Discussions that mention synthroid

Thyroid Disorders board


Well I went in to my Endo and we had a long talk. I asked that everytime we ran blood could we please do the 3 tests. Then I asked about Cytomel if my T3 is low. It was said that yes he does treat some people with it.

We did draw some blood because I'm at the 4 week mark of being on .125 of Synthroid. It was reduced from the alternating .150 and .125. I'm feeling alot better as each day goes by, but it was also said that it takes 6-8 weeks for each dose change. Here are my results on this 4 week go around on the .125

TSH .40 Range .35-5.5
T4 9.8 Range 4.5-12.00
T3 94 Range 85-205

This is the first time since April my TSH is in range. I just looked back at some tests prior which I will post.

Here is the start
I was on .150 of Synthroid
TSH .15 Range .35-5.5
Free T4 1.93 Range .61-1.76
T3 127 Range 85-205

Medication was reduced to alternating between .125 and .150 of synthroid. A test was run 4 weeks later because I was still complaining of stiffness and aches and headaches along with brain fog etc.

TSH .30 Range .35-5.5
T4 9.2 Range 4.5-12.0

They kept the dose the same and restested 4 weeks later which made it a total of 8 weeks on this dose. All they ran was the TSH. Yes I was not happy but here is what showed.
TSH .23 Range .35-5.5

I do not get it. Why did my TSH drop again and I started feeling worse?? So I complained and they lowered the dose to my current of .125. See the first test posted for the result.

Well now seeing that my T3 is in the lower end the Doc called in a script for Cytomel. He said it might help if we can get it to the middle range. He is giving me the lowest dose possible I think they said .5mg or mcg. Not sure I have not picked it up yet. I was instructed to take it twice a day. I'm not kinda reluctant in some way because I know when I was taking Armour 1 1/2 grains I ended up in the ER with a high heart rate. I did mention this and they said start with one pill a day. I have also thought about trying some selenium in hopes that it will help me convert more of the T4. I want to feel better but now another pill. I know you complain you do not feel good and now complain about another pill.

I just wonder if maybe I should go the full 8 weeks on this dose and see how I do before starting the Cytomel. It seems weird that they jumped on a change with only 4 weeks into this dose. Last time they said I had to wait the full 8.

I wish I could do this all naturally. I would rather take supplements then meds. Is there any long term effects of Cytomel?? How do you take them? Alone away from the Synthroid,with or without food? What would some you do if you were in my shoes? Any and all opinions are very welcome. Thanks

I currently feel better on this new dose. I still am tired and have some intestinal disturbances and some very minor stiff achy muscles off and on. I think the worst part of it is the back of my neck and shoulders. But everyday that passes it seems to lessen. I'm a full 4 weeks on the new dose.
Cytomel is shorter acting and has a half life of only 1 day as opposed to 7 days for the T4 meds.

You are wise to start at only one of the 5mcg tabs a day, but my advice is to split even that. Take half a tab in the morning with your Synthroid, and the other half after lunch. This will minimize any side effects by not causing a sharp peak in your T3 level.

Additionally, you should probably cut your Synthroid to 100mcg a day, or possibly even lower. The reason for this is that Cytomel is approximately 4 times as active as Synthroid and since you are adding Cytomel, the Synthroid needs to drop some. This would be well worth talking to your doctor about so you don't go hyper.

[This message has been edited by Meep (edited 07-19-2003).]
Thanks Meep.
I'm leary about starting the Cytomel. Is there a way that I could naturally get my T3 up? I'm Hashi/Hypo and I do feel the swings. Like today I had a period of where my hands were like ice cubes and my body got stiff almost like my muscle were cramping. Is this because of the low T3?

What exactly is Cytomel. Is it a steroid of some sort. I read that body builders like to use this. Long terms effects are there any? Can you just stop taking it whenever you want?

One last question is my T4 still too high? I do feel some better since they lowered my Synthroid. I do have some stiffness and achey muscle but not near as bad as 4 weeks ago. It seems that every day it gets better. Thats why I wonder if I should start the Cytomel or wait the full 8 weeks of being on the .125. Maybe it needs to be lowered again. I did mention to my doc that I feel my best when my TSH is around .59 to .89. But seeing I never had the T3-T4 tested I do not know my happy point there.

Sorry for all the questions. I'm just a little confused now. I have always been a person who would try to help myself naturally first.
[quote]Is there a way that I could naturally get my T3 up? I'm Hashi/Hypo and I do feel the swings... Is this because of the low T3?

Here's something I posted a few days ago to answer someone else's questions about T3:

Here are some considerations for T3:

Selenium is VITAL to the conversion of T4 to T3 in your tissues. Since most of the T3 that your body uses is converted from T4, if you are low on Selenium, then your T3 level will stay lower than optimal.

80% of the T3 in a normal person's blood at any one time was converted by the liver from T4, it is imperative that you maintain optimal liver helath if your doctor won't give you T3.

This means that if you drink alcohol stop or limit your intake.

If you take Tylenol or any other pain reliver that contains Acetominophen, then look for an alternate such as Aspirin, Naproxen sodium (Aleve) or Ibuprofen.

Read up on any med you have to take on a regular basis, and see if it (like Acetominophen) is metabolized by the liver. If it is, then try to find an alternate.

IF there is anything else that impairs liver function that you do, then try to change that.

If you have any liver disease such as hepatitis or any liver damage, you should probably be on a med that has T3 in it, since the very source you rely on for T3 is compromised.

The problem with most doctors is that they have been taught (and still assume it is correct) that T4 will be converted adequately to T3 in the body. This simply is not true for many of us--especially in light of the many toxins that the liver has to deal with in our modern society. Our livers are often overworked, thus our need for T3 isn't always met, even if our T3 tests come back "normal". Normal doesn't always mean optimal.

[quote]What exactly is Cytomel. Is it a steroid of some sort. I read that body builders like to use this. Long terms effects are there any? Can you just stop taking it whenever you want?

Cytomel is synthetic T3 thyroid hormone. T3 is necessary in the body for protein synthesis. Since Protein synthesis is a required step in building muscle tissue, of course body builders are interested in it. I feel that they abuse it and make themselves go hyper. One symptom of hypERthyroidism is thin skin (people who are hypO tend to have thicker skin), which is also a goal of bodybuilders since this accentuates their muscle definition.

If you need it and take it at the right dose, there are no long term effects other than feeling better. Combined with a healthy lifestyle and sensible diet, you would be better able to build muscle tissue, which further enhances your metabolism, and this can be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.

You could theoretically stop taking it any time you want--the bodybuilders who abuse it do. BUT, if you NEED T3, then why woudl you want to stop using it, assuming you are using it correctly?

[quote]One last question is my T4 still too high? I do feel some better since they lowered my Synthroid. I do have some stiffness and achey muscle but not near as bad as 4 weeks ago. It seems that every day it gets better. Thats why I wonder if I should start the Cytomel or wait the full 8 weeks of being on the .125. Maybe it needs to be lowered again. I did mention to my doc that I feel my best when my TSH is around .59 to .89. But seeing I never had the T3-T4 tested I do not know my happy point there.

Since TSH can vary as much as three points in the course of one day in some people (that's right, I said ONE DAY--not a mis-type), I feel that going by T3 and T4 levels is a more accurate way to track your treatment. I like T4 and T3 both to be just above the middle of the lab range in each of their respective ranges.

For example, I feel my best when my Free T4 is about 1.4 in a range of .8-1.8 (The middle of the range is 1.3). I feel my best when my T3 is about 3.7 in a range of 2.3-4.2 (middle range is 3.25). Some people feel their best at the middle of the range, but slightly above the middle is where more agressive doctors like to target.

Your T4 was ABOVE range when you are on the 150mcg dose--too high. NOw, I can't tell you becase I don't feel that Total T4 is accurate enough to gauge treatment by.

I feel that if you start taking the cytomel, now, your TSH will drop below normal and your doc my be alarmed by it and take you off of it prematurely. I still feel that the best plan of action is to drop to 100mcg Synthroid an add the Cytomel. Discuss this with your doctor. Get a copy of "The Thyroid Solution" by Dr. Ridha Arem an trating with Cytomel will make more sense to you.

Dr. Arem treats mostly by TSH, though, so I don't fully agree with his approach, but it is a solid foundation and your doc will understand where he is coming from.

[quote]Sorry for all the questions. I'm just a little confused now. I have always been a person who would try to help myself naturally first.

DON'T apologize for asking questions. Learing how this all works is a great step in the right direction when it comes to feeling better. We have all been there to some extent and that's why we are here. Hang in there and keep the questions coming.
Meep
I have had sometime to ponder and do more research on Cytomel. It boils down to like you said. The Synthroid should be reduced when prescribing Cytomel.

I have not started it yet. My blood work was only run at the 4 week mark of being on this dose of Synthroid .125. I'm not totally sure that it is the correct amount yet but they are prescribing the Cytomel becasue we talked about T3 levels last time I was in. It sure did not sound like this doc treated many with the Cytomel. After seeing and reading more the best tests are the Free T4 and Free T3. I find they have not run these and I thought I requested it.

I think it might be time to seek out another doc. I now can remember why I left the practice 5 years ago. I leave my appoinments not feeling like we are on the road to better health for me. I'm leary that they have prescribed the cytoeml based on my 4 week test on the new dose. Last time by the end of 8 weeks I had to reduce again. Today I feel kinda hyper but yet weak and shakey along with the neck aches and my throat kinda hurst. My eyes feel like there is alot of pressure behind them and they feel dry and sensitive to light. The vibrating is the pits. I did try Armour with no good success. My T3 level at the time was on the high end and it just kept rising with even different doses. Now my T3 seems low so I must fluctuate.

Thanks Meep for the eye opener and for sharing your knowledge as you journeyed through your ordeal. My hats off to you.
Is it okay to start taking the selenium along with maybe starting the Cytomel. If I do take it I'm going to cut the pill in half and start from there. It's that or call and talk to the nurse who won't understand what I'm talking about as far as being concerned about my Synthroid level.