Thyroid UK
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Can adding progesterone help with thyroid uptake into the cells?

My doctor wants me to add low dose topical progesterone cream to my regime. I began on T3 two months ago - main concern is facial edema and fatigue, hair loss and muscle pain. I am on a relatively high dose of 180 mcg T3 and no changes yet. I am wondering also about treating adrenals but not sure how to go about it. My urine and blood showed high cortisol but saliva showed low in the am and noon (within range) and high afternoon and evening (but within range). So, I am not sure if they are over or underactive.

3 Replies

Suzannai, you haven't given a medical history in your Profile, so I don't know when you were diagnosed or if you were on levothyroxine before going on T3.

Do you have results, with the ranges, of your latest thyroid gland blood tests.

I assume your dose of T3 was increased gradually, unless it was a switchover from levo. 180mcg of T3 does seem quite high but some people have Thyroid Hormone Resistance which means they have to have extra high doses. I will put a link below. Excerpt

If these patients did not have tissue resistance to thyroid hormone, the high blood levels of T3 would cause severe overstimulation (termed thyrotoxicosis). Hence, we know the patients' peripheral tissues are resistance to normal levels of thyroid hormone. Unfortunately, we don't know the mechanism of the tissue resistance. But we're determined to identify the mechanism through further studies.


Hi Shaws, My apologies for not including much information.

I have not been on Levo and labs have been normal however I have severe myxedema, fatigue, muscle pain, hair loss, dry yellow skin, constipation etc. My doctor agreed to start me on T3 and we worked up to this dose over two months. I don't feel any different (no changes) and if anything perhaps a bit more tired now then before I started. Basic background is as follows:

In April of 2013 I underwent a significant period of emotional and physical stress. Approximately two months later I began to experience some facial swelling which my doctor attributed to allergies. A year of medical tests and specialists (cardio, respiratory, endo, rheum, neuro) and a doctor finally agreed to prescribe T3.

The most concerning and apparent sign is that my face is swollen as are my hands and feet, and there is swelling of the soft tissues of the arms and legs, aswell as the abdomen. However the only abnormal marker remains a rising CK level. The CK fluctuates between 1000 and 4700.

Labwork (please note that many of these are in Canadian units) before T3.

Ferretin: 23 ug/l (>23 ug/l)

T3 total: 1.3 (0.9-2.44 nmol/l) - April 15th, 2014

T3 total: 0.5 ng/ml (0.6-1.81 ng/ml) - May 2, 2014

Free T3 3.76 pmol/L (2.77-6.5 pmol/L)

T4 free: 13.1 (9-19 pmol/l)

TSH: 0.91 (0.35-4.90 mU/l)

RT3: 13.9 ng/dl (9.0-27 ng/dl)

ANA - negative

anti TPO and TG abs - negative but re-test pending

Albumin: 46.5 IU/L (35-48 IU/L)

AST 43 IU/L (0-41 IU/L)

ALT 41 IU/L (0-51 IU/L)

GGT 7 IU/L (<50 IU/L)

Vitamin D 76 nmol/L (>75 nmol/L)/

Cortisol: 755 nmol/L (178 - 625 nmol/L)

Cortisol after dexamethasone: 108 nmol/L

Urinary cortisol 291 (< 193)

Saliva test on day 10 of cycle

E2 1.1 (1.3-3.3)

Progesterone: 25 (75-270)

Cortisol am - 5.6 (3.7-9.5)

Cortisol noon - 1.9 (1.2-3)

cortisol pm - 1.5 (0.6-1.9)

cortisol night - 0.6 (0.4-1.0)


Someone will be able to interpret your blood test but this is a previous post and wonder if it will be helpful for you.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful and hopefully a member can and I don't know why T3 isn't appearing to be more helpful.


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