beta-blockers and rt3

I just read that beta-blockers will increase T4 to rt3 conversion. I had no idea, but the fact is that since I was put on beta-blockers three years ago (when I was on long-term sick leave for burnout and depression, with a resting pulse of 120 bpm and a BP of 170/120), NDT started to work less well. I had previously been on 5-6 grains with good results, but now I seem to require at least 8 grains a day. I would never have made the connection between beta-blockers and high rT3 levels, but it will be interesting to see what happens when I wean off the doctor and I agreed I will do it this summer when I'm off work and subject to less stress.

There is so much to learn about how things interact, both food, supplements, and drugs...!

21 Replies

  • You might like to read The Magnesium Miracle - chapter on propranolol (Indarel) betablockers and magnesium makes interesting reading

  • Thanks for the tip!

  • I wonder if there is any difference between beta-blockers? I have not been taking Inderal but Tenormin (atenolol); at one point, 100 mg daily but, for the past year, 50 mg daily.

  • No idea - sorry

    Lab tests online list propranolol as lowering parathyroid hormone.

  • I know the propranolol cut the conversion(not help), I used it when I was hyper(Graves). If you wean off the beta-blockers you'll have to reduce ndt dose.

  • Great to know, as I have had to increase NDT to incredible levels...only to keep myself going...I cannot wait to get off beta-blcokers, but I should probably wait until this summer when I'm under less stress...!

  • You must reduce the stress levels in your life or all this will be academic!

  • Easier said than done...although one great stress factor will disappear this summer when my manager leaves.

  • That sounds like bullying good riddance. Find something to do physical or mental to occupy your mind gainfully and most of all pleasantly. Music playing reading exercise of some kind. Good luck Phil

  • the anxiety you feel and not being able to tolerate stress, is also from low thyroid.

  • I have been increasing beta blockers from the lowest dose to 5mg to treat angina symptoms brought on by starting T4 .Not noticed any side effects.

  • I have not noticed any side effects from beta-blockers either, and it was only the other day that I read that beta-blockers will increase T4 to rt3 (biologically inactive hormone) conversion. It was mentioned as one of the things to look into if you suspect or have been diagnosed with excessive rt3 (in which case most of the T4 goes to inactive rT3, instead of the active hormone T3). I have noticed that I need more thyroid hormone (before going on beta-blockers, I took 5 grains daily and felt fine on that, whereas I now need a minimum of 8 grains daily). I am not sure it's connected at all, or it could be part of the explanation but other things influence this process as well (for instance, low cortisol, stress, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, other drugs...) but it's an interesting thought, as I never even imagined beta-blockers could have any effect whatsoever on thyroid hormone conversion...if someone said to me "mention ten things you think could influence your T4 to T3 conversion", beta-blockers would not have been on that list...

  • I just read a very interesting article on rt3 dominance and possible ways of treating it. I won't include a link to it as this website sells products (advertising), but one thing is interesting: the article says that 1. rt3 dominance is not a thyroid problem per se, but is linked to T4 dysfunction (most of the T4, whether produced by your own thyroid gland or from drugs turns into to rt3 instead of T3, and the two latter compete for the same cell receptors, leaving you with hypothyroid symptoms, although labs show FT3 and FT4 levels in range). Most doctors do not have a clue about rt3, which is why they either insist there is nothing wrong with your thyroid treatment, or put you on T3 if you are on T4 drugs only, which won't help if rt3 is the underlying problem.

    So many things can cause rt3 dominance, according to this article. Ironically enough, both high and low cortisol levels can contribute to this. Adrenal fatigue is preceded by an overproduction of cortisol, which eventually exhausts the adrenal glands to the point of leaving you suffering from adrenal fatigue. Whether you are in the first stages of the process (overproduction of cortisol as a reaction to abnormal stress), or the end stage, full-blown adrenal fatigue (low cortisol levels), this can have a negative impact on T4 to T3 conversion, leading to rt3 dominance.

    Unfortunately, this company only ships within Australia, but I started looking for similar products, that is, products containing the same ingredients.

    It seems some substances are essential for effective T4 to T3 conversion: selenium, zinc, copper, and iodine. Some products also include things like vitamin D, E or chromium.

    However, one thing all of those products have in common is that they contain iodine/kelp, said to be indispensable for the conversion process.

    I have always read that you should avoid iodine supplements if you have autoimmune disease such as Hashmoto's...? Has anyone with Hashi's taken iodine and found it beneficial, or did it make matters worse (which I have always been led to believe it would)?

  • I was prescribed it before I was diagnosed. It made all my symptoms ten times worse - although I didn't know they were hypo symptoms at the time, I just knew there was something very wrong with me, which got worse after the iodine!

  • Do you have Hashimoto's disease...?

  • Yes.

  • Good, then I'll stay away from iodine's often said that 90% of everyone with thyroid disease is iodine deficient, which adversely affects T4 to T3 conversion, but I think that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt...especially with Hashi's.

  • I have to admit, I have never read anywhere that iodine is needed for conversion. I can't see how that would work, given that conversion means removing one atom of iodine from the T4. Where did you read that?

  • I will send you a link to an article I read earlier today; I will not post it here as it sells products, and I don't think the guidelines allow that. But the article was very well-written and interesting!

  • yes..beta blockers lower t3 levels at the cellular level and do create more non conversion

  • I was prescribed beta blockers when I had high anxiety and panic attacks which I now think were thyroid problems maybe hashimotos but hopefully will get this clarified soon via blue horizon. I felt awful on them. I just cannot put it into words but it was like I was the walking dead.

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