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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Ah the great debate on TSH.

      TSH is a good test to see where your levels were in the recent past. It is not the best test to use to see what is going on but it is a good indicator of how you have been doing.

      TSH is a reactive hormone that changes based on what our thyroid levels are. So it lags where we currently are by days, weeks or months.

      Doctors like to use it and insurance loves it because it is cheap and fast. However, to really know where your levels are you need to have TSH, T3 and T4 so your endocrinologist can tell you where your levels are at the time the blood was drawn.

      The TSH test reminds me of a diabetic A1C test that tells the doctor what a person’s blood sugars have been for the past few months. If it is hi or low the doctor knows the person is diabetic or hypoglycemic. It does not tell what their current levels are, just an overview of what they were at a point in time.

      So the TSH test is good for a historical idea of what is going on and its going up or down will show if your medications are working over a longer period but it does not give a “current” reading so to speak. Only the T3 and T4 tests with the TSH can be interpreted by your doctor.

      Hope this helps.

      Jake
      On-line Facilitator
      Co-Author, “Graves’ Disease In Our Own Words”

      Anonymous
        Post count: 93172

        Jake,
        Thanks for clearing that up for me, none of the books I read really explained the blood work in a way I could fully understand.

        My doctor always does blood work on my TSH, T3 and T4. I think the reason she has been watching the TSH is because my T3 and T4 are always normal. But my doctor is great becaue she always listens and is concerned if I tell her I am not feeling well.

        Anyway, thanks again for that info!
        ~Joni

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