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Old 08-28-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
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Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Hi There,

Last week I went to my md with symptoms that I thought were really just age. I have been increasingly fatigued for about 2 months. Just exhausted, constantly. I'm also very cold, even it's 80 degrees out. My md said it sounded thyroid, but I'd had a test done in March and it was normal. She retested.
So here goes:
March 2008 TSH = 1.4
March 2009 TSH = 1.3
August 2009 TSH = 2.4

I thought it was interesting that this value was steady for a year and then increased in the last few months, so I started googling. I seem to have Hypothyroid symptoms (my brain fog and confusion was something I was relating to how exhausted I've been so I didn't mentioin that to the doctor).
My doctor said that even with the increase in my TSH, I am well within normal of 0.4-4.0 (old range, right) but she did have me do a t3 and free t4.
T3 = 71 (is the current range 58-159 ng/dl?)
Free T4 = 0.99 (is the current range 0.70 - 1.48?)
I can't seem to find the normal ranges for these two, everything reads differently. Any help?
Also, do I appear normal then? What about my symptoms? Anything else it could be? I have Kaiser, so I my options are very limited if my doctor doesn't pursue things.
Edited to add:
I also found out I was slightly anemic. And I had the T3 and Free T4 on the 8th day of a 10 day Prednisone taper for an unrelated neck problem.
Any help, suggestions, information, whatever is appreciated!
Thanks so much!

Last edited by sandypaws; 08-28-2009 at 02:16 PM.

 
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:27 AM   #2
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandypaws View Post
I can't seem to find the normal ranges for these two, everything reads differently. Any help?
You need to ask your lab which ranges they use - ranges vary from lab to lab so you need to know the ranges used in your lab to be able to compare your labs to those specific ranges. If your free T's are in the bottom third of their ranges it's very likely your symptoms are thyroid related.

 
Old 08-28-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnMaid View Post
You need to ask your lab which ranges they use - .
Thanks FinnMaid. The values I gave are what my lab sheet had. I question it only because of the TSH range being the pre-2003 value. Also when I look up the T3 and Free T4 ranges, my lab seems to be much different.
Is there a recognized standard like the 0.3-3.0 for the TSH?
Thanks!

 
Old 08-28-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

TSH is not a helpful lab for diagnosing hypothyroidism. It can be different for most anyone and some are arguing that anything above 1 is considered hypo if you have accompanying symptoms. Mine only got as high as 3.01 and I had massive hypo symptoms. The really important tests are the free T3 and free T4. Not sure if your "T3" test was "free" or not but your Free T4 was only at 37% of its range. Most of us try to get our levels up into the top third of the range. You have classic signs and symptoms and need treatment. The next step is to find a doctor who will listen to you.

 
Old 08-31-2009, 09:00 AM   #5
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Anybody know of a good Kaiser doctor in San Diego?

Thank you!

 
Old 08-31-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

You might want to do a separate post for doc recommendation so it gets more attention. Good luck!

 
Old 08-31-2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Hi! My range for the T-3 (total) is 1.10-2.00 if yours is 71 that is LOW! What did he say about that, anything?? My range for FT4 is 0.80-1.80 you are low in that too but not as bad as the T-3. Some docs suck, don't they?

 
Old 09-01-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Thanks GravesGirl73.
My doctor hasn't said anything other than the results were within normal range. She hasn't addressed my symptoms at all. I'm going to have to do something though. I can't go on this tired, it's affecting everything in my life. I think I could live with my other symptoms, but the fatigue is horrendous.
And I'm scheduled for a triathlon in October and a Marathon in February! But now even the thought is exhausting.

 
Old 09-01-2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Awww, you poor thing...a triathlon ??? You need to get better to do that, that's for sure. Maybe you can see another doc?

 
Old 09-01-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

I received a letter from my doc today that said all my labs were "...normal. You do not have a thyroid disorder."
I then received a call from the nurse who said my doctor asked her to call and ask me what I thought about going on an anti-depressant!
I said if I was depressed, I might think that was a good idea, but since I'm NOT, perhaps figuring out what was going on with me was a better option.
I haven't heard back.
I've had the same doctor for about 20 years. I called today and got a new one. I see her on Friday. Anyone have information I can print that talks about optimal levels to feel good versus "normal limits"?

 
Old 09-02-2009, 05:36 AM   #11
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

I would think that being on Prednisone could suppress or change your levels, especially if you have Hashimoto's which is an autoimmune disease. Have you had your antibodies checked?

 
Old 09-02-2009, 09:59 AM   #12
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

So the same nurse called me this morning and told me that my doctor would like me to have some lab tests done to check for an auto-immune disorder!
Funny that you would mention that HereKittyKitty!
Do you think this antimbody testing is what she's ordered? Should I go this afternoon or should I fast and wait until morning? Does it matter?

Thank you!

 
Old 09-02-2009, 10:15 AM   #13
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Also, what do labs typically show with Hashimoto's? Do I fit with that?

 
Old 09-03-2009, 01:14 PM   #14
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

Turns out she didn't order thyroid antibody tests. She ordered Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Creatine Phosphokinase which I beleive has something to do with the heart. I was shocked. Why not run the freakin' thyroid antibodies!?! Would it kill her?

At the lab this morning they took a couple tubes of blood, and as I was talking to the guy and holding pressure on my arm, I broke into a sweat and suddenly felt faint. They wheeled me over to a bed and put ice and fans on me. I became nauseous after about 15 minutes and they called a doctor.

The doctor who came down happen to be my doctor and was surprised to see me. Then yelled at the nurse for calling a doctor instead of a nurse and left. I was there for about an hour lying down. Then the nurse said that since my blood pressure and blood sugar were normal my doctor said she didn't need to see me and I was free to go. (Boy I felt well cared for.)

I'm not sure what happened. I've never had a reaction like that to a blood draw. I even donate blood several times a year. I'm not squeamish. Just add this weirdness to my other symptoms I suppose...

 
Old 09-03-2009, 03:54 PM   #15
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Re: Reference Ranges...Confusing! Help?

That's too bad you didn't get the thyroid antibodies tested. Try to get them done at some point if you can.

I have fainting attacks from time to time when I'm stressed. I think it's because I have high cortisol levels due to longstanding hypothyroidism stressing my adrenals. Any kind of stress really does a number on me, even things I used to be able to handle just fine.

 
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