Drop in T4

I have been feeling very tired for quite some time. Had blood test and my T4 had dropped to 17. My T4 needs to be about 21 for me to feel well . Doctor said I could increase up to 125 in two stages . Took extra 12.5 mcg and it didn,t make any difference so have just gone up to extra 25mcg. Just wondering , does T4 go lower with age as I am now 71.Last year had a full bloods done and I thought one or two things were in the bottom of range. Doctor said it was O.K.I am thinking of asking for another full blood test and if they say no maybe I should get a private one.

9 Replies

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  • Sylvia22

    If you can get a print-out of your last blood test results, with the ranges, and post them on a new question members will be able to respond.

    Three words not to take at face value, is 'normal, o.k.' or fine' when referring to blood tests for your thyroid gland. We usually feel much better when our TSH is low or very low and some need it suppressed but many doctors wrongly believe if the TSH is even at the higher end of the range that we've sufficient hormone replacement. Not true.

    If you've not had a blood test for a while tell your doctor you need a Full Thyroid Function Test (TSH, T4, T3, FT3, FT4) which he may refuse to do and also some labs don't if your TSH is in range.

    If he says he cannot request a full thyroid blood test request a TSH and Free T3 only. This is the reason why a Free T3 is important but rarely done and to read the rest of the extract go to

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    :-

    "Extract

    FT3 = FREE T3

    T4 converts to T3 and is the only thyroid hormone actually used by the body's cells.

    The approx. reference range for Free T3 is 4 to 8.3

    We at Thyroid UK believe that you need to know your Free T3 level too because this will often show low if you are not converting, and high if you have blocked receptor cells. Even if you are converting, the body needs the extra T3 that a normal thyroid produces. There has been some research to show that people feel better on a mixture of Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). Effects of Thyroxine as Compared with Thyroxine plus Triiodothyronine in patients with hypothyroidism – The New England Journal of Medicine Feb.11, 99 Vol. 340."

    If you've not also had your Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate tested for a while ask for these too.

    Your blood test for thyroid hormones should be at the earliest and fast (you can drink water) and leave about 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take it afterwards.

  • Thank you.When I said blood tests I was talking about ferritin globin etc.Some of them were at the bottom of the range. My T4 is now 17 used to be 21. Don't think they did T3.

  • Sylvia,

    I read (several times over) that thyroid hormone replacement is decreased in the elderly to control the metabolic processes from further ageing an already aged body.

    My thoughts are surely this would only happen if the patient was over medicated !

    Why they expect those elderly hypothyroid patients to live with a low thermostat, slowed digestion, weight gain, poor concentration, hair loss, depression and everything else that goes with a low T4 level is beyond me.

    If you post recent thyroid hormone blood test results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) members will comment.

    Do you have gut issues?

    Are your iron and nutrient levels optimal?

    Flo

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    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

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  • Thank you.

  • Sylvia22, thyroid function decreases as we age, and autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) will also progressively destroy thyroid function, so patients on replacement will need dose increases. Vitamin D and B12 levels also decline as we age so I would suggest you ask your GP to test vitD, B12 and folate. Good levels of vitD and B12 can apparently delay onset of dementia and Alzheimers.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________

    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • Thank you. This makes me wonder if most people with Alzheimers have really got underactive thyroids.

  • Sylvia22, I believe B12 deficiency has been misdiagnosed as Alzheimers but I've not heard that hypothyroidism has.

  • Hi Sylvia, my experience after many years on hormone I had to add a half grain to my Armour. It's good to check the cofactors and keep them up as well. It will take a month to see all the results of what you have done so far approximately.

  • Thanks for all the replies

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