Hypothyroid, struggling with weight gain – sound familiar? It’s vital to test T3.
Firstly, let me explain more about T3.
Triiodothyronine, or T3, is your most biologically active thyroid hormone. It’s a major player when it comes to boosting your metabolic rate.
In fact, according to the Society of Endocrinology “T3 is a thyroid hormone that plays vital roles in the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development and function, and the maintenance of bones.”
So as you can imagine, you definitely want to test T3 if you are struggling with hypothyroid symptoms.
Let me explain more…
T3 is your most potent thyroid hormone and although shorter acting, it’s considered far more active than thyroxine (T4). In effect, adequate T3 boosts your metabolism to help support your overall health and vitality.
Now that you know this you can see why LOW T3 makes you feel tired and sluggish.
Low T3 is associated with numerous hypothyroid symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, a slow heart rate, low blood pressure, thyroid hair loss, and a cold body temperature.
WHY Testing ‘Free’ T3 Is So Important
T3 exists in both ‘free’ and bound forms. The free T3 is unattached, and therefore free to do its job. This is what you want to measure as the amount of free T3 often corresponds to how you are feeling.
It’s therefore important to know that the standard T3 blood test measures both bound, and free T3. By specifying free T3 you are measuring circulating T3 that’s available to the body.
You can learn more about comprehensive thyroid testing here: The Top 5 Thyroid Tests? Discover The Best Tests To Discuss With Your Doctor
The Free T3 Test Should Be Done As Part of a Complete Thyroid Panel
Comprehensive testing is essential to properly assess thyroid function. There are 5 basic thyroid tests you should discuss with your healthcare practitioner;
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Free T4 (FT4)
- Free T3 (FT3)
- Reverse T3 (RT3)
- Thyroid antibodies: thyroid peroxidase Abs (TPO Ab) + antithyroglobulin Abs (ATG Ab)
Lab Results Should Be Considered Along With How You Feel
When discussing thyroid blood tests with your healthcare practitioner your individual symptoms should be carefully considered along with your thyroid blood test results.
Low thyroid symptoms are significant indicators that your thyroid is not working well. The common symptoms of a low thyroid include fatigue, feeling the cold, dry skin and hair, low libido, menstrual irregularities, mood changes, low blood pressure, heart palpitations, hair loss, muscle weakness and weight gain.
If you have a history of thyroid problems in your family you should definitely mention this too when you are discussing testing with your healthcare practitioner.
Before You Test T3
Medications containing T4, T4/T3 combination, or single T3 are usually prescribed when your thyroid hormone levels are low.
Although T3 activity is often discussed in relation to weight management, you should not take a single T3 medication for the sole purpose of assisting weight loss. Taking single T3 medication does carry some risks. Too much T3 can cause serious side effects such as a rapid heart rate and agitation.