Raising T3 and insomnia

I recently tried raise my T3 very gradually, from 10mcg to 12mcg to start with, as my Free T3 is low within the range (I'm taking 75mcg Levy as well)...... but have experienced quite bad insomnia (can't get to sleep for several hours) for about a week now and wonder if it is caused by raising the T3, even though it is a very small dose. I do have high afternoon and evening cortisol and obviously have adrenal issues, so I wonder if the T3 is stressing my adrenals. I have tried Rhodiola and came out in an allergic rash.....also Ashwaganda, and it seemed to give me insomnia - everything that is supposed to lower cortisol seems to have an adverse affect on me. I wonder if I would benefit from an adrenal glandular, but am scared to experiment without expert guidance, as I read that it can have detrimental effects if used long term. Any advice would be much appreciated.

21 Replies

  • DoDoc,

    If you go back to 10mcg T3 and insomnia decreases you'll know that it was the increase to 12mcg which is keeping you awake.

    I'm sorry I can't help with adrenals but I'm sure others will be able to.

  • Thanks, Clutter. Will do.

  • If you think it could be adrenals the best test I'm told is the 4 point saliva test from Genova diagnostics. The NHS tend to dismiss these tests and the NHS test only looks at this at one point in the day where as the saliva tests through out the day. It might be worth looking for an adrenal group to ask their advice if no one with experience replies here.

  • Thanks Silverfox. I have had the saliva test and discovered that my evening cortisol is high. Yes, I suppose an adrenal group could give advice. Thanks again.

  • I am taking 5mcg of T3 in addition to 100mcg of T4 and if I try to raise the T3 higher than this it makes my insomnia worse.

  • That's interesting Sandra. I really wanted to raise my T3 to see if it would help with temperature. Thanks for getting back.


  • No problem. I also have high cortisol, I haven't tried anything to lower it yet as I am seeing an endo next month. I tried magnesium to help me sleep but it actually made my insomnia worse. Could you raise your T3 by raising your T4? I used to be on 75 mcg and feel slightly better since it was raised to 100 mcg. Still don't feel very well though. Good luck.

  • Sandra, i don't want to put you off, but the endo I saw didn't take the high cortisol or the saliva test result from Genova at all seriously..... very few of them do. Can I ask if it was an endo who let you try T3....or did you try it yourself? My end pulled the plug on the T3, so I'm getting it online.

  • Thanks for the warning, but I'm seeing the endo about Cushing's, (which I don't believe I have, neither does my GP). It was an NHS blood test which showed up the high cortisol so they took it seriously. After I have seen him and Cushing's is ruled out I expect I will have to try to lower my cortisol myself. He is a different endo to the one who let me try T3. I get it now from my GP. Can you see another endo?

  • He is the only endo i know of here in N. Ireland who would let anyone try T3. However, he said that the government were pulling the plug on it because of the cost. I hope you get a sympathetic endo.... all the very best!

  • Thanks, all the best to you too.

  • Sandra600 I wonder if you were able to increase your T3? I've been taking 5mcg of T3 for the last week with 75mcg of Levo and was planning on increasing it to 10mcg in the next few days. However, I've had insomnia for the last 4 nights. I slept better last night but still got up early in the morning. I feel awful at the moment. I don't know if this is a hormonal thing because my basal temperature increased for a few days and my period should be due early next week. Perhaps its due to falling oestrogen and progesterone levels however I really don't know.

  • Serendipitious I haven't raised my T3 as my GP and an interfering endo (who I saw about something else) are flapping about my TSH being under range and want me to have a blood test with a view to reducing my meds (which I don't agree with) so I daren't try to raise it at the moment. Every time I have tried to raise it in the past though it has made it worse. I once got to 15mcg and basically hardly slept for four nights until I reduced it. Did you used to be on T4 only?

  • Sandra600 yes I've been on varying doses of Levo for many years. My cortisol is a bit on the high side too. My private endo suggested I try T3. I slept somewhat better last night but I'm feeling very sleepy right now. Some people say it's because 5mcg is a low dose and it disappears quickly and perhaps that could bring on these symptoms. I don't understand why it causes insomnia. I'm going to try taking it right before bed today.

    When you tried to raise it to 15mcg did you actually feel better aside from the insomnia? I've heard people feel a difference when they take atleast 10mcg. Did you have any bloods taken to see what FT4 and FT3 were on that dose?

  • I did feel better until the lack of sleep caught up with me and then I felt terrible. I didn't have any bloods taken because I wasn't on that dose for long enough.

  • I'm also at the point now where over a week on T3 the lack of sleep is unbearable. Also my menstrual cycle has been 23 days two months running. I'm going to stop taking T3 for now. I think I need to sort out my high cortisol but I'm quite afraid of doing this myself. I've heard the order in which you should treat things is 1. Adrenals 2. Thyroid 3. Hormones. Maybe that's what I need to do.

  • I think, as Clutter said earlier you could try cutting down on the T3 to see if this helps with your insomnia. Do you take it twice a day? I started to sleep a bit better when I stopped my afternoon dose and just took the morning dose. Sorry I can't help with your other problems.

  • I've been taking one dose of 5mcg each day. Maybe I will try 2.5mcg after a few days once I've caught up with sleep. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Also what brand of T3 are you using? I'm on Thybon Henning.

  • I don't know the brand as it comes in a brown bottle with just the pharmacists label on. Maybe T3 doesn't agree with you. Could you try a higher dose of T4?

  • I did think about that but since upping my vitamins and minerals including selenium my Free T4 is quite high in the range:

    TSH 0.48 ( 0.27-4.20 ) mU/L

    Free T4 17 ( 12.0-22.0 ) pmol/L

    Free T3 3.4 ( 3.1- 6.8 ) pmol/L

    DHEA: 1.8 ( 1.8-7.7 ) umol/L

    So for now I'm going to see how it goes. Thanks.

  • If you ever did want to raise your T4 in the future to see if it raises your T3 (which is very low) you are only half way through the range so there is scope to do so. If that ever is the case I am sure someone on here would advise you. Good luck with everything.

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