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Please help interpret labs...ty

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Old 03-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #1
fallin apart
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Please help interpret labs...ty

So, some background first.
Started on synthroid when OB-GYN ran some labs about 8 or 9 years ago. Was on 50 mcg all those years. But I gained about a pound a month since then matter what I do (for a total of about 75 or 80 pounds)!
Then I grew a nodule which my regular doc found in routine check up. Did ultra sound and for 2 years and this year it had doubled. They tried to do a needle biopsy twice without success. So, I had my right half of my thyroid removed July 2013 for 2cm+ nodule, turned out non cancerous (it was a birth defect).
Since then, I have learned sooo much more about hypo and hyper thyroidism...thanks for the most part to this site.
When my endo could not get my labs "normal" with synthroid I asked to switch to Armour Thyroid. She gave me 90 (mg) tab which I have been taking 8.5 weeks now.
But I still don't think I am "right"...irritable, dry skin, "pregnancy" mask (and my baby is almost 14 now!)
Here are my labs:
T3 --- 4.8 (normal = 2.18 to 3.98)
TSH --- 1.1 (normal = .36 to 3.74)
Free T4 --- .85 (normal = .7 - 1.5)

Her RN told me she wants me to continue on current script until my appointment which is not for another 6 weeks.
So I am hoping someone can interpret these numbers for me :0)
Keep in mind I am on Armour Thyroid (it provides 38 mcg levothyroxine (T4) and 9 mcg liothyronine (T3) per grain of thyroid and one grain = 60 mg)

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:59 AM   #2
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Re: Please help interpret labs...ty

I'd like to see what others think about your results, but I find a bit strange that your T3 be pretty high with your FT4 on the lower end.

I've read a few times how some doctors are against dessicated thyroid because porcine thyroid has more T3 and less T4 than what humans need. I can't say if this could be the source of your problems but it might be worth trying to cut a bit from your armour and adding a small amount of T4? Really guessing here :/

Might want to look into other deficiencies that can affect the thyroid too (tired adrenals, low vit D, low iron...). I've also heard that people with elevated Anti-TPO (hashimoto's for example) can still feel hypo even with perfect lab results. In this case I believe things can be done to regulate the immune system to see if this helps (selenium, special diets, some medications I believe)

Finally, I've heard from a lot of people that the thyroid is slow to adapt. Some take a year or even more to slowly climb back up and feel 100%. Still, I'd like to hear what others are thinking.

Old 03-21-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Re: Please help interpret labs...ty

Because of the elevated T3, it's not unreasonable to wait until your next visit, have labs done, then see where you are. However... It appears that it was your total T3 that was tested, not free T3? If you take estrogen in the form of birth control or for other reasons, that might elevate thyroid binding globulin, which would cause a false elevation of total T4 and/or total T3. The free T3 and free T4 tests are the ones that must be used to monitor blood levels.

That said, your TSH seems too high for someone taking Armour. The optimal dose of natural thyroid suppresses TSH far below 1. My own TSH hasn't been above .02 for nearly 10 years. The TSH test becomes moot for us folks, and it should never be used as the guide to optimal natural hormone dosage.

You are still in the titration process on natural hormone, so you may have to be patient until you get everything adjusted just right. It takes time, so be prepared not to feel completely yourself for a while.
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln

Old 04-10-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
fallin apart
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Re: Please help interpret labs...ty

Thanks for all your thoughts. I too am confused as to why the t4 would be low when the T3 is high. As for whether it is a T3 total or FREE T3, I am guessing it is the total since the lab just says T3 (the T4 says FREE t4).
I'm not on birth control, but I DO take 10 days of PROGESTERONE each month if I do not have a period (to kind of jump start my body). Wonder if that could effect it? I do sometimes have low iron and I am sooo tired...time to break out those multivitamins again and see if they help. As for Vitamin D, never had it checked but I am out driving all day long and to be sure I get plenty of sun through the windshield.

Just located my old labs from January...pre Armour (I was on synthroid)
Total T3 .... 110 (normal = 76 to 181)
TSH .......... 3.46 (normal = .36 to 3.74)
Free T4...... 1.22 (normal = .70 to 1.50)

Then to recap the newest labs from March....
T3 --- 4.8 (normal = 2.18 to 3.98)
TSH --- 1.1 (normal = .36 to 3.74)
Free T4 --- .85 (normal = .7 - 1.5)

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