Thyroid UK
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t3 and anxiety levels

I am due to see the GP about coming off my 25mcg of thyroxine and starting a trial of 10mcg of t3 for potential Hashimoto's related anxiety and depression, an idea suggested by my endo. However, in last days my anxiety has been particularly bad. I worry that the t3 might make my anxiety feel even worse given what I have read about palpitations as a side effect. I also read that Hashimoto's patients don't always fair well on t3 cos they are often switching between being hypo and hyper - My endo didn't mention any of this...

25 Replies

Have you tried, or has your endo suggested trying Propranolol - this is a beta blocker that blocks adrenalin, so can really help with anxiety.


I had absolutely awful palpitations when on levothyroxine and the addition of T3 calmed everything down. I am on T3 only now and haven't had palpitations since.

So I don't think you should worry unduly. 25mcg of levothyroxine is extremely small, and small doses can have the opposite effect than an improvement.

As slowdragon suggests. When you are in a hyper state due to Hashimotos when the antibodies are pumped out causing you to have too much in your system propropanol might be appropriate and ask your GP.

Anxiety and panic are awful sensations and when they happen if you try to relax and tell yourself it is the adrenaline pumping out too much and breathe slowly and remain calm (try to) the sensation should pass.

To lessen antibodies some members have found going gluten free helpful. I am hypo so cannot be sure.

10mcg T3 is also a very small dose but it might be helpful for you.


P.S. I forgot to say I was in and out of A&E like a yo-yo due to the palpitations even when abroad.


Shaws, thanks for your response. I'd love to think I can have a conversation about the finer details of the destruction of my thyroid gland and what the bits falling off might be doing for my nerves, but I don't think the GP would get it.

I have suffered with anxiety on and off for years though with this bout of anxiety and depression I have to say it is effecting me physically in a different way. In a nutshell, I used to feel all my anxiety in my tummy. Now, I feel it throughout my body. It is like that sensation of dread you get when it dawns on you that you have made a significant mistake but its too late. It's like feeling sick all over. I had it before starting thyroxine and I have it now.

I suppose I was hoping that while the anxiety is attributable to lots of life events, that perhaps I am struggling more than normal cos of the Hashi's. Starting to think that maybe its not though and I just need to change anti-depressants and try and sort out the life stuff that is at the heart of it.

Am I right in thinking that the t3 should be taken first thing on an empty tim? I'm due to have 10mcg but am going to take just 5mcg to start. I suppose I am scared of my heart racing. Since this round of anxiety and depression, I have a much higher pulse reading - I'd always been around 60 and these days its anywhere between 75-90 morning, noon and night. My blood pressure has always been low at 100/65 and remains so.

Anyway, thanks Shaws


are you also taking Anti-depressants?


Hi Shaws, Yes I am on 45mcg of mirtazapine. Never been on it before and it was initially offered at 15mg to relieve the insomnia resulting from that 24/7 feeling of dreadfulness that I described. I have taken anti-deps in the past - amitryptyline and citalopram, both of which worked.


The fact that you've been troubled for years with anxiety etc could also be due to the fact that you had an undiagnosed thyroid gland problem all that time.

If anything my palpitations stopped on T3 and hope yours does too.

I take my T3 first thing and wait about an hour before eating. That's it and I feel well but I am on a higher dose than you are having so I hope the GP will increase T3 for you. 10mcg of UK T3 is only equal to about 30mcg of Levo which might have little effect. 20mcg would be a better dose - equal to around 60mcg which is still tiny.

As you have palpitations your heart will probably beat faster before you take the T3 as you will be anticipating beforehand the effect it might have on your system. So do your best to relax and remember that T3 (liothyronine) is required in all of our receptor cells which should be saturated before its work begins. It is natural to our human body.

Best wishes.

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I don't have palpitations just a faster heart rate than I used to because I am constantly worked up. The best way to describe it would be a constant feeling of jitteriness.

I love that your palps stopped on t3. Perhaps it will help me with that jitteriness which notably is worse in the morning.




So, I think the feelings you describe is as if you are anticipating something dreadful to happen.

My highest recorded heart rate was 145 bpm. I think the T3 will calm your body down.

I used to write to my GP every couple few days

Dear Dr, it is now 2.30 a.m. or 3 a.m. etc and my heart rate is 120bpm or whatever it was when I wakened or couldn't sleep.

Needless to say I had little sleep.

For your sensations you are either on too low a dose or levo doesn't suit you. Our whole nervous system is affected, I believe when our hormones are not at an optimum level. Being mindful I am not medically qualified.

I wish you success on T3 but still think the dose is on the low side.


Hi Halinka,

Seems like you have a good endo suggesting you take t3.

I take t3 only now and it has been my life saviour.

I did not agree with my endo when he said i was depressed and started me on antidepressants. I think i proved him wrong when i started to develop serotonin syndrome and stopped thankfully.

I did not disagree that i was not low but it was being so ill and fatigued that was causing it.

T3 has given me back my life i had before taking ill. I'm happy, laughing, fun loving and have my mojo back.

it's not an easy ride on t3 and more care needs to be taken with doses as it is so fast acting. But when all other options have been tried and do not suit, then t3 may be your only way.

It has worked amazingly for me in all aspects and yes i do think it helps mentally. Whether because it fixed all my symptoms and this has made me a happy person or whether it does actually do something in the brain. I don’t really care, only that it has worked and i'm now back cooking with gas!!!

Hope you find your path to feeling good again like i have.

Sparkly x


Wow Sparkly, what a marvellous post!

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Thanks Thyr01d, yes i suppose i am very positive now. I just wish everyone could find there recipe to feeling normal again!!!


Sparkly, thanks for your post. Unlike you, my depression and anxiety are definitely rooted in life circumstances. I went to an endo to help establish if my Hashi's was contributing to it all, making matters worse so to speak. My results are all in the normal range apart from the antibodies so it really is early days in terms of the condition. I will try the t3 if the GP prescribes it, but I think I am more than likely looking at a change in antidepressants. I don't think these ones are helping.


I'm sorry to hear that circumstances are the main factor in your anxiety and depression.

T3 is prescribes within mental health for the use with depression so i'm sure what ever the cause is, it is sometimes used. I am no expert this is just something I've read a couple of times.

For many years before i was finally diagnosed i would have GPs constantly blame all my symptoms on depression. Throwing umpteen different antidepressants at me and all just made me feel more fatigued and miserable.

I hope now since starting T3 i have found what i've always needed.

I do self-medicate with help from GP and hopefully i'm seeing my Endo on Friday who will see the change in me since my last appointment.

You can only try T3, you have nothing to lose and possibly a whole lot to gain. X

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Hi I'm on t3 only and I'm self medicating . I've found that t3 has actually calmed me down abit . I'm still very flat personality wise but that could be down to the other painful conditions I have rather than my thyroid . . As shaws says 10 mcg t3 is a small amount so I think it should fine and hopefully benificial to you ...good luck I wish you well


I think he's exaggerating a bit when he says 'constant attacks'. The timing and duration of antibody attacks is very individual. And if you feel you are having an attack and going a bit 'hyper', you can always lower the dose for a while til you feel better.

Alternatively, T3 is likely to suppress the thyroid gland, so that should lessen the attacks. I do hope your endo is not one of those that freaks out when he sees a suppressed TSH! Because that is what is more than likely going to happen. :)


These are a couple of links and it appears it can be common for Hashi's patients to also have depression problems. Has the doctor checked your FT3 - if that's low it can cause problems as T3 is needed in the billions of our receptor cells and the brain contains the most.


If you've not had your Free T3 tested ask the doctor although they don't usually do so. If its very low it can give clinical symptoms.


T3 stops my palpitations, but I did work on my adrenals before I started on T3 - maybe you could do some research and see if there's anything you could do (that you're not already doing) to support your adrenals? X


Lisasones, adrenals is an interesting one. I had years of chronic stress associated with caring for someone with dementia. When it was finally over, I remember saying to my friend that I feel like I need a rewire rather like a house with old electrical cables does. In other words, I was burnt out. After years of being on high alert. I think my adrenal glands might just be a smoking stump. No idea about the value of testing. Endo certainly never mentioned it. Halinka


Halinka, as just saying in another thread that adrenal fatigue is not a thing NHS guidelines believe in. It's generally said that you can't really benefit from thyroxine until 1) Your adrenals are in good shape and 2) You've got good Vitamin D and B12, Ferritin and Folate. Not just 'normal', but halfway up their ranges. You may get some joy to have these tested by an endo or GP, but if you are borderline deficient you will need to look into it yourself.

It sounds like you've had a hard time the past few years, and likely will have problems in one or both of these areas. There's good advice throughout these forums on how to address them. The good news is that some of your anxiety and depression may be partly caused by vitamin or adrenalissues, so addressing them will give you some relief there. They can cause all kinds of symptoms.


Thank you. I need to work out what adrenal testing to go for. Any ideas?


Hi shaws I have suffered with anxiety and palpitations but I have got overactive thyroid I went to A&E wait there 4 hours doctor said nothing wrong with you go home I said are you sure I don't feel very well ! That time my free t3 was high ! They didn't gave me any anti depressants! I felt low mood feeling down it was strange feeling .....


I have just read your post by accident as you hadn't linked it into my name and this was also on a two-year-old post.

If you have any queries please put up a new post for any information you may required.


Ok ...


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