Blood test results: T3 towards upper value within the range; never took any thyroid medication is it safe to start NDT?

I am wondering if anybody dealt with similar situation to mine.

My blood test results in December 2012: TSH - 13 ( miu/L) , free T4-12 pmol/L ( in December my T3 wasn't tested.

January 2013 ( exactly a month later): TSH - 7.3, free T4 - 11 pmol/L and free T3 4.9 pmol/L ( range 3.5-6.5) - towards upper value within the range.

I never took any thyroid meds., however within a month my TSH dropped significantly, T4 lowered slightly but T3 is in the upper part of the range.

I post this question because I could not get an answer from Dr S, who prescribed me NDT. ( I didn't take it yet)

I am concerned as NDT (Armour) contains T3 which is much more potent hormone than T4.

I am worried that having T3 in upper place within the range I might make myself worse ( T3 toxic) even with taking low doses such as 1/4 grain of Armour.

Anybody has any experience with the above problem ?

Thank you for your suggestions.

Exx

10 Replies

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  • Your T3 isn't in the upper part of the range, it's in the middle. Taking a small does is unlikely to cause anything to happen other than to raise your T4 a bit, raise your T3 a bit (and it will likely still be well within range) and reduce your TSH.

    Although NDT does contain T3 it only contains about 9 mcg, compared with 38mcg of T4, per grain. As you are only going to be taking 1/4 grain, you will be taking about 2mcg of T3 which is roughly equivalent to only 10mcg of T4.

    It is definitely worth giving the 1/4 grain a try as it will only be a very low dose of T3 and your T3 is currently only just in the middle of the range. Monitor your symptoms, including pulse and temperature, and if anything concerns you let us know and contact Dr S.

    Hopefully it will work well for you :)

    Carolyn x

  • Thank you Carolyn for your reply, I am still worried that my hypothyroidism is cause by iodine deficiency, so I am not sure if I need NDT. After few weeks of taking sea kelp my TSH dropped from 13 to 7.6, and I did not do anything different so I assume that it was a sea kelp that helped to reduce TSH.

    There is no way that I had enough iodine in my diet after my food poisoning. Rice and rice cakes do not contain it. Chicken breasts( very small amounts), carrots, potatoes, small yogurt and yellow cheese from time to time and not iodised salt for at least 7 months without supplementing iodine....

    I am also worried that my oestrogens give negative feedback to thyroid increasing TBG ( thyroxine binding globulin). I must be oestrogens dominant having low Sex Hormone Binding Globulin of 15 in Nov and then 18( mmol/L) in December( possibly PCOS).

    So I am not sure what is the best way to tackle my thyroid problem .. I could not get an answer during my dr ... appt. and I just do not want make myself worse.

  • I think the thing is that the NDT could be a stop-gap. Unfortunately being hypothyroid can then cause problems with estrogen dominance, absorption of vitamins/minerals and other problems too. If you have a relatively normal thyroid function perhaps everything else will settle down and then maybe, once you have your iodine up again, you may be able to reduce or stop the NDT.

    It sounds like you might also need to supplement with other vitamins and minerals too if your diet is so limited and you are so unwell.

    I wish I could offer a more definitive answer, but if you do try NDT you can always stop it at a later date if you don't feel it is for you.

    Carolyn x

  • Thank you once again Carolyn. I am already supplementing for quite a long time all vitamins and minerals ( I have at least ten different bottles from H&B ). I checked the levels of B12, D3, Iron etc, and they are ok now. Unfortunately I do not tested iodine levels as NHS doesn't do that.

    I am just worried that NDT or any thyroid hormone can shut down my thyroid function if the reason is an iodine deficiency or already existing oestrogens dominance, not primarily the dysfunction of the thyroid itself.

    I might go for iodine urine test.. but it cost some more £..

    Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it.

    E xx

  • You could always give the iodine a try for a little bit longer and see if that helps first. It certainly doesn't seem to do you any harm. Maybe if there is no further improvement, that would be the time to start the NDT.

    I don't know that taking thyroid hormones shut down thyroid function if not needed. Thyroid hormones are sometimes used for other illnesses on a temporary basis, such as severe, resistant depression. Once the patient is well again, the thyroid hormones are stopped and normal thyroid function seems to resume. I'm sure that if I'm wrong someone will let me know :)

  • That's what I am worried the most '' shutting down'' or impairing thyroid function if your thyroid is still able to work on its own by doesn't have a fuel such as iodine or vitamins and if the thyroid hormone secretion is just blocked by other hormones eg. oestrogens.

    In endocrinology everything is connected and if any of the hormones is out of balance it does trigger the chain reaction; it is very hard to find what started it off. I tried to do some research on this ( impairing thyroid by exogenous thyroid hormone ) but I cannot find straight answers..

    Warm wishes to you Carolyn for your kind support xx

  • I take NDT and T3 together. I feel fine.

  • Get your iodine tested privately, taking excess iodine can do more damage than not having enough! Excess iodine is NOT reversable. Believe me: been there; done that; got the ruined life to prove it!

    Hugs, Grey

  • Hi Edysia

    I was in a similar position to you. I have been borderline hypo for the last year. Have been on levo for the past 6 months and felt dreadful on it. Latest blood test showed raised tsh, low t4 and slightly over the limit T3. I explained to my endo that i was determined to try NDT and she told me to be careful as I was already (slightly) over the limit re T3. I decided not to try NDT.Your T3 is slightly lower than mine so might not be a problem.

    I saw a Doctor from the private list a couple of days ago and he has confused me further! He does not want to treat me with any thyroid drugs at the moment, instead I have to follow a strict anti candida diet. He believes that if the gut is healthy then your thyroid will be happy too! To be quite honest, dont know what to think. Have paid a lot of money for the supplements but am willing to try anything at this point in time. He was very approachable so if I dont improve I am sure he will help me start NDT.The diet is very strict but will give it a go.

    Hope I have not confused you further.

  • T4 is the storage hormone, it has to be converted to T3, the active form. Before thyroxine came along, everyone was treated with NDT. It is very safe as long as you build up the dose carefully and slowly. Your T3 is in the middle of the range. Blood tests are not an indication of what the hormone is doing in the cells of the body. The 24 hour urine test does that. When the blood levels of TSH and thyroid hormone have been tested on completely healthy people they tend to have a TSH of around 1, a T4 level of at least 16 and T3 of around 5.2. The point is how to you feel? If you feel crummy, then it might be an idea to give the NDT a go, but at least you have it as an option while you try out other things. Although your TSH dropped so did your T4, so the two don't necessarily relate. Just go on how you feel. You may need to take Armour in the end. Plenty of people do. It has a long history and is a very safe treatment. Picking off individual symptoms may not deal with the underlying cause.

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