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help starting T3 !

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Old 06-05-2002, 02:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: australia
Posts: 87
little HB User
help starting T3 !

Hi all
Most of u know my story but for those of u who dont - i wont go into the details. What i will say is i was diagnosed with hashimotos and ive been on T4 for one year now and can still hardly pick myself up out of bed on most days. My fatigue is bone numbing and disabling. I cannot function at all and any kind of small activity adds to my exhaustion. I can barely take care of myself and look very ill and puffy.

I have been so stressed and worried for months that i didnt even have a thyroid problem and that the medication was making me worse as i didnt NEED it.
Well as of today i'm back to thinking MAYBE i DO have a thyroid condition whcih is undertreated but i need your advice.
I saw a new Dr today and he seems to think i need T3.
I'm terrifed of trying it, terrified of putting my body through more agony.
Over the last month my levels have gone a bit weird..they keep fluctuating!!

i was at a point one month ago where i was going by TSH and began to think i was OVERMEDICATED - as my TSh was always below the ref range and i figured this was a major contributer to my fatigue and other symptoms.
here r my results for the last 3 months:
TSH <0.1 (0.2 - 4.0) T4 14.5 (10 - 25)T3 2.8(2.5- 5.5)

TSH 0.3 T4 12.9 T3 3.0

TSH 1.2 T4 11.2 T3 2.7

This Dr has told me to forget about TSH and to concentrate on T3 and T4. He wants to bring my T3 up to around 6 and my T4 to around 18 plus.

I'm on 50 mcgs of T4 at the moment and he wants me to take 10 mcg of t3 as of tomorrow.
IS that too much ? do any of u think this could b my solution ? I get violently ill with each dose adjustment ..i dont know why...and so i'm worried this will happen there any T4 in T3 ?
AND one last thing..what side effect can i expect to feel on t3 ?
thanx all any info would b MUCHLY APPRECIATED

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Old 06-05-2002, 10:36 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Euless, TX
Posts: 1,635
Meep HB UserMeep HB UserMeep HB User
Re: help starting T3 !

I replied on the other message board, but wanted to post here, in case anyone else may want to read it:

It is great that you have a doc that is working with you. I know you have been worried off and on for quite some time.

Since you are sensitibe to med changes, perhaps you can persuade you rdo to start you off a bit more slowly, starting at 2.5mcg (half of a 5mcg pill ot one quarter of a 10mcg pill) once a day in the morning.

After you have been on that a week, add another 2.5mcg in the afternoon and see how you do with that. since you are on 50mcg T4, this is a good target as a starting point. If it isn't enough, after a month, add another 2.5mcg in the morning, and give it another month. chances are that you'll end up on the whole 10mcg, but easing into it ans sneaking up on the dose reduces any side effects of going too fast. Adding the whole 10mcg at once would be like almost doubling your dose and could be asking for trouble.

Healing takes time and the immediate benefits aren't the whole story and you should feel better and better over time. Don't expect immediate results, though there may be some, since most people report immediate results with T3.

T3 and T4 are two separate hormones, though they are similar and related. The T4 med you are taking has no T3 and the Cytomel has no T4 in it.

[qoute]This Dr has told me to forget about TSH and to concentrate on T3 and T4. He wants to bring my T3 up to around 6 and my T4 to around 18 plus.[/quote]

I like your doctor's thinking, but I am concerend about him wanting the T3 above range. I would hope that he will shoot for the middle of the range or just above and tweak from there if needed.

Again, it is GREAT to hear that you have a good doc working with you! I hear that's hard to find down under. :-)


Old 06-05-2002, 06:47 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: australia
Posts: 87
little HB User
Re: help starting T3 !

Thanx for the reply Danny
I just emailed my Dr and asked him if he would mind if i started on 2.5 mcgs. I'm not sure if we get the smaller dose pills here in Australia. I also hope he doesn't get upset...but its my body and only i know how SENSITIVE i am.
He was very determined however, to get me on that 10mcgs and 20 mcgs by the end of the month !!! I'm So scared. I just hope this is all worth it.
He wanted to get my T3 up to 6.5 !!! Well my life is now in his hands so i just hope he knows what hes doing and i hope he responds well to my suggestion of starting at a lower dose.
If we dont get smaller dose pills 5 mcgs too much ? i dont know how i could split a 20mcg pill any smaller!
thanx again <IMG SRC="">

Old 06-06-2002, 12:05 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Russellville, AR, USA
Posts: 544
arkie6 HB User
Re: help starting T3 !

FYI, my mom was on Synthroid (T4 only) for 20+ years due to hypothyroidism. About a year ago, she switched to Armour Thyroid (natural pig thyroid with a 4:1 ratio of T4:T3 plus other factors) in hopes of feeling better. She apparently is one of the few that doesn't tolerate Armour thyroid that well (nervousness and heart palpitations even when the thyroid dose was below optimum based on blood tests for free T4 and free T3 and body temperature and symptoms). Her doctor has since switched her back to Synthroid (50 mcg dose once per day) plus Cytomel (T3). She started out at 5 mcg of T3 twice per day (T3 has a short half life and is a good idea to take twice per day, also don't take it at the same time as calcium since this tends to block absorption). The doctor recommended that she gradually increase her dose until she feels better and gets her body temperature closer to normal (basal temperatures currently runs 96-97). She is currently taking 40 mcg of T3 twice per day and is starting to feel better. Her temperatures are still not quite up to optimum, but she doesn't experience the nervousness or heart palpitations and her heart rate is normal (70-80 bpm). She is continueing to increase her dose about 5 mcg per week with no adverse consequences.

Why did I post this? To show that 10 mcg of T3 is not likely to have any negative consequences. I would start at 5 mcg of T3 twice per day and gradually increase by 5 mcg once per week or so or at your doctors recommendation. Your doctor seems to be one of the better educated ones when it comes to thyroid issues.


Old 06-06-2002, 09:16 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: australia
Posts: 87
little HB User
Re: help starting T3 !

If i try and quarter my 20mcgs T3 pill ( to make it 5mcgs) and take it every second will that work ? Does this sound ok ? Only trouble is i cant get an exact quarter when trying to split the i may b taking a different dose all the time. We dont get any smaller dose pills here.
I took 10mcgs yesterday and 5 today.i'm feeling very weird in the head "spaced out" and my body feels as though it has lead in it...very heavy..i'm also very drowsy..any ideas ?

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