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Starting on Cytomel today

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  • Starting on Cytomel today

    I'm panyhypopituitary (no pituitary function) and have been trying to convince my endocronologist to let me try taking Cytomel for T3 homone replacement and she agreed. I've been this way for sixteen years and have had persistant issues since, such as weight gain, memory issues and dry skin.

    T4 is supposed to convert to T3 but I'm unconvinced how well that works for me. I struggle mightily with my weight and have since the surgery to remove a pituitary tumor in 1994. If Cytomel can help me at least a little, I'd consider it a huge victory.

  • #2
    Didn't your endo test your T3 level to check before prescribing?

    Yes, many people don't convert adequately--I'm one of them, and I take Cytomel. It was like a miracle for me the way it 'cured' my fatigue and weight gain almost instantly. Unlike my Levoxyl (T4), Cytomel works right away, and you should feel its effects within 48 hours--if you're getting enough.

    How much are you taking? When will your endo test again?

    I ask because it's customary to begin low to give the body time to adapt, and I had to have my Cytomel dosage raised 3X within a year.


    • #3
      She did test my T3, she always does. Not sure what the level was but she said it was on the low side. Three micrograms for one month and do another blood pull.

      I'm assuming your thyroid is non-functioning?


      • #4
        No, my thyroid 'functions,' but I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and the thyroid is gradually 'dying,' so I get regular check ups to titrate my meds.

        You should get copies of all your blood tests. Don't just accept "on the low side." Make sure you know what's going on with your hormone levels because that T3 totally regulates your metabolism. Optimally, it should be in the upper half of the lab range--2/3 to 3/4. Mine is only about half, but I feel fine and my endo is wary of too much Cytomel (with good reason; excess can cause cardiac problems).


        • #5
          How are you getting 3 mcg? My understanding is, Cytomel comes in 5, 25, or 50 mcg pills


          • #6
            You're correct about the dosage, it's 5. I was going from memory (not a good thing, which I hope Cytomel helps). I picked it up on the way home from work and will start in the morning.

            emmie, I'll get her to send over my lab results and report back. I tend to take a very active roll in my treatment but for some reason never tracked my actual blood work. I'm going to change that from now on and get copies of my blood work.

            Do you know what the ranges for T3 are emmie?


            • #7
              Not emmie, but each lab can have a different range. Yours should be next to your results, often in parentheses. It also depends on if we are talking Total T3 or FreeT3. Free is better. It gives a better read on what is available for the body to use.

              You can ask for a copy of all you past medical records and blood work. There may be a nominal fee for the copies, but by law you are entitled to the records.


              • #8
                Yes, to all of previous post. All lab ranges differ, so that's why it's important to be able to share both your level and the range.

                Although the FREE test is best, my endo does only a TOTAL on me because I take no other meds that can bind the incoming hormones. Many women are taking other hormones, and that's why the Free is necessary.

                He told me that with someone like me, he rarely sees any different between free and total, so it's really an individual thing as to which test is best.


                • #9
                  I appreciate the input from all.


                  • #10
                    Emmie, my doctor told me the same thing about little difference between total and free. I asked for both to be done just to check. My total and free were very different. Because of this, I would ask for both tests to be run periodically just to make sure things line up.


                    • #11

                      Thanks for this advice! I have been thinking about asking him to do the free for comparison because I know that everyone is different. My T3 is only at half of range, so if the free is any lower, I want to know that. I plan to ask about doing a free at my next check up.


                      • #12
                        Pretty good explanation of free T3.


                        BTW, my endo gave me my follow blood orders and it does specify free T3 and free T4


                        • #13
                          Given the hypothyroid and autoimmune issues at work, it'd be interesting to see 25(OH)D levels via LabCorp or ZRT (Quest's 25(OH)D test isn't reliable).
                          Last edited by cillakat; 10-11-2010, 11:30 AM.

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