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  • interpretation of test results

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    Old 03-31-2008, 09:04 PM   #1
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: Monroe, MI
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    marmie5575 HB User
    interpretation of test results

    Can someone help me interpret my test results? The numbers say that everything is in normal range, but how do I determine if they are optimal or not?
    I had to insist that my doc check my Free T3, as he has only checked T4 and TSH for the last 14 years. I have Hashimoto's and have anxiety, depression, insomnia, rapid heart beat, stress, etc.

    I only have 3 values as follows:
    T-4, free 1.4
    TSH, 3rd generation 0.80
    T3, free 275

    Just would like to know if these are really "optimal." I don't understand how to determine if they are or not.


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    Old 03-31-2008, 10:14 PM   #2
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    Re: interpretation of test results

    You have to know the ranges your lab uses for the free T4/3 tests. Without the ranges, you can't tell anything for sure.

    Most people need their free Ts to be at least 50% of the lab range. Others need them as high as 75%. In general, a balanced ratio of T4 to T3 is preferable, but nothing is set in stone. For example, my own FT4 is about 40% of its range; my FT3 is about 70%. I feel fine this way; for me, it's "optimal".

    To find out where your levels stand within their ranges, use this formula:

    1. Subtract the lower number of the range from the top number.
    2. Subtract the bottom number of the range from your result.
    3. Divide #2 by #1 and convert the resulting decimal number into a percentage.

    Here's a sample calculation using my lab's range of .8 - 1.8 for FT4 and my latest level of 1.2:

    1.8 - .8 = 1
    1.2 - .8 = .4
    .4 / 1 = .40 = 40%

    Your FT4 would be adequate for most people if my lab's range is used, but your FT3 would be low on the typical lab range of 230 - 420 pg/dL (also frequently expressed as 2.3 - 4.2 ng/dL). Using the calculation, your FT3 is less than 24% of its range... far less than the minimum 50% requirement. You'll have to figure out where you stand using the ranges provided on your lab report.

    Are you in treatment for hypothyroidism? If you are, what medicine are you using? If it's T4 only, without any T3, you might stand to benefit from adding T3 to your regimen.

    If you aren't being treated, you will have difficulty convincing an MD to let you have a trial of thyroid hormone, due to your mid-range FT4 and normal TSH. That isn't to say definitely your thyroid is completely normal; it only means you'll have the dickens of a time convincing a doctor of it.

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