A thyroid patient from the UK, and a member of Thyroid UK, reminded me of the ongoing travesty in the UK concerning the TSH lab test. And I thought it was worth revisiting due to its extreme absurdity. Quoting from www.brf-thyroid under FAQ, then Hypothyroidism, then Treatment:
The most sensitive indicator of developing hypothyroidism is a rise in the TSH result. Generally a TSH result of <5 is regarded as biochemically ‘normal’, a result of 5-10 is borderline and a result of >10 (in a patient who is not acutely ill) is regarded as consistent with hypothyroidism. The biochemical results have to be considered along side clinical symptoms, and together they determine the point at which the physician will introduce Thyroxine therapy.
Yikes. 5-10 is only BORDERLINE hypo?? What planet to they live on?? I have come across MANY thyroid patients on internet groups who have had a TSH below 3 with RAGING hypothyroidism, and for YEARS being told they were normal. Never, ever has the TSH been a “sensitive” indicator until it finally rises enough to reveal it….but that can be YEARS in the making, and the patient is now living with adrenal fatigue to further complicate their ongoing hypothyroid condition. The TSH lab test does NOT work.
Then from http://www.british-thyroid-association.org/Guidelines/, and downloading the 2006 final version of the UK guidelines for the Use of Thyroid Function Tests , and reading 3.2.2, comes this:
The decision on treatment of patients with subclinical hypothyroidism should be guided by repeated TSH measurements. When TSH is elevated but <10 mU/L there is no consistent evidence of an association with symptoms, secondary biochemical abnormalities (hyperlipidaemia), cardiac dysfunction or cardiac events.
No consistent evidence of an association with symptoms?? Then what ARE those symptoms that thyroid patients have experienced over and over and over, even with a TSH as low as the 2’s??? And repeated TSH measurements?? There is a huge body of thyroid patients across the world who have had years of a NORMAL TSH yet raging hypothyroid symptoms.
They also add:
There is evidence of improvement in the lipid profile and symptoms when patients with modestly raised TSH (mean 11.7mU/L) were rendered euthyroid with thyroxine
Calling anyone “euthyroid” (normal thyroid-wise) on a T4 med, with an average TSH of 11, is so laughable that it stands on its humorous own.
The Dark Ages persist in the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. What a shameful, blind-sighted travesty! Are you from the UK and dealing with the backwardness? Talk to us by replying to this blog (and be patient–comments don’t always show up quickly.).