Breaking Through The Fog
Another thought.... would we hypothetically reset the PVN back to normal if we tapered off in such a way to leave us with normal TRH/CRH?
The problem with all those protocols is that once they go mainstream they often lose what made them successful in the first place. This is why I wrote in another thread that Blanchard protocol can't be just interpreted as T4/T3 ratio without accounting for the baseline hypothalamic state.
One other possible explanation for you @drob31 is that you have an autonomous production of T3 from your thyroid nodule, i.e. it doesn't respond well to TSH. Your high rT3 may be a sign of the cells trying to combat excess T3 levels. In that case you don't want to raise your TRH, just take some antidepressant or adaptogen that helps to balance HPA function (but not Ashwagandha). And in this case you can achieve the same effect with iodine as you do with T3. If your CRH was low than you would need T3 since iodine is not programmed to stimulate cortisol like T3 does.
You don't really seem to have "true CFS" in a sense most people with CFS do not go to gym every day and do martial arts but I think you went through CFS stage in the past due to combined HPA and HPT repression and maybe as a result your HPA and HPT axis have probably become somewhat "divorced" from each other.
I don't know which scenario is the right one, the first one (you have true central hypothyroidism) or the second one (you have TRH suppression due to autonomous thyroid hormone secretion) so the only way to figure out is to see how you respond. Either way, you probably don't have to come off thyroid completely in order to feel better.