I've been lurking on this website for 2 years, first to figure out that my gallbladder needed removed - thanks for all the info. Then to check out IBS advice. Now I need some advice on my recently tested thyroid levels. I have lots of family history of thyroid and have basically felt like 'crap' for the past 2 years. Everything happened at once starting 2 years ago - gallbladder, LPR reflux, weird periods, shingles - just to name a few. I have always thought I had thyroid issues, but couldn't get my D.O. to order anything more than a TSH test. Finally went to my ENT about my 'crackling' ears (I know it sounds weird:-), and he suggested testing my T3 and T4 levels. Boy, was I thrilled to hear that I was finally getting someone to take me seriously!! I got the results back today and (of, course) they said that I was 'normal'. My results were as follows:
I don't understand about the ranges. Could someone explain it to me? I have so many hypo symptoms, many I have lived with for so long, that I don't even realize they're not normal. Is there something else that could cause this? My gyno. told me last year that I was just getting old. I'm 34 and had actually accepted that fact for the past two years. But now I'm really getting sick and tired of feeling this way!! I really need to see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!
I feel your pain.
I went 3 years feeling like crap before I was diagnosed with Hashimotos hypothyroidsim. Unfortunaly i still feel like crap and the meds dont seem to help me.
Looking at your TSH number, I would say its to high. You should be around 1.
Your T4 looks a little low to. You could be in the (borderline catagatory) of hypothyroidims, but to me I would say that you are and the doc is wrong.
before I was finaly diagoned I kept going into the doc. TSH was 3 then 4. then they considered me borderline but didnt even tell me. i kept having aweful symptoms and kept going back. They did another TSH test and it was 5.13. Finally they said I was Hypothyroid and I could get medicine.
I sure get the run around alot.
I would keep being persistant with your doctor about this.
If those were not Free T3 and Free T4 you did not get proper testing. If they were Free's then yes you are hypo. Run don't walk and find you a doctor that will listen to your symptoms and run the right tests. D.O's are usually better than regular MD's or endos as they usually will look outside the box and listen better. Look for a different D.O.
Just family history and symptoms alone should be enough for a doctor worth anything to take a serious look at you and listen. If you go untreated long enough you can end up with adrenal fatigue and that's a whole new monster all by itself to deal with along with the hypo.
How old are you? Have you been through menopause? Are you on any estrogen/progesterone supplements (birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy)? All of these and more can effect the accuracy of the results of TOTAL T3 and T4 tests.
TSH - 2.53 (range .34-5.60) By pre 1990 standards this is normal. In 2002 the normal level was changed to (0.3-3.0). This was adjusted again to (0.3-2.5) in 2006. Your lab facilites are out of touch with the NACB and A A C E standards today. Optimal TSH is 0.89-1.1 in range. You are not optimal.
T4 - .77 (range .61-1.12) There is an inherent 20% error in these lab results.. this doesn't include added error related to age, sex/gender, and dietary and hormonal supplement regimes. SO you have to take total T results with a grain of salt. The recommended test is the FREE T4 test which is independent of diet, age, and sex/gender result interference as well as only having 2.5-5% inherent instrumentation error. These error issues hold true to the Total T3 versus FT3 as well. Now that that is out of the way.. my chemist half is appeased.. NUMBER TIME! Your level and the given range puts you at 31% of the normal range. Optimal is 50-80 % of range in most cases. As you get older the optimal range lowers.
T3 - 105 (range 80-200) This puts you at 20.8% of normal range. This is also sub optimal.
So I think you may be on to something. You are suboptimal in your thyroid levels and if you are of childbearing age you need to get them up. Your approximate levels look balanced so i do not suspect adrenal dysfunction at this time. I do think you need additional testing. I recommend that you get tested for Hashimoto's thyroiditis as well as Free T3 and Free T4 levels run.
The Hashimoto's thyroiditis lab codes are TPOAb and TGAb. The Free T3 and Free T4 lab codes are some times referred to as FT3 and FT4. Your MD/lab facilities should know these tests if you write them down.
Now to make sure that you are not off in your nutrition, low B12, Ferritin, and vit D can cause or amplify hypothyroid symptoms, so it would be worth it to get your levels checked with a general metabolic panel and vit D, B12, and Ferritin added. Ferritin is not the same as iron. Your MD will have to write these added tests in so that they are included.
Good luck and I am sorry you are getting the MDum shuffle. Many of us went through 5 or more MDs til we found a keeper. Do not give up! Welcome to our board and this thyroid dysfunctional family. Hopefully we will be able to help you get the care you deserve.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
Thanks so much for your replies. It made me smile as I read them, just to know that I'm not crazy!!! I actually called another M.D. (not my normal D.O.) in my town and asked the nurse (a friend of mine) about my numbers. She told me the exact same thing about the ranges being lowered, and said that anyone with TSH over 2 who had symptoms should be treated. You have no idea the relief I felt!!! So I am going to switch docs and have made an appointment with the new one for next week. What really ticks me off is that my D.O. originally tested my thyroid over 2 years ago, when this all began and kept saying I was 'normal' although I know my TSH was over 2 at the time. He also tested me again this past June and said my TSH of 2.4 was 'normal'. My biggest issue is diarrhea and he repeatedly told me not to take Immodium - I was asking him how I was supposed to go to work and take care of my 3 kids (ages 12, 10 and 7). I'm soooo furious that I wasn't more demanding back then. I feel like I've pretty much wasted the last 2 years of my life feeling miserable. I'm so happy to have found a doctor that will actually take me seriously and not just look at me like I'm nuts. What kind of symptoms does everyone else have. Here's my rundown:
May of 2006 - started with weird diarrhea issues, always worse closer to my period, but very much 'running my life'
July 06 - had my gallbladder removed, this helped with the diarrhea initially, but I wasn't eating much at the time
August 06 - went on Nexium for reflux
Spring of 2007 - got the shingles - FUN!!!
April of 2008 - went off Nexium (stupid idea!), one month later the diarrhea issues returned with a vengence
June of 2008 - got back on my Nexium (2X per day) - still the issues continue
-tired alot, not much energy
-can't seem to get a deep breath (this has been attributed to LPR reflux??)
-hair loss (20-30 strands every morning - normal?)
-very dry skin on my feet
-occasional night sweats
-hot flashes, usually in the morning
-diarrhea, usually in the morning - sometimes about 20 minutes after I eat certain foods
-general stomach discomfort, gas, HUGE bloating
-weird pimples come and go on my thighs, never had these before???
-weight gain of 10 pounds (I haven't watched what I was eating very well though)
I don't know if these could all be related to thyroid, or just me getting older (I'm 34).
Thanks for your help - I'll let you know how my visit goes.
You are all wonderful!!!!!!!