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What does eaished TSH level indicate?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 180 Questions
Hi, I am a type 1 diabetic since last 8 years. I just went through a total health checkup and it turned out that my TSH levels are 24.27 uIU/ml. Rest all the parameters of my report are normal. My HDL is 45 and LDL is 103. Total cholestrol is 180. HbA1c is 6.1%. I have no symptoms of hypothyroidism. Can it be a false reading or does it mean that I have hypothyroid?
Posted Wed, 6 Aug 2014 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Ashwin Bhandari 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Its Hypothyroidism and treatment required

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for the query.

From the investigation reports provided by you, the TSH levels are on the higher side which infers that it could be hypothyroidism but would like to know the T3 and T4 levels too. If the T3 and T4 levels are in the lower range then it confirms clinical hypothyroidism and if in the normal range then it would be subclinical hypothyroidism.

Please see an endocrinologist, who will examine you and start you on treatment as your TSH levels are >20uU/ml with thyroxine tablets.

The rest of your investigation reports are normal and maintain it.

Hope this answers your query. If any further questions, will be happy to help you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does eaished TSH level indicate? 1 hour later
But doctor, I checked up the internet and looked at the symptoms. I have absolutely no symptoms at all. Not even one. This comes as a shock to me. I have never checked my thyroid levels before, I just did it because I read somewhere that type 1 diabetics are at a greater risk of hypothyroidism.

If my TSH levels are so high, should it not have affected my lipid profile, heart rate, ECG etc? I have known people who had such profound symptoms of hypothyroidism when there TSH levels were just 6-7...!!

As you said, I will get my t3 and t4 also checked. But is there a possibility that they might come out to be normal? Also, if I am eventually confirmed with hypothyroidism, how difficult is it to manage this disease? Will it have a lot of dietary restrictions like type 1 diabetes?
Answered by Dr. Ashwin Bhandari 39 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please confirm again

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for the follow up.
Sorry for the delay.

I understand your concerns but there are cases in which the person with very high TSH levels do not show any symptoms. We refer such cases as subclinical hypothyroidism. Hoping that this test was done from a reliable laboratory, if you doubt, you can get it repeated from a reliable laboratory.

TSH is Thyroid stimulating hormone which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones that is T3 and T4. So to keep T3 and T4 in normal range it increases it secretion, this would be known as subclinical hypothyroidism and many of them wouldn't know that they have some thyroid problems.

Yes, there is possibility that your T3 and T4 can come out normal. But it all depends on TSH value. If its in normal range, then no treatment required but if more than 20uU/ml then you have to start on thyroxine tablets.

The management is not hard as diabetes, it is only consumption of thyroxine tablets prescribed dose every morning on empty stomach and regular check up of the thyroid levels.

So, please get your Thyroid profile test done again and if TSH levels are still higher than 20uU/ml, please see an Endocrinologist.

Hope this answers your query. If any further questions, will be happy to help.

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