I'm thinking about using mail-order blood test labs since my doctors are either stubborn or do not agree with my testing needs. The two tests I'm interested in are Reverse T3 and Salivary Cortisol. Since I live in NJ, I understand that I have to travel outside the state (to Pennsylvania, since NY is also another one of those states) for lab-testing (at Labcorp).
I've narrowed the list down to HealthcheckUSA and LifeExtension. Anyone with experience with those? I'm assuming the tests are reliable? Is Labcorp just drawing your blood and sending them to these particular labs for analysis? Or is it actually Labcorp that's doing the analysis?
Also, if you're testing for Rev T3, you might as well test the whole thyroid panel (TSH, Free T3/T4)? Just having Rev T3 elevated wouldn't mean much without T3 to compare with? Anything else I should test for?
I show clinical hypothyroid symptoms: low body temperature upon rising of ~96.5 (I'm rarely above 97.0), cold fingers, continuous constipation, puffy & gritty eyes, vision sensitivity to light, mental fogginess, short-term memory lapses, low libido, low-normal WBC, especially monocytes, etc. But I also show hyperthyroid symptoms: (i) inability to concentrate, and (ii) smooth, thin and velvety skin prone to cuts and bruises. The latter is very prominent and is becoming more of a problem (makes me look young but I have to be very careful when shaving).
All my thyroid tests have been normal: TSH=0.5-0.8 (supposedly the sweet spot); T3=3.0; T4=1.5, and my serum cortisol (14) also normal. But the symptoms seem pretty open and shut: I mean, when I get cold (happens after I visit the produce aisle in supermarkets), my body temp is 94.7-96.3. (Doc: "Your thermometer must be wrong." I use 2 different types of thermometer and measure sublingually.) Yes, I dip below 95 flat. Last 2 summers, I used air conditioning maybe 6 times. The highest body temperature measured is 97.5, taken after a hot shower.
That's why I'm trying to get Rev T3 and salivary cortisol tested.
asked byNamby_Pamby (5152)
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on August 24, 2011
at 10:08 PM
Testing RT3, you MUST get FT3 (Free T3) to get the ratio between the two - not T3. Free T3 is the available T3 that is not bound to any proteins.
I suggest you ask your question re labs over on http://forums.realthyroidhelp.com/index.php and you can also get a practitioner recommendation from the moderators. Best to check first before the time and $ are spent :) I think there are a few NJ people on that forum. Also here's a direct link to a sticky on the RT3 testing and interpretation: http://forums.realthyroidhelp.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3596 The moderators on there are excellent and have seen literally hundreds, if not thousands of test results that they help interpret -- they don't recommend doing this without a doctor though unless you are really stuck.
I've had very high RT3/FT3 ratio twice, both times was when I was taking dessicated thyroid - I ended up feeling more hypothyroid than ever before :/ Hair falling out, falling asleep during the day. I've now had my thyroid mix changed, taking out the cellulose filler and having it replaced with glycine. Cellulose is wood pulp - we shouldn't be eating it! It has been implicated anecdotally with thyroid hormone absorption issues (and also conversion from T4 to T3). I also take tyrosine to help with the T4 to T3 conversion and take a mix of dessicated thyroid with some additional T3 (Cynomel) to account for my previous RT3 issues. This helps keep my ratio more optimal.
From my personal experience, it sounds that there is definitely a thyroid issue, though it may be subclinical - meaning your labs may not be definitive. So, it's good that you are being really proactive and getting the RT3 done, most doctors will not do this...they won't even do FT3 and FT4, relying on TSH which is a pituitary hormone (stimulates thyroid). But I also would recommend you find a good practitioner to look at nutritional status - from what I have seen on the thyroid forum, most people get better when they address BOTH hormonal AND nutritional status. Especially your symptom of sensitivity to light - I have this myself and I don't think it's thyroid related. It turns out my copper/zinc balance is terrible, I think it's that rather than thyroid...so that is why I suggest getting nutritional status checked and also neurotransmitter status - a good test for that last one is Metametrix Comprehensive Organic Acids: http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/organic-acids/organix-comprehensive
All the best!
on August 24, 2011
at 08:44 PM
Direct labs has a special on thyroid tests this month
lab corps does the work
on August 24, 2011
at 07:33 PM
This is a lab that Nora Gedgaudas has reccomended in her book Primal Body Primal Mind. You will need an Rx from your (hopefully) Paleo-friendly doctor.