T3 or Not T3, that is my question?

Hello all,

I'm back with another update and would like your feedback on my latest labs and symptoms.

As most of you know, I had a partial thyroid removal 5 months ago and have been slowly recovering. A lot of my original symptoms have diminished, but I am still experiencing the internal tremors, ringing in the ears, and lightheaded. I am also experiencing a few new issues, relating to my hormone levels.

My Holistic doctor suggested that I take a small dose of natural desiccated T3 (5mg) and look into bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, to address the other hormonal issues, but I am a bit skeptical and wanted to seek out the groups feedback.

***My am Cortisol levels are very high***

Here are my latest labs (12/5/16)

TSH 1.230 (0.450-4.500 uIU/mL)

Thyroxine (T4)8.4 (4.5-12.0ug/dL)

Triiodothyronine (T3)85 (71-180ng/dL)

Free Thyroxine Index2.6 (1.2-4.9)

T3 Uptake31 (24-39%)

Estrogens, Total99 (40-115pg/mL) HIGH

Estradiol99.0 (7.6-42.6pg/mL) HIGH

Sex Horm Binding Glob, Serum37.5 (19.3-76.4nmol/L)

Dhea-Sulfate426.7 (71.6-375.4ug/dL) HIGH

Progesterone0.2 (0.0-0.1ng/mL)

Free Testosterone(Direct)7.7 (7.2-24.0pg/mL) LOW

Testosterone, Serum303 (348-1197ng/dL) LOW

Insulin-Like Growth Factor I286 (61-200ng/mL) HIGH

Prostate Specific Ag, Serum0.4 (0.0-4.0ng/mL)

Vitamin B12722 (211-946pg/mL)

Folate (Folic Acid), Serum18.7 (>3.0ng/mL)

Ferritin, Serum61 (30-400ng/mL) LOW but rising

Selenium, Blood260 (100-340ug/L)

Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy51.8 (30.0-100.0ng/mL) LOW but rising

Creatinine, Serum1.35(0.76-1.27mg/dL) HIGH

I have a bunch of other labs from the same day, so let me know if you need anymore data.



Last edited by

52 Replies

  • DanteNXS Natural dessicated T3? I am unaware that there is such a thing. Natural dessicated thyroid yes (contains both T4 and T3 from pig's thyroid) but T3 only is synthetic.

    Your T3 at 85 (71-180ng/dL) certainly looks like it could do with some help, and there's room for TSH to go lower.

    Hopefully your holistic doctor has taken into account your high Oestradiol and Oestrogen results and is not considering HRT containing Oestrogen. Bioidentical Progesterone cream would seem a better idea.

    And what about your DHEA being high? I see from an earlier post you have some high cortisol too. Are your adrenals being addressed?

  • SeasideSusie,

    All I know is that he stated to take a natural T3, I will address with him to make sure though. Mt TSH was always very low, prior to the surgery (.2 - .4) he is very happy with the level now and I am feeling much better. I tried the Progesterone cream, but it had no effect, not sure why. My dr. suggested that I get a prescription estrogen blocker, along with testosterone. We have been addressing the adrenals for many months, but again, I might not be given them what they need.

    Any advice would be helpful.



  • if you have oestrogen dominance,like me,you may need large amounts of progesterone cream to begin with,according to sites like progesteronetherapy.com et al.Small amounts can cause oestrogen rebound.I have experienced this in the past.

    I am not sure why one would add even bio-identical oestrogen when levels of this hormone are high in the body.

    I have decided to follow the protocol for oestrogen dominance,as I have large fibroids despite being nearly 67 & have a gene mutation that makes oestrogen problematic(common in Hashi's apparently).I tried D.I.M twice.It made me as ill as the Novo virus,twice.

    I am therefore applying large amounts of natural progesterone for 3 months to see if I can overcome oestrogen dominance,before dropping down to the recommended small amount for post-menopause.

    I am hoping to balance my hormones to sort adrenal issues.

    Your holistic practitioner has mentioned natural dessicated T3 & given you a hand written bottle.He is not making sense,unfortunately.

  • Do you have a particular brand of Progesterone cream?

  • I use natpro,which comes in a pump.If I continue,I will use a tube for smaller amounts.I bought a set of stainless steel cook spoons which start at quarter teaspoon,for later measuring.

  • Creams had no effect on me. I have to use intrabuccal lozenges (like sublingual),so it might be the method of administration, not the progesterone that's the problem

  • I just spoke to my doctor and he stated that it is a compounded desiccated T3 without T4. Does this make sense?


  • It doesn't make sense to me.

    There must be an ingredients list on the packaging somewhere. What does it say?

  • I do not have the bottle with me, but I do remember that it is a hand written label with T3 and some other nutrients listed on it, nothing about T4.

    When I asked my dr about it, he said that there are natural T3 compounds, and not to believe everything I read online LOL. I did not mention this site.

    Should I not take it?

    I actually feel a bit more anxious since taking these.


  • Oh, I'm not suggesting that you don't take it!

    I just don't like it when doctors tell tall tales about things being "natural" when in reality they are synthetic. I have no objections to synthetic T3, by the way - I take it myself. :)

  • humanbean,

    Based on my labs above, do I even need the T3?

  • I can't be certain whether it would help or not because American testing of the thyroid doesn't test things I'm familiar with.


    Thyroxine (T4)8.4 (4.5-12.0ug/dL)

    Triiodothyronine (T3)85 (71-180ng/dL)

    Free Thyroxine Index2.6 (1.2-4.9)

    T3 Uptake31 (24-39%)


    Questions I would have...

    Is the thyroxine figure Free T4 or Total T4?

    Triiodothyronine - is this Free T3 or Total T3?

    I'm not sure if a Free Thyroxine Index is the same as a Free T4.

    I don't know what T3 Uptake tells anyone, and I wouldn't know what the optimal levels are.

    So, all in all, my answer is totally useless. Sorry. :(

  • Thyroxine (T4) is TOTAL

    Triiodothyronine (T3) is TOTAL

    Free Thyroxine Index2.6 is FREE T4

  • It's a pity you don't have a Free T3 figure. :(

    Am I right in thinking the tiny dose of T3 you mention is the only thing you take? No T4 at all?

    If I've understood your dose correctly, then it is worth pointing out that taking T3 only will reduce your T4 levels.

    Some people who are hypothyroid and who can't tolerate T4 at all may end up taking sufficient T3 to reduce their T4 levels to zero or almost zero.

    The middle of the range for Free T4 is 3.05. Your result is about 38% of the way through the range which gives you LOTS of leeway to add Levo if you want to try it, or possibly to swap the T3 you take for NDT.

    Although you don't have a Free T3 figure, your Total T3 figure is only about 13% of the way through the reference range.

    I am only speculating, but it seems unlikely that you would have a good level of Free T3 with such a low level of Total T3.

    So, I think you have a lot of options open to you :

    1) Add some levo to your current dose of T3.

    2) Switch to NDT which contains T4 and T3.

    3) Or take more T3, bearing in mind this will reduce your T4 levels - but this is only a problem if it worries you.

  • Oh, and you might like to look at this link from STTM about optimal lab values :


  • In Sept and October, my FT3 was 3.2 (2.0-4.4)

  • So, exactly mid-range. There are a few people who feel okay at that level, but most of us feel better with the Free T3 in the top third or even the top quarter of the range.

    You've got plenty of room for manoeuvre. I definitely think you should increase your dose.

  • Does T3 or T4 make one more anxious at first? I am feeling it ever since starting the T3.

  • T3 didn't have that affect on me, but Levo (T4) did.

    My anxiety is mostly cortisol-related - mine is too high. Have you ever had yours tested?

  • My cortisol is very high at night and in the am

  • You might want to try Holy Basil supplements. I'm taking those at the moment and I intend to keep taking them because they are definitely helping me.

    I needed more thyroid meds than I was taking. In an ideal world my over-production of cortisol would have reduced by itself when my thyroid hormone levels increased.

    But my cortisol really doesn't like reducing and so increasing my thyroid hormone would make me feel anxious - but the problem was actually caused by my cortisol refusing to reduce, not because my thyroid hormone levels were increasing.

    Since I have been on Holy Basil I have been able to increase my T3 twice without the accompanying anxiety problems I'd been getting before.

    I'm currently concentrating my Holy Basil doses in the latter part of the day - early afternoon, early evening and bedtime - to try and help my chronic insomnia. I haven't decided whether that is working or not yet.

  • Ha! I have been taking HB, Magnolia extract, and PHOS, for weeks now, in hopes that it would help me. It worked really well at first, but no much anymore. My estrogen and DHEA levels are high as well. I cannot figure out what's happening to me.


  • Oh dear. I have found that I have to raise my dose of HB every so often. I started taking 2 a day, then went to 4 and have recently started taking 6. I'll be devastated if it stops working altogether.

  • Has anyone ever mentioned Cushings Syndrome to you, in reference to the cortisol issue?

  • I did know about the connection between high cortisol and Cushing's.

    But I've never discussed my cortisol with doctors. I did saliva testing at my own expense which came back over the range, and have made intermittent, not very successful, attempts to fix the problem.

    Since I found out about my over-the-range cortisol I've seen other people posting with much worse results than me, and I don't think I've seen anyone who has been found to have Cushing's Syndrome or Cushing's Disease after testing. So I assume the chances of me having a problem are extremely slight.

    When I was in my early teens I started piling on the pounds - about 50 - 60 lbs in 2 years. I also developed quite a lot of symptoms of Cushing's at the time. But nobody ever suggested I might need testing for anything. It was just assumed that I was lazy and greedy.

    I actually "cured" my own problem by taking up smoking, believe it or not. I don't know exactly what it did to my hormones but lots of things changed for the better after that. And when I stopped smoking many years later an awful lot of things got worse. :(

  • That is a strange correlation, has there been any research done on smoking, in relation to hormones?

    I too have not been tested for Cushings, mainly because the majority of symptoms don't fit, only the cortisol does. I have only had one doctor (out of the 5) suggest it.

    I am currently looking into BHRT, to see if it can address all of my hormonal imbalances, but need to research it more first.

    It always something though, never ending battle to try and get/stay healthy.


  • There has been a lot written about there being a connection between smoking and hypothyroidism. There is a big connection between smoking and practically every hormone in the body in fact.



    Just google "hypothyroidism stopping smoking" for many, many links.

    Also google "smoking hormones".

    It would appear that smoking can disguise hypothyroidism in some people. The nicotine boosts the metabolism just a little bit, and this may be why so many people are diagnosed with hypothyroidism when they stop smoking. They were already hypothyroid or close to it, but the effects weren't so obvious with nicotine in the system.

    I have to admit though, cortisol excretion is supposed to be increased by smoking, so why my symptoms of Cushing's slowly disappeared after I started smoking is a mystery to me.

  • It's all a mystery to me my friend :-(

  • It's always wise to know exactly what you're taking and ehy, in addition to what its supposed to do. That way, if something odd happens, you know what the culprit might be....

  • Did you see my response to your earlier question? I added the other labs you asked about.

  • See below...

  • No it doesn't.

  • Yes, please post any other high or low results, with ranges. Were you tested for fasting glucose, liver function, cholesterol, hsCRP, fibrinogen, pregnenolone, progesterone, reverse T3 or thyroid antibodies? Or any other cancer markers? Did your holistic doctor run a stool test or a 24 HR saliva cortisol test? Or test for any chronic infections?

    At face value, sounds like your holistic doctor has some good instincts. If nothing else serious is going on, adjusting your male hormones with bioidenticals would likely help you feel better.

    Ask the doctor why your DHEA isn't converting properly into testosterone. Or why the testosterone is converting so quickly to estradiol, and if DIM would help.

    And if you do have thyroid antibodies, you'll want to be on a gluten free, or Paleo Diet.

  • Learner1,

    I recently tested positive for h. pylori (again), which caused some ulcers and am just about finished with my antibiotics. My doctor was unsure as to why the DHEA and T were behaving in this manner, hence the suggestion for BHRT. The cortsol test was a 24 hour saliva test.

    I have no antibodies as of my last 3 tests, so they felt no need to test again.

    Fasting glucose is 95 (70-99)

    AST 23

    ALT 28

    Cholesterol 230

    hsCRP 1.9

    eGFR 69

  • High DHEA, cortisol, and higher normal hsCRP say you're body is under a lot of stress. Reverse T3 would be good to know to see what impact it's having on your thyroid function.

    Your kidneys are stressed. Are you a body builder by chance? If so, you may want to reevaluate the strategies you're using in terms of your general health - extremely high protein intake or bodybuilding supplements??

    If you're not, something is wrong and you need to get to the root cause.

    You might look for further infections, food allergies, heavy metal toxicity, or cancer.

    Also, watch up make sure your B12 intake is high enough to keep up with your folate level, and that you have the cofactors in place - B2, B6, magnesium, etc.

    Good luck to you.

  • One more thing - ask your doctor about your pituitary and adrenal health. One possibility is an adrenal tumor.

  • I had a CT and MRI, nothing showed up.

  • I think my kidneys are stressed, due to the 3 surgeries I've had this in the past 8 months, due to the anesthesia. My RT3 was 13 in Sept, which was down from 23 a few months earlier. I have been stressed out, due to all the health issues. I am not a bodybuilder, but prior to all the health stuff, I was exercising a lot. Haven't really exercised in over a year though.

    I have had multiple checks for other infections, and heavy metals, and nothing sticks out. I have been checked for the age appropriate cancers, no detections.

    This has been one heck of a journey so far.


  • I understand about journeys. 😏

    Thyroid treatment is important given your situation, but thyroid will be just a bandaid without addressing your adrenals, which must be stressed, and you can't fix thyroid with unhappy adrenals.

    Given your surgeries and stress, you'll want to go on a nutrient dense diet - veggies, healthy fats, protein, and some fruit. Skip sugar, breads, sodas, and other empty calories.

    Take a high quality multivitamin, stress B vitamin, pantethine, vitamin C, and an adrenal support product (Thorne Research and Vital Nutrients make good ones). Seriphos might be helpful before bed.

    And exercise is good, gradually building up again. Overdoing it is counterproductive. Steady progress is good.

    Good luck!

  • Learner1,

    I have been eating all of the foods you mentioned, as well as the supplements, with the exception of Seriphos, which I cannot find anywhere. I do not eat any of the foods you mentioned either. I do take Holy Basil, Magnolia Extract, and PHOS.

    I have not been able to exercise much, since all this started, but I would really like to get back into it.



  • You're welcome!

    These things take time and perseverance. Sounds like you're doing all the right things, advocating for yourself, asking questions, and good protocol.

    I went from beating stage 3 cancer with major surgery, chemo, and integrative therapy. And then got full blown CFS, even though I was going everything right and had great care. I have the perfect genetic setup and 5 chronic bacterial and viral infections complicating everything.

    Getting well is back to basics. Sleep, exercise, good diet, gut health, happy endocrine and immune systems, and helping sad mitochondria. And a good attitude, curiosity, mindfulness, gratitude, and persistence.

    Start with the basics and work them. You sound like you have a decent doctor, so keep pushing them to find mire that can help you.

    You might benefit from a Genova Diagnostics NutrEval test - you may be depleted of key nutrients you need to heal and it catches other problems, too. Their website has a sample test.

    All the best to you...

  • You won't believe this, but I have been looking at the Genova NutrEval stuff. I recently did the Organix Basic, after taking the full panel several months ago and it showed great improvement, but I still need to up the amino acids a bit. Genova Labs is about an hour away from my location.

  • Well, if you can do the full NutrEval FMV with Amino Acids and Vitamin D, it would be the best $159 you've spent, if you do the PrePay.

    Make sure to follow the rest instructions to the letter... if you don't, it'll prolong the process. I think it would be quite helpful given what you've shared.

    Feel free to message me with any questions.

  • Genova will only accept requests from a doctor though. How can I get around this?

  • Seriphos was just reformulated. It should be shipping after the first of the year. It's from Interplexus in Kent, Washington, in the US. Their product is unique, and totally different than phosphatidyl serine.

    I've seen it help people with various adrenal issues. It helps reregulate when cortisol is produced.

  • I have been waiting for the "old" new version to be manufactured again. So, I am hoping it will be back in stock soon.

  • DanteNXS,

    It's a shame you don't have a free T3 result as that would clearly demonstrate whether T3 is low and whether taking some T3 would help. You could try 5mcg T3. If it doesn't help or if it exacerbates symptoms T3 will be out of your blood in 6 hours so it isn't too long to put up with feeling unwell.

    Ferritin is optimal half way through range so you may want to supplement iron with 1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and minimise constipation. If you take any form of thyroid medication you should take it 4 hours away from iron.

    B12 and folic acid are good. So is vitD, 50ng/ml is optimal, not low.


    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • Thank Clutter, I just posted my FT3 from Sept and Oct, it was 3.2 and I am currently taking 5mg of desiccated T3, which I think is making me more anxious.


  • DanteNXS,

    If you think it is making you more anxious stop taking it for a couple of days and see whether anxiety improves. If so, see whether you tolerate 25mcg Levothyroxine better.

  • I will try that, thanks.

  • Doesn't look as though there is a free T3, which is what you need to know (or the range is not a UK one). If that is FT3, it looks very low in range so could do with a boost.

  • I am not sure why he didn't run the FT3, but my last 2 labs (Sept/Oct) were 3.2 with a range of 2.2-4.5

You may also like...