T3 levels

Ive been following Paul Robinson's protocol, after a fashion. The reason I say this is because I cant properly test blood pressure or pulse because im on a form of beta blocker. So, I follow my tempertures.

It would appear that I can't really afford to take more than about 22 ish mcg a day of T3 or my temperatures increase above 37.

I don't feel great but I don't feel ill. Im quite depressed and low in mood/energy. I still find it hugely impossible to lose weight. My blood test figures are ridiculous but I believe on T3 only I shouldn't take too much notice of them.

Does it sound like Im doing it right ie that I shouldn't let my temps go above 37? That if they do go above, the dose Im on is too high and dangerous? I must admit when it happens I get very sweaty and uncomfortable.

Thank you.

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51 Replies

  • How long have you been following this protocol ? It can take time for your body to adjust to T3 and for some people it can be quite powerful.

    Do you have everything else in place - vitamins and minerals for instance ? Are you taking any other medications ?

    I do not think T3 should be considered a pill to lose weight - you are after all looking for an improved metabolism and that will take more than a T3 pill. I am T3 only and still do not lose weight easily. I am taking over 50 mcg daily - having just increased by another quarter. I find that losing weight is more about watching the carbs - or at least obtaining them from fruit and veg.

    If you find the increased temperature makes you uncomfortable - then stop the increased amount for a few days - then try again. It takes time :-)

    You could also go onto the Paul Robinson website and ask a question or send him a PM here on this forum where he is also a member. He is very helpful.

  • I have been on T3 for about 4 years. All was going well and then I got a shock with my FT3 being way above range. I have cut back and cut back and using my temperature to judge how well Im doing. As soon as it goes high it makes me wonder what Im doing now, how to do it and whether I should just go back to feeling ill on T4.

  • That seems a shame after all your hard work.... Is there anything else you can think of that could be out of synch ? Vits - minerals ??

  • Hi I'm on t3 and it's not an easy fix my ends just told me he has seen better blood results from a corpse and wanted me to take some t4 which I know I don't covert tried that for a week but felt weird so stopped then did a bit of research and I thin it's my ferritin that needs help so I've started twice a day taking liquid iron and seen already improvement. Everyone is different so you have to listen to your body research and trial supplements as well as your meds in my experience it's myself that's sorting me out

  • I have wondered about adding some T4 just to see what reaction I get. I have been on T3 for about 4 years. T4 just didn't agree with me then but now Im on a bit of a rollercoaster and don't even know if the T3 is right now.

  • Just tried that don't bother check your iron levels or just add liquid iron I take 2 sachets twice a day and Defo feel better

  • Bossbird, I'm honestly curious - what blood results did you get that prompted your endo's comment about a corpse?

    (Sorry for going off-topic Numberone1.)

  • Hi sorry been missing my messages for some reason TSH 0.02 t3 12 and low t4 sorry don't have the number since I've added iron and feel a lot better

  • Hi don't know about temperatures but I'm so sorry to read your feeling down it can be really hard when you just want to be normal! Have you had your vitamin d tested? I suffered from sad for decades until my endocrinologist put me on vitamin d..It made an enormous difference I can't easily describe just how huge the impact was! The test range is from 50-150.Mine was 38! I now consistently keep it above 100 cos I know for me the 100 normal isn't high enough for me.Even through this awful wet dark winter I've been fine!

    But I'm struggling with low to and an adverse reaction to the liothroyxine I'm supposed to take. .

  • I have started taking Vitamin D3 already in the hope all will be well. I see my depression as a combination of layers that have gradually built up over time. I think Im on the top layer at the moment. I normally try to fight it but think the top layer may be the ultimate. Im totally confused now with what I should be doing and know that my GP won't be able to help which is why Ive been self medicating, scared the life out of myself when my FT3 level came back extremely high and have cut back alot.

  • Do you absolutely need the beta blocker? This man disagrees with their use for the most part.

  • I was put on the beta blocker (atenolol) for blood pressure and anxiety. I haven't felt that well since.

  • You do realise that beta blockers affect your thyroid function, and can make you more hypo? Hopefully your anxiety and high BP will improve when you've found what works for your thyroid.

  • I do realise this and when I queried it with my GP he said that was rubbish.....

    Anyway, according to my research, atenolol makes you more underactive not overactive which my T3 levels indicated.

  • I know that beta blockers are given sometimes to people who are hyper to bring levels down. I was on beta blockers for years as a way of preventing migraine, then I was diagnosed with hashimotos. I still have bad anxiety, my GP offered beta blockers and I refused because of them affecting thyroid function. I take Hydrocortisone because my levels of cortisol were so low, this has also helped my anxiety, I would shake and hyperventilate if something was really stressful, this has definitely improved on hydrocortisone.

  • It is strange isn't it that Im on beta blockers and its actually raised my FT3 ie as if I were hyperthyroid. However my TSH is higher at 9.5

  • Not really, Numberone. The FT3 is obviously not entering the cells. This can happen. If you want to peer around this and find the parts about resistance. I haven't time right now. I agree with Helcaster and tapering off beta blockers may really improve your condition as you improve your actual T3.


  • Strangely, as soon as I started taking the Atenolol, the next blood tests I had done showed the extremely high FT3. Thats not a coincidence is it. It means it was preventing the T3 entering my cells do you think?

  • Yes, I think although it's beyond my capacity to know for sure. Watch Dr. Bergman because he does know and I hope Helcaster also watches the video because we find that the adrenal gland controls blood pressure!!!!! The whole treatment for blood pressure is so wrong and coupled with the way they treat thyroid conditions, it is not a stretch to believe.

  • I've had some strange FT3 readings too, I think it was just a build up and not getting into my cells.

    I can understand why you're confused about your results too. Is there any way you could come off the beta blockers and see if your blood results change?

    My BP suddenly got high 2 years ago. It was always 120/80 before. No idea why.

  • Why don t you join Paul's Facebook page, recovering with t3 you will get lots of expert help. The only thing that has resulted in me losing weight has been to cut dairy, sugar and all grains. My bloods for triglycerides, liver function and diabetes have all dropped significantly too and I've lost two stone in 10 weeks.

  • Wow. I am on his Facebook page already. I was on a very strict low calorie diet of 600 calories a day and lost hardly anything. I have been in the US for 3 weeks, ate and drank to above normal standards and only put on one pound! It makes me wonder why I bother.

  • Not only is 600 cals not working, but low calorie diets raise rt3 which won't be helping your t3 up take in the cells. It could be contributing toward why the t3 is all sloshing around in your blood. Stop it it does nothing but mess your system up.

    I went gluten, dairy, sugar free for 8 months and lost nothing, but as soon as I dropped the grains I started losing weight. At the moment I'm eating between 1700 and 2000 cals a day, I'm not counting but my ketogenic diet app does, I spend 50% of my day in bed and can't walk more than 50 yards without severe impact as I have m.e, yet for the first time since getting ill I am losing weight. It's to do with what my body is doing with the carbs. Google terry wahls ted ed talk. I started on her paleo diet, then went the next stage to the paleo plus ketogenic, but that was nothing to do with weight loss and everything to do with trying to recover from m.e. I lost wait on the simple paleo. She advocates a nutrient intense diet, which is what my m.e nutritionist likes about it. It's going to be much better for you than sticking yourself in starvation mode. Good luck.

  • When you say your bloods are ridiculous, are you talking free T3?

    Long term undertreatment can result in seriously upset adrenals - even though they can usually function in theory, the messaging system is often messed up. I would suggest you read up on the rather misnamed 'Adrenal Fatigue'

  • Yes, my FT3 was 22! top of the range was 6. However, my TSh was also 9.5!

  • Resistance going on at a receptor level. T3 not getting into the cells. Could be too much cortisol which can block the receptors.

  • So your TSH is elevated and the Thyroid is not producing any hormone? Or is there even more washing around? There is obviously some response because your temperature is going up.

    If there is resistance then piling in more T3 is a very temporary solution, if at all. I think I would want to know what is really going on before raising the dose. Because regardless of the resistance, your TSH should not be that high with all that T3 in your system. Which suggests that the feedback loop is faulty, or there is something amiss with the pituitary.

  • The more I think about this the more I think the Atenolol is playing my system up. My figures were almost near perfect until I took Atenolol. The next sets of figures came back with high TSH and extremely high FT3. I cut back on the T3 and then tested again after a few months and the FT3 was 12 but still high TSH. I wonder what is going on in my body? I cant imagine my GP will be able to work any of it out because he is no expert but then again, neither am I.

    I have to self medicate the T3 because he said he didn't understand it (joke) but when I suggested Atenolol was not good about for someone with underactive thyroid, he said it was rubbish.

  • Well, it would seem prudent then to ditch the atenolol. There are other drugs for hypertension, and it doesn't seem that popular nowadays anyway.

  • Sadly its taken me 8 months to discover this and imagine if I hadn't done my own blood testing. I would never have known the T3 wasn't going into the cells (I assume thats whats happening) and if I just went by my Doctors testing, Id think my TSH was out of synch because I wasn't taking enough! ( I suppose Im not taking enough but only because its not getting into my cells).

    Now do I go to my GP with these findings or do I ask him to refer me to an endocrinologist which he has never been keen to do for me in the past.

  • Well the endo (some call them endoknobs, but I pretend I don't understand that) is not going to know anything at all about hypertension. So I would think you are better off going to your GP and asking for (insisting on) a different strategy to deal with the hypertension.

    There is no real way of knowing what is happening to that T3 and why. There doesn't seem to be any research or recognition of a problem between atenolol and thyroid. However its acknowledged that atenolol increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is another form of hormone resistance. And in one article I read, that is why its fallen from grace as a treatment for hypertension. My very simplistic view of the endocrine system is that most hormones are very similar in structure, since nature likes to re-use a good idea in as many ways as possible, and many share the same few precursors. So whatever is causing your high TSH could also interfere with other endocrine processes.

    I am just slightly concerned because all that T3 wafting around should be suppressing your TSH. My understanding (which may, of course, be flawed since I am not a biochemist) is that its the free T3 that influences TSH production. Obviously the first thing to do is to stop the atenolol (and I would go back down to the dose of T3 that you were good at before all this started just in case, because you might quickly become very hyper). Then if you TSH remains high (and by that I mean detectable since you are on T3) then you would need to see an endo to investigate whether your pituitary, hypothalamus and parathyroid are OK. Don't ask me what they do, but I know they are involved in TSH production.

  • Can anyone tell me which T3 they use because I'm not getting any energy, still have dry skin etc etc, swelling in the feet and ankles, constipated and I'm now nearly 5 years down the line of taking thyroid meds.

    I have improved my temperatures this last year with HC. I know I need iron, but iron aggravates my anal fissures. I haven't been able to take my prescribed iron for months now, and I am bleeding most days.

    My fatigue is so bad again, I park near the shop entrance walk into a shop the size of B&Q and I'm looking for somewhere to sit or go back to the car. It's a breathless weak feeling and my heart pounds and I feel dizzy. My feet hurt so bad the pain is going up into my legs and my ankles feel crushed. I've had this for 9 years now and at my wit's end.

    My inflammation is high, and I'm pre diabetic, very stressed for family reasons and I've never felt the slightest benefit of thyroid meds. I'm convinced nothing is entering my cells. I've tried taking NDT and T3 in one dose in the morning, and 4 hours apart. I get up every morning feeling sick and uncoordinated. Does everyome else feel like this? When I read that people get energy from 25 mg T3 I wonder what I am doing wrong? I have taken up to 6 T3 tablets and still zero energy, just feel a little bit less nauseous. I take them on a empty stomach with a large glass of water.

    I take quite a lot of gabapentin for pain, and hydroxyzine for interstitial cystitis, is this messing things up?

  • Im guessing your antibodies are high hence why you also have interstitial cystitis. The best thing would be to get rid of those antibodies. I also have them and waiting for the next thing to react ie whether coeliac, ms, etc etc.

    Ive read that Naltroxene is good for ridding the body of high levels of antibodies but Im not sure if its only in the US they are prescribed?

    Maybe somebody else could tell us what to do?

    Also, it sounds like some of your symptoms could be taking too much T3. Plus if I eat gluten or dairy, my joints inflame more. Breathlessness can be too much T3 as can exhaustion. I think I take too little T3 but obviously when my temperature rises to over 37 I can't work out what else to do.

    Can anyone advise helcaster?

  • Thanks for replying Numberone1. I was wondering if it was the T3 I take, it's Tiromel. I felt nothing with Mexican T3 either. I buy it online as I got refused by my GP.

    The last time I had my antibodies done they were in the 600's actually much worse than when I started thyroid meds. I've taken selenium, failed at gluten free. Gluten free products are so horrible, I'd rather go without! I do eat gluten free oats every day though. I am craving milk, and must drink 1 1/2 pints a day. I am sure this doesn't help, although this is a recent thing. My diet is quite restricted with having interstitial cystitis, so I tend to indulge in what I can eat and drink.

    There's obviously something going on in our genes because my eldest daughter has hypothyroidism, and has just been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, I'm gutted for her. I'm now wondering if it's genetics why I don't respond to thyroid meds, my daughter is much the same.

  • I was always okay with the Mexican cynomel and have ended up swapping around with different ones. I think Ive been helped to reinforce what I always thought. As soon as I tool Atenolol my FT3 levels when very high. Obviously the Atenolol is stopping my cells respond to the T3. My TSH is the highest its ever been.

    The antibodies are why you have interstitital cystitis. That is why your daughter has it too. My daughter has type 1 diabetes, another autoimmune disease. I consider myself lucky with what I have in comparison.

  • Hi Numberone1, I took just Mexican Cynomel for a year and gained all the weight I had lost previously on a mix of NDT and T3. My feet started to crack again, and my skin was dry and peeling. I still have 6 pots of the stuff but the date has expired now. I'm pleased it worked for you.

    The strange thing is my daughter's antibodies which have just been done were negative. Mine were when I was first diagnosed, but 15 months later they were really high. My daughter has terrible anaemia and very low B12, Folate and Vit D3. I've been passing on my knowledge but I can't take the supplements for her. Her latest bloods were shocking though so she's realised she has to do something about it.

    I'm sorry your daughter has type 1 diabetes, like you say you don't always get just one autoimmune disease. What is really unnerving with all this is my daughter has the same health problems at more or less the same age as I started to. There has to be a strong genetic link.

  • Is it possible that you have some heavy metal toxicity? That could stop the T3 from working. Am currently experiencing this myself, test having shown some very high levels of lead, mercury etc and am very hypo.

  • I was on T3-only for over a year, at 62.5 mcg/day. I felt well on that dose, with a quite suppressed TSH. I don't believe that temperature is always an accurate guide for what is going on, because my temp never came all the way up to 37C. What might be a more accurate guide, is your T3 full-replacement dose. The maker of Synthroid states that the T4-only full-replacement dose is 1.7mcg/kg body weight; no pharmaceutical company offers a similar figure for T3-only. While I was on T3-only at 62.5mcg/day, that worked out to 0.82mcg/kg body weight, which is the full-replacement dose for my body. So if you do the arithmetic, T3 at 22mcg/day seems pretty low. Keep in mind that the late John Lowe DC, the T3 guru, stated that he took 150mcg/day. Granted, he was quite tall, and heavier than I, but that does indicate to me that you have headroom for a dosage increase. If you know what hyperthyroidism feels like, then it isn't difficult to find the correct dose by feel. If you increase slowly, and pay close attention to how you feel, it's easy with T3 to backoff dose when you go too high, since T3 has a short half-life (on the order of 12 hours).

  • Unfortunately, Atenol which I take can also be given to people who have taken too much T3 so it's almost impossible to tell if I'm taking the wrong dose.

  • Uh-oh. Some of the beta blockers have anti-thyroid effects. A doctor who knows drug side-effects shouldn't use it on a thyroid patient.

  • Thank you. I felt very well and then found I had FT3 of 22!! The top range was only 6! Totally knocked my confidence in knowing how I felt. I had no overdosage symptoms although I guess I just still didn't feel great which I haven't alot of the time. I totally stopped taking the T3 to get it out of my system and I felt dreadful so I knew how that felt and now increase slowly using temperature as a guide but it keeps going over 37 if I take too much. Really not sure what to do now.

  • Wow. A 3x overdose? I would encourage you to use full-replacement dose as a guide. If you combine the T4-only full replacement dose of 1.7mcg/kg, a T3 power factor of 3-4, and a T3:T4 ratio of 1:4-1:10, you should be able to compute a T3+T4 (where either one can be zero) dose which is close to your requirement. Then use testing and feel to reach your ideal dose.

  • So, a T3 of 3.4 is good? (Free T4 is 17.5 and TSH is 2.37.) It's also the very first time I've managed to get my T3 measured, perhaps because I was in an endoctrine dept?

  • read this from Dr. Lowe..excerpt..


    Dr. Lowe: Most likely, your lack of progress isn’t due to something missing from your treatment program, but to something included in it—propranolol. Recall that in Your Guide to Metabolic Health, we explain that for patients to achieve optimal metabolic health, they must abstain from using metabolism-impeding drugs. Propranolol is one such drug.

    Propranolol is a beta-blocker, and it’s a highly effective antidote to thyroid hormone. It’s so effective that many patients who are overstimulated by thyroid hormone (as in Graves' disease) use it. Propranolol relieves these patients’ overstimulation by indirectly blocking the cellular effects of thyroid hormone.

    I'm always baffled when a doctor prescribes propranolol for a hypothyroid patient. If the patient isn’t taking thyroid hormone, propranolol is likely to worsen her hypothyroid symptoms. If she is taking thyroid hormone, the drug will nullify most benefits the patient would otherwise get from the hormone. Hence, there’s no sense whatever in a hypothyroid patient taking propranolol, and I suggest you ask your doctor about using another type of drug for your high blood pressure.

    There’s something else, however, you and your doctor should consider. When you’re no long blocking the effects of the Armour with propranolol, your blood pressure may come down to normal without any other medication. Of course, you and your doctor would need to work closely together to make sure your blood pressure does come down.

  • I understand all of this which is why I queried taking it in the first place but he pooh poohed it. So I've gone from self medicating because I didn't like T4 to practically being back to square 1.

  • i would, if it were me, wean off the atenolol and do the t3 only. Something is not allowing it at the cellular level. Do you have hashimotos too? I am not well on any thyroid medication. With hashi's, you have to address the immune system. i have to take an occasional propranolol, my heart is racing again. I have to find out why i have hashi's, treat that and address some pituitary damages seen on an mri. i know what you mean by frustrated.

  • Yes I do have hashis. Really high antibodies. How do you not treat thyroid if you have hashis?

  • You should investigate the Hashis triggers, such as gluten. Do you use a lot of processed foods and sugars?

  • My daughter has type 1 diabetes and for that reason we eat nothing but pure home cooked foods. I have also been trying to stay away from gluten and definitely don't use sugar.

  • If you're over 60, point your GP to: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    A friend in his late 70s went to have a minor injury checked and was found to have a heart rate of just 30bpm. He'd been put on Atenolol but doesn't recall ever subsequently having his blood pressure and pulse checked by his GP.

    Atenolol is anticholinergic with a range of possible side effects: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antic...

    I was put on a low dose for a few months for hypertension, because they couldn't think of anything else to try. I told them my heart rate was about 40bpm. The Atenolol seems to have triggered central sleep apnoea. I was taking Levothyroxine at night at the time and the hospital pharmacists questioned me about this, but said nothing about keeping the Atenolol dose separated by several hours, which may explain why my TSH stayed fairly static despite increasing the dose of Levo when I'd reverted to taking it in the morning.

    I was given no instruction to taper off the dose, and felt my heart racing after minor exertions for a few days.

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