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Thyroid UK
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Blood test says reverse T3 is gone, but I still feel hypothyroid???

Hi everyone, I have been on an awful journey with Reverse T3 for the past few months. I finally found a doctor who switched me to Cytomel 3 weeks ago, and my Reverse T3 blood test just came back super low. This would seem to be a good sign, except my hypothyroid symptoms are not better! I have read a lot about the Reverse T3 needing to "clear the cell receptors," but I am wondering how long it takes for this to happen once your blood level of Reverse T3 is already dropped? I know that average time to feel better in general is 8-12 weeks, but that can't be right because my blood level dropped in only 3 weeks. Does that mean it takes 5-9 more weeks for the Reverse T3 to clear out of the cells? :( Thank you for any insight

3 Replies

I had very high reverse T3 a few years ago and I went on T3 only. I have to point out I didn't have a clue what I was doing at the time.

I had read about reverse T3 "clearing" suddenly and people feeling very hyperthyroid, and it could be quite alarming when it happened. That's what happened to me after about 8 weeks, and yes, it was alarming and I wouldn't want to go through it again.

I've since read that getting rid of reverse T3 is actually quite quick, as you've found out. So what is actually happening when the reverse T3 "clears" dramatically after 8 - 12 weeks? I haven't got a clue, sorry!

Another thing I've read - sorry, I don't have a link - is that issues like high cortisol (amongst others) can slow down clearance of Reverse T3 from the liver, rather than increase the conversion from T4 to Reverse T3.



You might find this link from another forum of interest. It gives you lots of possibilities why you might still feel hypo.



My guess is - and it is only a guess - that the blood test is not the whole story. A blood test only measures what's in the blood, not what's still stuck in the receptors. How long it takes to get out of the receptors is anybody's guess. But taking Cytomel for just 3 weeks, doesn't sound very long, to me, not in thyroid terms.


As greygoose said, serum tests are not that conclusive. It's hard to say what is going on within the cell and that's why the temperature test is better. You can look it up under Broda Barnes. The reason we gain weight is because hypos do not burn calories well which is due to our low body temperature. If you have enough hormone your temperature should be around normal. Also mentioned was cortisol which pushes your thyroid down and, of course, ferritin has to be high enough as well. Maybe you just need more T3.


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