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Old 08-07-2008, 04:35 PM   #1
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how to increase T4

I was told that my TSH was normal but my T4 was slightly low. How can this be and should I make dietary changes to stimulate the thyroid?

 
Old 08-07-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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Cool Re: how to increase T4

Hi Jenny WELCOME ~ What symptoms are you having?

Do you have a copy of your labs? If not GET ONE pronto!

Why I say that is normal often ISN'T really normal. Sometimes they are going by old, old lab ranges for TSH (say 4.0- 5.0 or higher) A healthy persons TSH runs around 1.0. Personally I've heard of Doc who treat patients with TSH of 2.5 who have symptoms and their T4's are in the bottom end orbelow of the range.

Thyroid medicine is how you raise T4 - period to my somewhat limited medical knowledge

 
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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Re: how to increase T4

I too do not know of any way of fixing T4 unless you are on medication.

Have you had your ferretin (iron storage), vitamin D, iodine, gluten intolerance and adrenal function check out? I've named those things as those are the 'problem' areas which most people with thyroid conditions have in common.

 
Old 08-08-2008, 04:15 AM   #4
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Re: how to increase T4

Hi everyone,

I've experienced chronic low energy and cold intolerance since adolescence (I'm now 25). I've also recently been experiencing burning sensations in my hands and feet. This past year, I intentionally gained weight because I was underweight; my weight has been stable for the past 4 months or so. I exercise 30 minutes a day and eat very healthy (lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies, legumes, nuts and rice protein). After reading about the effects of soy and peanuts on thyroid functioning, I've also added coconut oil to my diet (about a tablespoon per day) because I read that is good for the thyroid. I'm also trying to get into the habit of adding kelp to my diet.

I've had "blood work" done several times, but never have gotten copies. I'm always told that everything is normal. Recently, though, I've read up on thyroid problems and have become concerned because I am a strict vegetarian and eat a lot of soy and peanut butter. I've also started to think more about "normal ranges." Once, I was told that my white blood cell count was on the low end of normal, but because it is within "the normal range" it is not a concern. But I still like to know when things are on the low end! The Doc said my T4 is a 10th of a percentile below normal, and my TSH is normal, so she is not concerned. I am thinking, though, maybe I should eat more coconut oil and kelp and eat less soy.

The Doc said I am not anemic, so I am assuming that my iron levels are normal. I'm not sure if my iodine, and all the other good stuff that was suggested have been checked. The Doc who ran these tests is my gyn. She has referred me to a medical doc, so I will know what to ask for when I see this doc.

Thanks so much for the info and feedback! I really am interested in nutritional/natural ways of improving thyroid, so if anyone has tried anything (i.e. coconut oil) please share!

 
Old 08-08-2008, 08:26 AM   #5
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Re: how to increase T4

I know you want an easy dietary fix to this, but there probably isn't one.

You really need to know exactly which tests were done, what the exact results were, and what the reference range for each test is. Many, many doctors run tests that are out of date and unrevealing, or they don't do enough of them. If your T4 is below the reference range, that is hypothyroid. Anything below mid-range is probably hypothyroid. My best guess is that your TSH is high-normal. If it is, that's a far cry from "normal". You MD simply may not know that.

If you have thyroid antibodies - and I wonder if those tests were even done - they are destroying your thyroid tissue and making it unable to produce hormone. This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Therefore, all the kelp and coconut oil in the world won't resurrect that tissue from the dead and make it produce hormone. You can see how you need to know exactly what's what with your thyroid status. Do NOT count on an MD to know what that is. Some do, but most don't.

 
Old 08-09-2008, 01:59 AM   #6
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Re: how to increase T4

I have to say DITTO to midwest's reply. Spot on!!

ALWAYS make certain you get copies of any tests done. That is paramount.

NEVER take it for gospel that when your doctor says your tests are "normal" or "within range" that he/she is right. This is precisly what got me into trouble and i went 7 years without being diagnosed, feeling sick, losing hair and looking for answers. Finally i found a doctor who knew his job and ordered the righ tests and worked out what was happening, but prior to this i learnt a lot of life saving information from this healthboard and it tought me how to deal with doctors, what to do, what to ask for.

Take for example your iron levels, you might be 'within normal range', but you could be at the low end of normal and majority of doctors will call that normal. You need to know your ferretin level for that reason. Ferretin levels are important for a lot of reasons, not just for the wellbeing of your thyroid. Mine was considered 'normal', but i was only about 5 points off the very bottom of normal. By the time i had another batch of tests i was anemic. Low iron levels are bad for the thyroid and a lot of Hypo people tend to have ferretin levels at the lower end of the scale or even lower. For some reason we have issues with absorbing iron.

With the coconut oil i'd be careful too incase they have added hydrogen to extend it's shelf life. Hydrogenated oils contain transfats and this leads to chronic heart disease. I know a lot of places on the net claim that taking coconut oil is a miracle cure and all your thyroid problems are gone, but i'd still be wary as not all oils are healthy just because they are from a plant.

 
Old 08-10-2008, 05:10 AM   #7
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Re: how to increase T4

Thanks, everyone, for the helpful info.

It is unfortunate that we have to "deal with" doctors. I am thinking of making an appointment with an endocrinologist. Maybe he/she would be more knowledgeable re what tests to run and how to interpret them. Has anyone gotten better feedback from these or other specialists?

 
Old 08-10-2008, 06:45 AM   #8
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Cool Re: how to increase T4

Jenny ~ Let me tell you a bit of my story. A patient hearing NORMAL (when its REALLY *not*) happens all to frequently , , ,

10 days after I had one, enlarged Thy-lobe removed, my TSH was 4.79 <<~ which was 4 times MY norm. My doctor SHOULD have caught it. But because it feel within range, though high for me I was told "normal". At the time, I didn't know to QUESTION her. Therefore my 3.5 months of surgery induced hypo-h*** began

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyjen77 View Post
I've had "blood work" done several times, but never have gotten copies.
They won't GIVE them unless you ask (sometimes DEMAND) for them. It is your RIGHT.

Quote:
my iron levels are normal.
My Osteopathic just told me my yearly labs were NORMAL (didn't have my own copy at the time) When *I* looked, ferritin was 33. From my reading HERE, I know that ferritin (iron) is much better at 70. A few days later, I asked the Nurse Practitioner. She said, we usually TREAT it when under 50! I'm SURE she was shocked to see mine was 33 & Dr told me normal , , ,

It REALLY depends on the Endo. The one I can get a referral to is all hooked on the #'s, ignoring how the patient feels (telling you we're done when you don't FEEL that way) - - But another one in my town who isn't under my group, has rave on line reviews.

Some do VERY well with Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, with the D.O. after their name.
Not to be confused with bone Dr The main thing is a Doc who LISTENS to patient

Last edited by Suey77; 08-10-2008 at 06:54 AM.

 
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