Poor experiences of T3 alone ?

Is there anyone who has tried T3 on its own, sensibly as recommended, starting with small doses etc, but after a reasonable trial period had to reasonably conclude that it just was NOT right for you ?

Has any one in that situation then gone on to try something else, with a more satisfactory outcome ?

[I'm thinking perhaps, NDT with/without T3, or T4/T3 combination, although there may be other options I've yet to hear about ! (I appreciate, the majority is likely to have come to trial T3 after having tried these)].

I understand T3 alone, isn't a "magic bullet" for all with low/low-ish T3 results; it would be good to get some insight to what may be helpful to those in this group, if just T3 doesn't bring about some reasonable improvement.

Thanks in anticipation.

17 Replies

  • Well, that rather depends on how much T3 you ended up on. Some people need much more than others. So what doses have you taken?

  • Yes, I did, a couple of years ago. I had been doing really great on Armour Thyroid, combing lower strength pills to 300 mg (5 grains). When I switched to 240 and 300 mg pills, I started going downhill...then, the STTM webpage began to write about excess RT3 and the circadian method, so I ordered the book by Paul Robinson after deciding I had an excess RT3 problem...which was very stupid of me.

    The first couple of days on Cynomel (which I imported illegally from Mexico; I am not in the UK and the import of any prescription drug is subject to approval by the Ministry of Health where I live), I felt great, and decided my "diagnosis" was right. Then, I started feeling worse and worse. After a week, I felt more dead than alive...as someone pointed out: T4 has a half-life of about a week so, after a week off all meds containing T4, I only had half of the T4 in my system that I had one week earlier...

    I added some thyroxine, and immediately started to feel like my own self again.

    It was later discovered that I suffer from adrenal fatigue as well. I am now on Medrol, as well as an OTC product called Adrenal optimizer. I ended up finding a lab offering RT3 analyses, and it turned out I did NOT have an RT3 problem...

    So my advice would be never to self-diagnose and self-treat. I know how terrible I felt after only a week off T4, and that made me realise something: T4 is NOT completely inactive, but plays an important role in itself.

    Take care,


  • Good advice if you can get the docs to treat you properly but if you cannot.........

  • I felt the same while taking T4 now feel much better off with no T4! We are all different!

  • I know that, but what I mean is that taking T3 alone, without knowing if you suffer from RT3 dominance, could make you feel even worse...personally, I see no reason to take T3 alone unless you know or strongly suspect you suffer from RT3 dominance, in which case you need to deprive your body of its only source of RT3 (T4).

  • I take T3 and T4 but feel very poorly without T4 even though I only need 50mcg. T3 with T4 is much more difficult to manage in my experience than T4 only. I'm much better when I'm well, but there seem to be lots of seasonal blips. I wouldn't want to do it on my own, it's too easy to get in a muddle

  • Yes I recently tried T3 only and have had to return to T4 and T3 combo .

    I'm not convinced this is the answer for me as still not feeling great but T3 only was definitely not ideal for me . I feel better with a little bit of T4 giving me a steadier.base . With T3 only I was all over the place . I know it works wonders for some though !

  • I've had trouble with pure T3 in the past. I seemed to get far more cognitive symptoms, fuzzy head, dizziness, etc. But I now don't know if that was because the dose was always too low.

  • FIRST: Thanks to ALL who've taken the time/energy responding to this thread. The info provided is helpful towards the progress I'm seeking.

    Beginning with the latest post, by SilverAvocado, I'm inclined to consider that if T3 is right in a particular case, even a small(-ish) just adequate dose, is likely to bring an improvement in symptoms ( - as it kicks in), followed by a reversal of that improvement as the dose wears off ( - as the peak blood concentration is in 2-4hrs? of taking the dose; this being JUST one factor in getting the T3 in the cells where its needed). This improvement, followed by a waning may of course be very subtle and require repeated observation over days and weeks, while KEEPING everything else STEADY.

    Does that sound logical, (Captain!) ? ;o) (. . . . .condolences, L Nimoy, aka Spock, R.I.P.)

    I'm in the early stages of a T3 only trial, with all my test results "euthyroid" (i.e. within the "normal" reference ranges - for newer members, unfamiliar with this term). Sadly this is on a "self-medicated" basis given the generally poor experience of T3 amongst our medical profession ( - which many of us are getting to know about FIRST hand !). My medical history is along the lines of diagnosis ( - or misdiagnosis?) of ME/CFS, and I'm now inclined to test the guidance/experience of T3, especially having read the EXTRAORDINARY foreword by the late Dr Lowe (R.I.P. too) in Paul R's "Recovering with T3" book. [It may or may NOT be for me, of course . . . . . let's suck it and see ? ? ?]

    [NB: worth seeing a letter by 6 doctors to the BMJ of 1997 (! ! !), including Skinner (R.I.P.), Taylor, Thomas titled (something like) "Levothyroxine should be trial on clinically hypothyroid, but biochemically euthyroid patients" . . . . . to show to one's GP etc if having difficulty getting a trial of Levo. Some subsequent work, I understand following this recommendation showed that Levo on its own was not effective with this group. Hence, with my further considerations of info available, my present "careful and tentative tinkering" with T3 alone (initially)].

    Having tried multi-dosing, & splitting 25mcg tablets into halves and quarters, and seeing no clear pattern over a number of weeks ( - still might be too soon ?), I'm NOW inclined to MAKE it REALLY simple and take a single small-ish dose in the morning. If its doing something/anything POSTIVE, I'd expect to see an improvement in mid-morning/afternoon symptoms/signs (malaise, fatigue, lethargy, others . . . basal temps, pulse rates etc) followed by a gradual return of these in the late evening/night ( - when I'm usually the least UNWELL in the day). The changes, if any, are likely to be subtle and require REPEATED observation ( - but NOT too obsessively !) over days and weeks.

    I've also had a RE-THINK about LOW CORTISOL levels ( - which were confirmed a couple of months ago by a 24 hour saliva test). Although the CT3M is supposed to resolve these by itself (I understand) . . . . . . I am wondering whether trying some hydrocortisone (cream ? patches ? ?) may be of help; need to look into this a little more. Any guidance on this by those with (good or bad) experience of it would be appreciated.

    I did trial PREGNENOLONE ( - as a cream and then capsules, separately) but found it to be of no benefit - in fact brought on muscular aches/pains not there initially. Perhaps others have had similar experiences . . . . . . . and then found something that worked for them ? ? ? Info gratefully appreciated !

    All the other issues usually raised with thyroid hormones ( e.g. pro-hormone "vit D", iron, vit Bs, zinc etc have all been looked at & would appear satisfactory).

    One step and one breath at a time . . . . . . one step and one breath at a time.

    To ALL those you've contributed to our present understanding (whether still here or not) and to you reading this - thanks for being here; it all helps !

    To "be here" ( for someone/something) is an act of LOVE ( - according to some Eastern philosophies). [[Ahhhh, the things we learn on this forum ! ;o)xx]

  • I just had a pretty disastrous trial of T3 only. Felt some improvement initially but after about 3 months suddenly developed loads of symptoms (neurological and muscular) which indicate over medication for me, even though blood results were fine. I also develop these symptoms on T4 only. I have returned to Armour but had many unresolved symptoms whilst on that before. GP has suggested I ask endo about adding a small amount of T3 to my Armour which is I think the next step. I guess its just trial and error until each person finds what suits them best.

  • Thanks Debjs - by George, I think you have it SPOT ON:

    " . . . its just trial and error until each person finds what suits" him/her best

    ( - which THEN may change with the seasons, allowing/requiring further considered adjustments to be trialled !).

    I DO hope its a case of "great minds think alike" here ( - rather than "fools never differ" ! ! !) Haa-ha-ha . . . . " ;o)))

  • It is just so difficult sometimes to know where exactly the problem lies. I did very badly on T4 alone, switched under supervision to Armour, which made me feel even worse. I felt less bad on T3 but had to increase the dosage very slowly, as it can be too much of a 'shock' therapy if one has been hypothyroid and under-treated for many years. My adrenals also needed attention, and again it's been a case of trial and error there. Still no resolution, and still having to try different doses, timings and combinations. I have obstructive sleep apnoea, so I would never attempt the Robinson circadian method though.

  • While we're tinkering with our trials, ( - at least "behaviourally") that's a sign of continuing to have hope - great ! ! ! During such times, its also important to look after ourselves in as many other ways as practical.

    Regarding your "sleep apnoea" you may find the short videos by Dr Gominak on her site (easily found, esp. by searching "Vitamin D sleep") to be interesting, informative and (maybe) of practical value. Beware of her (very high) "optimum range" for blood levels ( - which may not suit all/many!). Are your 25(OH)D3 levels above 50nmol/L ? ? ?

    (More info on my views about pro-hormone "vit D" on some of my other posts!)

    I am puzzled by your last sentence: why would you NOT try the CT3M given you have sleep apnoea . . . . have I missed something about it ? (Probably ?)

  • Thanks for the info - I'll look up Dr Gominak. I'm not sure what my blood D3 level is because it's one test too many on top of the others I have to pay for, but I do supplement amply using a concentrated powder.

    Re CT3M: my sleep is so poor and so fitful that I really can't afford to disturb myself deliberately - it can take me a longtime to get back to sleep after each waking, if I manage it at all.

  • There are quite a few members on t3 only and improving or doing quite well.

  • Yes, I acknowledge that - thanks Faith; just trying to determine for personal interest what those who did not benefit from it as much did next, which may have helped more.

  • I can say after having high levels of rt3, i don't notice not having any t4, feel better without it, but not well yet. My symptoms seem to be related to having autoimmune issues like swelling, rashes etc.. i am working on cleaning up my diet and beauty products..like an all natural paper bag for covering my face!

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