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Old 05-01-2009, 09:24 AM   #1
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What does my Reverse T3 mean

Hi- I have been so grateful to all the help I have gotten here... I have another question b/c I have my results back for Reverse T3.

My Reverse T3 is 138 ng/dl - the lab range is 11-32
My Free T3 is 2.5 - the lab range is 2.3-5.0
My Free T4 is 1.0 - the lab range is .89-1.76
MY TSH is 1.5 - the lab range is .3-5.5
My Total T3 is 113 - the lab range is 70-140
My TPO antibodies result was <10 - the lab range is 0-34
My Thyroglob Antibodies result was <20 - the lab range is <20

I have soooo many questions:

1. How can I have a "normal" total T3 but so little Free T3?
2. What does a crazy high Reverse T3 mean?
3. I saw a naturopath who gave me Armour (to start next week after I have taken Adrenal support herbs for a while) but should I be taking just straight T4. instead of something with T3 & T4 since I am not converting T4 (I think)
5. Am I hypothyroid?
6. What direction should I go in insofar as asking for treatment from my primary care or from the naturopath?

I am totally lost.

 
Old 05-01-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Hello? Can anyone please advise????

 
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:02 PM   #3
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Total tests are approximate measures of thyroid hormone levels. They are also biased by food, supplements, hormones, and more. On average there is a 20%.. deviation from the actual thyroid hormone value then when you add things like birth control pills, estrogen levels and more the deviation can be greater. Let's see if this matches.

Free T3 is 2.5 - 2.3-5.0 - (7.4 % of normal)
Total T3 is 113 - 70-140 - (61 % of normal)

Your Ft3 has an accuracy of +/-(2.5-5)%. This value you can trust. The Total T3.. you can not.

You are hypothyroid, but your TSH is suppressed. The RT3 level is HIGH. This indicates a failure to convert T4 to T3. Your actual thyroid hormone levels scream for supplementation. Your TSH.. isn't as cooperative. You would classify as subclinical hypoT by a MD that is thyroid savvy.

MG
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:46 AM   #4
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

So do I need T4 & T3 supplementation ie: Armour or just T3? I am starting 1 grain (30 in the AM and 30 in the PM of Armour) but will that just make the reverse T3 higher since my T4 is not converting?

I am totally lost and my resources around here (my primary care and my naturopath have not been of any real help).

 
Old 05-02-2009, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Try the Armour. You need both T4 and T3 right now. You may hit a stage where you need to stop with the Armour and add pure T4 OR T3 supplementation to balance your FT4 and Ft3 levels. But right now starting on Armour should show improvement. Starting off with one grain may be a bit much. I am not as familiar with Armour titration levels. Midwest would be a good one to PM and ask what a good starting regime to Armour would be. You may want to start slower with a quarter grain morning and evening then move up to half a grain morning and evening after you have adjusted to the half dosage. The only reason I recommend going slow is that some people react adversely to too much T3 at once.

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:15 AM   #6
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Hi, rmm, is that your doc ordered the tests for you? The lab is done when you don't take any meds?

You have RT3 dominance problem, some said that can be corrected by just take T3,Cytomel. Then until your RT3, the inactive T3, is cleared, the real and effective T3--FT3 level will be elevated. I don't have experience on it.

MG. "some people react adversely to too much T3 at once." Yes, that is almost described me...

Last edited by cutejenny77; 05-03-2009 at 04:21 AM.

 
Old 05-03-2009, 06:57 AM   #7
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutejenny77 View Post
Hi, rmm, is that your doc ordered the tests for you? The lab is done when you don't take any meds?

Yes, my primary care ordered these tests after I consulted with both she and a naturopath. My primary care doc won't prescribe me anything b/c my TSH is "normal" but at least she is willing to do lab work so I can bill my insurance. The naturopath I see won't prescribe cytomel- just armour or a compounded T3 which my insurance does not cover and I can't afford it. I hope the armour works b/c otherwise I am stuck in between a rock and a hard place... She also has me on adrenal support herbs/supplements b/c she says (the naturopath) that my adrenals are suffering. There was no testing to check this-- just symptoms... I don't really know what adrenals are all about and when I asked the ND to explain she didn't seem to be too able to explain what they do/why they are important etc... She seemed primarily interested in selling me stuff.

You have RT3 dominance problem, some said that can be corrected by just take T3,Cytomel. Then until your RT3, the inactive T3, is cleared, the real and effective T3--FT3 level will be elevated. I don't have experience on it.

MG. "some people react adversely to too much T3 at once." Yes, that is almost described me...

 
Old 05-03-2009, 06:58 AM   #8
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

MKGBrook- Thanks so much for your help... How do I find the person you suggested I contact?

 
Old 05-03-2009, 11:57 AM   #9
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Midwest will respond if you start a new post dealing with Armour and dosing.. hummm.. I would phrase it:

My MD started me on 1 grain of Armour is it too high a starting dose?

Post your MDs proposed dosing scheme along with your last lab work and ranges. Just stick to the RT3, TSH, FT3, FT4. The rest is extra. Midwest should reply to that post. The other option is to find a place where Midwest has replied and click on midwest. Then send her a personal message.

MG
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:46 PM   #10
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryThis View Post
Free T3 is not an accurate measure. Most T3 is 'made' at cellular level so the test can't really tell you that much.
Reverse T3, which is not metabolically useful is normally a natural by-product of T4 metabolism and acts to limit T3, the active thyroid molecule to just what you need. But, sometimes. the body, in response to stress, may convert too much T4 to RT3 and the result is inadequate T3, metabolic problems and symptoms of hypothroid.
Armour might not help overcome that. If symptoms don't improve, straight T3 (Cytomel or Cytomel in time-release form) might be an answer. By cutting off the supply of T4 that gets erroneously converted into RT3, it allows the body to return to the normal pattern of converting most of the T4 to active, not reverse T3.
If you're hypothyroid, you'll generally present a constellation of symptoms that might include some or all of the following: persistent low temperature, cold hands and feat to the point of painfulness, low heart rate, hi blood pressure, skin problems, cracked or ridged nails, depression, etc.
You can simply ask your practitioner if they treat sub-clinical hypothyroid (based on symptoms, not tests) using T3?
If they reject that idea or dance around it, I can tell you where you can see a list of MDs and NDs who are knowledgeable about this.
I sympathize with your plight. I was there for months myself, but am now succesfully dealing with it. You can too.

Hi, trythis, did you feel improved after taking t3, e.g. the body temp was elevated?

 
Old 05-07-2009, 09:59 AM   #11
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

TryThis,

Free T3 is the most accurate method of measuring T3 in our system. It has an accuracy of 2.5-5% with in the ACTUAL blood T3 levels. Now this doesn't say how much is getting taken into and used by the cells but it does tell you what is in the blood stream and available for immediate use.

The Total T3 is much worse that the Free T3 test. As a result you need to look at the best available and that is the FT3 test.

Now this test can tell you alot. If the result is not balanced with the FT4 test then there is an additional issue that needs to be addressed and further testing that should be applied. When the FT3 levels are over 10% higher than the Ft4 levels then there is an issue causing over conversion of T4 to T3. In the case that the Ft3 levels are more 10% lower than the Ft4 values you are most likely looking at a failed conversion mechanism in your liver causing and excess formation of Reverse T3.

It is important to find a MD that looks at more that your TSH and FT4 levels. You need one that looks at all your blood work and takes into account your symptoms as well. Finding such and MD is the true challenge. I am glad that you found a MD that works with you and is giving you the thyroid care that you deserve.

MG
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:46 AM   #12
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

In my case my FT3 is lower than my FT4... so does that mean that my liver is where the problem is and that it's not a thyroid issue?

I've been taking Armour for 3 days and the adrenal supplements the ND prescribed for 5 days as well. I can't really tell whether I feel better. I definitely feel less panicky/anxious and that may be a result of feeling like the ND listened to me. When should I expect to feel some effect from the Armour?

 
Old 05-07-2009, 11:25 AM   #13
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

My Free T3 is 2.5 - the lab range is 2.3-5.0 (7.4 % of normal range)
My Free T4 is 1.0 - the lab range is .89-1.76 (12.6% of normal range)

Your Ft3 is lower than your Ft4, but not exceptionally so. Your antibody tests were iffy. You may or may not have Hashimoto's. You do have a thyroid issues. OVERALL you are not making enough thyroid hormone. In addition to being low in BOTH your Ft3 and FT4 you have HIGH RT3 levels... SO when you start supplementing your thyroid you most likely will need to have a T4/T3 combination to optimize your Ft4 and Ft3 levels in the 50-80% of normal range and make your symptoms go away.

SO no it is not just a liver issue. You have a thyroid issue complicated by and RT3 over conversion issue.

MG
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:01 PM   #14
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Re: What does my Reverse T3 mean

Trythis, thank you for your experience...

I have ever read through wilson's syndrome's website, but not thoroughly. Did you have that process under doctor's prescription or you did it yourself? I saw some doctors on his list who were trained..

Now, have you gone back to T4 (synthyroid) and keep the optimal basal body temp? Or you go to Armour, T4+T3 combination?

It is said that Adrenal Fatigue will have something to do with it. Have you been treated as that?

My temp often goes under 98.6 C, and my RT3 is always about 0.56 (0.2-0.64), it is said that FT3 and RT3 ratio should be greater than 20. Mine is often around 8. I am not sure if I can do sth. on this.

Following is my newest lab.

FT3 4.77 (2.5-6.5)
FT4 18.2 (11.5-23.2)
RT3 0.56 (0.2-0.64)
TSH 0.60 (0.35-5.5)

Last edited by cutejenny77; 05-07-2009 at 11:04 PM.

 
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