Is testing T3/freeT3/antibodies necessary for initial diagnosis ?

I had my first private blood test last month, which showed high level TSH level of 5.240 ( 0.270-4.20 ) ,and T4 level

of 16.9 (12-22). After seeing my GP ordered an NHS blood test next week, I have read posts on here which say most NHS test don't test the T3, and free T3, and anti bodies !

What are the advantages of having the T3, and antibodies levels tested ? would it help my diagnosis ?

Any comments really appreciated, thanks,


4 Replies

I am glad your GP is going to run more tests but the guideline of the British Thyroid Association and Royal College of Physicians is that we get treated when TSH reaches 10. Thankfully, some doctors do prescribe thyroid gland medication when we reach around 5 with clinical symptoms. As they make their diagnosis solely, it appears to me, according to the TSH alone and labs don't usually do T3 if TSH is within range. The lab does it when things are awry.

T3 is required by us sufferers as some don't convert T4 into enough T3 to make us well, so if it is low we should preferably be given some T3 to a reduced T4. T3 is the active hormone each and every billions of cells needs for us to feel better.

Antibodies confirm that your thyroid gland is under attack and you will eventually be hypo. Some doctors tell you to hang on until TSH rises enough but Dr Toft of the BTA says that to 'nip things in the bud' levo should be prescribed.

Thank you Shaws, would you wait until I have had the NHS test, and see what that says, and if they have included the T3/antibodies ? thanks,


Yes, I would. You may have a good doctor who has requested them.

Antibody tests are essential for finding out if hypothyroid condition is autoimmune, but not ALL hypo is autoimmune (most is) but can also be caused by inflammation. Not having antibodies does not rule out hypothyroidism.

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