Taylor thought she’d be on higher doses of HC forever, but her use of T3 in the early morning hours has helped her drop her HC from 30 down to 5 mg, and she is now OFF HC…and she got off Florinef!
FEBRUARY, 2012: My journey to success with T3 therapy and healing my adrenals began roughly a year and a half ago. In a quest for better thyroid treatment, I began researching how the thyroid functions and all the problems that could go wrong in the process. I had all the classic not fully treated thyroid symptoms: brain fog, horrible depression, increasing weight gain despite eating healthy and exercising 6 days a week, puffy face and fingers, high cholesterol, higher bp, half an eyebrow and fatigue no mother should have to deal with while raising young children. The list of hypo symptoms goes on, but most of us who have been held hostage to poor thyroid treatment know we could be here all day listing the culprits of this debilitating disease.
Routinely, I slept 9-10 hours at night and required a minimum two hour nap in the afternoon and when I could get three or more I would take it, but I never felt fully rested. Life was hard. I had no family near by to help me with my debilitating symptoms and my husband worked insane hours. My doctor told me I was “normal” and “it’s not your thyroid,” often prescribing antidepressants, of which I was a victim of two different types. I feel they would have kept adding to if I would let them. I believe antidepressants are also partners in crime of adrenal fatigue since they work by raising your cortisol to achieve these feelings of well being. I spent 7 years on these in conjunction with poor thyroid treatment. Needless to say, I was a goldmine for the pharmaceutical companies.
I had heard about Armour and asked my doctor to be switched. Of course, like many doctors I got the usual “Armour is an inferior drug and frequently doesn’t work in treating hypothyroidism. Plus it’s hard to dose.” My doctor set me up for failure. He dosed me low then refused to raise me any higher than 1 1/2 grains. He referred me to an Endocrinologist – doctors who are supposed to be experts in this area.
During my research I came across various forums talking about a book called “Stop the Thyroid Madness” by Janie Bowthrope, so I ordered it and found the companion website. I began reading and studying it cover to cover. I also began reading any companion material, medical journals, joining the various yahoo health groups and becoming an educated patient.
Immediately I began having bizarre reactions on Armour. I was “wired but tired.” I suspected my adrenals. After failing the various at home tests for adrenal function, I ordered a saliva test. In the mean time, my hypothyroidism returned with a vengeance. My saliva test results showed I was depressed at every point of the day. My morning reading didn’t even come in range!
After going thru many doctors I finally found one that would treat me with hydro-cortisone. Although he dosed me too low at 15 mg and caused my adrenals to crash further. He did switch me from Armour to T3 only. I eventually landed on 30mg hydro-cortisone as this gave me the most stable DAT’s (Daily Average Temps–see Discovery Step Two, Number four, here.).
I started T3 after I had quit taking Armour for more than a month. It was the week before Christmas and I had never felt more horrible in my life! There were many days I either couldn’t function or successfully made it from the bed to the couch. A small upgrade I suppose. I started on 6.25 mcg T3 and slowly worked my way up every 4-5 days. My doctor let me run the show with dosing T3 for the first 3 months. I had no idea how much I needed or what too much was or felt like. I struggled for months trying to find what was optimal for me. I ran the gamut of hypo to hyper symptoms. I was convinced I had to fall into the category of 75 – 125 mcg to be considered successful or fully replaced, rather than simply dosing to symptom elimination that Janie spoke about in her book. Once I threw out the notion that I had to be at least at 75 mcg to be replaced, I was finally able to find a dose that worked for me. I ended up finding this dose based on DAT’s using a mercury thermometer (all other thermometer’s pale in consistency) in conjunction with symptom elimination. Roughly, 43 mcg became my magic ticket.
After struggling for more than a year with adrenal fatigue, in late fall I learned about the circadian T3 method discovered and developed by Paul Robinson. I also learned that this method may not work for those of us while still on hc. With little hope that I would ever recover from adrenal exhaustion, I decided to employ this method despite what was initially believed could not work while on hc. I didn’t know if it would work, but I had nothing to lose at this point.
I began taking my T3 at about 6:30 a.m. (based on a waking time of 7 a.m.) I did this for about a week, then moved the dose to 6:00 for another week, then to 5:30 a.m. After a few weeks into this I got desperate and frustrated and decided to jump back to 4 a.m. I held this for a few more weeks and in a sense just forgot about it. It wasn’t until the week before Christmas that I started feeling better all of a sudden. Suddenly I had more energy and I seemed to tolerate stressful situations much better (let’s keep in mind how the time around Christmas can be the most stressful time all year!). I also hosted my family and my husband’s every year at our house – sleepovers included since everyone was out of town guests.
With this progress, I decided to start dropping my hc by 2.5 mg per week, with a wait and see approach in moving forward. I had no ill effects. In fact, I seemed to be feeling better with every drop. At some point during this process I had worked back to 3:30 a.m. and was where I continued to stay. When I got to about 15 mg, I started reducing a little quicker at about every 5 days. During this time my DAT’s were amazingly stable. Not even a variation in my temperatures between morning to morning, noon to noon, or late afternoon to late afternoon. I had never had this stable of temperatures even while on 30 mg hc!
I’ve managed to get down to the last 5 mg. I’ve dropped down to 2.5 mg and was even off for a few days before I had to go back up to 5 mg. However, during this time I was very phy sically active and I was playing with my waking dose time a bit. I found 3 a.m. to be too much for my adrenals to handle. As this quickly made me start shaking. This after only 2 days at this time, so I dropped back to 3:30 a.m. I decided to jump back to 5 mg because I was on a ski trip with my husband and some various friends and family. You can imagine the stress involved in being with people every day, on top of skiing all day. I just returned home and plan to hold this 5 mg a week longer and then reduce to 2.5 mg and off. At which time I will wait 2 weeks and then do another saliva test to see where my adrenals are currently functioning.
I have every hope and expectation that I will make a complete recovery using this method. I do also expect that it will take time for my adrenals to make a full recovery after being on hc for more than a year. At this point in time I am just thrilled to be on such a small dose with being completely off in the near horizon. I am forever gr atefully to Janie Bowthrope and Paul Robinson! Two truly amazing and brilliant people blazing the trail to better thyroid treatment.
UPDATE: These saliva labs were done March 10th, having been of off of ANY cortisol or adrenal-influencing herbs for three weeks. The results in parentheses are last October. DEFINITE improvement in spite of needing just a little tweaking! The T3 Circadian Method works!! I am back to working out!
8 a.m. 5.33 (3.26) range 3.5 – 6.3
Noon 2.58 (1.89) range 1.4 – 2.8
4 p.m. 1.47 (1.04) range 0.8 – 2.4
8 pm 0.98 (0.55) range 0.6 – 1.6
Midnight 0.73 (0.58) range 0.3 -1.2
4 a.m. 1.96 (1.88) range 0.3 – 1.7
8 a.m. 3.5 (3.9) range 2.8 – 12.7
8 p.m. 3.0 (4.3) range 2.7 – 9.0
Midnight 2.9 (5.1) range 1.8 – 8.1
P.S. BY THE WAY, the first thing I was able to drop was my Florinef for low aldosterone!!