Does your TSH need to be at a certain level to get medication?

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I got my TSH tested and I was told it was "a little high", but not high enough to do anything about. I wasn't told the exact number. I've heard a lot of doctors don't give you any medication for underactive thyroid unless your TSH is over 10. I'm assuming mine might be around the 6-7 range? That seems like it would be considered "a little high", but it was also a gynecologist who told me that, so she's probably not that educated about endocrine disorders as, well, an endocrinologist might be. Do I have hope in finding an endocrinologist that will give me the proper medication even tho my TSH isn't astoundingly high?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I'm in the same boat, tsh of 7 and free t4 at the lower end of the range.

    I've been ill for 18 months now and it is the only thing aside some cervical spine issues that is wrong.

    To cut a long story short the endo wanted me to trial 25g of levothyroxine but my GP then said no!

    If you have no symptoms you won't get any treatment which is fair enough. If you have, look up the NICE guidelines, from memory they say if you are symptomatic you should be medicated to see if it helps.print them off and take them in.

    Best wishes..and good luck

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  • Posted

    I'm new to this thyroid business myself. My TSH was 2.36. Which from what I've been reading is in the ok range. But I guess my Dr feels it maybe the cause of me being constantly exhausted. After having an 8 hour sleep, I wake up tired. I heard it can be hereditary. My mother is on 50 mg. my grandmother had her thyroid removed. I am also on HRT and Wellbrutrin.

    So now Dr started me on Levoxyl 75 mg.

    I guess Dr thinks maybe thyroid is my problem. I wonder how long it takes for meds to kick in. Does anyone know.

    Thanks, Maggie

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  • Posted

    My dr prescribed me the first blood test so can't you go to your dr for an initial test? Where I live (France) the limits are TSH (0,27 - 4,20). My first test showed 4.210 and because of my symptoms my dr referred me to an endo who prescribed levo.

    Do u have symptoms?

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary,

      I am going through menopause and some symptoms of thyroid trouble are similar to the same symptoms of menopause.

      Tired, depressed, cannot lose weight, memory loss, high cholesterol. I was just wondering how long it takes for meds to do there job?

      I'm from USA. I absolutely love my Doctor she is a MD originally from Turkey.

      Maggie

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  • Posted

    Hello Alyssap:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have Hashimoto's disease since 1987.

    The doctors like 2 blood tests that are abnormal before they prescribe.  However you can ask the doctor for a low dose 25mcg of Levo for a trial.

    If your TSH is above 4.50 it should be investigated and checked again and given a low dose of Levo.  The scale is 0.45 to 4.50 and any GP can diagnose it and prescibe and later send you onto an Endo.

    If it stays borderline most doctors will want to wait and check it again in say 2 to 3 months.

    I hope this helps.

    Shelly

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    • Posted

      Hello Maggie:

      Hashimoto's is a disease that is autoimmune and discovered by a Japanese doctor S. Hashimoto,  who was working in Germany many of years ago. They honored him by naming the disease after him, as that is what the medical world does when you discover something.

      So he found that "normal friendly" antibodies went haywire and at first they did not know why.

      Today they have found some reasons for it.  They now know about a virus called  EPV Epstein-Barr or Mononucleosis.  It is a nasty virus and lays dormant after you are over it and years later can be activated by stress or pregnancy and abuse or bad lifestyles. Also they found a link on Gluten to bother the thyroid.

      Autoimmune is within a person by themselves so it is not a disease you can catch from another person.  Now another reason was a family trait that is passed on via DNA.  This way is common.

      Hypothyroidism is a big category and one part of it is Hashimoto's which is a common for of Hypothyroidism. There is also Hypothyroidism due to iodine problems, and cogential forms of Hypo due to birth defects or third world countries that have poor medical care and people are not treated and get myxedema which is from a lack of thyroid hormone. Other ways can be nodules or cysts that bother a normal thyroid.

      I hope this helps, any questions just ask.

      Shelly

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    • Posted

      They said my t4 was normal, just my TSH was high. But I have multiple obvious symptoms of hypothyroidism, can that be enough according to some doctors? I've had this for years already so I can't see my lab results changing much from this point.
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    • Posted

      Hello Alyssap:

      TSH is one way of diagnosing and of course symptoms also. Symptoms speak louder.

      Some doctor's like to rely on just the blood work.  I would log and write down all the symptoms you have of Hypo and then tell the doctor to consider the symptoms also.

      You can always ask for a trial dose of Levo 25mcg (starter dose) and if need find a better doctor because some GP's are not as experienced with thyroid issues.

      If you are in the UK  there is "NICE  Guidelines" that allow for the trial dose.

      Shelly

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  • Posted

    My TSH was only 4.9 and my doc put me on levo 25 mcg this was my primary care doc, I had switched docs and he spotted that it was "slightly elevated" years ago so decided to check it again and put me on levo.  I was stunned and had no clue about the thyroid.  My previous doc had never even told me about it!!! 
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