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Old 01-29-2009, 01:38 PM   #1
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My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

(ok, you need to know I live in Italy)

I've been feeling so-so, and it is time for new blood tests.
The last time I did my tests I went to my gp, and TWO endocrinologists.....

My T3 was low, and ALL of them told me that I shouldn't worry about it.
When I said, "But it has been stable for years and now it has dropped"... they suggested that the clinic I go to is not reliable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I armed myself with a lists of tests and was DETERMINED TO GET MY WAY and get the dr to write a request for a full spectrum of tests including the T3 Uptake.

My gp said he had never heard of it.
He looked in the catalogue from the clinic ... it wasn't listed,
he called the clinic and they didn't know what he was talking about (who knows who he spoke to - perhaps the receptionist....)

When I insisted that it did exist he did a quick search on the internet and said, well, it is related to the liver so we'll do a test for your liver.

I had a total melt down and starting crying (to be fair, this has been building for a while and his reply was the last straw).

I've been suffering from a RED face and nose - which get hot and my skin burns. I have no idea what this is, but it is hugely upsetting and embarrassing too.
It comes and goes - is often worse after I eat, or if I feel agitated.

I don't know what is causing it - it may or may not be T3 related - but the fact that I couldn't get the test just makes me want to scream.

I have sent an email to my endocrinologist (one of them!) and I asked him who around here does it and what it is called in Italian.

In the meantime, I also did my own search on the net and found a clinic (in Rome, but I'm in Milan) that does it - so I know FOR SURE it exists in Italy. In fact I never truly doubted that it did. I know my gp isn't a specialist, but ..........

I'm just totally fed up.

Thank you for listening.

 
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

The T3 uptake test has nothing at all to do with your blood level of T3. Stop making yourself crazy trying to get it. It's a useless test anyway.

The test you want is the measurement of your "free T3" level... also known as "free triiodothyronine". Second best would be the "total T3" test.

Last edited by midwest1; 01-29-2009 at 01:47 PM.

 
Old 01-29-2009, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

Doesn't the T3 uptake let you know if you are actually making use of the T3 you have in your blood? What you are actually getting to use? That's what I've understood.

I know everyone here is a volonteer and trying to be helpful - but I would sort of expect that senior vetrans would be on the same page.....

Believe me, I don't mean to be argumentative - in a way I would be perfectly happy to let it go.... but I'm confused and getting opposite feedback here.


I got this reply a while back....


Your T3 levels are out of range.. -12.8% to be exact! This result recommends that your adrenal and T4 to T3 conversion be checked by any thyroid savvy MD. You need an MD that is willing to consider the need for T3.

Your Ft4 levels are at 49% in range. This is the only thing keeping you feeling Okay. Personally I like to feel great.. not Blah! Okay always makes me think Blah!

Until you get T3 in you system you are going to have issues. You need your ACTH, Cortisol, Aldosterone and any other adrenal hormone test they will toss in the pot for you done as well as conversion testing (T3 Uptake and RT3). If the cortisol or RT3 come back high.. you need T3 with out a doubt.

Look for an integrative medicine practice and try and get an internal medicine/endo. The IM will be easier to find. This was the only way I got treated as a whole person and all my issues looked at. Every one else ignored me because my pituitary gland was not working properly and my TSH stayed below the 2.5 magic limit.

Last edited by cas29; 01-29-2009 at 01:53 PM.

 
Old 01-29-2009, 02:04 PM   #4
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

The T3 uptake is an older test which used to help them estimate the level of Free T4 in the bloodstream. It was part of a calculation. The T3 Uptake does not measure the amount of T3 in your blood. It's a very confusing name is all. It was back when it was way to expensive to directly measure the true level of Free T4. Now it's not so expensive to measure the Free T4, so they use TSH and Free T4 as the initial screening for thyroid dysfunction. To round that out, an expensive Free T3 can be added or as midwest stated, a Total T3 will do in a pinch cause it's a lot cheaper.

The old thyroid panel consisted of TSH, Total T4, T3 Uptake and Free Thyroxine Index. It's no longer used very often because it isn't as accurate. The results would tell you what the TSH level was, the Total T4 and an estimate of the Free T4. That's it. There's very few, rare situations where T3 Uptake needs to be measured.

Does that make more sense?

 
Old 01-29-2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

Yes, it does make more sense, thank you accessn12.
Thank you too, midwest1, I know I didn't sound very appreciative in my previous post... please put it down to frustration and confusion...and having an horrbly uncomfortable face.

I always get the free T3 and free T4 in my round of tests

I will stop fussing and go to bed now....



But I w

 
Old 01-29-2009, 03:48 PM   #6
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

Cas,
Have you ever looked into the symptoms of Rosacea? The redness you describe sounds like it.

Last edited by GravesGirl73; 01-29-2009 at 03:49 PM.

 
Old 01-30-2009, 03:02 AM   #7
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

We all get frustrated and we all get confused. This whole thing is a learning experience for everybody here, senior vets included, and we should be brought up short and asked to explain when something that's said does not make sense.

Being a senior vet only infers that we've been playing the game for a longer period of time and are willing to write about it to rack up our points. We've picked up a few tidbits on the way and are able to share some of our own experience. Often times we're right. Sometimes we're wrong and none of us has followed the exact same course. What we share is what we know or what we believe. You will find your own path and what works best for you.

If your path leads to a good nights sleep, so be it. I hope you rested well.

 
Old 01-30-2009, 11:13 AM   #8
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

Yes, I'm looking into rosacea. I am due for blood work anyway, so I'm taking the opportunity to get a lot of things tested.

I do appreciate that everyone here is a volonteer and that no one is a doctor.
I've worked as a moderator on similar forums and I know what it is like. I was a bit techty yesterday.
Fortunately I did have a good sleep, and I feel I'm walking a better path today.

Thanks very much.

 
Old 01-30-2009, 01:04 PM   #9
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

Cas-I well understand your frustration trying to get things figured out. It is a long process! That is how it has been for me too. I am low in free t3 always and still trying to figure out what to do about that.I have hypothyroid due to hashimoto's. I too have suffered from the red face thing. It came on me in the past yr and a half quite dramatically and abruptly. As you said, in times of stress , my face becomes almost sunburn looking with little measles like bumps.Also this can happed if I take too long and too hot a shower. Also, if I have any wine/beer or sometimes hot drinks--tea, hot chocolate , whatever. And it will take several days to quiet down. My dermatologist said it is rosacea and scripted Noritate , it is metronidazole. This medicated cream is a standard rosacea treatment but it aggravated my condition. Instead the dr. said when the redness happens use a low dose hyrocortisone 1%cream. This can be picked up without a prescription. The hydrocortisone cream helps alot-I use it one time a day only when I have a flare up and it slowly quiets things down. And, I try to avoid anything that irritates my face like hot drinks, alcohol, hot showers,etc.About the stress triggers-that would generally be dr. appts. I have tried to find drs. that I get along with better rather than the domineering , authoritarian types. I am trying to put things in better perspective, eat better, exercise etc. My dermatologist says that most people pass through the rosacea in a year or two . She said this happened to her and to many of her patients . Ciao.

 
Old 01-31-2009, 12:13 AM   #10
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

I am hypothyroid due to hashimoto's too. My t3 just started being low recently and the red face thing started very gradually in the last six months (a bit after the drop in t3) - they could be connected - or it could be menopausal...or it could be stress.
I don't have any bumps, just the redness and it burns.

Wine/beer and coffee seem to make it worse, so I'm eliminating the first and cutting back on the second. If I cut out caffeine completely I end up with major headaches.... but gradually I'm reducing.

I have cortisone creams around for other reasons, what I've been using this week is a herbal rose-petal cream that is very soothing and calms the redness.
The stress triggers are hard to avoid as they are work related and I run my own business. I'm working on it.

And of course I should be exercising, no doubt about that.
I really hope this doens't go on for years.......really.

Thanks for sharing your story and good luck to you!

 
Old 01-31-2009, 11:53 AM   #11
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

cas-I believe my rosacea is menopausal and autoimmune related. The redness to the point of looking like a sunburn happened first. This was on and off with stress/certain trigger foods for about a year. Then when I had a thyroid biopsy for a 3cm mass, there was so much pain and I was really stressed then the bumps started. After the biopsy procedure, I went to use the bathroom and I looked sunburned with about 10 measles like bumps. Needless to say I was pretty shocked by the sight of my face. It took a matter of hours for the redness to lessen, then the bumps took a few days to go away. That started the bumps phase of my rosacea. Now if I have a major redness occur, there will be about 5 bumps. The food part is easy, just cut out the trigger food or live with the consequences. The stress induced rosacea flare--now that is tough as you said. That is a larger project and takes a resolve to lighten the stress-to determine what is causing this stress/anxiety maybe fear and then finding ways to deal with it differently than I was doing. It is a big project. I have found meditation most helpful but still am dealing with the rosacea for now.
What are you going to do about your t3 project/concern now?Are you going to pursue additional testing? With my low t3, I am investigating ways to get some small amount of t3 added to my t4. There is a book that you may be interested in reading--What your Doctor may not tell you about Hypothyroidism-- by Ken Blanchard M.D. His approach is to use 2%t3 and 98%t4. In his book he writes about different ways to accomplish this. I have tried cytomel which is a synthetic t3 and even at a miniscule dose of 2.5mcg it was overwhelming to my system-it felt like several cups of strong coffee-very unpleasant. As t3 is the active form of t4, it is like a rush to the system and others too write about heart palpitations, racing pulse, etc with t3. Dr. Blanchard writes about using a time released t3 that would need to be made up at a compounding pharmacist. This is what I need to pursue with my dr. I think she will be negative on this because the medical establishment here has a distrust of the compounding pharmacies. Another way to get the t3 is to use a small amount of armour, which is a thyroid medicine made from dessicated pig gland. I simply cannot see using armour becuase I do not want to consume dessicated pig gland. Others take it and many like it.My concern is the antibiotics and hormones that are in the pigs. Dr. Blanchard also writes about some people having an allergic type response to armour--and notes that people with hashimoto's seem more prone to this.

 
Old 02-01-2009, 01:46 AM   #12
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Re: My gp doesn't think the T3 uptake test exists.......

For the moment I've eliminated any wine and beer. I haven't noticed any specific foods causing my reaction, but I think maybe msg is an issue. (I noticed a flare up after eating a dish using broth powder, and it had msg....however the dish also had liver which might have been the trigger. I will have to figure it out - I think salamis might also be a problem as I've noticed problems after eating cold-cut sandwiches at lunch. I believe I'll start a food diary.)

For the moment the herbal remedies are a godsend. I'll have the blood tests next week at the first opportunity and should have my results by Friday or Monday and then back to the doctor.


I will prepare a list of questions.

Stress is tough - in some ways I do much better than a couple of years ago - but I think maybe the combo of probably hitting menopause (I'm not sure as I had a hysterectomy a few years ago so the most obvious signs are not there for me!), and thyroid, and stress and doing me in.

I'm working on it. Breathing exercises are helping a bit.

I have very low hopes of getting to work with a compounding pharmasist -I am beating my head against the wall just to have the drs say YES, T3 is low.

I know of the book you mention - I also have some others that are in a similar vein by Mary Shomon.
The medical community here is very skeptical of any patient who is there own advocate, and they just want you to follow orders and not ask any questions. It drives me nuts.

One step at a time..... blood tests first.
I'm quite curious to see what the readings will be.

Thanks again for telling me about your situation - take care,
C

 
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