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Old 03-27-2014, 10:02 AM   #1
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Normal...now what? <sigh>

Trying to read all these numbers is driving me nuts. My doctor says my thyroid results are normal...which leaves me back at square one as to why I have all the symptoms of hypothyroid. Her suggestion was to go to an endo. In the past I haven't had much luck with them.

My TSH is the only questionable one I have since she said .5-5 is normal...but I read that in 2003, they changed the parameters and .3-3 is normal. Mine is 2.59. My free T3 is 2.7 and free T4 is 1.22 (both in normal ranges). My antibody tests also came back as normal (peroxidase was under 10; the other is under 20).

Short of ruling out things one by one, I guess I'm stuck with missing a third of my eyebrows, thinning hair, dry skin, fatigue, muscle aches, depression, always cold, constipation, yada yada. At least they can't tell me it's because I'm fat, out of shape and my out of control diabetes is causing all of this.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:40 AM   #2
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Most 'good' thyroid doctors will treat someone with a TSH over 2.0 who also has symptoms.

In my own situation, I went over 5 years with escalating symptoms--and 'normal' labs--until I finally self-referred to an endo who (fortunately for me) was a superb doctor, and she diagnosed and treated me immediately. She told me that many people have 'normal' labs but severe symptoms. It's the way thyroid hormones work for some.

However, really good thyroid doctors are hard to find. Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:14 AM   #3
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You don't say Where in the range the FT4 and FT3 are. Many of us feel best when our FT3 is in the upper 1/4 or the range. T3 is our energy.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:44 AM   #4
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Google optimal thyroid levels and graph your numbers. I found that looking at the three of them together on the graph helped me see that individually they were "normal" but when you look at where they all fall on the graph, they were not optimal. When I went to my new endo, I talked to her about that. She was receptive.

I did see two other endos who I did not like. It is certainly a tough field.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:08 AM   #5
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Watcher,
The free T3 is 2.7 and the free T4 is 1.22. The TSH is 2.59. Interestingly, the only out of range is my hemoglobin and hematocrit which are considered high.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:35 AM   #6
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Melody-
For the T3 and T4, it's the range that's also essential information rather than just the numbers.

However, I disagree with most here who argue that we do 'best' at a certain level within the range. My T3 is just about half of the range when I feel fine--and my T4 is rather low--but is fine for my specific situation.

In a way, it's irrelevant that most primary doctors don't test T3 and T4 because they simply ignore the results if they're 'in range.' Good thyroid treatment requires a doctor who understands the relationship between TSH, T4 and T3 in accord with the patient's symptoms.

One of the reasons I insisted on finding a good thyroid doctor is that this is a life-long condition, and I want to have a physician who fully understands my personal hormonal situation and doesn't slavishly follow lab numbers.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:44 AM   #7
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Thanks, Leo. A friend gave me a bunch of her books to read and it's all so overwhelming. Unfortunately I live in SE Michigan and our area in particular is known for substandard medical care. I have no idea why when the Univ. of Michigan Medical Center/Hospital is here. I've already had one appointment and had to tell the doctor, 'thanks but not thanks'. Once he saw the labs, he said my problem was all in my head. Must be why my hair is falling out and thinning.

So I'll keep looking.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:38 AM   #8
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Melody-

It's really strange that there are areas where medical care is substandard. Actually, you have to be 'careful' everywhere. I live in NY (about 90 miles north of NYC), and my sister lives in the city.

I've had success finding an excellent endo (got a referral from a family friend who is a very distinguished physician and taught at one of the NYC medical schools), but my sister, who is a medical secretary, spent almost 20 years trying to find a decent thyroid doctor after her internist retired (he had diagnosed and initially treated her). Most of the endos she saw would only test TSH, even though she was already on Rx and needed to have her hormone levels checked regularly.

She finally found a good doctor who is an internist, but despite being in a 'good' area for medical care, she had a lot of difficulty finding a good thyroid physician.

It's a shame that patients have to be so pro-active about medical issues.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:10 PM   #9
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I had high reverse T3. That, combined with a low-normal free T3, left no T3 for me to use. It was tough to find a doctor that even knew what that was, let alone be willing to treat it.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:26 PM   #10
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a reverse T3? I suppose that wouldn't show on the tests unless I specifically requested it?
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:01 AM   #11
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Yes, it has to be specifically requested. I had more than one "full thyroid panel" (that should include everything, right?) that didn't include it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Melody-

It's a shame that patients have to be so pro-active about medical issues.
I think it's *shameful* that we have to do all this work to find out what is wrong with us when we're paying *big bucks* to people who are supposed to be more knowledgeable. I swear, sometimes I think doctors shut their tiny little minds and don't bother to learn anything new once they pass their boards.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:02 PM   #13
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Leo, I did say, "many do best", not All do best. I said Many for a reason because many people do better there. Not all.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:04 PM   #14
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Watcher,
The free T3 is 2.7 and the free T4 is 1.22. The TSH is 2.59. Interestingly, the only out of range is my hemoglobin and hematocrit which are considered high.
Having the range next to each test result helps to see where in the range of a particular test, the result is. Just the result numbers with no ranges doesn't tell a thing. The reason? Many labs use different tests. There's not a One Fits all range, it depends on the individual lab.
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