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Old 02-25-2007, 08:34 PM   #1
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eseer HB User
To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

Hello, been lurking here a couple of days and really like the atmosphere.

Quick history: 50 yr.old female, been diagnosed hypo 18 yrs. The last 4 yrs. discovered the forums, started micro managing my health with different meds.
Think sometimes a little info can be dangerous, more than once I have wacked my head, what was I thinking. So I continue to read and gain more knowledge. So far I have tried-Armour, Syn. & cyt. back to just syn. and now on syn. & cytomel.

In Dec. my T4 was at 63% (9 wks on 119 syn.) and T3 at 31% (6 wks 2.5 cyt)

All with Docs blessings, I upped the cytomel to 5mcg. for 5 weeks, more body aches, feet hurt to walk, sinus issues, dropped down to 2.5 then upped myT4 to 125 syn. (3 wks now) Still have joint problems, finally got my period after 63 days (have always, always been 22-28 days before the cyt.) I have opted to wait on the female hormones after reading an article by Dr. Shames strongly suggesting once the thyroid is balanced the transition into menopause will naturally occur, whereas the thyroid unbalanced can make the symptoms much, much worse and hard to distinguish which is which.

My question finally, does anyone feel well with T3 lower in range then the T4. Maybe it is not always necessary to keep the two equal in ranges. I am sure this is answered with being symptomatic or not. Right now I am wondering if cytomel could make me feel anxious and achy without being too much. I have a feeling it has defiantly played with my female hormones along with blood sugar issues. Anyone been down this path before, would sure like to hear your experience.

Last edited by eseer; 02-26-2007 at 11:26 AM.

 
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

You sound much like me! I am a 53 yr. old female, hypothyroid, and definately menopausal. The meno. symptoms finally got to me so much that I went on a hormone patch. It helped me a lot, and for me, I was then able to better distinguish what were thyroid symptoms and what were meno. symptoms. I don't think, in my case, my meno symptoms were better or worst because of my thyroid imbalance.

I was fortunate that I did not suffer much from perimenopause as others do. I did not have any real symptoms of menopause, other than erratic periods, until I was 52, after my last period, and hormone tests showed I was well into menopause. Then I got the hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings etc. the same as many of my friends who do not have thyroid disorders. I don't know how I could have entered into menopause any more naturally than I did. I too am on a combination of synthroid and cytomel for thyroid, a hormone patch for meno. and a mild anti-depressant (celexa) for mood swings. I know the patch and AD will be temporary for a few years until I am through meno. For now I am very glad to have them, as it makes my life so much more normal and I can have relief of the menopausal symptoms.

Good Luck to you also. Keep us posted to your progress whatever you decide to do. I'm sure along with your doctor, you will make the right decision for your body to relieve whatever symptoms you are having.

Last edited by Red Maple; 02-26-2007 at 02:55 PM.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

[QUOTE=eseer;2821543]Hello, been lurking here a couple of days and really like the atmosphere.


In Dec. my T4 was at 63% (9 wks on 119 syn.) and T3 at 31% (6 wks 2.5 cyt)

Welcome to the boards!
I am new here too. I feel stupid, but have not seen labs presented in a percent form like these. I've seen intake values expressed in %. I wish I could add something. My wife turned 60 and was using the formulated hormone cream to go through menopause while on just synthroid. The transition was fairly smooth

 
Old 02-26-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

Red Maple....how did your doc know to put you on the patch? I have ahd all of my hormones checked and they are fine and I am 45. Thanks...Suz
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

Thanks for your reply, I guess I may just have to break down and get the darn hormones tested. Although, I have had no symptoms of menopause yet, I am still always freezing, but over the years I have had tons of problems with perimenopause, that time of the month I didn't like myself much at all, that has gotten better.

I don't know what a hot flash is, but today I felt feverish and my face felt hot, no redness, and no temp. and a little headache. This can't be a hot flash, can it, especially since I am menstruating now.

I got a lot to learn. It has been very nice visiting with you and thank for sharing your experience.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 04:35 PM   #6
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

Hey thanks for the welcome.
It is very refreshing for me to see a man take interest in his wife's health issues. So nice to hear she got through menopause relatively smooth.

I do my own figuring on the percentages to see better where I am at. Here is the formula I was given by another forum member.

1. Subtract the bottom of the range from the top (1.61-0.59 = 1.02)
2. Subtract the bottom of the range from your value (1.23 - 0.59 = 0.64)
3. Divide #2 by #1 (0.64/1.02 = 0.63) and turn the 0.63 into a percentage = 63%

 
Old 02-26-2007, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

Thanks eseer! I thought that was what you were doing (percent of range). I went to the endo today for my wifes blood draw an told the PA that the FT3 needed to be checked because docs assume if the FT4 is ok the FT3 is too. But, the conversion sometimes has a malfunction. Well long story short, she would NOT do a FT3, but a total T3. She said the FT3 fluctuates too much (rapid cycles) for the test to be any good except for pregnant women because of so much fluid in the body.
So did you drop the Cytomel to 25 at the same time you raised the T4? How long were you on the reduced dose of C before the raise? And it wouldn't hurt to get the hormones tested to at least get a reference range for your files.

Last edited by phillipa; 02-26-2007 at 06:44 PM. Reason: typo error

 
Old 02-26-2007, 06:38 PM   #8
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

Well what I have learned is that I need to get my T4 in a good place first to see if all the symptoms resolve. I did it backwards this time, I don't think I got my T4 in a good place first, the added T3 didn't resolve any of my issues. since T4 converts to T3, I was advised to get my T4 up more than 63% and then see what I would need for T3.

Where is your wife's T4 at now? Does she have a lot of symptoms yet? I have never heard of total FT3, maybe this doc knows something. But if the Doc is talking about Total T3, then this is a different twist and I am not familiar with this.

When I lowered my cytomel to 2.5, it wasn't because I was over-medicated, because I didn't get tested on the 5mcg, it just didn't feel right, so I lowered it on my own. (That is defiantly a no no). When I added cytomel, my T4 was at 63%, so I wasn't at the top of the range whereas some that are, will lower their T4 a bit and then add the T3. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will correct me if I am wrong on this, as I have never personally done it this way.

With me it could be a whole range of reasons why it didn't feel right, and one being my female hormones. But I have read over and over again it is the miracle drug for so many, and has changed lives drastically.

Had to edit to answer your question, first I upped my T3 for about 5 weeks with no improvement, so then I upped my T4 for 2 weeks and that is where I felt off, so then lowered my T3. It was anxiousness and joint pain that made me do that. To be honest, don't really feel any different, so this is not helpful at all to you. Trial and error.

Last edited by eseer; 02-26-2007 at 06:50 PM.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

OOOps! It was a typo. Endo will do a total T3. I don't know the validity of that. My wife is hypo as of last labs(TSH 4.1[.3-3.0]) from hyper 6 weeks before that(.06) and hypo 6 years before that(3 to 6 range).
T4--- .95[.61-1.12] by one lab and 1.0 [.7-1.8] by another lab 3 weeks apart

 
Old 02-26-2007, 07:36 PM   #10
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3"

OOOps! It was a typo. Endo will do a total T3. I don't know the validity of that. My wife is hypo as of last labs(TSH 4.1[.3-3.0]) from hyper 6 weeks before that(.06) and hypo 6 years before that(3 to 6 range).
T4--- .95[.61-1.12] by one lab and 1.0 [.7-1.8] by another lab 3 weeks apart

When she was hyper what was her T4 lab, was it T4--- .95[.61-1.12] because if my calculation is right that would be 66%.which that could be hyper for some. Was she feeling hyper, what symptoms was she having.

How do you know which lab to go by, this one 1.0 [.7-1.8] would correlate more with the TSH 4.1[.3-3.0

But does her doc go mostly by TSH?

 
Old 02-26-2007, 08:07 PM   #11
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

VegasQ, I have a very long standing relationship with my OB/GYN (over 20 years)so he knows me really well. I got to where I felt like I was not having a lot of hot flashes, but rather just one very looong one--like 24/7. My hot flashes were not just in my face but rather all over--for some reason especially my feet! I had very bad anxiety, mood swings-happy one minute and crying the next, and generally not feeling good at all. I called one morning that was particularly bad, and told them I needed to see him right away. I also have a long standing relationship with his nurse, she knows I don't call in unless I really need help. She got me in on a "consultation" appointment within a few hours. I explained how I felt to my doctor and he gave me some sample patches of Climara-Pro. I think he knew I wasn't leaving his office until he gave me something for relief... The Climara worked very well for me, and he gave me a renewable prescription. He prescribed Celexa, an anti-depressant, for the mood swings. He also gave me a prescription for Ativan, an anti-anxiety that also really helped to get me "over the hump" Now between the Celexa and the Climara I rarely take the Ativan anymore.

Eseer-never underestimate a hot flash...the little buggers sneak up on you when you least expect it! Yes, you could have them even while menstrating, they're very diabolical. You may want to visit the menopause board on this web site. There are many women there you may relate to, and have further information and other experiences that may help you.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 10:12 PM   #12
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3"

Quote:
Originally Posted by eseer View Post


When she was hyper what was her T4 lab, was it T4--- .95[.61-1.12] because if my calculation is right that would be 66%.which that could be hyper for some.
--------------------------------------------------------
This is why the different labs throw the % off more than the empirical value of the test. lab 1 TSH 4.85 (.32-5.0) 97%
FT4 1.0 ( .7-1.8) 27%

lab 2 TSH 4.04 (.3-3.0) 138%
FT4 .95 (.61-1.12) 66%

check the math, please! 3 weeks difference b/t these labs
======================================== ==============



Was she feeling hyper, what symptoms was she having.
TSH .64 (.27-4.2) 27%
FT4 1.8 (.9-1.7) 113%

She was having break through anxiety and diverticulitus

======================================== ================


But does her doc go mostly by TSH?
Endo goes by TSH and FT4. Will not use or get a FT3, only TT3

. Hope this clears it up. Now my brain is getting confuzed!

 
Old 02-27-2007, 03:54 PM   #13
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3"

Was she feeling hyper, what symptoms was she having.
TSH .64 (.27-4.2) 27%
FT4 1.8 (.9-1.7) 113%

Now I get it, with this lab I can see why she was feeling hyper with her T4 especially. What dose was she on and with this lab, and what dose is she on now? And your calculations looked right to me, although I am not sure if it would be helpful with the TSH, because of the range and where one needs to feel good, and that wouldn't be mid-range, (well everyone is different, but the normal TSH for non-hypo is around 1.5 I believe).

I was also wondering why you would have two different lab readings. For me, it is one lab, no choice. But at least it is pretty consistent.

 
Old 02-27-2007, 04:02 PM   #14
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3", Newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Maple View Post
VegasQ, I have a very long standing relationship with my OB/GYN (over 20 years)so he knows me really well. I got to where I felt like I was not having a lot of hot flashes, but rather just one very looong one--like 24/7. My hot flashes were not just in my face but rather all over--for some reason especially my feet! I had very bad anxiety, mood swings-happy one minute and crying the next, and generally not feeling good at all. I called one morning that was particularly bad, and told them I needed to see him right away. I also have a long standing relationship with his nurse, she knows I don't call in unless I really need help. She got me in on a "consultation" appointment within a few hours. I explained how I felt to my doctor and he gave me some sample patches of Climara-Pro. I think he knew I wasn't leaving his office until he gave me something for relief... The Climara worked very well for me, and he gave me a renewable prescription. He prescribed Celexa, an anti-depressant, for the mood swings. He also gave me a prescription for Ativan, an anti-anxiety that also really helped to get me "over the hump" Now between the Celexa and the Climara I rarely take the Ativan anymore.

Eseer-never underestimate a hot flash...the little buggers sneak up on you when you least expect it! Yes, you could have them even while menstrating, they're very diabolical. You may want to visit the menopause board on this web site. There are many women there you may relate to, and have further information and other experiences that may help you.
Eseer-never underestimate a hot flash...the little buggers sneak up on you when you least expect it! Yes, you could have them even while menstrating, they're very diabolical. You may want to visit the menopause board on this web site. There are many women there you may relate to, and have further information and other experiences that may help you.

I will definitely read on the menopause board, thank you for that tip, and the insight to the "hot flashes". What complex creatures God created in us. :0)

 
Old 02-27-2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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Re: To "T3" or not to "T3"

eeser, she was on 125mcg, now 88mcg.( did a step down on 112 and 100 )
The different labs are from endo and ER.

I did find this that might help, it did for me(info wise=ammo for endo)

If free T3 is lower in its range than free T4 is, this suggests that more T3 would be beneficial for that person. On the other hand, some people who have had lab results that did not indicate a problem with T3, but they still had symptoms of hypothyroidism, and the addition of T3 helped them.

Lab results do not tell the whole story. However, most people with hypothyroidism feel best when their free T4 and free T3 levels are in the upper part of their ranges. The exception is with people who are on desiccated thyroid. Because it contains a higher ratio of T3 to T4 than our thyroids produce, people taking it have a free T4 level that's lower in its range when the free T3 level is where it should be, in the upper part of its range.

Last edited by phillipa; 02-27-2007 at 06:17 PM. Reason: adding info

 
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