Thyroid test results: can anyone decode?

Violet

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Apr 16, 2013
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Hey everyone,

I just got blood test results back.

I'm not too au fait with decoding thyroid results, but my TSH was 1.64, which I believe denotes normal pituitary function? And my T4 was 11.6, which I believe indicates ever-so-slight hyperthyroidism? Not sure what to make of these results - I went in thinking I was hypo. I have low body temp plus lots of other symptoms.

If anyone can decode it would be really appreciated :)
 

Dan Wich

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Any chance the test also lists T3/triiodothyronine? I think Danny Roddy has mentioned that high-ish T4 can suggest that it's not being converted to T3 effectively.
 
J

j.

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RP doesn't agree with the theory that low TSH necessarily indicates low pituitary function. He mentions that healthy people usually have TSH below 2, and that it's ideal to have it below 0.4.
 

Mittir

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Feb 20, 2013
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Are you taking any thyroid medication? Your TSH and T4 both within normal range. But most useful information is to know your Total T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid. If your T3 is low and or reverse T3 is high you will be having thyroid problems.
It would be a good idea to test Total T3 and reverse T3 .
 

Violet

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Thanks guys! I'm getting more tests done on Tuesday so will hopefully have more to work with then. Thanks for the suggestions so far :)
 

Edle

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Am hypothyroid myself, but not in a classical sense. TSH was never high (highest ever was 0.8), but free T3 was chronically low after GAPS, and I have elevated anti-TG. When my low T3 did not resolve itself, I had to start desiccated thyroid, and it has helped a lot.

Yes, you must test T3, but I disagree with Mittir. I think free T3 is more useful. This is the T3 your body can actually use. Am skeptical to the focus on reverse T3. If you have low body temp, dry skin, yellowish hands (calluses), sudden intese heart beat, feeling of reduced IQ :):, lack of initiative compared to before etc, this is classic low T3.

Agree with Dan Wich. High T4 can be an indication that your liver is not converting T4 to T3. I have the same problem.

Would also consider the antibody tests, TPO and anti-TG.
 

Mittir

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Here is a quote from Ray Peat's article on Thyroid testing.
" Because the actions of T3 can be inhibited by many factors, including polyunsaturated fatty acids, reverse T3, and excess thyroxine, the absolute level of T3 can't be used by itself for diagnosis. “Free T3” or “free T4” is a laboratory concept, and the biological activity of T3 doesn't necessarily correspond to its “freedom” in the test. T3 bound to its transport proteins can be demonstrated to enter cells, mitochondria, and nuclei. Transthyretin, which carries both vitamin A and thyroid hormones, is sharply decreased by stress, and should probably be regularly measured as part of the thyroid examination.

When T3 is metabolically active, lactic acid won't be produced unnecessarily, so the measurement of lactate in the blood is a useful test for interpreting thyroid function. Cholesterol is used rapidly under the influence of T3, and ever since the 1930s it has been clear that serum cholesterol rises in hypothyroidism, and is very useful diagnostically. Sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, creatinine, albumin, glucose, and other components of the serum are regulated by the thyroid hormones, and can be used along with the various functional tests for evaluating thyroid function".--
Ray Peat, TSH, temperature, pulse rate, and other indicators in hypothyroidism
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/hy ... dism.shtml
 

Edle

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Mittir said:
Here is a quote from Ray Peat's article on Thyroid testing.
" Because the actions of T3 can be inhibited by many factors, including polyunsaturated fatty acids, reverse T3, and excess thyroxine, the absolute level of T3 can't be used by itself for diagnosis. “Free T3” or “free T4” is a laboratory concept, and the biological activity of T3 doesn't necessarily correspond to its “freedom” in the test. T3 bound to its transport proteins can be demonstrated to enter cells, mitochondria, and nuclei. Transthyretin, which carries both vitamin A and thyroid hormones, is sharply decreased by stress, and should probably be regularly measured as part of the thyroid examination.

When T3 is metabolically active, lactic acid won't be produced unnecessarily, so the measurement of lactate in the blood is a useful test for interpreting thyroid function. Cholesterol is used rapidly under the influence of T3, and ever since the 1930s it has been clear that serum cholesterol rises in hypothyroidism, and is very useful diagnostically. Sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, creatinine, albumin, glucose, and other components of the serum are regulated by the thyroid hormones, and can be used along with the various functional tests for evaluating thyroid function".--
Ray Peat, TSH, temperature, pulse rate, and other indicators in hypothyroidism
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/hy ... dism.shtml

Sure, Peat is very skeptical to the thyroid lab tests to begin with, probably for good reason. "Normal" free T3 is not a sign that things are the way they should. But if you have a consistently low free T3, it is a sign something is definitely wrong. I had way low free T3 for seven months before starting desiccated thyroid.

Measuring heart rate, taking temperature and monitor other symptoms is important - more important than lab tests. I even have the GD hammer.

I was following the Total T3 measurement philosophy for a while (as recommended by one of the Paleo "guru" clinicians). But as I was not getting any results with his focus on reverse T3, I eventually started reading Peat. This led me to understand that my problem was the conversion of T4 to active thyroid hormone in the liver. This has several very practical applications. The reverse T3 focus for me left more questions than answers. What´s the practical implications of the hypothesis that your problem is high reverse T3? Take pure T3 instead of desiccated? Maybe - but I have seen people focusing on reverse T3 do that, and then having better results with desiccated. Anyway, I see that Peat mention Total T3 a couple of places. Maybe it can be helpful for some people.

Anyway, for many women, I think the focus on improving conversion of T4 to T3 is very helpful - focusing on the liver: reducing excess estrogen, supplying glucose to liver cells, trying to increase glycogen stores in muscles and liver etc.

For me, I have to say there has been a significant correlation between free T3 lab test results and other symptoms of too little active thyroid hormone. One example: in December I started to feel a bit crappy again. Low energy, sleep deteriorated, feeling of rapid and heavy heart beat (adrenaline) etc. My morning waking HR was 39 (yes, I am not exaggerating). My morning temperature was stable, but that has been the case with me - temps have had limited diagnostic value, very consistent. Anyway, I had a free T3 test, and rightly, it had dropped below the lab range again.

Another note on lab tests: they vary significantly from lab to lab, so don´t take one test results as something absolute. One example: when I first started having symptoms, I got a doctor to prescribe several tests for me, including anti-bodies associated with both hyper and hypo. To get these he had to send my blood to two different labs - the top hospital for hormonal diseases and the best private lab in my native country (Europe). For some reason, he asked both labs to test Free T3. The blood was drawn at the exact same time. The free T3 results were significantly different. One lab measured free T3 to be below their lab range. The other came out lower middle, within the normal functional range.
 

Violet

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Mittir said:
Here is a quote from Ray Peat's article on Thyroid testing.
" Because the actions of T3 can be inhibited by many factors, including polyunsaturated fatty acids, reverse T3, and excess thyroxine, the absolute level of T3 can't be used by itself for diagnosis. “Free T3” or “free T4” is a laboratory concept, and the biological activity of T3 doesn't necessarily correspond to its “freedom” in the test. T3 bound to its transport proteins can be demonstrated to enter cells, mitochondria, and nuclei. Transthyretin, which carries both vitamin A and thyroid hormones, is sharply decreased by stress, and should probably be regularly measured as part of the thyroid examination.

When T3 is metabolically active, lactic acid won't be produced unnecessarily, so the measurement of lactate in the blood is a useful test for interpreting thyroid function. Cholesterol is used rapidly under the influence of T3, and ever since the 1930s it has been clear that serum cholesterol rises in hypothyroidism, and is very useful diagnostically. Sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, creatinine, albumin, glucose, and other components of the serum are regulated by the thyroid hormones, and can be used along with the various functional tests for evaluating thyroid function".--
Ray Peat, TSH, temperature, pulse rate, and other indicators in hypothyroidism
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/hy ... dism.shtml

Thanks Mittir, I read that article. I think it marked the moment I pledged my heart to Peat ;)
 

Violet

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Edle said:
Am hypothyroid myself, but not in a classical sense. TSH was never high (highest ever was 0.8), but free T3 was chronically low after GAPS, and I have elevated anti-TG. When my low T3 did not resolve itself, I had to start desiccated thyroid, and it has helped a lot.

Yes, you must test T3, but I disagree with Mittir. I think free T3 is more useful. This is the T3 your body can actually use. Am skeptical to the focus on reverse T3. If you have low body temp, dry skin, yellowish hands (calluses), sudden intese heart beat, feeling of reduced IQ :):, lack of initiative compared to before etc, this is classic low T3.

Agree with Dan Wich. High T4 can be an indication that your liver is not converting T4 to T3. I have the same problem.

Would also consider the antibody tests, TPO and anti-TG.

Edle, thanks for all the info! That's really interesting about symtoms of low t3. I hadn't read that deficiencies / excesses of particular thryoid hormones cause different symptoms but of course it makes sense...

Do you know what the symtoms of the other hormone deficiencies / excesses are? OR do you have a link to some data?

Thanks! :)
 

Edle

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Violet said:
Edle, thanks for all the info! That's really interesting about symtoms of low t3. I hadn't read that deficiencies / excesses of particular thryoid hormones cause different symptoms but of course it makes sense...

Do you know what the symtoms of the other hormone deficiencies / excesses are? OR do you have a link to some data?

Thanks! :)

Well, T3 is the active hormone, so that is the deficiency you feel.
There is so much info out there on symptoms on low thyroid, but I think it can not be reduced to a checklist.
Reading Ray Peat´s articles, I recognized the symptoms (pounding heart at night, yellow calluses etc) and the mechanisms and interactions he described seemed plausible.
 
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