thyroid hormone resistance?

It seems this condition exists, but I am not sure what it means.

I was on thyroxine only for a decade, it did nothing for me. I took 200 mcg daily for most of that time, which kept my TSH lowish (around 0.5), my FT4 levels close to the upper normal range, but my FT3 levels remained very low, and I continued to suffer from all the classical hypothyroid symptoms such as weight gain, feeling cold and tired most of the time, dry skin, puffiness...

I was switched to Armour in 2011, worked my way up to 5 grains daily, felt a little better, but not amazing. I figured it was because of the reformulation, so I asked to be switched to Erfa in mid-2013. I did not find that did much for me either, to be quite honest...all along, I have felt OK, but no more, whereas NDT is supposed to make you feel fantastic, right...?!

Lately, I have tried Thiroyd but, in February of this year, on 5 grains daily, labs showed very low FTs (both FT4 and FT3 at the very bottom of range), although my TSH was completely suppressed.

Since some claim Thiroyd is weaker than Thyroid-S, I decided to try the latter. It seems to be working, but I have had to work my way up to 8 grains daily in order to feel truly well, and rid myself of all hypothyroid symptoms.

I don't understand it...I have Hashimoto's disease, although I have not had measurable antibody levels for years (it seems that as soon as my TSH is suppressed, that calms the antibodies down, whereas they remained very high as long as I had a doctor insisting on a TSH around 1.5 on thyroxine only). Some say you should not take NDT when you have autoimmune thyroid disease, as that will trigger autoimmune activity. T4 drugs only do not seem to work optimally for me. So should I go for synthetic T3 and T4 instead...?

My doctor (a Hertoghe doctor) in Belgium has patients on as much as 7.5 grains of Armour daily, so I am not unique. Now, I am wondering if I never gave Armour enough of a chance, dismissed it too easily, and should have raised it instead of just concluding it did not work because of the reformulation...?

Unlike many others, I found Erfa rather weak, and anyway, Thyroid-S works much better for me. Both Erfa and Armour are ridiculously expensive in Belgium, so I am only willing to go down that road if they can offer me something that Thyroid-S cannot.

What I am basically wondering is: could 8 grains of Armour daily have given me the same benefits as 8 grains of Thyroid-S?

Or "should nobody" need that much of thyroid meds, meaning I should look elsewhere for an explanation...? I have been treated for adrenal fatigue, managed to wean off Medrol (4 mg daily) pretty recently, after being on it for four years, and I don't feel any worse because of it. I currently take Nutri-meds adrenal cortex (250 mg) daily to support my adrenal glands.

Any input would be welcome, as I understand it's pretty unusual, although not unheard of, to need as much NDT as I seem to do...but could there be an underlying reason why I do, or should I just conclude it's highly individual, and I seem to need that much...?

Being on Medrol did not seem to lower my need for thyroid meds.

13 Replies

  • Well, all NDT needs to convert to Ft3 and Ft4. If you inject NDT in Your bloodstream you will have no readings on the Ft. Second. Thyroid hormone resistance is when you have high Ft readings but free hormones will not etter correctly in cells. In Your case I would start to investigate why Your free hormones is so on high NDT dosing.

  • NDT doesn't convert to FT3 and FT4, NDT IS T3 and T4. But the T4 in NDT has to convert to T3.

  • ft3 and ft4 in NDT is protein inbounded. It need to be protein de infected before use. That happens in Your stomach.

  • Ahhhh I see what you mean. Rather a strange way of putting it, though.

  • I really like this article which I just stumbled upon:

  • Thanks...I do remember it not always being this way, though. In 2004, I was put on NDT for the first time, but ended up hyperthyroid, and had to go back on T4 only. It was not until seven years later that I went back on NDT, at which time my hypothyroid condition had seriously deteriorated...only now, when I really needed something other than T4 drugs, my body seemed unable to use it properly...!

  • I have actually been wondering lately if bovine adrenal might be better for me for some reason...I have no idea, just wondering why not porcine NDT seems to be working unless I take huge doses. Thyro Gold has been getting good would turn out pretty expensive compared to Thai NDT, but compared to what you have to pay for NDT in Belgium or most other European countries...but I am not sure why bovine thyroid would be better for you, just speculating...most if not all adrenal supplements are bovine, and work just fine.

  • Hi Anna, I haven't tried any of Armour, Erfa etc, but I just wondered if you have ever tried synthetic T4 + T3? In my limited understanding, it seems that this gives more flexibility to fine-tune the dose because T4 and T3 are not in fixed proportions as they are with the other preparations.

    Just a thought, hope you find something that works x

  • No, but I have been thinking about it lately...I am just not sure how important the T1, T2, and calcitonin present in NDT are...maybe they don't make a difference one way or the other...? It would be interesting to hear from others who have tried both NDT and synthetic T3 and T4, to know if you felt any difference in that respect.

  • Sorry I can't help with that one, having only experienced t4 and t3 both separately and together.

  • One thing discussed a lot on the STTM is excessive RT3 (reverse T3), and it seems it can make you less sensitive to thyroid hormone. However, I have no idea how many labs offer than kind of testing...I have seen posts here by people who have cleared excess RT3 by using T3 only for several weeks. Not sure if it would be worth a try...those of you who have done it, did you all had excessive RT3 confirmed by labs, or did you go by symptoms only...?

  • I have been wondering lately if I suffer from high reserve T3 from adrenal fatigue. I successfully weaned myself off Medrol earlier this year, after more than four years on it (first, on 6 mg daily, then, for the last two years, on 4 mg daily), but I have noticed some symptoms of AF coming back lately; mainly scaring very easily and salt cravings that seem to be getting worse. I have switched to Himalayan salt and Celtic sea salt, but those are not to be over consumed, either...

    I don't know if the solution would be to go back on Medrol, try HC instead, or supplements? I remember reading somewhere that most supplements like adrenal cortex are too weak to replace the missing cortisol, keeping you in a state of adrenal fatigue more than seems Isocort was an exception to the rule, but that has been discontinued.

You may also like...