Supplementing T4 with T3 - when did you start t... - Thyroid UK

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Supplementing T4 with T3 - when did you start to feel better?


Hi -

I was diagnosed as hypo about 6 months ago. I am on 100mcg Levo. I went to a specialist just before Christmas because it just isn't working for me and yesterday my Bulgarian T3 arrived - I am instructed to take 5mcg 3 times a day.

I took two doses yesterday and felt like I was coming down with the flu - even worse than "normal"!

For those who have tried the same thing, I'm curious as to how long it took before you started to feel better? I am in desperate need of hope! I seem to recall my specialist saying that T3 improves things quite quickly for lots of people in his experience so... ugh!



In other news, I had been gluten free for a while and then started eating it again, like a twit as I was so rough over Christmas with the Hashis, I figured it couldn't possibly make me feel worse (WRONG!) I've also been a bit shoddy at taking my endless vitamin supplements, pre biotic, pro biotic... I feel like such a hypochondriac with all that lot! But back to being a walking pill bag with endless alarms on my phone to remind me... :)

17 Replies


Most European T3 is 25mcg. Are you sure you took 2 x 5mcg and not 2 x 25mcg?

I felt improvement in brain fog, cognition and mood within a week of adding T3 to Levothyroxine but it took several months for physical symptoms to improve but I suspect that may have been due to a build up of Levothyroxine as I had been on high doses.

Lotika in reply to Clutter

Thank you Clutter - that definitely does sound like hope :)

I am using a pill cutter to quarter the 25mcg T3 tablets, so given that you do get a bit of powder crumbling off, I feel that I'm probably close to the 5mcg dose suggested!

I really hope I can post back in a week and say that it's working as I know so many of us need a bit of hope some days!

Thanks :)


I've literally just posted about feeling some improvement since starting my T3 dose. I've been taking a quarter of a 25mcg tablet and for the last three days have felt some more energy, a slight reduction in brain fog, and some cheerfulness! I'm scared to get too excited about it in case it's a blip!

I'm not an expert, but I would imagine taking a bigger dose initially might be too much of a shock to your body. I was advised to start small, and increase every two weeks.

Lotika in reply to ShinyB

Thanks ShinyB, I've just seen your thread and I must have been responding on that whilst you were responding here! I'm so thrilled for you and I know what you mean about being scared in case it all changes, but oh my, fingers crossed that it continues for you, that's such great news! :)

ShinyB in reply to Lotika

I'm grinning like a cheshire cat :D :D It's the first time I've felt some oomph and cheerfulness in months! I had private tests done in September that showed my T3 was under range, and my T4 low in range. Since then I've been slowly increasing my levo dose, and feeling much worse! But the T3 seems to be having an effect. I'm praying it's the T3 anyway, as if it is that means there is room for even more improvement!

I understood exactly what you meant in reply to my post, about needing hope. I posted a while back askign about success stories. But by nature of the beast, I think a lot of people stop using the forum when they start feeling better. So we're seeing the worst cases here!

I really hope you start seeing some improvement soon :) x

Lotika in reply to ShinyB

It is in part the crazy hashis, but your story has made me all tearful, in a good way. I shall have a look for your post asking for success stories!

Thank you re improvement - I keep reminding myself that I WILL GET THERE. We will all get there. "There" just seems an awfully long way away some days :)

ShinyB in reply to Lotika

I remember when I first stumbled across an article on T3 (whilst looking up information on my high cholesterol levels), and from that started reading stories of people whose lives had changed for taking it, I just couldn't stop crying!

I've felt awful from hypo symptoms since I was a teenager, but was always told my tsh was normal. It's taken till I was 50 to start getting to the root cause (and sadly not via any GP or endocrinologist, who still ignore my private test results).

I think I've found the last five months the hardest to bear - from discovering what was going on, to feeling worse for increasing my levo dose, and just feeling so desperate to start feeling better.

And now I'm trying to reign in my excitement in case it's a blip lol.

I've got everything crossed that you start to feel some improvement soon. Let me know how you get on!

Lotika in reply to ShinyB

I do get your worry about the "blip". I remember having an amazing day about 3 months ago and thinking "... just maybe", but unfortunately not!

I read some of the posts on the "hope" thread you started and you really have been through it - so many have - it's heart-breaking. I'd been having urinary tract issues for years including a procedure(!) and since the levo those have cleared up... Also the obligatory anxiety and depression diagnosis and a prescription for anti-d's I never took... :)

I had a low period over Christmas - I didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't eat gluten and didn't eat dairy. And felt worse! It made me feel so powerless as before, I'd harbored the hope that if I just behaved myself a bit better, then maybe I could control it... but that hope got dashed.

Then, yesterday (and it perhaps explains the flu-feeling) I went to the GP and she gave me a reduced responsibilities cert for work, having wanted to sign me off... and I was devastated that it'd got to that with a condition I'm going to have for the rest of my life... I cried buckets...

Anyway, upward from here - I will be shouting from the rooftops if this T3 starts to work :)

Sending virtual hugs.

Lotika x

ShinyB in reply to Lotika

ah hun :( Although healthy eating etc definitely have their place, if you've got a faulty thyroid, then 'behaving yourself' is not going to give you the thyroid hormones you need to feel better! And, although you may have hypothyroidism for the rest of your life, you won't always feel this bad once you've worked out the best treatment options for you and got your replacement hormones optimised.

I definitely identify with the self-beating, but it ain't your fault!

Hang in there. Things will improve! Hugs to you too xx

Lotika in reply to ShinyB

Yup, the beating oneself up *is* a thing... :) like all of us, I had at least 3 years of thinking I just needed to kick myself up the ar$e, before being diagnosed... and I hate to think of what I spent on counselling!

I got about 5hrs sleep as I'm schlepping into head office today but woke up feeling better than I have in years... crashing badly now, but... I had 2hrs of great... !

And I think my brain is functioning better than normal even now I'm tired... i feel somehow more together under the tired. Weird!

L x

ShinyB in reply to Lotika

I refuse to even do a rough calculation of how much money I've spent on counselling & psychotherapy!! I don't begrudge it as it's often been the only thing that has kept me going and I've learned masses from it. But if I'd been correctly diagnosed and treated re my thyroid, I'd be much better off now financially, not just physically! And breathe..... !

Are you doing stuff to support your adrenals? You might be interested in this link that I've just posted elsewhere. If you scroll down, it discusses adrenals and thyroid.

That's interesting what you said about your brain working better. I found that once I discovered how low my FT3 was, and there was a cause behind my "psychological" symptoms, the psychological symptoms abated. I still felt down, and lacking in motivation, and despairing of ever feeling better, but rather than go in to a period of depression, I was able to hang in there and be rational about it. I've had so many years of being told I was neurotic, and believing that I was "broken" mentally, that this is new territory! Understanding the physiological reasons behind my moods has been like having an industrial buoyancy aid!

Roll on the improvements!

Hope your day is ok. I often find it helpful to escape to the loos at work for a few minutes to just sit quietly.

Take care xx

Lotika in reply to ShinyB

Thank you for the adrenal link - I had briefly considered whether adrenals might be a thing for me before and had a read on the way home last night, so good to be a bit better informed on that one :)

I will try to remember the hashi's is causing some of the psychological stuff - that's a good tip for keeping the chin up...

Two nights without enough sleep (at HQ again) so not a great one today, unfortunately, but I think I'll have an idea of how the T3 regime is going by Sunday as I'll be better rested...

L xx

ShinyB in reply to Lotika

I can't quite recall the details but I think adrenal function that is out of whack can cause problems when you up your dose. It sounds like quite a delicate balance. Might be worth posting the question if you want to know more, as I'm too wuzzy headed today to recall what I've even read!

Hope you get through the day ok... xx


I think you took too much, too quickly.

Try reducing your doses as for many who are severely deficient, introducing 5mcg T3 a day is plenty for our bodies to tolerate.

My own protocol was to medicate 5mcg T3 in the mornings for a week. Then, so long as all was well, to introduce another 5mcg T3 in the afternoon for another week. Then, increase the morning dose to 10mcg T3 for a further week, then finally increase afternoon dose to 10mcg T3 ....... so totally 20mcg day (as you are only on 15mcg T3 a day you may wish to skip the last increment).

Many members have experienced an inner heat & headache that lasted two/three days when initially introducing T3 as the body acclimatised but cognition & brain fog showed improvement within 24 - 48 hours.

Lotika in reply to radd

Thank you, radd!

Early days, but I think I have some improvement this morning... so I'm going to persevere with the endo's destructions... good to know about the heat and headaches - I have been experiencing the latter mildly... but today I am certainly better than normal!!! Yippee!!!


That's too much to start with - It's like adding another 50mcg tablet of levo. You should start on 1/4 tablet (either 5mcg or 6.25mcg) once a day for about a week, then 2 x a day for about a week, then 3 x a day if you need it.

Hello Angel_of_the_North,

Thank you for this. I am now planning on waiting to see how I feel on Sunday and ... if the answer is that I haven't seen any sustained improvement, I'll try knocking back and building in slowly...

Thinking it through, it could make sense, as I was pretty sensitive to the levo and starting at 75mcg with that made me feel pants, so the endos have suggested starting doses which didn't work for me before...


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