Please help, getting palpitations! - how to regulate T3 now I've started an iron supplement?

Sorry this is longwinded - I hope you can bear with me! I've got Hashi's and had all the hypo symptoms for over 16 years despite thyroxine replacement and "normal" blood tests; then changed to Armour (a bit better) but no big improvement. Dr P suggested adrenal supplement after saliva tests revealed low cortisol etc. He later suggested a trial of T3 only, which I kept putting off. Decided to go for it in Jan, reduced Armour right down then stopped it and slowly introduced the T3. I kept waiting for Paul R's "lightbulb" moment which never came. I got to 55 mcg per day, and had a function test that read TSH 2.0, T4<5, T3 3.8. So I carried on upwards to 75mcg, with no improvement in energy till an enlightened endo from Leamington Spa suggested I might be iron deficient and to get tests. Sure enough serum iron, ferritin and transferrin saturation were all low. Last week I began a liquid supplement from the health shop (10ml, twice daily). A couple of days later I had slight palpitations in the afternoon. I reduced one of the divided T3 doses and all was ok for a few days. But two days ago I suddenly got massive palpitations and irregular heartbeat, again in the afternoon. It went on for hours and all night, easing off at about 8 am yesterday morning. I cut the T3 down to 35mcg yesterday and took no iron at all. Today I took just 1 tsp iron and slightly increasing T3 again. This all seems so ad hoc and hit and miss, and with regular function tests being of less use when on T3 only, I just don't know what to do. (Newish) GP reluctantly prescribes T3 (after receiving endo's recommendation) but is not much interested in my story, nor seems to know much about T3 only regimes. I'm seeing him next week, anxious that he might tell me to forget the whole experiment. (Although if I thought thyroid medication uptake is being scuppered by lack of iron rather than T4 conversion problems I might even be relieved to go back to Armour and take the pills just once a day) What are other people's experiences of taking T3 only? Has anyone else on thyroid medication had trouble introducing iron? What is the best type of iron? I'm desperate to get my thyroid managed better, not just to relieve all the symptoms everyone on this forum knows about, but also because I have increasing deafness, tinnitus, pressure in ears and bouts of dizziness which I've read can be connected with poor thyroid function and low iron. Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated, thanks.

8 Replies

  • I'm no expert but it is believed that iron is important in getting thyroid hormones into the cells to be used properly. If you don't have enough iron (or B12 or folate) this doesn't happen so well.

    As you increase your iron, perhaps your cells are now getting and using more of the T3 you are taking. Your symptoms could be because your body is not used to the T3. You may find that as you increase your iron levels, you may have to reduce your T3 for a little while and gradually increase again as your body gets used to it.

    It can be a long process and a bit hit and miss to start with, but as you get all the other things sorted out, like the iron, you will hopefully find it easier to get to the right dose of T3.

    Of course this is just a theory based on my limited understanding and experiences :)

    Carolyn x

  • Thank you Carolyn - reassuring!

  • Hi Iron does take a long while to make a real difference, How is your vit D? Which is hormonal .. I have serious heart problems and cannot take cortisol, even in local injections. It can effect the heart adversely. I would do what most endo`s suggest and that is try and get my thyroid right and then think about cortisol ,if still needed.Before treatment was your FT3 very low? Mine was, I now take 2 and half grains armour (allergic to synthetic T4 ) and 20mcg T3., that is unusual but puts my FT3 just below top of range, where I need it. Some private docs (as opposed to endo`s) are very lax about blood tests. They are not everything but together with how you feel are very useful. Too much T3 is a very powerful drug. I assume you know to split the T3 into at least 2 doses, in that case 12 hours apart. It is important to space them well.Actually, if it was me I would stop all the T3 and cortisol and start the T3 with the armour, in a very low dose,if needed, in a few days time.I hope that gives you some ideas. Usually people take T3 only if they cannot tolerate the other thyroid drugs.


  • I too am trying to balance T3 and it is a bit of a difficult process. However, I have found it very reassuring that I can telephone Dr P and be guided by him. If I were you I would ring his office and ask what he thinks you should do before going off piste so to speak. It could be that you don't need so much T3 if your iron levels are topped up. I was able to tolerate other thyroid drugs but my problem was that my body was not converting T4 to T3.

  • Hi I hope it works OK for you. Can I suggest you have plenty of blood tests? I know how you feel is important too. I saw 2 private thyroid doctors before seeing my endo and had very wrong treatment.

    Best wishes,


  • Thanks Jackie. What blood tests would you recommend? I had my TSH tested recently (GP didnt bother with T4 or T3 - probably because he knows I am going it alone with T3) but it is interesting to hear what others think.


  • Hi Well, I always have TSH, T4 and Free T3 for my thyroid, but the NHS here will no longer do the FT3,so, I used Blue Horizon the intermediate test which if you quote TUK10 only charge £61., all very simple and not authorisation, all to you etc and you decide who to show the results to The site through TUK is , on their main site you can have all the NHS blood tests and a lot more besides. which a the Lab are really TDL which all the private hospitals use ,so ,well known any ones done by NHS and more, they use the Lab called TDL You can get more discounts for bigger bills! Their Harley St doc looks at them before sending out and any thing glaring they say a certain test a good idea. It has only happened once to me and I have used them many many times. I also have my vit D ( hormonal )from them, but it costs £55., you can get the blog standard NHS one for £25, from City Hospital in Birmingham, see the site. however if D low you need a test for calcium ( GP ) as it must always be in range) to check if safe to take vit D, calcium ( corrected calcium ) must always be in range and as an electrolyte more important even that very low D. On treatment you need retesting after about 3 months, and then if OK annually. The other tests you should have the GP should do with out any problem. Ferritin, often done in a FBC but not the best test, B12 and Folic acid ( auto immune ) Some people have reverse T3 but I doubt the GP will do it., you can soon tell if thyroid autoimmune. if you think the thyroid swollen, speech and swallowing difficult then an ultra sound.They are the most important things. of course, tests could be endless .If auto immune thyroid disease then you can have other auto immune diseases, they are treated as they arise, of some cannot be treated. That is one of the reasons an endo can help as all their field. Also osteoporosis a loose connection, this is endo too. I hope that give you some idea.


    Sorry PC playing up ,I hope that is clear.

  • Thanks Jackie, that's helpful. x

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