Hi, etleon05, and welcome to our board.
The numbers themselves don't tell you much. Each lab has a standard of normal that can be different from other labs. So you need to look at your own results where the lab posts it's own range of “normal” values and indicates whether or not your values are out of range, and if so whether they are high or low.
So, it is helpful to get copies of your lab results, so that you can watch what is going on. Interpretting them, though, requires a doctor.
What the various items are on the lab report:
T3 and T4 are two thyroid hormones. Actually, T4 is sometimes considered a “pro-hormone” because it must be converted into T3 for the cells in the body to be able to use it. Thyroid hormone molecules are either “free” or bound up – tied onto – other molecules in the blood. It is the level of free hormone that is available to the cells, so when we are newly diagnosed, free levels of the two hormones are checked. Later on in treatment these tests typically are not done. All your doctor meant by having “toxic” levels of the hormones is that they are making you ill. Obviously, right?
TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, and it comes from the pituitary gland. The endocrine system has a series of checks and balances that regulate the levels of our various hormones. In the case of the thyroid, the pituitary gland acts as a type of thermostat. If the pituitary detects too high a level of thyroid hormone, it LOWERS its production of TSH; if it detects too low a level of thyroid hormone, it raises its production of TSH. The TSH test in labs can detect miniscule amounts of it, so it is used as the predominant gauge of our thyroid levels. If you look at your lab report, you may see that the report sometimes says that TSH is “<” 0.01. That “less than” sign means that the lab's ability to detect TSH – AT ALL – is gone. That's typically a sign that our thyroid levels are hugely out of whack high.
Skipping meds is not something you should do from here on out. At all. No matter what med you are on. I realize that it takes some mental adjustments and especially if we start to feel well, the tendency is to think the meds have “fixed” us, and we don't need them any more, or to forget the need for them. Conversely, if we start to feel “off” and blame the med, the tendency will be to “tinker” with the dose. Try to get into a routine as to when you take them. We have to be completely consistent with our taking of the meds for the test results to be accurate. And it is only if they are accurate that the doctor has the right information on which to make a treatment decision. That said, I don't know if missing two days makes a huge difference. That would be something to ask the doctor.
As to whether or not you should get a second opinion. That is always an option.
But your doctor's advice about slowing down, taking care of yourself is important to heed. Right now, your levels are out of whack, and they are making your body ill. They can cause life-threatening heart issues. If your doctor says “slow down until we get this under control,” please pay attention.
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