Low T3 Syndrome I: It's Not about the Thyroid! | Chris Kresser
HCTP Banner

Low T3 Syndrome I: It’s Not about the Thyroid!

by

Published on

Fatigue—like this man is experiencing—could indicate low T3 disorder.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a thyroid disorder—such as fatigue—it could be low T3 syndrome. iStock.com/OcusFocus

This article is part of a special report on Thyroid Disorders. To see a comprehensive eBook on thyroid health, click here.

Hypothyroidism involves high levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and low levels of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3.

However, in my clinical practice I frequently see people with low levels of T3 with normal T4 and either low or normal TSH. This condition has been reported on in the medical literature for years but it is rarely acknowledged or discussed in conventional medical settings. (1) Most doctors (even endocrinologists) do not seem to know what causes it, or what to do about it. (I know this because I always ask my patients with this syndrome what their doctors said about it, and my patients’ response is almost always some variation of “not much”).

This particular pattern goes by three different names in the medical literature: Euthyroid Sick Syndrome (ESS), Non-thyroidal Illness Syndrome (NTIS), and Low T3 Syndrome.

NTIS has become the term of choice in the literature. However, I’m going to use Low T3 Syndrome in these articles because it’s more descriptive and accessible to the layperson.

What’s most important to understand about this condition is that, although it does involve low levels of T3 (the most active form of thyroid hormone), it is not caused by a problem with the thyroid gland. This is a crucial distinction and it’s what distinguishes Low T3 Syndrome from “garden-variety” hypothyroidism.

In this series we’re going to discuss:

  1. What causes Low T3 Syndrome
  2. Its clinical significance
  3. If it should be treated, and if so, how

But first we need to lay the foundation with a little basic thyroid physiology.

Want to learn more about thyroid disorders?

Download This Free eBook

Find out how a thyroid imbalance could be causing your biggest health problems.

I hate spam too. Your email is safe with me. By signing up, you agree to our privacy policy.

Basic Thyroid Physiology

In order to understand Low T3 Syndrome, you’ll need a basic understanding of thyroid physiology. Regulation of thyroid metabolism can be broken down into the following five steps:

  1. The hypothalamus (a pea-sized gland in the brain) monitors the levels of thyroid hormone in the body and produces thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH).
  2. TRH acts on the anterior pituitary (directly below the hypothalamus, but outside of the blood-brain barrier) to produce thyrotropin, a.k.a. thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
  3. TSH acts on the thyroid gland, which produces thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), the primary circulating thyroid hormones. The thyroid produces T4 in significantly greater quantities (in a ratio of 17:1) than T3, which is approximately 5x more biologically active than T4. (2)
  4. T4 is converted into the more active T3 by the deiodinase system (D1, D2, D3) in multiple tissues and organs, but especially in the liver, gut, skeletal muscle, brain and the thyroid gland itself. D3 converts T3 into an inactive form of thyroid hormone in the liver.
  5. Transport proteins produced by the liverthyroid binding globulin (TBG), transthretin and albumincarry T4 and T3 to the tissues, where they are cleaved from their protein-carriers to become free T4 and free T3 and bind to thyroid hormone receptors (THRs) and exert their metabolic effect.

Mechanisms of Low T3 Syndrome

As you can see, the production, distribution and activation of thyroid hormone is complex and involves several other organs and tissues other than the thyroid gland itself.

Hypothyroidism is a defect in step #3, because it typically involves a dysfunction of the thyroid gland itselfmost often caused by autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s, Ord’s, Graves’) and/or iodine deficiency.

However, in Low T3 Syndrome, the problem generally occurs in steps #1, #2, #4 and #5. None of those steps are directly related to the function of the thyroid gland itself.

More specifically, Low T3 Syndrome can include the following mechanisms: (3)

  • Modifications to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis
  • Altered binding of thyroid hormone to carrier proteins
  • Modified entry of thyroid hormone into tissue
  • Changes in thyroid hormone metabolism due to modified expression of the deiodinases
  • Changes in thyroid hormone receptor (THR) expression or function

Low T3 Syndrome in Acute and Chronic Illness

Most of the studies on Low T3 Syndrome have been done on people suffering from acute, life-threatening illness. In the intensive care unit, the prevalence of abnormal thyroid function tests is remarkably high. More than 70 percent of patients show low T3 and around 50 percent have low T4. (4)

Many of these studies have indicated a direct relationship between Low T3 Syndrome the severity and both short- and long-term outcome of disease. (5) The lower the T3 level in critically ill patients, the worse the outcome tends to be.

However, studies examining thyroid hormone replacement in these situations have shown mixed results. In most cases—with the exception of cardiovascular disease—taking thyroid hormone did not improve outcomes. (6) We’ll discuss this in more detail later.

Recently, more attention has been given to Low T3 Syndrome in non-critical, chronic illness. Specifically, the question on everyone’s mind (including mine) is whether thyroid hormone replacement is useful in this situation, or if—as some have suggested—it could even be harmful.

In emotional, psychological or physiological stress, the body will convert excess T4 to reverse T3 (rT3) as a means of conserving energy for healing and repair. It is at least possible, therefore, that replacing thyroid hormone in these cases may not be beneficial.

On the other hand, in those suffering from long-term chronic illness, Low T3 Syndrome may be more reflective of pathology than adaptation, and this group may benefit from T4 or T3 supplementation.

We’ll explore all of these questions in more detail in the articles to follow, and I’ll also share some of my observations from my clinical practice. Stay tuned!

Articles in this series:

Research Spotlight: Health Coaching and Thyroid Health

Practicing Yoga Can Help Women Suffering from Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is on the rise, affecting women disproportionately. One of the hallmarks of hypothyroidism is elevated TSH levels, and the disease is also often associated with poor lipid profiles and HPA axis dysregulation. Over time, hypothyroidism can contribute to coronary artery disease, obesity, and depression. To manage the disease, thyroid hormone medication is often prescribed, but long-term use can decrease bone mass and increase the risk of fractures.

Previous studies have shown that yoga can improve lipid profiles, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and more. A study from The Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine indicates that yoga may reduce the need for thyroid medications and therefore lead to better health outcomes.

Study Summary

The main objectives and findings of the article were the following:

  • In this pilot study, the researchers aimed to see if a long-term yoga program could improve TSH levels and lipid profiles.
  • 22 women, aged 30 to 40, with hypothyroidism completed a six-month yoga practice. Each session lasted one hour, and sessions were held four times per week.
  • At the end of the study, the participants had significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and increased HDL cholesterol levels. Although TSH levels were not significantly different from baseline, they trended downwards, and seven of the 22 women were able to reduce their hormone medication dosage.

Key Findings and Significance

Excessive exercise can aggravate hypothyroidism symptoms, and many shy away from physical activity for fear of adverse outcomes. The findings of this study indicate that a slow movement exercise is beneficial for managing stress, improving metabolic profiles, and relieving some symptoms in women with hypothyroidism. Yoga incorporates exercise, awareness, and controlled breathing, indicating that even a meditation or breathing practice may have a place in hypothyroidism management.

Reference: Effect of 6 months intense yoga practice on lipid profile, thyroxine medication and serum TSH level in women suffering from hypothyroidism: A pilot study.

Health coaches support people who are trying to make big changes—like adopting a new diet or incorporating yoga into their exercise routine. How do they do it? By developing and honing skills like facilitating change and learning to listen. Find out more about becoming a health coach with the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program.

427 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. Sooo, If i had a growth on my pituitary…it could be a factor in a low T3 after thyroid removal and synthroid not being effective ?

  2. My T3 and T4 are normal. My T3 uptake is low (21%). My TSH is high (4.550). I had half my thyroid removed 3 years ago due to a benign nodule. Before surgery my TSH was 2.3. One year post op my TSH was 2.950. I have been steady gaining weight and have no energy in the last year but my doctor says I am not hypothyroid. Help!

  3. When I was 7 months old , in ’53 , they zapped my thymus gland with radiation that was unwarranted , considering thymus glands heal /adjust without intervention . Then I grew up 9 miles down wind of a uranium /plutonium plant ( Fernald ) in Cincinnati . When I was 15 they removed entire Thyroid because it quit at 14 from all the undue radiation it got . My doctors over the years only give me T4 meds . Nobody even mentions T3 , I have had mild depression , low energy , quick temper , etc. , for about half a century now , at 64 , question , would taking T3 help me and what is the med / where do I get it ? thank you.

    • I have no thyroid due to cancer, a good healthy thyroid gland would produce 5 hormones T4 80% (inactive and converted to T3 on a cellular level) T3 20% active and 3 more that doctors know very little about, my thought is if the gland produces them they must be needed. But if they take your thyroid gland away, then really you should be treated with at leas 80% Levothyroxine and 20% Liothyronine. But if you can find a doctor that will do this for you it is practically a miracle.

    • My mother is 80 and she got her T3 at 79. She is also an Afib patient and she is just fine. She doesn’t take time release. She takes cytomel. If you have rhythm issues or heart trouble, make sure you have a good doctor supervise when giving it to you. It changed her life for the best. No more feeling cold all the time, having brain fog, or fatigue. She is so sharp.

  4. I’m praying someone can help me or direct me to someone who can. My thyroid was removed in 1991 due to Grave’s Disease. I was on Synthroid successfully until last year. My TSH went up to 68 I was in ICU with myxedema for a week. Now my TSH is over 100 (lab only measures to 100. Normal is 0.4 to 4.50. My T3 and T4 were not detectable. I also have severe gastroparesis (stomach essentially paralyzed, no solid food in 6 years, etc) and as a result malabsorption. I’m scared and going back to the dr today b/c I don’t feel right.

    • I am having the exact problem you described. I also have hypothyroid and had y thyroid removed, my last tsh score was 109 and both t3 and t4 don’t register. I too have gastricparesis and was wondering if this is whyvmyvm daughter aren’t absorbing. Have you found any relief or answers to this?

  5. My advice to anyone suffering from thyroid symptoms and getting no where is to google functional and integrative medicine in your area. I’ve felt horrible for over 4 years, with worsening weight gain, cholesterol, suddenly lower BP, iron, Mg, D deficiency, fatigue, muscle aches, brain fog, depression, panic attacks, and numbness/tingling in my hands and feet. More symptoms… but too many to list. ALL symptoms of hypothyroidism. I went to multiple doctors but none put my symptoms together and were willing to dig deeper. They’d test TSH, antibodies, and vitamin deficiency and send me home with vitamin D and a normal thyroid diagnosis. I didn’t give up and my journey continues. But I finally found an integrative medicine MD and NP in my city. They did a full thyroid and hormone panel. And iron panel. BOOM! Although TSH is only 2.2, RT3 is over 20, iron is low, free T3 is borderline low. We started T3 supplementation and iron (in a non constipating form) a week ago. Two days later my energy improved substantially. I feel like I’m on cloud 9! I feel like me again. Able to control my emotions, energetic, positive, not feeling like I continently need caffeine or carbs because my brain is no longer fuzzy and I actually feel energetic enough to exercise, with energy to share. Don’t give up! Find a board certified integrative medicine practitioner in your area!

    • This is so great to hear I’m so happy for you !! I have all the above symptoms as well but the worse I deal with are the panic attacks it does get better ? My doctor wants to start me on a low dose T3 supplement what did you take ?

      • I know your post is almost a year old but personally I take New Iodine ( one or two per day now as maintenance and about 1,000 mg of magnesium. I take magnesium L-Threonate, Glycinate or Glyconate and also citrate citrate And oxide have a mild laxative effect. Your THYROID GLAND REQUIRES MAFNESIUM TO CONVERT T4 to T3! I also eat 2 or 3 Brazil nuts per day for selenium which a healthy thyroid gland needs. So, it’s not only about the Iodine!!! Magnesium is just as important. I took T3 for a few years. I went from a size 2 to 18 in five months and none the the four MD’s I saw knew what to do. Weight gain. Fatigue. Brain fog. Fibro. Panic attack’s. Migraines. LOw blood pressure went to very high HTN. I even started having mini seizures and ENT made me have a brain MRI, which was fine. I had to figure this out Myself! I even had an enlarged thyroid gland yet no doctor would treat me because my thyroid numbers were WNL. The sleep apnea scared me tremendously. I got an old friend of mine… a preventive medicine MD who became an eye surgeon 45 years ago ( couldn’t make a living telling people to keep their minerals balanced and eat healthy) to Rx T3. I eliminated caffeine and all things possibly interfering with conversion. I’ve stopped the T3 1.5 years ago and now just go by How I Feel with the New Iodine, Magnesium’s, Vit D and good quality multi vitamin. I avoid Bromine, Fluoride, Chlorine as they are Halides and will displace my Iodine. PS, the Bromine and chloride chemicals in a hot tub have shut down my thyroid after just a 30 minute dip and caused my Fibromyalgia to reek havoc for a good 3 weeks until I upped my Iodine etc to detox and regulate.

    • Wow, my readings sound really similar to yours. I went over my doctor’s head to order my own blood tests because I was getting the run around from my OBGYN and primary MD. My T3 reading is Low at 2.2. I’m just curious have you had any luck with weight loss, you said you now have energy to exercise which has got to be a win in itself!

    • Dear Elise, I can’t believe I am going through exactly same process with you. I have all hypo symptoms as you did, and doctors only send me with vit D and iron supplements. My rt3 is 18, t3 is slightly lower than the bottom edge, and ft3,ft4,t4 are all at the bottom edge. They say its okay as my tsh is normal. But I am feeling awful because of these symptoms, I believe you can understand me well. I ave visited many doctors, but I believe doctors in my country are not really knowledgable. Could you give me names of your doctors? And also where do you live? I can even travel for this or maybe ask for a skype consultation? I am so hopeless…

    • This all sound similar to my problems I have sufferd for years and told it’s all in my head!!!! They have had me on 8 different kinds of antidepressants they did nothing. I am now expecting and symtoms seem a bit worse so I decided to go private to medicheck and get the full thiyroid check and has come back confirming I have hashimotos I already have in underactive thyroid, a swollen gland, dizzy, irregular heart all day, night sweats, don’t feel human , terrible pain in arms and chest etc. I also have my results if I can post them? I’m going to see an endo for first time on Tuesday and know I need t3 as my results show I’m not converting the t4 right. Any information to help would be great kind regards holly

  6. I’m turning 46 tomorrow.. and all I want for my birthday is to feel better.
    This article is like a life boat in a sea of disinterest and discrimination I’ve been barley staying afloat in for so many years. The past 6 years have been the worse after the birth to my second child. Weight gain of about 1-1.5kg per year going hand in hand with worsening edema. The list of symptoms is long, worsening fatigue, brain fog, muscle weakness, aches resulting in injuries. Hair loss, excess hair in other places etc etc etc list goes on. I can barley cope with my body which is now 100-110kg with edema making it worse during the summer months!. Learnt about Hypothyroidsim and started investigating that with my GP but all bloods come back normal with only marginally low T3 so my GP has written it off. I have been seeing a kidney specialist to see if its my kidneys. So far kidneys look fine but she has trialed me on Spiractin as my aldosterone levels were high… but I’ve also read that aldosterone levels can be high due to insulin resistance hence the cause of PCOS. I’m now trying Metformin and I know it will take a few months to show any results… but still my instincts are telling me there is something wrong metabolically and that is why your article was so interesting. To add to the complexity of my health problems, since my late teens/early twenties, I’ve had a liver disorder. My gastro specialist has boxed me under “biliary obstruction” even though I could say some of the hypothyroid like symptoms I’ve been experiencing could also be symptoms of advance “Primary biliary obstruction” though my specialist doesn’t think that is what I’m going through… end of story. But he did put me on Ursodeoxycholic Acid (one tablet a day) which I’ve been taking for 10 years now. Taking this medication stops my liver having flare ups and blockages. But I have been suspicious for a few years now that my liver is not doing to job its supposed to be i.e. produce essential proteins and enzymes crucial for metabolic conversion and transportation… resulting in an insulin resistance type scenario and/or even thyroid hormone transportation or absorption problems. Even when I’m feeling well my GGT liver function tests are always high to very high and the ALP occasionally dips above normal range as well. But GP not concerned about this? Unfortunately when I try to initiate this conversation with my GP’s and specialists, their eyes glaze over if not completely dismiss me altogether. What are your thoughts and should I stay firm and keep investigating? I’m considering switching my eating habits to a low carb, high fat while I’m on the metformin. One of the symptoms I was having over the last few years is occasional hypoglycemic episodes that would last for a several minutes. Again an indication that somethings not right. Oh and my glucose fasting blood tests come back in the normal range as well. Arrgghhh! So hoping the Metformin and diet change will be beneficial. What are your thoughts and advice? What specialist do you think I should work with to further investigation? Thank you, Gina.

    • Gina – it is so hard to get a true answer, but have you been tested for Lyme? if so how many bands show, even if they don’t call it positive. Also it’s pricey but consider at least 1 initial 3 hour consult with fran sussman to get your answers and then maybe you can get dr’s to help after??? she does skype, phone or in person – located in NY

    • I’m going through the same thing nobody knows what they doing. Remember that I told you this doctors are liars they want you sick they need your insurance money.try to go the holistic?

  7. I came upon this post while doing some research for a client. I’ve worked with many women with this situation. I love, and agree with, what Chris has to say. I’ve had a lot of success addressing the foundation of the issue – the mineral levels and balance in the tissues. Without specific nutrients your body won’t recognize the thyroid hormones that you do have nor will your cells produce enough energy to allow your endocrine system to work as it should. I figure this out using a hair tissue mineral test as a first step in all my programs. It could help you. I’d be happy to answer any questions.

    • Susan, I’d LOVE to speak to you more about mineral levels and more. Thank you for speaking up.
      I’ve been drinking sole (salt) water which has helped gaining minerals. My lips were always dry. This us due to sibo, leaky gut, candida & many food intolerances. I’m not sure what vitamins & minerals are being absorbed & utilized by the body with the above mentioned conditions.

      What do you suggest to detox the body of those yeasts, viral ills, metals, bad bacteria & heal the small intestines? What do you suggest for proper vitamin & mineral absorption?

      • Don’t mean to but in, but, was reading your article with much interest. I also started have what I thought was thyroid issues. Started seeing a holistic doctor here in Florida, she started me on Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid. I have been taking this for about a month and have noticed BIG improvement in my skin. She also has me taking Thytrophin pmg and Prolamine iodine these are not prescription medications. Must say I am feeling a lot better. She also talked to me about leaky gut and has me taking Enzymes after each meal.

        • Hi Sharon,

          I also live in Florida. Could you please tell me the name of the holistic doctor who helped
          you?

          Thanks,

          Jo Shays

  8. I had my thyroid removed in 2003 because of multiple modules (too many to be biopsies – these did 9 before stoppping). I believe the surgeon nicked my parathyroid because no one bothered to check my blood work before discharging me from the hospital. I went through months of problems and finally doing my own research asked my GP if that could be the case. Upon checking the TSH – my levels were low and I subsequently went to hospital and got a copy of the original lab work day of discharge and it was already low and this was not mentioned. Anyway I have a great GP and we got that resolved. Things would be fine for 3-4 years and I would need a slight adjustment in Synthroid. Then I went through a depressed state when my Mother died followed by my Father less than 6 months later. Everything got off balance – B12, potassium, Vit D. Got that resolved and fast forward to 13 months ago. I had gone on a diet and working out and lost 45 lbs – 10lbs from goal weight when suddenly the weight started coming back on – at a continuous rate. Lab tests revealed TSH OFF. Do an adjustment was made and after 1 month it went from 19 to .30. More adjustments- it swung back the other way. All the while I’m getting more and more fatigued. We did this back and forth until 4 months ago when the doctor said he thought part of the problem was the generic Synthroid I was taking. He switched me to brand and the numbers seemed to stabilize. But then he fatigue hot so bad I could hardly function, joint pains – just generally felt horrible plus weight kept going up more slowly now to where I am back less than 10 lbs from where I started post diet & workout. Went to doc for blood work. He did whole thyroid panel. T4 normal, TSH at .56, but free T3 low. So he did some research and added Cytomel to my Synthroid. I’ve had 2 doses now, but woke up this morning seeming not feeling as tired. I hope this works. I’m at my wits end. I downloaded all the Ebooks and can’t wait to read them.

    • Hi Mary,
      Wonder how you are feeling now that you’ve been using the combination of Synthroid and Cytomel? Reading you entry sounds very similar to my situation and my doctor is now recommending this drug combination. Hoping it works.

    • The parathyroids don’t control thyroid levels, they regulate calcium levels. We have 4 parathyroid glands. If the parathyroids are stunned, damaged or accidentally removed during a thyroidectomy then your calcium level will drop, usually to dangerously low levels and needs to be supplemented. They should always monitor your calcium level right after surgery and before going home. I had one parathyroid that was accidentally removed and my surgeon was able to save it and re-transplanted it in the muscle in the side of my neck. I just had to supplement calcium for a couple months and it regained function.

  9. I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 3 minutes nags after giving birth.
    Won’t talk the numbers and tell you one thing that has improved the quality of my life,- I’ve had to go on a dairy gluten free diet!
    GP and endocrinologist hadn’t had a clue (apart from giving me wrong medicine) so I went to an alternative medicine specialist.
    Have been given B12, B6, fish oil, folic acid,multi vitamins, ToxiPrevent (to clean the gut), Zink and a super bitter drink (3 times per day) to clean the liver.
    7 years I’ve suffered from migraines which magically has stopped, eczema disappeared, hair stopped falling out, lost some weight and only one symptom is left,- light tiredness so had to stop Thyroxine (cause it has got gluten fillers) and started to drink capsules that are made from pure pug thyroid.
    I am not 100% my self YET but the correct diet and supplements has healt many things already!

  10. My problems all began 3 years ago right after I had my daughter. I literally gained 25 lbs during my pregnancy and lost 2 after I had her. Right away I knew something was wrong I went to the doctor a month after 1 had her and complained I was little losing weight like I normally do and how tired I was. She ran blood work and my Cholesterol had gone from being normal my whole life 189 while I was pregnant to 235, it still remains high. My t3 and t4 were also very low but my Tsh level went from being 1.2 to 1.75 and fluctuates from 1.75 to 3.30 now. I weight more now regardless of how much I diet and exercise. I am tired all the time and force myself to workout. The only way I can lose weight is by not eating at all. I finally went to a specialist in July and he said my thyroid was enlarged and said my tsh was normal at 1.75 and I needed a b12 shot. I looked and my free t4 is at .69 and he couldn’t tell me why my t3 and t4 are low. I went to my GP and complained today about them not even trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and she said basically it’s because I need to sleep more work out more and diet more and low t3 and t4 levels do not matter it only counts if they are high only tsh levels count… I am about to just give up trying, but I am so damn tired.

  11. Hi there. I have had something strange happen with my 25 year course of Hashimoto’s. The first thing was I started needing less Naturethroid after popping out some salivary gland stones. That was two years ago. Six months ago, I cut back meat in my diet (from daily to about three times a week) and added potassium iodine (250 mcg a day) and a high quality spirulina (various dose, but I’d say an avg. of 1 TBSP a day, sometimes up to 4). I started having hyperthyroid symptoms. My blood tests showed a total t4/reverse t-3 ratio of 20. My total t3 was very high, free t-3 marginally high, total and free t4 normal, and tsh normal (not suppressed). What happened here? Is this a common detox response? I decreased my naturethroid dose again, from 1.25 g to 1 grain, and started feeling hypo within two weeks. Now my tests are marginally hypo, esp. the T4. I still feel like crap and have lost half of my hair. My doctor is now adding 25 mcg of Syntrhoid, which i will try, because i”m desperate to feel better. I am 45, and my periods are occasionally shorter and crazier, but otherwise no sign of menopause. Should I stop the iodine? Resume daily meat? Any insights more than welcome. Sabine

  12. Hi there. I have had something strange happen with my 25 year course of Hashimoto’s. The first thing was I started needing less Armour Thyroid after popping out some salivary gland stones. That was two years ago. Six months ago, I cut back meat in my diet (from daily to about three times a week) and added potassium iodine (250 mcg a day) and a high quality spirulina (various dose, but I’d say an avg. of 1 TBSP a day, sometimes up to 4). I started having hyperthyroid symptoms. My blood tests showed a total t4/reverse t-3 ratio of 20. My total t3 was very high, free t-3 marginally high, total and free t4 normal, and tsh normal (not suppressed). What happened here? Is this a common detox response? I decreased my Armour dose again, from 1.25 g to 1 grain, and started feeling hypo within two weeks. Now my tests are marginally hypo, esp. the T4. I still feel like crap and have lost half of my hair. My doctor is now adding 25 mcg of Syntrhoid, which i will try, because i”m desperate to feel better. I am 45, and my periods are occasionally shorter and crazier, but otherwise no sign of menopause. Should I stop the iodine? Resume daily meat? Any insights more than welcome. Sabine

    • You may want to get a ultrasound on your thyroid gland. You may have a hot node. If so the iodine ….even though your taking a small amount it can cause hyperthyroid… A hot node can make your levels unstable .

    • How dumb Armour gives both t4/t3 both my Dr is not in favor of Armour he said only synthetics when all he had to do is lower my Armour my numbers are messed up as well

  13. My tsh was 5.59 but t3 uptake is 30
    free thyroxine 4.4
    the weird thing is T4 is 14.5 and too high
    how can i have high tsh and t4?
    im on synthroid..75mcg which just ot changed to 88
    any suggestions for me?
    suffering from horrible leg pain and sore muscles

    • Ask your dr to test your t3, actually full thyroid panel should be done but I had all the same symptoms and my naturopath prescribed cytomel. Huge change for the better.

  14. I have low t3 and normal t4. Large weight loss 12 years ago (130 lbs.). Have been on specific food plan this entire time. (No sugar or flour, weighed and measured meals) 6 months in lost menstral and it never returned. Since then, low pulse average 40, always cold, low white blood count 2200, I am 48, not pre or post menopausal. Have been experiencing weight gain. Can low t3 and low white blood count be related as well?

  15. I’ve been having so many symptoms of a thyroid problem, I decided to get some test done. Would greatly appreciate any input. Feeling confused about TSH range and T3 uptake.
    TSH 3.28. (.45-4.5)
    Thyroxine T4. 9.0 (4.5-12.0)
    T3 uptake 22. (24-39)
    Free thyroxine index 1.04. (.82-1.77)
    T4, free 15.5 (9.2-24.1)
    Triiodothyronine free 2.7 2.0-4.4
    Once again any help would be greatly appreciated

    • With similar numbers, my endocrinologist told me i’m fine. The fact that I have no energy, am lethargic all the time, would just like to spend all day in bed, appears to mean nothing so long as the numbers are in range or close. Let me know if you find anything that helps you as I have not had a good day in three years.

      • I have just discovered I have a 6mm cystic node on my thyroid and over the last two years gained weight, felt completely exhausted and kept falling asleep at every moment; my feet and leg bones were excruciatingly painful, I passed out three or four times, felt hellishly depressed, brain all foggy and thought I would probably die very soon from something. I even cancelled a dream holiday because even the thought of the car ride to the airport was more than I could cope with, let alone the packing, flight and holiday. Just before the cyst was diagnosed, I started taking a kelp supplement – low and behold, after a few days I felt significantly better and stopped falling asleep. My blood tests show everything is normal, apart from cholesterol raised from its previous figure of 3.9 to 6.2 – a symptom of hypothyroidism, even though all my other results are normal, although often at the low end of normal. There is a history of adrenal tumours and thyroid tumours in my family and I have also had a pleomorphic adenoma (salivary gland tumour). Am off for a biopsy on cyst, but kelp seems to have helped enormously and you would have to wrench the jar from my hand to stop me taking it at present, because before I decided to give it a go, I simply wasn’t functioning on any level and just wanted to crawl into bed and not wake up again at times, despite a diet full of pears, broccoli and other helpful ingredients. Sometimes you just have to find what works for you, but it is wonderful to feel more like my old self and it was such a simple solution. If they want to remove the cyst, they can have it willingly, but I am keeping the kelp until afterwards.

      • If you can get a doctor that is a DO rather than an MD, you may have more luck as they are a little more out of the box. Seriously, I’d demand a trial of Armour Thyroid or get a 2nd opinion.. best of luck!!

[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]