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Mary Shomon

Thyroid Patients: Do You Need T3 To Feel Well?

By September 2, 2010

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So many thyroid patients contact me here at About, and at my Facebook Thyroid Support page, and ask the same question: "I'm on Synthroid (or another levothyroxine drug like Levoxyl) and I don't feel well. What else can I do?"

What I tell fellow thyroid patients is that in this situation, the first thing you'll want to think about is whether or not you might benefit from the addition of supplemental T3.

(A brief recap: Synthroid, Levoxyl and other levothyroxine drugs -- also called "l-thyroxine, and L-T4) are synthetic forms of the T4 thyroid hormone. T4 is the storage hormone, and it must be converted into T3, the active hormone, to be used by the cells. The drug Cytomel is a synthetic form of T3. There is a generic version of Cytomel, and some practitioners work with time-released/sustained-release T3 by prescription from compounding pharmacies. Natural desiccated thyroid drugs like Nature-throid, Armour Thyroid and Erfa contain natural forms of T4, T3 and other thyroid hormones.)

Now, back to the issue of whether or not you might benefit from the addition of T3. The operative question is: will your doctor be willing to even discuss this with you, much less prescribe it? There's no definitive answer.

If you say to the doctor, "Could I benefit from some additional T3?" the response is likely to fit one of four possible scenarios...

  • A. The doctor rolls his/her eyes, snorts with derision, shakes his/her head, or otherwise makes it clear that he/she has no interest whatsoever in further discussion about T3.
  • B. The doctor respectfully says, "that's not something I'm comfortable with. Sorry."
  • C. The doctor thinks about it, and says, "well, let's take a look at your Free T3 level to see what it looks like and then make a decision.
  • D. The doctor says, "that's certainly a possibility. Let's try a very low dose of T3 and see how you feel on it. But let's make sure there are no contraindications for you...
Clearly, if you're up against Doctor A, my advice is get a new thyroid doctor. Asking to discuss a possible treatment is a legitimate request, and it should never be met with derision, disrespect or dismissal. Those sorts of responses are, in fact, clear evidence that it's time for a new doctor.

If you're working with with Doctor B, well, you might want to ask what his/her rationale is for not being comfortable with adding T3 to a levothyroxine-only thyroid treatment. Here, you might want to mention, or even bring a recap or copy of, the new Danish study that came out in late 2009 in the European Journal of Endocrinology. That study looked at the controversial issue of treatment with synthetic T3 as a supplement to T4-only (levothyroxine) therapy for hypothyroidism. The research reported that 49% of the patients studied preferred the treatment that combined levothyroxine plus a T3 drug, and only 15% preferred levothyroxine-only treatment. (See below for more information on that study, and how you can get a copy to show your doctor.) If Doctor B still categorically refuses to discuss T3 with you and can't satisfy you with a rational explanation, it's time for a new thyroid doctor.

Now, if you are dealing with Doctor C, consider yourself lucky, because Doctor C is thoughtful and open-minded. Ask the doctor what his or her target is for Free T3. And go ahead and get that Free T3 test, keeping in mind that many thyroid experts believe that patients feel best when Free T3 levels are in the top half of the normal range, and even at the 75th percentile and above of the range.

(How does that work? Let's do the math. If the lab's reference range for Free T3 is 2.0-4.4 pg/mL, then the midpoint is halfway between them -- or 3.2 -- and the 75th percentile is 3.8.)

And if you are Doctor D's patient, again, consider youself lucky to have an open-minded and knowledgeable physician. As for those contraindications, doctors tend to be cautious about using T3 in anyone who has a history of heart disease or heart problems, and in the elderly, so T3-savvy doctors will keep this in mind.

More Info on the T4/T3 Study

Comments
September 3, 2010 at 4:03 am
(1) Cathi Gross says:

My Doctor just has me on T3, because he says that is the most active of the two. Is anyone else out there just using T3? So, Far I really like it, because my mind is really really clear, instead of Foggy Foggy Foggy. I have only been on just T3 since May of this year. But it’s amazing how clear my brain is.

September 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm
(2) Lonnie says:

I was given radiation treatment then put on Synthyroid. This was in 2006. By 2008, I felt sick all the time, I ached everywhere on my body, I slept very time I took a break. My weight climbed 50 pounds. I walked 5 miles a day, 5 days a week and worked out at Curves those same 5 days and ate 1200 calories — and gained weight. 5 different doctors told me that I was obviously depressed probably wasn’t walking, working out or eating 1200 calories a day. They all told me I needed to eat less and exercise more. I really, honestly thought I was going crazy. Found Holtorf Medical Group and have been seeing them every since. I’m on straight T3 and although we’re still trying to get the dose adjusted for me, I’ve lost 55 pounds, don’t all a sleep everytime I close my eyes, and generally feel about 80% better. I’ll take 80% over what I was!!

September 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm
(3) monarch59 says:

Cathi, your comment gives me real hope. I have not excelled in school since 2004 and in 2009 I finally figured out it was a Fog, fogginess.
A previous doc wanted to give an anti-depressant. The new one sent me for an MRi and now for an EEG. I will suggest the T3 only at some time.

I get the feeling that I’m dealing with a tough P A

Thank you so very much for leaving your comment here

October 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm
(4) Barb says:

Cathi,

I hadn’t made the connection. I’ve been on Reverse T3 for 9 months and I have been telling folks how much better I feel and can think! I even had enough energy to take on a couple
big projects I hadn’t touched in 3 years. The only thyroid medication I take is Reverse T3. Thanks

January 21, 2011 at 11:30 am
(5) mary says:

I was just placed on T3 only. Have been feeling bad for a long time. Another Dr.wants to put me on an antidepressive med. So confused. i just want to feel like myself but all these Drs have their own opinions which I feel I am totally lost I have real bad brain fog.If you have time could you call me and I will call you right back 212 673 6004

August 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm
(6) ZM says:

Barb,

I believe you are confused about your medication. You would not be taking Reverse T3. That’s the inactive form of the T3 hormone.

No offense, but I wouldn’t want anyone to read these comments and become confused about thyroid medications.

January 21, 2011 at 11:23 am
(7) Mary says:

I was just placed on T3 by my Doctor. I am wondering how long does it take to feel better. I have real bad brain fog just want to be myself

September 3, 2010 at 4:19 am
(8) Elaine Mason says:

I have had an underactice thyroid for three years now and hav been taking levoxl from 50mg upto 200mg up and down the hole of the three years i felt really well when on the 200mg but my Doctor soon put me down and will not increase my dose agine, i an still putting on weight and feel tired and unwell all the time i have just read your piece on free T3 and will try this approch with my doctor. will let you know thank you. Elaine.

September 3, 2010 at 5:03 am
(9) Jenny says:

Elaine, I too continue to be sluggish and gain weight dispite 200mg of Synthroid.

I’m currently shopping for a new doctor and will use the Free T3 question is the screening and selection process. Boy,at 50 I never considered how I feel as a thyroid symptom that could be treated. I’ve been on the same regiment for well over 10 years and assumed how I was feeling was part of aging. Now there suddenly is new hope!

How great is that? :)
Jenny

September 3, 2010 at 6:49 am
(10) GR says:

At the end of my annual thyroid checkup last week, my superb endo volunteered a prescription for generic cytomel (T3), told me to pay attention to symptoms if I decide to use it, and wrote several orders for T3 and TSH testing on demand. My intention is to ask my regular GP for a referral to a cardiologist for a baseline heart evaluation because:
a. I’ve never had one and I’m now in my 60s, and
b. T3 is contraindicated for some heart conditions, and
c. I know I have mitral valve prolapse, probably congenital, and
d. i want to finish a marathon next year.

September 3, 2010 at 7:29 am
(11) Mario says:

Some addicional information to have in your hands when discussing T3 with your M.D.:

Hypothyroid pacients using conventional treatment (synthetic T4 only) consistently have higher levels of free/total T4 and lower levels of free T3 than euthyroids (Pubmed 20693806, 18285588, 16982586 and 16416346 for some examples).

Alzheimer’s is booming worldwide. It’s the 7th leading cause of death. One in eight people aged 65 and older (13 percent) have Alzheimerís disease in the USA (source Alzheimer’s Association alz.org).

Hypothyroids taking thyroid medications progressed more rapidly to a diagnose of Alzheimerís dementia than hypo not taking thyroid medications (Pubmed 19666883).

Higher total and free T4 levels are associated with increased risk of dementia and Alzheimerís (Pubmed 17870208, 17136019, 17132968, 16636121).

September 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(12) Julie says:

Perhaps the people who developed dementia and/or Alzheimer’s did so because of an unknown mechanism/gene/whatever, which may have also caused the thyroid disorder?

The stock market may go up every time Aunt Maggie wears her pink clogs, but I would never think them to be the cause.

The health effects of UNTREATED thyroid problems are often severe and can cause death before the patient lives long enough to develops dementia and Alzheimer’s.

I have a quality of life (and probably a much longer life) due to my hypothyroidism being treated, which would not be the case if I had not changed to a doctor who believes in treating patients and symptoms, and not just going by lab tests.

April 23, 2011 at 1:04 am
(13) Monarch says:

Mario,

Please tell me, what is a good range to be at for Free T4?

September 3, 2010 at 7:54 am
(14) Joanna says:

I had this very problem was ill and depressed on Levothyroxine. My NHS consultant was extremely negative about the addition of T3 saying ‘T4 makes T3 so you dont need it’ and ‘your depression is because you are depressed not because of your thyroid’. I knew this was wrong so I researched T3 and went privately to see Mr G Skinner, after some resistance from my GP to write a letter !
I was put on Armour Thyroid and felt better very quickly.
There seems much resistance amongst the NHS Doctors I’ve seen to listen to the patient and use common sense in their diagnosis….and there seems to be a fear of the witch finders at the General Medical Council.
All ridiculous when patients just need help!

September 3, 2010 at 10:36 am
(15) rose says:

Hi Joanna,
Did you get your Armour from Dr Skinner on a private prescription, or did your GP write the prescription, and is Armour available on the NHS?
I believe Levothyroxine is causing my hair to fall out, and my GP keeps upping my dosage as she said the Levothyroxine will stop the fallout, it doesn`t, all that has happened is I am getting palpitations. She was agreeable to prescribing synthetic T3 which could help with the hairloss, but after receiving my blood tests results, notified me they were normal and I wasn`t prescribed T£ I am becoming more depressed over the hairloss, no-one seems to be taking me seriously.

September 10, 2010 at 2:06 pm
(16) mary says:

Regarding hair loss, I thought mine was related to the hypothyroid condition and was pretty upset about it, and disappointed that, in my experience, synthetic T4 does nothing to help hair loss or a host of other symptoms. Most of the time, I felt like the T4 was doing nothing for me. Then I found out that I also had vitamin D and iron deficiencies, both of which are known to contribute to hair loss. Correction of the vitamin D deficiency, which has taken 4000 iu daily for a few months in my case, has really improved the hair loss problems. Adding synthetic T3 helped with some other symptoms like tiredness and brain fogginess improved too, and generally, I just felt better and more ‘with it’. I recently switched to Armor Thyroid to see if the T4/T3 ratio would suit me better, but I’m not seeing or feeling a huge difference between it and the synthetics. Still working on the iron deficiency, but that’s another story.

October 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm
(17) lulu says:

Hi Joanna, am trying to locate dr skinner, does he have a practice in London? Or where did you see him? Grateful for any info, thanks.

October 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm
(18) lulu says:

hi Joanna, does dr skinner have a practice in London? And if so do you have the telephone number and address. Am trying to help my mother sort out her thyroid problems, thanks

September 3, 2010 at 7:59 am
(19) Lalena Butler says:

I have been hypothyroid for 15 years now, and every new doctor I see I have to fight for my Cytomel. I have just settled in a new area again and had to find a new thyroid doctor who, once again, did not think I need T3. Well, what I knew would happen has happened – my hair is falling out at an alarming rate and I have had it. I see the doctor again tomorrow, and I am going to demand to be put back on T3 or else find a new doctor. I let this go on for way too long last time around, and had to cut 6 inches off my hair because it became too thin. I am sick to death of doctors not giving a damn about the depression due to low self esteem associated with weight gain, hair loss, etc. Anybody else out there as fed up as I am?

September 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm
(20) Marilyn says:

Try the shampoo and treatment called Thymuskin @ thymuskin.com to slow down hair loss. I take levothyroxin, time released T3(Wilson’s Temperature syndrome) and armour thyroid to get T1 and T2.

September 3, 2010 at 8:02 am
(21) Acolin says:

Eye opening information. Thank you. I’ve been taking Synthroid and still presenting the same symptoms: excessive sweating, late palpitations, perspiration, weight gain, yeast infection. Meet with regular doc today – will see what she has to say…

September 3, 2010 at 8:38 am
(22) Karen says:

I too,have the same symtoms of excessive sweating,heart palpitations,weight gain,and infertility. I am on a natural thyroid med,but still have the symptoms. The excessive sweating has been on my nerves most of my adult life. Please let me know if your Dr. adds cytomel to your meds. I have been desperate to find help with my sweating problem for years. If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know!!!!

September 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm
(23) Suzanne says:

I wonder if you have a condition called Dysautonmia or an autonomic nervous system dysfunction which can sometimes go with thyroid problems. The autonomic nervous system does all things you don’t conciously think about like sweat, heart beat, digestion, breathing etc. It consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Mary Shomon has Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) which is a form of dysautonomia. Another condition which falls under this umbrella is call Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). My PCP thinks I may have something along those lines as I have an intermittent low grade fever, flushing red hot hands, food that gets stuck in my throat, heart palpitations and pain at times and terrible acid reflux. I have had a full rheumatological work up with negative findings. My doc thinks the next step would be a cardiologist to get a name for all of the symtpoms. I intend to do that when I can save some money for it (we have a high deductable). The more I think about it, the more convinced that too is what I suffer. Hope this helps.

September 3, 2010 at 8:13 am
(24) i thompson says:

My doctor added cytomel (T3) to my synthroid and in a matter of a couple days my brain seemed to be functioning better and I felt much better. The fog lifted and lethargy lifted.

September 3, 2010 at 9:18 am
(25) Debi O says:

I will be starting T3 this weekend – lets see how it goes ;o)

September 3, 2010 at 9:45 am
(26) Miriam says:

I have taken a combination of T4 (between 75-87.5mmg) nd T3 (5-10mmg) for about 3 month and I didnt feel better. In fact, I felt worse (especially with 10mmg T3): symptoms of hyper, not hypo anymore (tachicardia, daily headache, nervousness) AND instead of losing weight I put a little more on! Now Im taking 100mmg T4 alone. On the other hand, I know my T3 is low (strange enough, it was lower taking T4+T3 than with T4 alone. Can anyone explain that? My Dr. says it can be due to stress). I have secondary Hypothyroidism, so my THS levels dont say much.

September 10, 2010 at 2:19 pm
(27) Pamela says:

Did you try dividing your dose of T3? Many sources recommend divided doses because of the rate at whitch it enters and leaves your body. I just Started on gen. Cytomel 5 mg. I tried taking the full dose with my synthroid (1 hour before I wake up – 5am). I don’t feel hyper symptoms this way but find it wears off too early and I am still sluggish in the afternoon. Tried taking the full dose around 10am, but felt hyper. I am now taking 2.5 with my Syntroid early am and the other 2.5 at 10:30 am. This seems to be working the best. Keeps my energy up, but not much side effect.

You might discuss this with your dr.

September 3, 2010 at 9:55 am
(28) Ellin Jaffe says:

I am on Armour Thyroid 30 gr. twice a day but losing weight is like pulling teeth. Would extra cytomel help this? I doubt my endo dr. would allow it, but I’m curious about the combination of Armour with Cytomel.

September 13, 2010 at 11:26 am
(29) Janette Sweet says:

I am wondering the same thing. I was taking 120mg. of the morning of Armour. I started taking another 60mg before bedtime & I started droping weight. My reg. GP gave me the Armour. My test are low at 0.1 & my cortisol is way high. I went to an endo & ‘She’ (I usually go to men as they are better at doing what you ask) wanted to stop the Armour & take that dredful syn stuff Levox. I can’t spell that long ass word. I said,”I don’t think so”. She doesn’t prescribe Armour because it isn’t regulated she said.

My hair use to fall out a lot. I take a thyroid complex from the vitamin shop, it has iodine in it that helps with hair loss & she has the nerve to tell me to stop the iodine.
I am going back to see her in a couple of weeks. I had the cortisol injection test done & will see the results when I see her. I was getting so weak I couldn’t stand. Thought it might be adrenal.
She, the endo, is ordering a lot of tests, so maybe she might stumble on a correct thing.

She told me to lower my Armour, like an idiot, I did right on vacation. I got that Brain Fog. I tried to talk to the Singer in this band from Denmark, they were here on tour & my mind kept going blank. I hate myself for listening to her.
I trust my own body now. I feel good on the 180mg Armour. I have an enlarged deseased thyroid with goiders or nodules on them. She will have to deal with it when I go back to see her next month.

October 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(30) Sheryl says:

Dear Janette,
DO NOT take iodine …..I did a complete research and I MADE that mistake. The iodine will actually slow the thyroid down. RESEARCH for yourself. I threw my iodine away. It made sense to take it…..but IT IS WRONG to do so.

Your friend,
Sheryl

September 13, 2010 at 11:33 am
(31) Janette Sweet says:

I forgot to say along with the 180mg of Armour thyroid, I am wondering if taking the Cytomel as well will get rid of the body aches. I have to take vicodin every day, 2-3 times.

I read that a lack of the T3 will give you the body aches. I am curious about it as well, the Armour with the Cytomel.
Armour has T3 in it, but it looks like I need a larger dose of it.
I believe my thyroid doesn’t work at. I weigh about 180. I was around 200 before the increase of the Armour from 120mg to 180mg.
My GP has no control over this, I tell him what I want to try & he just writes out the prescription.
He is in San Antonio Texas & takes Medicaid, state insurance.

September 25, 2010 at 8:30 pm
(32) T.J. says:

I know this is a late post, but I live in the San Antonio area and would love to know the name of the dr. you see. I am searching for a doctor at present. I have to do something about my hair loss, and fast. I only have a third of the hair I used to. Armour’s reformulation really screwed me up.

September 3, 2010 at 10:05 am
(33) Carol says:

Does anyone know anything about taking the amino acid L-Tyrosine?

September 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm
(34) Bill says:

Hi Carole
I’ve been on Levothyroxine for a number of years and it has made a slight difference to my fatigue and general low mood and lack of energy but never fully removed it.
I decided to try some Tyrosine and it made quite a difference. I started with 500mgs first thing each morning before eating breakfast which, according to what I’ve read, is a small dose but found I was too alert, had a bit of a headache by the evening and didn’t sleep that soundly – I put this down to my blood pressure being raised (a potential side effect of taking Tyrosine). I then split the 500mg capsule so I was taking 250mgs and that did the trick. I’ve since found a supplement which includes about 300mgs in one capsule and that has so far worked fine.
If you want to try it I would suggest starting with a small dose and see what that does. You’ll know within the hour if it is working for you.

September 10, 2010 at 9:20 am
(35) Ellin Jaffe says:

I decided to experiment with L-Tyrosine to see if I felt less sleepy at 3PM and see if it pumped up my metabolism. Feel good so far for two days :)

September 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm
(36) mary says:

I believe L-Tyrosine (along with zinc and selenium) is used by the body in the conversion process of T4 to T3, so it would make sense that it could help you feel better, if it helps the T4 medication convert more efficiently to T3.

September 13, 2010 at 11:53 am
(37) Janette Sweet says:

The Thyroid Complex from the Vitamin Shoppe has everything you mention in it. The L-tyrosine, zinc & selenium plus all the B vitamins. People should try it. It gives me more energy. And I do feel better.
I take only 1 a day, not what they recommend.
I get mine through amazon.com

September 13, 2010 at 11:46 am
(38) Janette Sweet says:

Carol,
I take a supplement that has the L-Tyrosine in it as well as iodine & all the B vit. that help give you energy.
It does seem to help.
I get a 3 month supply, at one pill a day not the higher amount they call for. It contains 100caps. It isn’t real expensive for 3 months.

It is from the Vitamin Shoppe at amazon.com
Called Thyroid Complex.
I believe it contains good stuff.
You can try it & see how you feel. The vitamins & minerals are good for you too.

September 3, 2010 at 10:23 am
(39) Marilyn says:

I was on Synthroid for 20 some years and never felt well one day. The Dr. said it was menopause, which I had been through way earlier, or else depression. I was depressed, gained weight, hair loss, plus terrible allergies. One day i decided to talk to my Dr. and I ask him if I could try Armour.
He said, “Well, your hypo will probably return, but I’ll let you try it”..I started with 1 1/2 grains, than 2 grains and now I alternate between 2 1/2 and 3. At first my TSH went up to
6.5, but after raising the dosage, it is now 0.2 and I feel fine!!! If you are able to get Armour by all means get it,
I wouldn’t take another Synthroid if my TSH went up to
50. I feel like a “totally” different person. Also, imagine this, I was constipated all those years, that’s gone too.
This little thyroid controls the entire body function.

September 3, 2010 at 10:43 am
(40) Kris says:

Why is it that these wonderful research studies can’t be done in more than 50-60 people. We really need a larger study group to see the stats that doctors will listen to. Every time I present journal articles that have less than 100 points of data they practically laugh at me and then say you can’t really take that seriously. It is such a small snapshot and cannot represent the majority. My answer is always: Maybe I am part of that snapshot minority!

September 3, 2010 at 10:45 am
(41) Sara says:

I have been on compounded time-release t-3 for about eight years. I have Hashis. Depending on how active my disease is, my TSH can be at any level on any given day. I’ve had thyroid issues since I was 5, I’m now 55.

In my 40s, brain fog and memory issues were starting to interfere with my job. Panic attacks and mood swings and depression were ruining my life. Between the irregular T3 release from my thyroid and the fact that Synthroid wasn’t working (I often felt both hyper and hypo thyroid at the same time), my doc tried cytomel (T3) in addition. I was better but not great.

Finally we tried compounded T3, and my life totally changed. It took awhile to adjust. I had some heart palpitations and mood swings initially as the T3 began to suppress my throid’s production of TSH and allowed my body to rely on the T3.

My only issues are when seasons change. Some years I’ve had to updose in the winter. My hair falls out, I get brain foggy and lethargic.

Then in spring, it is the reverse. I can feel a bit hyper until I either drop my winter dose, or my body settles down.

Extreme stress in life, either emotional or physical, such as my recent colonoscopy, will have me showing hypo symptoms (hair falling out, extreme fatigue) for a day or two, but not worth worrying about. I know it will pass.

Overall, about 85% of the time since I’ve been on T3, I feel better than I have in my entire life. I believe it saved my life.

I must add, however, that I am lucky to have a doctor in category D, since being on pure T3 keeps the TSH level very very low. I’ve seen two endos while I”ve been on this med, and both were category A, one demanding me out of her office, I wondered if she’d throw me out if I were on heroin. Mindblowing, isn’t it?

September 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm
(42) marci says:

you don’t live in washington state by chance?? what a blessing times a thousand for you. your piece was very enlightening as i once again, for the thousandth’ time, have to redress my thyroid health. yes, change of seasons is upon us! light will soon dissapate and i am a bit anxious of how my body will begin to feel once the leaves start falling!! best to you.
marci-faith@hotmail.com

September 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm
(43) Margie says:

Sara, I am 54 and have been on synthroid for 14 yrs. Although I have energy, my brainfog is bad and has been getting worse for yrs. It too is affecting my job. My ND. is young and has little exp. with endo. I had her add Free t3 and she lowered my sythroid .88 to levothyroxine .50. I have been on this change for 4 days, and feeling achey,tired, and foggy. I was on armour for a several months, some 15 yrs. ago. It didn’t seem to help, but I wasn’t being monitored. That is why I went on synthroid. So after this rambling… I want to ask you what a catagory D endo. is? Thank you for your time and wisdom. And I am blessed to hear you are feeling better and sharing that.

January 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm
(44) mary says:

I would love to talk to you if possible my # is 212 673 6004 I know this is alot to ask I would calll you right back because I have been diagnosed with Hashis about 6 months ago but have been feeling real bad for about 3 1/2 years. So many Doctors and how to treat but I feel It has been going on now for too long without the right help. finally I was just place on T3 slow release yesterday. But another Dr. wants to put me on an antidepressive med. what to do. I just want to feel like myself she is ok person I miss her.

January 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm
(45) mary says:

Sara would love to talk with you if I can. sounds like you have a good understanding on T3 meds 212 673 6004

October 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm
(46) Sandra says:

Can I ask you, how much T3 did you have to take to feel better?

September 3, 2010 at 10:58 am
(47) ARJJLR says:

I have followed you since your site inception and find it amazing how you now tend to be so medically “politically” correct and this article is a typical example.

You fail to mention that some peoples’ liver’s just DO NOT convert T4 to T3! Most endo’s have a denial about that fact (as well as natural dessicated thyroid in general)…. one put me through hell, telling me “it’s not the synthroid”.

Until the allopathic world becomes more open-minded and less susceptible to phamaceutical bribes and influence I doubt if things will change for the patient’s benefit. Synthroid ( and adding T3) is not the answer for most to feel well. That’s still playing a lab value numbers game. If it were there wouldn’t be so many still complaining.

Better to have a knowledable GP than an endo who is egotistical and doing more harm than good. Self-education is still our best ally. If you don’t feel well change doctors until you find one who helps you.

September 3, 2010 at 11:05 am
(48) vk says:

I have had symptoms of hypothyroidism for 4-5 years but couldn’t find a doctor who would treat me since my TSH was within “normal” range.

Back in March, I finally found a sweet family practice Doc that was willing to treat the symptoms. He doesn’t know that much about Thyroidism, for example refuses to test for free T4 &T3 but he’s open to my suggestions. So when I asked about cytomel. he said yes but then he prescibed 25mcg….I’m only on 25 mcg of synthroid…. I said “this is too much” and he “no, it’s low dose”. Well, I conviced him to start me at 5mcg. I took 5mcg for a week. I noticed PMS-ish symptoms but I bumped it up to10mcg anyway thinking “he said 25!”. Oh boy was that a bad day!! It was PMS on steroids!

Now I’ve dropped back to 2.5mcg ( Icut the 5mcg in half) and it’s working. I feel calmer, more energtic and am losing weight!

September 10, 2010 at 7:58 am
(49) Barbara Corbeil says:

Glad You’re feeling better.
I too have 5mcg. tablets of t3 cytomel and break them to smaller amounts of four. Taken in the afternoon with a little snack works well for me. I would suggest never taking it before bed because it interrupts sleep. In the morning and feeling rested is probably not a good time to take t3 either. For the past few years I’ve been on t4 levothyroxin, usually 1.35mg and the low dose (1/4 of 5mcg. cytomel).
All the best to my thyroid family.

September 3, 2010 at 11:18 am
(50) feeling better says:

I have had hashi’s for many years. I could not tolerate synthroid OR armour, although I did try and try and try (ha!). In fact, as for armour, I felt deathly ill on it and had fought so hard to get it. I then FINALLY found a doctor who is very knowledgable. I have been for one year on ONLY compounded time release T3 and feel great, better than I have in ten years. It does need to be the time release form as that does make a big difference in how steady the day goes. It has been life changing for me. No more brain fog at all. My sister is also now on the same protocol and though her hashi’s is not as bad as mine was…she is also feeling great. I just am one who can’t tolerate T4 at all…and there are many of us….but it is so often overlooked.

September 3, 2010 at 11:20 am
(51) Pat says:

I was just reading through all these comments. I have been taking .112 mcg generic Synthroid for 8 days, up from a dosage of .88 mcg. My TSH went from 1.4 to the whole # 31 in 3 months. So far, the night sweats are gone, as are leg muscle cramps and pain. My wrists and hands are very painful and haven’t improved much. My weight has stablilized. I gained 10# in July before most recent test. I also have extreme forgetfullness and brain fog. How much time do I need to give this .112 mcg dose before asking about T3 drug? I have been battling thyroid disease for about 12 years now. I am 67 years old. Used to be high energy, high strung type. Now I am blah, no energy, no personality even.

September 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm
(52) Sunny says:

ISN’T ANYONE ELSE FRIGHTENED ABOUT THE ALZSHEIMERS STUDIES MENTIONED IN THIS COMMET SECTION? MARY, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THAT NEW INFORMATION?

September 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm
(53) Sarah says:

Long story shortened:

I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in 2004. In 2008 after trying every combination of treatement and practioners (b/c I still felt crappy)I finally made an appointment with a recommended Psychiatrist.

He’s the first practitioner in the 4 years I had seen multiple thyroid “experts” who prescribed me T3 ONLY. (Granted it’s been Cytomel…and I’m convinced to go back to a compounded Time-Released T-3). When I why only T3, he said: “Because of your Hashi’s, your body does not convert T4 to T3. There’s no reason you need T4.

In the 4 years I read all the books, found Mary, tried just about anything to FEEL BETTER, not once did I read or hear that Hashi’s patients don’t convert T4 to T3. Now I know!

September 10, 2010 at 9:37 am
(54) Mina says:

I found out I have Hashi’s about 5 years ago and still am trying to find something to make me feel “normal”.

I also was never told that we don’t convert T4 to T3 and have been seeing a “reputable” Endocrin for about 4 years. I started taking Armour about a month ago but after reading all the issues with the new formulation, I have decided to try Naturethroid which I will be starting today.

Can you tell me the differences you feel taking the T3 only?

September 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm
(55) Candi says:

I have been a subscriber to your website for several years, and I have had to have my thyroid supplemented for 44 years. In 1967, most of my gland was removed due to a suspicious nodule. This is the first time I have ever read a simple explanation re: a need for T3 and some common sense explanations for my excessive sweating and difficulty in losing any weight. When Armour became impossible to get, I went to a compounding pharmacy and in the year I’ve been doing that, I have put on 15 pounds. This month he added T3 to my natural dessicated thyroid compound. Light at the end of the tunnel, I hope. I thank you for this website and the information you present. I have learned so much. I don’t normally make comments on any website, but had to let you know how much I appreciate the knowledge that I have gained. I would welcome any comments re: the successes and/or failures with long-term thyroid users.

September 14, 2010 at 11:19 am
(56) Kathy says:

Candi,

I’m curioius to know how you’re feeling with the added T3 to your natural dessicated thyroid compound. What type of T3 did he add? Was it a natural form, cytomel, or time released? I’m one of many who have been on Synthroid for over 8 years with no balance or benefit. I’m tempted to try Cytomel, but have concerns, as I have hypertension. What is the brand name or generic name of your natural thyroid hormone? I had a goiter and numerous nodules removed that were suspicious for cancer, but found out after my surgery, I did not have cancer. My T-4 levels seem to stay higher, regardless if my TSH is in the lower or higher end. I have difficulty sleeping at night, my heart beat is either rapid or jumpy. Have brain fog, body is running hot, and sometimes sweat, weight gain, fatigue, weakness, hair thinning, etc.

September 3, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(57) K. Christensen says:

Thyroid patients: Please note that palps when on thyroid meds are *usually* caused by weak adrenals. The hypothyroid body is used to going on a slow speed and if adrenals are worn out and then you add thyroid meds, the combination of the meds speeding up the body plus weak adrenals causes palps. This is mentioned on the thyroid med inserts but docs and Mary do not seem to pay attention to this. Check 8 am cortisol and if you are below the top 75% of range, you need adrenal support first before starting thyroid meds. You can also confirm this by taking your temperature. If it is low and it jumps around = weak adrenals. Once you support your adrenals and your body temps stop jumping around (even if they are low), then you are ready for thyroid meds. Then, the thyroid meds should raise the temp. Thyroid patients: support your adrenals!!!

September 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm
(58) Betsy says:

When you speak of supporting your adrenals what exactly do you mean. I am taking DHEA, and my doctor just raised the dose to 35mg. I take 112mcg Synthroid and 25mcg T3 from a compounding pharmacy. I am still gaining weight- I went from 130 to 204-and feel low energy and have memory problems, I keep forgetting names, even family members now. I am 61. I drank Spirutein Soy protein shake every morning for 15 years and a nutritionist I went to last week told me the soy could be the cause of my problems, so I stopped. I’m waiting hopefully to see what happens.

September 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm
(59) Sandy says:

When I told my doctor about the new T4/T3 study (I even showed her!), she said “you can find anything on the internet”. Haven’t seen her since.

September 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm
(60) Kathy says:

How does a person support their adrenals??

September 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm
(61) Sue says:

One thing to take to support your adrenal glands is Isocort. You can find it on the internet. Yiu can increase or lower the dosage as needed, depending on how you feel. It has been a tremendous help to both myself and my husband.

In regards to Synthroid only dosaging…..my husbands thyroid was removed last Christmas. He was on Synthroid only and was complaining of being extremely tired and as the months wore on, his memory was getting worse all the time. Finally got the endo to put him on Nature Throid and within 24 hours was feeling a lot better and within a few days was back to himself! Stay away from synthetic drugs, they are never good!

September 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm
(62) Nurse Judy says:

I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis about three years ago. Hashimoto’s can stress the thyroid until you can actually become hypothyroid. But through the wisdom of my physician and my relentless study of alternative health, which is real health, I am stong and balanced. I function like someone half my age. My weight is perfect at 132 lbs., a lose of 20lb since April 2010(15 of which I loss in 2.5 weeks). I take a high intensity taebo class twice a week, work 2 jobs, run 2 home based businesses, assist my 86 year old mother and 15 year old son. I do the cooking, cleaning, shopping, washing and other household chores. I am taking Armour thyroid but that is not what changed my life. It only assisted my thyroid not to become too stressed out. I changed my internal environment. This seems to be difficult for most people to do. But if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and want real answers and resolution you will do it.

September 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm
(63) Georgia says:

Judy,
I would greatly appreciate you sharing more information regarding your path to wellness,what changes you made and what you mean by changing your internal environment. Your comments spoke to me and I would love to hear more.

Thank you.

October 9, 2010 at 8:49 pm
(64) littlemom says:

me too, Nurse Judy

September 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm
(65) Helen says:

I have had Hashimoto’s since 1984, at least that’s when I was diagnozed. I’ve seen a variety of docs in my time and taken everything from Synthroid, Levoxyl to Armour but I have now moved from Texas to Washington State and found a wonderful open minded Naturopath. I am now on a compounded T3, (52.5mcg every 12 hours and at night add 50mcg of Levoxyl) I have lost weight with a good Weight Watcher’s diet plus a couple of rounds of the HCG diet, lost 30 lbs so far, and feel great. my mind is clear and I’m enjoying life at 66.
My advice, if an MD won’t listen try an ND.

September 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm
(66) michiko says:

Hello
I have Hashi. and live in Des moines, WA.
I’m looking for a ND
Can you give me your ND’s name?
Thank you

September 4, 2010 at 12:39 am
(67) Helen says:

I live on Whidbey Island, I go to Dr Thomas Rogers at Whidbey Island Naturopathic. in Oak Harbor. They have another office at Freeland. Telephone #360-679-8946.

September 10, 2010 at 10:13 am
(68) Bobanna says:

Michiko:
I’m in Omaha and have been taking my wife to Dr. Richard Forsman with wonderful results on cytomel. I humbly suggest that you see him if you don’t find someone in DSM. It’s worth the 2 hr driv, I’d say. Good luck and God bless.

B

September 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm
(69) Almost There says:

These comments have been very interesting. I lost a high percentage of my hair and went hypothyroid simultaneously, just after I started menopause in 2001. Levothroid seemed to cause no improvement in a myriad of syptoms, but the docs said my numbers were normal so… not to worry. I wasn’t worried… just miserable! After a few years, a chinese doctor gave me support through chinese herbs, which helped a lot, but I was still in bad shape. Five months ago, a new doc got me on Cytomel (in addition to my 100 mcg of levothyroxin). At first, I felt no improvement. Then he advised me that my dose was too high (my labs were off the charts). I cut the dose by half, then a quarter. Some time later, the night sweats and insomnia stopped! Now I have the energy to work out. I’m lifting weights and doing cardio work 3x a week. My temperature has reason to nearly normal from the low 96′s. My hair has not grown back. : ( I wish it would. But… I have the courage to live without it now if I must! I wonder if I might try to Armor or the compounded form of T4.

September 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm
(70) Suzanne says:

Karen,

Hopefully you received my e-mail about the possibility autonomic nervous system dysfunction with regard to your sweating problem. I am convinced I have some form fo “dysautonomia” as well. Mary, would you consider sharing more info about your MVP and dysautonomia and the comorbidity with thyroid problems? Thanks for all you do.

September 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm
(71) Karen says:

Suzanne, Thank You for the info.

September 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm
(72) Leshia says:

After being diagnosed with hypothryroidism, I was put on Levoxyl and then Synthroid. I felt worse on both of these. I then found a different doctor, who put me on Armour. I have felt wonderful since! My only question is this: when I was first diagnosed, my thryoid gland would swell slightly sometimes. It is very uncomfortable. Now, it only happens occasionally. My doctor told me that it can take up to six months for the thyroid gland to adjust after adding thyroid meds. Has anyone else ever had that swelling feeling? If so, what can I do to keep it from happening?

September 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm
(73) Anonymous says:

I was on levothyroxine, felt better than before, but no where near normal. I was very sleepy, tired, cognition problem, memory were still not good.
I read Dr.Ridha Arem’s book Thyroid solution (this is the best book i have read on thyroid), and asked my doctor to put me on T3, he said ok. One 5mcg in the am and one in the night. I could not sleep, so I took only one in the early am. It took like 9 months before I started to feel better. One doctor told me after taking the medication, it will take 8 or 9 months, he was right on the dot.
Small does of T3 helps memory, cognition, weight loss and much more, but caution is necessary as stated in the article.

September 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm
(74) Monarch59 says:

Anonymous, your comment is good news for me. I have nto felt normal since 2004. In 2009, I finally figured out that I had a fogginess going on, and memory thing, it’s very difficult for me to lose weight too.

September 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm
(75) Ginger says:

It was my understanding last year that you could no longer get Armour. Consequently, I decided to work with my doctor in continuing the levothryoxine, with the addition of T3 (cytomel). I have had a number of positive changes, but I wonder if I might do better still OFF of thyroxine. My hair has not grown back… I have to wear a wig or hat. I still have choking sometimes, and my skin is horribly dry. I also have nerve pain. Fortunately, I am sleeping now, and the nightsweats ended. I also have some energy, but it doesn’t last very long. How are people getting the natural products like Armour?

September 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm
(76) Lori says:

Armour is back! My endo and pharmacist say they haven’t had trouble getting it in a while. I was very surprised. I thought for sure that this newsletter would have publicized that fact loud and clear, but there was never a word. Ask your endo or pcp to go back on the Armour.

September 10, 2010 at 5:17 am
(77) Annie says:

I get my natural thyroid at thyroidscience.us. It is similar to Armour except it is quality bovine instead of standard raised porcine and all that implies. I have been using it for over a year and am doing great. My fibromyalgia is now gone. They also offer Isocort which is an adrenal support meant for short-term use. Getting on Adrenal support (first used Adreset from Metagenics) gave me relief in just a few months for chronic lower back pain too which I previously had for years. And I now have the energy to function normally. I tried Armour for awhile and did not feel well on it. And I had really expected that Armour would be great for me but it wasn’t. Probably because it was the new formula which has absorption issues to the new fillers.

September 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm
(78) Lea says:

I was diagnosed with Hashis 6 years ago. Have felt awful since! Have put on 50 lbs, even though I have been meticulously tracking food and exercising 5-6x week. Losing hair, UTI’s, yeast, fogginess etc. The list goes on. My tests have never been stable. Saw an endo 2 weeks ago and he blamed me for the instability of my test! That I wasn’t taking my pills properly (ie not waiting 30 min before eating and forgetting to take them) I swear to you, I have only missed taking a pill 2-3x since first diagnosed then and wow, were those ever nasty days) I time it so that I am taking the medicine 30 min before my meals and never with a high fibre breakfast because I was always told that fibre would affect the absorption of the thyroid meds. Since about 2 months ago I have switched to dessicated-my GP is an amazing doctor who is frustrated also that my thyroid wouldn’t stabilize. When I was on Synthroid I felt nasty (I had terrible sweats, palpitations, brain fog, memory issues etc. Not to mention that I still put on 35 lbs in the first year!) I’m still sleepy on dessicated though. I have to crash between 3-4 most days. It is a real problem.
I have mitral valve prolapse as well.
Has anyone who’s taken natural thyroid from Synthroid noticed that the fatigue has gone? The endos I have seen want me back on the synthetic stuff because I keep getting the same message-that natural thyroid is not regulated. No bloody way!

September 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm
(79) Suzanne says:

Sorry, I forgot to mention in my last two posts that I am also a Hashimoto’s sufferer. While I am on a compounded form of T4/T3 and I certainly do feel better than I did on T4 alone, I suspect that there is something else going on too. Hence, all the dysautonomia talk!

September 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm
(80) Kathy says:

I was on Armour Thyroid for 12 years and did fine for 11 of them. Then around the spring of 09 Armour was being remormulated (At least that is what I’ve heard and read from reliable sources). From the summer of 09 till May 2010 I was gaining weight and feeling very tired. Found out that the dosage of Armour that I used for years was now causing me to become hypothyroid. My endo then increased my dosage and in 3 months I’ve gone from hypo to almost a severe hyper. I started feeling pressure in the back of my eyes, heart palpatations and very jittery (no gain or loss in weight). My endo has started on a medication call Tirosint. I started this medication on Friday September 3, 2010. Armour is not the same as it was before. They added fillers to it to increase the shelf life of this medication. I think some people are having problems with these fillers. My endo said that the change in my dosage was not that big of a deal but my reaction to the change was. I’m very sad about the change to Armour. I don’t blame the pharm company. They have to do what they are told. Has anyone else started taking Tirosint? Doctors have just been able to prescribe it since May 2010. I’ve just started this new medication. I will keep everyone posted of my progress.

September 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm
(81) Lisa says:

I just looked up Tirosint (hadn’t heard of it before your comment) and it is T4 in a gel cap form. I don’t really see how that’s different/better than Synthroid. Mary, do you have any information on Tirosint?

September 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm
(82) Standford says:

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September 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm
(83) Victoria says:

I feel much better with T3. I’m on a heavy dose of natural thyroid, with a little T4 thrown in to balance everything out. Thank God for a good doctor.

September 6, 2010 at 10:29 am
(84) Denise says:

I have been Hypo with Hashimoto’s for 18 years now and I didn’t start feeling better until I started on a T4/T3 combo about 9 years ago. For years, the doctors kept saying I was fine what ever my problems were they aren’t thyroid related. It turned out they were wrong!!! It was because they weren’t testing my T3 and it was low. I used Thyrolar until recently when they started making changes to it and took it off the market. Now I am on Cytomel and Levothroxine. I like the Thyrolar better. Another thing I have learned over the years is if you are still having problems it might be where your numbers are. When my T4 is in range but on the high end of it, I start having problems. I like my T4 in the middle to low end of the range and my T3 on the high end of the range. I feel the heart palpatations when the T4 is high.

September 8, 2010 at 11:15 am
(85) diamondlea says:

Can I take my levoxyl and my cytomel at the same time either in the morning or at night?

September 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm
(86) Millie says:

The Armour is not the same. Or it wasn’t. But it is available.

September 10, 2010 at 4:01 am
(87) Alan says:

Wow – thanks for these pages, I had a sub total thyroidectomy in 2000, all I have ever taken is 100mcg Levothyroxine – what the duce is T3 – no one has ever mantioned this side of the treatment to me – the Doc just checks blood every now and again but says nothing.

Could be the reason I feel crap most of the time with palpitations……..I think I’ll check this out – Thanks.

September 10, 2010 at 9:02 am
(88) Deanna says:

I have been on Cytomel and Levoxyl for 8 months now and will NEVER go back to Levoxyl alone. I am no longer depressed and can think clearly. I am thankful I found a family practice doctor who was comfortable with using and adjusting Cytomel. None of the 3 endos I saw wanted to mess with it. We are still working on adjusting the dosing and that is exactly why most endos don’t want to mess with it…it is somewhat time consuming and requires diligence and patience to find the right dose when you are adding Cytomel.

I encourage anyone who is on a T4 med alone, Levoxyl, Synthroid, etc., and not feeling as well as you would like to keep searching until you find someone who will work with you on adding Cytomel. It is worth it! I also tried compounded pork thyroid but did poorly on that so it is good to know there is something for everyone!

September 10, 2010 at 9:03 am
(89) Denise says:

Sunny – yes, I’m very concerned about the Alzheimers study mentioned here. I am hypothyroid since 2004. My mother has Hashis and cycles between hypo and hyper. She has very recently been diagnosed with early stage dementia thought to be Alzheimers. If anyone has any additional info regarding the study, please post.

September 10, 2010 at 9:04 am
(90) AL says:

have just gone back onto T3 after a 5year battle with endo’s having moved areas to one where they are very short sighted and unenlightened (guess I was spoilt being treated by the wonderful Dr Gordon Skinner!). Originally diagnosed and treated with various combinations until It was discovered T3 and Armour suited me best. I had managed to get my life back on track and was feeling great and doing lots more. Then I moved! I have spent the past 5 years feeling more and more unwell taking T4 seeing my life slipping away from me wondering if I really was losing my mind. Asking to be put back on to T3 at every appointment. I guess persistence pays off. 8 weeks ago I got T3!!!!!! within 2 weeks the acne that has plagued me for the past 5 years vanished and my skin quality has improved dramatically. The crushing depression due to stodgy brain fog has lifted and once again I can THINK! I have more energy and can cope with more things I have finally picked up my paint brushes again and begun painting because I have some mental capacity and no longer run out of mental steam having to drag my thoughts through custard and thick fog losing them on the way!

October 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm
(91) lulu says:

Al,are you in the u.k. I ask as at the moment I am trying to help my mother with her thyroid problems and dr skinner’s name keeps popping up with my research. Does he have a practice in London? Grateful for any info. On this or any other doctor. Time is of the essesence, as I will be able to visit her soon from Australia, and have limited time. So want to set up what I can from oz. Thanks

September 10, 2010 at 9:21 am
(92) KJD says:

Was on Synthroid for 10 years due to Hashi’s and was getting progressively worse with low temps. sluggish digestion, dry skin and brain fog. I switched to natural dessicated thyroid and started feeling better but still not as well as I thought I should. Docs who go by the book are useless for this ailment. I spent hours upon hours studying the internet about this, ordered my own tests and found I had a reverse T3 problem that was blocking my cell receptors and not allowing T3 to enter. With a little creative meausure, I was able to get my hands on Cytomel (T3) meds and went off my the dessicated thyroid which contains T4 as well. I was on T3 only for 3 months and my body cleared ALL the reverse T3 so that it wasn’t even measurable in my blood anymore. My mind came back, my ability to focus, my creativity, my joy of life! I have been back on my dessicated thyroid now for almost a year and feel better than I have in 20 years. I also had to build up my Ferritin stores as low Ferritin makes T3 difficult to tolerate. (heart palpitations!)

September 10, 2010 at 10:49 am
(93) Melissa says:

I am also on a T3 only protocol due to reverse T3 issues. I have not cleared RT3 yet, but it is already making a big difference in the way I feel. I actually have a little energy! My temperature has stabilized near normal. My head is relatively clear and I can stay awake past 9 pm. I am glad to hear that you made the switch back to dessicated thyroid successfully. I was wondering how people were feeling once the RT3 cleared and how they proceeded with treatment. However I will continue to use T3 only if necessary. I will never go back to a T4 only synthetic drug if I can help it!

I am astounded that practitioners in general do not know (nor care to know) about RT3 or just T3 for that matter! I am also curious about Alzheimer patients and their rT3 status. I think it would definitely be worth investigating.

January 21, 2011 at 11:05 am
(94) Mary WALSH says:

I was diagnosed with hashis not too long ago I have been feeling very bad for a long time. I finally saw a Dr. who put me on time released t3 I started yesterday. He saw that I have reverse t3 . I saw another Dr. and he wants to put me on an antidepressive med. I just am so lost in what has been going on with me. Major brain fog unable to think clearly. I just want to feel like my self again. I have been feeling badly for about 3 1/2 years now. any help would be great.

September 10, 2010 at 9:33 am
(95) KAJD says:

@ Denise:
When I went about clearing the reverse T3 from my cells by using Cytomel only for 3 months…I was so amazed at the difference in my mental alertness and clarity of thinking! I wonder if there are any statistics on Alzheimer patients and their rT3 status!

September 10, 2010 at 9:51 am
(96) Nancy Biggs says:

It is so refreshing to read this. I have been taking both synthroid and cytomel for a few years now. We test my blood levels every 6-12 months and all is well. However, when I went to see a different doctor for a non-thyroid issue, as he was reading through my list of medications he commented “I have never had a patient that has been on both synthroid and cytomel”.

September 10, 2010 at 10:09 am
(97) Wendy says:

I was diagnosed about 19 years ago with autoimmune thyroid disease, hypothyroidism and put on a low dose of Levothyroxine. I suspect I had been hypothyroid for several years before being diagnosed. On Levothyroxine, I never felt well. There was an improvement but it never went back to normal. The fluctuations in the pills were a constant problem. I saw 4 different specialists and finally my family doctor agreed to let me try desiccated thyroid. My life has been returned. I have energy, no more panic attacks, my moods levelled out, my hair looks much better, constipation stopped, muscle pains went away, brain fog gone, the hair on my arms and legs is growing again and so on and so on. It is so unfortunate that so few endocrinologists have a poor understanding of pharmacology – that not everybody can convert synthetic T4 to the active form of T3, something which doesn’t show up on the blood tests. They rarely rely on what the patient is telling them. Now if I could only lose weight, I would be ecstatic.

February 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm
(98) andrea says:

HI I was wondering what thyroid med you take.

Thanks

February 21, 2011 at 11:01 am
(99) Wendy says:

I live in Canada and take “Thyroid” made by Efra Canada.

September 10, 2010 at 11:33 am
(100) Margie says:

I have been on Synthroid, Levoxyl,or Armor for 15 years never felt any better. This blog has been very helpful. I have one question. All the bloggers are female. Is Thyroid disease primarily a female disease?

February 21, 2011 at 10:58 am
(101) Wendy says:

I know several men who have autoimmune thyroid disease.

September 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm
(102) Doreen Mundie says:

Have been struggling for several years, since Armour went bad and then received a bad compounded thyroid. Nearly died. Now, after three years and reading National Academy of Hypothyroidism.org, had the info I need, to get help. Saw six docs.. none took insurance, none knew this info. Going to a great doctor and hour and half away. Taking 90 mcg. of T3 alone. Functioning!! No PVC every three beats, balance better, can type again, memory is returning, can catch my breath, managed a big garden this year and working part time. Still not perfect, will still be adjusting. NO T4 at all.

Taking four 12.5 Iodoral’s a day, much more energy, brain now working again. Most of us are iodine deficient and it is one cause of increased breast cancer. Do not give up… it is so hard to feel desperate and visit doctors, who have no clue about reverse T3, or what causes reverse T3. The six I saw did not even know about the deiodinaces and that depression, surgery, cytokine inflammatory diseases, various emotional problems, dieting… all cause the body to create Reverse T3, which stops the regular T3 from working on the cellular level. Lab tests can be normal! And, we are still living miserable lives.

Read, learn, look for that one doctor who will respect you and your suffering. I believe I will make it now. Please read what Dr. Holtorf, has to say, on the above site. It could change your life and give you the information you need to enlighten your doctor.
Peace….. Doreen

September 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm
(103) Lisa says:

Five or six years ago, I was on Armour and feeling better than on Synthroid, but still not feeling well and unable to lose weight. That all changed when my doctor added Cytomel. For years I was on 1 grain Armour + 10 mg. Cytomel and doing great until last year when I could no longer get the Armour. The past year has been horrible! I’ve been through many ups & downs, huge weight gain (40 lbs), depression, fatigue, etc., trying different meds and combinations of meds. Now that Armour is back I’m back on old regimen but dose no longer seems enough, so my doc (one of the GOOD endo’s!), is switching around my dose, upping the T3. He says Armour is probably going away for good eventually, so I think he’s trying to move me more toward just the T3.

September 14, 2010 at 9:55 am
(104) Dianna M. says:

Nature-Throid is better than Armour for a lot of people. It’s a prescription, porcine just like Armour but so many people have responded to it and feel better. Armour is definitely better than Synthroid for many but Nature-Throid is better than Armour :)

September 14, 2010 at 11:20 am
(105) Lisa says:

Thanks, Dianna. I’ve thought about trying Naturethroid and I’ll probably ask my doctor about it at my next visit, but his concern was that the availability of the natural dessicated thyroid meds is really iffy. Even though you can get Armour and Naturethroid at the moment, we may see more shortages like last year and they may even disappear for good.

September 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm
(106) Tricia says:

got sick and tired of being “sick and tired”, so I asked to switch to natural thyroid (has t1,t2,t3,t4) my doctor was receptive to the idea since it was unlikely that my thyroid was doing anything it was supposed to do (like convert t4 to t3) and like a miracle – I am normal! After 4+yrs of misery, I feel 100% better (still working on the weight)I actually can’t remember the last time I felt this good. The drug companies website has a list of doctors if you need it.

October 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm
(107) Pat says:

Hi Tricia…..what natural thyroid do you use please? I tried Armour a while back but the miracle I was hoping for did not happen. I am from South Africa and bent over backwards, while in the States to get Armour, after Mary’s wonderful eyeopening surveys…..but Armour was better than synthetic, but not great.
I have now found a good doctor in SA who has agreed to put in on T3 only (Tertroxin) . I have been on it six days….with an anti-depressant. My first day of 20mcg was awful….nausea and virtigo. I halved the dose and took it at night. Much better….no more body-aches, but still very moody. I do not take T4 at all. It is early days but I might need natural T4 in the near future. I want to say that for me, synthetic meds, was absolute poison for 20 years!! Thank you Mary….for switching on the light for so many of us.

September 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm
(108) Linda says:

To Kathy who is on Tyrosint,

I have been waiting for this drug to be available in the U.S. Where are you filling the prescription? It is the only T4 drug I have not tried. I am mostly on T3 but my doctor thinks it is hard on my bones so makes me take some T4, which I have a hard time with. The good part about tyrosint is that it is a gel cap without all those binders and fillers which both me even in calcium supplements.

By the way, with millions of us thyroid sufferers out there (I am Hashimotos), why aren’t we demanding a cure for it instead this having to take meds for the rest of our lives? Healing thyroids by use of stem cell treatments, regenerative medicine, and transplants should be our future rather than taking these horrible drugs.

September 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm
(109) Gretchen says:

Part 1
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2003, was put on Synthroid. I felt marginally better, but it wasn’t the drastic result I had naively hoped for/expected.

Finally found Mary Shomon’s book, and asked to be switched to Armour, which the doctor reluctantly agreed to. I immediately felt noticeably better. I took Armour and did fairly well for several years(though did gain weight continuously).

However…. that all came to an abrupt end last summer with the reformulating of Armour. In fact, I didn’t even know WHY I felt sooooo terrible, until I put it together with the same couple of days that I had had my presecription refilled.

My TSH came back in the normal range with my OB/GYN (who I love, and would do anything I asked, but I didn’t know what to ask for anymore!) and he had no suggestions. I was crashing…. and really did NOT know what to do.

THEN….. last fall I got one of Mary’s newsletters with an article about weight loss from Dr. Holtorf. I read it, and I was so amazed at the brand new ideas he expressed in the interview. Things that totally made sense to me, but that I had never heard/read anywhere else.

September 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm
(110) Gretchen says:

Part 2
I kept thinking about the article, and thought to myself how much I wished I had a doctor like Dr. Holtorf. I ended up sitting back down at my computer and re-reading the article — and discovering a link to Holtorf Medical Group in the article. I visited their web site and realized they take out of state patients. It took me a few days to work up the courage to call…. but I did, and I made an appointment.

I saw Dr. Camilleri at Holtorf Medical last November — and it was the first time I felt like someone finally knew what to do with me. I cannot even express what a relief it was to have finally found someone who had the knowledge I needed.

I am now on a large dose of T3 and a tiny dose of T4. I feel about 1000% better than I have in MANY years. I’ve lost 30 pounds (from obese BMI to normal BMI), have fairly normal energy and I feel like myself again. I was really at the end of my rope — I don’t know where I would be right now without this treatment. Thank you Mary, for sharing Dr. Holtorf’s information — it made a huge difference in my life.

September 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm
(111) Ella says:

Nuclear radiation destroyed my thyroid, caused my systemic cancer, and MANY other ailments that I’ve been batteling for over 50 years. No two people are alike, but on T4 for many years my health deteriorated until I was searching for a nursing home before I found T3 (Cytomel). For me, It was heaven and a BIG FAT LIE that a low TSH # is dangerous. I think drug cos want to keep us ill so they can sell us more medicines. My TSH MUST be kept low for me to successfully control my cancer. I tried lowering my dose of T3 – My cancer came back full force – I got back on the higher dose – My cancer outbreak subsided by the next afternoon. Too much nuclear radiation causes cancer, yet the FDA allows our food to be nuked and just put PASTURIZED on the label. I must eat organic or die of my cancer. I’m tearfully grateful to Mary for all she does.

September 10, 2010 at 7:39 pm
(112) Andrea says:

I started taking t3 in addition to Synthroid right after reading Mary’s 2000 edition of Living Well with Hypothyroidism. Several years ago I switched to Armour and felt even better – I could finally lose the weight I could not lose on t3+Synthroid. I could not tolerate Nature-throid when Armour availability became a problem, evidently due to the fillers. Now I am on compounded dessicated thyroid and doing very well. My compounding pharmacist has been able to provide me with capsules of natural thyroid without the filler because even the fillers used with compounding caused me problems. He is able to do that because I am on a very large dose.

Thank you for your books, Mary. They have changed my life.

September 10, 2010 at 7:41 pm
(113) Mog says:

Is it possible to just be on T3 alone indefinitely? I take T4 + a small amount of T3. I wondered if I might feel better if I cut out the T4 altogether.
I was interested to read in KJD’s post that low ferritin makes T3 difficult to tolerate; I’d never heard that before. That would probably explain why I got hyper symptoms when taking a higher dose of the T3 (20mcg) four years ago and had to cut down to my present 5mcg. I would have been anaemic at that time, although it wasn’t discovered until later and I’ve been on iron for a few years since, although my ferritin levels are still low apparently, which isn’t very encouraging.
I stopped synthetic in the spring and went on to ERFA, but was very disappointed to find that I didn’t feel any better on it; in fact, I felt much worse whilst taking it for about 5 months. Am now back on the T4 and T3 combo again. I was really disappointed about the ERFA though – thought it would be the answer. Don’t know if it was just ERFA because I haven’t tried any of the other naturals.

September 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm
(114) Anne says:

Kathy-

I have been on Tirosint for 3 weeks now. My new endo switched me from generic synthroid, which was was very against.
How has your experince been so far? I have noticed an increase in energy level. The past two days, I have had some afternoon sluggishness back again. My hair is still falling out, but the product info says that all benefits take 4-6 weeks to achieve.
How are YOU feeling? There is very little patient info out there on the internet, since the product is so new. (For those of you that were asking, I get my Rx filled at my local CVS-though they had never heard of it. They had to order it for me – it was there within 2 days for me).

September 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm
(115) Pamela says:

Janette or anyone,
There is no reason to have to go through Amazon.com for Vitamin Shoppe products. http://www.vitaminshoppe.com is their own website.
Thanks Mary for the website, I appreciate all your work.

October 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm
(116) Janette says:

The vitamin shoppe sells theirs on amazon, it is their link. It doesn’t matter if you go to the actual site of the vitamins or through amazon. It is the vitamin shoppe’s link they are the ones who get paid.

September 15, 2010 at 9:10 am
(117) Karen says:

I am so thankful for all of your comments. I told my husband after reading this that I’m not the only one that is going thru this horrible condition. I have been hyper for 13 years in and out of remission and now I am hypo! Would rather be hyper anyday! Just started synthroid about 3 months ago and still feel like crap. I need T3. I keep a log of my levels and noticed I feel better when my T3 is higher. Also have ferritin issues. Which is a little different than being enemeic. Ferritin is your stored iron…if anyone has this problem make sure you are not drinking any form of tea as this will not allow your body to store iron. Now off to search for a Dr. that will give me cytomel.

September 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm
(118) TH says:

I have Hashimoto’s and I have been on T3 (Liothyronine-generic for Cytomel)for about 2 years now. My Endocrinologist did not want to try it right away but after a couple of years on T4 (levothyroxine) alone and still feeling a lot less than normal she agreed to try it for me. I feel the best I have so far with it added twice a day in small amounts. I sleep better, have less aches, and can regulate my body temperature better. I would find another doctor if one would try to take it away from me. It helps me immensely!

September 16, 2010 at 1:46 am
(119) RiaTheDeer says:

I live in Australia…Oh sorry, I ought to say On Mars! I am suffering…and I mean suffering, 3 years after my thyroidectomy. My doctors are all quite anti T3 supplement providers. My latest levels (after having been told to go up a dose) were worse hypo than being on the lower dose! My Free T3 is now only 2.6 in Aus ranges it should be over 3.5. I feel lousy, miserable, sleep pretty much all day, and still get told I am not being a good girl and to stop arguing and just up my dose!
How low in Free T3 do I have to be before I am classified as an emergency patient? My TSH is now 11.9 and rising. (I always felt ok at 1.0. My Free T4 is constantly falling as well, now only 16.4 (still in the lower normal range) But I take my T4 med religiously, away from food, medications etc.
Is it the answer to just front up in an ER and tell them my heart palpitations are now debilitating? Which they are. I know they will do thyroid studies, they always do, but how do I convince anyone here that my body is not happy and I am at my wit’s end? To the Aussie doctors, T3 is like voodoo or witchcraft and not to be dispensed. Grrrrrrr!

September 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm
(120) Sue says:

I think to be fair, you should mention that the other 26% of participants in the Danish study had no preference for either T4 only or T4/T3. So really it’s 49% liked a T4/T3 combination and 51% didn’t care as long as they got T4. I think someone who is recently diagnosed with thyroid problems should start on T4 only and see what happens. So many of the sites want people to jump in and start with the combination T4/T3 or natural thyroid and it’s not necessary for half of the people.

September 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm
(121) Carolyn Stephens says:

I was treated for Graves Disease with radioactive iodine in 1994. After five years of levothyroxine, I was miserable. My physician prescribed T3 (Cytomel) in 1999. I am happy, well and productive.

I feel myself fortunate to have had a physician who was compassionate to my miserable state and willing to try an alternative.

September 24, 2010 at 11:03 am
(122) Tracy K says:

I am reading these entries and crying – I don’t know why. I had RAI in 2006, and feel as crappy as ever. The brain fog, forgetfulness, lack of memory, panic attacks and anxiety, depression, irritability, impatience, lack of concentration and “feeling old” is REALLY making me unbearable. The tingly pain in the legs when I sit, my achy hips and lower back, dry eyes, borderline glaucoma. A heart ultra sound revealed a borderline enlarged left ventricle and thickening of the wall. I went through menopause before I was even diagnosed because my system was in such a race to age. I’m afraid to ask for Cytomel – what if it messes up my heart? But what to do about all the other symptoms, especially this friggin’ BRAIN FOG! I am a professional singer-songwriter – watching my career fade away from me. I have NO creativity anymore, and absolutely no drive to push forward with managing my touring career – I just don’t do it. I was on 1.0 Levothyroxin for four years, but now on .88 Synthroid because of the palps. 48 years young. Help.

October 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(123) Pat says:

Tracy and Ria….I really feel for you! I have given up Thyroid meds three times and each time felt bloomin’ wonderful….for a short while. Each time docs told me I had not alternative but T4 (Eltroxin), as my condition was life threatening. I felt caged….what to do? Tried Armour..not so great. I stopped T4meds altogether six months ago because of sever depression (even though I am on anti-depressants)….and refused to go back on to Eltroxin….it was poison. I then took some of these blogs we are reading, printed them and took them to a new GP who was renound to be open-minded. When I told him I refused to take T4, he smiled condecendingly, and said Thyroid meds were to help depression…….until he read the blogs!!! Wow, what a change. During these six months of no T4 my hair has grown back….I now have a huge amount of hair as before! I have been on only T3 for three weeks, adjusting strengths myself as I go along. Body aches have virtually dissappeared. I took 500IU Vit D3 last night and 12.5mcg T3 this morning. Best day so far..brain-fog lifting and no sleepiness. I’m getting to the right balance…..wooohooo! at last.

September 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(124) Jeff says:

I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto + hypothyroidism since 1994. For the first 10 years, I took Synthroid during which time: I gained weight, felt lethargic, and could detect zero positive effect of the Synthroid other than to make my Docs happy when TSH came down a bit. Then I found a REAL doctor, who was willing to see how I felt with Armour. WOW what a difference. Lost weight, feel more alert, and have improved energy.

BTW: went to the “finest ENDO Doc in the Delaware valley”, and he gave me a load of crap about TSH test scores as being the primary indicator of succesful thyroid management. I wonder about his financial arrangements with big pharma?

Thyroid anomolies require Docs with a holistic view medicine.

September 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm
(125) abigail says:

i was prescribed brand name Cytomel ( T3) for fibromyalgia by my naturopathic physician. It helped me get refreshing sleep at night and recover quickly from exertion. My HMO does not have Cytomel in its formulary, so i tried generic Liothyronine. I became irritable, impatient, and impetuously negative. I blurted out remarks that astonished me, they were so negative and unkind. Luckily i realized what i had done and apologized. I went back to taking Cytomel and have no more irritability and impatience and, thank goodness, make no more snarky remarks. Cytomel is expensive but worth it.

My naturopath prescribed lab tests which my HMO lab did for me. TSH, freeT4 and free T3 and also tests for adrenal function because she said it is affected by taking thyroid meds. My HMO has higher norms for TSH , up to 5, but many physicians now use 2 as the upper limit of normal for TSH. My TSH was high by this standard, indicating need for thyroid medication, but had been rated normal previously by the older standard. In addition to Cytomel I now take Armour thyroid and also 7-Keto DHEA for adrenal function. the 7-Keto variety apparently does not elevate testosterone as some adrenal meds can.

The miracle for me is that my appetite is now normal. i am satisfied with smaller portions and can resist gluten foods and ice cream.

I do take Cytomel late in the evening. Contrary to my doctor’s concerns, it still helps me get to sleep easily and back to sleep easily and wake up quickly in the morning.

September 21, 2010 at 9:07 am
(126) Pat says:

I have been hypothyrod since age 20, after the birth of my first child. My doc at the time gave me Synthroid to see if it helped. It did. But our bodies change so much as we get older. I kept gaining weight desite 1,000 calorie per day diet, which I followed faithfully. I kept talking to my doctor as I sank lower and lower into severe depression. My face was so bloated, my skin extremely dry, my mind worse than foggy! I was almost to the point of giving up on life itself. Finally, about 5 years ago, I asked for a referral to a counselor to hear me out. I thank God she was hypothyroid as well and truly truly listened to me. She recognized my symptoms and she is an advocate. She referred me to a psychopharmocologist who was willing to treat not only the depression but the hypothyroid with Cytomel. What a God-send this has been for me. Over the past 5 years my weight has dropped 75 pounds, my mind is clearer and I am able to function better. However (as always) the depression is still there because of the many, many years I went without being properly treated for my thyroid and the symptoms increase when my thyroid level drops. So……..ask about the Cytomel!! I am over 60 and I can say that the counselor, the other doctor who prescribed Cytomel literally saved my life.

September 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm
(127) Becky says:

My Dr has me on a low dose of Cytomel and I’m such a different person. I’ve tried a generic of it and it didn’t work for me. I can’t belive how tired I get or how my brain doesn’t seem to work when I’m not on it. My family can tell if I forget to take one, it’s that noticable. I think everyone should look into. I feel like it gave me my life back.

September 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm
(128) Chantel says:

I see that someone mentioned a good doctor in San Antonio that will prescribe armour thyroid so I was wondering you could post the name and phone number of that doctor?

October 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(129) Theressa says:

Does anyone know of a good endo in Atlanta? My doctor wants to kill my thyroid and I don’t like that idea at all.

October 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm
(130) Pattie says:

I have been hypothyroid for over 25 years now and was always on synthetics until 3 years ago. My doctor is a DO and is very supportive of bio identical hormones. Within a couple months of switching to the bio identicals I had a remarkable difference in my energy level and actually feel like myself again. The synthetics were harder to regulate for me and we did have to adjust the bio identicals at first but WOW what a difference. I’m on other bio identical hormones too and I’ll tell you they are great helping me get through menopause too. I highly recommend anyone needing any type of hormone replacement therapy including thyroid to investigate it for yourself, it’s been great for me. Down side is some insurances don’t want to pay for it since it’s not mass produced and the pharmacueticals aren’t in the game of getting their share (there must be a connection between the two). Good Luck to you all!

October 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm
(131) makuahine says:

Has anyone else felt worse after adding name brand cytomel to synthroid? I’ve taken thyroid medication–usually synthroid, for about 35 years. After hitting menopause, I developed some severe heart palpitations–my numbers went way too high and my dosage was decreased from 225 to 100. That was a nightmare. After changing doctors (and a lot of prayer!), I started to feel much better at my new 150 dosage. I improved my diet and supplements. My hair stopped falling out and I was able to exercise more. However, I continued to hold excess weight and experience times of extreme fatigue and cold, daily. I asked for tests for reverse t-3. My doctor agreed to start me on a low dose of cytomel (5). We successfully fought for insurance coverage for the name brand. Costco had the best price by far! I had huge hope for this medication! Anyway, it’s only the fourth day, but I’ve been shocked that my morning fatigue has been nearly unbearable. I can hardly get out of bed and function! Since I started the cytomel, I can barely get out of bed and barely function in the morning. It feels like I’m back on 100 synthroid…Day one, I took 1/2 tab at 7:00 a.m.–one hour after my synthroid. Day two, I took half tab again at 6:00 a.m. w/ my synthroid. Day three, I took 1/2 at 6:00 a.m. w/ my synthroid and another 1/2 at 2:00 p.m. This is day four, and I took 1/2 at 6:00 w/ my synthroid. (I’ve had what I would consider some mild headache off and on and neck pain off and on) Does anyone have any thoughts on this? The mornings have been so bad that I’ve felt like I should stop taking cytomel. However, I know it’s only been a few days. I had such high hopes that this was the missing piece in the puzzle for me…

November 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm
(132) abigail says:

makuahine – hang in there. two possibilities: our adrenal levels can be affected by taking thyroid, so have those checked. Ask for DHEA Sulphate adult, and Cortisol. i believe the lab tests for that should be done in the early A.M. I can’t get in then so i have mine taken in the early afternoon. I’m not qualified to comment, but the TIMING of your cytomel doses seems off to me. ** Ask Mary to comment on this. **

Do not expect immediate results. I, too, felt upset that i was so lethargic at first. It took 12 weeks or so to really get to the full benefit. My naturopath has me get my T4, T3, TSH and adrenal levels checked every 8 wks. and Vitamin D ( 25-Hydroxy). Remember the new normal range for TSH upper level is 2, not 5 as in the past. I take Armour thyroid in the early AM and the cytomel early afternoon and about 9 PM. I have fibromyalgia which means i have certain other reasons for adding the cytomel.

December 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm
(133) Tera says:

Linda– I agree with you 100%! I wish someone or some group of scientists would do some research to find more help for us.
Tracy K — Don’t give up. I went through a similar situation like yours. I went all through grade school and high school hypothyroid with reduced T3. In my 20′s I reported my symptoms to my doctor and he never found my problem. This went on for several years until I gave up on him. With my foggy mind and being very young I did not know what to do. I finally found a great doctor when I turned 33 who listens and even puts me on her prayer list! There is hope.

To everyone else keep plugging away. I will too since I am not 100% well yet.

December 31, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(134) Zafer B says:

I was diagnosed with hashi 3 years ago and have been on 50mg levoxyl. I have been feeling depressed for about 8 years mostly during the day and feel much better at night. I have tried many anti depressants with no success. After reading some of these posts I asked my family doc (since my endro did not want to do it) to add some cytomel. I started about a week ago only taking 5mg in the morning. Today i started to take it twice a day 5 each. I am still not feeling any different but I am willing to wait since I hear so many people do much better with the combo.

January 2, 2011 at 10:19 am
(135) Zafer B says:

Theressa(112)

Does anyone know of a good endo in Atlanta? My doctor wants to kill my thyroid and I donít like that idea at all.

Georgia Hormones Dr. Goldman seems to be a great a doc. Maybe you can go see him.

January 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(136) LindaSue3 says:

I was taking cytomel and felt great. My new doctor would not write out a new prescription. It took 3 office visits and alot of complaining before she put me back on it. After 1 week of being back on cytomel I feel great. I feel normal.
The doctors need to listen to the patients. We know our body.

December 9, 2011 at 12:57 am
(137) st says:

I was diagnosed hypothyroid 20 yrs. ago and was put on synthroid. At first it helped but for the last 10-15 yrs. I’ve been sluggish, couldn’t lose wt., depressed, achy all over, etc… I finally found a good dr. (endocrinologist) that asked how I felt instead of just looking at lab test results! She is a Godsend! She added cytomel and I’ve lost 32 lbs. in 10 months without much change in my habits. Mostly, I feel like a functional human being instead of a zombie all the time! If your a woman with this problem and havent found a male dr. who cares, consider seeing a woman endocrinologist. They will be more inclined to car how you feel. men dr.’s think women are whiny and crazy! When I was diagnosed 20 yrs. ago I was going to a man dr. who put me off and gave me antidepressants until his wife who was a nurse practicioner saw me and sent me to a specialist. I had gained 10 lbs. a mo. for 6 months! All I did was go to work and sleep. If I had been put on the cytomel years ago along with the synthroid I wouldn’t still need to lose 60 more lbs and I wouldn’t have developed diabetes and arthritis in my legs due to the wt. I think many of these physicians should be held accountable for writing off their pts. because they don’t want to deal with them. My life would have been so different…

January 28, 2012 at 1:59 am
(138) anniegoose says:

i have just spent the last hour reading all these comments. and i’ve been writing, writing, writing.

as soon as the results come back from the holter monitor that i had to wear for 24 hours from wednesday afternoon to thursday afternoon, i will book another appointment with my allergy doctor and INSIST on being tested for free t-3.

fortunately — in those doctor categories — he is somewhere between a C and a D — which is why i am still going to him. blessedly he uses a local compounding pharmacy in snohomish WA and i will also insist upon NOT having ANY of the fillers put in — the fillers that were in the very minimal dosage of levothyroxine that i could only take for 3 days — made me violently ill, plus i got horrible palpitations again. so no more levothyroxine for me and no more fillers.

thank you to all and blessings to all of you.

annie!

March 17, 2012 at 10:46 am
(139) Darlene says:

I went to regular checkup at doctor. I told her I was having problem with weight and felt hungry all the time. She suggested having my thyroid tested. Results cam back and she said it showed high. She prescribed Synthroid at 25 mg. I just started taking it because she says I have hypothyroidism. I’m to take for two months and retest. Now I’m thinking should I have asked more questions. I’m afraid of what I’m reading and don’t want to “feel weird” like I’m reading in comments. What should I be expecting? Weight loss, weight gain( don’t want that) energy boost, what?… Not feeling different and have taken for 3 days. I am reading wait 6 weeks. Wait for what less appetite, more energy, what???.?

March 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm
(140) chris says:

Ok about 8 years ago I saw this Dr named Flechas in NC and he put me on 90mcgs of timed release T3 and 25 mgs dhea- I wasn’t exactly sure why. At the time I didn’t even know what the T3 was for. It did nothing for 3 weeks. Then one day as i was walking to work from my palatial estate in Tribeca, Manhattan- it hit me. I couldn’t believe it. My mind was all of a sudden clear- well being instantly overtook me like I had never before experienced. I was so happy and knew then for certain there was something wrong for all the previous years. But i also had shortness of breath so the doc told me to stop both meds. When i did the fog came right back. I didn’t know if it was from the dhea or the cytomel-the well being that is. I was so much fogged up that I didn’t know what to do or pursue. I dropped it.

March 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm
(141) chris says:

Then 3 years ago I took a tiny amount of the old armour. The same day I felt that great feeling again- but those chicks at sttm cautioned me because they said I had to fix my adrenals first based on a saliva test. So I stopped the armour and got on HC. That was a mistake- I’m telling everyone here so you don’t make the mistake i made- NEVER EVER TREAT YOUR ADRENALS BASED ON SALIVA TESTS ALONE. I DON’T CARE WHAT THE PEOPLE ON THOSE WEB SITES TELL YOU! I did it and it made me feel so terrible. But they assured me it was because I was on a low dose so I increased it. God was with me, that’s all I can say. I looked and felt so terrible – I can’t even look at those pictures of me anymore. I took the low dose acth stim test and it showed absolutely no problem.

We can never know why each person is different- why the saliva test can show low cortisol and the blood test shows that it’s fine. I can tell you from years of personal experience the real test is how you feel when you are on it. It almost put me in the hospital- I was so weak and lethargic regardless of the dose- hi or low. If you feel worse you do not need it. and it can be harmful. But it also screwed me up for armour- because when I finally went back to it the reformulation happened- and it was never the same.

Now I am on levoxyl witha small amount of timed release T3 and I’ve not felt nay worse but no better. I don’t really know what to do … I believe I can get that great feeling again but don’t know who to talk to about it. I’m a little lost. I guess i could use help.

July 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm
(142) Heidi Ann says:

I was diagnosed with Thyroid disease in 2009, medication has gone up and down over the past 3 years. I went to 3 different doctors telling them I think I need t3 supplements. They pretty much blew me off telling me I needed anti-depressants, I would not take them and pretty much had just given up. Went to a new doctor and she ran my blood and said your t4 is a little high but your t3 is too low. Wow! Finally! If you know something is not right with your body, keep searching for the doctor who will listen. Good luck everyone!

November 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm
(143) Evelyn says:

I was diagnosed with Graves Disease Hyperthyroid after the birth of my daughter approximately 11 yrs ago. I had RAI and have been hypo and treated with synthroid since. I have never felt like my old self, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, tired, cranky, very little patience, anxiety, depression, low sex drive, dry skin, dry eyes, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, etc..since….. I have told a couple of different Dr’s and had Synthroid adjusted but have never been given any other meds to try. I have also been diagnosed with Psoriasis and Chrohns Disease which are autoimmune diseases as well. My labs were all within normal limits, but heard about someone who added Cytomel to their current Synthroid dosage for low energy and because they could not lose weight. Her energy level has returned to normal and she lost 15 lbs in 3 mos! My Dr just rx 5mcg of the generic Cytomel (Liothyronine SOD) to my current 150 mcg daily and then on Sunday reduced my Synthroid to 75 mcg. I have seen a couple of posts from people complaining about the generic Cytomel-has anyone used it and been happy with it? Also, do any of you have any other autoimmune diseases? It is hard to point at which disease is causing which symptom…

Thanks!

April 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm
(144) permanecklace says:

Wendy @ 97 — Re: “the hair on my arms and legs is growing again”

I’ve had very slow growing hair on my arms and legs for years. Figured it was age. I also have barely any hair under my arms and,,,barely any pubic hair. That last past initially was OK, especially for swim suit season. But, now, it’s, well, unsettling to have so little hair there.

Is this related to thyroid issues, as well as scalp hair falling out?

Or other parts of the endocrine system??

Mary? Anyone? Thanks much for any input.

April 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm
(145) Gloria says:

@ permanecklace

I was in the same boat with losing body hair for MANY years — my underarm hair was very sparse and pubic hair down to likely less than half especially if you included the part on my thighs which USED to grow at least 6 inches or more down the inside of my thighs!
I was not happy to see the hair disappearing because I knew that it meant a problem — mine was low adrenal function. I did a 4 point saliva test and the morning reading was about 25 to 30% from the bottom of the range (that one is supposed to be the HIGHEST of the day and one post said about 75% above the bottom of the range). THEN my cortisol level fell sharply to the VERY bottom of the range!! AND I could feel it dropping shortly after I got out of bed. No energy — dragging all day long!
I was able to get some Cortine supplements from Thorne (I think that they changed their name). They need to be ordered through a naturopath or if you can see a naturopathic doc to order that or something similar for you. Later I started working with an alternative health therapy and was able to get my endocrine system working at a better place. My body hair came back — some of it white since I am 66 now, but I am feeling much better.
Also I went to one of those “hormone” clinics and got bioidentical replacement for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA!!!!

August 17, 2013 at 8:05 am
(146) Emily says:

I was on T4 for 20 years, do weight training 4 x a week and crossfit 2 x a week. Still the weight in the last 3 years would not come off. Then I changed Endocrinologist and voila he put me on T3 Cytomel…..Where was he all my life????? I feel so much better now!!!!!! The weight is coming off slowly but off!!!! CHANGE DOCTOR if you have to!!!!!!!

September 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm
(147) K. Renee says:

After reading this, I went in to see my doctor today, armed with a list of questions and a pre-made decision to “fire” her if she refused to prescribe T3 to me. We talked about my levels and my symptoms. She then OFFERED to put me on T3 meds! I did not even get a chance to ask. I am excited about the possibility of feeling “normal” again and shedding these unwanted pounds! Good luck to everyone else that was in my position. Hopefully, your doctors will pay more attention to your symptoms and not just the lab results!

September 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm
(148) cheri says:

Doc is concerened with my thyroid labs from last week, I had a pfo closure done a month ago as well.
My labs:
FT4 0.9 range 0.7-1.5
T3 161 range 58-159
TSH 0.00 range 0.34-4.82

Any insight would be great.

September 29, 2013 at 4:20 am
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December 1, 2013 at 4:03 am
(150) ben j says:

Hi guys, are there any Aussies on here? Can anyone recommend a progressive GP/endo in Melbourne – one that isn’t afraid to prescribe T3? I’ve been on T4 for going on 4 years and my symptoms are only getting worse. I would really appreciate some help, cheers.

February 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm
(151) Sue says:

Hi All! Thanks for all the informative posts. I’ve been taking synthetic thyroxin for about 10 years now. (I’m 53 years old).When testing my thyroid levels over the years, have had to up the dose gradually from the initial .5 micrograms to 1.5micrograms per day. I’ve had several stressful years and this last one in particular has been very demanding. I’m feeling exhausted, depressed, sluggish, achy and foggy in my thinking. I’ve started having menopausal symptoms too. Am taking Chinese herbs for night sweats and a Metagenics product called Estrovera which seem to really help. I haven’t seen an endo since my initial diagnosis. I just get blood tests done and my GP prescribes accordingly. Do you think I’m a candidate for T3? And what is the general thinking about Armour? I live in Cape Town, South Africa .Does anyone know of a good doctor/alternative health practitioner here or in Johannesburg who could work with me on this? Many thanks!!!

March 19, 2014 at 11:59 am
(152) Dara says:

I have been on 5mg slow release T3 for about six months and it seems to be helping. It has been the only thyroid med that I can tolerate. I also take low dose naltrexone every night and a huge panoply of supplements. My endo here in NYC is amazing.

Sue, if you try the T3, you should know very quickly. I was unable to tolerate the regular T3/cytomel, I knew immediately, but the compounded slow release has been working well for me

March 25, 2014 at 9:58 pm
(153) Jo Macleod says:

I had my entire thyroid removed in May 2013 and started on Synthroid 175mcg in hospital prior to leaving. I had massive nodules. Within three weeks I was bouncing off the walls, headaches, dizziness, sickness, palpitations, double vision and temper tantrums I didn’t recognize myself. I have since come down progressively to 75mcg which is too low and has bad side effects. My doc has increased my dosage every six weeks if that doze did not work he would increase it. I am now back up to 137mcg and he is going to try T3 separately as well. After reading these notes I think I might be on the right track finally. I am hoping the T3 separately works. I believe I have been Hashimoto but my doc says I am not?I believe my daughter has the same as me and my mother had it too but died of thyroid cancer before they found it. Great page for info. thanks to everyone who responded.

April 14, 2014 at 7:59 am
(154) Raquel says:

I’ve been for many years with the compound T4/T3 hormone replace. Used to take Thyrolar 3, my life was wonderful! After recalled I’ve been in Synthroid after Levothyroxien (Generic) plus Cytomel or Generic Doctors have been concerned about my overcounted number for T3 and tried to reduce the dosage causing me to feel worse. Since the compund is out of market and not having any Endo to put me on Nature Throid, my range levels have been ambivalent, T3 high TSH .01. One Endo definetely reduced my T3 from 35mg to 20, and Holly Crap, I have since January in pain all over my body, my ankles swollen. Thanks to God I met an Intern Physician who has heard me and put on Nature Throid and I am starting to get little better but now my new physician is concern because my T3 of course is overcounted and T4 is good. But my days are not good as I told her, has gained weight, tired all the time, sleepy, achy all over my body one day I am fabolous and the other like crap. I am hoping that giving. That’s why my doctor decided not change the dosage although the high level (10.0 T3) and to see how I respond without having heart problem. T3 works form me wonderful I lived for 10 years just with Synthroid (in Mexico) and I never know why I was feelilng so bad, very very very fat without having snacks, counting calories, doing all kind of diet and working out until I gave up. My doctor decided to put me on Novotiral – Mexico brand (Thyrolar USA) and I recovered my life. However, since Thyrolar is off market, my wellness is not as good as I had it, my inmune system was compromised and even though the Endos I was seeing did not hear me until this new Doctor. I am just doing research through Mary’s Shomon Articles, why feeling so tired and achy with such high level of T3. Read everything about Mary you find a lot of answers and learn a lot.. Thank you Mary.

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