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Sometimes a Low Nutrient Like Iron (In This Case) Can Make All The Difference to Tolerating Thyroid Medication
I would like to say that I have not tolerated T4 or T3 ever and felt tired and horrible.
I tried many doses, spent years fixing my gut and correcting nutrient deficiencies, correcting hormones (testosterone estrogen progesterone), iodine. I was fed up after many years of not making progress and doctors shrugging shoulders.
Then I found Paul Robinson’s books – Recovering with T3 and The CT3M Handbook.
I decided I would quit T4 and transition to T3 only. My FT3 was always low and I asked my doctor if I could try adding T3 to my T4 again. She agreed to start with 5 mcg 1x/day. I couldn’t tolerate it yet again. I experimented first with 2.5 mcg…no luck but I kept taking it because I felt better with it than without it. Meanwhile a client of mine (I’m a Dietitian) added 15mcg of T3 and she reported to me that she tolerated it just fine – barely noticed that she added it!! This really frustrated me and led me to think that something very fundamental was still missing that I couldnt tolerate any higher T4 (only on 75 mcg) or the addition of a T3.
I kept pouring over Paul’s books; looking for anything to help me understand what was missing.
I began comparing my labs to the recommended and found that my SERUM IRON was below what he recommended as ideal for ANY thyroid med to work; my serum iron was 90 and what you suggested is that to tolerate thyroid meds an iron of 100-110 (or maybe higher, I have to double check that).
I began eating beef with a vitamin C food as much as possible and added a multi with small amount of iron. I haven’t rechecked my iron levels but lo and behold, I’m tolerating both my T4 and my T3 AND I’ve been able to increase my T3 as needed. I now tolerate the 5mcg that I add at 4 or 5 am (my a.m cortisol was VERY low), and I add 2.5 at 2:00pm. I haven’t added more times but I plan to. I am feeling almost like a normal person – not there yet!
I have felt so good though that I know EXACTLY when my T3 is wearing off and I need more. I used to just be a great big pile of hypothyroid symptoms 24hrs a day…I couldn’t differentiate a hypo symptom from a hyper (from trying to increase either T4 or T3). I never thought I’d be able to tell when I got a dose right but since adding iron and addressing THAT ONE THING, I’ve been able to come out from a dark hypothyroid hole of 6 years. IRON!
And not one single doctor ever said, you might increase your iron, not a one.
I have a ways to go yet, but I’m feeling better than I have in years. I feel a sense of hope. If it weren’t for Paul Robinson’s books, and that one recommended level versus “normal range”, I would’ve never tolerated any thyroid meds still.
I may stay on my T4/T3 therapy or eventually switch to just T3. At least most of my symptoms are resolving and if I make the switch I will know my symptoms and be able to titrate up with confidence.
I am grateful.
It was a minor tweak – after doing lots of major overhaul through the years, but a most important one.
Thank you so much.