The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Anyone tried a tiny amount of T3

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by digital dog, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. digital dog

    digital dog Senior Member

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    I know a few of us have tried thyroxine and possilby armour thyroid but has anyone tried a tiny amount of T3? I know it is a steroid so I imagine it could give us a big boost in energy.
    I was wondering if it was worth trying. Just a really tiny amount (say 2.5mg).
    Anyone given it a go?
     
  2. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    CYTOMEL® (liothyronine sodium), also known as T3, is a peptide hormone, not a steroid hormone.

    When I was treated for mild hypothyroidism (due to taking lithium) I didn't have any luck with T4 in reducing my symptoms, but felt better when using T3. However, I did not feel a boost in energy. It just got me out of the horrible drain of hypothyroidism. It just returned me to my pre-hypothyroid days, which still sucked bigtime. No increase in T3 ever gave me more energy. The only thing that happened when I tried to increase the T3 dose was a pounding heartbeat.

    I didn't have a pounding heartbeat prior to starting T3 therapy. It never went away even after I stopped taking T3. It could just be a coincidence that this happened.

    T3 will get you out of hypothyroidism, but it is unlikely to increase your energy levels unless you are hypothyroid.
     
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  3. digital dog

    digital dog Senior Member

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    I took lithium for a short time (six weeks) and I think that is what started all this for me. I remember being incredibly shaky and cold (even in a boiling hot bath I was trembling ).

    This is all interesting stuff. Thank you.

    Just out of interest, what are you on now and did the T3 significantly reduce your antibodies/TSH etc? CAn the body (thyroid) recover after lithium without intervention? Do you STILL have a pounding heart?
     
  4. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I don't have to take any thyroid medication now because I recovered from the hypothyroidism. This was the only time in my life I've ever been hypothyroid. I don't recall the exact date T3 was prescribed, but I had to fight to get it. It could have been started April or May 2012.

    I felt very cold when I became hypothyroid. The only thing that felt good was a warm bed, with the electric mattress pad turned on. I thought the fatigue from ME/CFS was bad. This was worse. It was brick wall worse. I was getting up at 3 p.m. instead the usual 10 a.m. I felt disoriented when getting up at 10 a.m; it felt like I was getting up at 4 a.m.

    Jan. 26, 2012: Noticed much worse fatigue after increasing lithium dose. TSH was ordered and it was 8.75. Free T4 was 0.95 NG/DL (0.9 - 1.8 NG/DL ref range).
    Feb 2, 2012: Doctor prescribed T4.
    March 2012: The T4 isn't doing sh*t.
    March 15 2012: TSH is now 2.78 (0.3 - 5.5 uIU/mL ref range).
    4/26/12: TSH 3.19, free T4 1.0 (0.9 - 1.8 NG/DL ref range)
    5/4/12: TSH 1.94; free T3 2.8 pg/mL ( 2.4 - 4.4 pg/mL ref range)
    5/22/12 Ferritin 28 ng/mL (13 - 150 ng/mL ref range). A ferritin of at least 50 is necessary for conversion of T4 to T3.
    July 2012: Heart started pounding for a few hours whenever I took T3 or small amount of venlafaxine (I'd been able to tolerate large doses of venlafaxine very well in the past).
    9/12/12: Ferritin 41 ng/ml; TSH is 0.84 uIU/mL; thyroid medication stopped.
    10/5/12: Pounding heart is now 24/7. Beta blocker (atenolol) started to treat pounding heart. I STILL have a pounding heart, four years later.
    11/5/12 TSH is 1.4

    Here's part of a note I wrote to my doctor June 6, 2012:
    "I asked for two things that are now helping: Cytomel (T3) and a ferritin check. And now I'm doing better. I can't say for sure, but it seems that taking the iron supplement has reduced my need for some of the T3 I was taking. Prior to that, the T3 did its job very well by keeping me alert."

    Btw, I took Floradix iron supplement, not the god-awful iron pills I've heard so much about.

    As far as you trying T3 on your own without a doctor's order or without an elevated TSH, it's hard to say if you will see much benefit. Have you had your TSH and/or free T4 level checked recently? If your TSH is elevated you might stand a chance of benefiting from thyroid replacement therapy. When I was taking T3 it got me back to my usual pre-hypothyroid level of functioning, but taking more T3 after I'd reached that point didn't give me more energy.

    I don't know if the body can recover from lithium without intervention. I think the best way to find more about that would be to google "lithium induced hypothyroidism." There are many published articles and discussions.
     
  5. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) are not steroids, though they do boost metabolism.



    I have taken T3 at doses of 10 mcg daily for a few weeks, sometimes 20 mcg on the odd day. I can't say that I noticed much, but I think if there were some ME/CFS patients that did have mild sub-clinical hypothyroidism, then T3 supplementation might improve their energy levels and brain fog.

    Body builders sometimes take up to 60 mcg of T3 daily for a several weeks in order to increase metabolism and burn off body fat. So I am guessing that dosing at 10 mcg daily would probably be fairly safe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
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  6. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I found notes I'd made about my treatment in 2012. On 4/30/12 I started on 5mcg T3 3x/day. By 6/6/12 I had reduced it to 2.5mcg/day. 7/6/12 is when I first noticed the pounding heart about 3 hours after my evening dose of T3, which at first persisted for a few hours at a time.

    The big problem with taking T3 when it is not necessary is the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). AF isn't due to the direct effect of T3, but it's due to the low TSH which comes as a result of thyroid hormone replacement. I found a good explanation written by an endocrinologist:
    http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/1586_ask-a-thyroid-expert

     
  7. digital dog

    digital dog Senior Member

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    Thank you very much for this information. I am very interested and happy that you no longer need thyroid medication. It appears that you recovered from lithium induced hypothyroidism which is fantastic.
    May I ask how long you were/are on lithium for?
    I will research more about lithum induded thyroid conditions. I havent because I've been alittle scared.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. digital dog

    digital dog Senior Member

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    Also, do you get your thyroid checked regularly still?
     
  9. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I had been on lithium for six months when I became hypothyroid. What triggered the hypothyroidism was an increase in my lithium dose. Since that one time when I became hypothyroid my energy levels never returned to what they had been before that time. I've not taken lithium since then either. I told my doctor I would only take lithium if I was dying and there was no alternative. There are several alternatives to lithium that don't have any of the risk of causing hypothyroidism.

    I read a book written by an endocrinologist who said that it takes three years for the brain to recover from one bout of hypothyroidism:
    https://www.amazon.com/Thyroid-Solution-Revolutionary-Mind-Body-Regaining/dp/0345496620

    Yes I do get my thyroid hormone levels checked once a year now. The only time my TSH went up was on 8/28/14 when it was 4.25 after I'd been supplementing with iodine. My endocrinologist had warned me to NOT take iodine supplements, and like an idiot, I took some iodine supplements and it raised my TSH. Endocrinologists, what do they know :rolleyes:
     
  10. digital dog

    digital dog Senior Member

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    Again very useful information and interesting. Thank you.

    I will look at reducing my iodine rich foods (not sure I eat mcuh iodine as I cannot tolerate fish...perhaps becasue of the iodine!)

    X
     
  11. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    You don't need to reduce your iodine-rich foods. Just don't take any supplements like kelp, which supply way more than is recommended. In fact, on the kelp supplement bottle it had some warnings about how it might affect the thyroid.

    If you're interested in optimizing thyroid function I think it would be a good start to first get tested (TSH, free T4, ferritin). If your TSH is elevated and/or you have a low ferritin, those are some things that are easily remedied with thyroid hormone replacement or iron. Those two things are what helped me the most.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016

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