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Total T3 vs Free T3 in Hypothyroidism?
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Total T3 vs Free T3 in Hypothyroidism?

My doctor checks total T3, saying that the Free T3 is an unreliable assay. This is contrary to what I have read online. Yet he is one of the leading thyroid specialists in the country. Looking for any valid information to back up what he is telling me.
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393685_tn?1325870933
The T3 testing only measures the "bound" or stored hormone that never goes anywhere.

I can't give you an answer why your doctor is saying Free T3 is not a good test because clearly it is the FREE T3 that should be measured to see what actually is going through your body to help your symptoms of your condition. The free testing IS the actual level moving through you - hense the word "free"

I had an endo that didn't rely on any Free testing only T4 and TSH - I was very ill for a long time - I left that office and found another doctor who really understands how to help hypothyroid patients get over their symptoms and balance the hormones out.

He does run all the Free t's testing too. I do feel better now finding a doctor that has helped me get well. He is a very well known MD - but is classified as a doctor that knows about all the hormone levels - Not just an endo.

As for valid information you can look up an aray of Free T3 information on a search. Try going to endocrineweb.com for starters.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks Stella. I am very confused. He and the doc he works under are considered the top doc's in my city and are known nationally and internationally. They were recommended to me by one of the big thyroid patient advocate groups even! He tests the free T4 but said Free T3 is not a reliable test in hypo patients. I have placed a call to him for clarification on this and when I hear back I will post an update!
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Avatar_f_tn
back again with an update from my doctor. He strongly believes that the free T3 test is very unreliable, and often inaccurate test.  Yes, the Total T3 measures both the free and bound hormones but said it is a much more reliable test and much more clinically useful in terms of adequate dosing of medication. He is a top thyroid specialist and he is open to all the treatment options and doesn't follow the old standby of "TSH and Synthroid" as the holy grail. He will RX cytomel, armour, treats symptoms not labs, etc so not one of "those docs".
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393685_tn?1325870933
Well who am I to question his experience. I found being in my situation the total T3 test I was given for years was not what helped me get better

and looking soley at the Free T3 was to my benefit to concentrate on recovering from my symptoms.

Again I believe as many doctors hopefully do that every cell in the human body is different from another - so in treatment and labs we all have to be looked at as different too.

It sounds he may be very helpful and patient with you if you require switching meds or looking at other things to help you balance out.

I wish you well on that.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think your doc is on the right track for your specific case and the free t3 was needed to test the other person writing in.  I think you are in good hands.  Free t3 can be very unreliable.  i just switched from levoxyl to armour and am going through the whole 3month peroid of testing a dose and doing bloodwork and adjusting....I hate it but I am feelins so much better on armour than the synthetic and am not having the terrible side effects i did with synthetic.  That is my body and I finally found a dr that is willing to listen and be specific to my needs.
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