Thyroid UK
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Looking into T3

Hi all,

I just want to say how thankful I am for this community and how helpful you are!

I have been on t4 since August after being diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. (I take 50 mg every other day and 25 mg on the other days... a full pill then a half of one). However, I still feel exhausted, have bouts of depression and joint swelling, inability to focus and I cannot not lose weight despite diet and lifestyle adjustments (see below for more details). Therefore after researching different treatments I was thinking of trying t3 as well. However, my doctor doesn't agree. Could someone message me directly and let me know where I could get it and what dosages you recommend to start with? Or could you provide any other advice based on the info below?

Last test results from October 2016:

FT3 2,80 pg/ml (reference range 2.21-4.68)

fT4 1.11 ng/dl (reference range 0.730-1.95)

TSH basal 0.724 mIU/1 (reference range 0.270-4.20)

anti-TPO from July 13,2 IU/ml (reference range 0.0-35.0)

My thyroid is "diminished" and has black spots. However, my test results were fairly "normal". I have had symptoms starting at 12 years old with joint pain and the rest of the symptoms followed: depression, joint swelling (mostly in the knees... and no sign of injury), weight gain and retention despite a healthy diet and working out frequently.

Leading up to June last year I had been working out heavily... as if addicted to workouts (napping until the gym... to get my hit of endorphins then falling exhausted into bed afterward thinking I was doing my body good!) which rendered me completely useless in normal life. My joints were always swollen, I was depressed, having heart palpitations an could not lift anything anymore. After the diagnosis, I now only do walking and yoga, try to eat well and sleep a lot ( I slept a lot before... now I am doing it instead of working out too). This has led to a reduction in joint swelling but if I don't get enough sleep or am stressed etc, it returns.

After much research, I believe I have Hashimotos as it seems my body as "flare" like symptoms to stress (physical or mental). However, I do not know for sure as my test results for antibodies appear normal. I have eaten a gluten free diet for 10 years now. I am also soy free and am in the process of removing dairy and corn and reducing sugar as well as toxins in body products and cleaning supplies.

I was hoping to have more energy and less pain by now after life adjustments and the t4 but it just hasn't happened. Any advice would be great! thanks!

4 Replies


You could try increasing Levothyroxine dose to 50mcg daily to raise FT4 and FT3 and see whether symptoms improve before deciding to self medicate with T3.

TPO antibodies are negative for autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's) but black spots on a diminished thyroid gland sounds typical of Hashimoto's damage. You could have thyroglobulin antibodies tested privately or just assume that you have Hashimoto's.

There is no cure for Hashimoto's which causes 90% of hypothyroidism. Treatment is for the low thyroid levels it causes. You are already gluten-free which helps many people reduce Hashi flares and symptoms so perhaps the other dietary changes you are making will be helpful.

Hypothyroid patients are often low or deficient in ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate which can cause musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Perhaps you could ask your GP to check your levels.


As well as T3 there is the original thyroid hormone replacement which was prescribed before levothyroxine and the blood tests were introduced. It was in use since 1892 until the 60's I believe. It contains all of the hormones a healthy gland would have produced, i.e. T4, T3, T2, T2 and calcitonin. There are several brands of these NDT's short for natural dessicated thyroid hormones (made from pigs or cows thyroid glands). They may not be strictly 'natural' as they are processed but many people feel well with NDT. Many doctors have been frightened off prescribing these by the Authorities and have spread false rumours but some private doctors still do so but most members source their own. I shall give you a link to one which doesn't need a prescription as it was developed by a Doctor who was an Adviser to before his death and his wife is now running this side. Because of False Statements made to try to scare patients, Dr Lowe produced this Report and despite three yearly reminders, the Associations never did respond.

This is a list from TUK.


Thank you for the resources and advice! I will look into it!


Iwas also going to say you are under medicated. Whist your levels are so slow I would be kind to yourself and not do the gym stuff as you are probably depleting the energy giving T3.


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