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T3 sounds surprisingly effective -- is it?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by FunkOdyssey, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    I've noticed alot of people mentioning positive results with T3, and it's second only to LDN on curetogether's CFS treatment survey for medical treatments. I have some questions for those experienced with it (this refers to T3-only, not T4 or dessicated thyroid):

    1. Did you have lab evidence suggesting a need for T3 prior to starting (low free T3, high reverse T3, etc)?
    2. What does your protocol look like, in terms of form (cytomel vs compounded SR T3), dosage, times per day, etc?
    3. What do you think of Dr. Cheney's opinion that T3 is "the worst hormone you can give a CFS patient"? BS? Does your doctor express an opinion on it?
    4. What effects, positive or negative, have you noted from T3 treatment?
     
  2. gu3vara

    gu3vara Senior Member

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    [*]Did you have lab evidence suggesting a need for T3 prior to starting (low free T3, high reverse T3, etc)? Not T3 specially, but I was hypothyroid so both T3 and T4 were lowish.

    [*]What does your protocol look like, in terms of form (cytomel vs compounded SR T3), dosage, times per day, etc? I tried up to 20 mcg per day, with some synthroid too.

    [*]What do you think of Dr. Cheney's opinion that T3 is "the worst hormone you can give a CFS patient"? I agree, if the person as a real case of CFS, not fatigue caused solely by hormones deficiency or imbalance. Guess you have to try to know, I did.

    [*]What effects, positive or negative, have you noted from T3 treatment? Awful, made me hyper on low doses with arrhythmia, itchy a lot and I'm off of it now.
     
  3. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Funk.

    I think it's important to be careful with supplementing T3 in ME/CFS. If a person's mitochondria are dysfunctional because of a partial methylation cycle block and glutathione depletion, and if they are also suffering from dysfunction of the HPA axis, which most who have ME/CFS are, then taking T3 can cause problems. You may not be familiar with the experience posted on this forum some time ago of a woman who was given a fairly large dose of T3 and experienced a heart attack. Giving T3 when there are mitochondrial problems is like beating a dead horse, only I think it is worse, because it probably promotes more oxidative stress.

    Best regards,

    Rich
     
  4. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Thanks Rich,

    I wonder what your scientific opinion is on taking low dose Armour Thyroid? I had had out of range thyroid tests for some time, and my doc prescribed low dose Armour (15 mg). The results have now normalized.

    Do you think this might also be pushing the mitochondria too much? My oxidative stress tests OK.

    Thanks!
    Sushi
     
  5. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Sushi.

    Not sure how scientific my opinion is on Armour thyroid, but generally speaking, I think it is a better form of thyroid hormone supplementation than the synthetics, because it is more balanced, containing more than just one thyroid hormone. If the results for you have been positive, it would seem to me that it is beneficial for you. Having low oxidative stress suggests that your mitochondria are doing O.K.

    The reason T3 is of concern is that it is the active form of the thyroid hormone. Taking it directly bypasses the body's control over how much T4 is converted to T3. It is tricky to maintain the appropriate hormone level by taking T3 directly, so the dosing has to be done carefully, and starting low is probably a good idea.

    I suspect that many people with ME/CFS may have difficulty converting T4 to T3, because this requires a selenoenzyme. Selenium is bound tightly by mercury, so PWMEs who have high mercury body burdens may not have as much bioavailable selenium as normal.

    Another issue with thyroid hormone supplementation is that it is important to make sure that the HPA axis is functioning well enough before supplementing thyroid hormone, or there may need to be some adrenal support as well. But before going down this path, it's important to correct problems with the mitochondria. Thyroid hormone works by upregulating the gene expression of enzymes in the mitochondria. If there is a serious block in the mitochondrial function due to oxidative stress, I think that this upregulation can make things worse. There are many PWMEs whose thyroid hormone tests come out normal, but their mitochondria are still dysfunctional, so that they are still fatigued. Some report benefit from thyroid supplementation even in these cases, but I think it is best to correct the mito function rather than overwhelming it by making more mito enzymes, because this may cause more problems down the line, in my opinion.

    Best regards,

    Rich
     
  6. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    Hi Rich,

    I think the reason T3 is given is that while many have at least low normal serum levels it does not seem to reach the cells and therefore a boost is attempted. Being cautious is always good advice (as it looks like it can be dangerous to some), but it looks like it has benefited quite a few patients out there, maybe primarily those who are more functional and able to exert.
     

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