HealthHub Login

Symptoms of High Reverse T3 You Need To Know About

By Lucy Rose Clinic

September 27, 2020

Many people who struggle with thyroid symptoms but have been told they are ‘normal’, have a hidden problem that doctors don’t test for.

Reverse T3!

Anyone who has had a thyroid test with our clinic knows about reverseT3 (rT3).

This hormone is an inactive thyroid hormone, but there are several reasons that it can become a problem, and once it is elevated, it usually can not reduce itself back to a healthy range.

When high, weight gain is just one factor that leads to poor health. Read on to discover the root causes of rT3 dominance!

Signs and symptoms of rT3 dominance

Are you struggling with any of these?

  • Persistent fatigue.
  • Sensitive to cold weather, or feeling cold all the time.
  • Difficulty losing weight, or gaining weight easily.
  • Thinning hair, and noticeable hair loss.
  • Low blood pressure, and heart palpitations.
  • Slower than normal pulse rate.
  • Mood swings.
  • Depression.
  • Brain fog.
  • Poor memory and concentration.
  • Swelling around the throat.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • For women, menstrual problems, or irregular periods.
  • Dry Skin
  • Sluggish digestion, and constipation.
  • Face, hands and feet are swollen and puffy.
  • Low libido

Why does this happen?

Elevated RT3 occurs in several scenarios. Sometimes more than one can be playing out:

  1. Too much stress. Adrenal hormones need to be tested to complete the clinical picture and discover if the adrenals are the causative factor. Sensitive functional pathology testing is needed to test cortisol pattern at 3 points of the day, as well as DHEA and Melatonin.
  2. Calorie restriction – as the test above shows, eating too little to try to maintain weight eventually backfires. Once rT3 is up, weight will not budge even on as little as 500 calories a day.
  3. Long standing infections – Gut issues, post-viral syndrome, bacteria imbalances (SIBO or dysbiosis), chronic diarrhea – are all examples of infections that can cause rT3 dominance.
  4. Systemic low-grade inflammation – many causes – autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia, arthritis. Food intolerances, Poor diet etc.
  5. Genetics – To help genetic expression become more health affirming and favourable, holistic health incorporates diet, stress management, and targeted detox strategies to reduce tissue toxin loads.
  6. Poor liver function – Even if liver enzyme levels are in normal range, there can still be sub-optimal liver function affecting weight loss, digestion, mood and thyroid hormone conversion. Plus a lot more!
  7. Autoimmune Thyroiditis – such as Hashimoto’s or Grave’s need to be managed to reduce antibody titers. We have seen an increase in autoimmune thyroid test results of a massive 40%!

Treatment approaches

Conventional medicine does not regard rT3, and this test is not on the Medicare list of cost covered testing.

You need a functional practitioner such as an integrative doctor, naturopathic doctor or functional medicine practitioner with specific training in functional thyroid screening and treatment.

The Lucy Rose Clinic focuses on functional thyroid assessment and treatment, so if you want to learn more about this, book a free consultation and we can get you set up for testing.

Treatment needs to address the 7 key causes listed above, and a treatment plan put in place to rebalance the system and reduce the reverse T3 in the blood.

Retesting the thyroid hormones in 3 months is advisable to ensure levels are in range.

For some patients who do not respond to treatment, referral to an integrative doctor for medical treatment will be advised.

See an example test result of rT3 dominance below:

Steps to correcting rT3 dominance

  1. Thorough functional pathology
  2. Nutritional correction, particularly iodine, selenium, zinc and magnesium
  3. Herbal medicine to guide the body and hormones to better function
  4. Diet correction – this may be following a food intolerance report, anti-inflammatory program, or detox program.
  5. Follow up appointments and testing to ensure treatment success and adjust program as needed.

The good news is that reverse T3 dominance is pretty common, and very responsive to treatment.

If you feel that your thyroid is behind any symptoms of fatigue, weight gain or foggy thinking, book a free call in now and discuss your options with one of our amazing and highly trained health professionals.


Related Content


Does PCOS end at menopause?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterised by hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries. While

Read More

Thyroid and ADHD Connection

Children’s health can be complex, influenced by the growth of the mind & body, and today’s article explores the potential link between thyroid and ADHD,

Read More