Thyroid UK
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Have finally been offered a trial of Liothyronine, but should I take it? Advice please

I've been on Levo (75 mcg) for 3 years now, but following a virus last winter I became constantly tired. My doctor diagnosed CFS in July and referred me to an endocrinologist. After three visits (between September and December) he's agreed to a trial of Liothyronine. Am seeing my doctor tomorrow about this (endo didn't give me details).

My dilemma is that in the meantime I have changed my diet (more info below*) following advice from a nutritionist in July, and over the past month I've started to feel quite a lot better.

I really believe the dietary stuff has made a difference to my energy levels - in the Summer I was exhausted all the time and stopped work, I was having to sleep for two hours most afternoons and sleeping at least 10 hours every night. For the past month I've not been sleeping in the day and just not feeling so desperately tired all the time.

I feel lucky to have been offered this trial (having read on this site so many people's battles with GPs and Endos), but am wary of changing things when I'm feeling better than I was (although hardly vibrant) and aware that getting the dose right etc will be quite a process (although I've ordered Paul Robinson's book and am prepared to do whatever I need to do to be well again).

I would appreciate advice from anyone who is taking/has taken Liothyroxine.

*The nutritionist suggested I give up gluten, caffeine, alcohol, smoking (of course), all sugar and dairy and eat a high protein low carb diet.

She also recommended some supplements: Pantothenic Acid (B5), to support adrenals, BioCare Mindlinx probiotic with L-glutamine to heal gut lining, and milk thistle / liquorice / garlic tincture to balance blood sugar levels and reduce stress.

I did most of this except haven't managed to give up all sugar and dairy (especially after giving up smoking in October) and over the past 3 weeks have indulged in all sorts of gluten/alcohol/sugar/cream/choc etc. But am getting back on it TOMORROW with a full on cleanse.

Also huge thanks to everyone on this site, it's been a mine of information and encouragement,


6 Replies

In my own experience, Levo is really super but only works properly for me when everything else is in order.

Starting probably about 2-3 years ago I developed iron, ferritin, zinc, vit D, various intestinal flora, DHEA, testosterone and progesterone deficiencies but didn't know. My digestive system was Ph 8 (far too alkaline). I felt dreadful and my hypoT symptoms also came back.

To cut a long story short, I went on a combination of Levo and T3 like you are considering and although the T3 gave me a lovely boost, it was temporary and only once I had sorted everything else out did I truly start feeling well again.

This is certainly not the case for people whose bodies don't convert into fT3, they will need T3 tablets even when everything else is in balance.

But you sound like you could be similar to me when you say how you are beginning to feel better after getting dietary advice and following it.

In Jan 2011 my body wasn't converting Levo into enough fT3 but I think it is now. I have gradually increased my Levo back up from 37.5 to 56 to 75 and now 100 again and feel so much better for it. I am clearly someone who needs Levo. I do still take 10mcg T3 (down from 20).

It is important to test your TSH, fT3 and fT4 every three months and 6-8 weeks after every change in dose. The ideal situation is that they all stay in range. Some people find that their TSH drops lower than the range when they are well, I don't think that necessarily matters.



thanks koala for your thoughtful reply,

yes I'm assuming the endo has agreed to the trial because my fT3 must be low (else surely he wouldn't have), and I'm hopnig the GP will have a copy of the actual results so I can monitor these.

When you say you've gradually increased levo, do you mean you did this while decreasing the T3? And did you acheive e.g. 37.5 by taking 75 on alternate days?

I'm interested that you were too alkaline, it's usually the other way round isn't it? I'm planning to start an alkalising diet tomorrow along with the GF etc.


Good news you're feeling better on the low carbs, high protein. Don't forget your stomach is supposed to have acid in it! J x


If the Endocrinologist agreed to a trial - I would accept. You have nothing to lose and levothyroxine should convert to T3 but maybe yours doesn't do it efficiently.

There is no reason to stop your nutritionist's advice as that should go hand-in-hand with getting better. You can always return to levo but it is unusual for Endos to prescribe T3 so he must think you will benefit.


thanks for your reply shaws,

I agree, I think I should go for it, I think I just wanted some reassurance and info from people who have experience of it. And yes, am definitely going to get the dietary stuff back on track.


i take 60 t3 and 2.5 armour and find they work for me - i was offered it and tried it and it was much better - for me


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