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Old 03-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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Is Free T3 really that important?

Hey all, i need your expertise please. I'm pregnant and just found out that i'm slightly hypo. From everything i've been told by my doctors and reading, the most important number is the Free T4. I've been on Synthroid for 2 weeks and the Free T4 has increased slightly and my TSH has dropped slightly. They did not run Free T3s the first time, but did just now. My results:

TSH 3.11
FT4 1.2 (.8-1.8)
FT3 2.8 (2.3-4.2)

My question is, somebody on this board mentioned that your FT3s only drop when things get really bad. My levels in October were 2.6, so this is actually an improvement, but still the worst number here, in the 25th percentile of the range.

With my TSH and FT4 just borderline low, should i be worried that my FT3's are the worst number here? Why are they so low?

Any insight you can give me into how bad this is right now, especially since i'm pregnant, would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much!

 
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:38 PM   #2
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

Well, because I've had FT3 very similar to your test results, with my FT4 in the upper range, I began an experiment with adding compounded timed-release T3 hormone to my daily regimen. So far it has been an epic fail.

I am taking 88 mcg of Synthroid (T4)/day + 2 5 mcg compounded T3/day.

I am dropping weight too rapidly. I have tachycardia (rapid heart rate). My appetite has decreased and my digestive upsets happen more frequently. My heart frequently feels like it is skipping beats or going off rhythm.

At my last testing, after ingesting the additional T3 for 6 weeks, my FT3 number barely went up. So much for it helping me.

I am very close to ditching the entire T3 supplement and going back to my tried and true Synthroid only regimen.

I don't know what to tell you other than I wanted to give you my personal experience with the "experiment" of a daily T4/T3 regimen.

Last edited by futurehope0819; 03-09-2012 at 05:38 PM.

 
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

Thanks for your reply, it is very helpful. I've only been on Synthroid for two weeks, so i'm trying to be patient, but it's very hard. If i wasn't pregnant, i wouldn't be so obsessed with getting my numbers in optimal range as soon as possible.

 
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:57 PM   #4
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

FT4 is more important for your baby. FT3 matters more toward the way you feel.

Your FT4 isn't awful, so try not to obsess too much about it affecting the pregnancy negatively at this point. Just be sure to have regular 6-week thyroid checks, and make sure your MD allows you as many dose increases as it takes to get your TSH around or under 1 and your FT4 in the upper third of the range.

When is your next checkup?
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

Thanks, that makes me feel better. My next checkup is on Tuesday, but they said that they wouldn't test me again for another 4 week after that. I'm going to still ask and see if i can test Tuesday. I'd really like to get tested for antibodies, since neither of my doctors have done that yet.

 
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

So, i'm back after about 10 weeks of being on Synthroid. I just got new labs back and my FT3 has decreased quite a bit! I am now in the bottom 10% of the range at 2.4 and freaking out about my baby again!

I've been increasing my medication and am now at 75 mcg of synthroid and my FT3 is worse than ever! My FT4 hasn't changed at all and my TSH has barely budged from 3.11 to 2.9.

Please, can somebody tell me why my numbers are so bad after 10 weeks of treatment? I am trying to stay calm about the brain health of my baby, but it seems this medication is not getting me anywhere after 10 weeks and i don't know what to do anymore. Any ideas on where i should go from here?

 
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

Hi Lightyear,

I, too, tried to add Armour or Cytomel to my Synthroid as my FT3 numbers are the same as yours. It was also an epic fail like futurehope's experiment. I had the same exact issues and although my FT3 rose higher, I still didn't feel good and I think I was actually getting too hyper. I am back on Synthroid and had to raise it from 50 to 62.5 and now on my first week of 75 mcg.

If your TSH is at 2.9 and your FT4 didn't move, chances are you need to up your dosage from the dosage of your last labs. Not sure if you need to go to 88 or 100 mcg but clearly, like Midwest stated, it is your FT4 that's important and your TSH needs to be around 1-2.0. Pregnant women require more thyroid meds than if they weren't pregnant which is probably why your numbers aren't moving as fast. Stay with Synthroid for the time being and it may not be good to start adding T3 or Armour as it becomes a lot more difficult to titrate (i.e. which one to increase, which med to decrease, etc.). I don't think you have enough T4 in your system to convert to FT3 which is why the FT3 isn't budging.

Keep us in the loop. It will get better. Your doc may have to boost you to 100 mcg to get things moving.

 
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:06 AM   #8
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

Lightyear, try not to freak out too much. I think I was unknowingly hypothyroid during my pregnancy (I was before and I am now, so I can only imagine I was then) with levels worse than yours and my son is such a smart little thing. He just turned 2 and he knows all of his colours, letters and numbers. He even spells! So, while I think it may be dangerous to be overtly hypothyroid during pregnancy, I don't think your levels are super scary or anything. I also agree with Librarygirl that your body is probably using the T4 at a faster rate and that's why your blood levels are not great. Most women typically need a 50% dose increase during pregnancy from their pre-pregnancy levels. Since we don't know what your ideal pre-pregnancy dose was, you are going to have to keep increase your dose until that Free T4 comes up.
Sending lots of positive vibes for a happy and healthy pregnancy!

 
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:12 AM   #9
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

Thank you both so much! It makes sense what you're saying about the T4s. I was just switched up to 75mcg, so i know the doctor will want me to wait the full 4 weeks before testing again. But i feel like i know it's not gonna be enough for me, since i'm barely responding to the previous amounts and my numbers weren't even that high to begin with.

I can see that adding T3 may not be the best idea right now, but i feel like i need to do something else besides wait around for weeks until my next labs. I just can't believe that 10 weeks of treatment has gotten me nowhere. I feel like my baby deserves a better start than this and i have no control over anything.

Thanks for the advice, it does make sense. I will keep you all updated

 
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:59 AM   #10
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?o

I would love to know how everything turned out for you and your baby. I am pretty much in the same situation and pretty much same numbers! Tsh 3.32, ft4 1.16 (.9-1.8) and no ft3 yet but total t3 3 is 140 (range 70-170). 14 weeks pregnant and am on 5mcg levo and they'll be upping my dose based on last results. I was diagnosed at 7wk with tsh 4.65 (25mcg) dropped at 10wk to 3.28 and ft4 1.2 (increased to 5mcg) and has slightly risen since then to 3.32. So both have slightly dropped...my guess is pregnancy hormones are causing the fluctuation but I'm jus wanting to get leveled and in range!! Thanks for any advice. I also am worried about baby...but feel confident that my levels aren't too awful to cause problems for baby...but leave me with less thyroid and the symptoms (which I'm happy to sacrifice for a healthy LO!)

 
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:01 AM   #11
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

Sorry the dose should say 50mcg. Silly phone...

 
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #12
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Re: Is Free T3 really that important?

So you're getting an increase from 50 mcgs based on these latest results? Getting those levels right by midpregnancy can help reverse possible issues caused by low levels in the early days of the pregnancy so continue to keep a close eye on this.

 
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