How to use The Total T3 Lab Test to Help Evaluate your Thyroid

How to use The Total T3 Lab Test to Help Evaluate your Thyroid

Total T3 is one of many thyroid lab tests but few are more important. 

Unfortunately, most thyroid patients aren't even aware that it exists and even fewer have had it tested! 

This creates a big problem when trying to understand how well your body is utilizing T3 and how well you are converting T4 into T3

Today, I want to walk you through why the total T3 thyroid lab test is so important, what information it provides, and, hopefully, convince you to get it tested the next time you get your thyroid labs drawn. 

Article highlights:

  • Total T3 is a measurement of both free and bound T3 in your body. 
  • T3 is the single most important thyroid lab test you can order because T3 is the most important thyroid hormone. 
  • Optimizing your T3 may help you feel better, lose weight, and reduce your symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  • You should optimize your total T3 to the top 30% of the reference range but be cautious of making it go higher. 

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What Exactly is Total T3?

Before we jump in let me provide some quick background information to set the stage for this discussion. 

If you've been around for a while then you know that all of my articles contain links to clinical studies which provide further information on the claims that I make. 

I'd like to do this in this article as well but, unfortunately, there just isn't a lot of research when it comes to total T3. 

Much of this has to do with the current thyroid treatment paradigm which focuses on other lab tests such as the TSH and the free T4. 

There are more studies on those topics than on T3, especially total T3. 

With that in mind, I'm going to focus on how I look at this particular test and why I believe that it has value to you as a thyroid patient. 

Most of the information I will be presenting here is based on my own personal experience in using this lab test and in helping treat thyroid patients in the past.  

So, back to our regular discussion. 

What exactly is total T3?

Total T3 is a simple thyroid lab test (one of many, by the way), which is used to give you information on how much T3 thyroid hormone is in your bloodstream. 

Total T3 (1) should be differentiated from Free T3 (2) as they both provide different but useful information. 

Thyroid patients should care a lot about T3 for one important reason: 

The more T3 available to your body, the better you will feel. 

This simple logic is why it's so important to test your free thyroid hormones (free T3 and free T4) in addition to the standard thyroid lab tests such as the TSH

Total T3 and free T3, are perhaps the most important of all thyroid tests that you can order because they give you the most information valuable information. 

They help you understand how well your thyroid gland is working, how well your body is converting T4 to T3, and whether or not that hormone is getting to your cells. 

In addition, most of the low thyroid symptoms that thyroid patients experience can directly be blamed on low T3 (this isn't universal but tends to be true for most people). 

If this information is all new to you then make sure you check out this article which walks you through all 10 thyroid lab tests, what they mean, and why you need them. 

Free T3 vs Total T3

A lot of thyroid patients get confused when talking about these two tests so let's set the record straight. 

Free T3 is a measure of the free and active T3 (3) thyroid hormone floating around in your bloodstream. 

Total T3, on the other hand, is a measure of both the free and active T3 as well as the bound and inactive T3 floating around in your bloodstream. 

Because of this, total T3 is a larger and broader measurement of T3 and the values should be much higher when comparing it to free T3. 

This may sound confusing until you learn why the body has two different ways of moving T3 around. 

Because T3 is so powerful (4), your body only wants to have a small amount of it active at any given time. 

The rest of the T3 floating around in your body is bound up to a protein so that it can be transported to other cells and tissues without interfering with other organs along the way. 

The unbound and active T3 is known as free T3 and this is the measure that you get when you test free T3. 

This free T3 is ready to be used by the body and your cells at a moment's notice. 

As a percentage of all T3, free T3 is less than 1% of all of the T3 in your bloodstream. 

The bound and inactive T3 is known as total T3 and this is the measure that you get when you test total T3. 

When you test your free T3 you are testing for the incredibly small, but incredibly active, amount of thyroid hormone in your body. 

As a percentage of all T3, this measurement accounts for 99% of T3 in your bloodstream (5) which is why this value is much larger when compared to free T3. 

Most doctors are far more concerned with the active portion, though, because that's really what your body uses. 

For this reason, free T3 is often ordered more frequently than total T3. 

But that doesn't mean that total T3 has no value. 

In fact, the opposite is true. 

Total T3 provides a bigger picture as to what is happening with T3 in your body. 

It helps provide answers to questions such as these: 

From a practical standpoint, what do the values of free T3 and total T3 mean for you as a thyroid patient? 

I like to think of it like this:

Free T3 gives you a measurement of the short-term availability of T3 in your system. 

In other words, free T3 is a better measurement of your T3 levels at any given point in time. 

Total T3, on the other hand, provides you with a more stable and long-term picture of T3 in your system. 

You may see higher day-to-day fluctuations when testing free T3 but these fluctuations should be ironed out when looking at total T3. 

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To help drive this point home, consider this example:

Imagine you are someone taking a thyroid medication that contains T3 like Armour thyroid

Now imagine you go in to get your thyroid labs checked and your free T3 value comes back as low normal. 

From here, you have to make a choice: 

Do you increase your dose of Armour thyroid? Do you add T3 thyroid medication to your Armour? Do you drop your dose of T4?

It's hard to know which is the right answer without more information. 

And this is where total T3 steps in:

If you test your total T3 and find that it comes back as high normal then you know that you don't need to adjust your dose of Armour thyroid upward. 

In other words, the free T3 level was just a day-to-day variation and not much stock should be placed on it. 

On the other hand, if you test your total T3 and find that it comes back as low normal then you know the free T3 lab test wasn't just a day-to-day variation and you can consider increasing your dose. 

This is just one practical example of how testing your total T3 can help drive your treatment in the right direction. 

Free T4 vs Total T3

If total T3 is so important then why do doctors order free T4 instead?

Great question.

Let's break it down so you understand what your doctor is thinking. 

Doctors know, or at least they should, that T4 is considered a pro-hormone and its primary value comes from being a precursor hormone for the production of T3. 

Most of the T3 floating around in your body is created by converting it directly from the stores of T4 that your thyroid gland produces (6). 

Put another way:

T4 has a lot of potential value because it can be converted into T3 as necessary. 

Doctors know this potential which is why they make the assumption that if your body has enough T4 that it will automatically produce the required amount of T3 that it needs. 

t4 to t3 conversion in the body

In other words, they are trying to take a step back and let your body naturally determine how much T3 it needs on its own. 

Logically, this makes sense. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't play out this way in the real world. 

In the real world, we find that the thyroid conversion process can be influenced negatively by many different variables (7). 

If these negative variables are present then you can give a thyroid patient all of the T4 in the world but they won't be able to convert it or activate it. 

And this is exactly what happens to many thyroid patients who are taking thyroid medications like levothyroxine. 

As a quick overview, here are some of the variables that can negatively impact T4 to T3 conversion: 

If you have any of these conditions then the T4 that you are taking in the form of thyroid medication may never actually turn into T3. 

For this reason, you always want to look at both free T3 and free T4 (as well as total T3) together. 

Even though this is true, and it is a problem for many thyroid patients, free T4 as a thyroid lab test is still valuable. 

Just like free T3, free T4 is a measurement of the amount of T4 which is free and active in your body and which can be used by your cells to be turned into T3. 

Knowing how much free T4 is in your body is valuable because it helps you understand how much potential T3 your body can create. 

When it comes to biological activity, T4 still has some activity (11) but is far less active than T3. 

Reference Ranges for Total T3 & What They Mean

Let's take a minute to talk about references ranges and where you want your numbers to be. 

First off:

The reference range you see in your own labs may be slightly different compared to the values I'm showing here and that's okay. 

Each lab creates its reference ranges based on the local population, so they may be slightly different. 

Just do your best to compare your values to those I have listed here with a focus on the 'percentage' range that I recommend. 

Secondly:

These values really only apply to those people who are actively taking thyroid medication

The range of 'normal' is much broader for those people who aren't on thyroid medication. 

The standard reference range for total T3 is usually around 76 to 181 ng/dL. 

If you are taking thyroid medication you want your result to be in the top 30% of that reference range

By being in this area you will ensure that your body has sufficient T3 (both total and free T3) to do the work that it needs to. 

To further clarify this range, let's look at a number of examples. 

Example of a low Total T3: 

total T3 reference range

This example highlights someone who has an obviously low total T3. 

This patient has a total T3 of 75 ng/dL which is below the range of 76 ng/dL to 181 ng/dL. 

This one is obvious and easy to identify because it falls outside of the normal reference range. 

In cases such as these, you will want to put a priority on increasing total T3 by whatever means necessary. 

This might mean taking a thyroid medication with T3, increasing your dose of T3, or taking supplements to help support T3 levels. 

Example of a low-normal Total T3: 

low normal total T3

Perhaps a more common scenario that thyroid patients will run into is that of a low normal total T3. 

A low normal total T3 is one that falls inside of the standard reference range but is on the low end of that range. 

This example illustrates this concept perfectly. 

This patient has a total T3 of 91 ng/dL with the same range of 76 ng/dL to 181 ng/dL. 

Even though the result of 91 ng/dL falls inside of the range, it's on the lower end. 

This patient is someone who is able to produce enough T3 to stay inside of the range but not enough to be optimal. 

And those patients who are suboptimal often continue to experience low thyroid symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, hair loss, and so on. 

Much like the previous example, treatment here would focus on improving that total T3 with the use of T3-containing thyroid medications or T3 support supplements

Example of an "optimal" Total T3: 

Now let's look at someone who has a total T3 in the optimal range:

optimal total t3 for weight loss

My experience has shown me that most people do well when their total T3 is right around the tippy top of the total reference range just like this patient. 

Their result is 171 ng/dL which is very close to the high end of the range at 181 ng/dL. 

And this isn't just my opinion, by the way. 

We know from some studies that higher baseline levels of T3 are associated with more weight loss (12) and better management of low thyroid symptoms. 

If you are paying attention then you will probably notice that this patient also has a slightly elevated free T3 which is being flagged as high. 

Some doctors, if they were to see this, might try to convince the patient that they need to lower their dose or that they are hyperthyroid. 

While it is possible that you can become hyperthyroid with an elevated free T3, you shouldn't automatically make that assumption based on one lab test. 

This is why you always need to order the total T3. 

The total T3, in this example, is telling you that the patient has a steady long-term optimal T3 level. 

The free T3, which fluctuates day to day, can be high today but perhaps it may be normal or high normal tomorrow. 

You wouldn't want to make a decision based only on the free T3. 

In a perfect world, you would be able to optimize your free T3 and total T3 without suppressing your TSH (which is possible). 

Example of a high Total T3: 

elevated Total T3 example

Lastly, we also need to talk about what constitutes a high total T3. 

The good news is, much like a low total T3, a high total T3 is easy to spot. 

When high, your total T3 is will be flagged as such and you will often experience some set of symptoms consistent with hyperthyroidism (anxiety, heart palpitations, weight loss, hair loss, tremors, diarrhea, etc.). 

You can sometimes get away with a high free T3 for the reasons listed above but you really want to avoid having a high sustained total T3 for long periods of time.  

Putting the Picture Together

Now that you understand the importance of total T3, how are you supposed to use it to help guide your treatment?

The answer is relatively simple. 

You should focus on therapies, treatments, and medications which help you maintain a high normal total T3 in the optimal range. 

Because T3 is one of the best measurements of thyroid status in the body, you can use this test to help you understand how well (or not) your body is utilizing thyroid hormone. 

For instance:

Let's imagine a scenario in which you are someone who is suffering from hypothyroidism but who has a normal TSH and a normal free T4

From the perspective of your doctor, you are "treated" and any symptoms that you are experiencing can and should be chalked up to some other cause (this is around the time that patients get diagnosed with things like depression or just getting older). 

The only problem is that unless you order the total T3 (and free T3) you can't accurately make that assumption. 

In this hypothetical instance, most of you will find that as you order your total T3 you will find that it is either grossly low or on the very low end of the reference range. 

And, when you put this into context with other your other lab tests, as well as your symptoms, you will often find that it helps explain the full picture. 

If your TSH is normal and your free T4 is normal but your total T3 is low, then that is a problem that must be addressed. 

Your total T3 should take precedence over other "normal" thyroid tests because it carries more weight than they do. 

My personal recommendation is that each and every person who suspects they have thyroid problems and those who know they do should get a complete thyroid lab test which includes the total T3. 

The total T3 test may not be necessary each and every time that you check the status of your thyroid with lab tests but they should be required for your initial evaluation (or if you've never had it tested before). 

Final Thoughts

If you are someone with thyroid disease then you should have your total T3 evaluated at least once. 

This is especially true for those people who are taking thyroid medication faithfully but remain symptomatic. 

The total T3 lab test is a broad measurement of both active and bound T3 in your body. 

Total T3 should be differentiated from free T3 and free T4 as they all provide different information. 

When possible, do your best to optimize your total T3 to the top 30% of the reference range while maintaining a non-suppressed TSH. 

Following these rules will help you manage your thyroid while avoiding potential risks of hyperthyroidism.

Now I want to hear from you:

Have you had your total T3 tested? If so, what were your levels?

Is your total T3 optimal?

If not, are you planning on doing anything to help increase its value?

How are you feeling in relation to your total T3 lab test?

Are you having trouble getting a doctor to order this test?

Leave your questions, comments, or experience below! 

References (Click to Expand)

why the total t3 thyroid lab test is so important

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 70,000+ people have used them over the last 6 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do here.

P.S. Need more help? Check out my free thyroid downloads and resources.

38 thoughts on “How to use The Total T3 Lab Test to Help Evaluate your Thyroid”

  1. Hi Dr. Westin!
    I have been following your page for a few months now and used your advice to request testing for Hypothyroidism with a new dr that would actually listen and do a full panel. However, I don’t think they knew much about thyroid issues as they just wanted to put me on meds. I have been on Synthroid when I was pregnant with both kids but got myself off about 5 years ago. After taking on a very stressful teaching job this past Oct… I believe it onset my hypothyroidism even quicker! I am experiencing major fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, headaches, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, anxiety, mood swings…
    I really could use some direction in what supplements would be best for me to start with…and understanding my lab results a little more as I feel my new dr might not truly understand the complexity of thyroid issues.

    My results as of 3/18/19

    TSH – 5.090
    Free T3- 2.5
    Free T4 – 1.00
    Reverse T3- 16.1
    Total T3 – 97
    TgAB- 2
    TP0ab- 2

    Your videos, podcasts, and articles have been so helpful! Thank you so much for the work you do and sharing it!

    -sincerely…
    One exhausted Kindergarten teacher

    Reply
  2. I had recently been on Armour (90) & had bouts of hives lasting 3 months. Through the MRT blood test, I found I was moderately reactive to pork. Have since switched to bovine NDT, Thyro-gold. I started a week ago & feel better already after my trial with a different bovine previous to this (which I heard hadn’t been giving stable results.) Thyro-gold only comes in 150 & 300’s. I started with a 150. Could you advise me on my next step? I’m wondering if I should take part of a capsule in the early afternoon or just stay with the 150 in the morning. Thank you for any help you can give.

    Reply
  3. Dr. Childs,

    My recent lab results show a very low TSH (.15) and a low T3 (59). My T4 is normal. I had a thyroid obliteration four years ago and take 150 mg levothyroxine daily. My assumption from these lab results is that I am taking too much of the thyroid replacement, having crossed now into hyperthyroidism and need to reduce my dosage. I have not been able to find information on the unique combination of a low TSH and a low T3. Could you clarify this and how it is possible?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Christine,

      That’s probably not what is happening in your body because hyperthyroidism is a state of excess thyroid hormone which is typically caused by excess T3 and you don’t have that at all. So, absent of any hyperthyroid symptoms, that is probably not what is happening in your body.

      Instead, you are taking a high dose of T4 which is not being converted to T3 appropriately but which is sufficient to lower the TSH. This is most likely an indication that you are not on the right type and dose of thyroid medication.

      You can learn more here: https://www.restartmed.com/normal-thyroid-levels/

      Reply
  4. Hi, I have to ask, as I’ve not seen it anywhere else. Is it possible high t3 can cause (bad) asthma symptoms? I only seem to have asthma when I can’t get my thyroid levels optimal. I had thyroid cancer, so I’ve been without a thyroid for many many years. Not one doctor is willing to entertain the fact that my on and off symptoms are thyroid related.

    Reply
  5. Dear Dr. Childs,

    Thank you for the detailed, yet simple, articles on thyroid function and disorders.

    I gave birth to my son in 2017, after which I developed a goiter. I’ve had labs tests, ultrasounds and biopsies performed on my thyroid since then due to my family history of cancers.
    My thyroid markers were all normal (Total T3 – 1.09ng/ml, Free T4 – 1.3ng/mL and TSH – 0.93 u(IU)/mL) and the biopsies reported benign.

    However, I have symptoms of hypothyroidism – or so it seems: Fatigue, intolerance to cold (this has been life-long), hair loss after my pregnancy, extremely dry skin during my pregnancy that has mostly resolved, thyroid enlargement, brain fog/memory difficulty (and anxiety).

    To be fair, during the past 2 years I experienced deaths in my family including my father and I started to experience anxiety attacks and sleep disorders. Also, it has been difficult for me to distinguish what may be causing my fatigue since I have a toddler and spent many nights for years caring for my father and currently, studying for my MPH/RD. Recently, I have been exhausted and it is difficult to wake up energized.

    Bottom line – is it possible that I can have sub-clinical thyroid symptoms? Should I test for my iodine levels and would that matter? I take a morning multivitamin, liquid form.

    Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to your reply!.

    Kindly,
    Amber

    Reply
  6. Hi. Just did some thyroid labs this week and here are the results:

    Tsh 1.98
    T3 107
    T4 8.0
    Free t4 1.3

    What are your thoughts?
    My appointment is next week to discuss those labs, reason my dr order this was because of symptoms.
    Sleepy, always tired, weight gain, brain fog.

    Hope I can hear from you.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  7. Hi, I finally got my lab results today and my Total T3 is 232, but my TSH is .015…what does this mean? I’m confused about the results. I had to call several times to have the receptionist email my results to me, but she said the doctor had not reviewed the labs yet so I’m waiting on a call. Does anyone have any idea why the results are so far out of range? Thanks.

    Reply
  8. Evening, I started the Keto diet. Since then I started having severe hot flashes and cold flashes afterwards. Dry eyes, severe night sweats and heart palpitations. I started cutting back my Armour and this has helped. Do you have experience with patients having any issues such as this? Can a Keto diet help thyroid issues?

    Reply
  9. I’m surprised (to say the least) to see a doctor advocating optimal T3 levels, and working with both NDT and synthetic T3, stress the importance of a non-suppressed TSH. I find that (and I know I’m not alone since I read this all the time on the thyroid forum I’m a member of) that many, if not most, patients optimally treated with NDT and/or T3, will have a TSH <0.01 and fell perfectly fine, with no symptoms of being over medicated. So I’m afraid statements like the ones you make in this (otherwise interesting) article is not going to help patients feeling well only on thyroid drugs containing T3, be that NDT, Cytomel, or any combination thereof.

    Reply
    • Hi Anna,

      There’s a lot to unpack here and I won’t be able to do it in this comment but I think you are making the assumption that in order to feel well on NDT or T3 your TSH must be suppressed and this simply isn’t true. This stems from the flawed logic that free thyroid hormone levels must be optimized in order for patients to feel well or that you can brute force thyroid function with ever-increasing doses of NDT and T3. And this logic stems from the undertreatment of patients for many years with T4 only thyroid medications. But now it seems that the pendulum has swung from undertreatment to overtreatment.

      My personal experience suggests that most of the patients who fit into this category are overcompensating for other problems that are not being addressed. And using higher than normal doses of thyroid hormone to overcompensate for these issues will eventually lead to problems.

      I know from experience that having a low TSH may be necessary for some people, but your starting point (or acceptable treatment point) should not be suppressing the TSH. There may be some cases in TSH suppression where the benefits outweigh the risks, but this should be the exception and not the rule.

      There will always be consequences to suppressing pituitary hormones and those consequences should not be ignored. Many other tissues in your body have TSH receptors which will be affected by TSH suppression.

      *As a side note, just to frame this information and put it into context, I am someone who has treated hundreds of patients with all variations of thyroid hormones including T3 only, NDT only, NDT + T3, etc. etc. and in this time I have suppressed more TSH’s than I can count. The information I’m providing here is a result of these therapies and my deep dive into the literature and because of this, I would not be comfortable suppressing the TSH of my wife/mother (both who have thyroid issues).

      Reply
      • Even the insert on ndt and t3 meds show it will suppress TSH. For someone without a thyroid the tsh test is inaccurate as. There is an incomplete feedback loop. How would you treat/address low t3 in a thyroidless patient?

        Reply
        • The insert also says that NDT causes osteoporosis, atrial fibrillation, and complications during pregnancy. The insert lists all potential outcomes but doesn’t guarantee that they will occur. This is true of all prescription medications that must report any side effect ever reported to them by someone taking the medication.

          Reply
  10. Good article, but I think you are wrong about one thing. A lot of people taking T3 medication have a very supressed TSH and that is not a problem at all. Actually one of the biggest mistakes doctors seem to make is dosing by TSH or being to careful of not surpressing TSH.
    Greetings from the Netherlands.

    Reply
    • Hi Roxana,

      You are correct in that there are some people who have a suppressed TSH and who do not experience negative side effects but there is much more to it than that. For instance, pre-menopausal women have virtually no risk of bone loss with a suppressed TSH but post-menopausal women do. In addition, the length of time that your TSH is suppressed and the degree to which it is suppressed all play a role in how it affects your body.

      But to suggest that there is absolutely no risk to suppressing your TSH is just false. Whether or not you accept those risks and whether those risks outweigh the benefits of using certain thyroid medications is another question entirely.

      If you are speaking from personal experience with a suppressed TSH then you should read this article and the studies cited: https://www.restartmed.com/suppressed-tsh/

      Reply
  11. Dr. Westin, my free T3 (with cytomel and NP) is at 3.1 with the high reference range being 3.9. My total T3 is at 90 with the reference range 80-175. T4 is at 0.96 and that ref. range is 0.76-1.70.

    I’m feeling horrible. I’m having many hypo symptoms. My current dose is 90 mg of NP and 25mcg of cytomel. Both taken at night. Reverse t3 hasn’t come back as of today.

    I’m fine on D, B’s, iron and I take selenium.

    Thoughts? I’m pretty much on my own on dosing, as my doc isn’t up on how to help.

    Reply
  12. Dr. Childs,
    I have been doing a lot of reading on all of your research. I am very interested. My labs show TSH-0.924, Free T-4 0.68, T3 Total 77, and TPO AB-1. I am on 0.88 mcg Levoxy, and my Dr says I am at all normal ranges, yet I have multiple modules in my thyroid and gaining weight at furious rates with dieting and exercise. Hair falling out, dry skin, extreme fatigue, all the symptoms, and I continually go back and tell him about my symptoms. He specializes in Endo. His only suggestion has been switching to Synthroid as to date. Very frustrating. Any suggestions to take to him? I already have to specify which labs I want. Thank you in advance!!

    Reply
  13. Dr. Childs,

    What is the latest time your patients takes NDT/T3 medication? T3 taking late interfere with sleep yet the peak of FT3 is highest around/after midnight. This is a bit confusing since the half-life of T3 is 6-8 hours. Will you have enough of T3 during the night if your last dose was at 4 pm?

    Reply
  14. Hi,

    Is T3 correlated to pregnancy? I have been trying for a while and they say that could be a reason.
    Also, my T3 is 98 ng/dL TSH 0.687 uIU/mL, and my THYROXINE, FREE is 0.95 ng/dL I have been on Armour Thyroid 60 mg for less than a year. My T3 just increased slightly from 78 ng/dl but everything else has slightly decreased after. Is there a reason as why this happens and how long after taking medications should I see an increase in my T3

    Reply
    • Hi Teresa,

      I’m not sure what you mean by correlated with pregnancy but Thyroid function is definitely correlated with fertility.

      Reply
  15. I would have hoped people would be asking questions about Total T3 considering that’s what you were writing about and so we can learn more through your answers.

    I have always had a problem with my Total T3 being anywhere from 76-89, even despite having an optimal FT3 at one point. Even when I took 120 mg of NP Thyroid for a few weeks my Total T3 only got up to 113T(tsh was .05.) I don’t see any way to get my TT3 to at least 150 unless I totally cut most of my T4 and load myself up with T3, which would obviously push my T4 well below optimal levels. I don’t see any articles about TT3 and how to correct it. What should be the course of action to correct TT3 levels?

    Reply
  16. Hi Dr. Childs, I was diagnosed 1 1/2 yrs. ago with hypothyroidism and I’m still experiencing symptoms: cold hands/feet, low temperature, weight gain w/ inability to lose more than 5lbs., brain fog, fatigue, insomnia, sluggish, low libido, dry hair/skin, etc.
    My most recent labs from Oct. 06, 2020: TSH 1.06, T4(FREE) 0.56, T3(FREE) 4.9, T3(Total) 167, 25-Hydroxy 63.8,
    I’m taking your top supplement recommendations plus, NAC, Milk Thistle, Zinc Picolinate …….I would greatly appreciate any recommendations for my Endocrinologist’s is treating the numbers NOT me the patient. Thank you kindly.

    Reply
  17. Well, I’m down there at 76 and T4 levels somewhere around 82% in range. TSH was 1.8. The highest my total T3 has been in ten years was 89. Got it up to 113 dabbling with 120mg of NDT with a TSH of 0.05. SO how does one bring up Total T3 from 76 to the tippy top of the range without a suppressed TSH because once you start adding a certain amount of T3 it’s going to be suppressed. Are you supposed to cut you T4 down by 20-30mcg and bulk up in T3? Would appreciate a little more insight as to the treatment of low total T3. Thank you

    Reply
  18. Hello,
    My total T3 level is 184 and my TSH is less than .01 (pretty much non existent) and my reverse T3, free T3 and free T4 were within range as well. I still have very extreme fatigue. Not sure what else to try at the moment.

    Reply
  19. Dr. Childs, As far as I know no one has ever checked my total 3. I have been on thyroid medication just shortly after my first child was born in 1979.
    Free T4 1.27
    Free T3 2.4 this has been fairly steady all along.
    TSH 1.44
    Thyroid Peroxidase TPO AB. 413.5
    My next lab tests will be at the end of this month.

    My symptoms have been fatigue, and cold hands and feet. Never did I have hair loss, or problems with my weight. I was in a very stressful marriage for 36 years, my husband has since passed and my stress levels fell dramatically. I have had some inflammation over the years and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s years ago. I changed my diet and the swelling in my neck has never come back. I have always been diagnosed with an oversized thyroid. I also have nodules on my thyroid that so far have changed in size. I will have another Ultrasound in May 2022 to check the size again for comparison. My endocrinologist has wanted me to do a biopsy but I have refused until I see some change in the size of the nodules. Appreciate any input you would have to offer. I am currently using your T3Booster and just received the Thyroid Adrenal Reset Complex, because I have had adrenal and cortisol testing and they do fluctuate. Perhaps the Adrenal Complex will help calm down the adrenals. I will ask my Doctor for the Total 3 test when being tested at the end of the month. I am currently taking Levothyroxine 75 MCG. I have been cutting this tablet in half the last several months to see if I can get off my medications and am eating a Thyroid healthy diet as best as I can.

    Reply
  20. Dr. Childs, I do not know what to order. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto years ago. My last thyroid tests results : TSH 49.80, Free T4 0.38. Drs. say a full panel is unnecessary, Rx is 135mcg Levothyroxine. All endos here (Wichita, KS) are KU grads, same mindset.
    I’m beyond tired, not functioning well, have many physical issues, including allergies, glaucoma,
    joint/muscle stiffness, etc..
    Glaucoma Dr. Says no MSM, Glu/chon, steroids, etc. Endo says no biotin. One test showed high D3.
    I am eating little but gaining weight, although country life requires much activity. Think my digestive system is messed up, as not eating all day escapes notice.
    What do you suggest I order? Don’t think the Hashimoto pkg. may be right. I take Iodine and B vitamins, and was told to stop the D3.
    Any advice or help you can give me
    Will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie,

      Based on the information you provided I do still think the Hashimoto’s bundle would be best for you. I don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t want to use it based on what I am reading here.

      Reply
  21. Hello Dr. Childs.
    Our 24-year-old daughter has not been able to get answers to the following labs results over the years. She did have an MRI to rule out a pituitary tumor. At first glance at these numbers, what are your thoughts? Taking any kind of thyroid medicine leads to racing heart ect… Thanks for any help

    T3 Total: 66
    TSH: 1.68
    Free T-4: 1.0
    Free T-3: 2.9

    Reply
  22. Such a helpful article. My Total T3 and T4 are low: Total T3 is 84 (76 = low using Quest) and Total T4 is 5.3 (4.8 = low using Quest). Free T3 and Free T4 are both mid-range normal. Recent TSH is 2.69 and was 3.4 one year ago. Questions: 1. Do the Total results qualify as hypothyroid, and, 2. Can this also explain a slight decline in parathyroid lab (now low-normal)? Live remote and cannot get answers from local GP. Post-menopause.

    Reply

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