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Old 05-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
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Sister's test results

My sister had some thyroid testing and I would like to get some advice from this community. They all are in the range.

TSH 1.76 and 1.9 Range: 0.45 - 4.5
they tested this twice

Free T4 2.2 Range: 1.2 - 4.9

Free T3 123 Range: 71 - 180

Antibody (Tg) less than 20 Range: 0-40

Antibody (TPO) 9 Range: 0-34

Thanks for your help.

 
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: Sister's test results

Her FT4 is low, about 27% of its range. Most healthy people have FT4 of at least 50%, many as high as 70%. Her FT3 is marginally below the range center, which is the minimum most people can tolerate.

But, with TSH as "normal" as that and no thyroid antibodies, she would have a difficult time getting a mainstream doctor to diagnose her.

I assume she hasn't been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. If she has been and takes replacement hormone, she would benefit from a dose increase.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Re: Sister's test results

No she has not been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Her biggest complaint is she is extremely fatigued. Our mother was recently diagnosed hypo and our older sister and our grandmother are on hypo medication so I encouraged her to get tested.

Thank you for the response.

 
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Sister's test results

I'm a little confused about the ranges. Are you outside of the US? Can you add the units of measurement? Some labs have wider ranges than others, so it's not always accurate to give a percentage of the range as a definition of hypothyroidism. There will be an optimal range but that's not necessarily the upper third in all cases where the upper limit goes quite high.
I used the word "range" a lot there!

 
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: Sister's test results

Quote:
Originally Posted by bee01 View Post
Some labs have wider ranges than others, so it's not always accurate to give a percentage of the range as a definition of hypothyroidism. There will be an optimal range but that's not necessarily the upper third in all cases where the upper limit goes quite high.
I used the word "range" a lot there!
No, not really. The test's result (your blood level) must be compared with the reference range that was used for that specific test. The percentage will be accurate when that result and ref range are used to calculate it. It would not be accurate at all to compare the blood result with some other lab's range.

Since you mention a strong family history, I would be much more inclined to think your sister's low FT4 and small TPO titer is an early indication of impending trouble. She can try getting a diagnosis now, but I have to warn you that it will be difficult. If she can find a doctor who's well-versed in prescribing natural thyroid med or Cytomel, she may have a better chance getting treated now. Some people have found such doctors by asking pharmacists who sends them natural thyroid scripts.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: Sister's test results

Midwest- each lab creates its own ranges. For example, though my lab has a range for FT3 that goes down to 1.8, the range for quest labs starts at 2.3. Just as there are adjustments in lab range for TSH from 0.5-5.5 to 0.3-3, you may be at the top of the range with one lab and mid-range with another.

Diagnostic Automotion has a range for FT3 that is 140-420 pg/dL, yet the NACB advises a higher reference range of 200-500 pg/dL. Since each lab may use different "test populations," sometimes there are discrepancies. I wouldn't be below range in FT3 at my local lab but I would be if I sent my blood work into Quest Labs. Dr. Ken Woliner gives a good explanation of this.

 
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: Sister's test results

Quote:
I wouldn't be below range in FT3 at my local lab but I would be if I sent my blood work into Quest Labs.
That's exactly what I'm saying... Why your result must be taken in context of the lab range it's included in. Then, it will be an accurate representation of the percentile figure.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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Re: Sister's test results

I think we're sort of saying the same thing. However, if every lab used the same diagnostic method, the same units and the same "healthy" population control, there would still be different lab ranges. I don't know how they determine the cutoff point and why one lab will have an FT3 range of 1.8-4.2 pg/mL and another 2-6. However, given the fact that they use the same units, if you submitted the same blood sample to both labs, you might be at the top of the range in one and over the range in the other. In this case, she might be closer to the 50th percentile had she had her blood tested at my lab but since the lab range goes so high, she is closer to the bottom. I'm merely trying to determine if she is using the same units of measurement as most American labs.

 
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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Re: Sister's test results

Either way, the lab numbers look strange to me, I've never seen an FT4 range go up to 4.9. That's why I'm wondering if the units are different. And the FT3 range looks more like the range for TT3 in the US.

 
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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Re: Sister's test results

Hi bee01 -

Perhaps what you are not understanding is that different labs use different "kits" for testing. (It's a chemistry thing that I can't really explain. ).

Each lab's "kit" will have different ranges that are unique to their method of testing.

As Midwest said, the percentile result and range will be individual to each lab. Sending the same blood sample to 2 different labs will give you an accurate percentile result based on their range only.

I hope this helps you understand why lab ranges differ so much and also why we must have the ranges along with results to interpret them correctly.


 
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:36 AM   #11
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Re: Sister's test results

Actually, the basis of my confusion stemmed from the fact that the range given was for FTI, not FT4. And the FT3 appears to be TT3.

 
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