Find out what reverse T3 is and why it matters to thyroid health.
In this article:
- What Is Reverse T3?
- What Causes T3 Imbalances?
- What Is Low Reverse T3?
- What Is High RT3?
- Try Getting a Test
Reverse T3 | What Role Does It Play in Thyroid Health?
What Is Reverse T3?
Many people may be unfamiliar with reverse T3 (RT3). It’s understandable since it’s one of the least common thyroid hormones.
Most know thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). There’s also extensive research on both of these over the years.
RT3, meanwhile, has not had as much research done about it. What is it?
The National Academy of Hypothyroidism (NAHIS) defines it as an inactive (mirror form) of T3 that can inhibit its function. Its primary role in the body and health is to maintain balance among the thyroid hormones.
When the thyroid is doing well, 40% of T4 converts to T3 while only about 20% becomes reverse T3.
If the gland doesn’t function the way it should, the ratios can change significantly. In turn, it can have a profound impact on the patient’s overall health and well-being.
What Causes T3 Imbalances?
T3 imbalance occurs when the thyroid glands are not working properly. It’s not the root cause, though.
There are many conditions that may influence T3 levels. These include:
- Chronic stress (which increases cortisol production)
- Chronic fatigue
- Acute illnesses
- Iron deficiencies
- Lyme disease
- Chronic inflammation
- Low cortisol (which causes adrenal fatigue)
The longer the body deals with these types of conditions, the greater the strain on the thyroid becomes. It then increases the risks of imbalances.
RELATED: Iodine Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, And Treatment
What Is Low Reverse T3?
Low reverse T3 develops when the body is producing too much T3 and not enough RT3. This situation usually appears alongside a condition called hyperthyroidism, which occurs due to an overactive thyroid.
Patients who have this may feel like they are constantly ready to go. They tend to have a large amount of excess energy.
On the downside, they are prone to agitation, irritability, and nervousness. They may experience feelings of stress all the time.
Low Reverse T3 Symptoms
Patients who have too little RT3 can develop hyperthyroidism. This condition comes with a variety of common high T3 reverse levels symptoms that may include:
- Trembling hands
- Excessive sweating
- Sensitivity to warm temperatures
- Hair loss
- Missed or light menstrual periods
How to Fix Low RT3
You may increase the low reverse T3 levels by taking T3 supplements to solve the hormonal imbalance.
For those with hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease, a doctor may prescribe an anti-thyroid medication. Another option is using radioactive iodine.
Graves’ Disease Definition: It is a thyroid autoimmune disorder that results in the overproduction of the thyroid hormones. A distinct feature is the protrusion or bulging of the eyes.
What Is High RT3?
High reverse T3 occurs when the body produces too little T3 and too much reverse T3. It may appear alongside hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid. It may result in the individual feeling sluggish and tired all the time.
High Reverse T3 Symptoms
High RT3 symptoms may vary from person to person. Often, they include the following:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Constant fatigue
- Pain in joints and muscles
- Feeling cold all the time
- Heavy periods (with greater frequency)
- Dry skin and hair
- Inability to focus or concentrate
High reverse T3 symptoms can interfere with job performance and quality of life if the person doesn’t seek treatment. Some people may experience unexplained weight gain as a side effect of this condition as well.
How to Fix High Reverse T3
One of the most common methods for treating high reverse T3 is consuming synthetic T3, but it may have some side effects.
Another option is a more holistic approach to thyroid healing. The supplement may help optimize the conversion of T4 into T3 to restore balance.
Try Getting a Test
RT3 is something many thyroid tests fail to include. It could be because some still doubt its value to thyroid health.
People who want to see if they have an imbalance can purchase a reverse T3 test online. This exam can inform them if they have a problem with their reverse T3 being high or low.
Learning this information can help people determine whether they want to seek a physician’s advice for treatment or consider supplements. It may also compel their physician to perform more extensive thyroid tests.
Watch the video by Dr. Richard Hagmeyer D.C below and learn the importance of the T3/Reverse T3 ratio as explained by Dr. Hagmeyer of the Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolilc Solutions:
While there is still much to learn or discover about RT3, it still plays a significant role in the thyroid gland’s function. Performing regular check-ups on it and the other thyroid hormone may help prevent disorders or complications.
Did you try taking an RT3 online test? Share your experience in the comments section below.
Up Next: How Guggul Can Affect Thyroid Function