I recently started taking a compounded Thyroid T3/T4. I am absolutely amazed at the difference. I found the following article that discusses compounded Thyroid meds. I never would have dreamed it could make such a difference. I have not felt this good in years. I was given the Thyroid meds by Dr. Holtorf at the Fibro and Fatigue Center in Torrance. I delayed trying it because I was afraid it would upset my stomach. Finally, earlier this week I tried it. For anyone who is very fatigued, and has the symptoms listed below, you might consider trying compounded Thyroid and see if it helps. LOW THYROID PROBLEMS Do You Have LOW THYROID? I think there are a lot of people walking around with low levels of thyroid hormone. Each person who has inadequate thyroid knows that he or she is ill. Sadly, there isn't a laboratory test that can accurately diagnose low thyroid. Oh sure, every doctor knows about measuring TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3, or T4 (thyroid hormones). Very few doctors seem to realize that the test values are practically useless. How often have you heard that, "yes, you seem to have the symptoms for low thyroid, but your lab values are in the normal range."? What good is it to know you have normal lab values if you feel bad? What do I mean "feel bad"? Here's a brief listing of a some symptoms that have been associated with low thyroid; fatigue, weight gain, low motivation and ambition, heat and/or cold intolerance, headaches and migraines, dry skin and hair, irritability, anxiety and panic attacks, hair loss, fluid retention, depression, decreased memory and concentration, unhealthy nails, brittle nails, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, low sex drive, insomnia, hives, asthma, allergies, slow healing, acne, or carpal tunnel syndrome, female problems (tumors, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, PMS, cramps, (dysmenorrhea), amenorrhea, female cancers, spontaneous abortion, cyclic seizures, dry vagina and infertility), weight problems (usually high, sometimes low), gallbladder disease (six times higher in women with excess estrogen or on birth control pills or ERT), heart disease, cancer, colon problems, low blood sugar, attention deficit disorder (ADD), adrenal exhaustion from excess secretion of adrenaline, and osteoporosis (from excess estrogen leading to excess adrenaline and then to excess cortisol) It is not uncommon for a person to experience some of the symptoms I've listed yet still have normal lab values. According to standard medical "wisdom" when this happens a person "has to learn to live with it." That isn't an acceptable answer and people with symptoms need to search for a doctor who is willing to treat symptoms instead of lab values. This is why medicine is often more of an art than science. How would someone treat low thyroid? By using simple thyroid supplements. No, not herbs and stimulants, but hormones, like T3, that actually replace the natural hormone that is inadequate. T3 is available as a commercial drug. It should be taken 3 or more times a day because it has a relatively short life in the body. Another approach is to ask a compounding pharmacist to prepare a T3 capsule in a slow release formulation. This compounding technique can extend the life of the T3 and reduce the number of times it needs to be taken every day. How would my doctor know what dose of T3 I need? This is a little tricky and it takes about a month to find a good starting dose. Here's where a good compounder can help. The doctor orders slow release T3 in a variety of strengths. The person takes the different strengths according to a schedule. At the same time he or she records some important information on a pre-printed form, including basal temperature. The doctor and the patient review the report form together and determine at which dose the patient felt the best. This is often the dose where the basal temperature is closest to normal (98.6 degrees F). The Compounder pharmacists prepare a T3 kit that contains 5 different slow release T3 strengths; 7.5mcg, 15mcg, 22.5mcg, 30mcg, and 37.5mcg. The patient takes one capsule every 12 hours and works his or her way up to stronger doses. Then, after reaching the highest dose level the process is reversed and the patient takes lower and lower doses until the capsules are gone. That's not the end of the process. As time goes on the patient may find that the symptoms have returned. In this case the doctor can order a stronger T3 dose. It is also possible for the starting dose to be too high, and it can be reduced by the doctor's order. There is no standard daily dose of T3. It changes for each person. But, when the correct dose is used the symptoms disappear. Isn't that the whole idea? The keys to this approach to low thyroid are working closely with your doctor and compounding pharmacist, accurate recording of symptoms and temperature, and patience. This approach works and it doesn't depend on laboratory results. By Larry Frieders, R. Ph. Also info below on Saliva Tests... HORMONES - ABOUT SALIVA TESTING Order Saliva Kits From Us Why test saliva? Because steroid hormones play such a vital role in maintenance of health, knowledge of an imbalance in any one or more hormones can help illuminate the cause of health problems and provide a rational basis for correcting the imbalance through diet, exercise, or hormone supplementation. Are the levels of steroid hormones in blood and saliva the same? When the various glands manufacture the steroids they are released into the bloodstream bound to carrier proteins. Only a small fraction (1-5%) of a given amount of steroid hormone breaks loose from the carrier protein in the bloodstream and is free to enter target tissues. This free or unbound hormone is what we want to measure, since it is active or bioavailable to the target tissues such as the breast, uterus, brain, and skin. Many studies in the scientific literature have shown that there is a strong correlation between the levels of steroid hormones in saliva and the bioavailable (free) levels of steroids in the bloodstream. The amount of steroid hormone that enters the salivary ducts and then saliva, is representative of the fraction of steroids in the bloodstream that are bioavailable to other tissues in the body. Further, the hormones are lipid soluble molecules. That means they dissolve in oil or fat - not in water. Blood cells are enclosed in a membrane that is high in fat so the hormones easily “hitch a ride” on blood cells. When you get a “blood test” the laboratory actually tests the serum, the water part of the blood. There is little if any hormone dissolved in this portion of the blood. Dr. John Lee said that by looking at blood (serum actually) you are looking in the wrong place! Blood and serum tests regularly give inaccurate readings. Dr. Zava - head of ZRT Laboratories in Oregon - did a study where he administered a dose of progesterone to a woman. It was applied to her skin. He then began an hourly test of both saliva and blood. After 4 hours the saliva progesterone level had risen significantly. The blood test for progesterone was relatively flat - showing no significant change. After peaking the saliva levels began to decline and some 8 hours later the levels were about where they were before the patient applied the progesterone cream. The blood test never changed during this time. Advantages of saliva vs. blood testing of steroid hormones. Saliva collection is easy, can be done anywhere, any time and at a much lower cost. Serum hormone testing is stressful, and the stress of a blood draw can sometimes alter the result. Blood has to be drawn at a doctor's office or drawing station, and it is more difficult to obtain samples at the desired times (e.g. early am), multiple times through the day or late evening. There is also an extra cost involved in drawing blood, independent of the cost for the test itself. Hormones in saliva are exceptionally stable, allowing wide latitude in collection and shipment. Samples can be stored at room temperature for at least a week without loss of activity, so samples can be shipped to the testing facility by regular mail. Blood, on the other hand, must be kept cool on ice packs, increasing costs for shipping as well as the likelihood of error due to improper handling. Finally, as outlined in the following section, saliva hormone testing allows you to take more control over your own health. Saliva testing may help you to gain insight into health problems before you see your doctor. It will also allow you to monitor an OTC hormone supplementation program (e.g. natural progesterone cream and DHEA are widely available at health food stores) if improvement in quality of life, disease prevention, or anti-aging is your goal. How Can Saliva Hormone Tests Help You? There are several ways salivary hormone tests can help you to take responsibility for, and optimize your health. The first way is to help identify possible causes of health problems. Depending on the specific hormones involved, certain symptoms or groups of symptoms are usually present when hormonal imbalance exists. For example, contrary to popular belief, depression is not caused by a prescription drug deficiency, but it can be caused by an imbalance between estrogens and progesterone, low androgens like DHEA and testosterone, or high cortisol. Genetics, dietary factors or other environmental factors may cause this imbalance, in turn. Accordingly, depression might also be reversed by supplementation with the appropriate hormone(s) and attention to other factors; hormone testing can be used to guide this therapy. If hormone balance is restored but symptoms persist, then one has to look elsewhere for the cause. Hormone testing can be used to guide supplementation, to determine if an oral hormone supplement such as DHEA is being absorbed, and if the dosage is appropriate. Bioavailability of oral hormonal supplements can vary widely. The saliva test can also help you evaluate if estrogens are well balanced with progesterone following progesterone cream supplementation. Too much estrogen, relative to progesterone, leads to excessive tissue proliferation, whereas too much progesterone in the absence of adequate estrogen can exacerbate estrogen deficiency problems. Saliva hormone testing can also be vital for rational disease prevention and anti-aging programs. Testosterone, for example, is an important hormone in both sexes, for the maintenance of cardiovascular and bone health. Identification of a low testosterone level and correction with diet, exercise, and/or hormone supplementation could help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Anti-aging medicine is still in its infancy, but hormone supplementation is an important aspect of anti-aging; restoration and maintenance of hormone parameters at youthful levels is one strategy that may extend your health span (span of healthy, productive years). Hormone testing is crucial for this approach as it is imperative not to exceed levels that might lead to adverse side effects. We are a provider for ZRT Laboratories. That means you can get your test kits from us. Why would you buy them from us rather than directly from ZRT? We do a personal follow-up with each person after we’ve received the test results. In a short telephone conversation we help the client identify their primary symptoms and we recommend a course of action that may help in resolving those problems. After our conversation we will prepare a written summary of the conversation. We will also make specific recommendations for working toward resolving any imbalances. This is in ADDITION to the responses added to your report by the laboratory. Your laboratory results and our written summary are mailed to you within a few days of our conversation. You are encouraged to share this recommendation with your doctor. If the doctor would then like to order some hormone replacements - using only natural, or bioidentical, hormones, we would be delighted to compound them for you. We only compound medicines. If your doctor wants to prescribe one of the commercial preparations you will need to contact another pharmacy. We offer all of the hormone tests available from ZRT. For people who have not had their levels tested previously we strongly recommend the Basic Panel of 5 tests (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-S, and cortisol). You collect a saliva sample as per the instructions provided and package it. Then contact UPS using the toll free number provided and arrange to have your sample picked up. This is part of your total fee (test plus S&H). UPS will pick up the sample and deliver it to ZRT within 48 hours. Please plan to perform your test on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and send it right away. Sending over a weekend is not recommended.