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Old 08-04-2011, 08:27 AM   #1
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Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

Lab Results
TSH 1.6 normal range 0.38-5.5 mU/L
Free T4 19.0 normal range 10.5-20.0 pmol/L
Free T3 3.7 normal range 3.5-6.5 pmol/L
Thyroperoxidase Ab A 297 normal <35 IU/mL

I am currently taking 0.1 mg of synthroid workout at the gym daily alternate 45 mintues of cardio and 1 hour of weights/walk 5km a day daily - do weight watchers and only eat lean protien veggies and limited fruit..yet I am gaining weight and cant seem to build muscle..it is so disheartening.

Any thoughts on what or where to go? Is it true that the anitbodies interfere with the free T3 test? ALso I seem to walk around crying and have a hard time handling even minimum stress..

Thanks

 
Old 08-04-2011, 08:38 AM   #2
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

Welcome!

Sorry to hear of your struggles.

The title of your thread confirms your suspicions - you are having conversion problems.

Your very low FreeT3 level is most likely the cause of your issues. Based upon your lab's ranges for FreeT3, most people would need their level around 5.6.

The antibodies don't interfere with the FreeT3 level per se. The antibodies are slowly destroying your thyroid. 20% of conversion happens in the thyroid so, a thyroid that isn't working properly won't be converting properly.

Not much can be done about this without adding some T3 in the form or Cytomel or a switch over to Armour.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:00 AM   #3
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

Thank-you Sammy64 -

I am going ot see a naturapathic doctor today who will I think/hope prescribe the natural pocine/Armour. The -- I don't know if they wean you off synthroid or what so I am anxious as without the thyroid hormone I was/would be a mess.

I wish i knew how to shut off the antibody attacks...have cut out wheat/dairy but my body wont stop attacking the thyroid..anyways I appreciate your feedback...thanks

 
Old 08-04-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

Your new doctor should not wean you off Synthroid per se.

The new doctor should Rx an equivalent dose of Armour - 1 grain.

You will most likely need to have your dose tweaked a bit....and possibly add a small amount of Synthroid to keep your FreeT4/T3 levels balanced.

The most important thing is to make sure your dose(s) are adjusted so both your FreeT4 and FreeT3 levels are maintained in the upper third of the range.

Since the porcine thyroid in Armour has a larger proportion of T3 than T4 as compared to human thyroid, people wind up with proportionately higher FreeT3 than FreeT4 levels. Some people are OK with this - others need to add a small amount of Synthroid to balance things out.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that can stop the antibody production. Yes, you can do things to reduce antibody titers but, everyone's response to antibody levels is different. Plus, whatever damage has been done cannot be reversed.

For whatever it's worth, I take levothyroxine (generic Synthroid) and liothyronine (generic Cytomel) and am doing very well with this combination....I like the idea that I can adjust the T4 and 3 separately.

I do see merit in natural thryoid as well....since I started off with levothyroxine and did well with it, it was easy enough for me to accept the T3 when my doctor offered it. She has never offered Armour and, since it took so long to feel well as it was, I'm in no rush to change things.
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Last edited by sammy64; 08-04-2011 at 09:45 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

You were bang on with what the doctor suggested..she did offer cytomel but I chose the dessicated stuff === we shall see and pray for better results with health. If the dessicated does not work then i can switch back - my new doctor is very agreeeable to what feels good for me- this is a miracle all in itself. I can breathe again as I am being heard!!

A bit disenhearted today as I eat a very healthy very low simple carb diet , mainly veggies and protien no wheat and no dairy and I exercise for at least an hour per day..and after 1 year on 0.1 mg synthroid and a very stict diet (90% of the time)-and very committed exercise regime-- no wieght loss - i am still prediabetic - have high cholesterol it is so frustrating ..is there research to show that t3 will improve cholesterol and insulin resistance or is this wishful thinking ??

I am also wondering if vegetarianism is the route to try next..??

 
Old 08-06-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I'm in a similar position to you, and I would definitely not recommend going vegetarian, from my experiences. Remember that vegetarians have to turn to carbs and soy-based protein sources for nutrition, both of which can be very damaging to thyroid patients trying to lose weight. I was vegetarian for years before I found out about my hypothyroidism, but I've gone back to eating meat and I've noticed a huge change for the better (I think lean meat sources are the best thing for weight loss)

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Old 08-06-2011, 10:15 AM   #7
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I guess the thing to do is to accept that i have an autoimmune disease (well two for sure developed ulcerative colitus if i avoid wheat and dairy it is manageable- and now fighting to not get diabetes) -- sometimes i am so frustrated as i have definitely done the lifestyle change - yet i am still walking a thin line between health and unhealth - ya know what i mean? oh well acceptance and grace two things to work on today.
thanks

 
Old 08-07-2011, 06:13 AM   #8
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I understand where you're at re acceptance.

If you look at my signature, you will note that I started my thyroid disease journey with Graves' and then went into remission.

About 20% of Graves' patients go hypo after remission and, it can be temporary.

I was hanging on the "temporary" aspect for over a year....but, am finally starting to accept the idea that, my case could very well be permanent...especially since I started to produce TPOab's - a sign of thyroid destruction.

Now comes the grace part
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:13 AM   #9
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I have heard that acceptance with Grace is a happy state?

I am sorry that you have the antibodies I think this autoimmune disease stuff is scary - it really sucks - but all i can do is love me and hope for the best.

for the last three years I have done everything to try to stop it (heavy metal detox - extreme lifstyle change - vitamin therapy etc. ect) and i find as probably so many more than eating clean (mainly veggies and some protein and limited fruit) - exercising daily and working an emotional spiritual program and remaining positive (ie laughing as much as possible) keeps it manageable- when i begin to fight and get all stressed out then symptoms get crazy and i get crazy.

Acceptance and grace..something to work on..thanks for your words they really help-

 
Old 08-07-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I am sorry that you ahve similiar issues to me I guess all thyroid (hashimotos) have similiar problems? ie. weight loss dificulty - having to eat very clean or cholesterol is an issue - having to exercise for a minimum of 1 hour per day - borderline diabetic.

I guess after three years of doing all the right stuff it is discouraging as i feel as if i have done the lifestyle changes and yet the tests show limited improvement (well my thyroid antibodies have decreased by a third and my HDl increased from .5 to 1.49 so it is not all bad..

I think you can be vegetarian without soy but protien is a challenge..i think insulin resistance is kind of scary so i am hoping for me the addition of T3 will help solve the cholesterol and prediabetic condition. Hoefully and crossing everything.

Thanks for sharing as it is good to know that 1) i am not alone 2) others share their stories.

 
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

Thanks for your kind words.

If our thyroid hormone levels haven't been optimized for us, we'll have various issues - the severity of which are often determined by how "off" our levels are for our individual needs.

There's not much we can do to stop our disease course....the best we can do is to make sure our thyroid hormone levels have been optimized for our own particular needs. Otherwise, the body struggles to restore homeostasis....and, this can increase antibody production.

I know that, when I was horribly over-medicated on anti-thyroid drugs (thanks to clueless endo #2), I had elevated cholesterol and blood glucose levels for the first time in my life. Thankfully, all resolved and stay resolved since I learned what I needed to know to feel well while having thyroid disease.

While you may not be happy with the improvement you've had thus far, you could very well have improvement that isn't just measured by numbers. (and, really, you've tripled your HDL - kudos to you!)

Unfortunately, even with a reduction in antibody titers, it doesn't seem like that will reduce our need for thyroid hormone replacement...the damage is done and, truly, everyone has a different response to antibodies.

I've been taking selenium for a very long time (I'm sure you know it's been shown to reduce TPOab's). Well, I wasn't even testing positive for TPOab's when I first started taking it....now, I am. Maybe my level would be higher - who knows? We do the best we can with what we have.

I think a healthy lifestyle (good diet, regular exercise, healthy mindset) bodes well for everyone and, most especially, for those of us dealing with health issues.

I suspect that you will see an improvement in your cholesterol and blood glucose levels once your thyroid hormone levels have been optimized.

I have always exercised - just don't feel right if I don't. It was very difficult for me last summer as I was titrating up on my levo dose - I just couldn't maintain my regular level of intensity.

Now, that my thyroid hormone levels have been optimized and I've been able to maintain those levels, I'm actually seeking new exercise challenges...this makes me very happy

I think you're on the right track....it's "just" a matter of time before you'll reap the benefits of all your hard work.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:38 AM   #12
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I'm having exercise problems as well...very good to hear you are doing better now - part of me was worried if my active lifestyle days were over (which would make me very depressed)

As far as the person struggling with diet - i have inadvertantly become paleo (without actually trying)...realized gluten was a problems as were most grains and even fruit! i had dabbled in vegetarianism but became anemic (Depsite seeking out protein responsibly)....just didn't work for me...now i eat a lot of high fat and protein and my digestive problems (As well as cravings and hunger) are drastically reduced...now if only I could get optimized...maybe i'll someday have a "normal" life again Good luck

 
Old 08-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #13
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I have been on 60 mg of dessicated thyroid which is roughly equivalent to the 100 ug of synthroid for a week now and am so so tired and weepy and have sore joints and my throat aches - more edema..this seems like increased hypothyroid to me .. it is amazing how quickly my body responds..wow so i guess i probably need an increased doseage or do you think it takes time for the body to process the new t3/t4 mixture??

exhausted and sad but looking forward.

 
Old 09-06-2011, 08:47 PM   #14
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Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

I don't think I have any answers for you, ..yet...... but I cannot believe how closely our paths are travelling. i was on Synthroid 100 mg. for 14 years, never thought that any thing would be any different. Then I got all the symptoms and did not even figure out what was wrong for a year, I am being treated now for Hashimotos.
My Endo is out of Victoria, BC , and changed my Synthroid over to 60 mcg of Dissicated thyyroid ( Erfa ) and just 2 weeks ago added 25 mg. of Synthroid, T4 was still very low. Just a few things that have began in the past few years that I never had any problem with before
High Blood pressure, borderline diabetic, low in Vitamin D and Iron. high Cholestral and now naturopathic wants me to try celiac diet. That sore throat that I had with the cough has gotten better since I quit Ramipril (high blood pressure medicine.) We must just keep on trying to get it right, do not give up or give in. WE WILL BEaT THIS be in touch Babs

 
Old 09-06-2011, 08:58 PM   #15
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Thumbs up Re: Low T3 - High T4 ? T3 conversion problem?

Hi - it has been a bit since i reported back and i am impressed that Babs endo prescribed erfa -- that is amazing --- my doctors and endo just laughed at me and thank God for the naturalpath doctor who prescribed erfa - i am now at 120 mg and feel great (mostly- find by 8 pm i am hooped but other than that doing way way better - emotionally things have levelled..still have the sore throat though and sore joints but will be very interested to see what my blood tests say in two weeks..anyways keep going onward answers are waiting...

 
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