How to Treat a reverse T3 Problem

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Over the years I've suspected I had a thyroid problem, and I always thought it would be so simple. Find the right doctor to test appropriately and then go on natural thyroid replacement, namely Armour.

But now I know that Armour is roughly 80% T4 and 20% T3 and since my T4 levels are high, taking Armour would not be the right solution. I might feel better for a little while, maybe because my body would be getting some T3, but eventually I would feel worse because my body would be getting too much T4.

So… the course of treatment suggested at Stop the Thyroid Madness is to take a prescription drug called Cytomel. This page explains how this reverse T3 problem is treated with Cytomel. Cytomel is a name brand product… the generic is not recommended by patients at Stop the Thyroid Madness. Apparently the generic is less effective, some say they felt nothing different when taking it.

In reading this page at Stop the Thyroid Madness, I learned some things that need to be in addressed before I even  even consider starting on Cytomel (T3). “You will also need to correct what is causing the excess T3 in the first place, whether ferritin/iron or adrenals. Without correcting these, you will be asking for trouble with the very powerful T3.”

Correcting Adrenal Dysfunction

I've been taking my temperature faithfully for the past week, and will continue to do so because it is an effective way to confirm what is happening on with adrenal and thyroid function. I believe I have stabilized my adrenals because my temperatures are steady from day to day. In the past seven days I've had mostly 98.3°F.

Correcting Low Ferritin Levels

You should also be looking at Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC), UIBC, Iron Serum and Iron Saturation percentage, and The Stop the Thyroid Madness site talks about low ferritin/iron levels.

Here are my results from September 30:

  • Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) 284  range 250-450
  • UIBC 130  range 150-375 (mine is lower than the range)
  • Iron, Serum 154  range 35-155
  • Iron Saturation 54%  range 15-55
  • Ferritin 195 range 130-150 (mine is higher than the range)

In looking at these three sources, I have found that the numbers should look like this: Thyroid RT3: Iron, Adrenals Web Ferritin and Iron; Stop the Thyroid Madness Ferritin, Iron and Hypothyroidism.

  • Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) 259 is good 250-450
  • UIBC 165 is a good number 150-375
  • Iron, Serum 154  should be at least 90 range 35-155
  • Iron Saturation should be between 35% and 45%
  • Ferritin should be 70-90

My ferritin levels are high.

Stop the Thyroid Madness says this about high ferritin:

What if I find my ferritin is super high? High levels of ferritin can point to an iron overload, such as the inherited disorder called hemochromatosis, which you can read about here. Your doctor will usually direct you to give blood in order to lower these harmful higher levels. With hemochromatosis, you can have a low TIBC or UIBC.

Are men different than women in their iron lab results? Yes. Men normally have higher levels of ferritin than women without having an infection. It’s common to see healthy men with a ferritin over 100.

Well, I'm not a man, and my ferritin is 195, almost double what is seen in a “healthy” man, so I'm thinking my level is “super high”.

And my UIBC is low, but I don't think I have hemochromatosis. I went in to have more blood drawn this past Friday, and two tests we are running are to look for inflammation. One is CRP (C-Reactive Protein), the other is ESR (SED Rate).

According to Dr. Kruse, the Leptin Reset will fix this reverse T3 problem. I am hoping it works for me. I would still like to get the Cytomel from my doctor in case I decide to try the protocol outlined here. I spoke with my doctor's partner last week since she is on vacation, and he is reluctant to prescribe T3. He does not think I have thyroid problems, because I do not have two of the most common symptoms: cold hands and feet, and hair loss. I am a little frustrated by this because I believe I've had low thyroid issues for at least two decades, and when you don't address thyroid problems your adrenals have to take up for them, which eventually exhausts them. So I believe it would be a mistake to continue to only address my adrenals, without looking into my thyroid.

On the other hand, maybe the Leptin Reset will fix me right up. I found this very interesting explanation for what Leptin Resistance is, how to fix it and the signs of Leptin Resistance and Leptin Sensitivity in the comments at Dr. Kruse's blog: Leptin for Dummies.

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2 thoughts on “How to Treat a reverse T3 Problem

  1. Wow.. this is all so much information!! I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface at Stop the Thyroid Madness site… I sure hope my problem is ‘simple’ though when taking surveys I find I have some symptoms of hypo- and some of hyper-thyroid. So it may not be simple after all…
    You sure seem on top of things… I’m sure I’ll be coming back to the group with questions when I get my results.
    Thanks for doing all that research!!

  2. @Magda, I hope for you also that your problem is “simple”! I think you have already gone for your tests but make sure you got the Free T3 and Free T4, reverse T3, and the two thyroid antibody tests, as well as the TSH. Wow. Six months ago I knew none of these tests and now I can just rattle them off easily. Here is the recommended tests at Stop the Thyroid Madness. And hopefully your doctor can interpret the results! Ack! That is the most frustrating part of all. I found that reading the Stop the Thyroid Madness book was very helpful as well. I love the Internet and websites, but I still love books and how you can read them through. 🙂 Hugs, Starlene

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