T3 too low?

I'm new here and after feeling unwell for some time now have started investigating my health for myself. I had some tests done recently, some of which I had to pay for privately. My question is about my free T3 test result. It is 3.7 pmol/L ( lab range is 3.1 - 6.8). It seems low to me but I don't really know. My other results were TSH 2.24 mu/L ( lab range is 0.35-5.50). My free T4 was 13.9pmol/L (lab range 9.0-22.7).

I've been on levothyroxine for 16 years now. My dose is 75 mcg per day. After having a series of tummy viruses a year ago I lost a lot of weight and now I feel very, very tired. Does it seem like I may need a higher dose of thyroxine? I would be really grateful for anyone with any insights for me.

I also discovered recently that my ferritin is 16 ug/L (range 10-291). My GP says that is a normal result. Ditto for my thyroid results.

8 Replies

  • Ferritin 16 ug/L (range 10-291) is far too low. For your thyroid hormone to do it's job properly it needs to be at least 70, even better would be half way through the range. You need to supplement with iron. I can't understand why your GP doesn't see that. If you can't get your GP to prescribe an iron supplement you can buy this yourself. Take any iron supplement with 1000mg Vit C to aid absorption and help prevent constipation, also take 4 hours away from thyroid meds. Low iron can also cause tiredness.

    It would also be helpful to test Vit D, B12 and folate. All need to be optimal. Once vitamins and minerals are optimal then your thyroid hormones have a better chance of working.

    For someone on thyroid meds the aim is for TSH to be 1 or below and FT4 and FT3 to be in the upper quarter/upper third of their ranges. So you could do with an increase in your dose.

  • Hi Sarah, Your results are not optimal and they have to be to feel well. Your TSH is too high and the rest are too low. You need iron for your thyroid to produce hormone which should be more like 18 than 13. How is your B12 and folate? I do not understand these GPs knowing you have symptoms and all your tests are barely within range, especially your FT3 which must enter your cells but you hardly have enough to do that. Can you demand an increase. If not, get your own, it's very cheap. T3 is also quite reasonable. It's senseless to allow your health to deteriorate because of these obstinate doctors.

  • Thank you SeasideSusie and thank you Heloise

  • The replies were very helpful. I should get my vit D checked. I had my serum B12 checked. It came back as 951 ng/L (lab range 211-911). I have never taken B vitamin supplements and was surprised it was so high. I asked the GP to check it again and two months later it was 676 ng/L with same lab range as above. I have read that the serum B12 blood test is not a very reliable guide to B12 status but I am not sure what tests I could do instead. Could anyone recommend something? My serum folate was 13.4 ug/L (lab range 2.8-19.0).

    While feeling very, very tired is the thing I struggle with most, I also have other symptoms - constant ringing in my ears, pain in armpits, sometimes tight chest and heart palpitations, low weight and unable to gain it, sometimes nerve pain in toes and finger tips and often problems remembering words. GP has given me a echo cardiogram and I have had ultrasound on my armpits. Both tests came back with nothing abnormal. I thought that some of these symptoms could be down to B12 deficiency. Many of these symptoms have gradually come on since suffering a series of tummy viruses a little over a year ago. Should I investigate possible gut problems causing malabsorbtion? Does anyone have any insights?

  • Hi Sarah, oh, I think we are on to something. There is a problem with methylation where you have seemingly high levels of B12 but you are definitely deficient. The problem comes when your B12 is not really active and just circulating in the blood making it appear you have plenty of it. I'm trying to find some info I had seen but it may be buried in the website. Skim through it and see if it seems to relate and let me know. forums.phoenixrising.me/ind... I'll look further and if it does it could be due to this. suzycohen.com/articles/meth...

  • Thanks Heloise, I certainly will look further into the possibility of a masked B12 deficiency. A number of my symptoms fit. I would like to find what tests I could have done that would give me a clearer picture of my B12 status. The serum B12 is the only one I have had done. Any thoughts?

    Also, methylation, sounds like l should learn more. I do react to drugs quite strongly so may be a possible explanation.

  • You could look up info on the MTHFR gene. Have you heard of 23andme? You can have your DNA tested. While many people have a methylation problem, it can be in varying degrees. Best wishes on your road to better health!

  • Thanks Heloise, I have lots to look into. I will be back with more questions, I'm sure.

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