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Thyroid Health – Understanding Reverse T3

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Mary Vale
Guest
I have both type 1 diabetes and hypothyroidism. I am being treated with levothyroxine and insulin. However the thyroid tests are coming back with the T3 levels at .006 … they are cutting my levothyroxine, but I have all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism… I weigh over 200 lbs now, with my normal weight being 150 lbs. …. and am cold especially my feet and legs… I am tired, my tongue is swollen and I cannot function like I used to due to brain fog. My skin is dry and itchy but it could be the diabetes too. I have… Read more »
Naomi Parker
Admin

Hello Mary,
Levothyroxine is a T4-only medication. If you are on it and are still experiencing extremely low T3 levels, you and your doctor should consider either a combination (T4/T3) or straight T3 medication. You are probably experiencing what’s going on in this article: your T4 is likely converting mainly to RT3 which is the exact opposite of T3.

I hope this information helps!

– Naomi

Linda
Guest
I have similar problems. I have done the best on Liothyronine, T3. My Rt3 levels were extremely high. We have also started treating my adrenals and I am doing much better. I take DHEA, Adrenal Cortex, and my T3. I am hoping that if my adrenals improve I can go back on Armour. I also take C and Astaxanthin to fight inflammation. Have your Dr. check your Rt3 level and if it is high ask for a T3 med. I go to a Naturopathic Dr I suggest you find a Naturopathic Dr as he will treat the whole body and… Read more »
Giselle
Guest

Hi Linda

What is the name and city, state of your doctor?
Thanks!

Debbie Stevens
Guest

What is normal reverse T3 levels? Thanks.

Naomi Parker
Admin

Hello Debbie,
Here is a good calculator to determine if your RT3 is in a good range. The RT3 always needs to be looked at in conjunction with your T3 levels. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/rt3-ratio/

I hope the information helps!

– Naomi

Teri
Guest

Rt3 < 15
Ideally 11 or lower

K87
Guest
I was wanting to get someone else’s opinion and was wondering if you could help? My doctor said my reverse T3 is a little high in comparison to my free t3 level. Technically it still in the lab results reference range. She initially said all my thyroid levels was all normal but then I called back bc I’m in my first trimester of pregnancy and I know tsh should be under 2.5 and mine is 4.3. She said to talk to my endo about my rt3/freet3. So when I called back I told her I don’t have an endo so… Read more »
Naomi Parker
Admin

Hello,
Your doctor did the right thing! High RT3 does NOT mean you’re getting too much T3, especially when you have lab results to back this up. What is likely happening is you’re converting more of your T4 to RT3 rather than T3. Additionally, 5mcg is an extremely small dose and will not likely have a great impact.

I hope this information helps!

– Naomi

Holly Hanson
Guest

My reverse t3 is 30 the standard is 10 -24ng is mine considered high what should be done. My primary Dr. Thinks is normal

Naomi Parker
Admin

Hello Holly,
You’re right to think that the RT3 is not “normal”. Here is a ratio calculator to determine your RT3 range: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/rt3-ratio/. It is highly likely that your T4 is converting more to RT3 than T3. Without getting into your treatment protocol, if you’re currently undergoing a T4-only treatment, it may be a good idea to discuss a combo (T4/T3) or T3-only treatment.

I hope this information helps!

– Naomi

Crystal
Guest
Hi there, Just want to say THANK YOU so much for this informative article. I am almost 4 months post Thyroidectomy and very uninformed between my family doctor, Endo and ENT Surgeon. I’ve even had my family doctor tell me theres no such thing as Reverse T3. I start seeing a new Specialist next month and hope he will treat me based on what I ask, to which I plan to as for more thorough testing. I unfortunately think I am a prime candidate for my body to convert my T4 to RT3 due to high stress. Would a Thyroidectomy… Read more »
Teri
Guest

Crystal, many of us post TT found the previous T4 meds were not working like that did prior ndt or adding straight T3 makes all the difference !

Katie
Guest

This is so interesting. If I am with a HMO and my Dr refuses to test my Reverse T3, what are my options?

Teri
Guest

Katie, you can order your own labs without your dr using the online lab companies.. usually done at Lab Corp or Quest/Solstas ☺

Katie
Guest

This is an interesting topic. I have had all tests but Reverse T3 done. If my HMOdoctor refuses to run this test, what are my options? Also, could having chronic pain for 10 years co tribute to imbalance?

Heather
Guest

I have a heck of a time finding an ending to take me seriously. Despite my symptoms I was told “I look fine” by two different doctors including an endo. My pats recent tests were as follows:
TSH: 2.76 (within range)
Free T3: 4.72 pg/ml (high)
ReversT3: 43.3 ng/dl (high)
TotalT3: .165 ng/dl (high)
FreeT4: .72 ng/dl (.71 is low)

Multiple tests have comfirmed these numbers over the last 3 months. It’s like my t3 is saying Hyper but my TSH, ft4 and reverse say hypo. I have hypo symptoms. No one is willing to treat. I’m at a loss for a next step.

Naomi Parker
Admin

Hello Heather,
Have you had your thyroid antibodies checked?

– Naomi

Joelle
Guest

what does it mean to have below normal low levels of reverse t3 and t7? all other levels look “normal” and I am on wp thyroid currently. the low reverse t3 level was low before I even started medication though

Marcia Thompson
Guest
I have a lot of the symptoms of hypothyroidism(constipation, bloating, insomnia, dry skin, mental fog, easy weight gain etc). I had Graves disease about 22 years ago and was treated using PTU. I went into remission and I haven’t taken anything since for my thyroid. I have been on steroids (presently 5mg/day but for some 25 years or so at some level) from treatment for RA and myasthenia gravis and never being able to wean completely off and adrenal insufficient when checked (without my prednisone). I just had my GP run a thyroid panel and the numbers have come back… Read more »
sherri rapp
Guest
Hello, I could really use your advice. No one in the Ocala Florida area seems to have any knowledge about Reverse T3. Here are my results. Please help! I’m Generic Synthroid taking 50 mg daily. That is it….I feel like crap! My heartbeats in my back, I have borderline anxiety attacks and so so tired. I have lost interest in everything I love! I’m just too tired. If T3/T4 is recommended….what brand to you suggest? I have read bad things about Armour and bad things about the other natural brands. Sigh…I’m lost and frustrated. FT4- 1.37 ng/dL FT3- 2.9 pg/ml… Read more »
lisa ondris
Guest

in november my doctor doubled my t3 med and in January i got my first high reverse t3 results, really don’t know how to correct this, it was 32. don’t know if i got that high of a result because my t3 was doubled, or because i deal with a ton of stress and inflammation issues where do i go from here?

Bonnie meada
Guest

Hello, I have Hashimoto’s and was diagnosed about 7 years ago. I have taken several different thyroid medications over the years and am now on WP thyroid. I recently asked my endocrinologist to run my T3 and reverse T3 levels because he has only been running TSH and T4. He refused. I don’t have an explanation from him yet but I am angry. Why would he not want to run these tests? Is there some reason that he wouldn’t see them as valuable?

Jocelyn
Guest

Hi there, I recently had a blood panel done at the TSH and T4 and T3 uptake came back in the normal range, however my Reverse T3 came back really high. My doctor told me she’s not concerned because my other numbers are normal but I’m not convinced. Is this due to stress? Thanks

Jess
Guest
I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS FOR MONTHS! all of my labs (tsh ft4 ft3) are all normal. But my rt3 is = the high end of the range, however my ratio of ft3 to rt3 is 14. I have ALL the textbook symptoms of hypothyroidism along with extremely high cortisol. My endo will only focus on cortisol and has yet to recommend how to improve cortisol he totally dismisses rt3 as an issue. I feel like hell every day and it’s getting worse. I know that a t3 med will likely help me feel better but I cannot… Read more »
Theresa
Guest

What would cause a high TSH with low T3, T4, and low reverse T3?

Kalpana C
Guest
Hi, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroid 2 years ago. However, been on thyroid supplement since 2012. I got tested last week for Free T4, TSH, and Reverse T3. For some reason, my Endo doc did not test Free T3. Free T4 is 1.45, TSH is 0.553 and reverse T3 is high at 31.3. Reverse T3 was also high in September last year where it was 24.6. I currently taking Synthroid (T4) med 75mcg. My Endo doc keeps asking me if I had a recent illness or something but does not change medication. So after reading this article and several… Read more »
Priscilla Endicott
Guest

I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, but the doctors I go to won’t do anything because TSh and T4 levels are normal. I have mentioned getting an RT3 just to have doctors tell me we don’t do that or just look at me like a space alien. My T3’s are barely in range at 24. Should I be worried about this?

Patti Wise
Guest
Hi, My doctor did a thyroid panel and he said my levels were good except for my reverse t3 which is 30. I have in the past been treated for a high tsh , but I am not taking medication at all. I have a large nodule on the right side of my thyroid which was tested for cancer and a smaller nodule on my left. The larger on presses on my larynx which causes me to have a very raspy voice. I have a laundry list of hypothyroid symptoms, but the major symptoms are exhaustion, joint pain, muscle weakness,… Read more »
Elizabeth Johnson
Guest

My reverse t3 was 19 and standard range was 0 to 35. I assumer mime is good. My tsh is 3.59 when 4.2 is highest and my free t3 and free t4 were in middle of Their standard ranges too.

Jen
Guest

What has anyone tried to get rid of weight…

Sandie Gill
Guest

I have received my reverse T3 levels back and they are 522. My GP knew nothing about what this meant and I have blood tests showing inflammation as well as many nodules on thyroid. All other thyroid levels showing thyroid stimulating hormone 2.4, t4 – 12.49 low and t3 – 4.7. GP test all show within range. Don’t know what to do as I feel constantly unwell and exhausted. Having a another ultrasound on thyroid.

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