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how to determine results of low TSH test?
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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how to determine results of low TSH test?

I recently went back to my endocrinologist for a follow up.  She told me that my TSH level was low with the result of 0.34.  She had also tested my thyroid antibodies? which she said came back negative.  She said that she could not explain the low TSH since I am having symptoms of hypothyroid and have a family history of such.  She retested TSH in which I have not yet received the results.  She said that she would not do anything but retest this every 6months unless results were 0.1 or less.  She didn't feel it necessary to check T3 or T4 levels.  I have a hard time accepting this since I continue with symptoms of recent weight gain with difficulty losing, fatigue, low sex drive, hot/cold flashes, dry skin, etc.. I am 37 and these symptoms just don't seem normal for my age.  Should I get another opinion or just learn to live with these symptoms?
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I usually look at the free T4 and T3 with an abnormal TSH.  It could be a nodule in the thyroid slightly over-producing thyroid hormone, but not enough to significantly lower the TSH.  With negative antibodies, it is less likely to be Graves.  The symptoms are not typical of a thyroid over-production and the TSH suggests strongly against under-production (unless the T4 & T3 surprisingly come back low).
7 Comments
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222507_tn?1255635649
Retedsting is good. How about Fibromalagia (fibromyalgia) and Chronic Fatigue? Any other autoimmune disease? If you do not have hyper symptoms dont worry about having a low TSH just yet. You vould have a beginning stage of hypothyroidism in which the thyroid is still producing its last large dose of T hormone but eventually runs out. A hyper episode before the hypothyroidism sets in can last a year. Maybe find another doctor who will check a compelte thyroid panel lab including the ones your doctor did not want to check right now. How is yoru lifestyle? You should not live with symptoms that you describe, but I recommend you researchinf this and finding a doctor who is willing to help you and your symptoms. Good luck!
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97628_tn?1204465633
Have you ever considered being checked for things other than your thyroid?
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wondering what ideas you had in mind for other than my thyroid with the symptoms that I am having?
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for the advice.  Do you have hypothyroidism and/or did you begin with the low TSH level?  Just wondering because the doctor didn't even give me any inclination that this could occur.  She actually just made me feel as if there was nothing she could do for me at the moment and that I should just live with the symptoms.  Not real sure what Fibromyalgia is but my mother was diagnosed with it several years ago and was diagnosed many years ago with hypothyroidism.  I definitely plan to find another doc who may be able to help me.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Keep probing! I've had 6 doctors check out my hyperthyroidism in the past several months due to turnover in the clinic where I go. In some cases, they didn't know what to tell me at all! In other cases, they contradicted what the previous doctors told me. This is far from being an ideal and exact state of affairs. The good news is TESTING provides somewhat of a blueprint they all have to interpret. Test everything you can, repeatedly. Alternate doctors if you can. If you experience symptoms you should not, don't rest until you get some answers. It's true that your symptoms may or may not be related to thyroid. Ok, but then someone should've already looked into it. That's what we rely on doctors for. I would get everything I can checked until something jives. If you suspect a condition due to family history, all the more reasons... Also Google your symptoms and read everything you can. You'll be surprised how many times a light goes on in your head. There are always people out there with stories similar to ours.
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222507_tn?1255635649
No I did not have low thyroid before I become hypo at least I had no labwork to prove. This is very common - the thyroid is still doing its last trying but eventually runs out. I may have had that - symptoms indicated that I did  - did not last longer than a year. The question is - are you having hyper symptoms? See, on thyroid meds - my TSH goes to 0.009 and up and I do not feel hyper. This is why your doctor is not doing anything else at the moment but retesting. That is the only way to find out which way things will go. There is also a rare disease called something like HashiTicoxis or something like that (spelling) and those floks have hyper and hypo sympotms at the same time!!!! So, at this point probably too soon to tell what you have. HAve you been tested for Hashimotos (TPO) antibodies?
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