I have been wondering lately if I could be suffering from rT3 dominance.
I have read that a lot of things can cause rT3 pooling: low cortisol (I have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue), blood sugar issues, vitamin and mineral deficiencies...
I know some labs offer rT3 testing, but they seem few and far between. However, it seems you can self-diagnose based on some telling signs like taking more and more thyroid meds, having seemingly normal FTs, yet remaining hypothyroid, while being told by most docs that has nothing to do with your thyroid condition as your labs look normal...
Has anyone here self-diagnosed and self-treated rT3? If so, how?
Most of the information available seems to be from the US, where doctors treating rT3 dominance seem to prefer using slow release T3 instead of fast acting drugs like Cytomel. However, as far as I know, slow release T3 is not available in Europe, at least not in continental Europe. It's not readily available in pill form but needs to be prepared by a compounding pharmacy, it's a prescription drug only, and I doubt any doctor near me would be willing to prescribe it, or even test my rT3 levels...
My doctor is a so called Hertoghe doctor, and they are supposed to be better than most mainstream doctors. It's true that they prescribe NDT and various other hormones, but they don't seem to know anything about rt3, and never test for it. They also seem to think that NDT is ideal for everyone, and that nobody should ever need to take synthetic T4 or T3 drugs once they are on NDT.
When I went to see this doctor for the second time, to discuss my test results (blood and 24 h urine) and treatment plan, the doctor told me both my FTs were low in blood, as well as in 24 h urine, which meant that I was not converting T4 to T3.
However, today, I cannot help but wonder if that was really the case...? What I mean is: if I was not converting T4 to T3 properly, would I not have high, or even excessive, levels of FT4, along with low levels of FT3, on a dose of 200 mcg of thyroxine daily...?
I am beginning to ask myself if low levels of both FT4 and FT3 meant that most of the T4 was converted to rT3, not FT3? rT3 will compete with FT3 for the same cell receptors, blocking the action of FT3. That would explain my low levels of both FTs, along with some remaining hypo symptoms.
I felt good on NDT for the first six months, after years on T4 drugs, but then things started going downhill...I have had to raise it several times, and today I need 8 grains daily just to feel functional. I don't have a single hyper symptom. On 5 grains of NDT daily, my FTs were at the bottom of range. It seems I need to raise my dose from time to time to get the same effect; strangely enough, though, another grain does not seem to make that much of a difference....which also makes me wonder if every raise only makes my body produce more rT3, so a vicious circle...?