This article discusses the symptoms of high reverse T3. But before you read further, here’s a little more about triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and reverse T3.
Under normal conditions your body naturally produces ample amounts of T4. T4 is regarded as a pro-hormone as its converted to T3, your biologically active thyroid hormone, as required.
T3 is bound less tightly than T4 in the bloodstream, and is therefore more active in the body. In essence, T3 is your metabolic driver.
What About Reverse Triiodothyronine (RT3)?
In contrast, reverse T3 has the opposite effect of T3.
Reverse T3 is an inactive form of T3. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s normal for your body to produce a certain amount of reverse T3 to help balance your metabolic rate.
Your body works hard to maintain a healthy balance of T3, and reverse T3 to keep your metabolic rate in check.
Problems arise when there’s a shift in the balance and too much reverse T3 is produced. This often occurs during periods of illness, extreme dieting, or stress. During these times conversion of T4 to T3 is inhibited, and far greater amounts of T4 are diverted towards production of reverse T3.
When your body pools reverse T3 excessive amounts of reverse T3 attach to the T3 receptor.
Reverse T3 has a similar structure to T3 so it can easily lock into the T3 cell receptor. In effect, this blocks T3 from doing its job.
High reverse T3 has a powerful effect on slowing your metabolism. As a consequence, excess reverse T3 pushes your body into a hypothyroid state which triggers a long list of low thyroid symptoms.
The Symptoms of High Reverse T3
Here is your high reverse T3 symptoms checklist:
+ You are constantly fatigued
+ You feel cold all the time
+ You have problems losing weight, or gain weight easily
+ You have low blood pressure and heart palpitations
+ You have mood swings that range from mild to severe
+ You feel down, even depressed
+ You have brain fog, and memory problems
+ You have swelling around your throat
+ You are easily irritated and get stressed out
+ Your muscles ache, or you have pains in your joints
+ You are experiencing menstrual problems, or irregular periods
+ You are sensitive to cold weather, or feel cold all the time
+ Your skin is dry and pale
+ You have sluggish digestion and constipation
+ Your hair is thin, or falls out excessively
+ Your face, hands and/or feet become swollen or puffy
+ You have lost your mojo!
I list the top 6 reasons why your body creates excess reverse T3 here on this blog post.
One of the biggest hurdles to uncovering a potential reverse T3 issue is proper testing. A problem with excess reverse T3 is easily missed if only the single Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test is performed. If you suspect you may have a T3/reverse T3 imbalance it’s critical to get comprehensive testing. I list the top 5 thyroid tests to discuss with your healthcare practitioner here.