Can I take my desiccated thyroid or T3 once a day?
Dr. Friedman uses various different treatments for hypothyroidism. A traditional treatment is to give a preparation of levothyroxine, such as Synthroid, Levoxyl, or Unithroid. This can be given once a day because the T4 has a long half-life, which means it stays in your body for a long time. However, Dr. Friedman also uses combination therapy that would include T4 plus T3, which is also called Cytomel. He also prescribes desiccated thyroid, which comes from pig thyroid and has T4 and T3 in it. The T3, either when given alone or when given as part of desiccated thyroid, has a short half life, which means that it disappears form the body in a couple hours.
Therefore, if you take your desiccated thyroid, or your T3 preparation, once a day in the morning, it is gone by the late afternoon and is certainly gone by the next morning. This will give you a period of hypothyroidism in the evening and next morning, and most people will feel worse on this. To overcome this problem, the T3, or the desiccated thyroid, needs to be given twice a day. The second dose is given in the mid-to-late afternoon and will be around in the evening, and some of it will still be around in the next morning in time for the next dose.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to make an appointment or visit Dr. Friedman’s website at goodhormonehealth.com.