Thyroid UK
84,025 members99,009 posts

T3 isnt working

Hi I am on t3 only and taking 30mcg a day 3 times a day. I am still feeling hypo. I also take a herbal tonic from a herbalist plus vitamins. I have hasimotos as well. I really feel I have a cortisol problem as I was tested and it was 301. then they sent me to the hospital to have the blood tests. my endo said I was fine. I don't feel fine and survey if your cortisol level was low doesn't that show that you have an adrenal problem. I have read that if you have adrenal problems t3 won't work well. am I right got an endo appointment in January but I know they will dismiss my adrenal problem. I really don't know what to do anymore. I'm gluten free also. any help or comments would be appreciated.

12 Replies

Low adrenals can make you feel lousy, no matter how much thyroid meds you are on,

Easiest thing would be to take a saliva adrenal test privately, and see where you are with them.... I was on thyroid meds for over 20 years and nothing made as big a change as sorting adrenals did.

Private testing details on the home page.....



Thank you can i ask what did you use to address your adrenal problems. 😊


Cortisone, dosed throughout the day, i reduced the dose over two years and havent needed it since apart from when i visit the dentist. I got all my info from the adrenals forum. They have now teamed up with rt3 and produced a website with great info..... Val who runs adrenal side of it knows tons....

Heres the link....



Thank you so much. 😊



Low cortisol levels are common in people with long term low thyroid hormone and //or other health issues.

If adrenals are really struggling (through whatever reason) , sometimes adding any thyroid meds can be hard for the body to utilise as the adrenals are unable to handle the stress of the increase in metabolism, as all hormones work together (think of the HPA axis//HPT axis) and a deficiency in one place will result in imbalances else where.

Monitoring pulse and temps can be useful when taking T3 which is short acting and allows you to titivate doses in amounts and frequency without blood testing testing every five minutes. Temps (usuall) increase as the thyroid meds begin to work better.

90mcg T3 is quite a large dose to not be working. Be aware that more is not always better and it can actually be counterproductive to administer larger doses. Elevated FREE thyroid hormone can shut down the receptor sites, meaning it stops becoming active within the cells. Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG) may elevate to match the excess thyroid hormone and bind with other hormones, then leaving too little. It may be worth getting your sex hormones tested (oestrogen, etc)

Also elevated T3 can raise blood sugar levels increasing insulin secretion which again may causes its own set of problems.

Are you gluten free? .. Are iron, Vit D, Vit B12 and folate all optimal ? ? .... What herbs and vits are you taking ? ? ...

Are you supporting the adrenal glands ? ? ...


Hi Radd I am on 30 Mcgraw a day. sorry I must have wrote it wrong. I am on 4000 vitd adrenal tonic from herbalist. Consisting of eclunacea, brahmi, ashwagaudha, siberuan ginseng and magnesium 150mg a day. think I've spelled them right on can't read her writing very well. I have noticed that about 1 hour after taking it my temperture has gone up from 35.8 to 35.1. doesn't stay up for long though. I need a adrenal support that is going to keep it up. I was going to try the Dr Wilson syndrome but I'm a bit worried about taking too much t3. what do you think? please. 😊



More is not always better as some can't tolerate enough T3-alone to be able to function well and you have changed your doses too quickly. This will be compromising your adrenals glands further.

I know you didn't get on with Levothyroxine alone but have you tried T4 + T3 ? ? ... Many members (including myself) who couldn't get well on Levo alone, found adding a little T3 made all the difference. There are definite ratios individual to us all and the correct one encourages vastly more conversion of T4.

Taking high doses of T4-alone may suppress TSH which is required to aid in cellular T4 to T3 conversion, resulting in low T3 levels but medicating a little T3 will make up for this short fall.

Adding T3 will lower the TSH further because it suppresses stimulation from the pituitary but there is thought that the conversation rate of T4-T3 may increase.

Adrenal glands can takes many months or years to recover. I supplement 3-4 mg mixed ascorbate and keep all nutrients optimal. Supplementing selenium helps will thyroid hormone conversion and also in reducing elevated TPOAb.

There are many factors that might dictate how thyroid hormones work in your body and a good place to start to is ensuring all nutrient deficiencies are addressed. Are you supplementing your low levels of Vit B12 ? ? ...


Selenium reduces elevated TPOAb


Selenium helps conversion of T4-T3


Hi Radd I tried 25mg of t4 with 30mcg of t3 for 6 days but had to stop as all the all symptoms came back my gums became swollen and bleeding I felt awful and in pain. I realise that 30mcg alone t3 isnt good for me either but at least I can think straight on it and I not in so much pain. I believe my adrenals need help I am taking supplements for that to work. do you think I should maybe try 12.5mg of t4 and see how I get on with that? my endo wants me on 75mg but no way is that happening. my Dr Is calling me Monday and will properly take me off his register when I tell him I've stopped the t4 and haven't taken the antidepressants he prescribed for me. I really don't care if he does he is not looking at the cause. just trying to treat a symptom.



I am not against medicating T3-alone as without a doubt, there is a subset of people who need to medicate T3-alone, but for many others a T3//T4 mix is more usual and works better.

As said above I believe there is a distinct ratio individual to each of us ... hence some can medicate T4, NDT and some need extra T3 adding, etc, etc ....We all need a different med, dose and possible combination.

As you haven't tried a reasonable dose of T4 WITH the addition of T3, that is the way I would go but remember some people find any thyroid meds hard to tolerate with insufficient cortisol, iron and/or nutrients no matter what dose they take.


T4's role in the body


T4 & T3's role in the brain.


T3's possible negative effects


Thank you for your reply. I've read the links that you sent me...they are very interesting.

What to do...I just don't know anymore.

I need to get my cortisol level sorted out first.

What do you think of DHEA?



DHEA is antagonistic to cortisol and is usually low when cortisol is high.

Because DHEA converts to estrogen and testosterone, there is rationale to test all sex hormones before supplementing DHEA.

Ask your GP to test sex hormones as these invariably become unbalanced with low thyroid hormone and adrenal issues. All hormones work together...think of the HPA and HPT axis'.

1 like

Ok I will. thankyou.


You may also like...