Why the need for t4

So many people have troubles with levothyroxine. Why do they take it when what we really need is just t3. I am ignorant of this. And I would like to hear anybody's experience with t3 alone for Hashimoto's. Armour isn't doing it. Can't stand levothyroxine. Just started t3 alone and seem to feel tight in the throat. Maybe I need to up the dose faster. Am taking 3 doses of 12.5 mcg a day after 6 days on two doses. What do you think? I see my endo tomorrow. He loves Armour. It doesn't give me much energy or anything. Just no side effects compared to that miserable levothyroxine.

11 Replies

  • Some people seem to need a small bit of t3 with their armour; it's also important that people not be under-dosed generally (e.g. if the doc only goes by TSH and is afraid of suppressing it).

    But about the t4 question: t4 is the storage hormone and t3 the active, as you know, so if one is on only t3 and isn't getting enough at a particular moment, there isn't sufficient stored t4 for the body to convert. So there's instead just a sudden desperate need for t3. Some do great this way, on all t3, but for me, all t3 was a nightmare. Every time I was due for my next dose, my heart would go crazy (while just sitting on the couch, my heart would start pounding out of my chest and my heart rate would be over 100). And even when I wasn't due for a dose, the ride on only t3 as somehow just harder -- I never felt comfortable in my body and I felt somehow just more rigid and harder. Hard to explain but it was very uncomfortable. On ndt only my body feels softer and more inhabitable and I have a greater ability to feel relaxed.

  • If you want expert advice and guidance on using t3 only safely get Paul Robinson's book from Amazon recovering with t3 and he has a Facebook group that r brilliant and knowledgable about increasing doses etc. ppl usually use t4 as it provides a more fluid supply of t3, t3 has a very short half life which can lead to a more up and down supply, but t4 can be stored and converted in t3 as needed. Plus some ppl think u need t4 to get into the brain. But if u can't convert well then u will feel better on t3 only. It may be u just need to add t 3 to ur t4 and experiment with getting the balance to suit you.

  • Could you tell us the Facebook Group you mention above ?! Thanks

  • You need to read his book first , recovering with t3, so that you are starting from a good understanding of his approach. There are many members needing lots of input so new members need to be up to date with his approach before asking for more input.

  • rwt3.com is his website .....

  • Although T3 has a shorter half life it does still remain in the body for a while so once you've been taking it for a few months you don't get such crashes as the base levels are higher, I think you're dosage sounds like a good start, I didn't feel any benefit on a dose under 12.5mg, and would leave a week between each change - I find four doses (2x25, 2x12.5) throughout the day suit me, and have found a whole new life on T3 - I too have questioned if it's what our body needs why faff around taking T4 so that's why I went straight for T3 myself - ;-)

  • I am a poor t4 to t3 converter. I just saw my endo yesterday and told him that I started t3 only a week ago. I had been taking Armour for 3 months but it didn't do much even up to 120 mg. So I bought the t3 online and quit the Armour. My endo didn't say anything about it when I told him. He just said to take 25mcg of t3 in am (I do sublingually) and 25mcg in afternoon (not too late or could cause insomnia). He said nothing below 50mcg a day could be therapeutic.

  • Has anyone bothered to check




    vit d3

    all MUST be HALFWAY in their ranges otherwise your body cannot convert T4 in levo or Armour into the T3 your cells need to function

  • Nicole, some people don't tolerate T4 in Levothyroxine or NDT and need T3 only.

    I was recovering from thyroidectomy on T3 only but became very unwell on T4 only. I'm now on T4+T3 which suits me better T3 only. I also like the security of having a few days T4 stored in case I can't get or take T3 for a few days.

  • FYI. While I was on T3-only, I found my full replacement dose to be 0.82mcg/kg body weight. I was using 5*12.5mcg doses per day.

    Why use T4? Some articles have been written claiming that total suppression of TSH (TSH<0.1) is dangerous in the long-term, which is what T3-only does at therapeutic dose. And there is the argument that T3+T4 (or T1+T2+T3+T4 in the case of NDT users) is the way the body naturally supports its thyroid needs. In other words, there is a "body wisdom"/evolutionary advantage to T3+T4.

    I can't say I clearly feel better on T3+T4 than on T3-only. However, I do have a friend in Phoenix who claims that when she goes from T3-only to T3+T4, aches and pains in her body subside. On the other hand, there are lots of people on the RT3_T3 mailing list who can't feel well on anything but T3; their bodies are so out of whack, that taking any T4 at all creates enough rT3 to make them feel crappy.

  • Thank you all for educating me. You're answering questions that I didn't even ask.

    Thanks for being here.


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