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Old 09-08-2004, 05:30 PM   #1
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T3/T4 protocol, any experiances?

I am hypothyroid, still symptomatic after several years on levoxyl (fatigue, weight problems, loss of hair, depression, etc) my TSH and T3 levels are fine (My TSH is about .5). I was reading about this new t3/t4 protocol, my doctor referred me to an endo, he said he wouldn't do it because he doesn't believe in it, so I now have an appt with another endo who I have heard does that protocol. I read about it in the Thyroid Solution by Ridha Arem.
My questions, anyone using this protocol? pros/cons?? How did it affect you?
Another question, I have depressiion and finally going to get help for that in a month and kinda scared of the medicine, hoping the T3 will work for that instead? do antidepressents affect thyroid meds?
Thank you so much for any help.

Old 09-08-2004, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: T3/T4 protocol, any experiances?

I am in the midst of trying to get all of this figured out myself. I am currently on 200mcg of Levoxyl, but my T3 is still a bit low & my TSH is still too high. My doctor ABSOLUTELY would not prescribe me Cytomel or Armor. He said it leads to advanced osteoperosis and heart problems. I did find a doctor who would and I've been on 5mcg of Cytomel since April (very low dose). I have an appointment tomorrow with my doc (who would no prescribe) and I will have my levels checked. It will be an interesting obstacle to get around the T3 issue. I still don't feel good, but I did there for a little while on the combo. I feel almost certain that all of my levels are still off. I will tell you that when I first started I was taking 5mcg Cytomel in the am and 5mcg in the afternoon. The afternoon dose was almost too much and I didn't like it. My plan was to get used to the 5mcg in the am and then start the afternoon dose, but for a couple of months the 5mcg in the am was PERFECT. It didn't speed me up or anything, but I found myself more motivated to do things I had not wanted to do in a long time. I would get home in the evenings and still have enough energy to do real housework instead of just cooking and cleaning the kitchen. I would dust a bookshelf one night and clean the fireplace the next or clean a closet. Little things, but it was nice to feel motivated. However, like I said, I've been feeling really down in the dumps lately and I'm just about convinced that my levels are still bad. I had radioactive iodine done for Graves in November of 02 & haven't had a "normal" lab come back yet, so we'll see. I would actually LOVE to try Armor. Maybe I will yet. I just love my PCP but hate that he won't treat me with the T4/T3 protocol. Good luck to you!

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Old 09-09-2004, 05:52 AM   #3
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Re: T3/T4 protocol, any experiences?

I'm still in the midst of sorting out my hypothyroidism. I started in April with low doses of Synthroid, I am now on 100mcg of Synthroid and 5 mcg of cytomel with a TSH of 2.77 and Free Ts in the lower half of the ranges. I still have a ways to go, but I can't rush it. I tried--the swollen ankles were killers!

Anyway, since I have been on the thyroid meds I have weaned myself off of my anti-depressant medication (Effexor). I took five weeks to do it, and I feel pretty good. I sometimes realize I am feeling more, but the depression has not come back. I've been three weeks without the anti-d meds. I was on various anti-d medications for the past 5 years, each one would quit working and I'd try the next one.

I feel pretty good and am confident that I won't need them anymore. It was really a thyroid problem all along.

Old 09-09-2004, 05:58 AM   #4
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Re: T3/T4 protocol, any experiances?

I take Armour, which is a natural T4/T3 med. It works just fine for me. I can't say it works better than T4 only based on experience, though. I wasn't on T4 only long enough to know... It made me hyper on the smallest possible dose; Armour doesn't.

You may be right to assume that a combination of the two hormones may ease your depression without the need for ADs. In the same situation, I would try T4/T3 before ADs, because like you, the side effects make me very leery. If in the end, you still need the extra boost the ADs would give, I think I remember Dr. Arem saying the two treatments can work together, didn't he?

Another expert who's sold on T4/T3 is Dr. Kenneth Blanchard. He just published his book early this year, called What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Hypothyroidism. I'm in the middle of reading it now, and it's an excellent resource.
Good luck with the new plan!

Old 09-09-2004, 07:17 AM   #5
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Re: T3/T4 protocol, any experiances?

Originally Posted by Questionss TSH and T3 levels are fine (My TSH is about .5).
Define "fine". Just because your T3 is within the lab range doesn't mean it is where you need it to be. Even people who have T3 above the middle of the lab range sometimes benefit from adding T3 to their meds.

My questions, anyone using this protocol? pros/cons?? How did it affect you?
Lots of people are doing this.

Pros: more energy, better moods, cholesterol levels get better, other hormones seem to stabilize, when you feel better, you are more active, when you are more active, you are more likely to get stronger and lose weight if needed.

Cons: None if the dose is right. Like any other hormone therapy, too little has little or no effect and too much can cause hyperthyroidism symptoms.

Another question, I have depressiion and finally going to get help for that in a month and kinda scared of the medicine, hoping the T3 will work for that instead? do antidepressents affect thyroid meds?
Thank you so much for any help.
Depression, though it is considered a disorder or illness in and of itself is a symptom of hypothyroidism. it makes more sense to treat the underlying cause than to treat the symptom, in my opinion.

Example: Lets say you have a headache because you have a sinus infection. Which makes more sense? Take a pain killer for the headache, or treat the sinus infection? If the doc treats only the headache, the sinus infection will linger and cause more problems. BUT, if the doc treats the headache with a pain killer if the pain is debilitating, but also treat the sinus infection, too, then you feel better and the sinus infection goes away, eliminating the source of the problem.

Likewise, treat the depression with an antidepressant if it is debilitating, but otherwise, treat the thyroid problem properly and the depression will likely lift as you heal.

It is not well studied or well documented, but some antidepressants affect T4-->T3 conversion, lowering your T3. When they do this, they may be causing as much problem as they are helping, since lower than optimal T3 levels are a KNOWN cause of depression, the very thing you would be taking the antidepressant for.

Another note: Smart psychiatrists know that T3 affects moods and check thyroid levels FIRST, then may prescribe T3 as an antidepressant in many cases.

I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV...

Old 09-14-2004, 01:35 PM   #6
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Talking Re: T3/T4 protocol, any experiances?

Thank you all for your replys, sorry I haven't replied back for so long but it's hard for me to get internet access.
Your help has been much appreciated!!! and again, any other experiances are welcome!
I'll let you all know what happens.

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