The following article was written by I’mNotAPervert from UK-Muscle – Original post can be found here
T3 – there are a lot of myths surrounding this drug, many of which have been long debunked by scientific research and testing but yet they still stand, so I’ve taken it upon myself to help identify these myths and state what I believe to be the facts based on hard evidence and the experiences of myself and others. Naturally, some of the ideas here are going to fly in the face of seemingly popular current knowledge – however, I’m just going by my experience with this drug, my research and the good feedback I’ve gotten from others based on their results after I’ve given them advice, and will provide evidence and data where necessary. If you disagree with my interpretation of something here, feel free to disregard it and use your own judgement, other approaches do work (albeit to a lesser degree IMO) and you may indeed find that a slightly different approach sits better with you.
DISCLAIMER: The following is just advice. While T3 is generally a safe drug when used sensibly, it can be harmful and even deadly when used incorrectly. Use at your own risk and seek the advice of a qualified medical professional should you be concerned about your health before, during and/or after using thyroid drugs.
What is T3, and how is it of use to bodybuilders?
T3 is a thyroid hormone, and the main regulator of metabolism. In short, the higher your free T3 levels, the faster your metabolism and the more calories you burn as a baseline. When free T3 levels are low, the pituitary gland signals the thyroid gland to produce T4, which the body then converts to T3.
Synthetic T3 was (as with most drugs used by bodybuilders) designed as a drug for medicinal purposes, in this case for thyroid replacement therapy in those with thyroid problems. Bodybuilders have been using T3 for several decades now for its effects on the metabolism. The most popular use of T3 is to increase one’s TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure, i.e. calories burned) during a cutting phase or contest prep, and it does this very well.
Synthetic T3 is also proven to improve the way we process nutrients – it increases protein synthesis/protein turn-over rate and is also thought to improve the metabolism of carbohydrates. This obviously helps us during a dieting phase – however, because of this, the use of T3 is becoming increasingly popular during bulking cycles too. With the improved nutrient partitioning facilitated by T3, fat is less likely to be gained. The increase in protein synthesis also allows us to benefit more from a high protein diet, which in a caloric surplus can lead to increased gains.
Thyroid hormones also, in general, contribute to growth and development – seeing how us bodybuilding folk spend most of our time in a state of development and growth, it’s not hard to see why high Free T3 levels can be of use to the bodybuilder whilst running a bulking cycle. I’ll talk more on bulking cycles later.
Why T3, rather than T4? Isn’t T4 used for thyroid replacement these days?
Yes, it is. The reason for this is simple – when we use T4, the thyroid won’t convert it to T3 when there is already enough T3 in our system (unless there’s a problem with the thyroid being overactive in its conversion of T4 to T3, which is at the root of most hyperthyroid conditions). This is great for thyroid replacement therapy as it ensures that T3 levels won’t go too high, but for bodybuilders who are aiming for high T3 levels, this isn’t what we’re after. I also talked about the improved metabolisation of nutrients and so on with T3 usage – well, when we give the body T4 to convert to T3, it’ll be our natural endogenous T3 and we won’t get these extra benefits.
T4 needs to be used in quadruple amounts compared to T3 to get the same amount of T3. Based on this, in my experience, I’ve found 75mcg of T3 alone to be more effective than a comparable stack of 37.5mcg T3 and 150mcg T4.
Won’t T3 usage lead to thyroid damage?
Generally, no. Reports of thyroid damage from T3 use are extremely rare. Conversely, there are an astonishing number of studies that have proven that thyroid shutdown never actually occurs, and regardless of duration and dosage (within sensible limits) full thyroid function returns to normal within a few weeks in pretty much all cases. Studies date back to as early as the ’50s, such as a study by a guy named M Greer, that found that people misdiagnosed with thyroid conditions had their T3 withdrawn after long term use (some as long as 30 continuous years) and had their thyroid fully functioning again within 2-3 weeks of cessation.
An early study that looked at thyroid function and recovery under the influence of exogenous thyroid hormone was undertaken by Greer (2). He looked at patients who were misdiagnosed as being hypothyroid and put on thyroid hormone replacement for as long as 30 years. When the medication was withdrawn, their thyroids quickly returned to normal.
Here is a remark about Greer’s classic paper from a later author:
“In 1951, Greer reported the pattern of recovery of thyroid function after stopping suppressive treatment with thyroid hormone in euthyroid [normal] subjects based on sequential measurements of their thyroidal uptake of radioiodine. He observed that after withdrawal of exogenous thyroid therapy, thyroid function, in terms of radioiodine uptake, returned to normal in most subjects within two weeks. He further observed that thyroid function returned as rapidly in those subjects whose glands had been depressed by several years of thyroid medication as it did in those whose gland had been depressed for only a few days” (3)
These results have been subsequently verified in several studies.(3)(4) So contrary to what has been stated in the bodybuilding literature, there is no evidence that long term thyroid supplementation will somehow damage your thyroid gland.
The belief as to the reason that the thyroid is never really shut down, is because the thyroid gland was designed to go through periods of inactivity; when the levels of T3 in the body are low, the pituitary gland will send a message to the thyroid to produce T4 for the body to convert to T3. It’s not producing T4 24/7 and invariably sits dormant for extended periods of time – it’s designed to get working quickly after being inactive. The only likely reason it takes a few weeks to seemingly recover thyroid function is that, after the cessation of exogenous T3, there are going to be extremely low levels of T3 in the body, and it’s going to be a gradual process to build it back up to acceptable levels again because the body won’t want to just shoot its natural T3 levels back up immediately – it’d see this as a bit of a shock to the system, and the body doesn’t like quick, dramatic changes.
Is T3 catabolic? Do I need to use AAS with it?
In short, the answer to both these questions is yes. However, I feel that the catabolic element of this drug is highly overstated. T3 will make you look flat at higher doses on a deficit, and when people see this they assume they’ve lost muscle. However, when you raise your calories again (particularly your carbohydrates), you’ll regain some fullness pretty quickly and realise that the muscle was never actually lost.
The above isn’t to say, though, that T3 isn’t cataolic. It’s mildly catabolic on its own, and is exacerbated when things like cortisol and a caloric deficit triggering overall weight loss are thrown into the equation. However, let’s look at T3’s mode of action – it increases both protein breakdown and synthesis. With T3 on its own, the breakdown of proteins (i.e. lean tissue) will outweigh the synthesis and you’ll experience muscle catabolism. If, however, you introduce AAS (and we don’t even need that much, as we’ll look at shortly) then the breakdown/synthesis balance becomes fairly level and we no longer experience catabolism. If we then add in a caloric surplus with plenty of protein, the scales are tipped on to the side of synthesis, and T3 actually aids anabolism. Hence, it can be utilised for more favourable results on a bulk, i.e. improved lean gains and a decrease in the rate of fat gain. We’ll talk more about this later, but for now let’s look at the dosage of AAS we need in conjunction with our T3 (we’ll use the old staple, testosterone, as our example drug here).
I recommend, if we’re talking about testosterone usage, the formula of “mcg of T3 x 5 = grams of testosterone” to ensure the counteraction of the catabolic effect of T3. So, for example, taking 50mcg of T3, 250mg of test should be enough. Obviously, other steroids or pro-hormones can be stacked with, or replace, testosterone – the point was that you don’t need as much AAS to counteract the catabolism as a lot of people might think. Something I’ve also heard a lot is that trenbolone as well as clenbuterol can both combat the flatness that T3 can create during a deficit, which makes sense as these compounds tend to harden up the physique and bring more blood into the muscles, but never having tried this I can neither confirm nor deny.
I also recommend at LEAST a gram of protein for every lb of bodyweight you carry. I’ve never been an advocate of massive amounts of protein, but with T3 I truly believe you’ll benefit from a very high protein diet – not only is it essential to get plenty of protein to favourably swing the balance between the increased protein breakdown and synthesis T3 will cause, but more protein generally becomes useable by the body when using T3 and, generally, the higher the percentage of your diet that is protein (meaning less carbs and fats), the more likely you are to lose fat and less likely to store it (some people may disagree with this claim, which obviously is fine but I feel it obligatory to at least provide what I feel is a well-performed and relevant study (here) to back up my view).
How should I dose my T3 whilst cutting? Do I need to ramp up?
I’d always advise starting fairly low (50mcg max) and adding slowly increasing the dosage. At an absolute minimum Id say add in 25mcg every few days, but sensibly I’d say wait at least a week before adding in more.
If it’s a short cut (8 weeks or less) then you can start at 50mcg and add in another 25mcg every 2-3 weeks up to 100mcg, or a bit more if you’re experienced. However, for longer cuts, I’m a fan of starting low. Reason being is that you need to establish your required caloric intake to lose the amount of weight each week that you’re aiming to lose. You’ll lose a lot of water weight in the first 1-2 weeks, so these weeks can’t be used to judge whether or not you’re on track.
Weeks 3 and 4 can be used though – weigh yourself at the start of each week, first thing in the morning before eating and drinking, to get the most accurate result. If you start with 25mcg as a baseline replacement dose to keep your metabolism decent as you drop calories, you can get an accurate assessment of whether you need to decrease or increase the calories based on whether you lost less or more weight than you were aiming for. From personal experience, with T3 and a decent amount of AAS, you can be pretty aggressive and aim to lose 3lbs per week whilst still holding on to muscle mass.
After you’ve established how much you need to currently be eating to lose the desired amount of weight, it’s time to increase to 50mcg, and then add in another 25mcg every 3 weeks thereafter until the cut is complete (or stay at 75-100mcg once reached if inexperienced with T3).
Now, on my last cut I added in an extra 25mcg every three weeks. By doing this, I didn’t have to lower my caloric intake at all – I kept my intake consistent, and by adding in the extra T3 as I dropped bodyweight, the would-be lowering of my TDEE due to the decrease in weight was counteracted by the increase in TDEE by the introduction of more T3. In other words, my TDEE was pretty much kept constant throughout the last 10 weeks so there has been no need to adjust my calories to keep losing 3lbs a week, week-in week-out.
So to summarise; establish a caloric intake that allows you to lose the desired amount of weight, running 25mcg until established. Then, once established, add in 50mcg and continue to increase by 25mcg every three weeks, up to either 75mcg or 100mcg depending on where you feel comfortable, or feel free to increase further if you’re experienced. Just a note on this, actually – I’ve found that the muscle flatness and lack of pumps in the gym on 75mcg isn’t bad at all. Whereas once I hit 100mcg, it started becoming noticeable. Bare this in mind.
Do I need to taper down at the end of the cycle?
Not in the way that most people think. If you gradually lower the dose, you’re still supplying the body with T3. When you’re still supplying the body with an adequate level of T3, the recovery process cannot begin, and even 25mcg can be an adequate amount that will mean no more thyroid hormone is needed and so the thyroid won’t need to get back to work. When we factor in that the half life of T3 is thought to be around a couple of days, it makes more sense to cease the cycle and the levels of exogenous T3 in our blood will gradually decrease as the days pass. So in effect, there’s enough tapering down going on anyway.
However, there’s a more efficient approach than coming off completely. Coming off completely will leave our metabolism at rock-bottom since there’s 0 thyroid hormone and if we’re not very careful, we risk the chance of gaining back fat. So how do we go about ending our cycle?
We run a low dose of 12.5mcg for 2-3 weeks from the end of the cycle.
Running a continued dose of 12.5mcg of T3 at the end of the cycle sort of acts like a post-cycle therapy. 12.5mcg is enough to provide a bit of T3 to the body and keep the metabolism half-decent, yet at the same time isn’t nearly enough to replace what the body normally produces. So, the thyroid gland has to get back to work to make up the rest and the recovery process can begin while the 12.5mcg keeps an acceptable level of metabolic function going.
As I said above, there is no need to taper down and it would be a waste of time. Just drop down to 12.5mcg from day 1 after the cycle, and run it for 2-3 weeks. This time period will allow the thyroid to recover to normal levels whilst providing a baseline metabolism during the early stages of the recovery.
Here are my experiences with this protocol by way of blood test results:
Before ever using T3:
- Serum TSH level: 4.28 mu/L (0.35 – 5.50)
- Serum Free T4 level: 18.5 pmol/L (10.3 – 22.7)
- Serum Free T3 level: 4.7 pmol/L (3.5 – 6.5)
After a year on T3, having been on 50mcg for the last month:
- Serum TSH level: 0.15 mu/L (0.35 – 5.50) “Abnormal”
- Serum Free T4 level: 5.7 pmol/L (10.3 – 22.7) “Abnormal”
- Serum Free T3 level: 6.1 pmol/L (3.5 – 6.5)
Exogenous T3 causing suppression of my TSH and T4 levels due to replacement, 50mcg appears to be a high-replacement dose for me and is higher than my normal level theoretically meaning a boost in TDEE
3 weeks later, 3 weeks of running the 12.5mcg protocol:
- Serum TSH level: 3.81 mu/L (0.35 – 5.50)
- Serum Free T4 level: 15.6 pmol/L (10.3 – 22.7)
- Serum Free T3 level: 5.7 pmol/L (3.5 – 6.5)
Despite still being on 12.5mcg, TSH and T4 are normalised, albeit possibly mildly suppressed due to still being on 12.5mcg. T3 levels fully recovered and higher than before T3 was ever used.
I’d call my recovery a total success based on the above. I ate at what would normally be maintenance for me and gained 2lbs in weight between the start and the end of the protocol. I’d advise eating a bit below maintenance for the first week of the protocol.
Note: Here is some blood work of another UK-M user (thread here) who recently tried this protocol, suggesting full thyroid recovery:
TSH: 2.07 (0.27 – 4.2) Free T4: 16.1 (12.0 – 22.0) Free T3: 7.1 (3.1 – 6.8)
What should my diet be like when I start the above recovery protocol?
The metabolism will be fairly low on 12.5mcg. In order to ensure that you don’t get fat in the 2-3 weeks it will take to recover, you need to stay at what would normally be a deficit for you, so you need to plan this wisely. Some prefer to maintain the deficit for a few weeks until thyroid function has been restored, whereas others like to gradually increase their calories over the weeks as thyroid function returns to normal and TDEE gradually increases.
Some people like to use iodine supplements, such as sea kelp, to help recover their thyroid function. Iodine deficiency generally leads to poor thyroid function, so this idea makes sense and sea kelp is dirt cheap.
Shouldn’t you check your temperature to establish how much T3 you need?
This is an approach that has been talked about by some experts. I won’t go into detail, but in short your temperature is generally an indicator of thyroid function, and the temperature measurements are used to ensure that you’re taking the right amount of T3, as well as to establish whether or not you’ve reached the point at which thyroid function recovery will take a few weeks rather than a few days to return to normal.
Here’s my issue with this approach. Firstly, a lot of people, myself included, discover that certain (or all) types of AAS increase their body temperature. So, given that T3 is generally used with AAS for bodybuilding purposes, this can obviously skew the results of these measurements significantly. Secondly – and this is somewhat linked to my first issue – is that, if you’re going by these readings, it seems to be suggested that most people need 100mcg of T3 just as a baseline replacement dose! This is insanity if you ask me. I had bloods done whilst on 50mcg of T3 just to satisfy my curiosity – my free T3 levels came back right on the high end of normal, not far off what would have been considered hyperthyroidism, and TSH and T4 came back suppressed meaning that the thyroid was no longer working to produce T4 since there was more than enough T3 in the body already. So in other words, 50mcg for me was enough to be a high-replacement dose – I’m a tall and pretty heavy lad, so it’s of no relation to the theory that less bodyweight = less of the drug needed. Others I’ve spoken to who have had bloods done on similar amounts have had similar results. Besides that, I’ve heard of women getting the impression from temperature readings that 100+mcg is needed as a baseline even at their low bodyweights.
So yes, I’m going against what qualified science professionals have said and instead going by my own, and several others’ I know, experiences and saying that doses of 50mcg or maybe lower are indeed useful. I’m sure pretty much every thyroid specialist you’d ask would also tell you that doses of above 50mcg are going to see your free T3 levels start going out of the normal range.
I’ve heard of the 2 days on/2 days off approach – is this useful?
Not really. The idea behind this approach is to avoid adaptation by the body to the amount of T3 you’re talking – by taking your T3 two days in a row, and then having two days off, you get a high level on day 1, an even higher level on day 2, and then it gradually lowers by about half over the next 2 days before being raised again. This up and down dosing is thought to stop the “homeostasis” response and keeps the body off-balance, i.e. not allowing it to adjust to the T3.
I firmly believe the above, however, to be unnecessary. I’ve personally run the same dose for several weeks and seen no “adjustment” effect whatsoever – the results after the extended period were the same as they were on the first week. I’ve also known of several people to run the same dose for several months and not “adjust” to it. Fellow UK-M’er SelflessSelfie has ran 100mcg for 8 weeks straight and can confirm it’s still as effective on week 8 as it is on week 1.
I believe the adjustment theory comes from steroids generally being adjusted to by the body, but T3 however is different. There are also probably some that have said that the same dose will lose its effectiveness after a few weeks – however, I’d imagine that these people haven’t taken into account the drop in bodyweight and subsequent lowering of TDEE during T3 use.
So, to summarise, the 2 on/2 off approach works, but is unnecessary. It’d be easier on your system and produce identical results to just use a regular daily dose rather than doubling up for a couple of days and then having a couple off.
Is it okay to use underground lab (UGL) T3 rather than pharma?
I’ve known many to use UGL T3 and have great results. It’s certainly effective. However, you’re taking a bit of a risk. As I’m sure you’re aware, T3 is taken in mcg. That’s a 1000th of a mg, and needs serious regulation to ensure accurate dosing, something that UGLs generally don’t have in place. Granted, in general, some of the best UGLs do a good job of getting their dosing on point, maybe out by a mg here and there but this isn’t going to make much difference with most drugs. However, with a drug that’s taken in mcg’s, there’s always the potential for a dose that’s way off the mark.
I consider 200mcg to be a pretty safe upper limit and you can get away with taking more T3 than a lot of people realise. However, all it takes is for someone working on tabs in a UGL to mess up, accidentally slip another half a mg in there and all of a sudden you’re taking 500+mcg in one sitting. Overdoses like this can lead to thyrotoxic crisis or “thyroid storm”, which is considered to be a life threatening medical emergency that can lead to irreversible heart damage or even death.
Now, it’s an extremely rare case, in fact practically unheard of, for a lab to screw up T3 dosing to the degree that it can cause such a huge and lasting problem or even kill you, and chances are that you’ll be fine using a trusted/reputable UGL. However, the risk is always there, and this FAQ is here to make you aware of the risks. I always go pharma grade with T3 so I know I’m gonna get what I’m intending to take, but I’ve used UGL labs in the past with good results. Certain pharma brands are some of the cheapest you can pick up anyhow.
You’ve discussed using T3 whilst bulking and I’ve seen others mention it – any advice?
As I’ve indeed discussed above, the use of T3 during bulking cycles is becoming increasingly popular. It increases protein synthesis and turnover rate and is thought to improve carbohydrate metabolism, and when combined with a high protein diet and AAS can lead to increased gains and minimised fat gain.
We also should consider something I spoke about early in this article – the fact that thyroid hormones contribute to growth and development. So it makes sense that the bodybuilder, who’s body is pretty much always in a state of development and growth, could benefit from having an abundance of thyroid hormones in their body.
I’ve known several people to use T3 during a bulk cycle and they were very impressed with it, whilst I’ve also known a couple to not be so impressed. I think, though, that some people run maybe 50mcg and think they can go gung-ho with their diet and not put on any fat – this isn’t the case. Firstly, I think 75mcg during a bulk is the sweet spot – 50mcg will certainly help, but 75mcg is where the magic really starts to happen in terms of processing nutrients much more efficiently. Secondly, whilst taking 75mcg will really help you keep the fat at bay, it will only help – it won’t stop you getting fat eating twice what you’d normally eat on a bulk and getting a ridiculous amount of carbs and fats.
So, let’s talk about diet. I’ve found a good and simple guideline to be as follows:
- Caloric intake = Bodyweight in lbs x 20
- Ratio of Protein:Carbs:Fats = 40:40:20
So, a 200lb guy for example would be looking at 4000 calories, with 400g of proteins and carbs and 90g of fats. You can also adjust the ratios of the carbs and fats if you like, if you prefer to have less carbs in lieu of fats. This is a guideline for the averagely active person – you might need more or less if you’re very active or mostly sedentary when not weight training, respectively.
400g of protein may seem like madness, and in normal circumstances I’d agree – however, as I discussed earlier, when using T3, the breakdown and synthesis of proteins both increase significantly and high amounts of protein are required to swing the balance favourably. Very high amounts such as the above, can be synthesised and can lead to increased gains when used in conjunction with AAS.
You can also do very well on lesser amounts of protein – I’ve generally found grams of protein = 1.5x bodyweight in lbs to work well (or about 30% protein rather than 40% as listed above), but I wouldn’t go any lower than this and I generally believe that shifting the balance to favour more protein will lead to better gains and less fat gain.
Note: You can find a study here, done on experienced lifters, that suggests that excessive consumption of protein, unlike carbohydrates and fats, won’t lead to fat gain – in other words, the results of this study suggest that protein is either used (or converted to glucose in case of a shortage, which is only likely to occur in extreme diets) or is simply excreted. This study was the basis for the dietary tips I’ve given above – we keep the carbs and fats at a pretty ordinary level, whilst TDEE is increased by the T3, and we generally make up the extra burned calories with protein as the higher amounts are going to be utilised better by the T3. The result, is increased gains and less fat gain, if any. If you find you still gain significant amounts of fat, try either adding in some cardio or simply dropping some carbs (or fats if you’ve chosen to run them higher) – you’re eating too much and you should still gain very well whilst eating less.
Right, now for dosing. As I mentioned above, I believe 75mcg to be the sweet spot for bulking – start at 50mcg for the first 5-7 days before bumping up to 75mcg is my advice. Simple as that really. You may wish to experiment with 100mcg, or may wish to run 50mcg before longer before bumping up and see how you do, but from personal experience, as I said, 75mcg is my preferred dose.
I blast & cruise with my steroids – can I also run a low dose of T3 whilst I cruise?
Yes, you can. In fact, I run 37.5mcg between blasts and have found it to work well, eliminating the need to “reverse diet” after finishing a blast cycle. This is a good dose to keep your free T3 levels at normal levels and the metabolism decent. As we’ve established, running T3 for long durations has no lasting effect on the thyroid.
I tend to drop my calories down to maintenance whilst I’m cruising as well as consuming more normal levels of protein – a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight or a bit more works well. I’m not going to be making significant gains whilst cruising so I don’t bust my balls – I have a deload period at the end of a blast and then proceed to either slowly ramp the intensity back up over the weeks if it’s a short cruise (i.e. if the blast was short) or if it’s a longer cruise I spend time training more for maintenance of strength and size with lower volume.
I’ve heard of people using T3 for a post-contest/post-cut “anabolic rebound” – good idea?
I’ve had experience with this myself and think it’s a superb idea.
Let’s look at the idea behind the “anabolic rebound” first. After being depleted of calories for a considerable period, when you switch all of a sudden to a high calorie diet again the muscles act like sponges. They’ll suck up water, retain glycogen and the body will generally be in a state in which excess nutrients are absorbed and used for lean tissue as opposed to fat gain.
Here’s the problem with the above, though. After an extended period of dieting, chances are the metabolism is going to be running low. This means a low TDEE not leaving us much room to play with in terms of calories, and poor partitioning of nutrients. Overall, this can negate the anabolic state that the body would have been in whilst “rebounding”.
This is where T3 really shines – it keeps the metabolism revving and, as I’ve talked about already, helps put the body in an anabolic state when combined with AAS and a caloric surplus. If done correctly, within a week of finishing your diet and reverting from a cut to a bulk, you can regain as much as 15lbs of intra-muscular water, glycogen and a bit of lean tissue, and be looking fuller AND leaner. As for how to do it correctly, you literally just transition straight into a bulk. You can find instructions on how to bulk with T3 above in terms of recommended doses and nutrition.
The whole “rebound” effect is generally thought to last a couple of weeks. Do with that information what you will. I’d of course recommend you stay on AAS whilst continuing your T3 use, so maybe extend your cutting cycle to allow the bulk.
Will I experience strength loss whilst using T3?
I’ve noticed that this one is purely down to individual response, so you may or may not. However, the more of a deficit you’re in, particularly if you’re running low carbs, the higher the likelihood that you’ll experience general muscle weakness and loss of glycogen retention within the muscle which will both
temporarily lessen your levels of strength. Might not be the best of ideas to use T3 on the run-up to a powerlifting or strongman comp (which I can’t imagine most people would want to do anyway since staying lean isn’t usually a priority for a lifting comp prep), but other than that any strength loss should indeed be temporary.
Isn’t T3 bad for your heart?
If you have a pre-existing heart condition, I wouldn’t recommend you using T3. If not, however, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you do start getting symptoms that you wouldn’t normally experience, such as palpitations, tachycardia (abnormally fast heart rate) etc, then discontinue your use. However, I believe T3 to be less stressful on the heart than stimulants, such as ephedrine and clenbuterol as used in cutting cycles, and the high amounts of caffeine that some people drink every day. Just be careful, especially when combining T3 and stimulants, and stop using everything if you feel something isn’t right with your heart. Problem should disappear with discontinuation. I do find that the longer you run a higher dosed cycle, the more likely side effects like palpitations and so on are likely to start presenting themselves, but running cycles like this for a few months at a time generally hasn’t been a problem for myself or others I’ve spoken to – those with a healthy cardiovascular system should be able to run T3 for the entire length of any steroid cycle of a sensible duration throughout the entirety of the cycle with no issue, but I must stress that if you start getting cardiovascular side effects then drop it. Ignoring the problem could potentially lead to permanent damage of the heart/cardiovascular system. Any issues should subside over the next few weeks after cessation if the use of T3 is ceased when the problems first start arising.
Can using T3 cause hair loss?
In short, yes. As with most T3 side effects though, this side effect comes from having high thyroid hormone levels in the blood as opposed to from the med itself.
The link between abnormal (both too low and too high) levels of T3 in the body and effects on our head of hair is well documented. Levels of T3 that are too high or low can cause overall hair thinning, pattern baldness, patchiness, brittleness and a “dull” look to the hair.
It’s documented that once T3 levels are returned to normal, if the problems were thyroid related then it’s highly likely that your hair problems will subside. I personally notice significant hair thinning and pattern baldness on higher doses of T3 (75mcg upwards), which are reversed when my T3 levels are normalised.
I’ve seen a few posts around the internet that suggest that Finasteride (AKA Propecia or Proscar) can be used in conjunction with T3 in order to combat this hair loss – however, this is not the case. Finasteride simply stops the conversion of testosterone to DHT, the primary cause of male pattern baldness, via the prevention of action of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. Since hair-related side effects from high thyroid levels are in no way linked to DHT levels, Finasteride will not work.
What about other T3 side effects?
The potential side effects of T3 generally come from there being excess thyroid hormone in the body (i.e. hyperthyroid symptoms) as opposed to coming from the actual med itself. The potential sides are listed HERE, however, they’re only potential sides. Myself and many I’ve known to use T3 in doses of 100+mcg have generally found our T3 usage to be mostly side-effect free or at least tolerable, but as I’ve mentioned the longer you run these higher doses then side effects can start creeping in – towards the end of a lengthy high dosed cycle I started to notice hair thinning and palpitations, for which I would have came off anyway but luckily I was already approaching the end of the cycle, and these side effects subsided once I lowered the dose to a maintenance dose of 37.5mcg. I advise you to keep note of the potential side effects and cease use of T3 if you become aware of any cause for concern.
One side effect that does bother me with T3 is heat sensitivity. If you’re prone to this side effect (you’ll feel considerably warmer than normal at all times, and generally feel weak and dizzy in hot conditions) then you may wish to avoid taking T3 during the summer months. I’m normally a lover of the hot summer months but on T3 I just can’t seem to tolerate the hot weather. Another is susceptibility to headaches – I’m normally fairly prone to them anyway, but on T3 I was getting them pretty regularly.
Some T3 users may also feel that using T3 to cut is counterproductive because the increase in metabolic rate can potentially make you hungrier.
I’m approaching PCT – when should I come off the T3?
I’d advise coming off the T3 a couple of weeks before you start PCT, using the recovery protocol discussed earlier. In my view, it’s a bad idea to have your metabolism recovering at the same time that you’re also trying to restore your other hormone levels, in terms of maintaining your current body composition. Protein synthesis will be poor at this time as it is, the last thing you’d want is to make it even worse by going into PCT with a slowed down metabolism and even worse protein synthesis.
Will I still get fat drinking alcohol whilst using T3?
In my experience, yes. Alcohol supposedly slows down all other processes in the body in order to prioritise ridding the body of the alcohol – this seemingly includes the metabolism, even with exogenous thyroid hormones circulating in the body. Drink cautiously!
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