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TSH 7 - Should I be worried?
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TSH 7 - Should I be worried?

Hey Folks,

I got my blood work back that showed tsh level 7. I think the t3 and t4 were normal.
In addition my vitamin D was in the 20's.

Doc wants to put me on Synthroid.

Short of the long - I had a injury working out and then when to a crazy quack chiro that twisted me. Have had muscle problems in my trap/neck and back, chest etc. Basically all my problems are muscular.

Reading back on the symptoms, it is hard for me to say that, yes I have had a few of those symptoms, but I could say it is because of this and that, not TSH?

I do understand that the normal range, for most labs doesn't go above 5 so is me being 7 really a need to go on this medication?

Thanks for taking the time.
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33 Comments Post a Comment
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219241_tn?1357815389
Hi, you will be told that treating just by TSH alone is crazy. It would be great to see your so called normal results of the Free T3 and the Free T4.(Also include the reference ranges as different labs use different ones)  If those are out of whack, then being on medication is a good idea.

If you aren't having any symptoms of feeling hypo, then you don't need medication. The list is long, but many people suffer from tiredness, and weight issues, as their main ones and that is what leads them to learn they are hypo.

In my personal opinion, (and I know I will be jumped on here, LOL!) I would avoid seeing a Chiropractor. I had two pulled ribs and this quack injured me far worse, then had the cheek to say I needed more manipulations. I told him I was in early pregnancy at the time (which apparently they are to avoid certain manipulations) he didn't seem to care and I started bleeding later that day.

You could probably do with a Vit D tablet or two. You may even find the muscle pains go away.
Cheers
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231441_tn?1333896366
Another Aussie here, and I agree with redheadaussie.

If your FT3 and FT4 are in the middle to upper half of the reference range and you have no symptoms of hypothyroid, then I would say you don't need thyroid med.

However, if your FT4 and FT3 are at the lower end of the range, then a low dose of thyroid meds would likely help.  For most people target TSH is in range of 1 - 2 (With Ft3 and FT4 at least mid range).  The range of up to 5.0 is outdated and the revised range is actually about 3.5.

Also you definitely need to take Vitamin D3 supplement to get your Vit D levels up.

If you decide not to take thyroid meds you should definitely have TSH, FT3 and FT4 tested about every 6 months - more frequently if you suddenly develop new symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the quick response folks. I appreciate it.

I think my main symptom is that I had a muscle injury 8months ago and am still dealing with it. I just have been convinced something is wrong since I had done everything I was supposed to do and not gotten better. They could not find anything wrong other then "myfo facial pain syndrome."

Other symptoms:

Weight gain: I had been pretty athletic my whole life, but for a few years did nothing and was living pretty unhealthy, so I gained some weight, starting working out every day and it shot back down.

Coarse hair - its getting thinner and drier. Male patter baldness alittle.  I used to have the really really thick.

Cold Intorelance - I am pretty good with cold. Expect my feet a always freezing, even in the summer.

Muscle Cramps - aches - this is the main one, but again from the injury.

Constipation - what can I say, I am not your regular guy.

Depression - anxiety - vairous life events. But am doing better, had a couple of extremely rough years.

Irritability - over the last year very much so. But again from being in pain from the injury.

Memory Loss - I am very forgefull, always have been.

Decreased libido - alittle.

Fatigue - again from the injury I have been feeling pretty low. Have always been a tad lazy when I am not in sports.


I am trying not to fall in the trap of now looking back and saying yea yea yea I have those symptoms. I do , but I can attribute them to something else since they seem to be pretty common stuff.

I am very high strung high energy. My friends always tell me I need to chill out so not sure if that can be a cause of high TSH.

The reason I had seen this internist was again my inability to get past this muscle stuff and being told it is in my head.


I am not on any meds at the moment and tend not to take medication. If I have to then so be it, but I want to make sure it is necessary.

The doc said it is likely that the thryoid will produce less and less and general consensus these days is to try an control it rather then wait.

I will try getting the results and post, but being that it is a weekend not sure if they will do that.

I am on 1000ui of Vitamin D.
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798555_tn?1292791151
"I think my main symptom is that I had a muscle injury  8 months ago and am still dealing with it..........could not find anything wrong other then.
- Boy is that familiar. Injuries that should not have happened and dont heal along with "myfo facial pain syndrome" IS related to longtime low thyroid levels, specifically low T3 levels. This can turn chronic, and to some result may cause some long term damage in muscle tissue and tendons in the form of scar tissue from re-injury. Have you tried to learn myofacial facial pain release (trigger point release?). Workbooks are in bookstores to learn this.

Muscle healing and soreness can go away with T3 levels in the upper third of the range , not the bottom or middle. Magnessium Glycinate, malate or citrate can also have immediate results for muscle pian relief - best when taken before bed.


"I am trying not to fall in the trap of now looking back and saying yea yea yea I have those symptoms. I do , but I can attribute them to something else since they seem to be pretty common stuff."
    
- What?.........you clearly have thyroid symptoms. Your list of symptoms are very obvious. Yes thyroid symptoms overlap with many other individual issues, but with thyroid they all fall under one. One thing to treat for all your symptoms to possibly go away.

I was a competitive athlete up till I was 35 - while being hypo all that time. The confusing part is you can have high energy in sports and even win while hypo - its just a big adrenaline rush covering the low thyroid temporarily, and your determination to push yourself. But this can result in injury. When not moving I was a fatigued slug no matter how much sleep I tried to get. And the muscle pain afterwords, after awhile just never ended. After long time hypo, I was sore just from normal activities. That when I knew something was very wrong health-wise.

As you can see, I have been where you are.
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798555_tn?1292791151
As others stated- post your lab results here if you wish. 'Normal' may not be normal for you, lab ranges are very wide.

By the way, this is a great place for info.
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Avatar_m_tn
oh so maybe I am in denial ;)

sigh.

With the muscle injury they had found degenerative changes from t2 to c1 with some small tears in 5 and 3 and minor bulges. They had told me it was mild. After three months of chasing this I think I had settled into it not being a real cause thought I am still not sure...

Yes I found acupuncture to help and have been doing dry needling that seems to work the best. I had a trigger point injection 4months ago and it was incredible help. I was not able to move my neck till that injection. So yeah, lots of accupuncture that mimics trigger point/IMS. The acupuncturist thinks my sympathetic are out of whack.
But essentially I have alot of refered pain.

My understanding, at least from the initial blood work was that t3 and 4 were normal and that tsh was slightly high. Not sure if the second blood work showed more.
Being between 5and 10 is considered subclinical?

What were your numbers?
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798555_tn?1292791151
"oh so maybe I am in denial ;) "  -  now your thinking. Why be in denial, its a medical condition that can improve only if you educate yourself on it. It effects men also, not to many here, since many men are in denial of any poor health. Most doctors have very limited knowledge on thyroid symptoms, they only look at lab #'s even though some don't even read these right. I am not exaggeration one bit here. I got fed up with the med system and learned, learned, learned about thyroid.

"degenerative changes from t2 to c1" - this happens as we age, this is wear and tear, and athletes have this more than non- athlete, but our cardio is usually in better shape. Like tire wear. Dont get worked up on it. Disc issues are more common than we know too, many people have this that are pain free. But tight, injured, unbalanced muscle are what pulls vertebra uneven, this is 90% cause of back / neck pain. And what can cause all this muscle problems? - t3 levels, with low thyroid if you have it.

"initial blood work was that t3 and 4 were normal" - we hear that too often. I am (many are) very hypo at the bottom of the ranges. The ranges are average and meant for a guide, not a 'go no go' gauge. Get copies of the lab and post here.Free t3 and Free T4 are most important. TSH range as per 2003 is  ( .3 to 3.0).   Five to Ten is hypo for almost all patients, not subclinical.

Trigger point injection is one treatment for Myofascial muscle pain. The books on this and trigger point therapy is about manual therapy (deep pressure) you can do at home with a 'thera cane' , tennis and golf balls at home. Acupuncture is completely unrelated. Acupunture points are not points of pain or tension and can not release the knots of lactic acid built up from unhealthy muscle 'chemistry" , but may help in other ways.

Low thyroid can be responsible for The ATP muscle rebuilding process not working efficiently, thus lactic acid build up in muscle knots, creating toxic areas and weak, tight muscles. You are an example.

"What were your numbers?"   -.I have been through he// and back, mostly because of med availability. Synthroid is the starter med, as it is the simplist and works for many. I dont take this, but did in the past. It is a T4 hormone and most of us convert from T4 to T3 efficiently, some do not. Thats why these are two tests. After awhile we all learn what symptoms we have as individuals at different levels.

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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for taking the time LazyMoose, appreciate it.

I think my main concern here is that there seems to be lots of disagreement even in the medical field and it is not as clear cut. I have no problem with being  male and having it, but trying to make sure I have it definitively... (It helps me to have talked to you, who have been through similar.)

I just never really had muscle aches like this before, sure after soccer games I'd be sor for three days and have tons of injuries but nothing like this.

I had seen lots of posts where people have 15ish. So it just got me alittle hesitant.

A friend of my is a nurse at an ER and told me that our TSH fluctuates during the day so nothing to worry about (I understand that this might be ignorance on their knowledge of this condition) "If I was told my tsh was 7, I would be like so what" is what the response was.

Once i start this medication I will be on it for life it seems so I feel like I want to be sure that I have to take it.

I wonder if the chiro damaged the gland when he twisted me.
I hope monday I can get the results and post.
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798555_tn?1292791151
It would be my guess after years of research and my personal proof that people with muscle pain and a low thyroid condition feel better with Free t 3 in the upper third of the range. So you need to see these numbers.

".........where people have 15ish."  - please clarify 15ish?

I am sorry to say many  medical professionals do not know much about thyroid as it is not taught very well in med school. I personally have met seven doctors that know less than I do. True. How pathetic. People dont drop dead from this disease so its not looked at very seriously. Well actually they have..........from symptoms causing heart attacks.

"I wonder if the chiro damaged the gland when he twisted me" - I doubt it.

Stop looking for excuses.  I was a regionally known athlete with a basement full of hardware for memories, Hashimotos does not embarrass me. It tics me off that it wasn't discovered earlier, it made me stop what I loved doing, and I was not by any means a 'quitter'.

Life is a game and you dont get back any years you 'lost'.  Get the free T3 and free t4 tested (dont go with the normal thing), and thyroid antibodies, then post here for good reliable input from some very experienced members.

Then and only then will you know. And fix that low D and try Magnessium.

Hope you get this figured out.
LM
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you!

I am sure they tested the T3 and the T4, and the doc has already prescribed the synthroid.
He said I would feel tons better etc. I will try and get the numbers.

I mean if the t3 and t4 is normal then I don't have to take the meds? Or still do, my understanding was that the first time it was hight, but t3 and t4 was normal. So am just assuming that this time its normal too and is the reason I never asked.  

Lazy Moose, I realize am being difficult, and I think you can understand that after gong through hell the last eight months I have not much faith in doctors any more. So while this may very well be it, I just have a hard time trusting it because I have had bad experiences.

I have been to about 8 docs. I was prescribed ativan and cymbalta and trazadone. And I refused because I did not know what was up. They said it was just anxiety, and if I had taken it, I would probably have not ended up here, insteand just drugged.

So you are convinced then from what I have said that this muscular stuff is for sure thyroid? It can't be anything else? LIke still a really bad injury?

I have started the vitamin D and have magnesium
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798555_tn?1292791151
"I am sure they tested the T3 and the T4" - make sure it was called Free T3 and Free T4, the most modern tests.

A word (lesson) about so called normal ranges:
    I, and many will still have hypo symptoms when 'frees' are in the bottom half of the 'normal' range. Fact is many have muscle pain digestive issues and fatigue if Free T3 is not in the upper third of the range. The ranges need to be 're-written'. This is a common topic amongst knowledgeable 'thyroidians'. They did re-write the TSH range in 2003 to .3 to 3.0, but left the free ranges alone. The way the pituitary to hormone signal 'loop' works, adjusting only TSH back in 2003 makes no sense. I was hypo for ten years in the wrong part of 'my' range. Our bodies have a preferred range somewhere in those average ranges provided, its our job to figure it out, as doctors do NOT get this part.

Anxiety is so common when hypo, all your list of symptoms are. But docs just love pushing 'happy drugs' dont they?

Low thyroid magnifies existing and past health problems, and injuries, and prevents new ones from healing, fact. If your free T3 is low but in range these problems will persist and new injuries will be sure to come. I know.

There is always the possibility of other things to, like Lyme disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankolosis Spondilitis Ect, Celiac disease, all can be ruled out by a simple blood test. But your list of symptoms on your second post are so classic hypothyroid.

And about Magnesium, look on the back label, if its just Magnesium oxide from the drug store, it will not work. You need mag-citrate, -glycinate or -malate from a vitamin / health store to heal muscles and nerves. This, again is tried and true information.

The only thing I will guarantee is I've been through more he// than you the last 20 years (first ten where not Dx'd properly.  I dont like seeing this happen to others.

Thyroid med really is not a medication. Its a consumable hormone, not a band aid (what drugs are).
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Avatar_m_tn
yeah it really made me sick all the drugs, all mind altering they were trying to make me take. I just felt that it was not the right thing. I just could not beleive that for me it could cause that much pain. And it was key that the anxiety always developed after being in pain for say 8hrs straight. I would get a muscle spasm in my left or my shoulder and it would last for eons.

The doc did say they tested for all the stuff, RA, Lupus etc. ONly thing came back was the low Vitamin D and the TSH.

I can say for sure one thing I have always had is anxiety, But its just how I was I supposed. You never think that its actually medical. Just how it is. I am high strung and I worry alot.

One thing that does bother me and this is part of the distrust I have with docs and even this diagnosis is that they just don't listen. At all. UGH.

I looked on the bottle and it's the oxide stuff. So will be getting the citrate.

I have to be honest and say that I am still having a hard time accepting something so definitive yet so ambiguous. I mean to you it's so so clear, and to me it seems so odd. I was sure all along that something was not right and for it to be this.

I do not think other then the muscle injury, the other stuff I would have ever minded this.

My other question is this: Can stress cause high TSH? The reason I asked is cause the doc's kept asking me how my personal life was etc. Over the last two years I have had an extremely rough time. Very stressed. I got my life together and was doing the best I had ever done. Then 6month slater boom this injury. THen the three months later I was expremely stressed, depresed and tons and tons of anxiety. I never took drugs and worked my way here 8 months later.
The stress anxiety is a tough thing for me cause I have always worked hard my life made something of myself when starting out with nothing. I mean that I usually work 60hrs a week. Very driven, tough jobs etc. While there are many things in my life that make me sad and sometimes depressed, I am not really depressed. So its hard when the doc asked me how my life was (basically just looking to give me happy pills), and its like well compared to what? In other words, I have been through far far far worse mentally and never had an ache, not even a headache and now all of a sudden I ache all the time. My left fore arm just locks up, like it wants to do as I type this. Today I walked around like I had fallen on my back and was rough housed in a soccer game. And they say it is because of bad posture and stress for example.


Now I am kinda scared to do the synthroid - The list of side effects is like the same as the actual condition its treating.???????  TO have to take medication for life when I can not even take an aspirin :(

Do you ever get this: I would mow my lawn and then hurt for 3 days????? I did 3 pullups  regretted it for days. I mean I feel strong, but any time I engage the muslces its like I disturbed a hornets nest.

Sounds like you have been through hell and am sorry. Am very thankful that you can help me out.
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798555_tn?1292791151
"Can stress cause high TSH?"

- I have read the opposite, stress can cause low TSH. Either way an unbalanced thyroid will make stress harder to manage.

Synthroid (a T4 med) works for most people that dont need additional T3. This is the logical first step and the easiest as its only one med to take , once per day. There are other brands of this type and even a new gel cap brand of T4. It can take up to 6 months to one year to fully recover from a hypo state when taking thyroid meds. Its a very slow process for some people - it tests your patients. The thing is, you wont see people on a website complaining that their med works great!  So web sites lack the positive side of getting better. Only makes sense right? Chances are that if your 'frees' are low you will notice improvements on Synthroid. If not, there are others to try.

Your examples of muscle pain and duration are not that unusual for someone with low thyroid levels, I have experienced the same in the past. I limped for one year. Had lasting back pain from stupid things. Shoulder pain. Carple Tunnel. Foot pain. Shoveling snow was very scary at times in the past. The odd thing about this disease is the main #1 symptom for individuals can very among a long list that most have had when hypo.  Some have more joint pain than muscle pain. Some have major brain fog, and or depression. Most gain weight, while a few actually lose weight.
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Avatar_m_tn
Is thyroid situation black and white. Meaning if its high its high, there are no variables that can account for it being off? Would it not make sense to first moitor it for a month, rtest a couple times and see where it is settling down at?

Or when its high like that it is pretty cut and dry.

This was why I was asking about the stress and so on.

yea that makes sense about the negative comments. I wonder how long I have this. The muscle thing only eight months, but the other symptoms have been for the last 6 years. I just thought it was normal part of life. And they were very very subtle. It is like this injury set something off.

I am getting closer to taking these meds.

I am hoping that I can get the results tomorow then post here and then possible see and endo and then see where I fall.


IF - the T3 and T4 is normal range (which sounds supect since the symptoms) what would that mean?



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Avatar_m_tn
if gradual hair loss is normal. Does it reverse?
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798555_tn?1292791151
Lets focus. You are over analyzing at this point.  We havnt even seen you "frees" yet.

Re-read what we went through. This 'normal' range is still confusing you. If you are on the low end of normal, you will still have some symptoms. There is no black and white boarderline in ranges, its gradual. That said, you can see ranges should only be a guide.

Hairloss is part of this , but so is being male ( it says your male).

I suggest again posting your Free t3 and free t4 when you get them for some very experienced members to comment on. Until then calm down. If you are hypothyroid, you will only get better (99% do)..........

Happy Sunday

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Avatar_m_tn
Happy Sunday to you too LazyMoose!

Yes am male, 33. I will stop by the hospital in the AM and get a copy. Not sure how complicated it is to get a copy.. I don't want to offend the doc either.. but he should be ok with it.
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798555_tn?1292791151
It your right. You paid for it. I have 12 years worth in a folder.
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Avatar_m_tn
wow.

SO I got magnesium citrate and also Vitamin D3

Is that the right ones?

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798555_tn?1292791151
Yes. Good Magnesium is best taken at night, can make you relaxed and sleepy. And it must be separated from thyroid med by 4 hrs. 400 mg is a good start, you might wake with less pain after a few days. There is a test for it too called a blood cell magnesium test from Quest Labs, as opposed to a standard magnesium test. I was in range, but in the low end and still feel better taking Mag at night. I can tell.

As far as the D goes you will need to increase as you get tested again to find how much you need. Many people here get D injections with an appointment. I am not well versed as some here on getting D levels up. Might as well try the simple method first.
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Avatar_m_tn
yeah, I heard D-3  was the one. we'll see I suppose.

Sigh, I get scared even taking vitamins :(

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Avatar_m_tn
Here are the lab results

9/16/2010
TSH REFLEX = 6.15 (using a reference range of .5-6.)
Free t4 = 1.37 (using a reference range of .71-1.85)



10/20/2010
TSH REFLEX = 7.72 (using a reference range of .5-6.)
Free t4 = 1.59 (using a reference range of .71-1.85)
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798555_tn?1292791151
Outdated TSH range, and need free T3 tested.
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Avatar_f_tn
Most of the people on this forum are awesome and a great source of information.  I too suffered from vague symptoms for many years before being diagnosed in March 2010.  I am still in the process of tweaking my levothryoxine -- up to 100 mcg now.  

The first piece of advice....calm down.  This is not the end of the world and you actually might feel better.

Second...tell your doctor you want the following 5 tests:  TSH, Free T3, Free T4, TPOab, TGab.  The last 2 tests are for the thyroid antibodies which will tell you whether or not you have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  Hashis is the autoimmune thyroid disease where the body is attacking your thyroid.  You need your T3 tested to see if you are converting t4 to t3....

Just call the doc and ask for the additional tests now.  If your doctor is insulted, get a new doctor.  All patients should be proactive in their own medical care and actually all doctors should welcome patient input and collaboration.

Good Luck
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks!

Does this mean I should wait before starting the meds? 50mcg of Levo?
I made an app to see an Endo but that is a month out so am wondering what I should do in the mean time.

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798555_tn?1292791151
Endos really aren't that much better than GP's, sometimes worse due to close mindedness.  So if you don't want to wait, Is there another GP that you have seen in the past, that would be open to more tests? One that uses modern ranges is better than what you've had.

I really dont know why docs prescribe med before doing a FULL thyroid test panel.

If you have not started meds yet, it would be good to no what your 'baseline' is now without meds.

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Avatar_m_tn
agreed, I am off to the er to fake a need for a thyroid full test!!!

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798555_tn?1292791151
Hold on!! Are you serious? . ER...?.....this is not life threatening at all.

Part of the reason medical costs are so high is people going to ER for non emergency situations.

You need just a doctor appointment - not the emergency room or hospital.
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Avatar_m_tn
that was a joke :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey folks, I found a doctor that I like. finally.

He was also able to figure out my injury and described it as a neuropraxic injury. Specifically to the long thorasic nerve.. And apparantly those can be crazy difficult to treat.

I also talked to him about the tsh 7 level. He asked if I had done some other tests etc and said it was a good idea to do so.

I am not sure if the thryoid is specifically related to this injury and muscular problems, doc seemed to think not, untill I described some other symptoms.

If it was him, he said he would take the medicine, but if I wanted to wait and retest in a month it would be ok, and if it was high, then I could start the meds.
Apparently thyroids sputter a little form time to time.

Also, if I got on them, stabalized everything, I could then try after a while to get off the meds to see if the thyroid can function.

Any thoughts?
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Avatar_f_tn
Have the doctor order the complete thyroid panel now (see tests listed above) and then determine with him what course of action to take.  Treating thyroid disease just based on TSH is ridiculous.    If you like this doctor and he is willing to work with you then move forward.  

I think we all go through the idea "If I just do xxxx then can I get off the medicine"  Bottom line is this...your thyroid is dying and you will need thyroid medicine for the rest of your (long) life.  It ***** but it isn't the end of the world and thyroid medicine is cheap.

Good luck
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798555_tn?1292791151
All is possible. But so are injuries happening becuase of muscle weakness from the low thyroid. And injuries will take longer to heal and linger on with low thyroid - fact.

Ask this new doc to test free T3 and free T4, which, you are now aware is the most important for thyroid testing. If you had the antibody testing, It would be clear if you have Hashimoto . Good to know since Hashimoto will never go away. Non-hashi, low thyroid can, at times go away. Need to know what you have. Waiting has its place, but why pro-long things if you can have a possible answer right away?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello.. my investigations results will be

T3 - 119.54ng/dl

T4- 9.5 micro g/dl

TSH : 7.60 Micro IU/mL please suggest the treatment if necessary
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