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Q. I experience cold hands, constipation and lethargy. Kindly interpret my thyroid function test.

Answered by
Dr. Rohit Jain
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 21, 2020

Hello doctor,

I got blood tested for my thyroid and I need help understanding the results. Do I have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism? I have cold hands and feet, eczema, psoriasis on my nail, sensitive eyes, constipation, gas, bloating, extreme lethargy, depression, and anxiety. My blood test results:

Free triiodothyronine 6.5 3.5 - 6.5 pmol/L.

Thyrotropin (sensitive TSH) 7.48 HI 0.30 - 4.00 mIU/L.

Free thyroxine (free T4) 18.9 - 23 pmol/L.

Dr. Rohit Jain

Cardiology Critical Care Physician Diabetology Endocrinology General Medicine Internal Medicine Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors) Sexology


Welcome to

Your results can be interpreted as follows: Your TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) is surely high and the T3 and T4 levels are in the normal range. There are two possibilities of such a report.

1. Primary hypothyroidism - In this the TSH is high and the others go low. This is the most common type. In this, the thyroid gland is under-functioning. The symptoms are usually as described by you. Now why is your T3, T4 are normal ? It might be the case that you are in a very initial stage of dysfunction and might become frank with time. If we treat it now, the levels will come back to normal and you might not need further treatment.

2. Secondary hyperthyroidism - In this case, all the three readings go up (which I see in your report.) The problem here is with the pituitary gland in the brain which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more. So the fault is not with thyroid gland at a primary level. For this to confirm, you will need a TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) hormone level, which is the stimulant of the thyroid. I would suggest you meet your endocrinologist and get the secondary aspect evaluated. After that, we can give you the right treatment and everything can be cured easily.

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