I haven't learned the language of thyroid tests yet, and I'm looking for some assistance... My lab work came back saying that my TPO AB was 435 when it should be less than 35 IU/ml. My TSH was 3.89 and free T3 was 2.47. If anyone can help me figure out how to translate this into English, I would really appreciate it! I was also told that my thyroid is very swollen on one side (ultrasound) and I was diagnosed with a goiter and hashimoto's, but I'd like to know more about what the numbers mean and how they relate to how I'm feeling, and also what sort of numbers I can look for once I'm at the right dose of medicine. Thanks!
Thanks SadFreek...I've got a ton of symptoms and just started on synthroid a week ago but my doctor thought that I was having an allergic reaction to it so he took me off of it for a few days (very frustrating). Some of my symptoms: exhaustion to the point of having to leave school and work, muscle weakness and aches, puffy eyes/face/stomach, huge lump in my throat, brain fog, dry skin and hair, pins and needles in arms and legs, poor sleep, food allergies, always cold, weight gain...the list goes on and on.
Here's a re-phrased version of my labs so that they're easier to read:
TSH...3.89 (not sure of the range, there are a few listed below the results)
TPO AB...435 (less than 35)
Free T3...2.47 (2.3-4.2)
I've read that the aim is to have a TSH level of between .5 and 2? According to the books that I've been looking at, that is where most people feel best. Does anyone know about this?
It is true that the average TSH for a healthy person without thyroid disease is around 1 to 1.5. But for people with thyroid disease, that average must be tossed out the window, because the plain fact is that TSH has no direct correlation to the way people feel. Only the levels of the actual thyroid hormones do. TSH is a pituitary hormone, and the only purpose it has is to spur the thyroid gland into action. It's the thyroid gland's incapability to make enough of its hormones that makes you feel yukky. See the difference?
Your TPO antibodies are high enough that they may be contributing to your overall feeling of illness by themselves. Taking 100-200 mcgs of selenium per day may help reduce them and make you feel a little better until your thyroid hormones get to the right levels.
Your free T3 is very low in its range, doubtless making you feel bad too. It would be helpful to know your FT4... interesting your doctor didn't order that test as well. Most order that one and neglect the FT3.
In general, people in treatment for hypoT feel best when their free T hormones surpass the middle of their lab ranges. For your FT3 range, that means a level of the very least 3.25. Most people don't feel well, though, until they reach about 70% of the range, which for you would be 3.6. The same is true for the FT4 level. And it works better if both levels are balanced at the same percentage in the range. For example, you may not feel completely well if your FT4 is 50% and your FT3 is 75%. But everyone is different, so no one can tell you for sure where you will feel best. It's a matter of trial and error.
Very often, in order to achieve these levels of free Ts, the TSH must be suppressed... that is, very much lower than the normal range for TSH. My own is now .01 on a .4 range. To most doctors, I would be considered hyperthyroid; but I'm not, because my free Ts are well within their ranges, but in places where they need to be for me to feel well.
Some of the thyroid experts who say it's the free hormones that count are Dr. John V.Dommisse, Dr. David Derry, and Dr. Barry Durrant-Peatfield, among others.