Thyroid UK
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Could the experts help once again

Could the experts on here interpret my friends results please?

FT3 5.60 (3.8-6.6)

Serum Free T4 15.50 (7.5-21.1)

TSH 0.22 (0.34-5.8)

She has all the symptoms of an undertreated hypothyroid, joint pain, hair loss etc. we all know them. After these results the doctor has said and I quote 'the T3 is normal, but the TSH level is low at 0.22 because for some reason it is reading the T4 level as high and so is compensating by being low' - I'm not sure what the doctor means by that but I'm sure someone on here will. The upshot is that she has been advised to reduce her Levothyroxine from 100mcg to 75mcg.

Thanks in advance


11 Replies

Hi Terri

I'm certainly no expert, I can only go by my own experience and everything I have read and been helped with myself. Your friend's doctor is doing the classic crime of dictating her dose by her TSH. There is nothing wrong with her results, they look alright to me. I expect there are some other underlying issues going on. I have found with myself that it is like peeling back layers one by one. My blood test results from this week are okay thyroid wise but I am chronically fatigued and believe I have hormone issues as approaching the menopause, and this can interfere with thyroid hormone uptake. I think the administrators on here would need a lot more information about your friend, background on health issues, why is she taking levothyroxine etc etc.

In my opinion she certainly should not be reducing her thyroxine.



Thanks Caroline for your reply. I think the general consensus is not to reduce the Levo xx


She shouldn't reduce her levothyroxine only due to the TSH result as it appears that she is still suffering clinical symptoms so I would ask the GP to add 10mcg of T3 in place of reducing levo by 25mcg on a trial basis - say 3 months. He might not do this but I improved a lot when T3 was added to my T4.

I know that I was far more unwell on Levothyroxine than before diagnosis with a TSH of 100 and doesn't suit everyone as it may not be conducive to some people, being synthetic. Needless to say I don't take levo at all now. This is part of an excerpt from the following link:

"Endocrinology ignores the patient's symptoms and all other scientific knowledge about hormones! Doctors rely on inappropriate and/or insensitive tests, like the TSH level to detect and treat thyroid deficiency and the ACTH stimulation test to rule out adrenal insufficiency. These tests fail to diagnose partial central hormone deficiencies--inadequate TSH and ACTH

production caused by hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction. Dr. Lindner finds that HP dysfunction is far more common than failure of the thyroid or adrenal glands. Physicians are taught that they should treat hypothyroidism by giving enough levothyroxine to "normalize" the TSH level, a practice that has been repeatedly shown to be inadequate. Therefore, most persons with suboptimal thyroid levels/effects are undiagnosed, and those who are diagnosed are often undertreated. Persisting hypothyroid symptoms are blamed on depression, "chronic fatigue", "fibromyalgia" or hypochondria" and

"Extensive pharmaceutical corporation influence in medicine downplays the importance of hormones, encourages doctors to prescribe drugs for every symptom, and encourages the use of patented hormone-like drugs ("steroids", estrogens, progestins etc.) instead of the correct, bioidentical molecules. As a result, endocrinology is dominated by hormone myths."

Read the first question/answer on this link:


Thanks Shaws for the links - really helpful. TSH - the bane of our lives! xx


*sigh* the doctor is talking rubbish, I'm afraid. TSH varies according to your individual set point and the tie day and the time of year, as well as the amount of thyroid hormone present. If the either the hypothalamus or the pituitary isn't working properly, TSH does not vary according to the amount of thyroid hormone. If the person is taking meds containing T3, you'd expect the T4 and TSH to be lower than "usual". The results look OK for someone on meds, although T4 could be higher, and if I were your friend I refuse to change my dose. I'd get B12, ferritin and folate checked as those can contribute to hypo symptoms if too low.


*sigh* - we seem to do a lot of that Angel! Thank you for your reply - I'm not sure if she has had those further blood tests but will pass on your comments xx


Terri, Another doctor who doesn't understand thyroid! TSH is low because your friend's pituitary gland has detected sufficient circulating T3 and shut off TSH. If her dose is reduced her TSH will rise and her FT4 and FT3 drop. Her FT3 5.6 is good and she doesn't appear to be undertreated. Ask her to have ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate tested. Low/deficient levels can cause hair loss, musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms.

1 like

Thanks once again Clutter - I'm not sure if she has ever had those tests done but will certainly advise her to ask the Doctor.....but maybe not the one she has just seen!


I Don't suppose he knows what he means! That is complete gobbledygook. Just pat him on the head and give him a banana!


That actually made me chuckle out loud - thank you.




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