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Ask Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN Your Own Ques...
Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
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Quick question. Have had TSH of almost 6 with Free T4 of

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Quick question.
Have had TSH of almost 6 with Free T4 of .76. Lots of symptoms. Test the other day had Free T4 of 1.04, Free T3 of 2.4, TSH of 4.2 and Cortisol of 8.5.
Is this in the range to take Armour Thyroid? Or would Kelp do the trick? Dr says whatever I want is fine with him.


Thank you for writing in today. Based on these labs (even though borderline) and your current symptoms, I would suspect hypothyroidism. It is possible to have subclinical hypothyroidism with borderline labs. Hypothyroidism is thought to be underdiagnosed. There are recommendations to actually reduce the TSH reference range, in order to more accurately diagnose hypothyroidism. At this point, I understand why your provider is willing to consider alternative therapy trial; however, personally, I would recommend prescription medication, such as Armour thyroid or Synthroid. At this point, if you do a trial with the Kelp, I would recommend routine follow up on your labs. I actually suspect you may not achieve relief of your symptoms without medication, but, if you are adamant about trying the Kelp, you could give it a shot. In addition, based on these labs, I suspect you will eventually need the medication intervention anyway. Hypothyroidism is very common; however, it is usually well managed. At this point, I would suggest weighing the pros and cons. If you do try the Kelp, set a start date and plan for follow up. If you don't respond to the Kelp and find that your labs are continue to move in the direction of hypothyroidism or you still have symptoms of hypothyroidism, then you and your provider may want to discuss medication. I hope this helps. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know. Lisa

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks, Lisa.

I didn't mention that my mom is on Synthroid, but she had hyperthyroidism and it didn't happen till she was 80.

I'll guess that a month or so on Kelp would be a fair trial. My next choice is compounded natural thyroid since nobody seems to have Armour.

But I wanted a second opinion on the Kelp idea, since I've heard pros and cons.

I understand. Unfortunately, hypothyroidism does hit during middle age too. I hope the Kelp works. As for Armour thyroid, yes, it has become less popular over the last 10 years. I actually only know a couple providers that still use the Armour Thyroid, and they are more holistic. The reason for the change is that Synthroid tends to be more predictable and easier to manage. At any rate, I hope you get some relief of your symptoms. Take care. Happy Holidays! Lisa
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