Excess Reverse T3
Are your thyroid results normal yet you have symptoms of hypothyroid?
You get your thyroid results and your practitioner says your thyroid is normal but have you checked your reverse T3? Is the thyroid really functioning normally and has the full thyroid function beeen looked at. Many a practitioner only looks at TSH and says your thyroid is "normal" Yet once the Reverse T3 is checked it may be so high it is off the scale? To often the reverse T3 is not even checked but maybe it should be. The thyroid is a really important organ in your throat area. It controls your metabolic thermostat, energy use, growth rates and has many effects on other bodily functions and organs.
Hypothyroid Signs and Symptoms
- Weight gain after first period, pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, menopause or strict diets.
- Feeling cold especially in hands and feet
- Poor concentration
- Difficult to loss weight
- Tired and fatigued
- Nervous and Anxiety
- Adult acne
- Weak and brittle nails
- Low sex drive
- Infertility na impotence
- Dry course skin
- Low blood presssure with high cholesterol
- Slow to get going
So what is Reverse T3?
To try and explain this simply the Thyroid produces Thyroxine ( T4 ) but once it gets to the liver and kidneys is converted to T3 and reverse T3 (rT3).
T3 is the active form of hormone and the one that is useful and is 4-10 times more potent than T4. Reverse T3 is biologiacally inactive and useless. So if all your normal thyroid tests are normal yet you have the above symptoms please check the reverse T3 as this could be the problem. In normal people they may get a little reverse T3 but the majority is transfered to T3.. Reverse T3 dominance or Wilson's Syndrome was identified by Denis Wilson. It is more of an imbalance rather than a deficiency. Stress (mental ,emotional, physical and environmental) can play a big role. With prolonged stress high levels of cortisol inhibit T4 conversion to T3. When this happens the extra T4 is shunted towards the production of reverse T3. Then it becomes a vicious cycle as reverse T3 can further effect conversion even once the stresses have passed.
In a normal blood test your T3 measurement measures both T3 and reverse T3 as the same as it is unable to distinguish the difference between the two. This is why a T3 level tested alone is not very useful and can be deceiving. So it is always best when testing Thyroid function to do T4, TSH, Reverse T3, Thyroid antibodies and Iodine levels to get a full picture. A normal reverse T3 should be between 200-300pmol but if found above 400 indicates the presence of reverse T3 dominance. . Recently I saw a result of RT3 as 1236pmol with a completely normal antibodies, T3 , T4 and TSH.
There are nutritional substances that enhance T4 to T3 conversion and there are ways to aid the extreme cortisol levels that feed into the problem. Please talk to your practitioner about this if you have any concerns.
Our body is a fine balance and the more we understand exactly what is going on the more optmally you will function in this balance. If you need tests done on reverse T3 please talk to your practitioner.