Thyroid Disorders Community
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6224500 tn?1388947668

How often should a thyroid function test be done?

I was diagnosed hypothyroid in May 2013 and diagnosed Hashimoto's January 2014.

Blood test results along with med doses are:

Nov 2011

TSH - 5.2 (0.27-4.2)
FT4 - 16.8 (12-22)
(No medication)

Feb 2012

TSH - 2.2 (0.27-4.2)
No FT4 as TSH was within range

Jan 2013

TSH - 0.69 (0.27-4.2)
Anti-TPO - 84,000 (<34)
No FT4 as TSH was within range

May 2013

TSH - 22 (0.27-4.2)
FT4 - 10.9 (12-22)
(Thyroxine started at 25mcg, then 50mcg and then 75mcg)

Aug 2013

TSH - 4 (0.27-4.2)
No FT4 as TSH was within normal range
(Thyroxine increased to 125mcg)

Nov 2013

TSH - 4.3 (0.27-4.2)
FT3 - 5.5 (3.1-6.8) - Done privately and had to pay for this test (doctor does not conduct FT3 testing)
FT4 - 15.3 (12-22)
(Thyroxine increased to 150mcg)

Dec 2013

TSH - 4.6 (0.27-4.2)
FT4 - 15.6 (12-22)
Anti-TPO - 41,000 (<34)

Jan 2014

TSH - 2.7 (0.27-4.2)
No FT4 as TSH within range

What I'm wondering is, how often should a doctor conduct thyroid function tests? I do have ongoing symptoms but my endocrinologist is saying they are not down to hypothyroidism since my TSH is within normal range.
She has also said that a patient with normal TSH and on thyroxine should only undergo 1 thyroid function test a year, but this doesn't seem right and even when my TSH was within normal range whilst on thyroxine my doctor still orders them to be repeated with no questions asked. I am due for another one as I was under the impression they should be every 6 weeks and I am sure I still have hypothyroid symptoms.

1 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
Thyroid function tests should be done every 5-6 weeks as long as medication dosages are being actively adjusted to relieve symptoms.

Apparently, your doctor is order TSH w/reflex, which means they test TSH and if that's in range, they don't go any further.  In that case, you need a different doctor...

TSH fluctuates greatly, even over the course of a day, so trying to adjust med based on TSH is like trying to shoo a moving target.

There are doctors who think thyroid testing (specifically, TSH) only needs to be tested once/year and that the standard for Medicare, as well.  I see you're in U.K, and we see a lot of members who get substandard care due to the strict guidelines of NHS.

Most doctors in the U.S. test every 4-6 weeks if they are actively adjusting med, but once stable, will go to every 3 months, then every 6 months.  I'm at every 6 months and it doesn't look like my endo is going to change that, unless we have to start making adjustments to my meds.

If you can get a different doctor, I'd strongly advise you to do so; this doctor will keep you ill, because she's only looking at TSH...
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