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Low T4 AND low TSH? What does this mean?

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Old 09-11-2004, 12:25 AM   #1
Simon Clarke
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 24
Simon Clarke HB User
Angry Low T4 AND low TSH? What does this mean?

My recent TFT showed some very strange results, not seen before in the three years since I was diagnosed a HypoT

T4 : 9.4 (suggesting I'm under-prescribed with Thyroxine meds)

TSH : <0.01 (suggesting I'm massively over-prescribed)

GP dismissed them as 'rogue' so ordered a new test. Same results! He has now dropped my T4 meds and I must get another test in 6 weeks time.

Also over the last three months I have put on two stone in weight and developed severe pain in my wrists, elbows and ankles - which my GP says is unrelated to my Thyroid results!

What could cause these readings?

All suggestions welcome, that you.

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Old 09-11-2004, 06:07 AM   #2
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Re: Low T4 AND low TSH? What does this mean?

Simon, it's my understanding that once you being treatment TSH is meaningless. In fact, many on these boards have their TSH supressed, pretty much as yours appears. What matters at this point are the Free T4 and FreeT3 numbers; these are your thyroid hormones (TSH is a pituitary hormone). Treatment should be based on FT numbers, not TSH.

The fact that you still have hypoT symptoms just reinforces this. If the doctor doesn't know this and wont listen I would suggest you find one who does. From your weight comment (stone) I suspect you're not in North America - I don't know how it works outside of NA but advice here is to seek out a naturopath or osteopath, a doctor who will treat the symptoms and not just the lab results.

BTW, those symptoms ARE associated with HypoT. Check out the information archive (stuck up top of this forum) for symptoms. You'll also find some good advice on which tests are needed and how to get them from your doctor - and how to interview a new doctor

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Old 09-11-2004, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: Low T4 AND low TSH? What does this mean?

While it is true that TSH means nothing in and of itself, it could be very relavent in your case. A low TSH and t4 (were your frees done?) could be suggestive of secondary hypothyroidism. Did your doctor check your pituitary gland?
I don't think your doctor knows very much about hypothyroidism. If he did, he would not have decreased your meds unless you were having hyper symptoms. My advice to you ( for what it's worth) is to get a second opinion.
Your doctor seems to look at the #'s only. He certainly doesn't look at your symptoms.
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