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BlueTopaz 04-07-2013 02:58 PM

Need your Opinion, please - Lab Results
My State that I live in just make it real easy to get lab results and I have taken full advantage of them. I have been truly skeptical of my Thyroid since I've been mostly on Atkins diet for 10 years now. No weight loss in a year (in fact, 10lb weight gain in 1 yr) despite rigorous dieting.

For the past 3 years, Atkins has not worked for me. In fact, I've tried every diet including 1200 calories/l30g max gram carbs/16 hr fast - recently and nope, no weight loss.

I suspect my thyroid. I looked at my last lab results April 2012, this is what it says:

Free T4: .89
(my lab range: .58 - 1.64 mg/dl)

T3, Total: 1.1
(my lab range: .9 - 1.8 mg/dl)

TSH: 1.4555
(my lab range: .300 - 5.000)

Seems to me from what I've read on LCF and other websites, the ranges for my area seems outdated.

For my annual physical from my regular doctor, I have requested he include for my next physical another thyroid test. He is sending me the lab requests.

From what my test results show from last year at this time, it seems like I have been low in the T3 and T4; however, TSH is "normal". Why my gyno AND general practitioner would say "normal" seems beyond me :stars:
My test results per the ranges the lab is given, seem normal but not up to the updated standards of today.

What are your thoughts?
Am I being duped?

BlueTopaz 04-12-2013 07:23 AM


Anyone want to venture an opinion?

Leo41 04-12-2013 10:37 AM

Your lab ranges are not 'outdated.' Various labs use different ranges, so it's not the pure number that's important, but where you are within the specific range.

I'm no physician, but it doesn't look to me as though there's any problem with your thyroid--which your doctors have indicated I believe? No one here can 'diagnose' a problem based on any lab results because doctors consider a variety of factors, including labs, when making a diagnosis.

bdladie 04-12-2013 10:41 AM

Are you maybe insulin resistant? I was a lot heavier than you and could not lose weight but it might be something to ask your dr.

BlueTopaz 04-12-2013 06:24 PM

Thanks for the replies :)

Leo41: Just wanted someone else to look. Something's wrong - no dieting or exercising is helping and it's been 3 years and 10lbs in a couple of months time despite strict eating. I also feel tired and my body temps is off - feeling cold most of the time except in the middle of the night - then I get hot (not sweats, though) thanks to the bio-identical hormone pellets.

My next thyroid test and GP appointment is in May. Hopefully, his lab order is a complete one and not a generic TSH level. I hear so much those tests are inconclusive. Another option would be for me to seek out an endocrine doctor to get further testing.

BDLadie: Hmmm, not sure if I'm insulin resistant...is there a test for that? I have had numerous fasting blood tests for blood glucose levels and I'm always within normal range. I did have gestational diabetes 27 yrs ago and it went away after pregnancy.

Ronnie51 04-12-2013 07:45 PM

BlueTopaz, if you were insulin resistant your fasting blood sugar would most likely be slightly elevated (over 99 but not in diabetes territory); also your fasting insulin would be elevated. It does look like your thyroid levels are normal based on your results. Are you peri menopausal? A lot of women have problems with weight gain and difficulty losing weight duing that period in their lives. Perhaps it's a hormone imbalance? Sorry you're dealing with this.

Mistizoom 04-12-2013 07:55 PM

I agree you might want to get checked for insulin resistance. You can start with fasting glucose and fasting insulin done at the same time. If the insulin is elevated and/or the ratio of the two is off that can indicate insulin resistance. My fasting glucose has always been just fine but I had elevated insulin. I been taking metformin for that for several years.

BlueTopaz 04-13-2013 04:46 AM

Mistizoom: Fasting insulin...that's something I didn't know about. I'll ask about it w/my regular doctor. If he doesn't know, probably an endocrine doctor would be the right doc to ask about my concerns. It's possible...a cycle of gaining weight and then causing insulin resistance and since I've had a blood sugar problem when pregnant, it ups my chances of getting diabetes later in life. I was doing Atkins for so long but even then I was gaining, even eating as low as 1200 calories for a few weeks to find my right calories. A lot of water retention as well.

Ronnie: The latest fasting glucose test was 99 but the others were 70's. Yeah, I've been in Peri-Meno since my early 40's and I'm 53 now. The last 3 years were the worse. Before then, I was estrogen dominant. Now my estrogen, progesterone, testosterone are low, FSH high without the bio-identical pellets. I get TOM about every other month now and my gyno says she thinks it's a fake TOM because of the progesterone I'm getting and just spotting when it does happen.

It could be just the female hormones; however, they were in worse state before November last year, now they're normal but even time I go to the doctor, I am gaining weight. Kinda think they're something else going on.

Leo41 04-13-2013 07:20 AM

Blue Topaz-
I'm sorry--I didn't realize those labs were a year ago. You could definitely have thyroid problems because since I've been hypothyroid and checked every 4 months, I've become aware that the situation with the thyroid can change overnight.

When you get your next labs, be sure to notice that TSH level. For many years, doctors considered anything below 5.0 to be 'normal,' but several years ago, the national association of endos changed that to 3.0--but most practitioners are unaware of that. It means that a TSH of 3.0 or above indicates possible hypothyroidism, and many good thyroid doctors will treat anyone whose TSH is above 2.0 and also has symptoms.

It's important to keep in mind that will thyroid, the lab values are only one aspect of the total picture. Symptoms are also important. When I was first diagnosed, my labs could have been considered 'normal,' but I had severe hypo symptoms. Fortunately, I had self-referred to a good endo, and she understood. In fact, she told me that many people who are hypo have symptoms well before the lab results confirm the diagnosis. Doctors even have a name for it. They call it 'sub-clinical hypothyroidism.' However, the average physician relies on lab values alone, and that's why it's often difficult to get a diagnosis.

BlueTopaz 04-14-2013 10:51 AM

Leo41 - yeah, I've been reading about sub-clinical lab tests for thyroid. I have enough of the symptoms (not all) that makes me want to check into it further. My TSH last year was 1.4555. But I've read that TSH alone isn't a good indicator. With my T4 and T3 just being a tad over the "normal" with the ranges I have, it makes me suspect.

Being in peri-meno confuses things a bit because some of my symptoms are common for both peri-m and thyroid. And maybe insulin resistant. With the pellet, my labs are on spot as far as the estrogen, testosterone, FSH and progesterone, so it's like now...what's the problem? :laugh:

Leo41 04-14-2013 03:10 PM

Blue Topaz-
You've identified the problem with getting a thyroid diagnosis. Not only can the labs be deceiving, but the symptoms themselves can be due to so many other causes. In women, thyroid problems tend to present during times of hormonal shifts--puberty, childbirth, menopause--and the hormonal issues at those times are responsible for other symptoms unrelated to the thyroid but similar in effect.

It took my over 5 years to get a diagnosis because it was not until my symptoms were extremely severe that I gave up on my primary and self-referred to an endo. Had I done that years earlier, however, I might not have gotten a diagnosis because my symptoms were so vague.

Lokarbiebarbie 04-15-2013 07:53 AM

So, you could still use a TPO AB test (test for Hashimoto's autoimmune hypothyroidism..the most common type)...and a Free T3...you got a mix of 'apples and oranges' there. Ft4 should be looked at with a FT3, not a total T3.

But...you know when you take any sex hormones (or even fake ones, like birth control pills)...those incoming hormones 'bind' the thyroid hormones in the bloodstream, making a part of them useless.

And..you don't have much weight to lose if we're going by your listed stats, we know you are 5' 7"...and 140 is at the 'low end' of weight charts for you. So...it would take a few months of very clean lowcarb eating to reach that (if at all...when we are taking incoming hormones, they tend to add water weight). But eating lowcarb is healthy, and your SIZE is what matters ..more than scale weight.

So...a Total T3 doesn't tell you much..yes, it looks 'up there' in range...but mine looks that way too..total T3 shows what's in the body, not what's available to use...my Total T3 is great...but when they put a FT3 next to it? Um...barely in range..kind of like your FT4.

There is now a Holtorf clinic (they do GREAT diagnosis and thyroid and hormones) in PA...I suggest you seach for 'Holtorf clinic in PA' and perhaps make an appointment..I know they will do 'all the tests necessary' and know what they are doing/looking at in regards to the binding effects of incoming sex hormones.

I was on bio identical hormones for some time, and 'pellets' didn't rock my world in any way...but transdermal compounded was my 'saving grace' during that time. Different things for different people. best of luck

BlueTopaz 04-15-2013 09:56 AM

Lokar - Thanks for your feedback. :) I have a call into a local Endo to make an appointment as a new patient. The doc has gotten good reviews and my husband goes to her. They seem through with the testing as he attests to. But I"ll keep your suggestion in mind for the Holtdorf clinic in case I don't get satisfactory results.

May I ask what a transdermal compound is?

Yeah, the pellets took care of the heat flashes but the lethargy, lack of sex drive, water retention, body temp being off is still there even though my sex hormones are good right now. I also have an ovarian cyst and uterine thyroid - both very small and so far not growing. I've been getting TOM about every other month and now since the 2nd pellet, more regularly - spotting to light flow. Three years ago I was estrogen dominant - heavy, long periods and like overnight - it went the other direction. I had (2) D&C's a year apart - the last one being last year.

That makes sense about fake hormones perhaps making the thyroid worse - I've noticed more symptoms since last Dec.

Leo: I'm really hoping that I don't have to wait till my sypmtoms are severe before a diagnosis. :aprayer:

Leo41 04-15-2013 10:24 AM

Blue Topaz- You should not have to wait as I did because you're going to see an endo with a good reputation. My problem was my own fault for listening to my primary far too long instead of seeking another opinion.

bdladie 04-16-2013 04:35 PM

I have the worst insulin resistance any of my doctors have ever seen and I have never had a high blood glucose. I have 10 times the normal amount of insulin and with taking 2500mg of metformin a day have been able to lose weight. When I was born I tested high for sugar in my urine but it disappeared so they dropped thinking I had diabetes. No one knew anything about too much insulin in the 60s.

BlueTopaz 04-17-2013 07:59 AM

BDLadie - That's interesting - you are fortunate that insulin resistance was detected without a high glucose levels. I can see where most docs would miss that thinking okay, no diabetes no further testing needed.

I got a call from the Endrocrine office. They need my GP doctor to refer me. Since I already have an appointment set up for a physical on 5/13th, I'll talk to him about thyroid and insulin resistance so he can get the process started.

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