Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have Hypothyroidism with Normal TSH?

Posted by Miss Lizzy
February 15, 2015

tsh-normal

Can I have Hypothyroidism with a Normal TSH?

A common question people ask is “Can I have Hypothyroidism with Normal TSH?” The answer is YES. Even though my doctor says I do not have Hypothyroidism? YES.

My TSH result was always considered “normal,” which is why most doctors would not treat me for hypothyroidism. Countless other patients have shared the same experience not getting treatment due to “normal” TSH.

People can have Hypothyroidism with “normal” TSH. In fact, TSH normal ranges are disputed. So the TSH lab result is one big reason for misdiagnosed patients. Many doctors and patients agree the TSH test alone could be an unreliable measure of thyroid function. What does this mean for patients?

Why Patients Live with Undiagnosed Thyroid Conditions

Based on what is believed to be normal TSH test, many people are misdiagnosed. Consequently these patients have gone untreated. They feel physically awful with a myriad of hypothyroid symptoms. And they feel emotionally hopeless because they know something is wrong and they cannot get proper treatment. In many instances, doctors tell patients “it’s all in your head” and “you just need therapy” when in fact the condition is real and treatable.

This is the worst feeling in the world. Many people have experienced this misdiagnosis, myself included. We know something is wrong in our body and no one will help. All because of a controversial test and lack of awareness. It’s easy to get angry, but I try to stay positive! Hopefully now you understand why “I can have hypothyroidism with normal TSH.” So how can I get treatment and feel good?

Renewing Hope and Treating Undiagnosed Thyroid Conditions

If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism — especially low body temperature, weight gain, exhaustion, and feeling cold all the time — but your doctor says your lab work is fine, have hope! You could still have a thyroid condition.

The first step would be to ask your doctor to run a wider range of thyroid tests including FREE T3, FREE T4, Reverse T3, and Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody Test. As well as treat based on hypothyroid symptoms and body temperature. Learn more about understanding thyroid related lab tests.

If a doctor will not run these tests or won’t acknowledge symptoms, I would find another doctor. In my opinion, a good doctor is someone who listens and supports me, treats me with respect and will run lab work that I feel would be informative.

Patients often report that finding a good doctor has been the biggest barrier to treatment. Have hope and trust your inner guidance about what your body needs.

How Common is an Undiagnosed Thyroid Condition?

In case you’re wondering just how common it is to live undiagnosed with a thyroid condition, this might be helpful:

  • According to ThyroidInfo, as many as 13 million Americans — or 10% of the population — have an undiagnosed or under-treated thyroid disorder due to the inaccuracy of the TSH test. .
  • Another study says over 20 million (1 in 20) Americans have a thyroid disorder 1.
  • Hypothyroidism affects women more than men.
  • 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder according to Thyroid.org.

That friend who feels tired all the time, can’t lose weight no matter what she does, complains about being cold, looks puffy, seems foggy and disconnected. She might have undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Give her lots of love and compassion. If that sounds like you, be kind to yourself and know there is hope for getting treatment.

Notes:

  1. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/t/thyroid/stats.htm

3 Comments

  1. Eliz Sly August 18, 2015 8:00 pm

    Hi!My name is Liz, too! ūüėõ So I’ve been following your blog for a bit now and I’ve been battling my thyroid issues for about two and a half years. Sadly, I lost my healthcare when I got laid off, but I’ve been trying to treat my overactive thyroid naturally for the past six months because I since therefore can’t afford the expensive meds. I recently went to my General Practitioner, and he told me I still needed to take medication, but that the things I was doing (like cooking for it!) were helping some My question is,I’m need to buy generic Synthroid online to cut the crazy costs of getting it at a regular pharmacy (yes, i know, it’s a bit risky) but I’m also concerned that if I buy generic Synthroid, that it won’t be as qualiy..I dont know the difference in generics when it comes to medications.. Can I have your insight on this? I don’t want to waste my money if it won’t work. ūüôĀ Thanks :)-Liz also:)
    Oh..here’s what I’m trying to buy: http://canadapharmacyrx.com/generic-synthroid.html

  2. Evolve Boldly August 20, 2015 9:34 pm

    As you say, YES! My antibodies are over 800, but my primary doctor just sat and sat and sat, redoing the blood tests, etc. saying my thryoid was “normal.” Well dude, not exactly! I had lost a lot of weight (and I do mean the very hard way). It took me 3 years of super huge effort to lost that 100 lbs and it’s a miracle that I did given that the entire time (or surely most of it) I had chronic thyroiditis. I thought the freezing of my nose, feet and hands was about the weight loss… but after more than 2 years of that happening, I knew it must be more. Thankfully I recently found a great endo who diagnosed me (in about 1 second) and I started Synthroid 2 weeks ago (and just went up on the dose today). Thanks for all your info. My story is at http://evolveboldly.com/how-i-lost-100-lb/ (no ads, just my story) if you’d like to see it. During my journey I must have read 100’s, but I still love it after a year of being at “goal.”

  3. Tabitha Lumbee Duarte October 7, 2016 3:53 am

    hey lizz, i feel like im suffering from hypothyroidism. i had test done, but of course my doc said everything looks normal. for awhile ive been STRUGGLING to lose weight (even though i go to the gym) im freezing even though the degrees are at 76 to 78F i wake up feeling like i didnt sleep a wink. for most of my life ive dealt with depression and anxiety. here lately things have taken a turn for the worse though.. my hair seems to be falling out and is thin my nails are thin and brittle and peeling. ive become more and more forgetful. i could be talking about a subject then my mind fogs and i forget what i was talking about. i feel pretty helpless right now. the thing that scares me more than anything is losing all of my hair. my doc is sending me to a dermatologist, but i dont know if they will be able to help me…

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