I am not a writer and writing was never a critical part of my working life. Neither am I a doctor, a medical researcher or a biochemist. I am simply a man who has had his life derailed by thyroid disease and suffered for many years whilst on an ineffective thyroid hormone treatment. I eventually managed to recover my health and get my life back through research, determination and trying other treatments.
The critical part of my recovery involved the use of a currently, rarely prescribed thyroid hormone, known most often by its simplified name – T3. The correct name of this naturally produced hormone is triiodothyronine and its synthetic equivalent is known as liothyronine. T3 is the biologically active form of thyroid hormone and at a cellular level it is the T3 thyroid hormone that keeps us well.
In the process of recovery, I learned how to use T3 thyroid medication properly and safely. Many doctors are taught that the only necessary thyroid hormone replacement is levothyroxine (synthetic T4) and they never prescribe T3. However, for some thyroid patients, T3 may be the only thyroid hormone that will enable them to regain their health. Some doctors also fear the use of T3 because they mistakenly believe it causes problems like high heart rate or osteoporosis. T3 can cause problems, as can all thyroid hormones, but invariably any problems are caused by its incorrect use. Another medical myth is that thyroid blood tests always reveal actual thyroid hormone activity. In reality, they merely measure circulating thyroid hormone, offering no insight into the efficacy of this thyroid hormone inside our cells.
It is such myths and such doctors that condemn thousands of thyroid patients to a permanent hell of hypothyroidism. T3 is sometimes required as some problems can occur at the cellular level that other thyroid medication cannot correct. In my own case T3 was my salvation. I had gotten to a point in my illness when I had thyroid and adrenal issues. My weight had dropped to two-thirds of my normal body weight and I was passing out with low blood pressure on most days of the week. I was virtually an invalid and slept for four to six hours in the daytime, as well as at night. I could barely move around and getting up the stairs was difficult. My career was lost and in many ways it was very hard on my family.
T3 changed this, but it took me three years to begin to know how to use it properly. In total it took me about 10 years to recover from the start of my hypothyroidism. I lost a decade of my life when my children were young. It then took me another 10 years to be able to reflect on and communicate my experience with T3 and how other people could also use T3, which I did in the form of a book.
My T3 Dosage Management Process and CT3M
The “Recovering with T3” book presents a safe, effective and systematic process for using the T3 thyroid hormone when other forms of thyroid hormone replacement have failed. This T3 dosage management process covers basic diagnostic lab work that needs to be performed, supplementation with important vitamins and minerals and a detailed process that may be followed when using T3. Part of this process includes a radically new protocol for using T3 in order to regulate the adrenal glands and help them to function properly without the use of any adrenal steroids or adrenal glandulars. This protocol is called the circadian T3 method (abbreviated as CT3M).
The CT3M corrected my own adrenal function and enabled the T3 I took during the daytime to work properly. I got my health back and in the process I discovered how to use T3 optimally. The CT3M is a breakthrough and it is now being used by thyroid patients worldwide and in many cases it is allowing them to recover their health after years or even decades of illness. Those patients using natural desiccated thyroid can also use the CT3M, as this also contains T3 thyroid hormone.
Many hormones follow a circadian rhythm with a pattern of secretion that is repeated every twenty-four hours and is typically linked to our cycles of sleeping and waking, or daylight and night. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands, with a steady rise in production during the last four hours of sleep. For someone who gets up out of bed at 8:00 am, this means the highest level of cortisol production occurs between the hours of 4:00 am and 8:00 am. It is the rising level of cortisol that helps us wake up in the morning, with the highest level of cortisol in the bloodstream at around 8:00 am (for your typical person). Cortisol levels then fall gradually during the day and are at their lowest between midnight and 4:00 am in the morning. The exact times may vary depending on when someone gets up in the morning (e.g. shift workers may experience a different circadian rhythm).
The Circadian T3 Method (CT3M) utilises the circadian natural action of the adrenal glands and requires thyroid medication which contains pure T3 (natural desiccated thyroid may also be used). Once low adrenal function has been confirmed with a twenty-four hour adrenal saliva test, then the CT3M may be used. The CT3M will not work if the thyroid patient has Addison’s disease or hypopituitarism (these conditions usually require lifetime treatment with adrenal steroids).
The basic idea behind the CT3M is to address low levels of the active thyroid hormone (T3) in the adrenal glands when they are producing their highest volume of cortisol. The CT3M is an ‘adrenal boost’.
This process begins with the thyroid patient setting an alarm clock or mobile phone alarm at 1.5 hours prior to the normal time that they would get out of bed. A dose of T3 or natural desiccated thyroid medication is taken at that time and the thyroid patient then goes back to sleep. By carefully varying the time and the size of this circadian dose of T3-containing thyroid medication and assessing the results, it is possible to significantly help the adrenal glands to produce more or all of their hormones, including cortisol (which is often low in thyroid patients), aldosterone, DHEA etc.
Once this process begins to work and the adrenal glands begin to function well, then the quality of the sleep that follows this circadian dose is often far better than the thyroid patient has been used to experiencing.
In recent years there has been research that confirms that T3 thyroid hormone peaks in the body when the adrenal glands begin to work hard in the early hours of the morning. These research findings support the ideas behind the CT3M. The research article is titled “Free triiodothyronine has a distinct circadian rhythm that is delayed but parallels thyrotropin levels.” and is published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 93(6):2300-6. June 2008. A link to the abstract is:http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/93/6/2300. The research basically says that after TSH has peaked each day around midnight, that FT3 also peaks some hours later.
So, in a healthy person with a normal working thyroid gland, their Free T3 levels will peak in the early hours of the morning. For those thyroid patients on thyroid medication this is normally not the case and thyroid hormones will be at a low point in the early hours of the morning. The CT3M is aimed at replicating nature and restoring a good level of T3 when the adrenal glands begin to produce high levels of cortisol.
A large number of thyroid patients have successfully used the CT3M over the past year. Many of these had previously found that the only way they could cope was through the use of adrenal steroids like hydrocortisone or adrenal glandulars that contain steroids at lower quantities. When adrenal steroids are employed, this causes the pituitary to demand less work from the adrenal glands. The consequence of this is often that the thyroid patient’s adrenal glands become sluggish and less able to work on their own. The CT3M often works well enough to allow these patients to slowly reduce and then stop the use of all adrenal steroids.
Although there is insufficient space here to cover the detailed process for using the CT3M, there are several blog posts on my website, which may provide more useful information on this new protocol. The link to the website is http://recoveringwitht3.com. My website also has a ‘contact us’ page, through which I can be reached if needed.
Need for Radical Changes
The medical profession still largely ignores T3 thyroid hormone replacement. Very little appears to have changed in treatment practices during the years since I was first diagnosed with thyroid problems. The human cost of this slow progress is great. I have spent several years on Internet forums listening to the often heart-breaking stories of thyroid patients. Because of this, I am now far more aware of how thyroid disease affects people’s lives. It is unacceptable – something has to change.
Most of these changes are straightforward as the treatments already exist. My book focuses on how the T3 thyroid hormone may be used safely and effectively and also presents the new CT3M that helps to improve adrenal function. My hope is that doctors and thyroid patients find this information of value and that it can be a part of the revolution in treatment that thyroid patients so desperately need and deserve.