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  • THYROID- TSH w/reflex to FT4 level is 0.13

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    Old 02-27-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: Salem, OR
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    holbrook67 HB User
    THYROID- TSH w/reflex to FT4 level is 0.13

    Went in to chat w/ my fam. pract about some new symptoms.
    (History: 2001 total thyroidectomy) Sampled various thyroid meds for 3 years & finally ended upon Armour. First time since surgery I felt good. Started at 2- 60MG pills a day. In 2006 doctor changed dose to 3- 60MG pills s day. Suddenly everything was clear again. Felt good had great energy. Diet was working, etc. In the past 3 months I have been fatigued again. Gaining weight. Not sleeping well, dry rough skin with thinning hair. Went in this week to talk to the doctor. I could have sworn my levels were low.
    TSH w/reflex to FT4 level is 0.13
    T4, FREE 1.1

    I am totally confused. Doctor says I am hyper. Never been hyper before. Now doctor wants to lower my dose back to 2 - 60 MG pills a day. WHY? I was doing great before on the 3 - 60MG pills a day for years. Now I am gaining weight, etc. Doesn't make sense. Somebody please just lay it out there in terms easy for me to understand..

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    Old 02-28-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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    Re: THYROID- TSH w/reflex to FT4 level is 0.13

    You should be allowed to stay on the dose that makes you feel yourself, because you are NOT overmedicated. Basically, here's why:

    Most MDs treat hypothyroidism with synthetic levothyroxine (T4), like Synthroid. To his credit, your MD seems to believe in the benefits of Armour thyroid, which is a combination of T4 and T3, derived from pig thyroid glands. So far, so good.

    However, he must not understand the right way to prescribe Armour, or else he would know that TSH is totally unreliable for monitoring dosage. The T3 component of the med keeps TSH artificially suppressed. He should only be judging dosage needs by the free blood levels of both T4 and T3. So... His three main mistakes are: believing that nearly suppressed TSH always means overmedication; not understanding that free T4 below lab median isn't always optimal in every case; and not testing the free T3 level at all.

    I have been taking various brands of natural thyroid hormone containing T4 and T3 for 10 years. In all that time, my TSH hasn't been higher than .02, but my FT4/3 have never been excessive. Fortunately, my MD understands that TSH doesn't matter for someone taking Armour type meds and treats according to FT4/3 and symptoms only.

    Is this a new MD from the one who's been prescribing for you all these years? If he's new to your case and won't relent on the all-important issue of optimal dosing, you may have to find someone who understands natural thyroid better than he.

    I'd be fighting tooth and nail to stay on the dose that makes me feel best.
    Good luck!
    "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln

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