Reverse T3 is tested by counting the reverse T3 seen in the blood.
What does RT3 do. Well something and nothing at the same time. RT3 is not active. However the body's cells "see" it as the biologically active T3. And because it is a mirror image of the free T3 hormone, the body's receptors will accept the RT3, BUT it does nothing. It essentially takes up spave and leave the receptor filled with something that does nothing. Plugging up the receptors and if in sufficient quantities of RT3 will not leave enough open receptors for the truly active Free T3 hormone to do the work. Think of a too high RT3 level being to a partially or nearly plugged fuel filter in your car. It doesn't matter how much gas you have in the fuel tank or even in the fuel line if nothing is getting to the engine because of the plugged fuel filter. Same thing with your body.
Treatment CAN be done by eliminateing T4. This is because RT3 is ONLY made during the conversion process from T4 into T3. So by minimizing the amount of T4 it minimizes the conversion and thus minimizes the rate of production of RT3. But by eliminating T4 you must add T3 medicine to give your body enough thyroid to function. As the RT3 is used up and clears out of the body it essentially "unplugges" or cleans out the fuel filter. But because you may be totally on T3 med, you now may FLOOD your body with too much T3 and go hyper. So this technique needs to be monitored very closely. So at the first signs of hyper that the T3 meds are reduced.
Sometimes this only needs to be done once and then can go back to regular T4 dosage etc. Other times a person may have to be on a higher dosage of T3 meds and limit the amount of T4.
I think I read that stress can cause a higher rate of RT3 issues. Not sure on that though. So the first thing to try would be to minimize stress which may lower the RT3 rate.
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