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What does LOW REVERSE T3 in thyroid test mean?

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Question regarding thyroid test results. My result is followed by Reference Range. Thyroxin (T4) Free, Direct S 0.90 ng/dL REF 0.82 - 1.77; TSH 4.170 uIU/mL REF 0.450 - 4.500; Thyroglobulin, Antibody less than 1.0 IU/mL REF 0.0 to 0.9; REVERSE T3, Serum 7.2 ng/DL REF 9.2 - 24.1; Thyroxin (T4) 6.6 ug/dL REF 4.5 - 12.0; Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab 9 IU/mL REF 0 - 34; Triiodothyronine, Free, Serum 2.5 pg/mL REF 2.0 - 4.4. Regarding TSH, I understand from various articles, the ideal range is 0.4 to 2.0 uIU/mL.

QUESTION: What does LOW (or High) REVERSE T3 mean? I would prefer to make any corrections to BOTH TSH and REVERSE T3 with Food and/or Supplements. I do not use SALT at home. Rarely eat out. No fast food. I eat salmon once or twice a week. I do not take Iodine.

I am 75 years old patientold, am 5' 2" and weigh 115 pounds. I take magnesium citrate/malate and Vitamin D3. Breakfast: Buckwheat or oatmeal cereal with ground flaxseed--no milk or sugar. Sometimes, 1 egg, I strip of bacon, and I slice of plain toast. LUNCH: 1 carrot, 2 celery, 1 apple (or half a grapefruit) and a bowl of tomato or barley soup. Sometimes, I have half a sandwich; roast beef or chicken salad on white bread. I have read that wheat is not all that good.) DINNER: 3 ounces of either chicken, turkey, salmon, or beef or salmon; 2 servings of vegetables. For Carbs, either brown rice, a boiled potato, or a small serving of angel hair pasta. A salad of cucumber, mushrooms, and romaine lettuce. On the salad and the carbohydrates, I use only Olive Oil. Occasionally, I have 1 glass of red wine. I drink either white or green tea and black decaf coffee; 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. I walk daily for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Category: Endocrinologist

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Category: Diabetologist
 26 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
Reverse T3 has no relevance in the present day evaluation techniques. Thyroid problems can be well diagnosed with TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 alone.
TSH range of normalcy is as per range mentioned in your report, however it is targetted to 0.4-2, 2.5 in certain conditions, esp pregnancy, women having symptoms, growing children etc. In a routine situation, medications are not needed to reduce TSH from around 4 to below 2, 2.5, as in your case.
There is no specific Diet that can be used for this purpose.

Col (Dr) J Muthukrishnan, SM
Senior Adviser (Med) & Endocrinologist

Patient replied :

Are there any times at all when Iodine should be taken and, if so, in what amounts and how often?

Iodine is needed only in cases of iodine deficiency which is very rare as we all get adequate from our diet and water. Dietary deficiency can be proven by doing urine iodine test. In your case, you are already on thyroxine replacement, and extra iodine above what diet provides isn't needed

Patient replied :

2015 July 19 You may have confused me with another person. I am not on thyroxine replacement; I am not on any thyroid medication or treatment.
Thank you for your responses.

Sorry, but I might have gotten confused from your initial query.
Let me know if I can help you further.

Dr. J Muthukrishnan
Category: Diabetologist
1. 10th Asia-Pacific Pediatric Endocrine Society  Fellows meeting, Seoul, Korea, Oct 2008
2. Eighth ICMR Course on Genetics and Genetic Counseling – Jul 2008 – SGPGI, Lucknow
3. Annual Certificate Course on Endocrinological Laboratory Techniques at National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR) Hyderabad,India, ( Aug-Sep 2006) 
Fellowship: Endocrinology, Diplomate of National Board, National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 2008, Medwin Hospital, Hyderabad
Senior Residency: Diplomate of National Board (General Medicine), National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 2002
Residency: MD, General Medicine, 1997-2000, Armed Forces Medical College, 2nd position in University
Medical School: MBBS, Armed Forces Medical College, 1992
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