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-   -   Cytomel (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/thyroid/826303-cytomel.html)

Psmileyf 03-21-2014 12:49 PM

Cytomel
 
I have been on my levothyroxine since the summer and seen very little movement in my TSH and free t4 and no real change in how I feel.
I don't know about my T3 because it was not tested this last time.

In any case, I asked my doctor today about Armour. She asked why I wanted Armour and I told her that everything I read seems to indicate that Armour makes people feel better.
She said she prefers Cytomel and asked if I would be willing to try that first.
I agreed, so she prescribed. She just told me if I don't feel well on it to cut the dose in half and get in touch with her.

So, what do you all know about Cytomel? Has it helped you?

Leo41 03-21-2014 01:33 PM

I am truly amazed that your doctor would prescribe Cytomel without blood work to confirm your need for separate T3.

It's likely that you simply needed an increase in your levothyroxine--or a switch to Synthroid if the levo wasn't working for you. That can happen with thyroid Rx. When there does not seem to be improvement, most doctors would try another brand of T4 and/or an increased dose.

I take Cytomel, but that's because I have Hashi's, and about 7 years after my initial diagnosis (I'd been hypo many years longer), I began to convert less--which my endo says 'can' happen, especially with Hashi's. But my radical drop in T3 was so dramatic, that it was impossible to mistake it for anything other than a lack of T3.

Cytomel (T3) is an incredibly powerful hormone, and I find it very strange for any doctor to prescribe it without first checking the patient's T3 level.

Psmileyf 03-21-2014 02:33 PM

I just looked through my previous test results and my T3 was 2.4 (range 2.3-4.2) when they tested it 6 months ago, so I am guessing she looked at that today.

Believe me, she is not free flowing with the Rx pad!

Leo41 03-21-2014 03:35 PM

Sorry-- you didn't mention that your T3 had been tested. But 6 months ago is relatively meaningless in terms of prescribing now. My endo would insist on current labs before a MAJOR addition like Cytomel.

If you are converting, your T3 can be raised with just more T4.

poe2you 03-24-2014 06:11 AM

How would one know if the T4 is converting? on numbers alone or by the way you feel..??

thanks.

Leo41 03-24-2014 12:51 PM

If a person is diagnosed hypothyroid, the standard protocol is to give T4 (synthroid or some variant) to supplement the low hormones. That T4 should convert in the body to whatever T3 is needed (T3 is the active thyroid hormone that controls most bodily processes).

The doctor should then monitor the person's thyroid hormone levels (about every 4-6 months) to insure that the dosage is meeting the individual's requirements.
IF the T4 is fine, but the T3 drops radically, that suggests that the 'conversion' isn't happening properly.

In my own case (which my endo says is typical of Hashi's), my thyroid levels remained fine with only T4 for about 6 years. Then suddenly I was so fatigued that I needed 8 hours at night and a 3-hour nap during the day just to function--AND in 2 weeks I gained 10 lbs, eating exactly the same as I had been and losing a pound a week. I had no idea what was going on and never suspected my thyroid because my first hypo symptoms developed slowly over time. This was like a bombshell. Fortunately, my regular check up was due, and my T3 was below the lab range minimum.

Because T3 is such a powerful hormone, if a person has 'conversion problems,' the symptoms will be dramatic and impossible to ignore. A lab test will confirm that it's low T3.

poe2you 03-25-2014 04:50 AM

thanks.. and there is my problem.. my doctor will not test separately for T4 and T3... so i have no way of knowing if the synthroid i am taking is converting.. i suspect not though as i need a nap around 2 and could sleep until 7-8pm.. after sleeping 8 or 9 hrs at night..

Psmileyf 03-25-2014 05:39 AM

I sleep a good 8-10 hours a night. I would love it if I regained some of my energy!

Leo41 03-25-2014 08:16 AM

poe2you-

But the rapid weight gain was incredible, and that's definitely part of low T3 from failure to convert. Even though I'm on Cytomel, my T3 dropped again about a year later (needed more Cytomel), and although I immediately recognized the symptoms, I had to eat no more than 500 cal a day to maintain my weight until I could get in to see my endo and increase my dosage.

I really wanted to avoid another weight gain because it wasn't 'water.' I had to lose those additional lbs as slowly as anything else.

My point is that if fatigue is your only symptom, it may not be a T3 issue. My sister (age 63) is currently working with her doctor to try to find the cause of her fatigue. She's hypothyroid, but her T3 is fine (he's tested). All her other labs have been positive, but he doctor is a good one and doesn't want to dismiss her symptoms as just 'aging,' so he's doing more complex hormone testing.

By the way, I would not stay with any doctor who would not test T3 if I needed thyroid treatment. The failure to test T3 is, IMO, indicative of a doctor who is not current in the latest thyroid research.

DJ 03-25-2014 12:48 PM

I had VERY large rapid weight gain too. We're treating my has hashi's but only for 'symptoms' because my numbers look fine. Is there a way too know if T3 is off otherwise? Armour has helped all my symptoms except the weight gain and fatigue on some level. I have no appetite but I'm still growing

Leo41 03-25-2014 03:26 PM

DJ-
Does your doctor check your T4 and T3 levels via blood test? If your weight gain was due to low T3, that would show up on your blood tests, and it should be a FREE T3 (not Total) if you take any other hormonal Rx. Also, if it was low T3 and not remedied with Rx, you'd still be rapidly gaining weight.

When I gained weight, my T3 didn't even register because it was below the lab range. My endo usually does only a Total T3 on me because I take no other Rx, but he was so astounded at that result that he also ran the Free--and that, too, was below range. Cytomel (pure T3) solved that issue for me.

The reason I was shocked that the OP's doctor prescribed Cytomel without a recent blood test is that many doctors refuse to prescribe it at all, and the more enlightened ones who do (like my guy) are very, very cautious because excess T3 can cause both cardiac problems and serious bone loss. Because I take Cytomel, my endo monitors me even more closely than he did before to insure that my dosage is exactly what my body needs--and no more.


Is it possible that your rapid weight gain was caused by some other Rx you're taking? I was recently prescribe an Rx for chronic constipation [a new drug just recently approved],and I not only experienced horrid edema in my lower legs but a 10 lb weight increase in a week! My doctor insisted that the Rx could not possibly have caused that, but I went online and found numerous reports of exactly the same thing. In addition, this weight is very intractable. Most people are really having difficulty losing it (as I am), and I suspect that this Rx causes some problem with the body that remains long after we stop taking it. So even if 'weight gain' is not listed as one of the possible side effects of a drug, and even if your doctor insists that it 'can't happen,' it can!

DJ 03-25-2014 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leo41 (Post 16850653)
DJ-
Does your doctor check your T4 and T3 levels via blood test? If your weight gain was due to low T3, that would show up on your blood tests, and it should be a FREE T3 (not Total) if you take any other hormonal Rx. Also, if it was low T3 and not remedied with Rx, you'd still be rapidly gaining weight.

When I gained weight, my T3 didn't even register because it was below the lab range. My endo usually does only a Total T3 on me because I take no other Rx, but he was so astounded at that result that he also ran the Free--and that, too, was below range. Cytomel (pure T3) solved that issue for me.

The reason I was shocked that the OP's doctor prescribed Cytomel without a recent blood test is that many doctors refuse to prescribe it at all, and the more enlightened ones who do (like my guy) are very, very cautious because excess T3 can cause both cardiac problems and serious bone loss. Because I take Cytomel, my endo monitors me even more closely than he did before to insure that my dosage is exactly what my body needs--and no more.


Is it possible that your rapid weight gain was caused by some other Rx you're taking? I was recently prescribe an Rx for chronic constipation [a new drug just recently approved],and I not only experienced horrid edema in my lower legs but a 10 lb weight increase in a week! My doctor insisted that the Rx could not possibly have caused that, but I went online and found numerous reports of exactly the same thing. In addition, this weight is very intractable. Most people are really having difficulty losing it (as I am), and I suspect that this Rx causes some problem with the body that remains long after we stop taking it. So even if 'weight gain' is not listed as one of the possible side effects of a drug, and even if your doctor insists that it 'can't happen,' it can!

Besides the possible offending drug (which I'd never had quite THIS reaction from), the only other med I was taking at the time was Adderall. It's a hefty dose, too - it kills my appetite completely. I know the whole starvation mode thing but surely that can't account for 50 lbs. in about a month.

Now between Adderall and Armour I feel like I can go days without eating. The Armour kind of ramps up my anxiety a little, but other than that I don't have any symptoms of being hyperthyroid or anything. And I'm still gaining about 2 lbs. a week.

I keep meaning to get a copy of those tests. I'll call and ask her for them tomorrow.

watcher513 03-26-2014 01:56 AM

If a doctor won't do the right tests (Free T's), get them done yourself via healthcheckusa or DirectLabs. Both online. They run sales a couple of times a year. Sign up with them and you'll know when the sales are.

DJ 03-26-2014 03:38 PM

K I'm posting everywhere with the update LOL! But I weighed today at my pdoc's for the first time since seeing my endo and starting the Armour, and I've lost 15 lbs. :) FINALLY the scale is starting to move in the right direction!

jiju1943 05-16-2014 06:56 PM

I have been taking Cytomel for the last two years up to two weeks ago. I have been having some heart problems and by chance stopped taking my Cytomel. Within a day my heart quit acting up and I felt better for a while. I increased my Synthroid back up to 125mcg but for about a week I have been really sick at stomach. I wonder if stopping the Cytomel is causing my sickness. My heart has not acted up once since stopping so it looks like I am through with Cytomel.

While on the Cytomel I still didn't have energy as I should have, my doctor that I have now won't do a T4 T3 blood test.

GME 05-16-2014 07:47 PM

I take a compounded T3-only medication for high reverse t3. My t4 was converting to a bottom-of-the-range level of t3, but also a high level of reverse t3. Between the two, I was left with very little t3 to use. My symptoms were classic thyroid- fatigue, weight gain, thinning hair, dry skin, etc.

It sounds like it is very rare for drs to even test rt3. My TSH was normal and I went through two doctors that didn't test anything beyond that.

shelley 05-17-2014 09:57 AM

healthcheckusa now offers a test that does TSH, FT4, FT3 and RT3. I just had mine done on Thursday and can't wait for the results. It used to be really hard to find anyone who would do a RT3 test....but they do it and you don't even have to go to the doctor for the script for testing. Love them! I'm on medicare and the tests aren't covered anyway, so I just pay out of pocket and get my own results.

I also have taken Cytomel only for RT3 issues. It was great. Loved the stuff. I was closely monitored and never went over range on the FT3 testing. Like Gina...it was essential for the RT3 to take it.

Redeemed 05-19-2014 05:24 AM

I have been taking Cytomel for a over a year now. I feel great on it. I work night shifts and have to rotate the times of the day when I take my pills. When I'm not working my first dose is 7 am, then 1 pm. The nights I work I wait until 6 pm for my first dose, and midnight for my second dose. Since taking Cytomel, I don't have that nagging fatigue. Night shifts were like torture before, now I find them peaceful and quite enjoyable. Also, If I keep my calories to 1400 daily, I usually lose an average of 2 pounds a week. I take my blood pressure medicine two times a day, and usually take them with my Cytomel. So, I think it all helps me tremendously.


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