Been on Levo for 11 years and been feeling increasingly awful for the last 5. Wondering about T3 - any thoughts?

Hi everyone. I need some advice about T3. I was diagnosed as hypo. when I was 19 and have been on Levothyroxine since then (I'm now almost 30). The dose started at 50mg and increased gradually to 175mg last year, before being decreased to 150mg about 4 months ago.

I was put on antidepressants about 5 years ago and stayed on them for 2 years. Since then I've been tired, have put lots of weight, have trouble concentrating and have awful mood swings - in short, all the symptoms that led me to being diagnosed as hypo. in the first place. I have a doctors' appointment on Monday and am thinking of requesting yet another blood test to see if my T3 needs help but I'm worried that the doctor won't listen to me and will either try to put me back on antidepressants, which I know I don't need, or fob me off with a levo. increase.

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  • Dr Peatfield in his book - The Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy - talks about the Thyroid as being the Great Pretender - always pretending to be something else or some other condition. He has a chapter on Depression and thinks everyone with depression should be tested. So it's good that you have a diagnosis - but sorry that you are still feeling so awful.

    It may be difficult to persuade your GP to test the FT3 as I believe it is more expensive. Is it possible you could have it done privately ?

    If you are a regular on this site then you will know the importance of OPTIMAL B12 Ferritin Folates VitD and Iron. Without these being high in their ranges - your conversion of the T4 into T3 may be hampered. May be a good idea to have these sorted first. GP's often not up to speed with these tests - but for people with thyroid issues they are of upmost importance. The main website of Thyroid UK has lots of useful information on B12 etc. Also the Gene Test D102 - which can hamper the conversion of T4 into the ACTIVE T3 is mentioned.....

    Read up on T3 to strengthen your case with the GP - eg there are more Receptors for T3 in the brain than anywhere else in the body - so if T3 is low then your brain is being deprived - and so the brain fog and depression can creep in. Also B12 and lots of other things can affect the mood and the brain. Also remember that - 'food is our medicine ' - did you see the video posted by pettals yesterday - so interesting.....

    Good Luck......

  • Hello, your case is similar to mine with all the symptoms. Have had Hashi's for 11 years but about 4/5 years ago things went badly wrong and an increase in T4 from 75mcg to 125mcg made me feel worse and gave me suppressed TSH, which sent GP into a panic. To cut a long story short I eventually got a referral letter from my GP to see a private endo who put me on a T4/T3 combo and things are beginning to improve, although my vit D3 was low and have been supplementing with that on endo's advice.

    I just couldn't go on fighting with the GP, she admitted she didn't understand what was going on and was not happy to prescribe T3.

    It is difficult to get FT3 tested but now I am under an endo, my surgery have no difficulty getting it done and I get the T3 on the NHS.

    Having all the other tests Marz suggested is also a good idea as a deficiency in any one of these will hinder your progress.

    Don't let them fob you off again with antidepressants, your low mood, like mine, is down to the lack of proper medication and possibly other deficiences.

  • Thanks to both of you. I know I need to do a lot of reading over the weekend - I haven't done much before because I don't think I realised that there were other options. I have been diagnosed with a very low vit. D level in the past so take supplements for that and I think the levels are getting a lot better. I know that the depression in the past was very different to the low feelings that I have now, and was triggered by something different so I'll certainly refuse to go back on anti-depressants for this.

    I'm seeing a new doctor so I don't know how receptive they'll be to a patient who (at least vaguely) knows her stuff but it would be a relief to find a doctor who listened to symptoms.

  • This is a link which may help. I would ask if your GP would check your T3, it may be low.

    hypothyroidmom.com/the-trut...

  • Is the doctor keeping an eye on your Vitamin D3 levels? You don't want to over medicate on D, as it is fat soluble and doesn't leave the body as easily as the B vits which are water soluble.

    Good luck with your new doctor.

  • Levo is T4, which is not the active form of the hormone so it needs to be converted to T3 to become active. The body naturally converts T4 to T3 to meet the body'd need. This is under a control mechanism and if the body feels that you have reached the correct level of T3 then it switches off the conversion of T4 to T3. When you take very high levels of T4 you may not get the expected improvement as there is no increase in T3.

    You would quite likely benefit from taking T3 but it can be difficult to get it prescribed.

  • Yes, and there are factors that affect how well this conversion happens, such as low iron. Selenium and B vitamins are also important, as is good cortisol levels.

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