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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Morning Warriors,

      We see this question asked almost every day. We answer that it is hard to say because different labs use different levels for measurement. The NGDF had Dr. Larry Levin, write Bulletin 48. Understanding Your Blood Tests by Larry Levin, M.D.

      It is a frank discussion of the blood tests for Graves’ and what they mean. Could be a great bulletin to order and have when you review your blood tests or to use to talk to your doctor about the types of tests you need or are being recommended.

      The URL is

      The bulletin is well done.

      On-line Facilitator

        Post count: 93172

        I was wondering what the dif was btwn T3, T4 and free T3, T4.

        I also wanted to mention that thanks to people on the BB, I now have the strength to resume the pursuit of a good endo. I am meeting my 4th endo next Wednesday and was hoping I could get some advice as to what to bring with me and what questions to ask. I have not seen one since I was diagnosed last year. Should I just see if I like him or should I get copies of bloodwork from my GP and take them with me? I have no idea really. I am also worried about sounding like a crazy person and asking too much the first time I meet him. Help Please?!!


          Post count: 93172

          There is a really good NGDF bulletin (#48) called “Understanding Your Blood Tests”, written by a doctor. When you join the NGDF, I recommend you select this one as one of the free bulletins you receive with membership. You can join and/or order bulletins directly from the NGDF homepage.

          Basically Free T4 and Free T3 are the levels of hormones circulating in your blood that are active, and not bound to proteins. Total T4 and T3 include the hormones that are bound, and therefore inactive. For this reason, most endos use the Free T4 and Free T3 to determine whether treatment is adequate for either hyper or hypothyroidism.

          As for seeing your new endo, I think it would be helpful to take copies of any lab work you have from the past. He will probably take control of the visit, so be sure to have a list of the questions you’d most like answered before you leave, and let him know you have this list if he ends the visit before your questions are answered.

          I suggest you ask him if he’s open to allowing you to participate in treatment choices and share copies of all lab work. Ask if he listens to how the patient feels when making medication adjustments, or if he targets a specific part of the “normal range”. I’m not sure if you already have a treatment choice in mind, but if you do, ask if he’ll go along with it. If there are aspects of any of the treatments you’re afraid of, ask about those. His responses to some of these questions should give you a good indication whether you want to continue to see him.

          Best wishes and let us know how it goes.
          Dianne W
          NGDF Asst. Online Facilitator

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