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.