Why Low T3 causes Weight Gain + Symptoms & Treatment GuideChecking your total T3 and free T3 may be the most important thyroid tests you can look at. Unfortunately treatment for low t3 physicians aren't even ttreatment these tests which may lead to a missed diagnosis of low T3 syndrome. Fortunately there are several treatment for low t3 that you can do to increase this important thyroid hormone and take steps to reduce your symptoms. If you are treatmetn weight gain, chronic fatigue, chronic pain or a slow metabolism then increasing your T3 becomes even more important. T3 thyroid hormone is one of the most important thyroid hormones we will go over the other arguably more important hormone below.
How to Increase Free T3 Levels Naturally: 8 Step Guide + Trips & Tricks
Checking your total T3 and free T3 may be the most important thyroid tests you can look at. Unfortunately many physicians aren't even ordering these tests which may lead to a missed diagnosis of low T3 syndrome. Fortunately there are several therapies that you can do to increase this important thyroid hormone and take steps to reduce your symptoms.
If you are experiencing weight gain, chronic fatigue, chronic pain or a slow metabolism then increasing your T3 becomes even more important. T3 thyroid hormone is one of the most important thyroid hormones we will go over the other arguably more important hormone below. The total amount of T3 in your body represents all of the T3 in your serum blood , and the free T3 represents the amount of T3 available to be used and for binding.
It turns out that all of the beneficial effects of thyroid hormone in your body comes from T3 NOT T4 thyroid hormone. T3 thyroid hormone acts directly on the nucleus of your cells via a nuclear receptor to literally turn on your genes and alter genetic transcription.
This is very important because it can help you understand exactly how thyroid hormone works in the body. The fact that thyroid hormone works on the nucleus of the cell helps to explain why it takes weeks for changes in thyroid hormone to take effect. Altering genetic transcription, altering enzyme production and changing cellular transcription takes times.
These changes in genetic transcription help increase energy, increase metabolism, stabilize hair growth and do all of the functions associated with proper thyroid hormone function. The biggest issue with T3 is that most doctors, physicians and endocrinologists don't actually test for it.
Even if your doctor doesn't test for T4 and instead uses the TSH only for monitoring your thyroid function, you are probably being treated with a T4 only thyroid medication like Levothyroxine, Synthroid or Levoxyl. T4 is used in the body as a reservoir to be turned into T3 through a conversion process known as T4 to T3 conversion. They assume that your body will take all of that T4 thyroid hormone and turn it straight into T3.
Instead your body is just as likely to turn it into the anti thyroid metabolite reverse T3. Reverse T3 directly competes for cellular binding with T3 and can actually cause hypothyroid symptoms. So when testing for thyroid hormone and when evaluating if you are being managed correctly it's far more useful to know your T3 levels instead of your T4 levels. Part of this problem is mediated by the fact that many patients don't actually convert T4 to T3 efficiently, and the other part is the reliance upon TSH as a measure of proper thyroid hormone in the body.
The truth is that most patients don't actually convert thyroid hormone efficiently AND TSH is not the best marker for evaluating thyroid function in the body. These problems, along with low T3 levels, help contribute to the weight gain and weight loss resistance that many hypothyroid patients face and struggle with.
T3 is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, mediators of energy production from your mitochondria. That means that low levels of T3 will directly or indirectly result in a slower than normal metabolism sound familiar?
Obviously both of these factors are very important for maintaining a normal and healthy weight, but they are almost important for losing weight. Your metabolism accounts for the majority of calories burned throughout the entire day, so a slow metabolism results in weight gain. Meanwhile, low energy levels may prohibit you from being able to exercise making weight loss difficult.
For the reasons listed above and many others we won't be discussing testing for your T3 becomes a VERY important part of thyroid management. So don't assume that you will get proper treatment for your thyroid problems just by getting these tests done, the testing is really only the beginning.
What matters more than the actual tests is the treatment and management afterwards. So, while testing is important, don't make the mistake of assuming that your physician or provider will be willing to treat your appropriately once you have the results.
These are probably the most important thyroid tests to get if you want to understand how your thyroid is functioning in your body:. You will probably notice that TSH and free T4 don't even make an appearance, and that is definitely intentional. TSH really only gives you an idea of pituitary levels of thyroid hormone and T4 is only somewhat helpful in evaluating thyroid conversion.
Instead I want you to focus on getting the labs listed above and then interpreting the results based off of "optimal" levels and not "normal" levels. When it comes to hormones there is a huge difference between being in the "normal" range and having adequate function and being optimal. As a year old woman, you don't want your free T3 levels to be in the range of an 80 year old.
Optimal ranges for the following lab tests assuming you aren't taking T3 containing thyroid hormone already: The pituitary doesn't contain the deiodinase which turn T4 into reverse T3, which means that ALL thyroid hormone hitting the pituitary will be able to convert just fine. Almost every doctor is aware of this condition, but they've probably forgot about it overtime or don't realize its importance outside of the hospital.
Patients who are obese have lower levels of free T3 and higher levels of reverse T3. I should also take a second to discuss that one of the most common causes of low T3 is calorie restriction and a history of yo-yo dieting.
If you've ever done these types of diets in the past there is a very good chance that you not only have damaged your metabolism, but that you have also have low levels of T3. If you recall I pointed out earlier that you need the combination of symptoms PLUS low lab values to diagnose low T3 syndrome. Many of these symptoms result from a lower than normal metabolism and may directly or indirectly lead to weight gain and weight loss resistance.
In addition to these symptoms you may experience any or all of the traditional symptoms of hypothyroidism. It's important to note that the symptoms of low T3 may vary from person to person, but the list above represents the most common symptoms that patients may experience.
Use the list above in combination with your lab tests to determine if you should move on to the next step This is really important because, as I mentioned previously, most physicians don't pay much attention to T3 levels. This means that they aren't likely to change your medication, increase your dose, or even mention these lab tests to begin with.
It's therefore important that you are knowledgable and do whatever you can to increase your T3 naturally. Another indirect way of increasing the effectiveness of T3 levels in the body is by reducing your reverse T3 levels.
By decreasing reverse T3 levels you don't necessarily need to increase T3 levels because it will be easier for the T3 to do its job. Use the list below and address any or all of the problems in your body to reduce your reverse T3 levels: Reducing reverse T3 levels can be quite complex and may require some digging to get to the bottom of your specific problem. Another round about way to increase T3 levels indirectly is by increasing your total thyroid hormone production. This doesn't always work by itself, but if used with techniques designed to both boost T4 to T3 conversion AND reduce reverse T3 levels it can be particularly effective.
It turns out that over 10 different supplements are required for proper thyroid hormone production. If you are deficient in any of these nutrients then you may suffer with decreased thyroid hormone production over time leading to worsening symptoms of hypothyroidism. You can find the full list of supplements required in this post as well as how to test for and determine which supplements you may need to take. Simply taking T3 can automatically provide a boost to your T3 levels and significantly and usually quickly reduce any symptoms you may be having from low T3.
Part of the reason that so many patients feel terrible despite taking thyroid medication has to do with the conversion process of T4 to T3. You already know that most physicians prescribe T4 only medications like synthroid, levothyroxine and levoxyl. What you may not realize is that these T4 only thyroid medications may be converted into reverse T3 instead of the T3 you want it to turn into.
So, in some cases, you might actually be making your symptoms worse by taking thyroid medication. In some cases you may be fueling the fire by providing your body with more substrate to produce reverse T3 with. This problem can be dealt with by reducing or eliminating the amount of T4 hormone you are taking and instead providing your body with T3 only thyroid medication.
If you give your body direct T3 there isn't any substrate to produce reverse T3 from so these levels will automatically drop. Getting your physician to prescribe T3 only medication can be difficult however, so this may not work for everyone - but if possible it's certainly worth a try.
Better yet - the combination of all of the natural therapies listed above with T3 only thyroid medication is very effective. As you may know NDT is predominately a T4 thyroid medication, but it does contain some T3 in it as well. The ratio is in favor of T4 about 3: Having low T3 is a serious problem that tends to be ignored or under appreciated by most physicians. Because T3 thyroid hormone is the active thyroid hormone in your body it is the most important thyroid hormone to evaluate.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of low T3 syndrome or euthyroid sick syndrome make sure that you get the following lab tests: If you find that you have low T3 then a combination of natural treatments plus changing your thyroid medication may be in order. Remember that when it comes to improving your thyroid function it will likely require a combination of therapies to achieve the best results. Childs and I write these posts. I'm a physician that specializes helping patients lose weight, have more energy and FEEL better.
My practice focuses on hormone imbalances, thyroid issues and weight loss resistance. My goal is to provide the BEST information out there on the internet that is both actionable and trustworthy. Get my free 3 day meal plan here. You can also find more about my personal journey back to health here. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Let's discuss how to increase these levels and how T3 impacts weight and weight loss Why T3 is the MOST Important Thyroid Hormone T3 thyroid hormone is one of the most important thyroid hormones we will go over the other arguably more important hormone below.
T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone in your body. It can be measured by testing your total T3 in the serum, and by assessing your free T3 levels. T3 thyroid hormone does all of the good things that you want thyroid hormone to do. It is the most important thyroid hormone to monitor for this reason. You're probably familiar with T4 whether you realize it or not: Some physicians actually test for T4 so you may actually have your free T4 levels to look at.
So why is that a big deal? The reason T3 is so important for proper weight management is simple: These energy production from your mitochondria serve 2 very important functions: Help determine your basal metabolic rate.
Help provide you with a subjective sense of "energy". These are probably the most important thyroid tests to get if you want to understand how your thyroid is functioning in your body: