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Anyone familiar with what these TSH lab results mean?

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  • Anyone familiar with what these TSH lab results mean?

    Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: 5.68 (standard range = 0.10 - 5.50 uIU/mL)

    I am trying to help my mom understand her results. It has gone up from 2.66 in May to 5.68 in November. She has been having a lot of stomach pain and intestinal problems and they are doing lots of tests. Would this have any correlation to that?

    I have no idea about thyroid hormones and would like to be more educated!

  • #2
    TSH is what tells your thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. So a high TSH indicates your body is sending strong signals to your thyroid gland to produce more. There are multiple reasons why this can happen, and your cells might not be receiving thyroid hormone even if TSH shows normal.

    I'm not familiar with stomach pain being a symptom, but you can learn more at Thyroid Disease Information - Hypothyroidism - Hyperthyroidism - Thyroid Cancer - Autoimmune Disease - Hashimoto's - Graves' - Goiter - Nodules.

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    • #3
      Your mom is hypothyroid. It's the pituitary gland in the head raising the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) as an alert that the thyroid is not working optimally and is slowing her metabolism. If autoimmune, could be hashimoto's thyroiditis.

      This includes slowing down all body functions like digestion, and elimination of food. It can also cause your cholesterol to read as high,altered blood pressure etc. TSH should be 3 or lower, and some docs say people tend to feel best when it is around 1.

      I had Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) in 1987 after my pregnancy, and had radioactive iodine . Been on replacement meds since then for hypothyroidism.

      Hope that helps!
      Last edited by RenegadeRN; 11-11-2011, 07:23 PM. Reason: Additional info

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      • #4
        BTW, that lab is using an outdated reference range. "3" had been the upper limit of normal for a while now.

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        • #5
          With TSH, slightly, out of range high I would want to see the following tests:
          free T4, free T3, thyroid antibodies, vitamin D, ferritin

          What other tests have been done? What were the results?

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          • #6
            Slightly into the hypothyroid range. May or may not cause the symptoms she is feeling. My TSH was tested for the first time years ago and my doctor nearly hit the floor. My TSH was 237! After several adjustments in dosage, I settled into one that keeps me at about 1.0 and I feel pretty good. Going primal didn't effect the levels at all.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by healthy11 View Post
              Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: 5.68 (standard range = 0.10 - 5.50 uIU/mL)

              I am trying to help my mom understand her results. It has gone up from 2.66 in May to 5.68 in November. She has been having a lot of stomach pain and intestinal problems and they are doing lots of tests. Would this have any correlation to that?

              I have no idea about thyroid hormones and would like to be more educated!
              With very limited information about your mom and her health in general that is only one thyroid test. As others have stated, to get a complete idea of her thyroid you would need to know Free T4, Free T3, possibly RT3, she needs to get tested for thyroid antibodies (this shows whether it is autoimmune related). If it is autoimmune related it could most definitely be correlated to her intestinal issues as those also could be autoimmune. When studying endocrine function it's important to note how the body functions as a whole and not in isolation.
              My Blog: Healthy Living How To
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              • #8
                She does need to get a full workup, including free T3/T4 levels thyroid antibodies (anything over 10 on a TPO Ab test is suspect, despite what the lab ranges are set at).
                A lot of hypothyroidism is autoimmune and within that, there's a lot of gluten intolerance (both Celiac and non-Celiac) incidence, so that could be an issue. She (or you) might want to check out the book New Book on Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's by Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS to educate herself on all things thyroid.
                http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Thank you!

                  Thank you for the replies and information! I have forwarded this to my mother. She will be talking with her doctor this week. I will keep you posted.

                  Thanks for the book recommendation, also!

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