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Reverse T3 has the same molecular structure as T3 however its three dimensional arrangement (stereochemistry) of atoms is a mirror image of T3 and thus fits into the receptor upside down thus preventing the active T3 binding to the receptor and activating the appropriate thyroid response. Unfortunately blood tests for T3 measure both normal T3 and reverse T3 levels as it is unable to distinguish between the two. Thus T3 levels may appear normal however a significant proportion of this may be due to the presence of the inactive reverse T3 isomer giving a false impression of true thyroid function. To overcome this diagnostic problem we can specifically measures reverse T3 alone to rule out reverse T3 dominance. In normal patients T3 dominates and reverse T3 usually makes up less than 10% of total T3 levels.
Measuring rT3 levels is useful when ‘sick euthyroid’ conditions are suspected. When a patient produces excessive levels of rT3 they will usually present with hypothyroid symptoms.
NutriPATH practices in the usual practitioner-referral system for pathology laboratories. Patients are highly recommended to seek the supervision and guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner for the interpretation of any lab results and associated information.
NutriPATH can offer assistance in locating a suitable practitioner.