What have you been diagnosed with? T4 is a thyroid hormone; TSH is a pituitary hormone used to stimulate the thyroid into producing more hormones, when the pituitary senses that there is enough thyroid hormones in the body. The other, more important thyroid hormone is T3, which is the actual hormone that's available for use by the body. T4 must be converted to T3 in order to be utilized.
For best result, you should be tested for FREE T4 and FREE T3 - those tests indicate the actual amount of usable hormones.
What tests have been done? Please post results, along with reference ranges, since the ranges vary from lab to lab; that will help members comment more fully on your situation.
I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's. As far as any testing done I am not sure. I went in and had a routine blood test. When I went back for the results I was told I have Hashimoto's and prescribed synthroid. I go back in a few weeks for blood test to see if the dosage is right. I knew nothing about thyroid disorders until I got home and looked them up so I did not ask my doctor anything. He did say my case was slight so he was starting me out on the lowest dosage of synthroid. I will get the results from the first test and my next one and post the levels of everything. Please excuse any mistakes I make on my post as this is the first forum I have joined and am trying to learn my way around. Thank you for your time and support.
Don't worry about mistakes here. I noticed that your title mentioned what questions to ask. I think that would be an excellent topic to discuss. And It would be awesome if some of the more experienced could get together and make a list. What questions to ask your Throid doc and What testing Should be being done.
How about it Forum Friends??? Or maybe ya'll have done one already, if so where can we find it??
Anybody Up for It??
(HEY , I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!)
Be sure to get a copy of your lab results at every visit and post with the reference ranges as Barb suggested.. Still waiting on my copy!!!! I asked for it to be faxed to me on Monday.
Hang In There!!
Many of us trust our doctors to do the best for us, only to find out, at some point, they don't always do that. One of the main things you should remember is to ALWAYS ask for a copy of any labs, or other tests that are done. I don't know where you are located, but if in the US, your doctor is obligated, by law to provide you with a copy, upon request.
Questions to ask would vary from person to person, depending on symptoms, lab results and the specific diagnosis.
In regards to making mistakes, don't worry, we all do; I sometimes get in too big a hurry!! In fact, I see that I actually made one above, so I'll rephrase my comment...... I said "TSH is a pituitary hormone used to stimulate the thyroid into producing more hormones, when the pituitary senses that there is enough thyroid hormones in the body." It should read "TSH is a pituitary hormone used to stimulate the thyroid into producing more hormones, when the pituitary senses that there is enough NOT thyroid hormones in the body." In other words, typically, when thyroid hormone levels drop, TSH rises.
Whenever you get a copy of your labs and post them, members will be able to help much more.
Sassy ---- you might have to call your doctor again; seems that someone ignored your request.
Oops -- I still made a mistake ------ let's try again......... it should say "when there is NOT enough thyroid hormones"....... grrr.
lol. I was reading your correction and I was thinking, gee what am I missing... The correction looks exactly the same. Its ok, we all especially hypos make mistakes haha.
Sorry it took me so long to respond I have been sick with the flu twice and had strep throat. :( I am going back for the results for my second blood test tomorrow and I will defiantly get a copy and start keeping them. I know what you mean by the doctors may not have your best interest at heart. He basically told me I have hashimotos on his way out of the door, I had to come home and get on the computer before I found out what it was all about. He made it sound less serious than a cold. Needless to say I was shocked when I started reading! He did say I had a low case and I would have to take the med. for the rest of my life. Due to problems with doctors in the past I know they are not miracle workers and have too many people to keep up with so they cant remember everything therefore I make it my business to try to keep up.
I would like to say thank you for all of your info I really am out of my element when it comes to thyroid disorders but am hoping to learn with time.
Lots of good discussion and info here already. I just wanted to add something to keep in mind as you proceed.
A good thyroid doctor will treat a patient clinically, by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 levels as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels. Symptom relief should be all important, not just test results. The main value of test results is during diagnosis, and then to monitor progress as meds are increased toward symptom relief.
Hopefully your doctor will be willing to treat you clinically, and will also be willing to prescribe meds other than T4 types, if necessary. Probably a good idea to find out if your doctor is going to be willing to do these things. If not, then you are going to need a good thyroid doctor that will do so.
Got my results again sorry it too so long to get back had a family crisis. I'm unsure how to read the results so i posted them in my photos if that does anyone any good lol. But here is what I can read the first test in February says TSH 5.44H March TSH 0.39 T4 Total 12.7 TUptake 34 FTI 4.3 T3 88.1 Doc says my levels are perfect that my dosage was spot on.