Criteria for Treating Borderline Underactive Thyroid
Q: I am a 14 years old girl having my TSH level 10. What to do and what problems will arise in future?
Normal TSH level ranges between 2-11 mIU/L. Though a value of 10 is within the range, it is definitely on the higher side for your age.
TSH value of 6 or more are considered to be on higher side. They can be grouped under sub-clinical hypothyroidism.
A higher TSH level suggest an under-active thyroid gland. TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are active thyroid hormone.
So high value of TSH means that your gland needs more stimulation to secrete active hormone. This suggests that your gland is under-active.
Doctors usually do not start any treatment till TSH level is 11. However, if you have any symptom suggesting hypothyroidism, your hypothyroidism would be grouped under clinical category and should be treated.
Clinical Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Fatigue, feeling of tiredness all the time
- Weight gain
- Hair loss, thinning of hair
- Dryness of hair and skin
- Forgetfulness, having depressing thoughts often
- Pain in joints or muscles
If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, discuss taking medicine for hypothyroidism with your doctor.
Treatment is taking synthetic thyroid hormone, Synthyroid, by the patient for sometime, till the gland becomes normal again.
If, however, you don’t have any clinical symptom, you don’t need any treatment. It would be a good idea to get the TSH level checked again after 3 months, just to assure that everything is fine.
Sub-clinical hypothyroidism has the potential to convert into clinical one after sometime if left untreated.
Major Future Complications of Hypothyroidism
- Premature birth of the baby after conception
- Baby’s brain development may not be proper
- Weight gain
- Aches in muscles and joints
All these symptoms come only if hypothyroidism is left untreated.