Test results help for 92 year old hypothyroid

Oh my goodness, finally my Mum has actually had her T3 tested and I have the results, T4 free 12.8 (10-24) free T3 4.0 (4-8.3) TSH 0.02 (0.4-4.5). She was on 100mcg levo but the doctor reduced it to 75mcg and she wouldn't get out of bed and became really dull and lifeless. She now is on 75mcg levo and 12mcg T3 in the morning, 12mcg T3 early afternoon and 6mcg T3 at bedtime. She has a very bad memory, diagnosed with vascular dementia but I think it is linked to thyroid as when she was given the T3 she was getting up, dressing and taking an interest in the world again. She still has a bad memory but I wonder if it would be improved even more with the correct dosing. Any ideas please. I take NDT Thiroyd. Thanks

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  • Interesting to read your post as I have long felt that most older/old people have LOW T3.  If only they would test everyone and stop hiding behind a myriad of conditions and pills.  Low T3 Syndrome should be a recognised condition - there's enough about it out there on the internet.

    You have not said how long the T4/T3 regime has been in place.  Usually the response to T3 is pretty quick as you have found.  So maybe look at her B12 levels - as she has been Hypo for some time then it is quite possible her levels will be low.  Along with Ferritin - Folate - VitD.  Low B12 can be similar to low thyroid and many symptoms overlap.  Stomach acid lowers as we age which makes the metabolism of B12 in the stomach and gut almost impossible.  Another thing GP's are not trained in -  so like to ignore.  An intervention that is NOT costly - hey ho.

    b12deficiency.info/signs-an...

    There are B12 Patches and Oral sprays also lozenges - I was trying to think which would be best for your Mum.  Older people are often LOW in VitD - again there are oral sprays containg K2 too.  Many of us take Jarrow Methylcobalamin 1000mcg B12 or 5000mcg.  It would be better to be tested first - I think she will be low.  Anything under 500 can produce neurological issues - which of course includes memory.  Iron in the Red cells transports oxygen around the body - including the brain - so the Ferritin ( stored iron ) - should be checked.

    Do hope your Mum continues to improve :-)

  • Dramlouie, 

    Great reply from Marz but I would say T3 (for me) is taking a while to reach its full potential -  although having a short half life brought quick big initial improvements. 

    I added T3 to T4 last june and saw wonderful improvements but as insidious as hypothyroidism appears probably over many years, it can take a long while to reverse much of the impact. I think low thyroid hormone has so many negative implications on our bodies, it is probably actually a life long journey always trying to achieve a better sense of well being. 

    I suffered terrible brain fog and weird head stuff which improved almost instantly after starting T3 but only to a certain degree. My inability to retain info was soul destroying before T3 but now continues to improve slowly all the time. I practice remembering every day by learning poems & other but it is still unsettling how my abilities vary from one day to the next.

    It is important to take things slow and steady to build confidence in ourselves because anything other can prove overwhelming. In view of your Mothers age, I wouldn't push her too hard and think it wonderful she has found a degree of improvement on T3 in her old age. However, her T4 & T3 are low so she may benefit further from a dose increase.

  • Hi, I suffered really bad with my memory and brain fog.  I am so much better now that I am on the correct doses of T3 and T4 but my patchy brain function still bothered me.  I am finding doing jigsaws, word-searches and more recently gentle Zumba for co-ordination is really helping, it feels as though I am creating new connections and I am feeling sharper in my mind.

    I rarely mispronounce words or forget what I am trying to say now.  I hope this might help someone who is still struggling, I was convinced I had had a stroke when my brain function was at its lowest.

     

  • Mum did a test and it was before she was on T3 and she was not thinking clearly at all.  They put it down to vascular dementia but reading your reply might put it down to her lack of the correct dosing.  I try and take her out for a walk most days and find she is better for it.  I did buy her a jigsaw for Christmas, but its still in the box, I shall remind her and word searches are simple enough.  Just because she is 92 they just disregard her thyroid, I am so annoyed about it and having to buy it in myself.  That is why I am reluctant to increase but now the results are back and low I will increase her T3 slowly.  She has drastically improved on T3, I really thought she was going to die and maybe if left to the doctors she would have died.  If she had no relations to care or in the knowledge about thyroid and its effects she would be in bed in a care home now with the doctors watching and saying what do you expect at 92.  I keep saying the wrong words, my children think its funny but I think I need my thyroid checked.  I even type backwards sometimes.  I hope you continue to improve and thanks for your input.

  • You may want to consider NDT (natural Dessicated thyroid) after reading this excerpt from a report I have! 

    The third major thyroid hormone (T1) controls the electrical input and charge of the brain. Symptoms of a T1 deficiency may include fatigue, depression, low self esteem, suicidal tendencies, and various mental disorders. Sometimes multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s syndrome are a result of not enough T1 to recharge the brain. (This may expalain my lack of motivation and mental lethargy. I later had a documentable experience with EEG (or neurofeedback) training that proved to me that the other thyroid hormones (besides T3) play important roles in brain function, specifically brain wave energy and activity. They also seem to have an impact on the richness and depth of my emotions, which I noticed very quickly after beginning Armour.)

  • What is t3

  • Loretta1106, T3 is a different form of thyroid replacement. Levothyroxine (also called Synthroid and other names) is the one usually given first by doctors, and it contains T4, which is the storage form of the hormone we need.

    This is then converted, throughout the body, into T3, which is the active form all our cells and organs use. 

    There are several ways a person can struggle to do this conversion, which means they will never feel quite right on T4 alone. A healthy thyroid produces mostly T4 and some T3. So there's an argument that almost anyone can benefit from some added T3 in their dose to mimic what their own thyroid would be giving them. 

    T3 has a much shorter halflife than T4 (6 hours in comparison to 6 days), so many people split it into 2 or 3 separate doses. 

  • Thank you--great explanation!

  • Ignoring your Mum's TSH level her FT4 and FT3 are bottom of range so I doubt she'd have much for her to feel well. Both should be towards the top of the range but when T3 is taken, it will lower her T4 level so that's not so important.

    The worst things GPs can do is reduce dose to keep the TSH 'in range'. 

    At present: the dose of T3 she's taking is approx equivalent to 100mcg of levothyroxine plus 75mcg levo. 

    This is a link (archived site) re T3 which might be helpful.

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

    An excerpt from within above link:

    "NO COMMON SIDE EFFECTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED with the proper use of this medicine." (Medi-Span, Inc.: Database Version 97.2. Data © 1997.)

    This statement makes a fact perfectly clear: When used sensibly, T3 is extraordinarily safe among prescribed drugs. When I say extraordinarily safe, I’m comparing T3 with drugs such as the amitriptyline which your rheumatologist prescribes for you. Below is a list of potential harmful effects of amitriptyline. This list comes from the Physician’s Desk Reference, 53rd edition, Medical Economics Company, Inc., Montvale, 1999, page 3418. plus another two:

    And ". . . caused strokes"? If anything, the use of T3 may help prevent strokes. I scanned MEDLINE for studies on "T3" and "strokes" published between 1966 and 1997. These key words were mentioned in 43 publications. Most publications reported the beneficial effects of T3 on cardiovascular function. The word "stroke" was most often used in regard to the "stroke work in cardiac contractility" (a physiological description)—not in the sense of cerebrovascular accidents (strokes). I'll mention just a few representative publications. These suggest that it is urgent for the physician you mention—for his patients' welfare—to quickly update his knowledge.

    and

    The use of T3 is even beneficial in patients with the most frail heart conditions. Researchers in one study reported, "Triiodothyronine [T3] administration in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery is safe, may lessen the need for pharmacological (vasodilator) therapy, but may increase heart rate." [Vavouranakis, I., et al.: Triiodothyronine administration in coronary artery bypass surgery: effect on hemodynamics. Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, 35(5):383-389, Oct., 1994] 

    and

    Third, the leaflet on Cytomel pharmacies give patients when they fill their prescriptions states, "POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: NO COMMON SIDE EFFECTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED with proper use of this medication." This information is accurate—when plain, full-strength, one-time-per-day doses of T3 are used properly, there are no adverse effects. The only adverse effects occur when a patient takes a dosage that for her is excessive. With Cytomel, if overstimulation occurs, it can be stopped with one or two small doses of propranolol. Or the patient can simply reduce her dosage of Cytomel the next time she takes it. I want to emphasize, however, that when our protocol is used properly, there is no overstimulation to be avoided by using timed-release T3. The protocol has safeguards against adverse effects.

    And finally, why do I specify that the typical patient use one full dose of non-timed-release Cytomel for life? Because extensive testing has shown that this is safe, effective, and most economical—when used within the context of our entire protocol.

    (I am not medically qualified. Have hypothyroidism and am well on T3 only)

    Also taking your Mum's temp/pulse a few times a day might be helpful. If pulse too high, lower dose.

  • my mother was hypothyroid and at the time I was not and knew nothing about the thyroid.  She had been on Levo for at least 22 years and in her 90s was on 75mcg.  She got called for the occasional test and always told it was ok.  She got vascular dementia and the Alzheimers Society in 2009 was thinking at that time that dementia might well be linked to the thyroid. 

  • The brain has more receptors for T3 than any other part of the body - so its not rocket science and yes you were right with your thoughts.  It's the medical profession who are not thinking ....

  • Dramlouie this link explains what happens to the T4/T3 hormones in the body, how they are absorbed at different levels throughout the body and why the current thinking on blood serum levels is contributing to deficiencies.   It might help you build your argument to get your mother properly medicated.  nahypothyroidism.org/thyroi...

  • Have a read of this, T1 provides energy for the brain so NDT may be worth considering as it has T1-2-3-4+calcitonin in it...

    The third major thyroid hormone (T1) controls the electrical input and charge of the brain. Symptoms of a T1 deficiency may include fatigue, depression, low self esteem, suicidal tendencies, and various mental disorders. Sometimes multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s syndrome are a result of not enough T1 to recharge the brain. (This may expalain my lack of motivation and mental lethargy. I later had a documentable experience with EEG (or neurofeedback) training that proved to me that the other thyroid hormones (besides T3) play important roles in brain function, specifically brain wave energy and activity. They also seem to have an impact on the richness and depth of my emotions, which I noticed very quickly after beginning Armour.)

  • This is very interesting information about the T1 hormone.  Do you know where you got this information from?  At least I can cite this to the doctor.  Also my friend has MS, she will be very interested as well.  Any more information on this would be appreciated.  Thanks for your input.

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