Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
High T3
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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High T3

Hello,  My armour thyroid medication was increased to 240mg from 180mg and I have been on this dosage for approximately 6 weeks.  My latest blood test results were as follows: T3 4.6 (2.3-4.2)   T4 1.3  (0.8-1.8) and TSH 0.03  (0.50-5.20)  Over the last few years I have increased my thyroid dosage starting very low and now at the high end.  I feel better each time I increase but never feeling like I can be at my optimal best.  I do not feel I have symptoms of hyperthyroidism as my tests are indicating.  My primary physician wanted me to stop dosage on Sundays to balance my levels.  Do you think this is the best approach?  What do high T3 levels do when you don't have hyper symptoms?  Would there be another reason for the high T3?  Is it good judgement to prescribe cytomel with armour thyroid?  I am not taking cytomel, but it was recommended by another physician in the past.  Would taking iron supplements help absorption of T3.  Thank you.
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97953_tn?1193367871
You are on too much medication based on low TSH
The T3 level is high in armour patients b/c the pig thyroid has relatively more T3 than human thyroid.
Would either switch to levothyroxine (possibly in combo with cytomel) OR lower armour dose and take it in split doses (ie 1/2 in the am and 1/2 in mid afternoon).  Would not add cytomel to armour and Iron may decrease thyroid med absorption if taken at same time.
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Thank you Dr Lupo.  I appreciate your reply.  I have had an extremely difficult time finding armour thyroid.  The only way was to have a compound pharmacy make up capsules.  After 1 month I felt fine so I went ahead and refilled the prescription for 240mg.  It was less expensive to get 3 months (insurance did not cover compound prescription) and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get the armour for refills.  No pharmacy in my area has it in stock.  Everyone seems to be hoarding in case they can no longer find it.  I wish my physician would have given me 60 mg to leave room for adjustment.  Now that I have the capsules, is it okay to split when it is not a solid pill form but a powdered form?  Would 180 mg be the suggested lowering dosage and then get another blood test?  What would you suggest for synthroid/cytomel dosage to start.  I tried synthroid in between my armour thyroid and ended up having menstrual bleeding (which I haven't had in quite some time after oblation (ablation) proceedure ) and having a D&C.  I don't know if synthroid caused this and I wasn't on the right dosage or if it was just a coincidence. I am 57 years old.  Can I take armour thyroid with food or must it be taken with an empty stomach?  What would be the determining factor for prescribing armour thyroid vs synthroid (and maybe cytomel)?  I appreciate your help very much.  It seems like it has taken forever to get the right dosage and help.
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Mark Lupo, M.D.Blank
Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
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