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Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Sides

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I believe that I’ve suppressed my thyroid after long-term (2.5 years) use of T-3, and am wondering if it will ever recover naturally, or what is the best way to go about treating it now (T-3, T-4, or mixed T-3 and T-4).


I started taking 25mcg per day of T-3 back in November of 2017, just to help with fat loss. This worked great for me at first, but slowly my levels and symptoms got worse with time. I increased to 37.5 and then 50mcg of T-3 per day, and felt better, before I eventually started feeling worse again. Now my endocrinologist wanted me to go off everything to see if my own natural thyroid levels recover. But I've been off thyroid meds for 3 months now, and I feel much worse, and my thyroid blood test results (listed earlier in the thread) don't seem to be getting any better.

I have to believe that with thyroid, as with testosterone, once you've suppressed your own natural system for so long, it's probably difficult or impossible to recover, and you will need supplementation for the rest of your life, as we do with TRT.

I would like to believe that I'm wrong, and eventually everything will eventually recover back to normal again. But sadly, it just doesn't seem to be so, at least not for me so far.

How should I proceed? Should I stay off thyroid and hope my natural levels recover?

Or should I take T-4, as my levels of both T-4 and T-3 are lower than optimal (subclinical hypothyroidism)?

Mixed T-3 and T-4? What have other people had success with in treating their own thyroid issues?
 

Sides

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My last 3 months of thyroid labs (totally off thyroid meds) are:

May:

T3, FREE 2.6 NORMAL 2.3-4.2 pg/mL
T4, FREE 1.1 NORMAL 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
TSH 1.09 NORMAL 0.40-4.50 mIU/L



April:

T3, FREE 2.6 NORMAL 2.3-4.2 pg/mL
T4, FREE 1.1 NORMAL 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
TSH 1.50 NORMAL 0.40-4.50 mIU/L



March:

T3, FREE 2.9 NORMAL 2.3-4.2 pg/mL
T4, FREE 1.0 NORMAL 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
TSH 1.17 NORMAL 0.40-4.50 mIU/L
 

Sides

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I should mention that taking T-3 used to make me feel "up", but now just makes me feel groggy and sleepy. I actually have to take more caffeine, ephedrine, yohimbine, or another stimulant if I try to take more T-3.

Is this a sign of adrenal fatigue, as I've seen others mention? Perhaps I've just taken too many stimulants for much too long, and overtaxed the ability of my body to keep up with it all?
 

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Hopefully Stewie sees this.
 

muscle96ss

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I should mention that taking T-3 used to make me feel "up", but now just makes me feel groggy and sleepy. I actually have to take more caffeine, ephedrine, yohimbine, or another stimulant if I try to take more T-3.

Is this a sign of adrenal fatigue, as I've seen others mention? Perhaps I've just taken too many stimulants for much too long, and overtaxed the ability of my body to keep up with it all?

Have you checked thyroid antibodies, reverse T3, or prolactin? Your TSH is saying hyperthyroidism but your free T3 and T4 levels say the opposite.
 

Sides

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Have you checked thyroid antibodies, reverse T3, or prolactin? Your TSH is saying hyperthyroidism but your free T3 and T4 levels say the opposite.

I always check prolactin, and it usually sits at about the middle of the range. Last three months were:

PROLACTIN 11.4 NORMAL 2.0-18.0 ng/mL
PROLACTIN 9.5 NORMAL 2.0-18.0 ng/mL
PROLACTIN 10.2 NORMAL 2.0-18.0 ng/mL

I should mention these three months were all at using 400mg test per week, with correspondingly high estrogen levels.

I've never checked thyroid antibodies or reverse T3. I always use Quest (through Jason Health) to do my bloodwork, and I could swear the last time I checked those labs were not available. Now when I searched, they are available, so I will have to include them the next time I do bloodwork.

Getting them through my medical providers has been impossible. My primary care physician only wants to check TSH, and says it's fine. My endocrinologist is very conservative and just wants to give it a few months to let the thyroid recover, and then test again. Of course, he doesn't have to live with it.
 

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I always check prolactin, and it usually sits at about the middle of the range. Last three months were:

PROLACTIN 11.4 NORMAL 2.0-18.0 ng/mL
PROLACTIN 9.5 NORMAL 2.0-18.0 ng/mL
PROLACTIN 10.2 NORMAL 2.0-18.0 ng/mL

I should mention these three months were all at using 400mg test per week, with correspondingly high estrogen levels.

I've never checked thyroid antibodies or reverse T3. I always use Quest (through Jason Health) to do my bloodwork, and I could swear the last time I checked those labs were not available. Now when I searched, they are available, so I will have to include them the next time I do bloodwork.

Getting them through my medical providers has been impossible. My primary care physician only wants to check TSH, and says it's fine. My endocrinologist is very conservative and just wants to give it a few months to let the thyroid recover, and then test again. Of course, he doesn't have to live with it.

You def need to check antibodies one time to rule out hashimotos. You also def want to check RT3 before getting on any thyroid hormone. If it's already high, then you need to check all your vitamin co factors (zinc, b12, b6, copper, etc.) and iron panel to see what is preventing T4 from converting to T3. It's important to fix any deficiencies and then making an educated strategy on what thyroid hormone to start off with.

FT of 2.6 is absolutely hypothyroid and will cause heart damage in the long term. It needs to be corrected.
 

Sides

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You def need to check antibodies one time to rule out hashimotos. You also def want to check RT3 before getting on any thyroid hormone. If it's already high, then you need to check all your vitamin co factors (zinc, b12, b6, copper, etc.) and iron panel to see what is preventing T4 from converting to T3. It's important to fix any deficiencies and then making an educated strategy on what thyroid hormone to start off with.

FT of 2.6 is absolutely hypothyroid and will cause heart damage in the long term. It needs to be corrected.

I definitely will check antibodies and RT3 the next time I do bloodwork. This is really getting expensive; I've spent so much money in the last year just trying to figure out what is wrong with me, and probably a lot of it was just testing the wrong things.

The saddest part is, this is all probably self-induced. There was probably nothing wrong with my thyroid back when I started using T3 in November of 2017. I certainly felt fine at that time, had good libido and energy and was strong.

T3 was just something I had used in the past to get leaner for competitions, and I threw it in to get and stay lean, after reading on this board that many bodybuilders who have used gear for years are slightly hypothyroidal.

It certainly worked for me that first year; I felt good on one tab of 25mcg T3 in the morning on an empty stomach, and I was really lean, veins popping out on my abs and everything. But slowly I started to feel worse on it, brain fog in the afternoon and evening, gained bodyfat even though my diet hadn't changed.

In August of last year, I did bloodwork and saw that my T3 and T4 were low, and I figured my thyroid was slowing down so I upped the dose, first in September to 37.5mcg and then in October to 50mcg. Both times I initially felt better, and then eventually felt worse. Tried higher doses and research lab T4 starting in December, but my energy levels were all over the place, my muscles were sore all the time, and I never felt well.

By this time, the T3 was making me sleepy and groggy, not alert, and I needed stimulants like extra caffeine, ephedrine, and yohimbine just to function. I could never get the dosing or my energy levels right. In February, I felt miserable, did bloodwork on 50mcg of T3 and 100mcg of research lab T4, and my levels were:

FT3 4.9 HIGH 2.3-4.2 pg/mL
FT4 0.8 NORMAL 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
TSH 0.32 LOW 0.40-4.50 mIU/L

At this point, feeling miserable, I said enough is enough, and I tapered down and cut out the thyroid meds, in hopes that my own thyroid levels would recover. I realized I had more energy OFF the T3 than on it. Even now, if I take any T3 at all, I will feel sleepy and lethargic.

But I still don't feel well at all. I am lethargic if I take the T3, and anxious if I don't take it. My muscles ache all the time, I don't have good libido or erections, and I've gained bodyfat and lost muscle. When I look at pictures of myself or think about how I felt two years ago, it's sad how much of a profound change there has been for the worse, and how much worse I feel.

So I am hoping someone can help me figure out just how badly I've screwed myself up by messing around with my thyroid. I wish I had never taken thyroid meds to begin with, to be honest. Lesson learned.
 

muscle96ss

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I definitely will check antibodies and RT3 the next time I do bloodwork. This is really getting expensive; I've spent so much money in the last year just trying to figure out what is wrong with me, and probably a lot of it was just testing the wrong things.

The saddest part is, this is all probably self-induced. There was probably nothing wrong with my thyroid back when I started using T3 in November of 2017. I certainly felt fine at that time, had good libido and energy and was strong.

T3 was just something I had used in the past to get leaner for competitions, and I threw it in to get and stay lean, after reading on this board that many bodybuilders who have used gear for years are slightly hypothyroidal.

It certainly worked for me that first year; I felt good on one tab of 25mcg T3 in the morning on an empty stomach, and I was really lean, veins popping out on my abs and everything. But slowly I started to feel worse on it, brain fog in the afternoon and evening, gained bodyfat even though my diet hadn't changed.

In August of last year, I did bloodwork and saw that my T3 and T4 were low, and I figured my thyroid was slowing down so I upped the dose, first in September to 37.5mcg and then in October to 50mcg. Both times I initially felt better, and then eventually felt worse. Tried higher doses and research lab T4 starting in December, but my energy levels were all over the place, my muscles were sore all the time, and I never felt well.

By this time, the T3 was making me sleepy and groggy, not alert, and I needed stimulants like extra caffeine, ephedrine, and yohimbine just to function. I could never get the dosing or my energy levels right. In February, I felt miserable, did bloodwork on 50mcg of T3 and 100mcg of research lab T4, and my levels were:

FT3 4.9 HIGH 2.3-4.2 pg/mL
FT4 0.8 NORMAL 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
TSH 0.32 LOW 0.40-4.50 mIU/L

At this point, feeling miserable, I said enough is enough, and I tapered down and cut out the thyroid meds, in hopes that my own thyroid levels would recover. I realized I had more energy OFF the T3 than on it. Even now, if I take any T3 at all, I will feel sleepy and lethargic.

But I still don't feel well at all. I am lethargic if I take the T3, and anxious if I don't take it. My muscles ache all the time, I don't have good libido or erections, and I've gained bodyfat and lost muscle. When I look at pictures of myself or think about how I felt two years ago, it's sad how much of a profound change there has been for the worse, and how much worse I feel.

So I am hoping someone can help me figure out just how badly I've screwed myself up by messing around with my thyroid. I wish I had never taken thyroid meds to begin with, to be honest. Lesson learned.

I would consider seeing a doctor that specializes in functional medicine.

 

Crazy_jay

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The thyroid is extremely resilient. The chances of permanently shutting it down is slim.

Tsh and free t4 look good but free to is definitely low, the question is why? With free t3 at 2.6, your tsh should be elevated to signal more t4 to produce more t3. If it were a t4 to t3 conversion issue in the liver, your t4 should be higher in an attempt to make more t3, so you body is apparently happy with your t3 level but its not adequate.

There could be other factors not related to your thyroid. Your lab numbers while on t3 and t4 look good, I mean hyperthyroid which can make a person tired but really should have felt decent with those numbers. You mention 400mg test and no ai? Just as well could be an estrogen issue.
 

nothuman

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I definitely will check antibodies and RT3 the next time I do bloodwork. This is really getting expensive; I've spent so much money in the last year just trying to figure out what is wrong with me, and probably a lot of it was just testing the wrong things.

The saddest part is, this is all probably self-induced. There was probably nothing wrong with my thyroid back when I started using T3 in November of 2017. I certainly felt fine at that time, had good libido and energy and was strong.

T3 was just something I had used in the past to get leaner for competitions, and I threw it in to get and stay lean, after reading on this board that many bodybuilders who have used gear for years are slightly hypothyroidal.

It certainly worked for me that first year; I felt good on one tab of 25mcg T3 in the morning on an empty stomach, and I was really lean, veins popping out on my abs and everything. But slowly I started to feel worse on it, brain fog in the afternoon and evening, gained bodyfat even though my diet hadn't changed.

In August of last year, I did bloodwork and saw that my T3 and T4 were low, and I figured my thyroid was slowing down so I upped the dose, first in September to 37.5mcg and then in October to 50mcg. Both times I initially felt better, and then eventually felt worse. Tried higher doses and research lab T4 starting in December, but my energy levels were all over the place, my muscles were sore all the time, and I never felt well.

By this time, the T3 was making me sleepy and groggy, not alert, and I needed stimulants like extra caffeine, ephedrine, and yohimbine just to function. I could never get the dosing or my energy levels right. In February, I felt miserable, did bloodwork on 50mcg of T3 and 100mcg of research lab T4, and my levels were:

FT3 4.9 HIGH 2.3-4.2 pg/mL
FT4 0.8 NORMAL 0.8-1.8 ng/dL
TSH 0.32 LOW 0.40-4.50 mIU/L

At this point, feeling miserable, I said enough is enough, and I tapered down and cut out the thyroid meds, in hopes that my own thyroid levels would recover. I realized I had more energy OFF the T3 than on it. Even now, if I take any T3 at all, I will feel sleepy and lethargic.

But I still don't feel well at all. I am lethargic if I take the T3, and anxious if I don't take it. My muscles ache all the time, I don't have good libido or erections, and I've gained bodyfat and lost muscle. When I look at pictures of myself or think about how I felt two years ago, it's sad how much of a profound change there has been for the worse, and how much worse I feel.

So I am hoping someone can help me figure out just how badly I've screwed myself up by messing around with my thyroid. I wish I had never taken thyroid meds to begin with, to be honest. Lesson learned.

You didn't feel well with those thyroid numbers? That's a really good free T3 level and it looked like you were converting T4 to T3 pretty well. it's normal for FT4 and TSH to go down on thyroid hormone
 

Sides

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The thyroid is extremely resilient. The chances of permanently shutting it down is slim.

Tsh and free t4 look good but free to is definitely low, the question is why? With free t3 at 2.6, your tsh should be elevated to signal more t4 to produce more t3. If it were a t4 to t3 conversion issue in the liver, your t4 should be higher in an attempt to make more t3, so you body is apparently happy with your t3 level but its not adequate.

There could be other factors not related to your thyroid. Your lab numbers while on t3 and t4 look good, I mean hyperthyroid which can make a person tired but really should have felt decent with those numbers. You mention 400mg test and no ai? Just as well could be an estrogen issue.

I'm sure there are other factors involved, and estrogen is involved. High estrogen usually makes me up and anxious, though not down and exhausted.

I know that high estrogen increases thyroid binding globulin, leading to low T3 numbers. On the other hand, high testosterone decreases thyroid binding globulin, so you would think at 400mg test they would balance out.


Here's the thing: taking T3 used to make me feel up and good; now it makes me completely exhausted and I need stimulants to get through the day. I took a 25mcg T3 tab this morning, just to check, and I have been exhausted all day despite taking caffeine, ephedrine, and yohimbine, just a walking zombie.

If I don't take the T3, I am up and anxious, but have a lot more energy to get through the day, although I still don't feel well.

Perhaps this is some kind of thyroid resistance, where the hormones aren't getting into the cells where they're needed, after such a long time of taking thyroid meds?
 

Sides

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You didn't feel well with those thyroid numbers? That's a really good free T3 level and it looked like you were converting T4 to T3 pretty well. it's normal for FT4 and TSH to go down on thyroid hormone

No, I felt really unwell at those numbers, with constant up and down energy swings. That's why I cut out the meds to see if I could restart my own endogenous levels.

Now every time I take T3 at all, I am profoundly exhausted and need stimulants to get through the day.

I don't know if that's thyroid resistance, or adrenal fatigue/adrenal insufficiency, or what.

All I do know is that if I don't take the T3, I feel up and anxious, unwell but not too bad.

But if I do take the T3, I feel totally exhausted despite stimulants, and much worse.
 

muscle96ss

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No, I felt really unwell at those numbers, with constant up and down energy swings. That's why I cut out the meds to see if I could restart my own endogenous levels.

Now every time I take T3 at all, I am profoundly exhausted and need stimulants to get through the day.

I don't know if that's thyroid resistance, or adrenal fatigue/adrenal insufficiency, or what.

All I do know is that if I don't take the T3, I feel up and anxious, unwell but not too bad.

But if I do take the T3, I feel totally exhausted despite stimulants, and much worse.

Too high T3 can give you those symptoms as well, perhaps your dosage needs to be somewhere in the middle; just a thought.
 

IronLion2

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I have to believe that with thyroid, as with testosterone, once you've suppressed your own natural system for so long, it's probably difficult or impossible to recover, and you will need supplementation for the rest of your life, as we do with TRT.

I would like to believe that I'm wrong, and eventually everything will eventually recover back to normal again. But sadly, it just doesn't seem to be so, at least not for me so far.

My advice to you is to take a broader approach to solving this question, at the very least you need to be giving more information than what you provided (though I really don't recommend taking medical advice from strangers who cant tell you apart from themselves.) Think outside the box. Recover is a relative term. As we know the body is adaptive, people often find themselves many deviations from what's considered "healthy" because of this adaptive capability, sometimes for better sometimes for worse. My point is, will adding another compound or changing a dose take you one deviation closer to optimal health in your eyes or another deviation further from baseline? Thats how we got here isnt it?

As you likened thyroid to testosterone, both are products of non-essential systems and you're body can and will adapt to life without them BUT exogenous hormones diminish endo production typically without "damaging" the structure so there's not much reason to believe the system cant produce the product at a similar rate given enough time and stimulus. While we see plenty of people come off both thyroid and sex hormones to show wacky results, we dont see as much people with whats referred to as "shut down."

You def need to check antibodies one time to rule out hashimotos. You also def want to check RT3 before getting on any thyroid hormone. If it's already high, then you need to check all your vitamin co factors (zinc, b12, b6, copper, etc.) and iron panel to see what is preventing T4 from converting to T3. It's important to fix any deficiencies and then making an educated strategy on what thyroid hormone to start off with.

FT of 2.6 is absolutely hypothyroid and will cause heart damage in the long term. It needs to be corrected.

Don't take this the wrong way, but if you dont like endos than why do you like their diagnostics?
 

Sides

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My advice to you is to take a broader approach to solving this question, at the very least you need to be giving more information than what you provided (though I really don't recommend taking medical advice from strangers who cant tell you apart from themselves.) Think outside the box. Recover is a relative term. As we know the body is adaptive, people often find themselves many deviations from what's considered "healthy" because of this adaptive capability, sometimes for better sometimes for worse. My point is, will adding another compound or changing a dose take you one deviation closer to optimal health in your eyes or another deviation further from baseline? Thats how we got here isnt it?

As you likened thyroid to testosterone, both are products of non-essential systems and you're body can and will adapt to life without them BUT exogenous hormones diminish endo production typically without "damaging" the structure so there's not much reason to believe the system cant produce the product at a similar rate given enough time and stimulus. While we see plenty of people come off both thyroid and sex hormones to show wacky results, we dont see as much people with whats referred to as "shut down."



Don't take this the wrong way, but if you dont like endos than why do you like their diagnostics?

Believe me, if I could add another compound to get back to feeling normal, I would do it. The only question is, what compound? But that, indeed, is how I got in this situation in the first place.

After 28 years of taking testosterone and virtually every other anabolic steroid, HGH, thyroid meds, HCG and HMG and FSH when I wanted to make my wife pregnant, stimulants to get up, and benzodiazepines to get to sleep at night, plus a handful of vitamins and other supplements, I realize I've hopelessly complicated things, and it's difficult to nearly impossible to know how they are all interacting together. Too many variables in the equation.

Should have just kept things simple, like my first cycle 28 years ago: 500mg Sustanon per week for ten weeks. Then at least there would be fewer variables to consider. But I had to make things complicated, and after many years, now I am paying the price by not being able to figure out exactly what is wrong with me.

And I do understand that adrenal fatigue is not a real diagnosis, but the symptoms people describe do make me think of that condition.
 

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No, I felt really unwell at those numbers, with constant up and down energy swings. That's why I cut out the meds to see if I could restart my own endogenous levels.

Now every time I take T3 at all, I am profoundly exhausted and need stimulants to get through the day.

I don't know if that's thyroid resistance, or adrenal fatigue/adrenal insufficiency, or what.

All I do know is that if I don't take the T3, I feel up and anxious, unwell but not too bad.

But if I do take the T3, I feel totally exhausted despite stimulants, and much worse.

I’m not sure what time you took your last dose of T3 before you had your blood drawn but that matters a lot. Most likely, you overdid it and leaned on being hyperthyroid. A little bit of a reduction in dosage may have you feeling better. If not, then there is probably another deficiency in you somewhere that you are missing.
 

nothuman

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When people mention adrenal fatigue, I usually think of it as cortisol issue. Too high or too low are problematic. I’d get some 8am fasting cortisol, acth, aldosterone, and renin tests. Have to keep searching for the problem.
 

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