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Thyroid UK
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Why doesn’t t3 work for me

I have always known I was hypothyroid, finally dr M. checked my labs, my Rt3 was 21 and free t3 was 3.4. Free t4 was 0.90. I have the other lab values if needed. My a1c , and I have never been diagnosed as a diabetic.... was 5.4. So I was prescribed cytomel 5 mcg and metformin 500er twice a day. After six weeks I take 10 mcg of cytomel and same metformin, I watch closely to take as prescribed, mornings empty stomach and watch diet closely. I have not lost any weight, I stay with in a two pound range of my original weight. So now dr m. Has put me on armour and farxiga. I do believe I have an absorption issue, (ibs and etc) also inflammation, I take meloxicam 15 mg daily, so my question is, how do I get better absorption, and will armour work better than cytomel? I am so wanting this weight to come off. Just an added note, over 20+ yrs ago, I took synthroid for 15 yrs, my endocrinologist died and my family dr took me off. Pls advise I need 50 pounds gone. 💜

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Can you post your TSH, FT4, FT3, full thyroxin, Vit D, b12, folate and ferritin test with ranges and units? Have you been diagnosed as Hashimoto's with thyroid autoimmune antibodies too?

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4/18 labs were tsh 0.850 free t3 3.4 (2.5-3.9 range). Free t4 was 0.90 (range is .58-1.64) rev t3 21 Range 9.2-24.1 I have got to check my patient portal, but I don’t think anyone did b12, ferritin, however tpo 8. I believe that’s correct and range 0-34 throtropin receptor ab serum 1.73 range is 0.00-1.75 a1c was 5.4. Never been diagnosed as a diabetic but was put on metformin. Then on 7/18. labs are free t3 3.4 that didn’t change! Free t4 0.65 very slight change... insulin 7.8 range 2.6-24.9. A1c went up slightly 5.6 despite the metformin. I have been on cytomel 5 mcg, for six weeks and now 10 mcg for this last six weeks, along with that metformin. No weight change at all, and I truly am trying ! So yesterday I was told to stop all that Med, and take armour 15 mg and farxiga 5 mg. I would like to know how or if my baby has an absorption issue, I have IBS and constipation and also inflammation which I take Mobic 15 mg. I want this weight off, I know it doesn’t come off as easily as it went on, I have tried every diet even hcg, I realize I was just not helping the hypothyroid issue at all, however dr. Also asked about stress in the past, which was a divorce after 31 yrs of marriage and a death of a 33 yr old son, and much much more. All things a wonderful, now!!! I am blessed beyond measure!! Will armour and farxiga work better, and how do I get labs for ferritin and b12. I want this weight off, and I am seriously very much so trying. I also want metabolism to be good. Thanks, may God bless you all!

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Here are other labs that were drawn. I am a paramedic, somewhat knowledge in this, not stupid, but not the smartest... I just want to get my life and energy and metabolism and weight back to normal. Ty so much for any advise.

REFERENCE RANGE

F*NA141135-145 (mmol/L)

F*K4.13.5-5.1 (mmol/L)

F*CL10597-108 (mmol/L)

FALKP*6739-117 (U/L)

F*AST/GOT1410-42 (U/L)

F*ALT/GPT177-33 (U/L)

F*T.Bili0.600.30-1.20 (mg/dL)

F*CA9.98.6-10.3 (mg/dL)

F*Creat0.6660.600-1.300 (mg/dL)

F*BUN187-25 (mg/dL)

F*GLU9365-99 (mg/dL)

F*ALB4.33.5-5.5 (g/dL)

F*T.Protein7.16.1-8.4 (g/dL)

F*GFR>60> 60 mL/min/1.73^2 (mL/min/1.73m^2)

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T3 may not work for everyone, just as some NDTs may not either. Sometimes changing brands of either can help as it can be the fillers/binders that can affect us and not the particular thyroid hormone.

If your doctor was hoping that a 5mcg of T3 then a 10mcg will work wonders - he should re-learn. 10mcg of T3 is around 30mcg of levothyroxine.

On reading some of your other comments I think you've been given too low a dose for you to improve. 10mcg of T3 is 30 of levo and not one person could survive with that mean amount.

If your doctor diagnosed you as being diabetic without the appropriate tests I would be extremely wary of this doctor.

He gives you a prescription for too low a dose of thyroid hormones and also prescribes for diabetes which you may not have.

I am confused - no wonder you are.

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Do you think armour might work better for me? Pure t3 (cytomel) was given due to my reverse t3 being upper range of lab value (21)) I was told by others about absorption and inflammation that can cause this medicine not to work as well. Weird that metformin didn’t even bring my a1c down, it went up, just slightly. Also do you know about farxiga, I am hoping this all works to get me back to normal. Ty for your input.

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Were you taking levothyroxine that gave you high RT3 levels?Unfortunately we don't know which NDT will work better for us unless we actually try it. For instance there's about four or five NDTs and they could all suit you or just one or none. We don't know till we try. We cannot get high RT3 when taking T3 alone. RT3 is when we take levothyroxine.

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No sir, I was not on any thyroid meds til I was put on liothyronine (cytomel) which is a pure t3 med. and the metformin. Now today is my first day of taking armour 15 mg and farxiga 5mg. Evidently I have a conversion issue where my t4 doesn’t convert to t3, like most people, or like it’s suppose too. I am praying daily for all this to work. Again ty so much for your response.

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I am sure you will be fine on T3 as it doesn't need to be converted like levothyroxine or the T4 in the NDT.

When you reach an optimum dose of T3 I am sure you will feel much better and I feel well on T3 only. I also tried all of the other options before taking T3 only. Take your pulse/temp several times a day on T3 inititally and keep a personal record as sometimes we feel hot but temp hasn't changed. If it has risen above normal reduce dose slightly.

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Yes sir, I check my vitals and I know armour is some (natural/pig) t3 plus some t4. I will let you know if this new regimen works. 🤗 thanks. I will keep checking this site for info. Ty. Be blessed.

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Conversion issues are normally noted when taking T4/levothyroxin and it is not being converted properly to the active T3 hormone our cells/ receptors need...you were taking only T3 directly so didn't need to convert it so not sure how anybody knows you are a poor T4 converter. This is actually a good reason to start with t4 'meds' only to start with, as when you start the combo T4/T3 armour today you won't know you can convert the T4 part.

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If you can't convert, NDT (Armour) may not work for you as it is mostly T4. In any case half a grain is probably too little to have much effect. I think metformin is probalby less awful to take, side effect-wise, than farxiga - I wouldn't want to take something that gave me flu-like symptoms and yeast infections as the most common side effects. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled - usually - with diet (keto or lowish carb) and/or intermittent fasting.

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I am hypothyroid and diabetic- I'm not sure why you were even put on metformin in the first place, but infact that is what a private endo did to me 12 years ago , effectively becoming a medically dependent diabetic which I wasn't before, and never did anything about the obvious poor T4 conversion problems on 150 mcg levothyroxin/T4, perhaps it's a diabetic endocrinologist specialist thing! I'd be wary of what such an endocrinologist does re hypothyroidism. Metformin doesn't reduce some people's blood sugar anyway, other diabetic drugs just work in slightly different ways so farxiga might. If I was in the same position now with 'raised' blood sugars, I'd opt for a low/ very low carb. diet for 2/3 months instead of drugs - they will be pushed on you for life. Metformin incidentally reduces people's B12 too. I'd get your Vit D, b12, folate and ferritin tested- many Uk members have to have private lab tests for this. Did you only get TPO autoimmune antibodies tested- I had TgAb only as very high positive for Hashimoto's and not TPO. A characteristic of Hashimoto's is poor gut absorption due to low stomach acid, and nutrients whether from food, drink or supplements are often low. Using RT3 for thyroid diagnosis is rather controversial as it can be the result of lots of other problems : from very low calorie diets, low iron, chronic fatigue,acute illness or chronic disease, high cortisol or inflammation etc etc.

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Great info, I have so much to look at. I really appreciate all this info. I read sometime ago, about b12 and thought I may be deficient, I mentioned this to my family doctor however never gave me any lab orders to be tested. I am now going to ask my family doctor or even the endocrinologist to do these labs, you mentioned. 💞

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My dr said they can’t start out with a higher dose of cytomel, it’s done slowly, however he chose to stop at the 10 mg and try me on armour, and mentioned the farxiga will work somewhat differently than metformin, and I may be able to bring the a1c down with this a little better. I have read and looked at these meds, and I know some people were on higher doses. My heart rate has not increased with the cytomel, nor actually do I feel any change at all when I took it, maybe a higher dose is what I needed.

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When we are on any thyroid hormones for a period we can switch to others, i.e. NDT or T3 in an equivalent amount, i.e. 1gr of NDT = 100mcg of T4. 100mcg of T4 = 25mcg of T3. The doctor may be cautious and I think there's no harm in that and I do hope you feel better soon.

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Ty. Your knowledge and advise is taken! Ty. I really appreciate this info. 🍏

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Dr said I was pre diabetic and put me on it. I am off of it now I will check this site again later today. Ty all so much for posting

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I don’t take both diabetic meds, I was on metformin, he stopped that one and put me on farxiga. My lipids have always been good, thank God.

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4/18 labs were

tsh 0.850

free t3 3.4 (2.5-3.9 range).

Free t4 was 0.90 (range is .58-1.64)

I cannot imagine why you were put on T3 with those results. Your FT3 is slightly over mid-range. That's not hypo.

T3 is not a weight-loss drug. So, you shouldn't just be taking it because you want to lose weight. And, I doubt your weight-gain is due to being hypo because you aren't hypo with those results, nor do you appear to have a conversion problem. Sorry, but that's my opinion.

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They look at the reverse t3 lab value and that’s shows my t4 isn’t converting to t3, like most peoples. I was put on that to bring rt3 down. I evidently have an issue with absorption and inflammation which can cause those values. Read Bout reverse t3. It was helpful.

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That's… not very intelligent on their part.

For one thing, just taking T3 does not bring down rT3 - how would that work? What reduces rT3 is fixing the problem that caused it, and it could be all sorts of things. High/low cortisol, low ferritin, low-calorie diet, infection, etc. etc. etc. It can be high FT4 but your FT4 isn't that high.

Having high rT3 doesn't necessarily mean you have a conversion problem. To see how well you are converting, you compare the FT4 with the FT3. If you have an FT4 at the top of the range, and an FT3 at the bottom, you know for sure you have a conversion problem! But it can be more subtle. Basically, you work out the percentages and the ratio. But more simply, FT4 and FT3 should be about equal in their respective ranges. Your FT3 is much higher in its range then your FT4 in its, so how could you possible have a conversion problem? Your doctors need to go back to med school. They are over-medicating you with a hormone you don't even need. Could be why it's not doing anything for you, but it could do you harm.

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Is 10mcg T3 ALL you are taking for thyroid? If so, it doesn't work yet as the dose is too low. You need extra B12 if taking metformin. To lose 50 pounds safely will take at least 6 months. Meloxicam is very hard on your stomach, kidneys and liver, so you probably have a general absorption problem now. Can you get off it gradually and take probiotics and general liver and kidney support supplements? If you are in the UK, CDB oil is good for pain and not an irritant like NSAIDs

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Ty for the response. Yes mam, my doctor had me on only 10 mg, the reverse t3 did t move but just slightly, so he changed me to Armour 15 mg and farxiga 5 mg, instead of metformin. I really watch carefully what and how much I eat and I have lost two pound which I am happy with so far, only being on the meds several days now, having all my grand kids this week may have helped also. Lol. I am in the US, state of South Carolina.

I would love to come off the mobic/meloxicam. I kind of hurt all over after three days without it. My back, my feet, shoulders....I refuse to be unhealthy, I am a busy person, not that I exercise, I know I should, but, just on the go a lot. I will check out that oil, ty so very much. God bless.

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Take on board though that you can only tell if you have a conversion problem it you are only taking Levo (T4), once you add in T3 in any form then only the FT3 result is accurate and should be high but you have no FT4 results that can be classed as accurate as on T3 that is sufficient so the FT4 reading can lower so we have no true comparison

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I was recently taken off my cytomel and metformin and put on Armour 15 mg and farxiga, OH WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Thank You Jesus! I feel a little more energetic and some pounds are coming off! Pure t3-cytomel did not touch one symptom, but this other combination is working, I am feeling so much better!

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Glad your feeling better 8grand but I am totally confused why you’re being treated as diabetic when your HBA1c is normal. Did your doctor tell you why he was putting you on metformin?

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Because I was “borderline” diabetic and he said you don’t want to wait til your a full blown diabetic. I believe this was the reason. Now I am on farxiga, not metformin. I truly feel great. I believe it’s the Armour medication that’s making the difference.

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I would be seriously worried that your doctor is treating you for diabetes when your HBA1c is in the normal range 5.4 is not diabetic it’s not even pre diabetic. I was pre diabetic but I’m now in the normal range with a HBA1c exactly the same as yours 5.4.

Check out the following link. It’s dangerous to treat someone for diabetes when they are not diabetic.

diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_car...

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Is the A1c range the same for everyone ? The lab paperwork came back with H beside that Lab. Alum, meaning high. I think it’s a normal value, or does it go by your age? I am 58 yrs old. I feel very healthy, I thank God, I do not have high blood pressure, and I don’t claim the diabetes, maybe doc just wants the lab value to come down a bit, before I am taken off the farxiga .

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If your in the UK yes I think it is. Farxiga will also lower your blood pressure. I would certainly ask why your Doctor wants you to take Farxiga.

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