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Old 07-29-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
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Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

Hi,
I am a 29 year old male and am suffering from hypo type symptoms such as: hair loss, fatigue. I had some blood work done and while not complete may shed some light into my problems.

TSH = 6.04 (flagged for abnormal) normal range: 0.465-4.68 uIU/mL
T4 Free = 1.66 (normal?) normal range: 0.5 - 1.8 ng/dL

I saw an endocrinologist and she speculated that I indeed have hashimoto's disease and prescribed me cytomel. I say speculate because there are some more tests being run but she suspects my T3 is low.

My question(s) are:
Is cytomel enough?
Can a low T3 cause hypo symptoms?
the dose I am on is 5 mcg (x2) in the morning 1 hour before breakfast and no vitamins until after lunch. Is that typically how you would take cytomel? How long until my symptoms of hair loss and fatigue improve?

thank you
Justin

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

Hello Welcome to Thyroid Board
It would be good to check your FT3 level before starting T3. It is quite possible that your FT3 is low (with your TSH that high with such a good FT4 level) but testing it is the only way to be sure. T3 is the active thyroid hormone that is mostly responsible for symptoms/not having symptoms. It might also be smart to do some further testing to find out what's causing your (possible) low FT3 and high TSH (adrenal issues come to mind).

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:08 AM   #3
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

I agree with FinnMaid - it's really best to have a FreeT3 level done to confirm the need for T3. And, additional testing seems most appropriate.

Low FT3 levels can cause hypo symptoms. (so can low FT4 levels...)

Cytomel is usually best taken in divided doses since it has a short half-life. So, rather than take 2 tabs in the morning, you might want to take 1 in the morning and the other 6 hours later (this takes into account the half-life). Consistency with dose timing feels better, by the way.

Symptoms can improve within a few weeks of starting but, full symptom elimination doesn't happen until after the FreeT4/T3 levels are optimized....this can take some time.

Please know that hair has thyroid hormone receptors and is therefore very sensitive to too-low thyroid hormone levels, too-high thyroid hormone levels and/or moving thyroid hormone levels. You have the first and the last going on right now so, hair loss is likely to continue.

In addition, the hair growth cycle is 3 months so, it's not until after we are stable at our optimal levels that re-growth will become noticeable.

Best of luck to you moving forward!
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnMaid View Post
Hello Welcome to Thyroid Board
It would be good to check your FT3 level before starting T3. It is quite possible that your FT3 is low (with your TSH that high with such a good FT4 level) but testing it is the only way to be sure. T3 is the active thyroid hormone that is mostly responsible for symptoms/not having symptoms. It might also be smart to do some further testing to find out what's causing your (possible) low FT3 and high TSH (adrenal issues come to mind).
Hi,
thank you for replying. I think that is what my endo is doing. My original bloodwork was from a derm so my endo made me take a blood test before I left (after she prescribed me cytomel).

Is T3/T4 the same thing as free t3/t4?

I think my endo is doing exactly what you stated. She was nice and explained everything and was concerned about other tests. She wanted to do an antibody test, but asked about my deductible and my costs first because I mentioned how I wanted to keep costs to a minimum. Is the test worth getting? I ask because if I get the test is it just going to reveal that I have low T3 which is what I was already being treated for?

thanks
Justin

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy64 View Post
I agree with FinnMaid - it's really best to have a FreeT3 level done to confirm the need for T3. And, additional testing seems most appropriate.

Low FT3 levels can cause hypo symptoms. (so can low FT4 levels...)

Cytomel is usually best taken in divided doses since it has a short half-life. So, rather than take 2 tabs in the morning, you might want to take 1 in the morning and the other 6 hours later (this takes into account the half-life). Consistency with dose timing feels better, by the way.

Symptoms can improve within a few weeks of starting but, full symptom elimination doesn't happen until after the FreeT4/T3 levels are optimized....this can take some time.

Please know that hair has thyroid hormone receptors and is therefore very sensitive to too-low thyroid hormone levels, too-high thyroid hormone levels and/or moving thyroid hormone levels. You have the first and the last going on right now so, hair loss is likely to continue.

In addition, the hair growth cycle is 3 months so, it's not until after we are stable at our optimal levels that re-growth will become noticeable.

Best of luck to you moving forward!
thanks for replying. I think I may have to get some more tests.

dang, that sucks. I also have alopecia areata so my hair is kind of stressing me out. I also had some telogen effluvium so you can see how stress and hypo is really affecting me.

thank you for replying to my post
Justin

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justincase1004 View Post
Is T3/T4 the same thing as free t3/t4?

She wanted to do an antibody test, but asked about my deductible and my costs first because I mentioned how I wanted to keep costs to a minimum. Is the test worth getting? I ask because if I get the test is it just going to reveal that I have low T3 which is what I was already being treated for?
It really makes a difference if the lab sheet says T4/T3 or FT4/FT3. You want to have those freeTs tested that tell you how much of them is actually available for use.

What antibodies was your doctor talking about? There are some specific and non specific Abs that can be tested.

It sounds to me you're in good hands

Last edited by FinnMaid; 07-29-2012 at 09:31 PM.

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnMaid View Post
It really makes a difference if the lab sheet says T4/T3 or FT4/FT3. You want to have those freeTs tested that tell you how much of them is actually available for use.

What antibodies was your doctor talking about? There are some specific and non specific Abs that can be tested.

It sounds to me you're in good hands
I didn't know that. I don't recall what antibodies, but she did talk about hashimoto's disease so I'm guessing it's related to that.

thanks for replying. Yes, she was very good. After hearing about the stories here I was quite happy to be with someone who would listen so well

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:33 PM   #8
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

also, this sounds a bit weird, but my facial hair is turning white/grey. I'm only 29. Is this a symptom of hypothyroidism as well?

 
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:34 AM   #9
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Re: Cytomel and T3 Questions | Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justincase1004 View Post
also, this sounds a bit weird, but my facial hair is turning white/grey. I'm only 29. Is this a symptom of hypothyroidism as well?
Could be, hair turning grey at young age can be a sign of hypoT.

So it's quite possible your doctor meant TPOAbs. This whole thing doesn't sound like (thyroid) autoimmune issue so maybe you really don't need this test.

Last edited by FinnMaid; 07-30-2012 at 05:35 AM.

 
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