Very seldom do I run across an article or miracle cure on the internet but here goes. I live outside of Philadelphia and have been ill since I was 30 however I fought through the misery of life while being an executive from Long Island, NY. I was the type A, successful executive. At thirty I knew I had hypothyroidism, and was not believed until the level reached a point that was coined “Off the Wall.” I do not believe in 1988 that any doctor wanted to reveal just what my level was but I know it was horrific and I believe I was in the throes of Myxedema. After the start of Synthroid at 100 mcg immediately I had a variety of peculiar symptoms. I could not seem to tolerate the T4. At 41 I changed life and my life spiraled down hill. Unrelenting fatigue bordering on feeling like I could literally not sustain my life anymore. I was passing out but unlike most hypothyroid people I kept loosing weight. I am now 54 and spent the last 10 years disabled with DDD, Sjogrens Syndrome, nod ules in multiple organs. Just barely hanging on. Exactly one week to the day I was placed on T-3 by an endocrinologist * in Schuylkill County, PA. More or less a backward area medically. I had spent years with different Endo’s from Hospital of University of Penna to other renowned Endo’s. Everyone stated, “You know your problems are not always your thyroid.” OK, I figured I knew my business and they knew theirs. I went on a search for over 10 years spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to figure out what was wrong with me. I have been on some nasty drugs and I still am. Steroids, Plaquenil, Klonopin. I took the first dose of T-3 last Monday. This drug is my MIRACLE! I know longer feel like I have dementia, I am eating again, the weight loss has stopped, I am cooking again, I am cleaning again. The state of California is lucky to have you. I could never fully explain my plight in an email as my life for years felt like it was over. If another doctor told me I was sufferi ng from depression I knew I could no longer be civil tongued with this professional and I was not. Why, was this malady able to ruin a successful life, put me in bed, and at 54 I will be starting all over again. Why does the medical profession go strictly on lab numbers. My labs showed a decreased T3 without any care just and increase in Synthroid or Levothyroxine. My nodules are in the lungs, kidney and liver. They are very small but I am concerned. I read that T3 is not converted by the thyroid but by these specific organs. Correct me if I am wrong. How after one dose was I able to function again after years of Doctors looking at me like I was malingering? This was why I gave up a high powered career? For something as innocuous as insufficient T3? Thank you for your knowledge and listening to your patients. How many doctors will treat you without a lab to support the diagnosis? Not many. Time to pick up the pieces of a broken life. Thank you for your knowledge. Your patien ts are incredibly lucky.
*Ralph H Starkey, MD
100 N Academy Avenue
Danville, PA 17822-9800
Hi Dr. Morris:
I was just thinking of you. It has been a crazy month or so and I was going to charge my cell phone and check my messages. I am so bad at charging my phone since our Yorkie ate my charger and I have to bother my teenager for her charger. Dr. Morris, this is what my month has been like.
After starting the T-3 I noticed an immediate improvement in all aspects of my life, however it was not all wine and roses for me personally. I started noticing pains in my bones and muscles which I attributed to potassium loss. I was correct in my assumption. I was able to obtain potassium citrate in capsule form in a health food store and was able to open the capsules and mix in orange juice. After three days the cramping and pain subsided and I attributed this to loss potassium loss. This is not the first time this has happened to me. After I began treatment at 30 years of age on Synthroid and had an unusual adverse reaction to the T-4 which no one was able to explain I also lost potassium. From what I have read, it is pretty rare to have hypokalemia. Well, add that to the list of health issues that I supposedly have.
I am still taking the potassium citrate to offset the imbalance. I am back to normal and feeling great since the addition of T-3. I do not understand this drug and I still believe it is a miracle. I have spent much time researching this drug since we last spoke and I see mixed reviews and the issue that this is big with body builders. Possibly, this is the reason that the medical profession is reluctant to prescribe it which is unfortunate for those who require this when thyroid issues are major problem.
I can’t begin to tell you the improvements but they are vast and I am actually almost in disbelief of the action of this medication. I have not felt this good since I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis back in 1988. I know if this had been administered years ago my life would not have become a nightmare. I had approximately 8 fairly functional years during this time period but struggled every day getting out of bed and then having difficulty staying awake while driving. So, my health was never really up to par. I had a child later in life at thirty seven pushing thirty eight. This is when things spiraled out of control. In my life, I had multiple endocrinologists assisting me regarding the control of my thyroid issues especially while being pregnant. I did have a wonderful endocrinologist during this time but as health plans changed through my career so did my physicians.
I would like to tell you a statement my cousin made while she was in town many years ago. [She]is a Registered Nurse from Ohio and I expressed the problems I was having taking Synthroid. She asked me a question which in retrospect I did not understand. The question was why was I taking strictly T-4 and I told her directly that this was what was prescribed. She had mentioned another drug at the time that I should look into however this was never done. I believe that I had the reasoning that doctors had all the answers. Later in life, I learned otherwise. I should have taken her advice.
This disease is familial ranging from hypothyroidism to hyperthyroidism on both sides of my family so we all had some form of thyroid disease. My mother was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor in 1980 which was surgically removed. I believe endocrine problems are truly a problem within our family.
To the issue at hand and how the T-3 has affected my life since beginning the Lyothyronine T-3 on March 25, 2013 the list of improvements in my health are extensive. I was diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome in December of 2011 and thought finally I am not imagining my health problems and started the medication hydroxychloroquine and was on low dose prednisone 5 mg. per day. The joint pain subsided along with the rib pain but I still was not right and knew there was still an issue with my health. So the frustration continued. The past year was a disaster with a multitude of strange symptoms from bleeding to SOB to inability to walk and I was feeling as though I must be dying. I assumed I had some form of cancer. Finally my Rheumatologist called and stated my issue appears to be metabolic and to see an endocrinologist. I was lucky to get a next day appointment. The fact I got an appointment the next day with an endocrinologist is amazing as the usual wait is 6 months.
A battery of tests were performed. Starting with a cortisol challenge, Aldosterone serum challenge, Free T-3, Free T-4 and the usual TSH. For the past 10 years or so my TSH level was spiking and dropping and no endocrinologist was able to regulate the hormones.The issue that was found was a high TSH 20.29 which actually had dropped from a prior level of 27. My T-4 came back into range from being high a few months prior .However, the T-3 was 1.7 with a range of 2.6 – 4.4 Pg/ml. T-3 has a tight range to begin with and I now wonder where prior test levels were within that range for years. Mostly, I was tested for TSH only or TSH and T-4. The endocrinologist phoned me and advised I would be started on T-3 as an additional treatment. I knew this was a component of the thyroid and was not surprised since my father had the same issues a year prior while in a nursing home. Only, he was not treated with T-3 which was unfortunate.
While going through this issue I continually lost weight, had a very low blood pressure and heart rate. I used to make jokes with the medical techs that if they could not find a blood pressure I promised that I was still alive. I was also asked if I was a runner with such a low heart rate. Believe me, physical exercise was not an option for me as getting out of bed was my biggest physical challenge. I became increasingly forgetful as though I was going through a form of dementia. I had issues with not being able to use my computer keyboard because I could not remember where the letters were and feeling as though I was stroking out. Chest pain and jaw pain was a recent issue when the Synthroid was increased. I do, most definitely attribute those chest pains with the increase in T-4. A stress test was performed and of course nothing significant showed. Again, I could almost here the doctors saying, poor thing she must be having mental issues. I fortunately knew otherwise. I started to literally dry up. Everything pointed to Sjogren’s Syndrome. Dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin, constantly needing water, choking on my food unless I had something to wash it down. The strangest sensation I had quite a few years ago was the feeling of tightness in the throat almost as though someone was strangling me. I knew it was thyroid but again I was always told everything is fine.
Since the T-3 was added to the T-4 component these are the improvements: I am finally producing saliva, fluids have returned to normal levels in my body. My blood pressure is 117/70, my heart rate is now 85. I am gaining weight. I can walk without gasping for air. My extreme weakness which was causing me to stop what I would be doing along with the sensation I was going to pass out has left. I am able to cook again and stand for an extended period of time without having to sit down. I am able to fix my hair without my arms feeling like they weigh a ton. I am wearing makeup again as I have the energy to stand in front of a mirror. I look like I did 15 years ago. There are many other personal improvements which are sensitive in nature that I would rather not divulge to the world. My appetite has finally returned. Remember, that I was losing weight at a very quick pace. This medication returns the body to homeostasis. Whether the issue is weight loss or weight gain. My daughter is amazed at the improvement. I would like to let you know that I am sensitive to medication and have been for years so I am still on a low dose of T-3 which is 5 mcgs. twice per day. Since T-3 has a short half life I can feel when I need the next dose. My body actually screams out for the second dose.
I am tapering off prednisone slowly as I was on a low dose for over two years. I am going off the hyrdroxychloroquine for Sjogrens Syndrome. A Rheumatologist from my area stated that the positive result of Sjogrens could have been Hashimoto’s, well after a multitude of endocrinologists stating that there was nothing wrong with my thyroid I completely dismissed his opinion. I was certainly incorrect in doing that. He was correct. I return to the Endocrinology Group in Pennsylvania on June 21st for follow up levels. I am now questioning the newest, latest illness that they are pushing on women which is Sjogren’s Syndrome. I had every symptom of this disease as well as a positive result. I am not altogether convinced that this disease is not a form of hypothyroidism and the medical community will not modify the serum ranges to diagnose hypo or hyperthyroidism effectively. Along with Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s disease. I believe it is time to modify these critical diagnostic serum ranges to diagnose a debilitating disease that women suffer from in silence because of the possibility they may be seen as mentally unstable or suffering from hypochondria. I lived this for twenty five years. I have always been an advocate for women. I spent years competing in a man’s field and was highly successful even while being ill as I always had the drive to be the best I could be. However, there does come a time when you can no longer mentally fight this malady and you will suffer the consequences.
I am still suffering with sleep issues at this time and hope to get that under control soon. I do not have a definitive diagnosis on the small nodules in various organs. But I do wonder what the outcome will be in the future and if there may be a link. These nodules could be a multitude of things but for now nothing definitive. They have been watched for awhile now but high contrast imaging can show up the most innocuous details.
I am not an advocate for any drug on the market. I can only express to you what I have struggled with to the best of my ability. I am a true believer in this medication, this drug has changed my life. I still suffer with severe osteoarthritis and wonder what T-4 has done to my bones for 25 years as I cannot absorb vitamin D-3 appropriately. There are a significant amount of unknowns regarding my health issues but I can state, without doubt, that the addition of Liothyronine (T-3) probably saved my life and gave me quality of life back. I contacted Dr. Michael Morris at the end of March when I was searching the internet for information on this drug and wanted to validate what his opinion was of this drug. His medical opinion is certainly right on target and I felt the need to express what I had lived through. Imagine what I could have accomplished with his help instead I am trying to pick up the pieces of my life at 54 going on 55. Years without answers. I hope my life’s experiences can change at least one person’s life. I would like to wish Dr. Morris my best in all of his endeavors and know that he is accurate in his assessment and knowledge. I would like to thank Dr.Morris personally for taking the time to discuss this medication with me in depth as his expertise has helped me get through some difficulties along the way. I wish I would have had the option to see Dr. Morris as a patient but unfortunately we are on opposite sides of this great country.
Hi Dr. Morris:
You don’t hear from me in a month and now you can’t get rid of me. I read your site completely tonight as I was able to take a few minutes out of my evening after dinner. Interesting how the established patient care when I was a child completely went out the window with the now accepted practices of the original HMO’s. I would continually say to my daughter how easy medical care was back in the early sixties when I was a child. I walked down the end of my block to the corner doctor’s office in Philadelphia, the city of row homes, the best built homes in the country. Solid as a rock. I was able to get my child’s wooden office chair after my doctor’s family passed away. The new owner’s tossed out the little antique chair I used to sit on as a child. I grabbed that up in an instant. Along with tuning forks, stethoscope, medicine and medicine bottles from the twenties. I accidentally brought home in a trash bag a square canister of Dilaudid. Got two huge spider bites going through the treasures that were discarded. Patient medical records, old love letters, an eye chart that still had a patent pending mark on it. B & D needles, glass syringes it was a treasure trove. I sold most on ebay and trashed the Dilaudid as I think it was about 30 years old and it scared me half to death that I had that in my possession. Anyway, I digress, my long lost childhood. I understand exactly what you said about the patient care of today. The care has become sterile and unacceptable. These are the great strides we made in medicine? You are to be commended for your maverick style medical practice. Really, it is old style, compassionate medical care. Oh, what a novel idea.
I got to thinking regarding the Cytomel and the dosage and I believe that the severe weight loss of my body no longer requiring nutrients to sustain it was the reason I tolerate the low dosage. I am 5’8″ tall and weighed in at 122 pounds at the end of March. I am 126 pounds now. Pretty amazing, huh? I am still perplexed why the mainstream medical profession will not let this cat out of the bag. I know why and you know why. But I just have to say it. How many medical professionals, diet corporations are you going to put out of business?? You really have the guts that most physicians do not have. I truly believe in your treatment plan. I know that you are aware that you are up against a huge wall to hurdle against the money oriented medical society. You are exactly what they do not want. You are interfering in Big Pharma regarding statin drugs, blood pressure drugs, the all questionable disease fibromyalgia which we know is really not a disease in and of itself but a response to a disease process and CFS is in that same category. Funny when my thyroid crashed that I was diagnosed with both but could not tolerate the T-4 medication as my body went into some kind of bizarre overdrive. Never did understand that but I do now. I was always interested in medicine and medications when my mother became ill with a pituitary tumor in 1980. I did a lot of research regarding this from researching corticosteroids to multiple endocrine neoplasia. I had a fascination with medicine but ended up selling machine tools. Go figure. I asked this current endo what happened in 1988 that I could not tolerate T-4, no answer. I even recanted that to his nurse as she was drawing the cortisol challenge test that he did not answer me. Yes, I am a pistol, people either love me or dislike me as I am not the traditional woman. I question everything. I know I saved my mother’s life while severely ill and watched the mistakes made by doctors. I called them on the carpet for failure to effectively express to my mother how to read a chart to determine her peripheral vision loss. The nurse looked at me as though I had six heads and was frightened of me for pointing this out. After the doctor was finished he turned to me and apologized. I was 19 years old at the time and he was about 65. The nurses face at this point was bright red.
If we do not fight for what is right in this lifetime what good are we and what will we leave as our legacy. I admire your uphill battle. Don’t give up the ship. I am not sure where you originally lived in CAL. My sister lived in Humboldt County about a year and a half ago for just a short while. You know, the green triangle. I heard it was lovely there. My sister was a fish out of water however, her old hippy days I suppose were gone forever and she just did not fit in with the people any longer and she has a severe fear of winding roads. Guess this was not the place to move to for her. My sister turned 63 today. She is the healthy one of the three of us. My middle sister is in very bad shape. She is almost crippled. I just wanted to chat off the record about your plight and how I admire what you are trying to accomplish. It is a noble cause. Have faith, you are on to something bigger than what some very powerful organizations want you to be on to. Don’t give up I intend to read about this famous Doctor in San Bernardino one day. We both know what this medication is capable of. I learned first hand. You have guided people to it. This fell in my lap quite unexpectedly. This endo is close to your age as well. Obviously, both from the same school of thought. I will keep you posted. Keep up the great work. Obesity is a dreadful disease. I know the opposite, anorexia caused from myxedema. Neither are pretty and both are deadly. Keep up your life’s passion. It is all very amazing.
Hi Dr. Morris:
I just picked up your email. Thank you for the extensive information and at no charge. (HaHa). Dr. Morris, I have always been an advocate of HRT and low and behold they ripped that out of my medicine cabinet. I felt energized an clear headed and it was given to me for bone issues as I went through menopause early at 42 years old. Life seemed to especially tank at that point. I have Glucosamine in the medicine cabinet giving the cabinet strong bones and not me. I believe it is time to start on the Glucosamine as well.
I know you are probably amazed at the low dose of T-3 however as I said I am not one who tolerates medicine really well and I will take it slow with the increase. Something I don’t understand is why they increased the T-4 along with adding T-3. If they are trying to suppress the pituitary gland from pumping out the TSH hormone why increase it when the T-3 is trying to reduce the level. Oh, questions, I just wonder about the mainstream medical profession. Sorry, take no offense to that statement it is not directed at you. I know where you are coming from with respect to your medical expertise and you are fighting an uphill battle against mainstream medicine. I wish you luck with that. You know your industry wields ultimate power. I know this T-3 is quite amazing. I really know it. Why the secret in the medical profession regarding this drug? I am sure I know the answer and it is a rhetorical question. You can certainly use my email without my cousin’s name if you like. I hope this is confirmation enough to let people know that this is truly a miracle medicine, at least in my case.