Hi Midwest, thx for your advice on my earlier thread about my t3. I tried to get a fT3 test done but the lab my doctor uses doesn't do it. My endo said he doesn't test T3 anyways, just TSH and FT4. So, I went ahead and did a total T3 and T3 uptake test, since that's all that was offered. These are new results (been on synthetic T4 medicine for almost seven weeks now):
T3, Total 106 (60-181)
T3, Uptake 36.1% (27.8-40.7)
These are my past tests:
TSH 9.9 (0.4-5.5)
T3, Total 109 (60-181)
T3, Total 128 (60-181)
T4, free 1.32 (0.8-1.8)
TSH 7.0 (0.4-5.5)
Thyroglobulin AB <2 (less than 2)
5/20/05 (first test after being on medicine for six weeks)
T4, free 1.6 (0.8-1.8)
TSH 1.7 (0.4-5.5)
So far my symptoms have remained unchanged. I'm going to see an internist at a local hospital who tested my TSH in the past, so I'm not sure if he'd be open to testing free T3? What do you think I could say to him based on my total T3 that would convince him that I may need a T3 supplement? Should I pressure him to get the free T3 test and wait and see what the results are before asking for T3 supplement? I highly doubt he'd be willing to prescribe armour.
Last edited by JohnnyBoy113; 06-01-2005 at 03:52 PM.
Doctors are hard to convince of anything. So I make no guarantees about the argument.
The reason most people are low on T3 is that they don't convert enough from the T4 available in their systems. The main problem is that some stubborn doctors refuse to admit that there is such a thing as poor conversion, and that's why you may not be able to sell him on it. Also, some doctors deny that each person has his own set point level where they feel best, so they think that any level within the range is fine. The analogy for this idea that I've used in the past is this -- The range for men's shoe sizes is 8 to 13. Therefore, because you are a man, you ought to be comfortable in any shoe within this size range. Absurd idea, right?
Most people won't feel well until their FTs are at least at the middle of the lab range. For women, it's better in the upper third; men need generally need them about in the center or slightly above.
As I said before, your total T3 is low-normal. In case you don't know, here's an explanation of the difference between total and free hormones as I just wrote on another thread ~~
The thyroid hormones are T4 and T3. (There are others, like T1 and T2, but those are minute quantities which are never measured.) Most of each hormone is bound to a protein which transports it through the bloodstream till it reaches the receptor sites on the cells. The protein then must be stripped from the hormone to "free" it before it can enter the cells. The hormone in its bound form is T4 (or T3), and unbound is called free T4 or FT4 (free T3 - FT3).
When the total T4 or total T3 is measured by testing, the result is the sum of both bound and free hormone, and there is no way to know how much of it is free and therefore usable by the cells. That's why the best thyroid doctors consider the free tests the more revealing of the two kinds.
Because your total T3 is low-normal, it's pretty safe to assume the free portion is abysmally low. You're a perfect candidate to try a T3 drug. If you can't convince him to let you try Armour, ask for Cytomel. Cytomel is synthetic T3, and a few doctors will agree to add it to the synthetic T4 drug in certain cases.
Hope that helped. When is your appt? Be sure to let us know how it goes.
That's a great analogy Midwest, makes perfect sense to me (I'll try to use it). My appt is on Friday so I'm trying to get all my lab work together to make a "presentation" to him. I honestly can't believe I have to sell this to a doctor, you'd think they'd be the ones to know about the benefits of T3 supplements. I grew up thinking doctors knew everything and I should always trust their judgement, this surely has dispelled that naive idea.
I did manage to find a doctor who is willing to prescribe Armour but I have to wait two months to see her. Sigh...
Two months is not a long time to wait to see a good doctor. The best ones are booked well in to the future, and some people have waited 6 months to get an appointment. If this one will prescribe Armour, grab that appointment. You will be on thyroid medication for the rest of your life, the sooner you get a doctor that will prescribe enough of the right kind for you to feel great the better off you will be. I hope the two months will fly by for you.