free T4 - 12.7

    Could there have been a problem then?

  • In one word Yes. Your TSH is to high at 7.8 (it would have been helpful to have the ranges) and your FT4 is to low, as is your ferritin and by the looks of your latest test results the GP has let things slide even further the wrong way.

    Was nothing said after the September results?

    Moggie x

  • Please also get your vitamin D result and range because you need this vitamin (hormone) it is very important and you will feel better for getting it up where it should be.

  • Hi Ive been on medication to raise the Vit D in the past but then it was stopped and now its dropped again

    Moggie - no nothing said after September results at all - they said everything was normal - it was only because of this last weeks results I decided to ask what they actually were in September. In September the Ferritin he said was boarderline at 18 (I do know the range for that it was 10-295) - I dug out an old letter from Rhuematologist to Doctor who wanted to see my ferritin at more than 20 but clearly he has chosen to ignore that! so now its dropped to 13 I doubt whether he still will treat this

  • My latest ferritin was 13 and my endo sent a letter to my GP telling her to treat me. It sounds to me like you need to change your GP or tell him in no uncertain terms that he is mis-managing your health.

    First he leaves you with a TSH of 7.8 and then he ignores suggestions from another doctor. Can you not go and see another GP in the same practise? I'm afraid I would find it very hard to trust the doctor you are with anymore. Most (not all) GP's would have treated a TSH of 7.8 but he has allowed both your low thyroid and low iron to get worse - what is he playing at.

    If you go in to your GP's with the attitude of "he most probably wont treat me" then he most probably wont. You need to start demanding - demanding that he does something to help you regain your health, in particular to start you on thyroid medication and iron supplements. When (not if) you do get both you will need to keep your thyroid medication well away from your iron medication. A lot of people find taking their thyroid medication of a night the best which will leave you free to take your iron medication at breakfast or lunch (a four hour gap in needed between thyroid meds and iron supplements).

    When you get your medication get back in touch with us on here as there are some simple, but important, do's and dont's when taking thyroid meds.

    If you need any more help just shout.

    Moggie x

  • Thanks Moggie, After what ive learnt on here over the last two days I dont know whether to be angry or sit and cry - the last few years have been hell with my Drs - it appears from asking admin staff that I have never had my B12 measured before this latest test so lord alone knows how long that has been so low.

    I am thinking of changing surgeries completely but when Ive spent so long with the diagnosis that its "just anxiety" I kind of just thought the other Drs would just treat me the same

    I will return tommorrow after speaking to him (only telephone appts available!)

    Thanks again Jaqui x

  • Good luck with it and try and be polite but firm. The official highest TSH guidelines are set at 10 so there is no reason what so ever for your GP not to treat you this time for your thyroid problem. Don't let him tell you to "wait and see", point out your family history and demand that he treat you starting today. It cant even be a money issues as a month supply of Levothyroxine costs in the region of £1.30 - £1.50.

    What time is your phone appt booked for?

    Moggie x

  • Hi have had my telephone conversation with the Dr - he is leaving everything for a further 3 weeks to see if it was a "blip" - I am so upset - I have informed him how ill I feel.

    He advised me to take "Pregacare" (I am not pregnant by the way) in order to help the Vitamin B problem but the thyroid he would need to see a repeat test in three weeks time

    Any advice would be gratefully received

    By the way he said he thought I was heading for "slightly hyperthroxic"

  • I am on my way home now so cant answer you question at the moment in full but please ask another question on here with the heading along the lines of "TSH 12.2 and GP wont treat" so that people will catch it.

    I will catch up with you tomorrow - sorry but I don't have internet access at home but there are lots of helpful, knowledgeable people on here that are always willing to help.

    speak tomorrow

    Moggie x

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