Expert Advice From Louise O’Connor, Australian Naturopath + Wellness Coach { Discover More! }

Do You Suspect You Suffer High Reverse T3 Symptoms?

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high reverse T3 symptomsThis article discusses high reverse T3 symptoms. But before you read further, here’s a little more about triiodothyronine (T3), and reverse T3 (RT3).

What Does High Reverse T3 Mean?

You may already know that your body is supposed to produce an optimal amount of T3 and thyroxine (T4) to help regulate energy metabolism.

Furthermore, T4 acts as a pro-hormone and is converted through to T3, your biologically active thyroid hormone as required.

What you may not know is, T3 is bound less tightly than T4 in the bloodstream, and is therefore able to bind more easily to the thyroid hormone receptors that are found in virtually all cells of your body.

In simple terms, T3 easily attaches to the thyroid receptors as it’s your key metabolic driver.

In contrast, reverse T3 is an inactive form of T3. It’s normal for your body to produce a certain amount of this thyroid hormone to help balance your metabolic rate. In fact, your body works hard to maintain a healthy balance of T3, and reverse T3. However, problems arise when there’s a shift in this balance.

When your body pools excess reverse T3 this inactive thyroid hormone clogs up the T3 receptors.

Reverse T3 has a similar structure to T3 so it easily locks into the T3 cell receptor. For this reason, a high level of reverse T3 blocks T3 from doing its job.

  • High reverse T3 has a powerful effect on slowing your metabolism.  As a consequence, excess reverse T3 pushes your body into a hypothyroid state which triggers a long list of high reverse T3 symptoms.
  • Higher amounts of reverse T3 are produced during periods of illness, severe calorie restriction, and extreme stress. Under these circumstances conversion of T4 to T3 is inhibited, and far greater amounts of T4 are diverted towards production of reverse T3.

Your High Reverse T3 Symptoms Checklist

Take a few moments to review my symptoms checklist:

+ You are constantly fatigued
+ Your hair is thin, or falls out excessively
+ You feel cold all the time
+ You have problems losing weight, or gain weight easily
+ You have low blood pressure, and heart palpitations
+ You have mood swings that range from mild to severe
+ You feel down-in-the-dumps, even depressed
+ You have swelling around your throat
+ You are easily irritated, and get stressed out
+ Your muscles ache, or you suffer joint pain
+ You are experiencing menstrual problems, or irregular periods
+ You are sensitive to cold weather, or feel cold all the time
+ Your skin is dry and pale
+ You have sluggish digestion, and constipation
+ Your face, hands and/or feet become swollen or puffy
+ You have lost your mojo!

If you answered YES to many of these symptoms you may be wondering how to check your reverse T3.

How to Measure Reverse T3 (RT3)

One of the biggest hurdles to uncovering a potential reverse T3 issue is getting proper testing. For this reason, if you suspect you have a T3/reverse T3 imbalance it’s critical to get both the free T3, and reverse T3 blood test.

In fact, these two tests should be done a part of a complete thyroid panel that includes TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3 (RT3), and your thyroid antibodies.

Did you know?

A problem with excess reverse T3 will not get picked up if only the single Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test is performed. It’s therefore critical to get comprehensive testing.

You can learn more about comprehensive thyroid testing here: What You Need To Know About Thyroid Testing To Gain The Most Valuable Insights

You can also learn how to calculate your reverse T3/T3 ratio here: Learn How to Calculate Your Reverse T3 Ratio

What You Need To Know About Holistic Treatment of High Reverse T3

+ Targeted nutrients designed to support thyroid function may make a big difference to your health and vitality.

+ Find a doctor who will prescribe thyroid medication appropriately. Many people find a thyroid medication that contains single T3, or single ‘slow release’ T3 is helpful.

+ Find out what’s driving the high reverse T3. Uncovering the root cause is key to your recovery. You can learn more here: What Causes High Reverse T3 (RT3)? {There Are 5 Key Reasons}

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  1. The doctors keep telling me my levels are in the normal range yet i have gain 40lbs in 1 year! The bottom of the range is .80 and i am .88 the top of the range is 5.00 seems clear to me there is a problem but they just kepp saying the same things over and over again. Also I have nodules on my thyroid and a enlarged goiter but still the same answers give me a break I need help I am getting so sad and flustered and depressed.

    • Louise O'Connor says:

      Hi Kim, it’s very important to get more than TSH tested as it tells you so much more about what is happening with your thyroid health. A complete thyroid panel includes TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. It’s very important to check your thyroid antibodies as it’s common to have a co-existing autoimmune thyroid disorder when you have nodules and a goitre. If your doctor is unwilling to test more than TSH you should get a second opinion from a doctor who understands thyroid disorders and is willing to do a complete thyroid panel. Best wishes, Louise

  2. This was a good article and I will next read about causes of high reverse T3. I have not researched this or had the causes explained by my practitioner. When I went to her I had some of the symptoms of high RT3 and labs showed a little elevation along with somewhat low T3. I was also smoking 1-3 cigarettes at that time & daily for a couple years. I suspect this was the main reason for the high RT3 since this is involved with putting breaks on metabolism which I believe is altered somehow from the smoking. My practitioner who is a hormone specialist did all the right tests but later put me on Cytomel (T3). I’ve taken it for around 9 months, but am now weaning myself off as I began feeling not well, and I have now quit smoking plus done some detox for last few months. I expect that I can get back to normal thyroid levels following a slow weaning off the thyroid pills, and the support of your diet & information including on the adrenals. But, I am navigating this myself & while it’s “so far, so good”, I am a bit nervous about how my thyroid will do during this process. Going with what I think I need to do, also supporting adrenals and I have been feeling better. I figure if the tests don’t look good in June I can always get back on the med. But, I prefer to address the cause directly and stay off it.

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