Mr. Paul Robinson, Author of "Recovering with T3," has been kind enough to share…
Mr. Paul Robinson, Author of “Recovering with T3,” has been kind enough to share a couple of his Blogs with us:
Introduction to the Books of Thyroid Patient Advocate Paul Robinson
Just over twenty-five years ago my life began to be changed completely by thyroid disease. I had developed Hashimoto's thyroiditis and was given synthetic T4 thyroid medication (known as Synthroid in USA, Levothryoxine in UK and various other brand names in other countries). However, this synthetic T4 treatment left me with all the same symptoms that I had to begin with when I was first diagnosed. Over several years the symptoms devastated my life and ultimately having incorrectly treated thyroid disease cost me the career that I loved and severely affected my family life.
I tried many things to get well whilst on T4 treatment, which included taking vitamins, minerals and other supplements, going gluten and dairy free and reducing my stress levels. Nothing worked. I remained desperately fatigued and with many of the other classic symptoms of hypothyroidism. During the T4 treatment my thyroid blood tests were normal of course and I was told that I would have to 'live' with my condition and that it was probably being caused by some other problem. This 'other' problem was not given a name and no attempt was made by my doctors and various endocrinologists to uncover this 'other' problem. In actual fact it wasn't a different problem it was just hypothyroidism that was not responding to synthetic T4 replacement therapy.
I eventually managed to recover my health and get my life back through research, determination and trying other treatments. The most critical part of my recovery involved the use of the still infrequently prescribed thyroid hormone, known most often by its simplified name – T3. The correct name of this naturally produced hormone is triiodothyronine and its synthetic equivalent is known as Liothyronine Sodium. T3 is the biologically active form of thyroid hormone and at a cellular level it is the T3 thyroid hormone that keeps us well.
In the process of recovery, I learned how to use T3 thyroid medication properly and safely. Many doctors are taught that the only necessary thyroid hormone replacement is levothyroxine (synthetic T4) and they never prescribe T3. However, for some thyroid patients, T3 may be the only thyroid hormone that will enable them to regain their health. Some doctors also fear the use of T3 because they mistakenly believe it causes problems like high heart rate or osteoporosis. T3 can cause problems, as can all thyroid hormones, but invariably any problems are caused by its incorrect use. Another medical myth is that thyroid blood tests always reveal actual thyroid hormone activity. In reality, they merely measure the levels of thyroid hormones circulating in the bloodstream and offer no insight into the effectiveness of these thyroid hormones inside our cells. It is such myths and the lack of a wider range of available thyroid hormone treatments that condemn thousands of thyroid patients to a permanent hell of hypothyroidism.
T3 only treatment is sometimes required as some problems can occur at the cellular level that other thyroid medication cannot correct. In my own case T3 was my salvation. However, T3 is difficult to use and it took me several years to develop a process for using it that was both safe and highly effective.
My Thyroid Problem and Recovery
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis when I was around thirty years of age. I was given T4 thyroid medication and told it would fix all of my symptoms but the symptoms remained. I eventually reached a point in my illness when I had thyroid and adrenal issues. I had lost over one third of my body weight and I was frequently passing out due to low blood pressure. I was virtually an invalid and slept for four to six hours in the daytime, as well as at night. I could barely walk around and getting up the stairs was difficult. My career was lost and it affected my family life.
During my illness I was given synthetic T4 medication (i.e. Synthroid or Levothyroxine) for about seven years whilst my health continued to deteriorate. It did not correct my symptoms but my TSH, FT4 and FT3 laboratory test results were improved and were all within the laboratory ranges on this treatment. Eventually, T4 was stopped and I was given trials of natural desiccated thyroid medication and, when this did not work, I was prescribed synthetic T4 together with synthetic T3. None of these alternative treatments corrected my symptoms even though my thyroid blood test levels all looked perfect. I remained with symptoms that included: exhaustion, weakness, dry skin, dry hair and digestive system problems. My mind felt like it was in a mist, I could not think completely clearly and had low blood pressure. At the start of my illness I had put a lot of weight on but as partial adrenal insufficiency became part of my issues I lost weight, became weaker and began passing out. During all this time I adjusted my diet and went gluten and dairy free and looked after my nutrition also. I investigated many other things. I had amalgam removal to reduce potential mercury toxicity and did some chelation to remove any cellular mercury. I worked on diet and supplements to resolve any gut integrity issues. Nothing helped or even made any noticeable difference to my symptoms.
I was eventually prescribed T3 only and then I began to get well but it took me three years to begin to know how to use T3 correctly. In total it took me about 10 years to recover from the start of my hypothyroidism. I lost a decade of my life when my children were young. It then took me another 10 years to be able to reflect on and communicate my experience with T3 and how T3 could be used safely and effectively.
My background was in science and applied research. Consequently, my approach to solving my health issue was to turn my attention to endocrinology and the understanding of how thyroid hormones actually work within the body. I used these investigations to work out how recover from thyroid disease and this work led to the writing of my books 'Recovering with T3' and 'The CT3M Handbook'.
Sometimes T3 only treatment is the only one that will work, even if thyroid hormone blood test results look excellent when the patient is taking synthetic T4 or T4/T3 combination therapy. This conclusion is very clear to me from my own experience and from communicating over many years with hundreds, perhaps thousands now, of thyroid patients all over the world. Some issues cannot be seen through blood tests because they occur deeply within the cells of the body. In these cases the biologically active thyroid hormone T3 needs to be present in high levels in the bloodstream with little or no competition from T4 or reverse T3 in order for enough T3 to become active in the cells.
Thyroid Blood Test Results on T3 Treatment
I have used T3 only now for around seventeen years supported by my family doctor and endocrinologist. Hashimoto's thyroiditis has destroyed my own thyroid gland. Consequently, the 60 micrograms of T3 I take per day in four separate doses produces rather strange thyroid blood test results even though I am perfectly well. My TSH is near 0 mU/L. My FT3 is between 8 and 9 nmol/L (top of my labs' range is around 6.5) and my FT4 is near 0 pmol/L. Most family doctors and endocrinologists would be extremely unhappy with these results and say I was hyperthyroid or even suffering from thyrotoxicosis but I am not. At the cellular level my body is getting just the right amount of FT3 I need, even though in my bloodstream it is high. This raises a fundamental point that is at the heart of many issues in thyroid treatment today. Laboratory testing of thyroid hormones and simplistic diagnostic work based on this is leaving many thyroid patients with chronic symptoms associated with hypothyroidism. Sometimes, thyroid blood test results should not be the focal point for a doctor trying to get a thyroid patient well. Sometimes, the patient and their symptoms and response to treatment should be the focus and thyroid blood test results should be secondary at best.
My T3 Dosage Management Process and CT3M
The 'Recovering with T3' book presents a safe, effective and systematic process for using the T3 thyroid hormone when other forms of thyroid hormone replacement have failed. The T3 Dosage Management Process that the book presents is a method for using T3 in divided doses in order to provide only enough T3 at any time to rectify the patient's symptoms. This method covers basic diagnostic lab work that needs to be performed, supplementation with important vitamins and minerals and a detailed process that may be followed when using T3.
Part of the T3 Dosage Management Process described in 'Recovering with T3' includes a radically new protocol for using T3 in order to regulate the function of the adrenal glands and help them to function properly without the use of any adrenal steroids (like hydrocortisone) or adrenal glandulars. This protocol is called the circadian T3 method (abbreviated as CT3M).
The CT3M corrected my own adrenal function and enabled the T3 I took during the daytime to work properly. I got my health back and in the process I discovered how to use T3 optimally. The CT3M is a breakthrough and it is now being used by thyroid patients who have adrenal issues and in many cases it is allowing them to recover their health after years or even decades of illness. Those patients using natural desiccated thyroid can also use the CT3M, as this also contains T3 thyroid hormone.
Many hormones follow a circadian rhythm with a pattern of secretion that is repeated every twenty-four hours and is typically linked to our cycles of sleeping and waking, or daylight and night. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands, with a steady rise in production during the last four hours of sleep. For someone who gets up out of bed at 8:00 am, this means the highest level of cortisol production occurs between the hours of 4:00 am and 8:00 am. It is the rising level of cortisol that helps us wake up in the morning, with the highest level of cortisol in the bloodstream at around 8:00 am (for a typical person who gets up at 8:00 am). Cortisol levels then fall gradually during the day and are at their lowest between midnight and 4:00 am in the morning. The exact times may vary depending on when someone gets up in the morning (e.g. shift workers may experience a different circadian rhythm).
The Circadian T3 Method (CT3M) utilises the circadian natural action of the adrenal glands and requires thyroid medication that contain T3. Once low adrenal function has been confirmed (ideally with a twenty-four hour adrenal saliva test), then the CT3M may be used.
The basic idea behind the CT3M is to address low levels of the active thyroid hormone (T3) in the adrenal glands when they are producing their highest volume of cortisol. The CT3M is an 'adrenal boost'!
This process begins with the thyroid patient setting an alarm clock or mobile phone alarm at 1.5 hours prior to the normal time that they would get out of bed. A dose of T3 or natural desiccated thyroid medication is taken at that time and the thyroid patient then goes back to sleep. By carefully varying the time and the size of this circadian dose of T3-containing thyroid medication and assessing the results, it is possible to significantly help the adrenal glands to produce more of their hormones, including cortisol (which is often low in thyroid patients), aldosterone, DHEA etc.
In recent years there has been research that confirms that T3 thyroid hormone peaks in the body when the adrenal glands begin to work hard in the early hours of the morning. These research findings support the ideas behind the CT3M. The research article is titled “Free triiodothyronine has a distinct circadian rhythm that is delayed but parallels thyrotropin levels.” and is published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 93(6):2300-6. June 2008. A link to the abstract is: http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/93/6/2300. The research basically says that after TSH has peaked each day around midnight, that FT3 also peaks some hours later.
The CT3M is aimed at replicating nature and restoring a good level of T3 when the adrenal glands begin to produce high levels of cortisol.
You can see a video presentation of this by me on: http://recoveringwitht3.com/blog/why-circadian-t3-method-so-important-video-version
There is a text version of this also:
Such has bee the success of the CT3M that I have written 'The CT3M Handbook' in order to explain its use in more detail.
Need for Radical Changes
The medical profession still largely ignores T3 thyroid hormone replacement, sometimes due to lack of information. Very little appears to have changed in treatment practices during the years since I was first diagnosed with thyroid problems. The human cost of this slow progress is great. It is unacceptable – something has to change.
Most of these changes are straightforward, as the treatments already exist. It is important that in those cases when patients do not respond to standard thyroid treatment that thyroid hormone blood tests are not the only tool being used. The history of the patient and the symptoms and signs can be far more revealing of actual thyroid hormone action.
My hope is that doctors and thyroid patients find the information in my book and on my website of value and that it can be a part of the revolution in treatment that thyroid patients so desperately need and deserve.
My very best regards,
Resources I Provide
Here are some resources available for thyroid patients considering using T3:
1. The 'Recovering with T3' book, which is available on Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble and other Internet booksellers. This book provides a comprehensive background on T3 and its safe and effective use in the treatment of hypothyroidism that has not responded to T4 based medications (even though blood test results might be normal).
2. 'The CT3M Handbook', which is also available from Internet booksellers. This book provides more information on the Circadian T3 Method of treating partial adrenal insufficiency (adrenal fatigue).
3. My website: http://recoveringwitht3.com/, which contains a range of information on T3, my books, patient success stories and my blog.
The full list of blog posts can be found here:http://recoveringwitht3.com/blog/all
The full list of patient success stories can be found here:
4. My Facebook patient forum/discussion group for thyroid patients who want to talk about T3 use (and the use of CT3M if this is relevant to them): http://www.facebook.com/groups/RecoveringWithT3
5. My book Facebook page, which is used to communicate any new information posted on my website and any new information regarding my books or my work: http://www.facebook.com/recoveringwitht3
6. My YouTube videos and audio recordings: http://www.youtube.com/user/RecoveringwithT3/videos
7. I would always be happy to talk to doctors or other staff from within the medical profession and would be very happy to share my experiences with them.