Can anyone explain my results for me please?

Just got a print-out of latest blood test, have no clue what it all means:-

Serum free T3 level 4.4 pmol/L (3.1-6.8)

Serum free T4 level 14.7 pmol/L (12.0-22.0)

Serum TSH level 0.10 mu/L (0.27-4.20) "Low"

Saw endo yesterday he had added in 10mcg of liothyronine to my 100mcg of throxine, a while ago. He didnt say anything about the results, just had a stress fit and said he didnt know what to do and wanted to discharge me and leave me on thyroxine! Very weird n upsetting. I asked him about Armour and he just scribbled a prescription and thrust it at me. Any ideas?

10 Replies

  • Sounds like your endo comes in the very large category of doctors who don't want to do anything that involves thought or work.

    My thought, looking at your figures, is that maybe your pituitary isn't working well enough to produce enough TSH. It seems your T4 and T3 levels are both low, so your TSH isn't giving a true picture.

    I don't have enough experience to comment beyond that. Maybe the liothyronine will help but I would have thought that raising your thyroxine and therefore your T4 level would have been a good place to start. Your body can't make enough of its own T3 if doesn't have enough T4.

    Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will comment.

  • He obviously doesn't know how to interpret TFTs especially when dosing with T3. He got a fright when he saw that your TSH had dropped below range and that your fT4 had also dropped.

    You will have a suppressed TSH if you take ANY form of T3 because there is no need for the pituitary gland to secrete TSH as it recognises that there is sufficient thyroid hormone in the blood.

    Your fT4 will always be low when on any form on T3 because you are not on T4. T4 is not used by the cells (it is the INACTIVE prohormone which has to be converted to the ACTIVE hormone T3) and is irrelevant when you are on T3.

    There are studies which you can send to your endo but I don't have the time to find them. Perhaps someone else has them to hand?

    Silky x

  • Sorry, I realise you are also taking T4 which explains why your T4 is still in range. Should you increase your T3 it will drop even further. By the looks of your fT3, it seems you may need some more T3 providing you are feeling a benefit from your current dose of T3 and feel the need for an increase. Listen to your body and then fight your corner with your endo, or find one who understands T3 and knows how to interpret TFTs.

    Another important point, is NEVER take your T4 or T3 on the day of your blood test. Always wait 24 hours as T3 peaks in the blood 2-4 hours after consumption and your T4 will also be peaking which will skew your TFTs. I never take any thyroid hormone for at least 24-30 hours before my blood test.

    Silky x

  • Thank you SilkyJ for your responses. The Endo I have seems to be a top man so I cannot understand his response in basically throwing a random wobbly, waving his hands around saying "he was going to discharge me because he didnt know what to suggest and couldnt deal with people like me"!! He even wrote out the discharge sheet and gave me, I got up but told him I didnt understand why he was doing this because I thought he was the expert. I asked about Armour and he just wrote the prescription for it and thrust at me! I am now waiting for it to come in at the chemist. I was told by the pharmacist to look up on the internet how to use it! The endo told me to stop taking the thyroxine and T3 - I had to press him for that info! Never been told about stopping taking the meds on day of bloodtests or anything. Because of the endo's behaviour i feel scared of going back to him :(

  • Loosely, he will get a shock when he sees your TFTs on Armour as your TSH and fT4 will be even more suppressed. Teh heh :-D

    Just be grateful that you got a prescription and start with 30mg split into two a day and then increase by 15-30mg every two weeks. It will take about 6 weeks for you to feel the effect of the Armour as it has T4 in it. Don't rush it, but also don't take weeks to raise your dose either.

    Bottom line is to listen to your body.

    I would suggest you don't see him for a looooong time... at least until you have trialled the Armour and know if it is for you, or not. Some people get on better with Erfa or other NDTs, some with a combo of T4 and T3, so wait and see before seeing him again. If you are doing well and need to up your dose then you may have to see him or someone on the TUK list who understands how to interpret TFTs correctly.

    Don't be scared and rejoice that you are getting Armour. Lucky You! lol ;)

    Silky x

  • BTW, if this endo is not on the TUK list of doctors, then please give his name to Louise so that he can be added. It is rare to get an endo who will prescribe Armour. xxx

  • Yes please!! :)



  • The Armour tablets are 60mg. I am grateful that he gave them to me, but rather worried about any side-effects from a) taking them and b) stopping the thyroxine and T3 I was on. I will pm you his name.

  • This means you only have one grain a day (60mg = 1 grain). This is not much but will suffice while you start to build up your dose.

    You will find that the T4 will still be in your system for the next two weeks while you start with a 30 mg Armour p/d. Take one 15mg dose when you wake up and another 15mg at around 2.30pm. You will soon know which times work best for you but this is just to get you started.

    Then, after a 10 days or two weeks, you can introduce another 15 mg and take this for a further week or two. You can take this dose before you go to bed.

    It is VERY likely that your body will take a few weeks to adjust to Armour so just be patient. At least that is what happened to me but then it felt as if a light had been switched on and I felt so much more energetic, stronger, agile and my cognitive function increased too. Others feel a benefit much sooner. We are all different.

    Once you are adjusted to the one grain (60mg), you may feel the need to up your dose. The normal dose for a person can be anything between 2 to 4 grains p/d.

    Don't worry about that just yet... first get accustomed to Armour.

    Keep us posted and if you have any concerns, let us know.

    Silky x

  • Thank you for all your helpful comments everyone, I will let you know how I get in with Armour. It should be at chemist monday. I appreciate I am lucky to get Armour from my endo, but I dont feel that he has ever had my health as his priority so I would not want to recommend him to anyone, especially on the nhs.

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