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Old 05-19-2014, 09:09 AM   #1
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Increased Symptoms

My hands are dry and scaly. Cold intolerance is worse. Mid-afternoon coffee consumption has risen dramatically. I've gained about 5 pounds, and it's not going anywhere.

I managed to ignore all of the above until Saturday when I had a hair appointment and my stylist asked what new products I'm using--because my hair has gotten dry and brittle.

Time for a follow up with my endo. I called this morning expecting to not be seen for several weeks, and they had a cancellation this afternoon, so I actually get to go in TODAY!

I'll see the endo, but won't have new labs, so we'll just be discussing symptoms at this point. I'm sure she'll order new labs. Let the process begin!

I'm currently on 75mcg of brand Synthroid.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:23 AM   #2
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I never see my endo without first getting labs because from his perspective (and mine) it's a wasted visit. Regardless of symptoms, he won't diagnose (or change dosages) without some confirmation via lab results.

I know that we can discuss my symptoms prior to labs, but I prefer talking things over with him when we're both looking at the latest labs. It's easier for me to 'negotiate' that way.

I hope you get this all resolved, Dawn.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:33 PM   #3
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Good point Leo, and they usually do the labs first. I got in and saw her and discussed symptoms and what can be done "once the labs are back." Argh!

Then, I waited for my draw, and the phlebotomist had an emergency, so I had to wait for a replacement to come in. She tried her best, but I had 3 unsuccessful sticks (I have notoriously bad veins for bloodwork), and ended up having to reschedule. Double-Argh!!

I'm going to try to go first thing in the morning and hope my veins aren't too battered for them to do the draw.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:28 PM   #4
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Labs are back.

5/20/14
TSH - 1.940 <0.300-4.120 uIU/mL>
Free T4 - 1.3 <0.8-1.9 ng/dL>
Free T3 - 3.1 <1.5-4.1 pg/mL>

8/21/13
TSH - 1.33 <same ref. range>
Free T4 - 1.4 <same ref range>
Free T3 - 2.0 <same ref range>

TSH has gone up, Free T4 is pretty close, Free T3 has gone up. All the numbers are blending together and I can't even remember where in the ranges I should be.

Of course everything "looks great, in range," yada yada yada. But I still don't FEEL well! Just venting.
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeirasMom View Post
Labs are back.

5/20/14
TSH - 1.940 <0.300-4.120 uIU/mL>
Free T4 - 1.3 <0.8-1.9 ng/dL>
Free T3 - 3.1 <1.5-4.1 pg/mL>

8/21/13
TSH - 1.33 <same ref. range>
Free T4 - 1.4 <same ref range>
Free T3 - 2.0 <same ref range>

TSH has gone up, Free T4 is pretty close, Free T3 has gone up. All the numbers are blending together and I can't even remember where in the ranges I should be.

Of course everything "looks great, in range," yada yada yada. But I still don't FEEL well! Just venting.
You need a reverse T3 test. If you have high RT3, too much is being "swept up" and there isn't enough left for you to use.

A gal I work with told me today that she solved her "losing words" problem with something like 1500 mgs of fish oil. I don't think that would help with the cold, dry skin and other stuff though.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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I asked for RT3 and it's not offered (I even verified on the lab orders--not even an option). I get so confused with all this stuff. It's been 2 years and I'm still not "well" although I'm much better than I was.

I'm tempted to try the fish oil, but I rarely respond the way others do to supplements. It can't hurt, though, so thanks for the rec. I'll try anything! I'm even considering just shelling out the big bucks at one of the fancy clinics, but they're all so far away. I guess a couple of hours a few times a year is worth it though at this point.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:34 PM   #7
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I get my RT3 tested through Quest. I think some doctors have custom lab sheets printed because they couldn't list every possible test. I know mine does.

The fancy clinic I go to is in Foster City, not far from San Francisco so you could do a combo trip and have some fun this summer. They will do follow-ups over the phone too.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:06 AM   #8
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KeirasMom, if you haven't, go check out the Yahoo Groups, Thyroid Group for CA. You have to sign up.

I remember that at one time 2-3 years ago I asked about a doctor (any) in the Sacramento area for my daughter, because she has Kaiser and they will not run FT3's. Someone emailed me about one in Elk Grove. Not sure if that's any closer than the Bay Area. It's been awhile since I've been to Fresno so I just don't remember the distance between the 2 areas.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:04 AM   #9
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I just had a RT3 test done (with TSH, FT4 and FT3) through healthcheck usa . Just go to their site and click on the "find a lab" location thing and put in Fresno. They are Lab Corp and are all over the place. No doc needed. Fast and efficient. This group is great at helping you understand the levels. My labs per a reg. doc/endocrinologist looked right "in range", but my RT3 was showing that I was not converting. I'm a week into the RT3 protocol and it's like the fog has lifted and life is becoming wonderful again!
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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I just got low reverse T3 result???

Reverse T3 serum 8.6 (Range)- 9.2-24.1
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
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Jeaniem......lucky you!!!! It's very different in Rx if you have a Reverse T3 issues, and most doctors won't even run the test, let alone treat you for it. It's hard to find a doc that recognizes it. Glad you don't have that issue.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:21 AM   #12
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Yeah, Dr. acknowledged it was low, but said it was not a concern.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:37 AM   #13
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I think I'll order the RT3 through Healthcheckusa and take it to my next appointment. I'm totally convinced there's a problem that's not being addressed. Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:12 AM   #14
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I guess I'm not understanding this RT3. If your FREE T3 is showing a good level, that supposedly reflects the T3 available for your body to use, so how can the RT3 be lowering it? If the RT3 is involved, I'd expect to see a low T3.

I take Cytomel, but my endo doesn't test for RT3. He attributes my need for supplemental T3 to conversion problems, which are 'characteristic' of Hashi's.

I see him for a regular check up in a few weeks, and I'll ask about RT3. But I doubt that I have any problem because when my dosage of Cytomel is optimized, I have no symptoms.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:28 AM   #15
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As I understand it T4 converts into T3 and RT3. If your RT3 is too high then it is "using up" the T3 that should be there for your cells. So you can convert plenty of T3, but not have any left to use. It is there because too much T3 can be very dangerous, but in some people gets out of whack.

It is a something like insulin and blood sugar. People with hyperinsulinemia have too much insulin so their blood sugar drops and they are hungry and shaky, even if they have eaten plenty.

I don't know how the lack of usable T3 shows up on lab results. It is the "free" T3 that is being taken up by the RT3, but at what point I don't know. So it shows up on blood results as a normal range, but still isn't able to be used by cells.
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:28 PM   #16
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Again, I understand what you're saying, but it doesn't make any sense to me based on what I've read about Free T3.

For example, my endo only tests Total T3 for a variety of reasons I approve of. When my T3 'tanked' for the first time, he also did a Free T3 to see if they were the same (his assumption). They were the same.

The 'big deal' that's made about always getting the Free T3 test is supposed to be because that measures exactly what's available to the person's cells--so I really don't get this RT3 issue at all IF the individual's Free T3 values seems 'normal.'

If the RT3 was eating up the T3, I'd expect the Free T3 to be low.

I'm going to ask my endo about this on my next visit because it's confusing to me.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:28 AM   #17
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Leo....I can't explain it as I just know that my test results show very low FT4 and upper 2/3 FT3, so you'd think I was doing great in converting. But I start feeling more and more hypo and symptoms return. That's when I test RT3, and both times I've felt that way the RT3 was in the "oops" range in the calculations that you do to find the result. Has nothing to do with the level of the range, but dividing it by FT3 I believe and seeing if the number is lower or higher than 20 (have to move the decimal point). There is/was a great yahoo group for RT3 and they have all the info there.

My test results without the RT3 test would show that I was in good shape, but then why all the symptoms? So, thus the RT3. I"m just glad that I'm able to test it on my own these days and know for myself. I've been through this several times in the 30+ years I've been on thyroid hormones. First acquainted with it by a great German woman doctor who told me that American doctors don't treat this way....and for me to keep quiet about what she was doing. She "healed" me quickly. How I think the Holtorf clinic is the one really keen on this...and a few naturopaths and doctors that are "alternative' or "anti-aging" types of doctors. I don't have Hashi's....but I just know that the levels of my testing without the RT3 would show that I was in a very good place. But I definitely was not!

Most doctors will "poo poo" the entire RT3 thing. So, don't be surprised if the doc you love says it's a bunch of hogwash. We all have to do what/who is best for us, and I'm happy that you have someone you trust and work well with.
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