Archive for the ‘RT3’ Category

Winter Blues

???????????????????????????????Last night, I sat outside with my SU while soft, white flakes of frozen precipitation gently fell on my shoulders. The water in our spa was warm. The air was quiet. It was that kind of hush that only comes with freshly fallen snow. It was sublime.

Suddenly the quiet of the evening was interrupted by a very distinctive and recognized sound, a certain woosh of feathers and a coo. I identify birds by their calls, so I looked around for the source because I knew it sounded like mourning doves but this it too early.

If this were the halcyon days of spring instead of the dead of winter “my” doves, letting their presence be known, would not be unusual but doing so on February 3 is most uncommon. I finally spotted four of them, one lone scout and three fluffy companions resting comfortably in a decorative crab tree not far from where we lounged.

This morning, I was somewhat relieved to read that while they prefer to spend all year in the Greater Antilles and most of Mexico  (and who doesn’t?) they will also stay as far north as central Minnesota even through our nasty winters. I like to think they know they will be safe at my house where the feeder is always full and the bird bath is warm but still winter is winter and we have months of it left to endure.

In the middle of our winter blues spring tries to sneak in with the coo of one of the loveliest birds I know. Winter is here to stay for a while but seeing my doves has given me a certain confidence that spring will arrive sooner or later.

FYI

I was spurred to action on my blog by the recent conversations on Facebook. If any of my readers are not on Facebook and are not participating in the conversations on the thyroid groups you should know that our supply of T3 from south of the border has dried up.

I do not know all the details but here is what I do know. I placed an order the first of January 2015. Payment was accepted and I received a note that it had been shipped. I paid no more attention until this discussion came up on Facebook.

After I read several comments it seemed clear that yes, payments are being accepted but it doesn’t mean they have T3 on their shelves. One person who has been in touch with the pharmacy said they told her their credit card system is antiquated and doesn’t know how NOT to accept payment.

That comment prompted me to check the email that had been sent right after my order was placed in January. I clicked on the “track your package” link provided and much to my surprise it took me to my last order that had indeed been delivered. In November. It was not, as I thought, an email regarding my January order it was an automatically generated email from months ago.

Screwed

There I said it, I think those of us who order from this pharmacy are screwed. I don’t think they are being intentionally dishonest but their supplies ran out and they don’t know how to handle the situation. There aren’t just one or two people not getting their T3, their lifeline, there are many of us who placed orders as far back as November who are not going to be getting our T3.

Many folks are now reporting that they have been sent an email saying that the transaction “failed”. Those folks feel that this means the problem is not temporary it is permanent. Why the manufacturer would suddenly stop making Cynomel, I do not know but it is starting to point in that direction. Fingers crossed that this an erroneous conclusion and they will fill their shelves again and we will receive our T3.

Choices

Okay, so now that those of you who get your T3 from Mexico know your T3 supply is in danger it is time to pursue another source. I have resorted to begging my doctor to provide a prescription for an American made T3 from Perrigo (formerly Paddock). It is gluten-free unlike the American Cytomel which, by the say, is not guaranteed to be gluten-free. She will not be willing to prescribe the dose I need but anything is better than nothing until I figure this out. At the moment I have three months of Cynomel left and I can supplement what she is willing to prescribe to get my normal dose.

I suppose another choice is to try a natural desiccated thyroid med again. The most popular one right now is Westhroid. It is gluten-free and most people are feeling really good taking it.

Armour is another choice but most people feel it doesn’t  work as well as it used to. Armour has never recovered their reputation after they apparently made a formula change several years ago that they would not acknowledge but the humans taking it noticed a decline in their health.

ERFA (Canadian NDT) has reportedly been causing a return of hypo symptoms, just like Armour. Seriously, if a pharmaceutical company makes a formulation change why not tell the consumer that they have made a change no matter how slight or inconsequential. Patients need to be told before they start feeling a return of hypo symptoms, or worse, are sick on the couch again.

Thyrogold is an over-the-counter natural thyroid med that Dr. Lowe (who died three years ago after a bad fall and trauma to his head) developed and it is now being sold by his widow, Tammy. It sounds great but the cost might make it prohibitive. The general starting point is 2-3 capsules a day and 90 capsules are $54.95 plus shipping. That is approximately $60 a month if taking 3 capsules a day.

If you know of other possibilities please let me know. I will share the ideas on the Facebook groups but it will also help those who read Krisinsight and are not on Facebook.

Krisinsight

This blog entry has been almost entirely my viewpoint but let me share one more thought with you. Allopathic medicine is seriously damaged. Our system is so dysfunctional that it is harming the patients who have to use it. Doctors simply do not understand the thyroid and how it affects our bodies when it doesn’t work properly. They go by the book and the book is old and out of touch with reality.

We are forced to treat ourselves because our doctors look at low FT3 numbers and say all is well. They do not understand RT3 ratios and as long as you don’t have Wilson’s syndrome they tell you all is well when your ratio is revealing a thyroid resistance issue. When you take NDT or T3 your TSH will most likely be suppressed when you finally feel good. However, when your doctor sees a suppressed TSH they assume you are over medicated even when your body temperature is low, your pulse is low and your blood pressure is low. Come on, doc, you should know better.

Sadly, too many doctors tell patients who say they just don’t feel good on their current dose of T4 thyroid meds that they may need psychiatric help. Or worse than that, if a patient asks too many questions they are rudely informed that they are Google experts and will be dismissed as patients if they continue with this nonsense.

Ugh. This is our reality. I faced it five years ago and solved my heart problems (inappropriate release of adrenaline) by treating myself with T3-only. It wasn’t easy and I don’t recommend it to anyone but I did solve my problem so effectively that the SU has completely forgotten how ill I was 5 years ago today.

My wish for all of us. That some day this will change. I pray that “some day” is just around corner.

Santé,

Kris

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Keeping Promises

I am painfully behind this week but with the Labor Day holiday weekend and a most welcome visit by our daughter and our grandson I can’t say time has been wasted. In fact, I can’t think of a weekend where I have felt the joy of life quite so much. Our family took this time to just relish the happiness and blessings we have been granted. I hope you and yours were able to do the same this end of summer Labor Day weekend.

The Ability to Forget That Which We Already Knew

When I last updated you on my thyroid news I was taking 50 mcg of T3 and I reported my temperatures were just about normal. What I conveniently forgot was something that Val, the moderator of two forums discussing thyroid resistance, said and has said all along. If you take progesterone it will artificially elevate your temperatures.

I remembered her words when I started checking my temperatures on the days I do not take progesterone. They were not normal they were low and they were low all day. As soon as I started my days of 200-400 mg of progesterone my temperatures would hop back up in the normal range or close to normal range. With that evidence of low functioning thyroid and with more than a little trepidation I increased my dose of T3 by 3.125 mcg (1/6th of a tablet) on July 11th.

By July 23rd I was at 62.5 mcg of T3 and currently I am taking 68.75 mcg of T3. This has its good and bad effects and I think it is harder on my adrenals, so I am staying at this dose or lowering until I feel less adrenal stress. I do have more energy and have even cycled 20 miles up and down hills with my spousal unit (talk about adrenal challenge). However, my heart has its moments at this dose and most of them occur at night. When I increased to the latest dose around the end of August I started waking up around 1:00 but going right back to sleep.

Realization Dawns

I didn’t actually attach the restless nights to anything in particular and my thinking, faulty as it was, was my sex hormones were out of whack again. Well, my hormones probably were a little out of whack but it most likely is my thyroid hormone that is not quite right. As recently as this past Saturday night I found myself up drinking that damn salt water that slows my rapidly beating heart. As I waited for my heartbeat to regulate I started reading my health diary and low and behold the restless nights resumed when I increased my dose of T3 in July.

Perhaps the increase was not entirely to blame but in general since increasing my dose I have become more wakeful around 1 a.m.-2 a.m. My more recent rapid heartbeat episodes (Friday and Saturday night) even forced me from my warm and comfy bed where next to me my slumbering spousal unit lay unperturbed. I can stand to wake up as long as I go right back to sleep but when forced from bed for an hour or two a solution must be found. Early Sunday morning, sometime between 2-4 a.m. the light dawned, I knew what I had to do.

I decided that last night I would try taking the same dose of T3 per day but not 25 mcg at bedtime, only 12.5 mcg and spread the rest out over a 24 hour period. It worked wonders last night but if it doesn’t continue to work I will lower my dose by 6.25 mcg and further if necessary. I don’t think 50 mcg was ideal but here is what is true, I was sleeping like I hadn’t slept in years and my irregular heartbeat had become only an occasional unpleasant occurrence instead of a daily event (I am still terribly superstitious about saying all is well). If my temps had just been more normal I would have been quite happy to stay at 50 mcg of T3.

Day to Day Business

Here is where I am as of today. I am taking 68.75 mcg of T3 with the last 12.5 mcg at lights out. Most nights I also take 3 mg of Melatonin (Superior Source brand). Twice a day I take a B complex and Alpha Lipoic Acid (300 mg) both by Metabolic Maintenance. I try to take 1000 mg of Krill oil twice a day, 200 mg of Premier Brand Magnesium Glycinate and of course Vitamin D (5000 mg-10,000 mg three times a week or I use my Sunsplash Renew three times a week for 10 minutes) and Vitamin A from Atlantic Cod liver oil. I also try to take up to 1 teaspoon of sea salt (Real salt or Himalayan salt as well) a day but I prefer to put the salt on my tongue and take a swallow of water to down it. I just have not grown fond of salted water.

I actually have a number of digestive aids that help with my sluggish gall bladder. I regularly take two Biotics Research Beta TCP tablets. On my morning quinoa or in a smoothie I include Apple Pectin powder. Less frequently I take Choline Bitartrate, Ox Bile, Betaine Hydrochloride with Pepsin, Probiotics and digestive enzymes. In fact, if my gall bladder does not trouble me I only take the Beta TCP.

I am finding diet to be the best control of my digestion. I am following but not adhering strictly to Debbie Graefer’s gall bladder diet. I eat lots of quinoa for protein and very little meat, red or white. Sadly I can eat very few eggs but occasionally sneak them in a gluten free pancake recipe I enjoy. I am juicing cucumbers, celery, beets and apples and spicing it up with fresh ginger taking sips throughout the day. For now fat of any kind is very limited but I do include some flax oil, a bit of olive oil, hemp oil and the fat in my real milk and kefir. Anything with wheat and its cousins are but distant memories but I am eating lots of fermented foods for the enzymes and probiotics. It sounds boring but it has led to some weight loss and for sure less gall bladder complaints.

Even with the increased dose of T3 my temperatures are not quite normal. They are better than they were but my basal is slightly lower than it should be at 97.6 and my daytime temps probably average 98.2 but I am not regularly taking my temperature anymore.  Also I do not have my eyebrows back although I can feel tiny hairs growing in and am most encouraged by that development.

Looking Toward the Future

As of today, here are my goals. I want to have normal temperatures with no more cold toes (yes, that is a goal) and I want my eyebrows back even if they are colorless. I would like a better functioning digestive system and my hope is with increased thyroid function my gall bladder, liver, and pancreas will also work better. To increase bodily function I am going to use Reiki and incorporate other more traditional medicine. I am finally ready to get regular exercise back in to my daily routine and plan on doing T-Tapp to restore my physical body.

Promises Kept

I promised to update my thyroid news this week, so consider yourselves updated. It seems to me, when you are trying to overcome thyroid resistance it takes time, lots of time, to tweak and get everything just right. That said, in the last year and a half I have made a lot of progress and I find that very encouraging. I can even look at my own problems now and try to find the answer.

I am just wondering how many people who read my blog, (who have thyroid resistance or other ongoing health issues) feel the same way. Does it seem to take a long time to get it all just right?  When I look back on the last few years and the progress I have made I find myself feeling really grateful for the internet and the information I have gleaned from my fellow human beings. You see, in my opinion, it is only with the sharing of knowledge and experience that we will eventually get it right.

Here’s to getting it right,

Kris

Almost Nirvana and Other Madness

This week’s blog is for my fellow thyroid sufferers and other “spoonies”. A thyroid friend contacted me the other day and asked how I was doing (Hi Olivia) that got me to thinking that I hadn’t reported recently on the status of my health. There isn’t really anything earth shattering to report, nothing fabulous or horrific but I feel after a year on T3 only, and hitting more than a few bumps in the road, things are nearly there, almost nirvana (but superstition keeps me from saying anything more).

I will do a quick rundown of the past year for those who might be unfamiliar. I have had hypothyroidism for 15 years give or take a year. In those years my dose of Syn-crap was constantly inadequate and being increased every time I had my blood drawn. I found a good doctor who would let me try Armour in 2010 but after about a year on Armour I was still having problems with an irregular heartbeat that began three years prior to trying Armour (things started out quite well on Armour but then Forest Pharmaceuticals changed the formulation and the irregularity came back with a vengeance).

I decided to go the “T3 only” route in April 2010 after reading Stop the Thyroid Madness by Janie Bowthorpe and investigating various health forums that she introduced to my world. I had been battling this irregularity for more than three years now and despite what my doctor was telling me (you need to see a cardiologist) I knew  my heart was reacting to something akin to an improper release of adrenaline and that had to be caused by one thing, my improperly treated thyroid. I fit the description of a person with a Reverse T3 issue, basically an inability to get enough T3 to the thyroid receptors because they are blocked by T4. If the receptors are blocked by T4 the T4 is not converted to T3 as it needs to be for the thyroid to use it, so you are always under treated and have a resistance to any thyroid medication that has T4 in it.

Around this time last year, that is July Fourth and approximately 3 months on T3 only, I suddenly started having panic attacks, inability to sleep through the night, a feeling of not being able to swallow, diarrhea and a basal temperature of 98.2 -98.4. My daytime average wasn’t that high and other factors led many with whom I consulted to feel I was suffering intolerance. Adrenal fatigue can lead to intolerance issues, so I tested my adrenal health. The tests showed challenged adrenals, not full blown adrenal fatigue but low normal results especially midday, so I did try Isocort and then hydrocortisone but by and large those made me feel worse. [In retrospect, thanks to many talks with Nanci, I have concluded that my adrenals were weak but should never have been treated with anything containing hydrocortisone but hindsight is 20/20 as they say].

I “cleared” in July and had to drop my dose from 125 mcg to 68.75 mcg. I stayed on the Isocort (taking it like this 3-3-2-1) and gradually increased my dose of Cynomel according to my temperatures. Increasing according to my temperatures meant that I actually increased too much and too fast and eventually developed a bothersome tremor in my hands. It was so pronounced that it made my job (dental hygienist) difficult but the good news is I never had to quit working despite what I would call the rigors of clearing T4 from my receptors.

Last autumn was actually pretty miserable as I diligently climbed my way back to taking  125 mcg of T3. I was constantly taking my temperature three times a day and finding it sub normal over all, sometimes even my basal temperature was below 97.6, so I would up the dose despite the tremor and sleepless nights. Things weren’t great, I didn’t feel “normal”, my temperatures weren’t “normal” and I was getting discouraged.

Christmas was the nadir of my T3 only treatment. I had increased and decreased and now I was taking 118.75 mcg. It was Christmas Day and we were in Bayfield, Wisconsin with family an activity that usually brings me joy. That weekend I hardly slept, my heart was racing constantly. Basically, I was miserable, so I decreased again despite my temperatures  (which still weren’t normal) to 112.50 mcg. Nothing improved, nothing.

To make this now long introduction a little  shorter, after talking online for months with several helpful “thyroid friends” (to whom I am most grateful) this last winter, in February, I decreased dramatically to 50 mcg of T3. Miracles of miracles, almost overnight all of my objectionable symptoms disappeared, my temps didn’t come up but I finally felt human again after months of, gosh I hate to be dramatic, torture. I honestly couldn’t believe what a difference it made. I could go upstairs without feeling breathless, I was sleeping the sleep of normal people, my thinking was clear, my tremor completely disappeared and miracle of miracles my irregular heartbeat was better than it had been in years.

Enter Kris today. I am enjoying summer in Minnesota (yes, it finally has arrived), my new grandson and relatives visiting for the Fourth of July. I am still taking 50 mcg of T3 spread out in four equal doses the last one being as I turn the light out at bedtime. My daily average temperature is sub-par but my basal is within normal limits (97.8) and as long as I feel “human” I am sticking to 50 mcg of T3.

I know my current regimen flies in the face of everything my gurus on the RT3 site recommend but my heart is as regular as it has been in years and the other night I actually found myself sleeping on my left side. That is a significant event only for those of us who have experienced the sound of a pounding irregular heartbeat. When you lay on your left side the sounds of your heartbeat are magnified and, needless to say, unbearable when those beats are irregular. When I awoke sleeping on my left side I knew I had passed a milestone in my treatment.

I have my daily supportive routines like taking at least 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt every day, twice a day. I take one Thorne B #12, Thorne folocal if I take additional B12, Krill oil, antioxidants with 2000 mg of Vitamin C, and Bio-Astaxanthin every day. Other days I might add Vitamin D3, Vitamin A, Zinc Picolinate Plus, Super K, Chlorella and Spirulina.

Three times a week I put a scoop of  Boku Superfood in my morning smoothie which consists of some form of protein powder (SunWarrior or Mercola’s Whey). I am currently not following a gluten free diet but my carb intake is very low during the week and only on the weekend do I eat more carbs. I guess you could call it carb loading for a day or two which is sometimes recommended by exercise coaches.

All in all, I feel my health this summer is far better than last summer. My blood test panel showed improvements but certainly not perfection. My hormones are all low but my SHBG was very high, so that is the explanation for the low levels of my sex hormones. I know I need to compensate with higher doses of Estradiol and Progesterone but have yet to find a doctor who is knowledgeable in treating with the Wiley Protocol. My gall bladder still troubles me but that has been ongoing for years and I now understand that a sluggish thyroid lends itself to a sluggish gall bladder, so I take the necessary steps to keep it as healthy as I can. I have a very dry burning mouth at times and my eyes feel dry, so I suspect Sjogren’s but there is no diagnosis of such a thing and with a diagnosis I am not sure anything would change. I use natural lubricant for my eyes and I have very good oral hygiene.

Does my heartbeat still trouble me? Sometimes I can feel it “skip a beat” but instead of panicking I take it in stride and soon things are normal again. It is never precipitated by exercise, so I am not fearful. My blood pressure is nearly perfect if on the low side. My energy is good but I am careful not to overdo as I feel my adrenal health is still compromised (indicated by my low temperatures of 98 degrees most afternoons that I check). My sleep is the best it has been in years and I often don’t wake at all or if I do it is only once and I go right back to sleep.

My wish for all the “thyroid friends” and “Spoonies” who read this is that you, too, can find your peace. Just know that some day you will turn the corner and find your self again. Even if it is fleeting, for that singular moment just enjoy the experience of  being you again.

Happy Fourth of July,

Kris

Still Full of Ideas

‘Tis the season to draw blood. Yes, you read that right get your blood drawn but for less. If you are not aware of it, Life Extension Foundation (recommended by Suzanne Somers) is having their yearly sale on blood tests until June 6th. You have to join Life Extension for $75 and you will feel compelled to wade through their monthly magazine that I find to be mostly an advertisement for their multitude of supplements that they claim extend your life.

However there is a reward. Once a year they mark their blood panels down. These blood panels are very complete and a doctor’s order is not required. You do need to locate a LabCorp in your area for your blood draw but the price and scope of various panels is hard to beat. The knowledge you glean from your results is priceless.

This week I purchased the Female Weight Loss Panel for the sale price of $224.25. I was pleasantly surprised when the requisition form arrived in my email as on the site you are left feeling the requisition form will be mailed to you by no less than “snail mail”. I quickly printed off the order for the phlebotomist at the lab and headed off to the nearest LabCorp about 30 miles from my house. It is, fortunately for me,  near my daughter’s house and an opportunity to hold the sweetest baby.

It is not often one brags about a phlebotomist but the technicians at the LabCorp in Edina, MN are fantastic. I have never once been hurt by them. They are professional and very good at what they are trained to do, drawing your blood from a vein in to a portal that empties in to vial. Not only are the techs good the facility is clean and LabCorp does most drug testing for big companies in the Twin Cities. This is not a dank, dark lab hidden deep down some disreputable street it is an office on the 6th floor of the Fairview Professional Building next to one of the larger hospitals in the Twin Cities. The first time I went I was most fortunate that my daughter had just had her drug test for a new job, so she knew precisely where LabCorp was and told me it was totally professional. It put my mind to rest and now I can help you, LabCorp is a reputable company and most online labs use them for the blood draws.

I had my blood drawn on Monday morning at 8:00 and was on my way by 8:05. My test results were in my “inbox” on Thursday evening not weeks later as they would be if your doctor’s office orders the tests. I got home late Thursday night and questioned the intelligence of opening the results before I went to bed but decided no one was home and if I was up late there would be no repercussions.

I don’t know if you face test results with the same trepidation. Basically, I want to know but I don’t want to know, so test results are always a source of stress for me. This may come down to what I wrote about last week, that sort of base pessimism that I have, or just some bad memories of doctors looking at my results and saying “you will have a heart attack if you don’t lower your cholesterol”. I have since learned that cholesterol has very little predictive powers when it comes to your heart but it doesn’t stop those words from ringing in my head when looking at blood test results.

I will not bore you with too many numbers. I can tell you there were some pleasant surprises like my low CRP result and my uric acid reading was also very good. Disappointingly my sex hormones were still almost non-existent and I have increased the amount of almost all my bio-identical hormones. My FT3 was too low but my SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) was high indicating a good saturation level of T3 in my tissues. The high SHBG is the reason my hormone levels are so low and I will have to do my research to rectify that as it is binding all my sex hormones and not letting my body utilize them.

For my thyroid friends my TSH was suppressed at .034 but it should be on T3-only and my FT4 was negligible at .03, again perfectly normal with T3 only and indicative of having my RT3 under control. My low FT3 was 3.2 and should be closer to 6 when I am taking T3 only as there is no T4 to turn in to T3, so I will have to increase my T3 but not until my adrenals can take the load. I feel confident that I am no longer pooling any FT3 but my issue is that higher levels of T3 cause sleeplessness and exaggerated heart palps. My iron was good at 107, so my intolerance is not due to anemia.

Speaking of cholesterol as I was earlier I was unhappy about my increased LDL numbers as that has always been low but my ratio was still acceptable. My bilirubin numbers were slightly elevated and while I would like them lower they have been elevated for several years. Two puzzlers were high hemoglobin and high hematocrit. I could very well have been dehydrated and that will raise the level of both. I need to peruse Lab Tests Online to see what I can learn about elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit.

I feel like this has been a big week and for once blood test results have made me feel like I am full of ideas on how to improve the numbers I don’t like. In the past test results have seemed more like a harbinger of bad things to come and ideas on how to improve things have been out weighed by the negative news from my doctor. There is nothing like fear and trepidation to paralyze a person and when inertia sets in nothing gets done and Big Pharma becomes the victor. This time I am in charge of my health and I am ready for the challenge.

Heading Up the Thyroid Highway

Over the last two weeks I have learned things are never as they seem. There is no mold we all fit in, no normal, no one size fits all. I will be the first to admit my journey along Thyroid Highway has been bumpy this last 9 months. I have tried to fit in to a normal classification and met with more than a little resistance. My valuable lesson this week is with the T3 only protocol there is no normal there are just possibilities.

While on vacation in February I had many sleepless nights. Those nights were not all bad as I was staying on the ocean and could hear the almost hypnotizing drum of the water on rock outside my window. However, sitting inside in the middle of the night with a racing pulse and a heavy heartbeat is not comforting or restoring and doesn’t even qualify as “biphasic sleep“. After more than one night of sleeplessness I knew I needed to lower my dose of T3. It went against everything I understood to be true of taking Cynomel (T3) but I finally, painfully lowered my already low dose of T3 and to my amazement I slept, my temperatures went up and my energy seemed normal. My daily dose was now 62.50 mcg of T3 and “most” people do better on 75-125 mcg of T3 or so they say.

A week ago we flew home from Oregon and the next day I returned to the shaky, hyper person I am at home and I was dismayed but plowed along. Monday night was not a good one, Tuesday night I slept. Wednesday night found me wide awake from 12:30 to 3:30 with a racing pulse. Thursday night I slept, so along comes Friday.

Friday I went to sleep right away but after several little electrically charged wake up calls from my heart I got up an hour later. I took my pulse and found  it was beating 103 times a minute and seemed weak, so I drank two glasses of water each with 1/2 teaspoons of Celtic Grey Salt mixed in. Halfway through the second glass of water I was freezing. I had been sitting in a t-shirt in our Arctic cool livingroom (well that was how if felt an hour later, it is generally 59 degrees on a winter night) and I determined if I did nothing else I was going back to my warm bed and lay next to a warm body. Never mind that as soon as I got back to bed the warm body next to me got up as now he couldn’t sleep. It bothered me not, I now slept with a calm heart.

Saturday I felt my disrupted night’s sleep like I had been up for hour upon hour not just a mere hour. I felt jittery tired, God I hate jittery tired. My pulse was still racing at times and my temps had not been good all week. One day that week my average was 97.8. My basal temperature one morning was 97.3. Late on Saturday afternoon I took all this in to account and knew the T3 was still stressing my adrenals so I decided to lower my dose of T3 yet again and lower the Isocort I was taking from 5 to 3 to see how my body reacted. That night I bravely took my bedtime dose of T3 (something I haven’t been able to do for weeks) and laid down and slept. It was the kind of  sleep that is often elusive for me, that blessed, all night kind of sleep. My dose was now 56.25 mcg of T3.

If you are not familiar with the RT3 and T3-Only Protocol this all means nothing to you and you think I am rambling and a bit flaky. I know the look on your face because I see it often when I try to talk to the SU about thyroid disease, so stop now and spare yourself total boredom. However, if you are familiar with T3-only you will be interested to know that despite the “normals” people talk about there appear to be those of us who need less, or better said, can tolerate much less and we don’t die, in fact we feel better for the low dose.

When I talk about reducing my dose, the reader needs to keep in mind that each grain of Armour Natural Dessicated Thyroid has about 9 mcg of T3 in it, so I am still taking the equivalent of 6 grains of Armour Thyroid. If you have to lower your dosage try to keep in mind just how much T3 you are still taking. I am reminded suddenly of the advice I give my dental patients when they hate flossing. If they only floss once every week it is still 52 times a year, double that and you have whopping 104 times, so every little bit helps. Perspective is really important when dealing with your very human body.

I have now been in touch with two thyroid friends ( You ask what is a thyroid friend? A friendship or kinship that occurs when people share similar health problems.) who are taking low doses of T3. One person is on 30 mcg, another friend is at 37.50 mcg and all three of us feel good at these “low” doses. We all have taken more T3 in the past to clear the T4 out but after trial and error our doses have been lowered to a level our bodies can tolerate. The person on 30 mcg had a thyroid panel run recently and her TSH is a bit high at 2.3 and her FT3 was around 3, so she may look hypo on paper but she feels great, has energy that she hasn’t had in years. The person on 37.50 mcg lowered on the same day I did to the 37.50 mcg and her fibro pain was improved the next morning  and she slept peacefully that night for the first time in some while.

I have no doubt that I will once again raise my dose of T3 but my message for those who are treating with T3-only is don’t be afraid to lower your dose to a level that is “sub-optimal” if things are not going well. If your temperatures suddenly show signs of stress, as mine did when they plummeted, try reducing your dose and see if they come up again. If they don’t, obviously the problem wasn’t adrenal stress and you can try raising the dose after 5 days or so and then look for other causes of your intolerance. It is misleading if you are of the mindset that says everyone is from the same cookie cutter. The way you react to your environment, to things you ingest and to life makes you unique. With time and experience you might be able to treat thyroid disease by how you feel because what is most important is having good energy, healthy hair and skin, ideal weight, and if you go by my experience a really good night’s sleep.

Here is to traveling the tortuous route with friends,

Kris