Advice on Test Results and Reducing T4/Increasi... - Thyroid UK

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Advice on Test Results and Reducing T4/Increasing T3


I'm new to the forum but am finding it really informative.

I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid in 2005 when my hair started to fall out and energy very low, also gaining weight. I was put on 50mcg thyroxine and just took that daily for years. Then in 2011, having gained 4 stone after a bout of depression, I did a bit of research on T3 and got my GP to refer me to an Endo, it took a lot of convincing but he put me on 10mcg of T3 daily along with my 50mcg Thyroxine. With a lot of diet and exercise I managed to lose quite a bit of weight. However I am now at a standstill because I feel like I need to be absolutely busting my ass 5 days a week in the gym and eating clean to make any kind of progress with my weight. I managed to talk my new Endo into increasing my T3 to 20mcg per day last year and worked very hard to get 14lbs off over 12 weeks which took every day at the gym plus a 40 minute daily walk on top of that. However, as soon as I pulled back on the exercise to 2 days a week but kept eating healthily, I slowly gained back 20lbs over 8 months. I'm now at the point where I am so frustrated as I feel like it's one step forward, two steps back. I'm also now getting other symptoms like dry skin on my head and cheeks and my concentration is terrible as I can just zone out and not hear a single word my daughter is saying to me.

I am seeing my Endo tomorrow and I would like to have him do my tests so that I can post on here and hopefully get some advice from you all. Could you tell me which tests to ask him to do for me and also advice on making a case to slowly reduce my T4 and increase my T3 as I think this would benefit me.

Many thanks in advance and sorry for the rant!

10 Replies

Have you got any results from full thyroid blood tests before T3 pills or after including autoimmune antibodies? I am rather surprised you were put on T3 when you were only on 50 mcg of levothyroxin. 50 mcg is usually a starter dose, and much cheaper to prescribe to get your active T3 up than any T3 pill! Have you any other symptoms other than weight related, and initial hair falling out? Ever had VitD, B12, folate and ferritin blood tests, or take supplements?


Thanks for your reply!

Now that I think back, before they put me on T3 back in 2011, my T4 was up to 100mcg daily. However, when he put me on the T3 10mcg originally, he did it on the condition that he reduce my T4 to 50mcg. I've just rang my doctor and the last blood test I had about 3 months ago is:

TSH - 0.19

T4 - 12.4

T3 - 3.8

I have no idea what any of those mean because any time I ask I'm just told 'oh you're quite normal'.

Other symptoms would be trouble sleeping - I never sleep right through the night. I also have issues with my bowels, I could go 3-4 days without a movement. Then I started to take digestive enzymes and I go almost every day/every other day. Before they increased my T3 to 20mcg I couldn't get through the day without a nap around 2pm, I just couldn't keep my eyes open at all.

Other supplements I take are:

Selenium, Cod Liver Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Vit C and Biotin.

I have not taken Biotin at all this week as I know I'm getting bloods tomorrow and read that Biotin can effect them.




What are the reference ranges for your tests? As ranges vary from lab to lab we need the ranges from the lab that did your test to interpret your results.

For example, my lab's range for FT4 is 7-17 so your result of 12.4 would be over half way through range. However, we also see 9-19, 12-22, etc. So your FT4 could actually be very low and you might be better with an increase in Levo to bring it further up the range. Your FT3 of 3.8 also, with my lab's range of 3.1-6.8 would be very low, but if your lab's range starts at 2 then it wouldn't be so bad.

When your new tests have been done, make sure you ask for your results with their reference ranges, if you get a print out they should be on there. Then come back and make a new thread and members will comment on your results.

As for tests to ask the Endo to carry out, we always advice a full thyroid panel plus vitamins and minerals, so ask for




Also if not already done ask for:

Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies

Thyroglobulin antibodies

And because optimal nutrient levels are important for thyroid hormone to work properly, you need current levels of:

Vit D





Thank you so much - that makes a lot of sense and I've jotted down everything to request at my appointment tomorrow. I've just found out the ranges the lab uses and they are as follows:

TSH - 0.27 - 4.2 (mine is 0.19)

T4 - 12 - 22 (mine is 12.4)

T3 - 3.1 - 6.8 (mine is 3.8)

I hope that is helpful for your feedback.

Thanks so much :)



So your FT4 is very low in range. Best to see what your new results are like and get those vitamins and minerals tested and we can see where to go from there.

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I'm afraid we need the ranges for those results. Results without ranges are meaningless, because they differ from lab to lab. :)


But you have no idea how your Vit D, B12, folate or ferritin levels are, these at optimum levels might solve some of your symptoms. You are undermedicated, but as I suggested before addition of cheaper T4 might solve this. But without seeing more test results and ranges difficult to tell.

1 like

Hello, I think you will need to increase the L-t4 dose. You are split your 20T3 dose?


I just take my 20mcg of T3 in the morning when I wake on an empty stomach along with my 50 T4.


Hey guys, so just following up from my original post. I got my test results and I don't know what to make of them, I have just copied and pasted from my doctor's email so any help/feedback/advice would be great. Thank you!

Ft4 9.3 pmol/l (12-22)

Tsh 1.02 miu/l (0.27-4.2)

T3 3.6 pmol/l (3.1-6.8)

Vitamin Da 63(nmol/L)

> 50 sufficient

Serum Iron16 (6-35 (umol/L)

Transferrin2.65 (2.0-3.6 (g/L)

Ferritina 22FER (ug/L)

Transferrin Saturation24(%)

HGB137 (115-165 (g/L)

HCT0.41 (0.37-0.47 (l/l)

WBC5.7 (4.0-10.0 (10^9/l)

PLT277 (150-450 (10^9/l)

RBC4.6 (3.8-5.8 (10^12/l)

MCV90 (76-100 (fl)

MCHC334 (320-360 (g/L)

MCH30 (27-32 (pg)

NEUT3.1 (2.0-7.5 (10^9/l)

LYMPH2.1 (1.0-3.5 (10^9/l)

MONO0.4 (0.2-0.8 (10^9/l)

EOSIN0.08 (0.04-0.4 (10^9/l)

BASO0.01 (0.01-0.1 (10^9/l)

B12 a 237 (197-771 (ng/L)


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