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Now I’m on T4 in the morning and I take T3 three times a day. I couldn’t be happier on T3 – since it gave me my life back!
My story starts in 2019. I was having severe heartburn since the year before and it was getting progressively worse. My weight had also gone up. I had had cataract surgery in Dec of 2018 and had some complications so was on steroid eye drops for months. I had gained 10lbs on them. Even though I was off of them, I couldn’t lose the weight and was frustrated. I knew I had a problem losing weight due to my thyroid, so I began researching again what could help. I even visited a medical weight loss doctor for drugs that suppress your appetite, but the doctor didn’t know anything about the thyroid so I didn’t sign up.
I talked about it with my friend who said, “Elizabeth, you had a medical problem, not an eating problem.” That’s when I decided to go through my own doctor to figure out the thyroid stuff.
I had heard an interview on the Bulletproof podcast years ago. It was someone talking about hypothyroid problems and T3. I searched it up and found it. It was an interview with Elle Russ. I ordered her book, “The Paleo Thyroid Solution.” While reading it, I realized that I had all the symptoms of being hypothyroid and untreated. I had been on medication since I got pregnant with my first daughter in 2001. At that point, the doctor also told me I had Hashimoto’s and would need to be on medication the rest of my life, but I had no idea what Hashimoto’s was. Over the years, I would read some thyroid books, get overwhelmed with the information, and do nothing. My mom and my sister were on medication for thyroid so I figured I would just have to take it forever.
But here I was taking my medication religiously every day AND with all the symptoms – itchy ears that drove me nuts, itchy ankles, dry, cracked skin, inability to lose weight, random nausea and heartburn, bloating, voice changes which freaked me out since I need my voice for my work! Low energy, hair loss, taking naps every 2 hours, and overwhelming tiredness came on suddenly. This had been years of these symptoms – my kids knew that if we took a road trip, I would have to pull over and take a 10-15 minute nap every couple of hours. Every couple of years I would try to lose weight with no results.
Doctors know very little about thyroid functioning – seriously. They would all tell me to exercise more and eat less – because they didn’t know any better. I WAS exercising and eating less and it wasn’t helping. Plus I felt like I was starving all the time.
It occurred to me that the medication was obviously not working. The book suggested going grain-free, dropping carbs down to under 100 or 150 per day and getting some testing done. I thought I would start with the testing and then see if I could go grain-free to help bring my antibodies down.
Let’s talk about Testing
People say that their thyroid tests were normal. But what they don’t know is usually doctors only run TSH and T4. They may run T3, they may not. When I look back on my records, even endocrinologists only ran TSH and T4, not T3 or Free T3, not total T4 and Free T4, and never Reverse T3. No one had tested me for Hashimotos again or run my antibodies in 18 years since the first time. What T4 is supposed to do in your body is convert to T3. When you run Reverse T3, it tells you if you have a conversion problem, especially if your FT3 remains low. If you do, usually need to add T3 to your medication either by taking a combination medication that has both T4 and T3 in it. If that doesn’t work, then some people need to go on just T3. That’s what Elle’s book was about – figuring all that out on her own and figuring out how to dose with T3 since it only lasts a few hours in the body.
Then I found Paul Robinson’s book, “Recovering with T3” which is about dosing with T3. I read it cover to cover several times. I joined the FB group in addition to another one. I decided that I really needed to make a change.
This is important – The first question I asked my doctor was “Are you willing to work with me to figure this out?” She said, “yes!”. I had decided that if she had said no, I would look for someone else to help me. But she said, “Yes!”. I would bring her research and information, and run blood tests every 6 weeks for the first year until we got the dosage right.
For Christmas that year, I gave my doctor the gift of Paul Robinson’s book. Adding T3 felt like a miracle. I tried going without T4 (decreasing safely) and just going on T3, but that didn’t work well for me. So now I’m on T4 in the morning and I take T3 three times a day. I’m happy to do that since it gave me my life back!
Most of my symptoms disappeared completely including the constant napping and itchy ears, which drove me nuts. I was finally able to lose weight and lost 45 lbs. I changed my diet to grain-free (mostly), but I don’t think that would have made a difference without the T3. I know it wouldn’t have since I tried every way of eating possible in the past.
It’s 2021 and I have energy. I can think. I wake up looking forward to the day. I no longer feel like my legs are made of lead and I walk and exercise 5-6 days per week happily. I’m growing hair again. I maintain my weight loss. My vitals are regular and fine. I can work and drive without worrying about falling asleep. My monthly cycle also became regular for the first time in my life. Now, I only have to do blood work every six months, just like anyone on thyroid medication.
I couldn’t be happier on T3 and feel so grateful for Paul and his book.