I'm new to the group but have read bits about T3 medication - I'm assuming these are tablets, people are asking a lot of questions about them ie but the answers seem very vague?

Are they available in the UK? Do I see my doctor for them? Are they a prescription drug? Will these T3 tablets help me - I can not lose any weight despite running on a daily basis and eating healthy. TIA.


29 Replies

  • Andyp13 T3 is liothyronine. If you cannot convert Levothyroxine (T4 - a pro hormone) to T3 (the active hormone) or your conversion is poor, then the addition of T3 can help. It is a tablet and can be prescribed on the NHS. The decision for it to be prescribed would be made by an Endo, not a GP usually, and the cost of the medication would come out of your surgery's budget as the endo would instruct your GP to prescribe it.

    It is a very expensive medication, something like £250 for 28 tablets I think, and it has recently been put on a list of medication to be dropped from the prescribing list due to cost.

    They are not used as a weight loss medication.

  • The answers are vague because the questions are often vague. People ask if they should be taking it, or if it will help them, without giving any details of their thyroid status.

    Most people do very well on levo alone, provided they are given a high enough dose. And that's the problem. Doctors are terrified of prescribing enough to actually make us well and/or, they dose by the TSH alone, which is almost guaranteed to keep the patient sick.

    So, we ask to see labs so that we can advise whether or not T3 will be helpful - as Susie says, it is very expensive and therefore hard to get prescribed. If you can be well on T4 alone, then that is much easier for everybody.

    SeasideSusie has given you a definition of T3 - it's not a drug, it's a hormone. And, whilst it's true that it is not a weight-loss medication, you will have a hard time losing weight if your T3 is not optimal. Running on a daily basis is using up your T3 at a tremendous rate, and could be the reason you can't lose weight. Calorie restricted diets and strenuous exercise are not recommended for hypos until their T3 is optimal. :)

  • I have always valued your advice, it is so sensible and precise,Thank you

    Sam 75.....

  • Thank you, Sam. :)

  • T3 isn't a magic bullet (although for some of us it is). It is not recommended by the British Thyroid Association as the state T4 (levo) alone is sufficient once TSH is reduced. Untrue for many patients.

    T3 (liothyronine is the metabolic active hormone which our body cannot function without) Both seasidesusie and greygoos have given good advice. I am not medically qualified but got through the struggles to good health. Exercising before you're on an optimum dose (you will have no symptoms and feel well) reduces the T3.

    T3 which, if on sufficient levothyroxine for our body's needs and it converts to T3, as happens to thousands on it they wont be on our forum.


  • This is an article from The Times re liothyronine which is life-giving to those for whom levothyroxine is NOT suitable for one reason or another.


  • Can't seem to open this link?really want to read it!

  • This is two other links as there must be something wrong with the above one:



  • Thanks!

  • Avoid food which raises blood sugar, as that triggers Insulin production & that's what stores Fat.

    So avoid sugar and sweeteners. So no soft drinks, incl "sugar free". Fruit juice is just as bad / worse.

    Avoid grains. Bread, biscuits, cakes...

    Keep fruit to one portion a day. Eat as much veg as you like.

    Eat lots of healthy fats & protein. Never go hungry.

    If you keep Carbohydrates to <60g a day, you will shed fat rapidly, without losing lean tissue & without starving, so you won't slow down metabolism so you won't yo yo.

  • If I gave up all the above, life would be so miserable for me at 79,

    dont get me wrong Im sure its good advise, but I cant go there x

  • LOL, at 79 you should eat what you like (as long as it's not causing you problems).

    You'd be surprised how less miserable avoiding carbs makes you feel (after the withdrawal that is), but unless you're planning on entering the next olympics, you should carry on as you are 😉

    BTW, all that stuff is fine in moderation for people who don't have weight issues. Unfortunately, there are thousands who can't understand why they can't lose it, because they "eat a healthy diet of Orange Juice, Meuselli & only dring Diet Coke"......

  • Knackersyard, avoiding carbs is not a good idea for hypos. It has a negative effect on conversion. We need some carbs.

    I very much doubt if Sam75 needs to lose fat - which is what the above advice is for - she is hypo and when you're hypo, the rules don't apply. The weight is not due to what she eats, I don't think, it's due to low metabolism/mucin retaining water. So a restrictive diet like the one you suggest, probably won't have any effect, except to make her miserable. :)

  • I respectfully disagree. I'm not suggesting a calorie controlled (starvation) diet. In the absence of carbs, our body will convert fat & protein to energy. That's what we're designed to do. We weren't designed to eat grains.

    The advice was in reply to Andyp13. You'll see my response to Sam75 was quite different.

    I agree that restricting carbs can make us feel miserable. It's withdrawal from the swings that wildly fluctuating Glucose levels cause. That's short lived though. When you take out carbs for a period, you realise how sick, tired & moody they make you feel.

  • In the absence of carbs, we can't convert T4 to T3, whether it's Andyp13 or Sam75.

  • I'm sorry, but that's utter nonsense. I've read it elsewhere, so I know you didn't make it up. I'm yet to see a peer reviewed scientific paper confirming this.

    We get sufficient carbohydrate from Vegetables & even meat.

    Humans do not need grains. Or diet Coke.

  • I'm not talking about grains. You said carbs.

    "...avoiding carbs"

    "...absence of carbs"

    You may have meant grains, but you said carbs. Don't put your confusion down to me and say I'm talking utter nonsense! I reacted to what you actually said, not what you meant. And I expect a lot of other people will, too.

  • I can see what we've both written. I know which one makes more sense. There is absolutely zero evidence that we "need to eat carbs to convert t4". And without a figure, the statement is meaningless anyway.

    It's up to each individual to follow.

  • I dont know how old you are dear lady, but Ive been hypo for 20 years and I would much rather feel well by eating my granary bread & some pasta, than become as tetchy as you obviously are...

  • LOL, I'm not a lady (well only on weekends).

    As I already said, if you're happy & don't have weight issues, eat what you like.

    My comment was for the OP who said "I run every day, but can't lose weight".

  • PS, I didn't say YOU were talking nonsense! I wouldn't be so rude. I acknowledged that you were quoting an oft used theory. I've seen it many times....

    "Hypos need to eat more carbs"....

    More than what? More than someone who eats 2 packs of biscuits a day?? See what I mean, it's just tripe. Maybe they mean Hippos 😝

    60g of carbohydrate a day is certainly enough for a human. We need to maintain stable Glucose levels, but glucose can be derived from Fat & Protein. The argument that we must eat Carbohydrates to maintain Glucose is flawed, because causing spikes in Glucose results in an equal/opposite trough. The aim is to keep glucose stable.

    When people say they feel full of energy sometimes & flat/tired at other times, I would say fluctuating Glucose levels is prime suspect.

    Anyway, I didn't intend to insult you & if I did, I apologise.

  • I'm not particularly concerned about you insulting me - I'm used to it. I am concerned about you recommending people to cut out all carbs - which you did at one point - more than one.

    I know you did say 60 g carbs in the beginning, but then went on to say no carbs at all. I wasn't saying people needed 'more' carbs, I said 'some carbs'. And I wasn't talking about glucose levels, I was talking about converting T4 to T3. And if there is 'zero evidence' that that is true, why so many well-respected thyroid specialist say that it is?

    You then went on to talk about 'grains', as if the terms 'carbs' and 'grains' were interchangeable. They're not. I never mentioned grains. I know full well you can get carbs from fruit and veg. I just don't think we're talking about the same thing at all.

    What is more, I think the reason the OP can't lose weight is because she is running every day - using up her T3 - rather than because she is eating some carbs. Hypo weight-gain is rarely due to what we eat. It's due to our low T3. And if there is the slightest chance that eating some carbs will help our conversion, I think most people will opt to eat them.

  • OK, I'll leave it there.

  • (Organic) wholegrains are a necessary element of a healthy diet, surely ?

    Whereas refined carbohydrates are to be avoided.

  • Grains of any kind aren't a "necessary" part of a healthy diet.

  • Why are they? What if you are sensitive to gluten, for example? The only way to get unrefined whole grains would be to eat wheat grains, barley and oats whole, ie. no flour,bread, cereal, pasta, porridge (that's rolled oats). There aren't actually very many foods made from unrefined whole grains available in shops (apart from animal feed shops).

  • I have the same problem but my doctor told me that the labs we use if your tsh is too high then they will automatically do a t3 test and a t4 test.

  • Problem is what the NHS consider too high...

    I had years of TSH around 6nmol/L & they never tested T4/T3

    It was only when it got to 11 that they did.

  • Just an aside re t3: my levels were very good on levo alone (ie I appeared to be converting very well) but I was still symptomatic and still found relief w a small dose of liothyronine added to some levo. I have no explanation for this but I know it wasn't a placebo situation as the fluid retention situation is an obvious and visible change; with the addition of 10mcg t3 I dropped a lot of fluid and my constipation problem resolved more or less overnight.

    I wish I hadn't converted well and I'd have concrete evidence for keeping my script, but as is I fear I'll have to find an alternative source in case my gp decides to stop prescribing. The cost of t3 to the NHS (and taxpayer) is a scandal and completely unnecessary, but I'm not in a position to resolve that.

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