Opinion of the Bio Chemist regarding T3 testing!

Right so I've just spoken to the Bio chemist regarding why my T3 was not tested despite being requested twice by my GP.

She said there was no clinical need according to guidelines to test my T3 as my TSH had come down from 11.2 to 2.5 (range 0.30-6.00) was normal and my medication must be working (even though I'm still having hypo symptoms) and I would not be converting T4 to T3 anyway as I am taking Levothyroxine which does not convert!

She also said that if my TSH was supressed then they would have been slightly more concerned and thought what's happening to cause this.....I thought my TSH was supposed to be either below 1 or supressed to feel well!

I am more confused than ever, I have been off work for 6 weeks now and still feel dreadful.

I have done everything I'm supposed to; taking B12, vit C and D, magnesium, took my temperature every day which averages to 97 obviously low which would indicate not enough T3!

And still waiting to see an Endocrinologist!

Feel like screaming I'm so frustrated! :(

19 Replies

  • The biochemist is an idiot. Virtually every cell in the human body needs T3 to function. T4 is a storage hormone that is just there to be the raw material from which the body makes T3. Of course levo (artificial T4) converts to T3 (in an ideal world). That is what is supposed to happen anyway. The problem is that many people don't convert T4 to T3 very well, particularly when the source of the T4 is artificial like levothyroxine. It is probably one of the main reasons why people end up on this forum.

  • YES! YES! the nurse told me that the lab probably would not redo my TSH test because it was too soon after the previous one. Who is running this show?

  • All blood tests are a help (supposedly) for gp to see whether you are clinically euthyroid. However gps rely too heavily on them and they do not reflect how you may necessarily feel are far more valuable.

    The biochemist is wrong t4 synthetic or not does convert to t3. And t4 is not just a storage hotmone as human bean states it does has a function in the human body but t3 affects more systems than t4 and is therefore more important.

    Not all gp know that most hypos feel better if the tsh is 1 or below eventhough most of us on the forum do as we speak to each other we know this to be true. I would try and discuss an increase in levo based on symptoms with your gp, good luck!

  • Do you have some links about what T4 is used for in the body apart from being raw material for T3? I'm always happy to learn more!

  • This is an ongoing question. But, without a doubt, some tissues can perform their own conversion locally. So part of the question would be to ask if such tissues can operate on T3 delivered through the bloodstream - rather than T4 being delivered and locally converted.

    Examples include hair follicles and the brain.

    I'd even ask whether the answers might vary from person to person.


  • "She said there was no clinical need according to guidelines to test my T3 as my TSH had come down from 11.2 to 2.5 (range 0.30-6.00) was normal and my medication must be working (even though I'm still having hypo symptoms)"

    She's a biochemist, not a clinician and has no business telling you your meds must be working. They clearly are not, else you wouldn't have synptoms.

    "I would not be converting T4 to T3 anyway as am taking Levothyroxine which does not convert!" Doesn't know much, does she? I suppose the fairies bring your T3? Horrible to think ignorant people like this stand between us and a proper evaluation of our hypothyroidism.

    Most people feel better with a suppressed TSH or under 1.5. Ask your GP to raise your meds because your symptoms are not resolved despite your TSH being in range.

  • Thanks everyone I actually thought I was going mad when she said Levo would not convert but she repeated it a couple of times.

    It's such a worry that our health is at the behest if these people!

  • If they are going to insist on carrying on this ridiculous system of diagnosis by numbers, why don't they get rid of the expensive consultants and just get the lab staff to write the bloody prescriptions!!! It would save a fortune! Just absolutely ridiculous! I am so annoyed for you xx

  • Bellaboo1 I feel like screaming for you!!!!!!!! I am also waiting for FT3 testing after the first not being done and if this one isn't done this normally calm lady is going to start asking some very pointed questions of the lab technicians.

    a) what do they think T3 is?

    b) what do they think it does?

    c) When and what do they think it should be used for?

    I shall be screaming too if after a total of over 4mths trying to get this test,I still don't get it,especially as my muscles are so achy I'm waddling like a duck !

    Hopefully my Endo will get things sorted....I haven't been with him for long but he does feel I may be a case for T3

  • my doctors second request for T4 and T3 wasn't done!! what the hell are we supposed to do!?

  • Our local path lab said they would only test for T3 if the GP wrote ? cenrtral Hypothyroid on the forms

  • central thyroid? I could tell doctor, worth a try?

  • I actually wish I'd have recorded the conversation with the Biochemist today...I still can't believe what she said. I think I was in shock and didn't really know how to come back at her!

    She was really condescending asking me "what do you want your T3 to be" I became very defensive and explained that I had been of work for 6 weeks and was no further on and still feel as poorly...oh and I did tell her that I also work for the NHS and I'm sure she appreciates the problems with sickness absence in the organisation! Funnily enough she changed her tone towards me.....these people think they are dealing with idiots!

    My GP even said this morning that the NHS is getting ridiculous, yet if we pay for it we can have anything we want, he said and I quote "bring on the revolution"

  • Yes I work for them too, and have been off 8 weeks. I will be having exactly that conversation with occupational health when they ask me when I will be returning to work!! Drives me mad. :x

  • Oh don't even get me started on occy health! I went last week to see the Dr I explained all about my hypothyroid symptoms, possible adrenal problems, ongoing anxiety which is probably attributed to the underlying adrenal/thyroid issue, bursitis in my right hip.....omg I got the report yesterday. It actually says I am currently off work with psychological symptoms!!!!! I lost the plot and phoned them straight away saying it better not have been sent to my manager....guess what .....it has! No where on any of my sick notes from my GP does it state I am off with psychological symptoms, they are all Thyroid related.

    I have lost complete faith in the whole system!

  • My first sick note said 'unexplained tiredness'!!!! I soon got that changed! Thankfully my manager is great and knows me well enough to know that I would not just be off work feeling a bit tired!

  • Bellaboo1 - I hope you gave permission on a Medical Report Form for them to send that to your Manager without you seeing it first? If they have written something that is factually incorrect and you can prove it, you can ask for a retraction and report them to the Data Commissioner if they refuse to retract it. I would make an appointment with your GP and have it out with them or better still the Practise manager.

  • Thyroxine is T4 and must be converted in the body into T3

    However unless ferritrin and folate are over halfway up their ranges your body cannot convert or utilise Thyroxine and you must be given t3 instead

    The fact that TSH reduces on thyroxine is totally irrelevant and precisely why too many doctors and endos fail to understand patients who remain ill

    Once ferritin and folate are up to correct level and still thyroxine does not help the patient is when a combination of thyroxine plus T3 should be looked at or switching to Armour or ERFA or NDT

    Many patients simply cannot tolerate thyroxine or T3 but are fine on the Natural Desicated Thyroid preparations

  • Mine also was not done. Now i am going through the complaint procedure about the Haematology Dept. It probably takes years to get an answer!

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