Conversion problem

Hello everyone,

Im 34, Hashimoto for 6 years, january this year I crashed from stress and the thyroid went out of balance, TSH 24, adjusting the dose with GP.

My last test with 100 mcg of levothyroxine was TSH 0,19 (0,35-4,94), free T4 13,80 (9,01-19.05), free T3 1,55 (2,63-5,70).

My GP said that they are advised to concentrate only on TSH and T4 and that as of now he would not change anything and re-measure in 2 months. I asked for T3 to be added and he said there is no such medicine available, told him that I know it is, that some doctors prescribe it and that some people feel much better after it. He said that even if there is it is not something that he can prescribe, however that he will send an e-mail to endocrinology deppartment.

I assume the answer from endo wil come negative and I am in no state of going into battle for this.

I would kindly ask for any advice if T3 could be of benefit to me, where could I order it without prescription or is there a doctor who would prescribe it for results as mine.

I gave in and went on antidepressants a couple of months ago as i didnt manage, but as things dont seem to improve I would really like to try and balance the thyroid to see how much that influences my wellbeing.

Any help would be much appreciated.


12 Replies

  • Compassion,

    Welcome to our forum and sorry to hear that you are not feeling well.

    Both T4 & T3 are rather low and indicate room for a dose increase. Some patients do need an additional of T3 to their T4 in order to function well but thyroid hormone replacement can be fickle and for many will only work with optimal iron & nutrients and managed thyroid antibodies.

    Ask your doctor to test Vit B12, Vit D, Ferritin & Folate and post results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.

    Many members have found a gluten free diet helps to lower thyroid antibodies and reduce inflammation in the body.


  • Hey there,

    thank you for the welcoming words and for the reply.

    I have had an eating disorder(bulimia) in my twenties and ever since had a complicated relationship with food. This januarys breakdown was a result of me listening to people around me telling me to just put on weight and get rid of all the restrictions and started eating everything and alot. However it didnt turn out good...I crashed with severe anxiety and the thyroid and gastrointestinal problems and inflammation all over the body. After 2 months I went back to eating as before, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, sugar free...but did not manage to get back to balance.

    I have been working with a homeopath who tested me (although not lab tests) nutritionally and added selenium, zinc, B6, iron, magnesium, vitD supplements and even iodine, for which i am still not sure if its good or bad. 1st april TSH was 0,05 and T4 21,4 with a bit different bordering measures, T3 was not even taken. That was with 125 mcg levothyroxine. GP doesnt want to put me on higher T4 dose as the TSH is still low and he doesnt want me to lose more weight or get more anxious. And it doesnt seem that T4 only is working properly.

    I do feel that the stress is a major issue, causing inflammation , I am working on it but it was quite a crash and will take some time...would still like to manage the thyroid along the way and at least try to see if T3 could help.

    Any advice on where to get it or any other advice still much appreciated. I know there is a lot of wonderful info on the forum already but I am just too weak at the moment to search.

    Thank you xx

  • compassion,

    I am so sorry to hear of your eating disorder and it is not about "putting on weight" but eating correctly for your endocrine system.

    Low thyroid hormone can compromise the adrenal glands which can in turn cause anxiety and more thyroid hormone problems. Thyroid hormone replacement depends on a healthy balanced diet incorporating fats, protein and low GI carbs or adrenals will be compromised further.

    It is good you are under a homeopath as thyroid disorders have dependancies on optimal levels of certain nutrients & iron and balanced adrenal gland hormone (cortisol).

    I would suggest you work on optimising these first to encourage Levothyroxine to work but if you want to medicate T3 repost asking members to advise of suppliers via private message as per site rules. If planning to medicate T3 it is wise to test beforehand. Members use private labs when GP is uncooperative - link below.

    Gluten & soy free is good for Hashi suffers. Some need to be dairy-free and only sugar-free if suffering from candida.


    Private labs testing


    Gluten- Thyroid Connection


    Supplementing for Good Thyroid function

  • Sorry you're feeling unwell. Iodine should only be supplemented under medical supervision and where there is a known deficiency. How much are you taking?

  • Do you have hashimotos disease?

  • You're right, compassion, you aren't converting very well. But, then again, you haven't got very much to convert! Your doctor obviously doesn't know very much about thyroid, and can't be bothered to find out! I realise you are very ill, but would it not be possible to find a different doctor? This one is going to keep you ill.

    Be wary of homeopaths, they don't know much about thyroid, either. And, without knowing why you are hypo, it is very dangerous to give iodine. You should be tested first to find out if you need it. In fact, you should be tested for most things before taking them, not just iodine.

    So, why are you hypo? That's the question that nobody seems to be interested in answering. It could be iodine deficiency but it could be a lot of other things. Have you had your antibodies tested? Because if you have antibodies, you really don't want to take iodine. However, you say that you had an eating disorder. and eating disorders very often lead to thyroid problems. I presume you were ingesting very few calories, and that has a negative effect on conversion, etc. You need calories as much as you need nutrients for your thyroid to work effectively.

    So, the best thing you can do for yourself now, is eat a nutrient rich diet, and sufficient calories. But, do get your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin tested, because these are more than likely deficient, and need supplementing.

    But, more than anything else, you need an increase in Levo. 100 is more or less a starting dose. Highly unlikely it would be enough for you. But an increase in Levo might be all you need to increase your FT3. You just need to find someone who will prescribe it for you. And it's obviously not going to be the idiot doctor you're seeing at the moment, is it? :(

  • Thank you all for your replys.

    The homeopath did test me for all the vitamines and supplements, but not with lab tests, and the supplements are based on those measures.

    She told me to take 5 drops, where 1 drop contains 1830 microgrammes, however as i know there are mixed oppinions n the subject I am only taking one.

    Till january I was taking 5x75 mcg and 2x 50 mcg levo per week and it worked fine for a few years. I stabilized quite a bit with changing the diet, but got too caught up in it in the end. January when TSH went to 24 we put it up to 100, after 2 months to 125. In a month of eating different I gained 7 kg-I was really eating a lot, but then lost them again over a couple of months. 1st april when TSH went to 0,05, free T4 was 21,4, we lowered the dose to 100.

    Would it be sensible to raise levo even if TSH is still low?

    I have also only find out on this site that you need to take iron at least 5 hours apart from levo and I have also been taking levo together with antidepressant, so maby clearing these two things might have a positive effect on T4 and T3 rising?

    So if I understand it right, I should test for vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin, and if I then wait a month more on 100 mcg levo and retest and not bother with T3 for now?

    GP did test me for iron and i think B12 and vit D a couple of months ago and it was fine. He is otherwise a very nice doctor, very understanding and really trying to help, I guess he knows about thyroid as much as an average GP does. And once you are on antidepressants doctors tend to see everything as a manifestation of stress and dont tend to go with you on other stuff.

    My weight is definatelly an issue and I am aware of that, I just cant find a proper way to put on weight and to not put too much pressure on the system...gastritis is getting worse, I gave in to Ranitidine but dont want to go on PPi-s...and I am barely digesting food. I do eat a lot of healthy fats, trying to get a fair amount of protein and no gluten grains and starcy vegetables like yams, sweet potatoes, plantaines and missing on the fruit but it doesnt agree.

  • Compassion6,

    I lost weight when switched to Levothyroxine. Protein shakes have helped me gain some weight and seem, somehow, to have kick started my appetitite.

    Hypo patients often have poor digestion caused by LOW stomach acid which can also cause acid reflux. Try raising stomach acid with raw apple cider vinegar in honey sweetened water or fruit juice, or Betaine Pepsin capsules, taken before meals.


    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • Clutter thank you, I use a pea protein shake sometimes, however I dont think it will help with apetite, doesnt taste that good. I dont do milk so those are out.

    I am aware of low stomach acid issue and have tried many things already, including vinegar and betaine, but it does seem to make things worse.

  • And I havent been tested for antibodies...can that be done by GP?

  • Compassion6,

    GP can test thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOab) but probably won't be able to test thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb). If TPOab come back negative you can order a home test finger prick thyroid test which will include TgAb.

    There's no treatment for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) and you are already gluten-free which can help reduce symptoms and antibodies so you may not think it is worth splashing out on a private thyroid test.


    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • unbelievable!

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