Thyroid UK
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How to avoid reverse T3?

Is it possible to avoid too much reverse T3? I've been on T3 only for 4 months, and maybe changing to either T4 only or T4 and T3 combination.

History; I was only on Levothyroxine for 5 weeks as it gave me acne I stopped. I was on 75mcg and my FT4 was 16.9 (11-24) and FT3 was low at 4.4 (3.-6.5). My FT3 before thyroid medication is always in the 4's. My FT4 was 12.

I'm wondering whether I should have kept on it, as T3 gave me acne too! I'm not getting better on T3 only. I thought if I add some T4 it might help, but I don't want to have a problem with too much RT3.

3 Replies

I think reverse T3 may be rare. This is an extract from Dr Lowe:-

During one year, I tested 50 fibromyalgia patients to see if they had laboratory values that would suggest that they had impaired conversion of T4 to T3 with elevated reverse-T3. I've also tested other patients since 1994. However, I have not found laboratory evidence of impaired T4 to T3 conversion in a single patient.

Also, if impaired conversion was the source of the problem in my fibromyalgia patients, they would respond to a normal physiologic dosage of T3. However, most euthyroid fibromyalgia patients require far more than normal physiologic dosages to overcome their thyroid hormone resistance.

Finally I decided that if some patients' fibromyalgia symptoms do indeed result from impaired conversion of T4 to T3, it is a rare phenomenon. I could no longer justify charging patients for the laboratory tests that would identify impaired conversion. As a result, I don't even bother ordering the tests any longer. This is the reason that you haven't read about impaired conversion of T4 to T3 and elevated reverse-T3 at this Web site or in more of our published articles.

T3 is the active hormone which goes directly into our cells in a few hours but then sends out 'waves' which effect lasts up to 4 or 5 days. T4 is the inactive hormone and has to convert to enough T3. One dose today takes about 6 weeks to to disappear by gradually reducing each day.


Thanks Shaws for the info.


Hi Sandy. I'm having problems with my basal body temp. As I'm using a digital thermometers. I have 2 and they have completely different readings! Which is right?!


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