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Old 02-01-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Portland
Posts: 5
undertheivy HB User
Thyroid Results... TSH Slightly High, T3 & T4 Ok... help!

Hello there everybody, and thankyou in advance very much for reading my thyroid-related post, and my first ever post to this forum, woo!

Here's the synopsis: I am a 31 year old gal. Very healthy in most regards - I cycle daily, am not overweight, don't smoke/drink, eat relatively healthily etc. However, for years now, I have suffered very real and debilitating chronic and extreme fatigue, slow creeping weight gain, extreme joint stiffness and pain, sensitivity to the cold, and depression. I finally decided that enough was enough; that it wasn't all in my head; and it was high time to get off my bum, and get some tests done to find out if anything was the culprit.

The first test I wanted to clear up was my thyroid. My results from this week were -

TSH - 3.08
T3 Free - 3.7
T4 Free - 1.04

I would value your opinions and input on these results. In trying to interpret my tests, it seems the ranges for what the healthcare industry deem "normal" are all over the place - particularly for TSH. But from reading a bunch on the net today (including this wonderful site) it seems to be that -

1) My TSH is either normal, or not normal, depending on which scale you refer to
2) My T3 Free is pretty normal
3) My T4 Free is pretty normal

Has anybody else out there received similar test results? I am particularly concerned about my TSH being 3.08.

Granted, it is hardly off the scale per se. But - according to the American Association if Clinical Endocrinologists' guidelines published in 2003, 3.00 should now be the upper limit in the normal range for TSH. The optimal range for TSH is something like 1.5.

I also read the really interesting statistic that 95% of the population has a TSH of 2.5 or less, making mine somewhat high at 3.08.

How do you think I should proceed? Are there follow up tests anybody would recommend? Do you think 3.08 is high? From what I can tell, my test would indicate that my thyroid is considered "sub clinical", and that there is a real likelihood that I will progress to full-blown hypothyroid over time.

I know compared to somebody out there with a 6.08, or geez, 10.00 TSH result or whatnot, my measly little 3.08 TSH result it might not seem high, but it definitely does not seem optimal to me. Any thoughts?

My second question is - how might I convey my results to a doctor, without being fobbed off? (Sorry, British speak for "ignored"!) I hear a lot of doctors will not consider listening to you, if your TSH results are anything under 5.00 or even 6.00.

Thankyou thankyou for any wisdom you could share with me!


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Old 02-04-2013, 01:19 AM   #2
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Re: Thyroid Results... TSH Slightly High, T3 & T4 Ok... help!

Hi Kat,
firstly welcome but sorry you have to be here! Your TSH is higher and as you have said within some ranges but not others!! Depends on the lab and what they use.
Most "normal" people have around 1 so compared to that yours is higher and can give symptoms of hypo.
A good range of tests to ask for: The free T4 and T3 (please post all ranges people here need something to go by!)
antibodies (will show hashimotos or graves)
vit D, iron, ferritin,
cortisol, DHEA (shows adrenal fatigue) female hormone panel

Your thyroid/adrenals/female hormones can all be a culprit for the symptoms. All can affect each other! So for eg if your adrenals are sluggish it will slow down your whole body including your thyroid, your thyroid can also affect your body as it is the metabolism and so on!
If your doc will not address this for you, you need to look up either by asking here or doing a search, a good thyroid savvy doctor, preferably one who prescribes dessicated thyroid hormone, these guys generally look at the bigger picture.

Or you could choose the naturopath route and go holistic but go to someone who can run these tests and prescribe necessary meds not just herbs!

It is a bit of a roundabout route but getting to the source is important, and treatment can also take its time so you have to be very patient

Good luck!

Old 02-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #3
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Re: Thyroid Results... TSH Slightly High, T3 & T4 Ok... help!


Median values for females under age 60 years, with normal thyroids, are:
FT3 2.88
FT4 1.04
TSH 1.41

I would agree with you. FT4 is pretty normal. FT3 is even slightly high. TSH is definitely high and would normally indicate hypothyroidism.

So - conflicting results. I would wait 4 - 6 weeks and repeat the thyroid tests to see how stable things are. In the meantime make sure everything else is working right. Even though your thyroid blood levels may be normal, your thyroid hormones cannot work properly unless your cortisol and iron are at proper levels as well.

The gold standard test for cortisol is 4 times in a day saliva tests.

For iron you need to check four tests:
% saturation or transferin saturation
serum iron or iron or total iron

Old 02-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Portland
Posts: 5
undertheivy HB User
Re: Thyroid Results... TSH Slightly High, T3 & T4 Ok... help!

Thankyou both for your informative answers. They both did a lot to confirm my suspicions, and yr information is great for prioritizing my next steps.

I think I am going to get an iron panel done next, and then a thyroid antibodies test (don't have healthcare, so have to prioritize which tests to have done as and when I can afford them, grrrr!)

Thankyou both again.


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