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  • Which Blood Tests Should I have Had?

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    Old 01-26-2010, 03:03 AM   #1
    Katayeth
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    Which Blood Tests Should I have Had?

    Hi!

    About 10 years ago I was diagnosed (eventually) with Graves Disease which resulted in radio-active iodine treatment and all appeared well.

    I have been back each year to my doctors for a blood test to check everything is still fine and have been told every time that all is normal.

    The last 6 months I havent been feeling right - putting on weight despite exercising, very anxious and depressed...various other symptoms which I know from last time are thyroid-related. I also have a slight goitre which I can see and other people have commented on.

    So I went for another blood test and have just had the results - all normal. I asked what was tested and was told TSH level which was normal at 1.4. I asked about T3 and T4 levels and was told that no, they dont test for those.

    So my question is....should those levels be tested? Even if my TSH levels are considered normal does that mean my thyroid is working properly?

    Many thanks in advance for your replies.

    Updated: Went back to doctors - they apologised - incorrect tests requested and will be retested for T3/T4 levels

    Last edited by Katayeth; 01-26-2010 at 05:34 AM. Reason: Updated

     
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    Old 01-26-2010, 06:32 AM   #2
    javelina
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    Re: Which Blood Tests Should I have Had?

    I hope those are Free T3 and Free T4. Total T3/T4 tests are not sensitive enough to find low levels of active hormone. TSH is not a good test for hypothyroidism, which it sounds like you have.

    For a good thyroid workup you should have free T3, free T4, ferritin, vitamin B12 and D. The vitamin and ferritin tests are important because we are often low in these and low levels will cause symptoms and interfere with treatment.

     
    Old 01-28-2010, 03:10 AM   #3
    Katayeth
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    Re: Which Blood Tests Should I have Had?

    Well....my results are back....TSH levels are 1.4, T4 level is 15.7 and T3 is 4.9. My doctor says my T4 levels are within the normal range and no further action is necessary.

    I have always thought that normal levels for T4 are between 4-11?

    Can anyone enlighten me?

    Many thanks

     
    Old 01-28-2010, 07:23 AM   #4
    javelina
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    Re: Which Blood Tests Should I have Had?

    Do those T3 and T4 tests specify "free" on them? Again if they are not "free" tests they are not sensitive enough because they measure both bound and unbound levels of thyroid hormone in the blood. It's the unbound or "free" levels that are actually available that we need to measure and these will be what determines in you are hypo or not.

    Take another look at your labs. If they do not specifically say "free" then go back and ask once again for the right tests. You definitely sound hypo and you need to determine your actual hormone levels and will probably need to get some hormone replacement. Also post the reference ranges that came with the tests (these can vary from lab to lab).

    Have you had your thyroid untrasounded? If you've got a goiter you may also have nodules and you need to have them imaged to make sure they are not too big.

     
    Old 01-28-2010, 08:01 AM   #5
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    Re: Which Blood Tests Should I have Had?

    What is ferritin? How can it be treated is it is "out of whack"?

     
    Old 01-28-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
    javelina
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    Re: Which Blood Tests Should I have Had?

    Ferritin is the storage protein for iron. Even if your blood iron levels are OK, one should test ferritin because if it's low then you are low in iron stores. You have to take iron to correct low ferritin and this can take a while. A good level for ferritin is 70-100. If you are already taking iron in suppliments then you need to stop them for 5 days before testing.

     
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