TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that it is inadequate to use as the sole diagnostic for thyroid. At best it is an indicator, to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms and also the levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4. Free T3 is the most important test because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions. FT3 has also been shown to correlate best with hypo symptoms, while FT4 and TSH did not correlate very well at all. Be aware that TSH does not cause symptoms, it is only an fair indicator of the levels of FT4 and FT3.
Having said all that, your TSH is high enough that, along with weight gain, it is a good indication that you are hypothyroid, and will require thyroid medication. You should get tested for Free T3 and Free T4 to learn the level of these important thyroid hormones, along with the TSH. Since the most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, you should also get tested for the thyroid antibodies, TPO ab and TG ab. If your doctor resists testing for the FT3 and FT4, then you should insist on it and don't take no for an answer. People who are hypothyroid frequently also have deficiencies in Vitamin A D, B12, iron/ferritin, zinc, RBC magnesium and selenium. At some time in the near future, testing for those will also be a good idea.
When the FT3 and FT4 test results are available, you should get a copy of the lab report and post the results and reference ranges shown on the report, so that members can help interpret and advise further. Be aware that FT3 and FT4 results that are in the lower part of the so-called "normal" ranges are frequently associated with being hypothyroid because the ranges are too broad. A good thyroid doctor will treat a patient clinically by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 levels as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels. Symptom relief should be all important for you, not test results. Frequently we hear from members that symptom relief for them required that FT3 was adjusted into the upper part of its reference range and FT4 adjusted to at least midpoint of its range.
TSH is not a thyroid hormone, it is a Pituitary hormone sent to the thyroid by the Pituitary (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) to signal that thyroid hormones are low, Many MD's use this as a diagnosis of thyroid issues, they should also be using Free T3 and Free T4, If you have these labs, post them with the reference ranges provided and members can advise or answer questions based on your labs. Regards FTB4
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