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I just got my new TSH results. have them done about 3 times a year..my numbers are 11.22 :blink: I couldn't believe its that bad..the normal range is .3 to 3.04 mo wonder I'm so tired and feel like crap and this is while taking synthyroid!!

5 years ago I had Graves..it never ends

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I always thought they were basically the same?

Nope.

The thyroid gland produces a hormone called T4, which contains four iodine molecules (thus T4 ). It is the only organ in the body which can make T4, which our bodies need, so it is a problem when it's not functioning right. However, our bodies don't actually use T4 much. Instead, it just floats around. When the body needs some thyroid hormone, it converts some T4 to T3 (which contains, you guessed it, three iodine molecules). The T3 is what the body can actually use and several organs, among them the thyroid and the liver, can convert T4 to T3.

However, if the thyroid's not working right, your body gets no (or not enough) T4. Without enough T4 it cannot make enough T3 and you have a problem.

T3 regulates metabolism, so too much or too little of it is a big problem.

T4 can easily be supplemented through prescription "drugs" (really just synthetic T4). Synthroid is the most common brand name, at least in the U.S.; there are others). Because it is something the body doesn't use directly, it is necessary to start taking it and then check in several (generally at least 4 and more likely 6 or more) weeks to see if TSH has declined -- indicating that your body is happy that it's getting enough thyroid hormone.

An earlier way to supplement thyroid hormones (before they developed synthetic T4) was pills made from dessicated pigs' thyroid glands. Armour is the most common brand, and still available. It contains about 80% T4 and about 20% T3. Some patients find they do better on Armour (I am not one of them). Many doctors prefer Synthroid and similar T4-only products; it is easier to get the dosage right (because T3 is used up by the body much more quickly). However some doctors and some patients prefer Armour. It is necessary to take Armour twice/day, whereas Synthroid can be taken just once/day.

There are also now synthetic T3 products available, making it possible to add T3 to T4 without being stuck with the 80/20 T4/T3 split of Armour (which many feel is too much T3).

-- Alexandra

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i get my TSH and T4 tested at least every 2 weeks, if not every week, i get so effected. One week it was .001 and the nect 25.something, it varies so much for me. but now i know what i feel like when the meds aren't working and can go in and get the blood done.

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