Elevated Free T3

Hi all

I have just had the results back from one of the blood tests. Apparently my free T3 level was 12.8 (Ranges 3.1-6.8 pmol/l). I have been told to reduce the thyroid medication (was on 3 grains now told to reduce to 1.5) .

Do you think this is likely to make a difference? I am still waiting other results but wont get them til I pay for my next review!

15 Replies

  • I think it is very likely to make a difference.

    But I really don't understand - was the person who has told you to cut the same person who took you up to 3 grains? How long between your last dose and the blood draw?

    I am usually very wary of huge chop-and-change approaches - they are rarely justified or appropriate.


  • Rod

    The person who told me to raise to 3 grains is not the same person who did the test. The original person could not prescribe and as other symptoms still persisted, I wanted to see someone who could prescribe but I had to pay privately again for this. This is the first time I have had a test - I started taking Ndt in May this year. When I had the blood draw I had had a dose that morning. I was not told to expect a blood draw and I had told the Dr that I had been taking the NDt but he still went ahead and proceeded with the test. He also offered to do a scan for me for pcos and take blood for ca125 but I said I would source these myself.

  • Sandra, even if you had not had your NDT before the blood draw your FT3 would still be considerably over range. I think it would be more appropriate to have advised you to reduce by half a grain every week/10 days until you are at 1.5 grains and retest 6 weeks after stabilising on 1.5 grains.

  • Ok, interesting. Thanks Clutter.

  • I'd agree that a slower approach has advantages. Such as, you can stop reducing if you seem to be deteriorating.

  • thanks Rod, I will do this

  • First, How were you feeling on your 3 grains of NDT before you had the blood test?

    You're obviously aware that this blood test will be skewed and incorrect.

    It would be good if you could have another Free T3 test leaving 24 hours between the last dose and blood test before you reduce as the doctor is in a panic with your high FT3.

    If you have had no signs of overstimulation (sweating, insomnia, fast pulse etc) I don't think you should reduce just yet. 3 grains is an average dose. Just for information if you go to the date August 13, 2002 in this link.


  • Hi Shaws

    I must confess, that elevated reading has given me a scare. I was told at the beginning of the year by Dr P that I had mild hypo but to nevertheless treat with NDT and we worked together initially to find the 'right' doseage. All was ok til I changed NDTs after not being able to afford Armour any more and since to be honest, it feels like trial and a lot of error. Having still not felt right I decided to pay privately where I was told that if the NDT were going to work, they would have done by now and that it is unlikely I am hypo so these readings do make me wonder. I had a couple of weeks without them this year (long story) and I did not feel good at all but I don't understand why they are not working in the way that the Doc says it should so I can only conclude that the mild hypo sypmptoms I have are not enough for me to take this stuff and that my body will become dependant (as the Doc says).

    I just don't know what to do for the best really.

  • What your doctor says about becoming dependent on NDT if you don't need it is not true. That's the way doctors used to treat patients before the blood tests were introduced. If patient didn't improve it was stopped. If you managed to get to 3 grains and didn't need NDT I think you would have had stopped it yourself by having unpleasant symptoms. You said you stopped it anyway and after a while began again, so I assume your symptoms must have recurred.

    The doctor is wrong by saying that the medication should have worked by now (I am assuming he is referring to all thyroid hormone medication) which isn't true. It would be wonderful if it was and then we wouldn't have this forum for a start as we would all be happy and well on whatever was prescribed. In real life it takes time and trial and effort to find one that does the trick. It's not one size fits all.

    I understand about the cost when you are paying yourself and GP says you aren't hypothyroid but I doubt Dr P would give inapproriate advice as he is an expert on the thyroid gland.

    If we start taking a particular NDT we usually keep to the same one unless we haven't improved and after a while try another (and/or a cheaper one). With levothyroxine because some chemists hold several makes we have to be diligent and make sure it is the same every time. If not, that can cause us problems.

    Whatever we take if not improving after a reasonable period we have to change.

    I tried 4 NDTs.

    Some links:




  • Shaws, I'm having problems navigating between pages of Dr Lowe's site on web archive. Could you tell me how you are finding them?

    What a great resource Dr Lowe's website was for patients, and what a loss his death is to the whole thyroid community.

  • When Doctor Lowe died, his website was archived so we aren't able to access it as we normally did. Some of the links within the topics might not open either.

    This is a a link and choose which interests you. Other topics are at the top of the page.


    On the left-hand column some topics can still be accessed, i.e. Fibromyalgia Research etc.

    Yes, he is another doctor who is sadly missed by people like us who aren't made well by the present guidelines re treatment.


  • Thank you very much, Shaws. I've bookmarked the link.

  • NEVER reduce your meds based on blood tests alone, how do you feel? The most important thing is how you feel, NOT numbers!!

  • I have just noticed you mentioned PCOS. These can probably be improved by thyroid hormones as it cured a young japanese woman who had multiple cysts. If you need a reference I can give you a copy of what I have read.

  • Hi, just curious how you are feeling and what symptoms you are experiencing with that result.

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