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Old 07-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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viewtoakill HB User
HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

So my Dr. isn't much help. I will most likely pay out of pocket for an alternative, but wanted to run it by you guys!

Dr. did a TSH test monday that came back at 1.7. Low vitamin D, hi triglycerides, high cholesterol (i am vegan and it's always been really low until now)

I then went to a lab to get freeT3 and freeT4

Their TSH came back at 2.4 (3 days later??)

and...

LOW Free T4 .81 Range(.89-1.76)
HIGH Free T3 4.9 Range(1.8-4.2)

I went for HYPO symptoms, weight gain, low libido, thinning hair, weak. So what the heck do these mean???

Thanks!!

 
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Re: HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

I'm very new to thyroid problems so I really won't be much help but wanted to show you my support. My first labs taken July 10th my FT3 was 3.8 (range 1.5-3.5) FT4 was 0.6 (range 0.6-1.5) my TSH was 0.058 (range 0.400-4.200). Mine are similar to yours except my TSH was low. I was told I have T3 toxicosis. I hope you are able to
find some answers. There are some very knowledgable people here . Good luck!

 
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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Re: HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

Welcome!

Sorry for the reason you're here but, glad you found us.

Please know that TSH stands for "thyroid stimulating hormone" and is produced by the pituitary gland in response to the body's needs for thyroid hormone (T4 & T3)

TSH production fluctuates throughout the day and from day-to-day in the body's efforts to maintain stable thyroid hormone levels.

I'm sure you can now figure out that TSH levels might provide an *inclination* as to what's going on with the thyroid.

Just so you know, TSH 2.0 or higher is suspect for hypothyroidism (and healthy people have TSH 1.0-1.5 tops). The fact that both TSH level checks you had were higher than what a healthy person would have indicates that you might be dealing with hypothyroidism.

The most reliable indicators of thyroid status are the actual thyroid hormone levels - FreeT4 and FreeT3.

As you can see, your FreeT4 level is below the bottom end of the normal range - this indicates hypothyroidism.

Now, your FreeT3 level is obviously above the high end of the range....and I'll explain how that can happen.

T4 is our storage hormone and our bodies convert it to T3, the active hormone. The levels of hormone that are available for the body's use are the FreeT4 and FreeT3, respectively.

Sometimes, when the body doesn't have adequate stores of T4 (as measured by the FreeT4 level), it will "overconvert" as much T4 as possible into T3 (as measured by the FreeT3 level).

This way, it stands a chance of having as much active hormone as possible to meet its needs.

Based upon that below-range FreeT4 level, you need a T4 supplement (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid or their generic levothyroxine).

I hope you can find a better doctor.

These are the suggestions I have to offer re finding a thyroid-savvy doctor:

1. networking
2. check the Top Thyroid Doctors site for a listing in your area
3. ask local pharmacists (not the counter help) for names of doctors that prescribe Cytomel. Doctors that Rx Cytomel tend to be more thyroid-savvy
4. contact the Broda Barnes Foundation and pay ~$18 to get an information packet that includes a list of doctors in your state who follow Dr. Barnes' ideology (Dr. Barnes was the author of "Hypothyroidism - An Unsuspected Illness" and was lightyears ahead of his time)

Idea #1 worked for me....the other ideas have worked for others. I hope one works for you.
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Last edited by sammy64; 07-28-2012 at 02:50 PM.

 
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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Re: HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

Thanks so much! I tried to find information online but I got a little confused Your explanation was what I needed! I guess it is time to stalk a real Dr. In all fairness the original Dr. who did the TSH was just my gyno, I wanted to see if there was a need to seek another before I did so.

 
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Re: HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

Hey Sammy,

The Dr. I went to put me on Armour, he gave me a choice, but said that was his best bet. I am one one pill in the morning, have been for about a week. No difference except I am a little more tired (never really one of my symptoms) Is this because I should JUST be on a T4 not a mix? Thanks!

 
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:41 PM   #6
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Re: HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

Hey Sammy,

The Dr. I went to put me on Armour, he gave me a choice, but said that was his best bet. I am one one pill in the morning, have been for about a week. No difference except I am a little more tired (never really one of my symptoms) Is this because I should JUST be on a T4 not a mix? Thanks!

 
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:44 AM   #7
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Re: HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

Armour was the first-ever thyroid hormone preparation and is made from porcine thyroid which has a larger proportion of T3 than T4 compared to human thyroid. People who take Armour will have a FreeT3 level that is proportionately higher in the range than the FreeT4 level.

Obviously, this is what you have already......and really need to increase your FreeT4 level and decrease your FreeT3 level.

However, when Armour was the only preparation out there, I'm sure there were people in your situation (and no one knew because there were no thyroid blood tests back then, either - doctors diagnosed and treated based upon symptoms).

It might work.....and it might not work.

No matter what, starting thyroid hormone isn't like taking aspirin for a headache - there's no quick fix. We all have to start off slowly and have our doses adjusted as symptoms and labs dictate. Unfortunately, it can take easily 6 months and usually closer to a year for our levels to be optimized. In the meantime, we can have an improvement of some symptoms, a worsening of others and/or the development of new ones. The tiredness could be the development of a new symptom.

Only time will tell if Armour will work for you. You just might want to have a backup plan in the form of another doctor - one that would consider a T4 only med since that seems to be more of what you need.

In the meantime, I suggest you keep a symptoms journal as it relates to labs. Awhile back, someone asked me to share what I did with my journal - you might find it helpful. I'll post it separately for clarity.

Best of luck to you moving forward!
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Last edited by sammy64; 08-10-2012 at 06:03 AM.

 
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:48 AM   #8
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Re: HELP! high free T3, Low free T4, normal TSH??

I can tell you that keeping a journal was key towards identifying my optimal levels.

I soon realized that noting "feeling good" or "not feeling good" on my lab reports wasn't enough.

I maintained separate Word documents that covered the period of time in between labs. This way, each document represented what was going on with me in relation to whatever dose(s) I was taking at the time.

I would title each document with a date range that reflected the date of the most recent labs and the date of my upcoming labs.

My daily entries weren't particularly long and they were based upon what symptoms I might have been dealing with at the particular time.

Even though I had easily 30 symptoms during the early months of the meds titration process, many of those dissipated once my FreeT4/T3 levels were above mid-range.

This confirmed for me that I was like many people in the fact that I needed both my FreeT4/T3 levels above mid-range to feel well.

I was then dealing with a cluster of fluctuating symptoms. Watching the patterns that developed after a dose increase helped me to realize that my levels weren't necessarily optimal just yet.

This period of time often showed an improvement of symptoms after a dose increase....and then a worsening of some before the time of my next labs. This is a typical experience that tells us our dose(s) and levels still aren't optimal.

Since each of us has his/her own typical cluster of symptoms, it makes sense to note only what applies to the individual.

Therefore, my journal consisted of daily notes about the quality of my sleep, digestion, energy level, strength, stamina and mental function.

I would also note anything that might have been going on that particular day that could have affected how I felt.

An example of this would be noting the chills I had at night and also noting I attended my son's hockey game and/or it was below-freezing outside. I certainly don't want to blame my thyroid for everything

You can only imagine my excitement when my journal entries only consisted of improvements. This was a sign that the labs I had 6 wks. after starting the particular doses could very well be my optimal.

Sure enough, my FT4 level came back around 90% of range (my optimal FT4 is higher than the 60-80% of range most people need to be symptom-free) and my FT3 level at 75% of range (typical for most people)

Moving forward from there, I continued to make occasional notes only if something questionable was going on. I found that there could be many days when I didn't make entries.

There were times when I found the need to make more entries because my digestion was slowing down or my sleep quality had deteriorated. Sure enough, those upcoming labs showed my FT4/FT3 levels to be lower in the range than the levels I had when I was symptom-free.

I had two times during the meds titration process when my levels optimized and I was symptom-free for about 3 months.

By sharing my journal with my doctor as it related to my labs and the times I felt best, she accepted my determination about my optimal levels.

Since my thyroid has been somewhat erratic, my doctor has me get labs every 6 wks. She has adjusted my doses (I take T3 & T4) to maintain my optimal levels.

This has kept me symptom-free and I feel awesome.

I share this with you in the hopes that it might help you to feel the same.
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