Thyroid UK
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Increased t3 and feel worse

Hi I increased my t3 around a week ago from 30mcg to 35mcg a day. My tsh level was 5.06 and my t3 was 3.7 and I am feeling worse. I feel like I have body and fingers feel achy. I have buzzing in my ears. Sleeping 12-14 hours a night. I just feel like I'm spaced out as well. Eyes hurt. when I was on 25-30mcg a day I felt a lot better. What is going on!

Any feed back would be appreciated.


11 Replies

Hi thanks for your reply. My TSH is 5.06 though I thought it had to be lower to feel better?


It could be fillers/binders in the T3 you take.

The 'effect' of the amount of T3 you are taking is equivalent to around 100+ of levo so if you felt better with a lower dose I'd drop back. Some need a lower dose when on T3 than when taking T4.

Besides one week isn't sufficient for your TSH to drop quickly but the main issue is that you don't feel well. Besides TSH is secondary to how you 'feel'. I'd drop back to the dose you felt well on and take it for about six weeks before getting another blood test.

(I'm not medically qualified. I'm hypo and take T3 onl).

To test if fillers etc are a problem, take an anti-histamine one hour before your next dose of T3 and if you don't have problems after than, it is the binders/fillers in T3 which is the culprit.

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I would go back to the 25-30mcg daily you felt comfortable on for 2-4 weeks and then try raising dose again.

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Hi Clutter this the second time I have tried to increase my dose. Do you think it may be an adrenal problem?



I don't know enough about adrenals to comment. Low iron/ferritin can make it difficult to raise dose

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I take T3 only. I also had/have high cortisol.

I had endless trouble getting up to the right dose for me. Each raise in dose felt like I was over-dosing myself while also having hypo symptoms. I tried changing the number of doses I took a day. I tried changing the times. I took more, then backed off again.

I spent all of last year feeling under-dosed. It wasn't until I started taking Holy Basil in about November that I was able to start increasing my dose a little bit more. Holy Basil doesn't work for everyone with high cortisol, and people try various options.

Lots of people on the forum have similar trouble to me but have low cortisol, which is treated differently to high cortisol.

If you want to find out your cortisol levels then the best test is a 4-part saliva test.

You can't assume you have low or high cortisol based on symptoms. They aren't reliable and there is a lot of crossover between the two problems in terms of symptoms. Sadly, the only option is to test.

If you want to do this, the instructions on how to order and how to get your results for the adrenal stress profile are given in the second link above.

Once you have your results you can post them on the forum for some feedback and suggestions on what to do.


Something you can try first, before spending money on a test, is following the instructions on this link :

It might or might not help. But at least it is free.


Hi thank you for your endo tested me for cortisol and it was really low she thought I had Addison then I went for the blood test at the hospital. Can't remember the name of it. She then said everything was ok with my adrenals. So I know my cortisol test was low the first time I was tested. She didn't give me any results.

I have tested my temperture over the course of 3 months 3 or 4 times a day. It's always low. Lowest was 34.9. It has had a 1 degree difference in a day as well. So I am thinking I have an adrenal problem. What do you think. Any comments appreciated.


Doctors believe that adrenals can be in one of three states.

1) Completely non-functioning - patient has Addison's

2) Patient produces vast amounts of cortisol - patient has Cushing's

3) Everyone else - normal.

They refuse to accept that some people have adrenals which can produce cortisol, but not enough, so they are suffering from that.

There are some people who produce lots of cortisol, but not enough for Cushing's to be diagnosed. Patients suffer from that too.

In both these cases doctors don't treat because they think the patient is absolutely fine. So we have to treat ourselves.


Cortisol (a hormone) is like many other hormones in the body. In order to move it around the body it gets attached to carrier proteins (referred to as being "bound"). The body can only use cortisol when it is unbound.

The blood test your endo did measures the total of bound and unbound cortisol in your blood.

The saliva test measures only unbound cortisol, so is actually a far better indicator of how much cortisol your body actually has available to it.


Another factor... Cortisol is produced in a circadian rhythm.

Generally speaking, doctors do cortisol testing at only one point in a day - the time when cortisol output ought to be at its greatest.

The saliva test measures cortisol output at 4 different times of day. In sick people the output of cortisol can eventually become very deranged :

Looking at those graphs in the above link...

Someone with perfectly normal and healthy cortisol output would have results which fall between the two lines which are the same in every graph - the reference curve. Someone with Addison's would have a flat line along the bottom. Someone with Cushing's would have a flat line at the top (the circadian rhythm gets lost).

A singe blood test will never give you as much information as a 4-part saliva test done throughout the day.


Have you ever heard of Paul Robinson? He suffered from poor adrenal function and didn't feel well for years on Levo. Then he went on to T3 and still didn't feel well. He did lots of experiments on himself and eventually worked out how to take his T3 at the correct times of day to help his adrenals to heal.

It isn't something I've ever had to really get into, since my cortisol is high, not low. But many people have got a huge amount of help from him. He has written books, has a website, and a Facebook group. You sound like a good candidate for his methods.

His website :

Facebook page :

Paul doesn't seem to be as active online as he used to be. But his website and facebook page may be helpful for you, and he does have a forum. I'm not sure how busy that is, it is private, and I'm not a member.

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Hi thank you for the information. I really appreciate it. I will start reading it now. Thank you.


Can I please suggest that you have a bad reaction to the Brand of meds you are using. This happened to me, I changed back and I now feel my old self!


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