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  • Can you have "normal" TSH levels but still be hyperthyroid?

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    Old 12-29-2007, 08:42 AM   #1
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    Can you have "normal" TSH levels but still be hyperthyroid?

    I am sure based on my recent symptoms and extensive family history of thyroid disorders that I'm currently experiencing an autoimmune hyperthyroid condition (Grave's Disease maybe?). I usually feel a bit hypo when my immune system is normal, but every time I get a sinus infection or UTI I get a flare of hyperthyroid symptoms until the infection clears up, at which time the thyroid stuff goes away, too. That's what leads me to believe it's autoimmune. I also have a couple of other autoimmune conditions, which means I'm more likely to develop others.

    The thyroid symptoms I have during immune system activation are: racing heart, palpitations, shortness of breath, insomnia, nausea coupled with extreme appetite, sweating, inability to feel cold, going to the bathroom a lot, shaky hands, and weakness in my arms and legs... It seems pretty textbook to me.

    But the last time I had such a flare, my TSH levels were measured (I'm not sure if my T3/T4 were done; they might have been) while I was hospitalized, and they must have been normal-looking because no one mentioned the test results to me other than the fact that my "thyroid level had already been measured."

    Is it possible that I still have a thyroid condition even though a very basic hormone panel must have appeared normal? If it's autoimmune in nature, can I still have normal TSH levels even if I'm producing a bunch of antibodies against my thyroid?

    I'm just so sure that this is what's going on with me, and I'm confused that the first basic test they ran didn't show anything out of whack. I'm waiting for the results of the more extensive panel right now, including the antibody tests, but if it's unlikely that the test will come back positive since my TSH was normal before, I want to prepare myself for that.

    Also, does it matter if the blood draw occurs during a flare or not? When I got blood taken for the most recent test, my sinus infection was gone so my hyperthyroid symptoms were largely gone again, too. Does that mean my antibody level will be lower again, too? Would I need to have blood drawn again the next time I have a "flare" to get a more accurate reading?

    Sorry for all the question. I'm just having an impossible time finding the answers to all of these, and I'd appreciate any insight you're willing to give.

    Thank you so much!

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    Old 12-29-2007, 09:37 AM   #2
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    Re: Can you have "normal" TSH levels but still be hyperthyroid?

    I think a lot of people on this board will tell you that you can be symptomatic either way, hyper or hypo, and still have "normal" thyroid studies. I think this is what draws people to this board, the frustration of it all. I too had pretty bad hyper symptoms with normal blood work, I believe the TSH was 2.7. Way after the fact, I was told that it was most likely a viral thyroiditis.

    Another woman who was my sounding board for my symptoms told me she was in the ER on a few occasions with symptoms of thyroid storm, yet had all normal thyroid studies except for the one time when antibodies were checked and sure enough, the TPO was over 1,000. She was eventually found to have nodules, chose to have them removed (didn't want to worry about them), was told she did have Hashi's, but unfortunately I haven't spoken to her since.

    I think there are many scenarios why we can flares which adds to the frustration of trying to pin down what is going on. Good luck, hope you feel better.

    Old 12-29-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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    Re: Can you have "normal" TSH levels but still be hyperthyroid?

    I often wonder what my tsh was before I became hyper...I'm sure they must have been checked somewhere along the line.I was hospitalized some 10 years ago with ITP with a big drop in my platelet count, if I didn't get to the hospital when I did,I would have died.(I felt fine, weird, huh?) The only thing they could figure out was that I was allergic to something that made it happen. I had told them I had tonic water a few days before it happened, and it has quinine in it.. which in some people, can do this,that's the only thing they could come up with. I also have mild thalassemia, and was treated by a blood specialist for a year, who eventually told me take 1 mg of folic acid and b-12 forever. Anyway,
    in my research for Graves, I came across an article that said people who have had ITP have a good chance of having or getting Graves and vice versa. So in my case, I think it took 10 years to come out. I too had times of heart racing, etc...but it would be fleeting or not consistant. I think your tsi level has to reach a certain number to maybe have your tsh affected. Mine was 109,when I had non stop symptoms.They say anything under 125 is normal...NOT true..normal people have NO TSI, The marker for Graves,so make sure you have the TSI test along with the TBII tests and other antibodies tests, and the free t's.... it sure sounds like Graves to me, good luck hon.

    Last edited by GravesGirl73; 12-31-2007 at 04:11 PM.

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