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Thyroid UK
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Any Success with Using Cytomel (Liothyronine) Alone?

After recently experiencing many negative health symptoms, that I knew were thyroid related, and undergoing many blood tests to rule out other health issues, I've have finally figured out that it was Synthroid causing all the problems. I've been taking Synthroid along with Cytomel for 3 years.

Has anyone else experienced similar and now on only Cytomel?

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I've been on T3 only for years. Couldn't stand T4 only, T4+T3 or NDT.

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And, you are doing well, I'm guessing. How much do you take and what time of day?

For 3 weeks I have been experiencing horrible symptoms. I was talking to my doctor last night and she ask me not take any thyroid meds before my blood test this morning so I didn't . (I never take my Cytomel (t3) before a blood test). This was the first time I didnt take Synthroid (t4) before a test and after not taking it I am almost symptom-free from what I have been experiencing for the 3 weeks. It's crazy. I've had so many tests run trying to figure out what's wrong. I have found out I'm very low on iron.

My doctor has never dealt with anyone on only T3. She has just said to stay off t4 for one more day. Im not sure what to do about the T3 dosage. What was too much was 88mcg t4 and 25mcg t3.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

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I'm as well as can be expected. :)

I take 75 mcg daily, when I get up - whenever that might be! I used to take it at night, but now I like to take my magnesium at night, and as they should be six hours apart, I take the T3 in the morning. I don't notice and difference between dosing in the morning and dosing at night.

So, is that what you're taking at the moment? 88 mcg T4 and 25 mcg T3? Have you tried going right down to 25 mcg T4?

Do you have any labs to share with us? Do you know how well you convert? Have you had your nutrients tested?

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I don't convert well. Here are my labs from 2 weeks ago. Not all showed up on my printout. I only have the other fromibmy doctor over the phone.

I had not taken my t3 meds for 18 hours when labs were done. Took t4 8 hours before labs.

TSH 0.02

Free T3 2.79 - ref range 2.5-3.9

Reverse T3 15 - ref range 9.2-24.1

Was told Free T4 was low

Ferritin was low at 20 NG/ml doctor wants it at 100

Vitamin D was somewhat low

B12 was right in the middle of the reference range

Folate is being checked tomorrow

Any thoughts on these numbers ?

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Well, 18 hours is too long. It should be no longer than 12 hours. So, your normal circulating T3 is probably higher than that - possibly over-range.

FT4 is going to be low when taking T3, it doesn't matter. But, normally, one should leave 24 hours.

Reverse T3 is irrelevant, as is TSH.

Ferritin much too low, as you know.

If vit d is low, you should supplement.

Saying that b12 was middle of the range, without giving the range, tells me nothing! lol

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180 -914 ng/L. Mine was 600:) for B 12

2 months ago I had a lab test where I had taken my t3 5 hours before the blood draw and it was high. I take 15 mcg t3 when I wake up and 10 at 1 :00 pm. I didn't take the next morning dose because it would be so close to the labs again.

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8 - 12 hours is the normal gap to leave.

So, your b12 was good. :)

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😊 I'm still trying to understand it all, still . My guess is I will need to increase t3 in a few weeks as the t4 leaves my system. Is that how it worked for you?

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No, I was on NDT, before T3 only. And, it was such a long time ago, I have absolutely not memory of how it happened. Sorry.

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Thank you.

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You're welcome. :)

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Quick question. What are your thoughts on the fact my doctor does not want to increase my Cytomel dose of 25cgs after I just discontinued 88mcgs of Synthroid? She also said to schedule an follow up appt in 2 months! I think I'll need help on dosing before 2 months time.

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Well, with your level, you could very easily go over-range. It's not that low. I think just one increase of 6.25 mcg, and then you should wait a few weeks, see how you feel. I can understand that with her level of knowledge, she wouldn't feel comfortable increasing. I doubt she knows that much about T3.

If after, say three weeks, when the T3 is well out of your system, you feel you need another increase, just another 6.25, and then I would wait out the two months, if I were you. Although I doubt she'll be much help to you, even then.

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Hi Greygoose, I've been out of touch in this group since my husband had a heart attack. He's ok, has three stents in heart now. We are still on vacation on the mainland and finally go home tomorrow. I have raised my t3 to 60mcg a day in 3 divided doses. I had to do these major increases just to function and get through the day.

I've been off t4 meds for 6 weeks. Been on 60mcg for 3 days and doing my best so far.

Just checking in:). Once I'm home I'll domy vitals and jave access to the Paul Robertson book.

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Well, that's quite a high dose, now. Did you increase to 60 from 25 in one go? You really should take care. That's too much. It might not hit you at first, but do watch yourself for signs of over-medication.

Glad your husband is ok.:)

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I did it over the course of a week. Increased by 5 then 10 minutes he 10 more. I made a mistake in my new dosage. I'm currently on 50mcg not 60. I had an MRI run yesterday. My doctor here is looking for a pituitary tumor and results will be in today. Probably won't find it......I'm sure its all thyroid connected.

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Well, that's much too fast. So, be careful.

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Ok, does t3 build over time? I thought it was in & out fast from your system. I take my blood pressure 1 hour after dosing and again at 2 hours after and it's consistently 122/75 and pulse 80. Those are good numbers for me. My body temp never gets over 98.1

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It stays in the blood for about a day, I believe, but the T3 that gets into the cells is working in there for about three days. And, from my understanding, it doesn't stop taking it in when it has enough, so some cells can have too much T3, causing hyper symptoms, and others can have hypo symptoms. With that dose, it's possible that rather a lot of your cells are going to have too much.

So, it doesn't build up in the same way as T4, it's not stored, but the cells can become over-replete. That's the way I've understood it all, anyway.

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I take 125 mg Cytomel (the brand NOT generic) alone. with Greygoose's help I'm playing with this dose. I've been on T3 alone for one year - before that I was on Synthroid and NDT and both made me feel HORRIBLE and made me gain weight. Are you in the US? My doctor is amazing and so supportive and will prescribe whatever I need --which I understand is quite rare. There ARE wonderful doctors out there.

I take 37.5, 37.5, 25, 25.

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Thank you and yes I am in the US. I have been lucky to find a doctor who is open to t3 only but not knowledgeable at all on it.

Two days ago I quit taking 88mcg Synthroid for the first time in 20 years and 80% of my body aches, numbness, tingling & pain are gone. I've been on Cytomel for 2 years. For the last 2 days I am on 25mcg Cytomel alone, waiting to see how I feel as the days go by and the Synthroid leaves my system. I'm extremely tired but that is from low iron....I think😊

Greygoose has been wonderful 🌺

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Hi Nutripea,

I was originally on 88mcg t4 and 25 mcg t3. Horrible symptoms set in and to make this a short story.....For the last 6 weeks I am now on just 45mcg t3 in 4 divided doses. I've been rasing my t3 by 5mcgs at a time and know I need more. Had a horrible experience yesterday afternoon and quickly took 10 mcg t3. Whithin an hour I was better. After 90 minutes felt much better.

How much did you increase new doses and how often ?

Thank you!

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Yeah, you can live on T3-only. Most people take about 50mcg of T3-only daily but there are individual differences: some take a bit less, some take more. Majority of us multidose: take 3-4 doses daily. There are some who take only 1-2 bigger doses per day.

Check the books by Paul Robinson, especially the "Recovering with T3" book: recoveringwitht3.com/ It's available through amazon. Also: I suggest you join the "T3 support" facebook group. I'm not sure whether "T3 support" FB group is open to new members yet, but it will certainly be accepting new members in the future. Take care xx

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Thank you. I'm extremly low in iron and trying to figure out how to work in several doses of my 25mcgs Cytomel throughout my day. I've been told to allow 4 hours after/before my Cytomel dose in order to take the iron.

I'm on day 2 without my 88mcg Synthroid and I'm doing ok on Cytomel alone.

That fb group is still closed. I'll check back.

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Ho OrchidIsle , I sent a question to moderators of "T3 support" group asking whether a new person could join. I'll let you know what they say.

I agree: you need to wait min 4hrs after T3 before you take iron. Iron supplements need to be taken with vitamin C to increase absorption of iron (and reduce the risk of constipation). It's important that vit C supplement doesn't contain calcium and, preferably, does contain bioflavonids.

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P.S. The only inconvenience of T3-only is that majority of us take it in more than one dose daily. You can get used to it. There is nothing to be scared of as long as you increase the dose of T3 slowly (5mcg - 6.25 mcg increments).

J.F. Kennedy was on T3-only if it makes you feel any better ;)

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Alright!!!! Yea, makes me feel better:)

I have been on a divided dose of t3 for a year. 15mcg in the a.m. And 10mcg at noon.

My doctors office just called and even tho I just discontinued 88mcg Synthroid, she does not want me to increase my Cytomel and she'd see me in 2 months. Feels like I'm jumping off a cliff without an increase of Cytomel but time will tell. I start all the b's and iron today and that should help with my tiredness.

Thanks for all your communication 🌺

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Thank you for checking with them!! Do you need my facebook name?

I'm mixing up Emergen-c, the drink mix, to take my iron with.

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Good morning, wanted to let you know I just sent a "request " to join the t3 support group on Facebook. They had opened it up again😊 Thank you again. My name is Lennie Campbell on Facebook

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Erin Fleming Lembke, the admin of the "T3 support" group replied that they will be accepting new members as from the 5th of September. I gave her your name and told her that you had already sent a request to join the group. Let me know how you get on. Take care xx

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Thanks for posting!

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PS: I'm starting iron today for first time.

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Hi, I have been on T3 only for 4 months, like Greygoose I take mine in one large dose when I wake up and leave 2 hours before have anything else, I was on 200mcg of T4 and feeling very ill, I read everything I could find and it was obvious to me that T3 was the answer for me! I stopped T4 to get it out of my system(I Immediatley felt better!) In the end I went for 4 weeks, which was longer than I intended, then went straight onto 75mcg of T3, I tried Paul Robinson's method but it didn't really suit me, I read on here how other people followed Dr Lowe and took it in one dose so I tried it and felt great! My T3 levels were still only middle of range so I am now on 112.5 mcg, feeling good and losing weight👏🏻😄. I monitor my temperature and heart rate every day, I supplement all the vitamins/minerals and am due a full blood test for everything in a couple of weeks when I will re-evaluate and tweek my dosage. I still have off days but I think that is to be expected to start with.The T3 I am taking is the Spanish version Triyotex, which some people found weak, but it works for me and I have had no problems with my supplier, which helps😄 I think a two month wait before you see your Dr. Is too long! But go with how you feel-only you can tell if it is right for you! Good luck!😊

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Hope you are pleased I persuaded you to make that leap of faith over to TUK 😊😊 Lots of great people here who think outside the box and get well. Welcome !

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I am😊

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I too was on Synthroid for almost 20 years and never felt totally well. Over that time period I gained 20+ pounds and three years ago experienced many issues. Finally was given a combo of T4/T3 , that seemed to work but only 6 months in I started having issues again. This time my RT3 was way over range and my T3 was at the bottom. Went off the T4 to rid the RT3 and then this Spring was given the go ahead by my Endo to do the T3 only. I can honestly say I haven't felt this good in many many years. Wish it hadn't taken so long for someone to listen to me.

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Aloha! How much t3 do you now take?

Thank you,

Lennie

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BTW I take 55 mcg daily 25 upon waking, 25 at noon and 5 evening

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Hi Orchidlse

I’ll start by saying here are people here way more knowledgeable than me, so this is just what I did, and I think I’m an ‘exception case’ not the norm!!!

Important to point that out.

I started on NDT 4 years ago and was up to 6 grains but it made me gain weight and have horrible rashes on my neck. Then I switched to synthroid 175 for 4 months and put on about 11lbs. I was so fed up (I’m in an industry where weight is REALLY frowned upon meaning-‘my career was in jeopardy).

I quit cold turkey out of frustration and took nothing for 6 months. I have pictures of me then and I look swollen. Practically shiny like a balloon!

My wonderful doctor started me on 50 cytomel. In two doses. I was afraid and took just 25 the first two weeks... as people on this board seem to know I never do what I’m told 🙄 anyway about 5lbs water came right off. I felt so good so I upped to 50 after two weeks. After a month I went to 75 and 2 months after that I went to 100. I was feeling amazing on 100 until June when suddenly I felt hypo again and now on 125.

Now, there are various opinions on this here so I’m not saying what I did is right.... it works for me. When I don’t take enough my heart beats wildly. When I take enough I feel amazing, happy and energized.

My t4 and tSH are non existent of course. My t3 is significantly above Angie and my doctor says it doesn’t matter bc the ranges are for t4 meds.

So that’s me! Honestly I just increased and played and saw how I felt. My doc goes by symptoms so it was sort of up to me - he is a Harvard educated doctor so not a quack. I trust him. (Even though sometimes I do worry about my dose!!)

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Thank you. I know we are all so different. I quit my 88mcg Synthroid, (t4) 6 weeks ago and remained on my 25mcg t3 only. I have been on 25mcg for over a year so my body is used to that dose but first time only on t3. I moved myself up slowly to 35mcg over the last few weeks but put myself on 45 mcg today after yesterday's episode.

I feel like a misfit because the more t3 I take....the lower my pulse and bp become.

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I’m the same. Makes my heart slow down. So you aren’t a misfit or we both are!!

What happened? What episode?

I took 75 all at once 2 weeks ago and nothing happened. It was stupid but I wanted to see what would happen. Nothing. I don’t think I absorb it like other people.

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I was playing cards with my family (we are on vacation until this coming Wednesday) and I was my normal tired, (still have carpal-tunnel like symptoms, as a side note:) and all of the sudden when I was asked a question about the game my words got mixed up when I spoke, I didnt make any sense at all with what I said. I got light headed, lost concentration. I got up immediately and took an additional 10mcg t3 which is 10mcg above what I've been taking. Within an hour I was much better and within another 30 minutes....totally fine. I really feel I need to take that much again today.

Any thoughts?

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don't ever in your life buy any hormones from mexaco probably safer from good ol briney

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