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Old 01-15-2010, 06:10 AM   #1
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Looking for good thyroid doctor in VA

Can anyone recommend a doctor in mid or southeastern Virginia who tests for Free T4, Free T3, and TPO AB for Hashimotos? I would appreciate any info. I would be willing to drive a couple of hours one-way if need be. TIA for your help.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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me too

I am looking for a good endocrinologist myself but I am in the northern VA area (Manassas). First I need a PCP that will refer me to the endocrinologist. Or just I good thyroid doc that is willing to prescribe if necessary.

I have found this list so far though.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
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Most thyroid patients see FIVE endo's before they are finally treated by a doctor who does thyroid...endo's do good diabetes. MD's, DO's are good sometimes at thyroid. Virginia is a really rough state to get good thyroid treatment in (some say because of military there..the military only does TSH and that's about it, and only gives T4).

Have you gone to www.armourthyroid.com and used the docfinder yet? Put in zipcodes that are in a radius of two hours driving time ONE WAY, most of us are driving that long one way to a see a really good thyroid doctor. I know that list well, look out for patient recommendations like "OOH, he did a tSH and talked to me!!!" and "ONly does TSH and doesn't do FT's and doesn't give T3, only synthetic T4" hint hint.

Pam

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Old 01-20-2010, 04:38 PM   #4
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When I lived in Northern VA I went to this Dr.:

Ashburn (also see Fredericksburg)

Dr. John T. Hart, Functional Medicine and Gynecology, 20925 Professional Plaza, Suite 100, Ashburn, Virginia 20147, 703-724-9694, johnhartmd@aol.com

"Specializes in Chronic Fatigue, Thyroid and Adrenal dysfunction, Fibromyalgia." (Added 6/02).

He gave me Armour and tested my ferritin and put me on sublingual progesterone. He didn't take my insurance so i had to pay cash. He also gave me ioadoral (or something like that).

I started having problems (this was 5 years ago) with palpitations and feeling dizzy and went to my primary Dr. you yanked me off of all of it and told me I shouldn't be taking anythign b/c my TSH was ok. I was so freaked out I listened to her.

5 years later i am starting alll over again.

Long and short...He was pretty good, he listened to me and tested my FT# and FT$ along with my TSH! Bravo!!!
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:58 AM   #5
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Might I recommend a doc NOT to see? <I realize this may not be helpful, but I'd hate for someone else to lose money/time thinking that he was going to fully treat them>

Seriously, I want to save others from the hassle - because at one point he was on the Top Thyroid Docs list!! He's in RIC, so I'm not sure if he's even someone you'd consider, but I wouldn't see Dr. Kevin Harrison again.

I have Hashi's and high RT3, he thought I'd do well on just a QUARTER grain of Armour. Ummm, no! He will test your frees (so if you need insurance to cover it, at least he'll make out the slip...but other than that, I'd avoid him!). He wouldn't test my progesterone because, "you're young...it should be fine." Not impressed at all!

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Old 01-21-2010, 04:29 AM   #6
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OMG cherrycola!! what an idiot!

Your post is very helpful because it iwill save someone the heart ache, time and money! and he wont make any!. grrrrrrr
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:20 AM   #7
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Part of the reason I'm so very ill right now (won't go into details, but I'm a double cancer survivor) is a few doctors who felt that since I was 'young' I didn't have whatver I had (even though I had all the symptoms, and the tests 'didn't line up'). And now, at the age of 55, I'm not 'advanced geriatric' (ha ha) but jeez...now I'm going to be giving up a lot of things I wanted to do in later life because of those 'misdiagnoses'.

I'm sorry you had to go through that Cherrycola...but thanks so much for posting!

And buttonboutique...thank YOU for posting too!

Pam
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:03 AM   #8
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I live in NOVA and have seen almost every endo in the area. I would not go back to any of them. Dr. Kate Lemmerman is supposed to be the top thyroid doc in the area, but takes no insurance. I saw her for two years and loved her until she moved to a practice too far for me to get to easily. Right now I see Dr. John P. Valenti, an Internist with an interest in Thyroid. He has been super. He is the first doc I have been to who listens, runs all the tests I ask him to, and was willing to allow me to optimize my thyroid meds. He is located in Reston,VA. Dr. Valenti takes insurance. He also helped me to find the right thyroid replacement hormone for me. We tried Armour, worked well until reformulation problems, Nature-thyroid, Cytomel, Synthroid, and finally bio-identical porcine thyroid, the winner!
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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Thanks to all who took the time to post information about doctors...good and bad. I appreciate your help.

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:33 PM   #10
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RE:Looking for good thyroid doctor in VA

Arcie,

Did you ever decide on a thyroid doctor? I have been to Dr. Hurlock in Alexandria and she is very good at treating thyroid. You can find her on the top doc list at thyroid.about.com. She will spend a lot of time with you and she prescribes both natural dessicated thyroid as well as the synthetic T4 and/or T3 thyroid.

I'm actually trying to find a doctor who knows about thyroid, reverse t3 dominance, and adrenal insufficiency, which is why I'm asking whether you found a doctor.

Thanks,
Steph
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:24 AM   #11
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I recently got a referral to a Dr. Zachary Kaye located in Woodbridge, VA. He's not on the list, so I'm wary of spending more time/$ IF he happens to be TSH worshipper. (doesn't look good so far)

Does anyone know anything about this one? Should I go with the referral or go back to my doc and ask for another referral (on the list)? Has anyone ever done that?

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Old 02-14-2010, 03:28 PM   #12
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I have a note (jeez...it's been buried for three years, lol) that Dr. Kaye is the doctor that someone's workplace uses for Workman's compensation doctor. Hmm. If THAT tellsyou anything. And that he graduated 37 years ago. And that he does geriatric diabetes well. That's all I have. And I'd most likely have a LOT more on him if he did good thyroid.

John Hart is one of the only GYN's that do good thyroid..I know of him. But, unfortunately, MCT isn't going to be comfortable in a GYN's office/practice setting. (Unless you'd like to give Hart a call and just talk 'man to man' and ask him if he would look over your testing and such...maybe a GYN who does good thyroid would know either another doc well versed in male hormones/thyroid OR would like to have you as a patient). I would not hesitate to turn over every rock looking if I lived in VA (or still in PA). I once made an appt. with a urologist that was well versed in vasectomy and prostate problems...and he not only was very cordial, but had a colleague that turned out to be one of the best internists I'd ever met.

I'm feeling real strong empathy for those of you who need 'referrals'...sigh..I have PPO in a suitcase (meaning I can even go to foreign countries if I pay to get there and back for medical care).

Pam
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:29 PM   #13
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Wow Pam I didn't know you had that kind of info on docs in VA. Honetly Pam I'd do just about anything to get my hormone issues resolved, it has such a huge effect on my life and the ability to just function as a person. Maybe it's just me, but I get the feeling that due to my age, sex, and physical profile, I'd guess MDs are more resistant to treating me for hypo. I mean, for a < 30 non-obese male - it doesn't fit their profile and seems virtually unheard of.

So I hear Dr. Lemmerman will be (re)starting up here soon. She's not in my network, so looks like I'll start saving up, and I'm sure it will be worth it. (if I don't find in-network help sooner)
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10-MAR-2010 BEFORE Cytomel:
T3, FREE: 173 / 230 - 420 pg/dL
T4, FREE: 0.8/ 0.8-1.8 ng/dL

5g Androgel/day from JAN 2010
T3 (generic) from 16 MAR 2010
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:48 PM   #14
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Well, I do have detailed lists. 20 years worth. But..it's not you, per se...or age, male, etc...it's where you happen to live. VA is rough (and getting rougher cuz lots of military there...). If you are willing to pay out of pocket (and that can really cost a lot..as I'm sure you already KNOW) than I think you can get good care.

Here's a doctor who was recommended by a male friend of DH and I..he says this doc does a LOT of testosterone replacement, anti aging, metabolism, etc. etc. and is an anti aging doc (those can help a LOT and he also does thyroid, but I do NOT know 'how well' or if he does natural or synthetic). I'll keep sending out little 'feelers' for you to find someone hopefully in your network...here's his info:

Terlinsky, Alan MD - Arlington, VA, 22204

Pam
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:29 AM   #15
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Just a note about Dr Hart....

When I saw him in his Ashburn office, I met with him in his office, not in an exam room or anything, and it wasn't like a bunch of women were running in and out. He met with me looked at my test results and told me of other tests i should do. I think a man would be comfortable there, although if he is a GYN then maybe testosterone isn't his specialty??

Just wanted to let you know that it wasn't all stir-ups and speculums!!! LOL!
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buttonboutique View Post
Just a note about Dr Hart....

When I saw him in his Ashburn office, I met with him in his office, not in an exam room or anything, and it wasn't like a bunch of women were running in and out. He met with me looked at my test results and told me of other tests i should do. I think a man would be comfortable there, although if he is a GYN then maybe testosterone isn't his specialty??

Just wanted to let you know that it wasn't all stir-ups and speculums!!! LOL!
I wasn't referring to that. I was referring to the part about most GYN's don't have the specialized training a Urologist would have or an endocrinologist would have for male specialized testosterone problems (after all, my DH had to see EIGHT urologists and FIVE endo's before we found one that was really good..and he was an 'anti aging' type of doc).

It's like...way different for males and I've seen MCT's 'profile' tests.

Not referring to the GYN's 'equipment', it's just that 'most' GYN's do NOT have a handle on thyroid well (most don't...they look at TSH and T4 and don't do adrenals or pituitaryadenoma, or male replacement testosterone well, some don't have a handle on BHRT and 'like' synthetic and conjugated).

This particular GYN does thyroid 'halfway decent for the area he's in'. But may not be able to work on the adrenals and the way a male needs to be tested and replaced (like the doc MCT is NOW going to...most would just shove some Androgel at him and ignore the thyroid/adrenal connection).

So, I'm just trying to pick a doc who's had at LEAST ten YEARS experience in male testosterone replacement and adrenals/anti aging practice. GYN's (and this is too bad too, concerning THIS particular one) have mostly really BUSY BUSY practices and have to zero in on women's health. So, if MCT wants to contact the GYN and ask, and also be on the lookout for a doctor who has extensive background in MALE replacement testosterone that's certainly up to him, and I'd contact anyone I thought would help me in his area.

In MY area, we see men going to GYN's (but not for test. replacement and thyroid and such....they go for vasectomy here). And the men here should really appreciate you coming out and saying...about there being a 'separate office' and such...perhaps more men would feel more comfortable with that information. BTW, if you have evidence of this GYN doing male testosterone and adrenals really well, than that would be very helpful also.

Pam

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Old 02-15-2010, 03:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstickpam107 View Post
Well, I do have detailed lists. 20 years worth. But..it's not you, per se...or age, male, etc...it's where you happen to live. VA is rough (and getting rougher cuz lots of military there...). If you are willing to pay out of pocket (and that can really cost a lot..as I'm sure you already KNOW) than I think you can get good care.

Here's a doctor who was recommended by a male friend of DH and I..he says this doc does a LOT of testosterone replacement, anti aging, metabolism, etc. etc. and is an anti aging doc (those can help a LOT and he also does thyroid, but I do NOT know 'how well' or if he does natural or synthetic). I'll keep sending out little 'feelers' for you to find someone hopefully in your network...here's his info:

Terlinsky, Alan MD - Arlington, VA, 22204

Pam
Hey Pam that sounds like the kind of doc I'd like to try. I clicked on his link and - his location is in the same building I went to for my first PCP! A good MD was only a floor away.

Thanks for keeping your radar running. (my insurance is CIGNA)
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:52 PM   #18
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Unfortunately, I don't know one insurance from another...just my own. But, I'm really hoping you can get appointment with that doc...(call and ASK if they take your insurance, and if they don't...tell them what's happening and ask if they WILL take it). I've actually had doctors that 'didn't' take my insurance accept it. Will keep my radar running..let me know if you see Dr. T and what happens please....best of luck to you!

Pam
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:50 AM   #19
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As a thyroid patient advocate, I feel I need to reiterate that I have personally been to or know of from other thyroid patients here in NOVA every endo in the area. I would once again highly recommend Dr. John P. Vallenti, Reston Internal Medical Assoc, and Dr. Kate Lemmerman in Alexandria. Dr. Hart in Ashburn is excellent as well. Those are the top three thyroid docs in this area, and the ones that there is a local consensus about being the best. The one area and its thyroid docs I know well is Northern Virginia. I am a life long resident and thyroid patient here for the past 30 years.

Most endos in the NOVA area tout themselves as metabolic specialists when in fact they concentrate on working with diabetics. Your best bet is to look for a doc who is a board certified Internist "with an interest in thyroid". When you see that phrase it means that that is their speciality. I would highly advise you to look up your prospective doctors in Health Grades, a web site that rates doctors by how patients respond to each doctor.

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Old 02-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #20
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@bfuser
I'm glad you brought Dr. John Valenti to my attention. Since he seems to have a great reputation AND he's in my network, let me try going to him first.

I'll schedule an appointment ASAP.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:31 PM   #21
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I visited Dr. Valenti last week and I must say I am impressed by him and his office. I've had to go thru 4 Drs. (1 endo) to finally find the right one, and it would have probably been more if I hadn't gotten help from this forum.

He was definitely knowledgeable on thyroid and aware of the updated TSH ranges, and so I finally felt understood by the Dr. I'm explaining my hypo to. I like how the office is high-tech. The nurse under Dr. Valenti was using a laptop to enter my vitals, and they have a useful website that tracks my lab results and other info. Unlike the previous 4 Drs. I visited, he really took the time to examine and talk to me.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:35 PM   #22
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so what was the result of your visit?
what meds did he script?
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #23
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Since my T3 is below range (again), he is open to treatment with Cytomel/T3. He is having me continue on my 5g/day prescription of Androgel.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:48 PM   #24
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what are you currently taking?? Any T4 medication?

Open to T3?.. you NEED it . your level is very low...as is your Ft4

your testosterone is over range?

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Old 03-16-2010, 05:41 PM   #25
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MCT, so glad you connected with Dr. Valenti. He is one of the best doctors in the DC area. He does take his time with his patients, and now that you are in the practice if you call before 10:00 in the morning you can almost always be seen the same day. Don't be shy about calling if you are having any problems adjusting to meds. He is awesome.

He is very open to compounding, Armour, Nature-thyroid, and he even has patients on Thyolar. He wants his patients to be on what works best for them and he is willing to work with you until it is right.

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Old 03-29-2010, 01:36 PM   #26
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Hi bfuser, I was wondering if you've ever brought up "adrenal fatigue" to him. It seems that this condition is not yet accepted by mainstream medicine. The T3 has noticeably alleviated a great deal of my fatigue, but every now and then the "brain fog" returns; maybe I need a higher dose, a different T3 drug i.e. Armour, or it's adrenal fatigue. Or perhaps it takes time for the drug to completely take effect? Excess reverse T3 might also be to blame...

I have my 1 mo. follow-up scheduled next week.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:30 AM   #27
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bfuser,

I saw your post about Dr. Valenti, so I emailed his office to get an appointment. They called this morning, asked what insurance I have, I told them BC-BS Federal, and they said they weren't taking new patients with that insurance. I couldn't even continue to speak with the person who called, because I was about to cry.

I have been going to various doctors to try to lose weight for years. Nothing works. The bariatric physician I go to (no insurance) finally ran more useful thyroid tests, and my RT3 is high. She has me on 30 mg of Armour, but I feel/see no change at all. (Was taking 50 mg Iodoral per day, too, but just ran out.) Just had hormones tested, and testosterone and DHEA are low, along with other values that show impaired adrenal function (no surprise, I am single, work full time, and have 7 1/2-year-old triplets).

Anyway, I've spent thousands of dollars with doctors who don't take insurance, try this or that, don't seem to have a plan, and, meanwhile, I'm exhausted and obese. I so want to be healthy again and just don't know where to go.

Melissa in Arlington
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:41 AM   #28
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Melissa....you said that your RT3 is high and you were taking Iodoral. Do you have test results for us to see that would show us the ratio of the FT3 and RT3 results? If you do have an RT3 issue (test below 20 in the ratio of the 2 figures) then you should NOT be taking any iodine as it makes the RT3 worse. Iodoral is basically pure iodine in 2 forms.

Don't worry..I did the same thing!!!! (that's how I know this.....learning after the fact!)

Also, if you have an RT3 issue, you should be taking ONLY T3 and not any T4. Armour has both T4 and T3 and will make the RT3 issue worse.

Again..I did the same thing!

Please post your test results so that we can see if you indeed have a RT3 issue. That changes everything in how you dose your medications and how you will feel! Believe me!!! I'm 1.5 weeks into the new "program".
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:25 PM   #29
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RT3 & Labs

mimers,

I just found out I didn't have "email notification" turned on, so I just now saw your message to me.

Here's what my test results were in May. (They haven't been redone since then.):

Free T3: 3.3 pg/mL (reference range: 2.4 to 4.2)

Reverse T3: 250 pg/mL (reference range: 90 to 350)

I have since been to see Dr. Hurlock in Alexandria. She has me on rising doses of Armour every two weeks. I'm up to 90 mg in a.m. and 60 mg in p.m.. In two weeks, I'll go to 90/90, then 120/90, then 120/120, etc. She also put me on a little supplemental estrogen (half a patch twice a week) and progesterone (Prometrium). (Logic on the hormones was that on thyroid meds I will eventually lose bone and the other hormones help prevent this.) I am still taking one 12.5 mg Iodoral a day (but will probably stop based on your experience).

Right now, I still feel fat and tired. Dr. Hurlock said until I reach the right Armour dose, I probably won't feel any benefit.

Thanks for your reply,
Melissa :-)
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:00 PM   #30
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Hi Melissa....the problem with taking more and more armour is that it contains T4. Your tests show you have an RT3 issue, and as long as you keep putting more and more T4 (part of Armour) in your body, the more Reverse T3 you will make and the worse you will feel.

I just finished up my RT3 protocol and got tested a week ago and the result is that I no longer have ANY measurable RT3 in my body. I had a level of 265 before, and I was the same exact ratio that you were in your test....13. (Divide Free T3 by Reverse T3 and move the decimal over 3 to the right). YOu want to be over 20....and now I"m way over 20!!!

Please read the sticky at the top of the page about RT3 and then that might help you understand what is going on with you. YOu "can" lower the RT3 by taking some ARmour, but you have to have much more T3/Cytomel added in to make it go away. Most docs that treat this remove T4 entirely until you clear.

I personally think you are also going up in your Armour dose too fast, even if you didn't have a RT3 issue...and it doesn't sound like you are being tested at all if your test was back in May and you are raising and not testing after staying on the same dose for 6 weeks and testing again...then raising...waiting 6 weeks and re-testing. YOu don't know what is happening unless you get blood tests! Yikes....please read the RT3 sticky and learn as much as you can so that you can "inform" your doctor. My doctor "fired me" when she found out I had RT3 as she had no clue how to treat it.....I gave her all the data and she told me she was uncomfortable doing "the right thing" and so I found someone that did "get it".

I just re-read your earlier post.....you have adrenal issues and low testosterone and DHEA and you are taking estradiol and prometrium? The first thing you should fix are the adrenals...next comes thyroid, and last are the hormones because often they will fix themselves once the adrenals and thyroid are close to optimal. Are you doing anything to support your adrenals...and did you have that 24 hour cortisol test done to determine if you were low?

On a happy note, once I got rid of my RT3, the weight finally started to move down the scale, instead of up! I just broke a 2 year plateau of my "lowest weight" in two years 3 days ago. I had to clear that RT3 first.

I can't imagine your adrenal state with triplets!!! Yikes....you're a strong woman!!!!

When is this new doc planning to test you again??? When you get to 4 grains???? Oh my goodness...I hope others jump in and offer their thoughts.
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