FT3 Does Matter!

To keep TUK members uptodate, we've been looking at patients with no thyroid owing to thyroid cancer removal and finding out how FT4 and FT3 can influence TSH levels in patients given T4 only. These patients have been studied at various times during their treatment so that we can follow them over a period to optimise their treatment levels.The initial results will give this forum I think a good deal of hope and I quote:

We can now clearly show that it is untrue that low FT3 does not matter as far as symptoms are concerned.

The percentage of complaints steadily rises towards lower FT4 levels.

Not everyone may be happy at the same FT3, but more are apparently unhappy when the FT3 is low. It does matter.

In other words, you cannot keep FT3 out of the story if optimum treatment is to be attained.

20 Replies

  • Brilliant!!!! I hope you have no plans to retire! I also hope that someone will realise we need T3 sold at a sensible price to the NHS, so that those of us who need it can get it. We really shouldn't be buying it online.

    I assume that there will be a paper published on this topic when you have all the data?

  • There surely will!

  • I'm looking forward to reading it. Thank you!

  • The only retirement I shall take will be in a long wooden box!

  • Very good news for us, but maybe not so good for you!! I really appreciate the work you do, though.

    Your papers are the only ones my endocrinologist seems to pay attention to. When the next one comes out, I shall show it to my GP as well, since GPs think they know how to treat us, and most haven't even heard of T3.

    Thanks for keeping going!!!!

  • Not too soon, I hope ...

  • Love what you do for us diogenes. You need to start training apprentices and not leave us too soon.

  • Thank you, Diogenes! As a thyroidectomy patient this sounds like material I will need to print out and show lots of doctors when it is ready :)

  • I find it very valuable to have the unnatural character of Levo-only treatment revealed. Some patients do feel well on Levo-only despite various markers being very different from those of healthy persons. But many patients need T3 to correct these markers.

    Routinely measuring FT3 would prove the dominance of FT4, which tends to inhibit conversion to T3.

    Routinely using combo treatment would make millions of patients feel well. Big Pharma could easily help this by producing slow-release liothyronine

  • I've always wondered if those who feel Ok on levo only were so used to feeling awful before that they have forgotten what being well is like.

  • Angel_of_the_North Although I felt quite good on Goldshield Eltroxin and knew I wasn't as good as before I had Graves, it was so much better than since we have all been changed to generic levo. T3 has made quite a bit of difference to me.

  • Levo-only is a risky business. Even today I hear somebody taking 600mcg every day. Yes, sixhundred. Tens of years ago such doses were even more common.

    Why these megadoses? Because of T4 hormone starts inhibiting itself if FT4 is more than threefold that of FT3. To get 10% better metabolism you may have to take 20% more Levo. For 20% increase in metabolism you must increase Levo by maybe 50%.

    As j_bee mentioned, by adding liothyronine (T3) it is possible to have the very important ratio FT4 to FT3 around 3 and thus conversion working

  • One of the things that has always struck me when reading, on this forum, about thyroid hormone values from patients who are dissatisfied with their treatment. is how often the FT3 value lies in the 3.5-4.5 range when the normal range is about 3.5-7. This anecdotally points up and agrees with what we seem to be finding on the study mentioned. It proposes that FT3 should be at least in the upper half to upper quadrant of its range, by T3 supplementation if necessary. But I'm only telling you what you know from your own experiences.

  • You and your team are angels :) and so many members will be relieved at your statement. I am always surprised when people post on the forum that they've no thyroid and are struggling on levo and they've never been offered some T3 at the very least.

    I hope the 'Organisations' who dispense prescriptions to people without thyroid gland a T3 addition at the very least and change their guidelines.

  • Thank you for all your work. Please keep going....

  • Should that FT4 in the third to last sentence be FT3 ?

  • Yes, it seems to be a typo.

  • You can edit it.

  • Thank you diogenes Although I am lucky not to have had a thyroidectomy I do have a conversion problem (faulty DIO2 gene). I believe this research will help support that T4 only therapy is not only insufficient, but harmful to people like me.

  • Please let us have the research links when they're ready. It's been total refusal in this district for T3 or even FT3 tests even with thyroidectomy although I still have some thyroid it's not very functional and so many symptoms.

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