Please Help!

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Hi All, 

I'd really appreciate some insight into my thyroid panel results and some symptoms I am experiencing. 

I have a goiter and have had my thyroid tested over the years because of that. I've been experiencing some weight gain and have very dry, flaky skin on my face, so my doctor tested my TSH level, which came back at 3.17.

I'd had my TSH tested about 1.5 years ago, the result was 2.6, so he ordered a full thyroid panel because of the increase. Here are the results:

TSH: 2.32   Range: 0.45-4.5

F T4: 7.8     Range: 4.5-12.0

F T3: 28      Range: 24-39%

Free Thyroxine Index: 2.2 Range: 1.2-4.9

My results fall into the normal ranges, what I find odd is that my TSH fluctuated so much between two tests. Any thoughts on this? 

I feel pretty good except for my weight and the dry skin on my face. I'd so appreciate any insight! Thank you. 


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  • Posted

    Hi, that is not really a very big fluctuation in TSH. As you point out it is still in normal range and can move around from one test to the next. At this point therefore it is hard to pin your symptoms on the thyroid, especially as you don’t mention tiredness which would be expected if you were hypothyroid.
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  • Posted

    Your ranges are in range but not optimal. Optimal T3 uptake is 35%. +. Optimal TSH is 1.or below. Your FT4 and FTI need to be higher to raise T3 uptake. Have FreeT3 and reverse T3 ratio done. Gaining weight raises Reverse T3 and so does restricted dieting. Did you have antibodies done? Can't blame your overweightness on thyroid though. The extra pounds may be causing these results.

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  • Posted

    Hello J, I’ve been struggling with thyroid disease for some time now and will tell what I wish I’d known 20 years ago.

    If you have a growth on your thyroud, you have thyroid disease and your metabolism will fluctuate, as wil your weight.  

    You’ll need to keep a close eye on your health. As thyroid disease advances, it can toggle between hypo and hyperthyroidism 

    Watch your cycles and emotions. I found when my cycle started going wonky and I was crying for no reason, it was a sign that the thyroid disease was putting so much strain on my system that the rest of the endocrine system was very stressed, including adrenal exhaustion. Yet, my thyroid numbers were still well ‘in range’ and I could feel my cyst being active, swelling, etc.

    Early on, (within 5 years of the onset of the cyst) I was able to get my thyroid disease into remission. I was determined to lose the weight, changed my diet to higher protein and more natural, gave up trying satisfy cravings and worked out like crazy. I then moved to a warm climate, where I developed a habit of low cal, high protein smoothies because it was always very warm. Once in the warm climate, I spent a blissful 10 years delighting in my slender figure.

    Until I felt my thyroid go really wonky. I felt the environment was contributing to my thyroid disease and moved back to a slightly cooler (though still warm climate). The lower toxicity in the area I moved to helped, but the cold climate has been really tough.

    The take home is that high protein, clean, low fat diet and warm climate two major contributing factors to my remission.

    I feel the thyroid disease was retriggered by a combination of environmental factors and stress. I could feel my thyroid gland and it felt like the cyst was “stupid” cells: precancerous. I did a ton of tesearch and used supplememts and acupuncture to reduce the size of the cyst. However, I’d gotten roped into the thyroid medication game out of fear that my weight would balloon out if control and the thyroid disease would progress unfettered if I didn’t take medication. I was determined to stick with the natural, but as time progressed, I moved, changed docs, was stressed, I eventually succumbed to the pressure of synthetic meds. That was the biggest mistake, as they have no biologicsl activity and suppress your own production of thyroxin, but show up in blood tests. So it looks like your numbers are all fine, but all your symptoms are actually worse because the meds do nothing but block thyroxin receptor sites, and suppressing your own thyroxin production. A double whammy for the poor thyroid, which then freaks out and grows like crazy to try and fix the body. All the time being poisoned by the meds, which have really accellerated the thyroid disease.

    Now nearly ten years later and off the thyroid meds, its a slow recovery and now I’m stuck with the original hypothyroid disease and the multiple autoimmune effects of the levithyroxin, severe bone loss, constant bone fractures, crush injuries, constant pain, chronic pancreatitis, migraines... and oh yes, massive weight gain and edema. I will never work a full time job again. I don’t feel anything like the person I was ten years ago. It’s been very traumatic.

    The take home is that the thyroid meds aren't a guaranty fix and can cause way more harm than good. You’re better off trying supplements and diet changed and exercise in your own using trual and error methods. My majic formula includes essential amino acid complex supplements and  phenylalanine for the hypothyroid disease and treating the chronic pancreatitis with diet, supplements and fasting. I also go to acupuncture regularly, take herbs and supplements as needed and cleanse frequently.  Particularly, I make sure I cleanse the liver and gallbladder. 

    Well, that’s most of my magic formula. I’m slowly recovering from the storm of insanity of the Levothyroxin, which culminated in months of bedrest due to a broken foot. I’ve been off the levo over two years and I’m just getting to the point where I can kind of keep up a regular exercise routine. I’m still not up to walking a lot because of the broken foot. I’m hoping I won't continue to have broken bones,  which when they break are so bad that I can’t much exercise. They don't just have a little break, the whole bone splits in multiple places due to the bone loss.

    I’m not kidding when I say, you’re better off finding what’s  at the core of your illness and taking steps to prevent the advancement of the disease, than expecting medication to fix the problem. The medication doesn’t fix the problem. You can put a bandage over a splinter and it will kind of feel better, but the splinter is still there...

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    • Posted

      Catherine, have you had your levels done lately? I’d be interested to know.


      You know I don’t agree with you that Synthroid is just awful stuff and bad for you in all cases, but I do respect the dedication you show  to helping people here.


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    • Posted

      Yes Dave, I know you disagree. There was an article last year in a major medical journal, of a long time study on treating subclinical hypothyroidism with levothyroxin. The 5 year study showed no significant reduction in symptoms.

      Seriously. Do some research on the history of the drug. Perhaps you're afraid to find out that I’m not an anomaly, that I’ve actually done a ton of tesearch. The more I look, the worse it gets. 

      I have found few studies that show things like reduction of thyroid related kidney problems with levo. But the positive studies are few and far between and the negative studies are better controlled and published in more reliable journals. 

      There's no denying my horrible teaction to the drug, and  the thousands of other posts from others who had the same experience.

      Better to know in advance than get into the problem so bad you can’t think straight enough to get yourself out. 

      Test? What for? I’m so damaged I can’t take any thing even if the tests indicate it.

      By all means, enjoy that trip up  the Nile.

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    • Posted

      Maybe genetics had more to do with your health. People can have severe osteoporosis with and without any thyroid problem. Pancreatitis can also occur WITHOUT taking Levo.but by just being hypothyroid. If you have enough T4 to turn B2 into the active FAD that supports mitrochondria and helps the body absorb folate then maybe you are not hypothyroid and can make enough of T4 and T3 on your own by supplementing. Then that's great. Sometimes all the supplements in the world can help but not fix thyroid function enough.

      NDT doesn't work for everyone and is still made in.a lab and there have been recalls. Same with Levo. But Levo has been shown to lower antibodies and that is very important.....antibodies are not "the cleaners" they.can infiltrate the cells and make them cytotoxic and cause cancer to grow. Don't know if NDT has lowered antibodies only read that some people have an autoimmune response. and increase in.ABs and have to discontinue.

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    • Posted

      Think it was the Synthroid/levo that kept me from getting all the terrible health issues you have endured. I never had a cyst or had my thyroid grow...just had my antibodies decrease dramatically, lipids lowered, healthy blood glucose levels, very efficient kidneys, my biggest problem is having my dose decreased because of uneducated top of the line endos who don't understand suppressed TSH levels with within range thyroid hormones which happens with Synthroid/levo and NDT and T3 meds. Read that the big problem w all thyroid meds is mostly being UNDERtreated especially as you age and conversion to T3 and getting the hormones transported inside the cells becomes impaired. So rxd T3 but at too low of a dose by an uneducated "top of the line endo" who wanted initially to reduce my levo dose from 150mcg to 125mcg and add ONLY T3 2.5 mcg daily to "remedy" the problem. If I was as dumb as the endo and said that sounds ok I would've really be in thyroid hell. Feel sorry for those who don't know any better and suffer.from being UNDERmedicated by their doctors. I wouldn't discourage anyone from Synthroid as long as they are aware of when adding T3 is needed or discourage them from NDTs. We need to have ample T4 and T3 for many health reasons esp to lower the antibodies because they are cytotoxic. I didnt go gluten or dairy free either it happened when I got the right dose of levo and wasn't UNDERmedicated.

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  • Posted

    Catherine, I understand your position. I had a different experience. Around 30 years ago I started the classic symptoms of fatigue, took the blood tests and was diagnosed Hypothyroid. I went on Synthroid and it fixed the problem. Totally. I was able to hold down a high stress corporate job and raise a family. So am I a fan of Synthroid? You bet! Now a couple of years back I started the tiredness again, and that is a problem but I’m 75 so what can I say?
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    • Posted

      Dave, you don’t understand my position. If you did understand, you would think “oh hell, man am I lucky!” Instead of bashing the folks who were harmed by this medication.

      Really, if I’d have been told the possibile side effects, I probably wouldn't have believed it. Because this drug obviously does not meet efficacy requirements. But it doesn't need to because it was never tested in clinical trial. It was grandfathered in because it was already on the market before (FDA) drug testing existed. Check it out. It only got FDA approval because the FDA requested Abbot apply in 2001. It was approved in 2002- a rubber stamp, still no proper testing.

      In the end, at least if Id known ahead of time, Id have stopped listening to the stupidity of the doctors, saying ‘wait and it will work...’ And Id have stopped taking it immediately. Because the signs were there and the doctors ignored them.

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    • Posted

      No, I am not bashing anybody. Never did. All I’m saying is Synthroid worked for me. We are all different. Please understand, is all I’m saying. You are a smart person, I can tell.
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