Thyroid UK
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I'm new here and would like info on my thyroid condition

I'm on Armor thyroid (180 mg) and have very high T3 (11.0 pg/ml) and the range is 2.3-4.2 pg/ml. I also have low normal T4 (.90) and the range is .89-1.76 pg/ml. I'm not losing weight even when exercising 5 days a week. I've read that sometimes the T3 doesn't get into the cells because of low adrenal function or low iron or Iodine. How can I tell what the cause is and any ideas on what to do?

15 Replies

low ferritin



or vit d3

can indeed hamper the conversion of T4 into T3

however given your T3 result i would be more inclined to suspect something else is blocking the t3 uptake or you have thyroid hormone resistance which needs treating with just T3 alone

do you take any other meds of any kind

do you use aluminium or non stick coated or foil cookware

are you gluten free

was the blood drawn early morning and fasting and at least 24 hours after your last dose of Armour

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Thank you for your reply. I take iron sometimes, don't take folate (I'm not sure what that is). I've just switched to another doctor , so I can ask if he will prescribe just T3. Is it logical to just take T3 when my levels are so high? Also, I didn't fast and I had taken Armor within the last 24 hours before the blood draw. I don't have Hashimoto disease. I don't use non stick pans. I actually feel much better and have more energy than before I started on Armor. Should I be so concerned with the high T3? But thank you again.



If you took Armour shortly before your blood test that will be why FT3 is high.

If you left 8+ hours between last dose and blood draw FT3 is high because you are over medicated. It's counterintuitive but being over medicated can cause weight gain.

FT4 is often low when taking NDT. It doesn't matter as long as FT3 is good (within range).

What was your TSH?

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Thank you for your reply. My TSH is .0013. Can you clarify what NDT is? So, since I have tabs that are 180mg, I could just cut them in half and take half a tab in the am and 1/4 tab in late afternoon. I will check with my new docior however I'm in this predicament because that is what the previous doctor prescribed. I appreciate your reply.



NDT (natural dessicated thyroid). Armour is one brand of NDT.

TSH is very suppressed and with high FT3 indicates over medication.

Yes, try the reduction and retest in 6-8 weeks making sure you leave 8 hours between last dose and blood draw.

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Looking at this article (is this the one you read?) it sounds as though you're 'over-converting' t4 to t3 which indeed could mean hypo and compensation for poorly adrenals. This is why all this reliance on bloods is unhelpful and the doctor should be checking for symptoms. If you suspect weak adrenals (do you have a lot of anxiety?) it can be helpful to take extra b vitamins, especially p-5-p (basically B6 in co-enzyme form).

You may need to slacken off the exercise a little bit, but get plenty of morning sunshine and have more rest as your body's probably needing a bit of a break...weight loss is not a priority. Diet to help adrenals - they seem to help me - include avocados, no added sugars, good fats, lots of green salads, eggs... and to eat evening meal around 6pm and not much later. Have a healthy snack later e.g. gluten-free muesli with some milk and blueberries in the evening and add some prebiotic fibre (as recommended by BBC's Dr Michael Moseley) to see you through the night if you're getting insomnia - a classic symptom of cortisol issues.


Thank you. Yes, I got the information from the book, "Stop the thyroid madness". I found the book very useful and started on Armor after reading it. I do feel much better. I own a business that has been under a lot of pressure lately so- it very well could be that I'm stressed! I will optimize my diet, I do take adrenal supplements already. I'll try the prebiotic fiber. I'm not sure I want to give up Armor , just would like to understand why the T3 is so high and if it's dangerous to be that high. I would also like to be prepared for my upcoming doctor appointment since I have been prescribed so many wrong thyroid medicines in the past.

Again, thank you.

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Do you consume any unfermented soy? Check all labels on processed foods, because most of it contains unfermented soy.


Good point. I don't consciously consume unfermented soy. Thank you.

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I use NDT and have chased blood results up and down. I have had T3 of 11 on a dose that I later returned to and had a T3 of 6 . I went by symptoms in the end. I find bloods can be misleading , especially with NDT , and particularly if you multi dose.


Hmmm. I'm not sure that I am as informed about the symptoms of being over-medicated on NDT as I might need to be if I'm going to self-diagnose. I actually feel pretty good. I'm troubled by unexplained weight gain when I exercise frequently and eat the same and sometimes a lack of energy for which I take adrenal compounds. Can you elaborate on the symptoms that might indicate over-medication or the need to reduce the dosage of NDT?

Thank you for your information and I appreciate your help.


I think you should keep it simple to try and get back on track. When on NDT the only accurate figure is the FT3 which will be high but must not go over the range, the FT4 can, not will, drop to around half way and the TSH will be suppressed and can even be zero. Reasoning is that it is safe to be that high in the FT3 range and that's what some of us have tried to do on Levo but for various reasons haven't made it.

So we are now in the correct part of the range of the T3 that out body needs. So now our body knows we have enough T3 to be well on so it doesn't need a huge store of T4 because it doesn't take much to convert to the T3 that we are already happy with. And wcause our body is getting enough T3 then the pituitary doesn't need to seen a message to the thyroid to produce more medication so TSH is on the floor

Now when you first started on NDT you were probably told to start low to get your body used to the T3 but also if you were switching from Levo you would have enough in your body of T4 to convert to T3 to make up the shortfall so that as you slowly increased your NDT the store of T4 would be decreasing so you short t suddenly feel a dip. Ok may not be spot on but close enough to make the change over relatively smooth.

You will Aldi have read that to increase up to 2 grains a day and then increase i quarters as you could be very near your optimum dose. But if you are found to have an adrenal problem you may not be able to raise your dose any further and you have managed that do at the moment it looks as though you are just over medicated.

When I started I got up to 3 grains and felt good or rather I did for a while but then I was beginning to feel over stimulated. But my bloods were due do I did t decrease but got a reading. And guess I was over the range. My Endo said to drop down to 1.75 which I felt would be far too much but I slowly started to reduce my dose and yes he was correct! I felt wonderful on 1.75! I hated to admit it but being over feels very much the same as being under!

what dose of Levo have you been on before? I alternated 100/125 mcg. I was feeling good on that but started with allergies so had to stop it.


Thank you so much for all of that information. Excellent analysis. To begin, I started on 180 mg of Armor and had been on levothroxine . I did read later when I started doing research that I should have started lower but the RX was 180 MG so I did that.

My TSH is .0014 . So basically zero. My T4 is in the low end of the proper range. So, now what? Obviously I need to reduce my dose but to what? I thought that maybe I would take 1/2 of the tablet of 180 so roughly 90. Then maybe another quarter in the late afternoon. I am taking adrenal compounds made by Standard Process. I'm not tired except upon first waking up, don't have trouble sleeping, a little anxious but in general feel fine. My issue is weight gain while exercising five days a week. Doesn't make sense to me. I did receive some excellent advice on reducing my dosage and my exercise. I eat very well and have never had a weight problem before..

Does that sound like a plan? I am going to my first appointment with an Endo in about two weeks. So, I will check all of this. I'm apprehensive about going off of Armor as I had a very difficult time even getting an RX for it. I think I got an RX of 180 just because the doctor didn't want to deal with me and do more labs! She was not a believer in it and said insurance would not cover it. So, I just pay for it.

Do you also recently recommend less exercise? Does my idea sound reasonable?

Thanks again-I really appreciate your knowledge. In fact , everyone on this site has been very helpful.


I forgot to mention that I am in bio-identical hormones.


Thank you to all who left me replies--you've been very helpful. Here's my update: My latest test (6/13)

TSH .01 (still very suppressed)

T3 5.3 (still high but way down from 11.0--the range is 2.3-4.2)

T4 1.43 (mid -range)

My Endo will not prescribe Armor and wants me to go back on Levo (100mcg). My question is- do I continue on with the Armor tablets that I cut in half so that I get about 90 mcg--or go to the Levo? I feel great, weight isn't dropping but it also isn't going up so dramatically anymore. I still don't have any trust in the Endo since he says that Armor is unstable, will be discontinued and no one prescribes it, when in fact--I do have a prescription (albeit too high) and all of my research doesn't say anything about it being discontinued. From your replies, I read that a suppressed TSH is to be expected and now the other ranges are pretty good. So, maybe a switch back to T4 only is satisfactory--I'm just hesitant because I don't want to go back to the low-grade depression and weight gain. Any comments?


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