Thyroid blood tests

Hello, can anyone please advise. My sister's blood tests. She's on levthyroxine, 7 year's. 

She's been having palps and heavy aching arms, anxiety. 

Tsh O. 53 

 Ref 0.30 -5.00

Ft3 4.1

Ref 3.10 -6.80

I thought her ft3 is bit low. Dr did no other tests. Lucky to get ft3.

Please advise so I can show her your expert opinions. 

Thank you kindly

11 Replies

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  • I'm sorry that your sister has been diagnosed 7 years ago and is still suffering.

    Levothyroxine might work for many people, but the few (at present around 40,000 members- no mean figure) find they are worse than when before diagnosed.

    The doctor might be happy with the results but if your sister isn't 'happy' her dose needs to be adjusted. You are right in that her FT3 is on the low side but the GP will believe that the TSH is 'normal' so she will be 'normal'.

    The doctor will probably not be able to explain why your sister has pain, but those of us who've had it and now dont (myself for instance) was due to the addition of T3 to the T4. Your sister's doctor may instead offer prescriptions for medications other than than an increase in T4 or adding some T3 and the pain will continue.

    I shall give you a few links:

    web.archive.org/web/2010111...

    web.archive.org/web/2010111... 

    web.archive.org/web/2010111...

    Ask the GP for T3 to be added on a trial basis for 3 months. He probably wont so it might be sensible to source it herself.

    I had those symptoms too but they've gone now I am on T3 only. I don't ever want to go back to the palpitations, trips in ambulance, stiffness, anxiety because you don't know what the blazes is going on particularly when you are on prescription meds expecting them to make you better not worse. :)

  • Everything you say is right. I've tried to explain things to her over the years but she's quite dismissive and gets short  if I say too much about trying to help. She just carrys on even though shes suffering. Like as though she doesn't want to face it or deal with it. I feel awful for her I really do. She's had 2 early miscarriages too. I've been down this road alone, 11 years  I was on levo and I didn't want it for her.  After the levo hell I had 6 years better on ndt but really well on t3 last 5 months.

    I've sent her this link to this site, hoping she'll reach out and get help here. 

    Thanks so much

  • Unfortunately some conditions run in families and we don't want them to suffer unnecessarily so. I'm surprised i.e. miscarriages that more notice isn't taken of them as that's common in hypo as well as periods, hysterectomies etc. all female problems.

    I'm glad you are better on T3 only as I am and we might have the defective gene which makes converting T4 difficult to T3. I don't care now as long as I have sufficient T3 to enable me to have a healthy life. It's a blessing.

  • Yes me too. I self treat with t3. You know I actually felt the t3 dose wash over me in a calming wave. I felt so calming but energizing, literally charing my cell's.

    I could feel it was Everything my cell's needed.

    I got this feeling when I started recently taking  my t3 as one dose a day. Like you said you can have a life again dosing once. So happy.

  • It's true for me as well. Instead of body feeling as if it was crazy and making me so uwell, pure calmness reigned when I took T3. I suppose Dr Lowe referred to 'tissues' which I would say 'flesh' - everything relaxed and pains resolved.

  • The fact that you and your sister both have thyroid problems could point to a genetic condition.  Your use of a single daily dose of T3 would also support that.  You may even have other close relations with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression or hypothyroid.

    The terms thyroid hormone resistance or impaired sensitivity to thyroid hormone are used to describe the genetic defects which cause the body to show symptoms of hypothyroid when the levels of T3 (the active hormone) are normal.  The treatment is to take a high daily dose of T3.

    I will send you a message about a book on this which may help explain the condition to your sister. 

  • How much Levo is she taking? She really needs to have her FT4 and FT3 tested at the same time to see if she's converting.  

  • Hi, she's on 125 mcg as of levo since October last year. This is the only blood test since then. Dr only did tsh and ft3. I know she's not well. She pushes herself a lot. She's got appointment next month now for 24 hour heart monitor. I can't get thru. 

  • It's terrible, isn't it, when they Don't listen to you. Doesn't sound as if her doctor knows much about thyroid, either. 125 isn't a very high dose, and obviously not enough. It's probably her low T3 causing her heart problems, too.

  • Yes, I believe it is the low t3. Her husband said doesn't look like there's much of a problem there after looking at her blood tests. Just clueless. 😞  

  • Has your sister ever had her B12, ferritin, and folate levels checked? If B12 is low there are lots of symptoms the same as underactive thyroid, in particular aches and pains and tiredness, and a foggy brain. I'd been on Levo for 15 years and feeling very unwell, my GP tested my B12 and it was low. The B12 injections have made a huge difference to my energy levels and ability to think clearly. If B12 is low, we can't convert T4 properly. Now I can think more clearly I realise how accepting I was of how badly I felt. I'd just lost all motivation.

    I'm also trying adding T3 to my Levo, and that is making a difference too.

    Wishing your sister well, how lovely you are looking out for her.

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