Thyroid Results...have I overdosed?

Can help me understand my latest Thyroid test results?

I started taking NatureThroid 1.5 grain/97.5 mg (57 mcg T4, 13.5 mcg T3) a few weeks before I left for a vacation.

Because of the time changes, I ended up taking a double dose on the plane. I seemed to have a bit more energy and wasn't retaining as much water. After a few days, I was super tired and retaining an alarming amount of water (from the hot temperature compared to what I was used to?) I doubled my dose and hoped it would give me more energy and reduce the water retention. It did...and I felt pretty good for the two weeks I was there. My skin felt soft and my hair felt thicker, or something, and I had no more water retention and had more energy. My digestion was improved a great deal, also....foods didn't sit in my stomach for so long.

I continued with the double dose (3 grains total/195 grams/114 mcg T4, 27 mcg T3) when I returned home. I didn't think it was a big deal to increase the medication, since the ND mentioned if I wasn't feeling more energy from the dose I was taking that after being tested when I returned home, we might increase my dose. I figured the results probably would have shown that I needed more, since I was feeling so much better.

Then I started to have trouble sleeping (which seemed more than jet lag, but definitely that has been an issue I'm still recovering from) and a pressure-type headache. I took my blood pressure and it seemed to be a bit high. I intuitively felt that it wasn't so wise to take it upon myself to double the thyroid medication, especially since I know nothing about thyroid health or thyroid meds.

The day I sensed I was doing harm by doubling my dose, I had bloodwork done to test my thyroid levels. That day I also stopped taking the thyroid medication for a few days. I experienced extreme crawling in my skin (more severe than ever before), so I figured I was probably shocking my system by going from double dose to none at all. So, I started taking one dose at night. The head pressure came back, but not as strong. I am now taking just one every other night, but wondering if I shouldn't take any at all, or if I should cut the pills in half. I haven't had a chance to talk with my ND, yet.

The test results just came back and I'm a bit concerned and wondered if you have any insights that you could share with me while I wait to talk with the doctor? I know I did something really dumb and potentially harmful, and will never take it upon myself to mess with medications ever again without a trained professional at my side.

Here are the original numbers, before taking thyroid med, and the numbers after taking (about 2 weeks single dose and about 2.5 weeks double dose):

TSH....................1.710 nrml / 0.009 (decreased, now LOW)
Thyroxine (T4).........9.5 nrml / 10.9 ug/dL (increased, still nrml)
T3 Uptake..............26 nrml / 28 nrml (increased, still nrml)
Free Thyroxine Index...2.5 nrml / 3.1 (increased, still nrml)
T4,Free(Direct)........1.11 nrml / 1.32 ng/dL (increased, still nrml)
Reverse T3, Serum......26.5 HIGH / 27.7 HIGH ng/dL (increased, Still HIGH)
Triiodothyronine (T3)..140 nrml / 208 HIGH ng/dL (increased, Now HIGH)
Free,Serum...............3 nrml / 5.0 HIGH pg/mL (increased, Now HIGH)

Thanks for taking the time to read and offer your thoughts on the results.




Senior Member

I am not sure if anyone else will jump in here to answer your questions, but normally discussions on the Forum related to individual medical questions are somewhat limited so members won't run afoul of giving medical advice. However, I think it is important to understand how thyroid medication can work in general. Thyroid medication needs to be slowly titrated for your body to adjust to the decrease or increase in supplementation. There are (what I think) some good places to search out additional information on the internet that might be helpful to you when trying to understand how the thyroid and thyroid medication works. I would suggest doing some additional research on the sites listed below.

1) Mary Shomon's thyroid related website - Mary Shomon has written several thyroid/hormone related books and is a patient advocate. [Edit -]

2) Dr. Horltof - and

3) Stop the Thyroid Madness -

4) Dr. Shames -

Wally (P.S. If it was me I would be on the phone a.s.a.p. to my doctor to discuss the symptoms I was experiencing and I would be very careful about any increases in the thyroid supplementation I was taking.)
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Senior Member
Midwest USA
@GypsyA, could you please include units and ranges?

Also please clarify your dosing schedule and when your last dose was prior to the second set of labs.


Senior Member
Don't panic, and do things like stopping thyroid hormones alltogether after realizing that you overdosed them.

Instead, continue taking your thyroid hormones, very slowly decreasing the dosage.

Talk to your doc as soon as possible.


Senior Member
England (south coast)

First of all, the following is not medical advice. I'm not a doctor. So the following are just observations from a lay person, and I might be drastically wrong.

Looking at your original blood test results, I'm not sure why you are taking thyroid supplements, as the results were all normal (according to you) except for Reverse T3, which was high. However Reverse T3 is widely thought to be inert. (An alternative point of view is that high levels of Reverse T3 are thought to block normal thyroid function, but I'm not sure how much evidence there is to support this.)

So I assume that your therapist is of the belief that high levels of Reverse T3 were blocking your normal thyroid function, and was of the belief that you may have had sub-clinical hypo-thyroid symptoms. However, this is not a universal view about the role that Reverse T3 plays. I've also read that high levels of Reverse T3 can be indicative of high thyroid function, as it is thought that the body deals with high levels of T4 by converting it to Reverse T3 (Reverse T3 is often thought to be inert.)

Looking at your current results, a low TSH reading and high levels of T3 indicates that you have too much thyroid in your system.

However, don't panic about this. Your short-term high thyroid levels will not cause any damage. As far as I'm aware, long-lasting effects from abnormal thyroid levels are rare, and only happen after prolonged exposure to vastly abnormal levels. If you usually have normal thyroid levels without medication (as you appear to) then thyroid levels usually correct themselves over the period of a few days, or a little longer, when not taking any further medication.

Your current higher Reverse T3 reading suggests that your supplementation is pushing your Reverse T3 levels upwards, rather than correcting them.

As your original thyroid levels were normal, I can't imagine that it would harm you to lower your dose, until your thyroid levels return to normal. But you need to work with a clinician.

Be careful using thyroid meds to compensate for CFS symptoms. Thyroid causes an increased rate of metabolism which could potentially antagonise CFS symptoms in anyone who experiences post-exertional malaise (post-exertional exacerbation).

Again, I could have got any of the above drastically wrong, as I'm not a doctor. And none of it is medical advice. You need to work with a qualified clinician.
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

I resonated most with @Bob 's comment....even though I've always been told my thyroid function is sub-clinical hypo, I never agreed to take medication until recently.

I ended up ceasing the medication completely (before I even read the comments here), and all the hyper symptoms faded away. I haven't retested, yet, but I'm assuming I'm getting closer to being at my *before* thyroid meds levels.

Since I haven't been able to help myself heal, and in fact seem to be doing more harm that good for myself (the bismol-induced encephalopathy the biggest harm), I figured I'd just follow the advice of a ND (I met her and felt she was thorough and she really listed to me and my concerns). But, then I got in the way of what she was trying to do by increasing the thyroid medication while away on vacation and, well, I need to just back away from treating myself. The thing is, though, even though I don't know how to heal myself I have learned that no one else does, either. :-( They are doing as much trial-and-error as I've been doing and most of them haven't even read about/looked into things as much as I have (the ND, however, seems to learn and research a lot like I do...but she focuses on a different area that is more important for her own learning).

The healthiest I ever felt and looked was when I ate a 100% raw, vegan diet.

Then came the tick bite, the lyme disease, and resulting digestive issues and spiraling further and further away from health and vitality. I can't even eat raw vegetables anymore because I can't digest them. I've tested positive for SIBO and since the only animal products I'll ever consider eating are eggs, and dairy, my list of foods that won't make the SIBO worse are so limited I don't know what to eat/do.

While on the Rifaximin and Neomycin for two weeks I was feeling so much to digest more foods and not have my stomach bloat up so much that I was in pain...digestion seemed to be returned and then the two weeks of treatment ended (650mg 3x/day of the Rifaximin and 500mg 2x/day of the Neomycin) and things are back to the way they were.

I mainly wanted to say thanks for the responses.