Thyroid UK

Blood results

Hello. I have been suffering with hypothyroidism type symptoms for ten years but never had a thyroid condition diagnosed officially. My blood tests always come back "normal" although at the lower end of the normal range. My latest results are: T3 = 4.0, TSH = 4.3, T4 = 13. I am so desperate that I am thinking of self medicating with Liothyronine 5mg a day and see what happens. I am also taking prescribed Venlafaxine 75mg and Ferris Fumerate 200mg a day. Would there be any adverse reactions with the Liothyronine? Grateful for your advice.

15 Replies

Welcome to the forum, Sophie981.

Do you have the lab ref ranges (figures in brackets after your results) for your thyroid results?

I can see your TSH is too high for comfort but if you are close to the top of range it may be better to wait for a diagnosis.

Liothyronine won't cause any adverse effects with Ferrous Fumarate and Venlafaxine but you need to take it 2 hours away from Venlafaxine and 4 hours away from iron for it to work.

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Hello everyone. Thank you so much for the helpful advice. For info the reference ranges for my results are T3 = 4.0 (range: 3.5 - 6.5) TSH = 4.3 (range: 0.55 - 4.78) T4=13 (range: 9.0 - 23.0). I've never been diagnosed with a thyroid condition even tho I have suffered hypothyroid symptoms for 10 years and it had stolen my life. I've seen lots of GPs but they won't treat me as my results are 'normal'. This is why I'm so desperate and have finally decided to self medicate. My GPs won't help.


Sophie, What time was your last thyroid test? Your TSH is so close to top of range I don't think it will take many months for it to go over and for you to get a diagnosis.

If you can't wait any longer then I think self-medicating T4 or T3 will be helpful.


Those results were from January. I spoke to my GP about them this week but he wasn't concerned and didn't want to check them again. Thank you for your advice. I'll try the T3 as that's all I've got right now and see what happens.


Sophie, start with 10mcg split into 2 doses 6-12 hours apart. It is a low dose equivalent to 30mcg Levothyroxine and most people start on 50mcg Levothyroxine.


Wow. That's great! Thank you again. I keep saying thank you but I'm so grateful that I can even be taken seriously. I feel like my GPs don't believe me. I'll start the new dose tomorrow. Thank you again


Sophie, don't expect miracles, T3 works faster than Levothyroxine but it will still take several months until you are optimally dosed and can expect your symptoms to clear. You should stick to 10mcg daily for 4-6 weeks before increasing dose and have a blood test 6 weeks after you've been on 20mcg. Private tests can be ordered from Blue Horizon and Genova via


Great, I will definitely order the blood tests privately. I'll let you know how I get on. X


Blimey, Nothing like just jumping in and going for it with t3! Your tsh is too high and you would be diagnosed and given treatment everywhere except in the uk.

5 mg of t3 isn't really enough to be a replacement dose and the drawback of t3 is that you may need to multidose. 85% of people do well with levothyroxine. have you not considered that instead?

My personal choice wouldn't be to start on either synthetic t3 or t4. I was on them for years before I switched to buying myself NDT. ( dessicated thyroid tablets). I much prefer the NDT, its a less bumpy ride.

Xx g


Welcome to the forum! Good that you have found us. Good reply from Clutter that we need to see the ranges as these differ from lab to lab. It gives a better indication as to what is happening. You look so close as Clutter says to being prescribed T4 and I agree to wait for that and take the T4 which will be on offer. This may work well for you, it does for many but because of that they don't usually post on here so it may well work for you. One thing you must be aware of is that nothing is an instant fix. It takes time to get the dose right for you and even then it still takes time for your body to right itself and get back to working fully as it should and to hopefully get you back to where you should have been if you had never had a problem.

So diagnosis first then baby steps to did your correct dose. The reason it seems to take forever is that you will be started on a low dose so that your body can easily get used to the medication and over the next 6 weeks will be building up to its maximum in your body. You then need to be retested, most probably given a dose increase and then another 6 weeks before tested again. You will start to feel some improvement but may be not as much as you want but patience is needed to find what is best for you. You don't want to take too much and go hyper and have to drop back again. In the mean time read what you can and anything you don't understand then please ask and someone will answer your query. Also the support is always here when you start on medication.


Also you might consider doing a private blood test to see if you have antibodies against your thyroid. These are available from a number of labs, you don't need to go through a private consultant - see the links on the Thyroid UK site.

The NHS will eventually test for antibodies once your TSH gets high enough - but you may be able to speed the process a little by taking in your own results.

You will also then know yourself if you have Hashi's antibodies or not.

I did this and it did result in a diagnosis.


Thank you.., that's really useful advice. I will definitely do a private blood test. Thank you again.


Hello. Thank you so much for your reply. I've sent the reference ranges to Clutter. As I said before, I've suffered with hypothyroid symptoms for ten years but have never been diagnosed officially because my results always come back 'normal'. I'm so sick of being fobbed off by my GPs. I'll never get diagnosed or treated properly which is why I've decided to self medicate. I've lost ten years of my life. I don't want to lose the next ten. Shall I go for the T4 instead then?


Hi Sophie,

Hang in there and Don't give up. Your in almost the same predicament I was 18 months ago - fobbed off for years but deep down I knew there was a thyroid problem. Instaed of a trial of Levothyroxine I was prescribed Anti-Depressants and told to stop worrying! Eventually, I ordered private TSH, FT3, FT4 & Antibody tests as recommended above. Armed with both borderline thyroid results AND high antibodies (Autoimmune Thyroiditis / Hashis), my GP then reluctantly agreed to a trial on 25mcg Levothyroxine. In the meantime, I got in touch with Dr. Myhill who has twice written to my GP recommending dose increases - result is I am now on 100mcg T4 daily, and feeling better than I have for years.

The upshot is, don't give up. As others have said, you are very close to being clinically diagnosed, and in many other countries you would now be being prescribed thyroid hormones (make this point to your GP). Get some more ammunition, press for a trial and keep trying. Are there other GP's in the same surgery you could try - I've had 3 different opinions on the same thyroid prescribing from my surgery!. Sometimes a change of GP / Surgery is required, but doesn't always help - General Practice thyroid guidelines are a joke but we have to make the best of what's available. You’re on the right path, the advice and knowledge on here is phenomenal and the above people (and many others on the group) will help guide you to eventual better health. As already cautioned, dose adjustments are a long drawn-out process so patience is a must. Good Luck!!!


Hi Rick, thanks for your reply. Yes, I'm anticipating it will be a long time before I start to feel better again. I just wish I'd found this website years ago or started self medicating sooner. Anyway, the advice about private blood tests is invaluable, I hadn't thought of that before. I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks again. X


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