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Need help interpreting thyroid #'s

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  • Need help interpreting thyroid #'s

    Have not been able to lose weight despite a 1200-1300 calorie diet of mostly primal. Had a baby in August and have not moved a pound since the initial hospital weight loss.

    TSH 2.45
    Free T4 1.41
    Total T3 67

    They said I am normal. I know something is NOT right!! Does anyone have any info for me on my numbers??? Could they be causing me problems??

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Some more info to add.....

    I lift weights 3x a week and walk 3 miles daily. This is really frustrating and anybody who can help me that may have experience with this, I would be very grateful! According to what
    i've found, my T3 is completely out of the normal range.


    • #3
      A low calorie, high-exercise diet? I would be more interested in your cortisol levels! What are you doing that for? Have you read the book?
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


      • #4
        No. But my something is so messed up that I think I would gain if I ate more. Any suggestions?? Do you know if my T3 is off?


        • #5
          Reference ranges please.


          • #6
            Your T3 is low. So yeah you properly have thyroid issues. But that just begs the question: why? I think it might have to do with a low calorie diet, stress, and all that follows from such a lifestyle. Why not start a journal over in the journals section and give some detailed information about what you're doing. Then people will respond. It's a sweet deal
            Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

            Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


            • #7
              Adrenal fatigue
              The website I linked is a really good resource to start with in regards to Thyroid and Adrenals.
              I can relate with what you are going through, I had the same issue after both of my children were born. I was eating usually around 1000 cal/per, walking 2-3 miles everyday, breastfeeding and I couldn't lose any weight at all. All my tests came back normal (except magnesium which tested low. You might want to get that checked too) I was also getting little to no sleep and had a fairly demanding baby.
              I had full blown adrenal fatigue and I had no clue.
              I second the journal recommendation. It really helps to have someplace to journal your eating, activity, mood even.
              Good luck hannahm34
              Calm the f**k down.


              • #8
                Get to an endocrinologist that knows what adrenal fatigue is. Many won't pay attention.

                There are a lot of other things that are hormone related that can make TSH unreliable. A lot of docs don't like to hear that because it is not what they learned in med school and they don't keep up!

                I had docs that only focused on TSH and this was a complete waste of time. It was adrenal fatigue.

                If you are eating low cal and still having trouble losing, you also want to know what reverse T3 (rT3) is. That is the hormone that slows your metabolism down when you are starving. If the ratio of rT3 to T3 is high, your metabolism can slow by as much as 40%.


                • #9
                  I will for sure start journaling!

                  Metismomma: I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue about a year and a half ago (right before my pregnancy) I was told to stop all exercise and just walk. I was put on some adrenal balance pills, travacid x, and one other pill that promotes good gut bacteria. I was told that following that protocol I should get better (it was stage 3) and if I feel needed, to check again after pregnancy. My baby is 7 months old now. I lost an initial 20 pounds after I had her but haven't moved a pound since. I did a round of p90x (nothing), am now doing turbulence training, which is weighlifting 3x a week only for about 25 min. I don't know how I could be back in adrenal fatigue with just weightlifting and walking, but I must be. I know the cals are low, but that is my last hope to shed some pounds. I truly believe if I ate more I would balloon due to the sluggish thyroid. What helped you?? I have been supplementing with a ton of vit c and vit b as well as coconut oil daily.

                  Stabby: Do you really think just walking daily and a 25 min weight session is over-exercising??? I guess maybe I could be overdoing it. And if so.....I have been WAY overexercising the last 6-7 years prior to this, because I used to do MUCH more. I read in a very old thread some advice you gave to someone about losing fat. It had something to do with eating salmon most days, getting in a lot of fat, and supplementing with gelatin (fiber). Do you think it would be wise if I tried to eat this way for awhile? Do you think that would help?? You seem like you you know a lot, so your advice is greatly appreciated!

                  DFH: I am looking into finding a good practitioner. The one doc that ran my labs was crazy. Told me straight out that I'm fine and that if I had to eat 1300 cals for the rest of my life just to not gain weight, then that would be what I would have to do. All he could say is that I was a healthy BMI and that I eat right and exercise so I am better than 90% of Americans. He even suggested I do MORE CARDIO such as elliptical and running if I wanted to get more weight off.
                  The T3 that was run was total T3. Does that number not mean anything without the reverse T3???
                  I'm hoping that I can fix this adrenal/thyroid issue. I have been working on lowering stress (which is no where near is bad as it used to be), eating fully primal, and just moderately exercising. What helped you with your adrenal fatigue? Are you fully recovered???



                  • #10
                    Total T3 means nothing. You should get FREE T3, reverse T3, & thyroid antibodies. (in addition to checking cortisol levels).
                    Vitamin D would be good to check as well.
                    If you are still eating any gluten you should try eliminating it completely.
                    TSH means nothing without doing the other thyroid/adrenal tests.
                    Last edited by ittybitty; 03-19-2011, 06:19 AM.


                    • #11
                      You said your T3 is 'out of range.' Is it out of range LOW? If so, that's serious. I have Hashimoto's, an autoimmune thyroid disease that's typically triggered in women at times of hormonal disruptions--puberty, childbirth, menopause. Your T3 is the 'functioning' hormone, and if it's that low, I'm surprised you aren't gaining weight rather than just not losing. Any why didn't your doctor respond to this?

                      Total T3 doesn't mean "nothing," as the previous poster asserted. In fact, if your total is low, then your "free" (what is available to your body) is likely even lower. But you definitely need an endo who will follow up on these tests.

                      Most good endos will treat anyone with a TSH over 2.0 who is symptomatic, even if their T4 and T4 are in normal range.

                      You need a good endo because it's my understanding that if you have any adrenal issues, they need to be addressed before the thyroid.

                      Vigorous exercise is not recommended for anyone with adrenal issues or unmedicated hypothyroidism--it stresses those glands too much.
                      Last edited by emmie; 03-19-2011, 06:24 AM.


                      • #12
                        Ok, for adrenal fatigue
                        -sleep, lots of sleep
                        -no caffeine
                        -an adaptogen(ashwaghanda, maca, siberian ginseng)
                        -being kind to yourself
                        -vitamin D3(almost forgot )
                        Going primal helped me the most, though coconut oil was a good start.
                        For me, the vitamins weren't working because I was having a hard time absorbing them. Digestive enzymes ftw

                        Are you breastfeeding? If you are, you need MORE calories, way more. You are making enough to maintain your supply but thats about it. Not getting enough calories can be a stressor on your body also. Its not just the exercise that put you back into adrenal fatigue, its everything. Its having a baby, its raising a baby, its exercise, its sleep, its not enough calories. If you have been in adrenal fatigue before, its easy to get back there.

                        The first thing you need to address is your adrenals, rather than your thyroid. When your adrenals are in order, then your thyroid will work the way its supposed to. though atm, we can't tell what is going on with it since we don't have enough information. Check out the rest of that website to find what tests need to be done in order to get a real diagnosis on your thyroid.

                        That is, of course, if it is your adrenals. Until you have more testing done, it could also be your thyroid...or magnesium, or iron, or B12...

                        Its frustrating isn't it? I ended up not losing the rest of my baby weight(for both kids!) until they were 2. Then I found MDA. heh.
                        Calm the f**k down.


                        • #13
                          I stand corrected. I just meant it doesn't give the complete picture. Free T3 is the more direct measurement IIRC.
                          Good endos can be a pain to find depending on where you live. Try looking into functional endocrinologists. There are also good general practitioners, osteopaths & OB/GYN docs. The only docs I've had who check adrenals were an osteopath & a gyno.


                          • #14
                            This all depends on the lab where you get these drawn and their reference value. At my hospital, anything between 0.5 and 4 is normal for TSH, so 2 would be a perfectly fine number given the normal free T4.

                            You may indeed have some metabolic issues going on, but I don't think its primary thyroid..


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DFH View Post
                              If you are eating low cal and still having trouble losing, you also want to know what reverse T3 (rT3) is. That is the hormone that slows your metabolism down when you are starving. If the ratio of rT3 to T3 is high, your metabolism can slow by as much as 40%.
                              Could you tell me your source for this? I've never seen it given an objective number. Thanks!