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What blood level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) warrants treatment?

Q: My 75 years old mother is presently under treatment for tuberculosis and high blood pressure. Her thyroid profile shows T3 - 0.75 ng/ml, T4 - 5.02 ug/dl and TSH - 6.08 uIU/ml. She is on low sodium diet for the last one month. Is her TSH high enough to be treated?

A:She has subclinical hypothyroidism and does not necessarily warrant treatment. I would recommend repeating her thyroid tests again in 3-6 months along with thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies and if they are positive or if TSH is above 10 IU/ml, then she can be treated with small dose of thyroid hormone.

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