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My T3 (Liothyronine) Story – How I Got My Life Back
I was diagnosed, rather easily, after having my baby when she was 8 months and I was 43. Had gone to the Drs for something totally unrelated and the test came back that I had an underactive thyroid and was positive for antibodies. I was relieved and pleased that he had picked up something before I had started to suffer badly with it. Once I read up about all the symptoms I realized I had actually been suffering for at least 2 years and more than likely, mildly for 5+ years.
However, that is the only positive to my story. I started on 25mcg of T4, next blood test, I was normal apparently, only I didn’t feel normal, I felt worse. Medication increased to 50mcg, back for blood tests, I was normal again. Again I did not feel normal. No increase but come back for another blood test in 3 months. Eventually relented and I was put up to 75mcg. Other blood test run, I was normal, I was fine. I did not feel fine, I felt awful. In desperation I asked if there was something more natural I could take, my GP referred to the endo at the local hospital. There I met an arrogant man who shaped my life for nearly a year, for the worse. Eventually he decided to ‘try’ me on T3, he said ‘it won’t work’, he was incredibly dismissive. He total sum of knowledge on the usage of T3 was ‘you might want to try and split the dose’. That was it. I looked at these tiny white tablets and wondered what on earth he meant.
I started on 25mcg of T4, next blood test, I was normal apparently, only I didn’t feel normal, I felt worse.
Within 24 hours there was a dramatic change. All of a sudden it was like a light bulb came on in my head. The world was bright and sunny, I felt that all I wanted to do was smile. I was active, I moved around, it was incredible. I had gone from a tired, inactive, fogged headed mum of a toddler to one that actually ran around at her gym class with her, baked and stayed awake and laughed. How I wish that was the end of my story.
About 2 weeks into this I started to get some pain in my joints and my tiredness returned. By the time I saw the endocrinologist for the follow up I was very unwell, the most unwell I have been in my life. He dismissed me from his care and told me to go back to my GP. My GP refused to believe it was still my thyroid, I was in no man’s land. I knew it was my thyroid, I knew there was something going on but I had no understanding of my condition at all, I am ashamed to say. So I researched, I read, and I found a private endo who my GP reluctantly referred me to. This guy was open minded, thankfully. He tried by upping my T4, awful, he then reduced my T4 and upped my T3. Again, no knowledge of how to use T3. From my research the general opinion was to divide the doses into 4, so I did. Immediately my pain reduced, my tiredness lifted and I started to feel like me again. I would never have believed that taking the same dose but dividing it could have resulted in such a dramatic change. I felt that the T4 was causing me issues so that was removed and low and behold once it left my body, about 6 weeks, I felt, well normal.
T3-Only (Liothyronine) Treatment Began to Fix My Hypothyroidism
Immediately my pain reduced, my tiredness lifted and I started to feel like me again
I had some other deficiencies notably iron and Vitamin D which had not been picked up and I believe that correcting these have contributed to my wellness but ultimately it was the T3. Without it my life was heading downwards, as I could not tolerate the T4. This is not generally accepted, as Levothyroxine (T4) is made out to be a miracle cure for an under active thyroid. However, it is well known, and documented, that not all women can take the same contraceptive pill (a hormone) because of the side effects, that not all women can take or tolerate HRT (a hormone), and even diabetics can be insulin resistant (a hormone), I really cannot understand this point of view.
T3 needs more research and it needs more GPs and endos to understand it usage and be more open about the fact that we are all different and deserve to be able to live a ‘normal’ life.