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Re: T3 / T4 in combo or alone ?! any responders ?

Posted by BLPBart on May 8, 2002, at 1:51:40

In reply to T3 / T4 in combo or alone ?! any responders ?, posted by ben on May 5, 2002, at 6:48:50

> What is the better augmentation strategy in unipolar/monopolar depression ? There are studies saying T3 alone is better than T4 alone. Other pdocs recommend a combo of both ? Does it matter if there is a defiency in thyroid hormones or not ?
> Are thyroid hormones really turbo boosters for physical drive ? What to do with more physical drive so I am afraid that thyroid addition will make me more anxious/nervous and sleep disruption as well. I am looking more for mood boost because better mood leads to more physical drive. And not the other way !
> So the question is if thyroids boosts mood as well as drive ?

I did quite a bit of research about this a few months ago because I was trying to convince my doc to add thyroid because of extreme fatigue. This is what I found:

Most docs will test your blood TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels to determine if you have an over or underactive thyroid. If it falls between about .5 and 5, they consider you normal and don't want to consider thyroid issues. There is some research out there now that indicates that the current range may be too broad and that it's skewed towards the higher numbers because the averaging was done a long time ago when they couldn't diagnose people who had mildly underactive thyroids so their TSH levels got averaged in. What I've read is that ideal TSH levels are probably in the 1-2 range. Additionally, some people will have what's considered "normal" TSH levels but if the doctor was to measure actual free T3 and free T4 levels, they find that these hormones are actually too low. This is a case where people who may have mildly underactive thyroids are not diagnosed and can be suffering fatigue and depression as a result. For people who get treated for these conditions, most doctors give synthetic T4 (Synthroid) because the theory is that your body will transform the T4 into T3 and you'll get both. A lot of patients, however, say that they feel better taking the old-fashioned Armour thyroid (dessicated thyroids from pigs, I believe) which has both in it.

There has been research done on augmenting ADs with thyroid even on people who aren't considered clinically hypothyroid. This seems to be fairly successful and from what I've seen in the literature, they usually augment with Cytomel, which is T3 alone. This makes sense, since the human thyroid produces about 80% T4 and 20% T3. The T4, however, is simply a precursor to the T3 which is the active form of the hormone. In this case, then, they're simply giving you the active form directly which seems to help. As long as your doc monitors your T3, T4 and TSH levels and makes sure you don't go hyperthyroid, you should be fine.




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