Thyroid Update September 2016

Since I haven’t checked my thyroid levels in over a year, I decided to add a thyroid panel onto my September 2016 blood test.  I can’t report any symptoms of either hyper or hypothyroidism so there really isn’t any real reason for me to check this except out of sheer curiosity… which is pretty much the entire purpose of this site.  I thought it’d be fun to see what changes, if any, the Whole 30 would have on these numbers.

Quick Review:

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – This is the hormone your brain sends out telling your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone.  If there is too little thyroid hormone, your brain will send out more TSH, and if there is too much thyroid hormone, it will release less TSH.
  • Free T4 – This is the form of thyroid hormone sent out by the thyroid gland to regulate metabolism in the rest of the body.
  • Free T3 – A more potent form of thyroid hormone.  Tissues that receive T4 will convert it to T3 which is about 4x more potent than T4.  The reason T4 is sent out instead of T3 by the thyroid gland is because T3 only has a half life of 2.5 days where has T4 has a half life of 6.5 days.  One of the effects of T3 is:  stimulates the breakdown of cholesterol and increases the number of LDL receptors, thereby increasing the rate of lipolysis.
  • Reverse T3 (rT3) – Tissues that receive T4 can also convert it to rT3, an inactive form of T3.  This occurs in certain conditions in which your body tries to conserve energy by slowing down metabolism such as fasting, low carbohydrate intake, physical or emotional stress, illnesses, surgery etc.  Thus, under these conditions, not only will you have less overall T3 floating around, but rT3 can block T3 receptors so that the T3 you have left are even less effective.

Here are links to my past thyroid posts:



Nothing really to report here.  Everything is within the normal range.  The TSH is closer to 1 than it is to 4 which I’ve read is optimal.

The rT3 is considered higher than optimal and the Free T3 : rT3 Ratio is lower than optimal, but again, I’m not exactly sure how reputable these sources are.

While I’ve really tried to hone in on my rT3 in the past, I’ve learned to not place that much weight on it, especially since I’m asymptomatic.

The main resources I’ve found discussing rT3 are blogs and anecdotal reports, but nothing really on PubMed, except for patients in the ICU and undergoing Sick Euthyroid Syndrome, which is seen in the setting of a low Free T3.  There really isn’t anything reputable out there discussing the optimal range of rT3.

I purchased Stop the Thyroid Madness II a while back to shed some light on the subject, but it’s still sitting unread on my book shelf.

I also know that Elle Russ, the host of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Podcast just released: The Paleo Thyroid Solution, which may also provide some answers.

Unfortunately, I also have to admit that since most of my numbers are in the normal range and I don’t experience any symptoms my motivation for digging deeper into the subject just isn’t there.

We’ll see if I can even get through the stack of unread books I already have.

*Image found here.

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