Posts Tagged ‘RT3. T3 only’

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,



Long Journey to Health

I am totally off the digestive tract this week but I know if I don’t just blog about the thing that is nearest and dearest to me I will simply not publish anything this week. I will at a later date return to digestive health issues but would ask your indulgence dear reader and listen to my journey to thyroid health thus far.

Thirteen weeks ago I began a rather tortuous process of clearing a Reverse T3 (RT3) issue. RT3 is basically ignored by health care professionals but those with longstanding and under treated thyroid disease know or should know that RT3 is a real problem. I first heard about RT3 from Janie Bowthorpe in her book and on her website “Stop the Thyroid Madness”. When I read this statement “A small percentage of thyroid patients, who are treating their adrenals to the best of their ability, continue to have symptoms which imply they are making far too much RT3. Those include the subjective experience of feeling toxic as they raise their thyroid medications, or simply having problems with raising. Or, as patients report firsthand: not quite feeling right, strange reactions, not getting benefits like others do.” a light went on for me. In the past whenever my blood levels were checked I was always being given an increased dose of , at that time, Levothyroxine, and then I would literally feel toxic, racing heart, nervousness, shaky hands, toxic with a capitol T.

These may soon be your best friends if you have a Reverse T3 issue coupled with weak adrenals

Armed with this bit of knowledge from “Stop the Thyroid Madness” I began investigating the issue of RT3. Somehow I already felt better knowing it wasn’t my imagination, I wasn’t crazy or inferior to everyone else I had a problem. The best place to go if you suspect you may have a RT3 problem is a Yahoo! Group discussion led by one Val Harly and her assistants Nick and Margery, so I headed over to that group and literally hung out reading everything people had to say and learned a veritable encyclopedia of information and most of all I eventually learned I had a RT3 problem. How did I find out about my RT3 issue  you might ask?

You first need to request a RT3 test (I recently had my daughter request a RT3 test and she, too, has a bad ratio of 9 even worse than mine) and most doctors will not even request it, so find one that will. My functional medicine doctor was willing to make the request but when the results came back his written comments were “ok-no Wilson’s Syndrome” so I  quit just  lurking on the discussion group and got involved. I sent Val my  RT3 number and my FT3 number and from that a ratio can be determined. What my doctor had said was “okay” was anything but. To have an optimally functioning thyroid you want a ratio of 20 or higher and mine was 12 indicating a RT3 problem. I was taking thyroid hormones, even natural dessicated thyroid hormones, but they weren’t actually getting into the receptors and making me feel better.

This is week 14 for me and finally things are getting better but it has been a journey and one done without a medically licensed professional. I think this was one of the scariest moves I have ever made and I still have days when I wonder if I have done the right thing. I love to exchange ideas with people with similar medical issues but I have found it impossible to share ideas with people who won’t do anything without their doctor’s prescription, they simply will not understand and you will be treated like a candidate for electric shock therapy. I know, it has happened to me, so I am very close with my information and share very little of what I am doing with anyone who knows me personally. I only share it now because this is amazing and the difference it has made is something everyone who suffers from under treated hypothyroidism should know.

While I am not at the end of my journey, and maybe we never are because as human beings we and our surroundings are always changing, here are a few things I can report already.  I have not had a normal body temperature for decades but now I am almost at a normal body temperature all day (normal 98.6 mine 98.2-98.4) and my basal body temperature is already normal (range of 97.8-98.2).

My sleep which has been pathetic since I became a mother some 37 1/2 years ago is now so much deeper and restorative and I take my fourth dose of thyroid medication right before I fall asleep “as the light goes off”. (What I have learned from Val is you “dump” T3 around midnight, so if you take T3 right before you go to sleep when you “dump” the T3 there will be some to replace it and you will not awaken with a start at midnight) I also take 3 mg of Melatonin before bed and the combination of T3 and Melatonin has been nothing short of miraculous. It is all about the hormones, those pesky hormones.

I had aches and pains like you would not believe. I tried every natural gel I could think of to alleviate the pain (I do not take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen) but the pain persisted. My right elbow was sore to the touch, it felt like it was bruised but there was no black and blue mark. I was in the habit of throwing a Frisbee for one of my poodles every day and my elbow hurt so bad I could hardly get the Frisbee out of my hand much less across the yard. My knees were stiff and sore and bending down meant hobbling up again or sitting down on my butt and pushing my way up with my hands so I didn’t use my knees. Honestly, I thought it was just my age at the time but I suddenly realized the other day the pain is gone, I can bend down and get back up, I can throw the Frisbee until my big guy is down on the ground panting and that is a good thing.

I am a dental hygienist and my neck and shoulders are always sore but the pain used to be overwhelming and I was constantly massaging muscles and trying to get some relief. I would often be awakened in the night over and over with numb and tingling hands and arms. I still have some tightness in my neck but I am not awakened by numb and tingling hands or pains shooting up through my occipital bones from tension in my neck and shoulders.

I honestly began this entire thyroid  journey because of an irregular heartbeat (most likely fibrillation) that started about three years ago. I maintained then that it was being  triggered by adrenaline because it would come out of nowhere around 11:00 in the morning and worsen through the afternoon until I was coughing with the pressure it caused in my chest. It usually didn’t bother me at night but occasionally it did, I hated those night when it blipped and blathered and woke me up to read or drink chamomile tea, anything to calm it down and make it go away. My guestimation three years ago was that my thyroid was malfunctioning and triggering a release of adrenaline but my doctor wouldn’t concur without wearing the halter and going through extensive tests. Now I know I wasn’t far off because it is most likely that my malfunctioning thyroid caused weak adrenals and the weak adrenals released adrenaline to compensate for what my thyroid wasn’t doing. (I was able to confirm my adrenal health with a salivary cortisol test from Canary Club.) I am almost afraid to say it but in the last few weeks of resolving my RT3 issue the irregularity has all but disappeared. I am thrilled but cautious  to report that monumental detail. I think my heart issue is fodder for an entire blog itself, so will go into detail at a later date.

Lat but not least there is my memory, as my friends can attest, my memory was far from perfect. I couldn’t remember who I told what and as my mother had dementia this is not a pleasant situation to contemplate. I wasn’t misplacing keys or getting lost but my memory was not where it should be and I felt foggy much of the time. I am happy to report that the fog has lifted. I will also tell you it was at its worst while I cleared the T4 out of my receptors. The clearance process is not always nice and you do go through a lot of stages like suddenly low blood pressure, or suddenly high body temps, shakiness, panic attacks, you name it it can happen but that is what the group is for, those fine folks really do help you through the crises points and are there for you when you come out of the other end of the tunnel.

I know now these maladies were a result of my thyroid condition because your thyroid controls so many bodily functions. When your thyroid is not optimally treated your body runs out of gas and you will die prematurely if you let it go under treated. I am happy to say that I am not the only person who has reported these fabulous improvements once their treatment is optimal and if you go to the RT3 site you can read about a variety of health related symptoms people resolved with optimal treatment.

I have no way of knowing what the future holds but for now the tortuous journey has become just a long and winding road.

Here’s to loving my healthier happier butterfly shaped organ,