My Thyroid Test Results

15Katey

Well-Known Member
  • #1
My thyroid levels have been up and down like a yoyo for the past few years. I'm trying my hardest to get my levels stabilized so I can visit a naturopathic doctor in the future. My goal is to visit that type of a doctor so we can get to the root cause of my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. My antibody levels are very high and I'd like to know why. The only time they've gone down in recent memory has been a few months ago. I suspect the reason for this was because I was taking too much thyroid medication and was slightly hyper. I was taking too much Nature-Thryoid. We all know how that turned out. It was recalled. I'll never take any thyroid natural medication again. I just can't trust that it'll be around long term. Plus, I don't trust that the level of medication is consistent in the natural pills. Because of this, I'm currently taking Synthroid (Levothyroxine) for my T4 levels. When I was last tested, the Functional Medicine doctor tested my TSH, T4, and T3. I had been taking Synthroid for about a month or so. When I got my test results back, we learned that my body doesn't convert the T4 into T3 properly, so I now have to take Cytomel (liothyronine), which is basically T3. I feel good that I'm taking two different drugs for the T4 and the T3 because we can better keep the levels in balance this way.

So here's the problem. My doctor put my on 125mcg of Synthroid once per day, which doesn't cost very much at the pharmacy. It's like $10 or something and my hearth insurance pays for that. The Cytomel generic isn't covered though, so I have to pay cash. I had the prescription called into Walmart and they told me that it costs close to $300 for a 90 day supply. That's 5mcg twice per day, so it's 180 pills. That blew my mind because it's so expensive. Then, after a week of trying to figure out what to do, the receptionist at the doctor's office told me about GoodRx. I went to their website and put in the information. The price of the 90 day supply of liothyronine dropped from $300 to $50. I'm wondering how I didn't know about this service. I've been paying cash for prescriptions for decades. At least I know now, which I'm happy about.

So we'll see how this turns out. I hope to increase my levels of T3 and then I'll see if the Hashimoto's antibodies drop at all. Everything else was okay - the T4 and the TSH, so it's just the T3 that we need to concern ourselves with. I'll keep you updated.
 

15Katey

Well-Known Member
  • #2
I just returned from the Walmart pharmacy and the cost for both the generic Synthroid and the Cytomel was indeed $49 and change, plus tax. My state Medicare paid for the Levothyroxine, but not the Liothyronine. I have no idea why they decided not to pay for that, but who am I to argue? I'm just thankful that the price for the one medication was cut down so far. I'd hate to have to pay almost $300 for this medicine.

I am now taking both medications to keep my TSH and T4 at good levels and to increase my T3 level. I just read about a bunch of side affects for the Liothyronine, so we'll see how that goes. I'll keep this thread updated if I experience anything undesirable. By the way, the whole reason I decided to stop taking Armour Thyroid and to go on the Levo is because of hair loss. Every time I take that medicine (Armour Thyroid), my hair falls out like crazy. I mean, in clumps. The minute I stop taking it, I don't have nearly as much hair loss. So there's something wrong with that. I don't know what it is, but there is. For me, anyway.
 

15Katey

Well-Known Member
  • #3
I read through two resources this morning. I'll link to them down below. Basically, they have to do with hair loss that's related to T3. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet here or not, but hair loss is one of my biggest complaints in regards to my Hashimoto's and my thyroid issues in general, besides all the other symptoms to many of us in this boat feel. Fatigue, head in the clouds, lack of concentration, etc... I found these two resources highly interesting and applicable to my situation, so I though I'd share them, just in case you're dealing with something similar.

Okay, so from what I've gathered, and I may be mistaken or confused here, but the body is supposed to convert T4 into T3 and if it does so properly, everything is okay. That's if the body is running the way it should be. For some people who have Hashimoto's, all they need to take is a medicine such as Levothyroxine (Synthroid) and they're good. The Levo is the T4 the body needs and once taken, the body converts some of that T4 into T3 and that's that. For some people though, the body doesn't convert as it should. And what's worse is that the body converts the T4 into something referred to Reverse T3, which can cause all sorts of problems. For a much more full description, click through the two links below. Everything is explained there, especially in the second link. Here's a quote from that page:

And high levels of Reverse T3 could be acting to slow down your metabolism, reduce thyroid function at the cellular level and result in full-blown symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Most doctors don't test for Reverse T3 levels. They prescribe Levothyroxine and send the patient on their way. And what's worse is that most doctors, even endocrinologists, only test for TSH in their thyroid patients. From what I've found, testing only for TSH is like testing for nothing at all. Perhaps if the patient is experiencing a transient episode with their thyroid or something, sure, that's fine, but for those of us who have more serious issues with both Hashimoto's and their thyroid, limiting testing to this one thing is pretty bad medicine.

What really needs to be tested for is TSH, T4, T3, and Reverse T3. This was, if the patient is taking too much T4 and that T4 is being converted into Reverse T3, which is causing all sorts of negative symptoms, something can be done about it. If Reverse T3 isn't being tested for at all, there can still be problems that last for years. It's critical to know that Reverse T3 number. By the way, from what I read, T3 and Reverse T3 have a lot to do with hair growth, hair loss, and the hair growth cycle. It can make you lose your hair, grow your hair, or shed your hair at different rates. Bottom line, you really need to know these numbers.

After I read through these two pages this morning, a light bulb went off in my head. I looked through my recent test results and found that I had the Reverse T3 tested a few months ago. That's when I was taking Nature-Throid and then, after it was recalled, Armour Thyroid. At that time, my Reverse T3 levels were fine. Right after I began taking Armour Thyroid, I began losing lots of hair, so I switched over to Levothyroxine. My hair loss slowed and on some days, I didn't lose any at all. My most recent blood test showed that my TSH and T4 levels were good, but my T3 was a bit low. That's why I was prescribed the generic Cytomel (Liothyronine). I do wonder why the T3 levels were low and now I think I might know. Since Levo is only T4 and since my body doesn't convert that into T3 properly, my T3 levels dropped, while the T4 levels stayed the same. That's fine, but what happened to the T3? I suspect it was converted into Reverse T3 and that's not a good thing. From what I read from Dr. Westin Childs, I need to take some T3 hormone to increase that level and to counter the Reverse T3. But since I also have Hashimoto's that's the root cause behind all this, I also need to discover the root cause of the Hashimoto's. That's why I'm going to be seeing a naturopathic doctor soon. We'll take all sorts of diagnostic tests to see if I have a food allergy, some hidden virus or bacterial infection, or something else. They're the doctors to go to for that. Those and functional medicine doctors. Not "practitioners," but real doctors. Don't get fooled into going to a practitioner or you might end up being prescribed yoga as a cure. No joke.

So that's all I have for now. As I read more, I'll update this thread.

https://healthunlocked.com/thyroiduk/posts/135257702/hair-loss-growth-and-t3

https://www.restartmed.com/reverse-t3/
 

15Katey

Well-Known Member
  • #4
I've been doing some more reading on the synthetic T3 that I'm now taking. I don't rest when it comes to thinking about my condition and learning about it and the drugs that are available to treat it. It seems like there are many positives and negatives to everything. I'm just thankful that the wide variety of blood testing and pharmaceuticals exist. Some people complain about this or that, but really, without these medications, many of us wouldn't even be alive right now.

The latest aspect of my research on Cytomel includes the potential side affects it may cause. They say the primary side effect may be nausea. I haven't exactly experienced that yet, but I've only been taking the pills for a few days. You think I'd have experienced that though, if I were going to. So that's a good thing. If a patient takes too much synthetic T3, side effects may include:
  • headache
  • irritability
  • trouble sleeping
  • nervousness
  • increased sweating
  • heat intolerance
  • diarrhea, and
  • menstrual changes
The only thing I've encountered over the past week has been waking up at four in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep. That was last week though and it appears that this week I'm sleeping rather well through the night. They also say that hair loss is a potential side effect for the first few months while taking this medication. My hair has actually been pretty good lately. I mostly lose hair when taking Armour Thyroid and since I've stopped taking that, my hair hasn't fallen out nearly as much. It's incredible, but the minute I go on Armour, my hair starts to fall out. It's so depressing.

So far, so good. I'll update this thread if I begin to experience and side effects from either Synthroid (Levo) or the Cytomel.
 

15Katey

Well-Known Member
  • #5
I have an update for how I've been feeling after taking the Cytomel for a few weeks now. Remember that I also recently switched over to the Synthroid (Levothyroxine) a month or two ago too, so they're both working together. I used to be on Nature Throid until the recall and had to go on Armour Thyroid for about a month after that. It was a mess. But I'm not on the synthetic versions of both T4 and T3.

Okay, at this point, I'm feeling pretty good. The consensus is that I'm feeling slightly better and definitely no worse. A few mornings ago, I felt a bit shaky in my hands, but that may have been because I was hungry and had drunk a cup of coffee. Who knows. Also, I did feel a bit of a flutter in my heart once or twice, but I get that sometimes. Sometimes from eating salt, which I don't eat very much of at all.

The biggest change I see is in my face. Ever since I stopped taking Nature Throid, I had some puffiness in my cheeks and eyes. Actually, my eyes have been feeling puffy or swollen for a long time now. It has just been accentuated lately. I attribute that to the lower levels of T3 in my body. Since taking the generic Cytomel though, the puffiness has disappeared and my eyes are a lot less swollen. I used to be able to pinch and pull the skin on my eyelids and below my eyes and I can't do that anymore. The skin has flattened out and it's much smoother. So that's good. I don't know if this is because of the Cytomel alone or the increase in T3. Time will tell. I'll get tested soon and report back here.

One last thing. I used to take a lot of Benadryl for allergies. I think those allergies affect my because of my thyroid levels. I haven't taken any Benadryl lately and while I felt bad for a few days after stopping, I feel fine now. So higher levels of these hormones definitely makes a big difference.
 
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