Thyroid UK
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Liothyronine - Also known as T3

Some members may be nervous of adding some T3 or taking T3 only or trying Natural Dessicated Thyroid (NDT) hormones when they are not seemingly getting any improvement when on levothyroxine.

Rumours seem to abound about T3 and I think most seem to come from the medical profession. I thought a few links/excerpts might be helpful:

In the email below, a physician wrote to a colleague of Dr. Lowe, arguing that no patient needs to use T3 and that T3 can be dangerous. Below the physician's email, Dr. Lowe replies to his arguments.


In my view, the recent four replacement therapy studies addressed patients on the left-side flange of the bell curve. The studies showed that replacement dosages are insufficient for relieving their hypothyroid symptoms. The studies are ipso facto evidence for a humanitarian imperative: that researchers and physicians now accommodate these patients’ need for dosages of thyroid hormone larger than those dictated by the concept of replacement therapies.

Presumptions of the Endocrinology Specialty: Instability of Desiccated Thyroid, Dangers of T3, and the Safety and Effectiveness of T4-replacement

The endocrinology specialty bases some of its most influential pronouncements on presumption—a basis that hardly justifies the certitude with which it expresses the pronouncements. Three presumptions appear to sustain the practice of T4-replacement. The presumptions are that desiccated thyroid is unstable, that T3 is troublesome and dangerous, and that T4-replacement is invariably safe and effective.

Instability of Desiccated Thyroid

Since the 1960s, the endocrinology specialty has advocated and even enforced only the use of T4-replacement in lieu of desiccated thyroid as a treatment for hypothyroidism. According to endocrinologists, the reason for this advocacy and enforcement is that the potency of desiccated thyroid is difficult to standardize. That is, the endocrinologists claim that too often, desiccated thyroid tablets don’t contain the amount of thyroid hormone reported on the label. They argue that the potency of synthetic T4 is more stable.[42] That synthetic T4 products are more stable, however, is a mere presumption.

I can find no studies in which the stability of desiccated thyroid and synthetic T4 were compared. When I searched for studies in Medline, using the keywords "desiccated thyroid," "Armour," "stability," and "potency," I found no studies. But when I searched for "Synthroid" and either "stability" or "potency," I found two abstracts.[67][68] In one, the authors state, "Levothyroxine tablets, 50 microg, have been marketed for many decades but have had numerous recalls due to degradation and failure to meet potency."[67] of T3

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From another link of Dr L:-

Rather than being a hormone, T4 is a “prohormone.” That means that enzymes have to convert T4 to T3 before T4 benefits us. T4 is no more a hormone than beans in an unopened can are a food. For all practical purposes, canned beans become food only when a can opener frees them so you can eat them. Hence, T4, like canned beans, only potentially benefits us, but actually does so only after being freed from its metabolically unusable form.

Your endocrinologist may say that T4 is a gentler way to get T3 into your body. This to me, however, is a specious argument. When taken properly, T3 can effect one as gently as T3 derived from T4.


Thanks for posting this easy to understand explanation Shaws. My health has certainly improved since adding T3 (Liothyronine).


Thanks Shaws,these facts need posting regularly & I am glad you do this.After 18 years on T4 monotherapy,my hypothyroid symptoms gradually worsened,& I endured 2 years of depression with acute anxiety followed by 2 years of truly incapacitating fatigue.I went T3-only last August & apart from teething troubles (due to my body being starved of T3 for so long?)my mental & physical health have dramatically improved.I have just tried adding some NDT & reducing my T3 for 6 weeks. I saw a return of anxiety & tachycardia & ectopic beats.So relieved to feel a return to my physical & mental state prior to this trial,and be back on T3-only.

We are all so different in our response to the different replacement hormones available!


It's great when you finally feel you've turned a corner. I don't know how you coped for 18 years on T4 only but there wasn't a forum or anything like that then. It's amazing that the Professionals seem to be completely unaware of the work that T3 has to do, yet never test it and, wrongly (I believe) only take notice of the TSH and adjust willy nilly which is worse for us.

Also so many are given prescrips for Anti-d's when it's actually T3 is needed, also they neglect the importance of B12 for neurological health.


I first went on thyroxine in 1997 & started subscribing to Thyroid UK's quarterly magasine.It was very new.When I finally crashed into depression in 2011,my GP prescribed AD's.I had a very bad reaction to them & gave up after three & a half weeks.2 years later I self-medicated with SAM-e (S-Adenosyl-Methionine) after much internet research & started to feel better after 10 days on an extremely low dose.Stayed on it for 18 months then got prescribed T3.I developed suicidal thoughts during the depression.T3 has been a huge help.I still get them when very stressed,but they pass quickly & I see them more objectively.I cope poorly with stressful situations now.So interested to see your post on Dr Lowe's use of T3.I did not know that.


It's a shame that GPs are poorly trained nowadays in that they know very few clinical symptoms, depression must be one of the most common so the cost to the NHS must be far higher than if we were given sufficient hormones /combinations to relieve our symptoms in the first place. The are told that TSH is king and I don't even think they are aware that it changes throughout the day.

Our brain contains the most receptor cells and we have billions (I believe) in our body and they all need T3 and if T4 doesn't do the trick (it didn't for me) we should be offered an alternative or the addition of T3..


This might also be helpful i.e Thyroid Hormone Resistance:


The problem is that Dr Lowe was a trained chiropractor not a doctor of medicine .In that respect no different to the chiropracter I went to recently who obtained a doctorate in the subject.

Whilst Dr Lowe went on to research hormones etc anything he said would carry no weight with the medical establishment.Probably why they did not bother to reply.


With due respect to you Treepie, I sense a derogatory response in your remark upon Dr Lowe's qualifications to treat people who came to him after all else had failed. and my disappointment.

I will ask "where you made well by the NHS?" (I'm assuming you are in the UK). Most of us on this forum weren't, otherwise we'd be elsewhere rather than on

If we were being diagnosed and treated properly we certainly wouldn't be searching the web for information and advice from non-professionals (the forum) on how to make 'ourselve's ' well or at least an improvement on the hellish life most have been leading. Many have recovered or felt much better through the support they received and knowledge gained from many many members. I for one didn't even know where the thyroid gland was in my own body but neither did the doctors/specialists/consultants I saw.

Certainly most have recovered from advice on the forum where the Professionals (Endocrinology) all failed: appear to be completely unaware of how our metabolism works and the necessity of a decent amount of thyroid hormones forby levothyroxine which doesn't work for everyone.

Dr Lowe was also an Adviser to Thyroiduk and this is a little of his history and I bet you that if we had a 'chiropracter' in the UK or elsewhere in the world with such a humanitarian love for the suffering we'd certainly make an appointment pronto regardless of where he gained his knowledge. Primarily he found out how to treat himself (not hypo) by T3 when he was troubled by suicidal thoughts as a very young man: His father and his father's brothers had already taken this last step. This knowledge kept him stable up unto his untimely death due to an accident.

Dr Skinner, a Virologist is another who wasn't an Endocrinologist - who also knew far more than the 'modern' ones. I saw him, he diagnosed my daughter - my sister - my daughter's friend when no other doctor would. He bore the burden of attending the GMC to clarify his immense knowledge and it wasn't his patients who complained about him. It would appear to be 'others' who were displeased that their 'knowledge' was being flouted.

Lorraine Cleaver - on the point of suicide - was made well by Dr S and's knowledge:-

Dr Lowe RIP

Publications. Dr. Lowe has authored more than 160 articles, scientific papers, and book chapters. His writings have appeared many journals, including Psychological Reports; Medical Science Monitor; the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry; the American Journal of Pain Management; Anabolism—A Journal of Preventive Medicine; Medical Hypotheses; Lyon Méditerranée Médical: Médecine du Sud-Est; the British Medical Journal; the Journal of Myofascial Therapy; the Clinical Bulletin of Myofascial Therapy; the Massage Therapy Journal; the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association; and Thyroid Science. Trade papers such as Dynamic Chiropractic, the Chiropractic Journal, and others have published articles and monthly columns by Dr. Lowe.

The authors of at least twenty-three books have cited or described Dr. Lowe's work. Among his own published books are Spasm, Your Guide to Metabolic Health, and The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia.

Study Sphere gave Dr. Lowe its Excellence Award for his chapter in The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia in which he shows that fibromyalgia is not a psychiatric disorder. In the chapter, he refutes the notion that fibromyalgia is a mental or emotional disorder. He also argues that the misdiagnosis is usually a product of the psychological disturbance of physicians who make the misdiagnosis.

Awards and Memberships. In 1977, the American Chiropractic Association awarded Dr. Lowe its Annual Scientific Paper Award. In 1992, for his contributions to the field of myofascial therapy, the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists appointed him an honorary lifetime member. He has served as an official scientific reviewer on the International Reviewers' Panel of Medical Science Monitor, an international journal for experimental and clinical research. As a reviewer, he did critical reviews of submitted research papers in the fields of hypothyroidism and thyroid hormone resistance.

Dr. Lowe is a member of the Board of Medical Advisors of Thyroid UK, and is a member of Index Copernicus Scientists, a global information networking system for scientists. He is Editor-in-Chief of the open-access journal Thyroid Science (, which publishes papers on the full range of topics in thyroidology. He formerly served on the Advisory Board of Inside Texas Running Magazine and the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. He is a former editor of the Journal of Myofascial Therapy and the Clinical Bulletin of Myofascial Therapy.

In December 2005, Dr. Lowe became a member of Index Copernicus Scientists upon invitation from its CEO Mark R. Graczynski, MD, PhD. Index Copernicus Scientists is a global information networking system for scientists, designed by and for scientists.

According to Dr. Graczynski, “The aim of this web-based communication platform is to offer a set of essential tools to encourage the effective exchange of information between scientists worldwide as well as to promote and initiate international research collaboration.” He also notes, “The system encourages the effective exchange of information between scientists worldwide as well as to promote and initiate international research collaboration.”

Dr. Lowe's line of metabolism research over the last twenty years led to two significant outcomes: First was the solution to the problem of fibromyalgia, showing that its main underlying mechanism is too little thyroid hormone regulation, often complicated by nutritional deficiencies, low physical fitness, an unwholesome diet, blood sugar dysregulation, and the use of metabolism-impeding drugs; second was his creation and coining of “metabolic rehabilitation,” a high-precision, data-driven clinical approach for helping patients to improve or recover. His hope is that his interaction within the community of international scientists through Index Copernicus Scientists will lead to researchers in other countries becoming involved in the line of metabolic research he began and continues.

The 62nd edition of the premier biographical source Marquis Who's Who in American was published in 2008. (For a history and description and Marquis, and its committee's process of selecting individuals to include, see Wikipedia's article on Marquis.) Dr. Lowe was selected by the Marquis committee to be included. Marquis, which began publication in 1899, chronicles the lives and careers of men and women their committee considers noteworthy Americans. (Dr. Lowe's comments on his inclusion in Marquis.)

(The End)


Shaws ,that was not my intention .I was suggesting a reason for the UK medical establishment not replying to his letters.They are all in silos.The Briton who first developed plastic lenses for cataracts did so in secret as he was not an opthalmologist surgeon. He was very elderly when honoured in I think Norway before the UK

But thank you for the biography.

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My apology if I read your comment wrongly :)


What a fantastic analogy Shaws I laughed out loud on the train. Very helpful and easy to understand.

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Thank you again, such a pity these doctors' are so blind, to whats really going on,

with thyroid issues'


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