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Introduction

The health & dieting industry is constantly bringing innovative products to market and inventing new techniques that people of all ages and sizes can adopt in order to help them with their weight loss goals. The majority of these products are subject to rigorous testing, clinical trials, and government approval to ensure the safety of the public is always paramount when considering possible dangers that could lead to serious health issues.

However, as some extreme fitness fanatics never seem to be satisfied with the tried and tested methods that result in significant weight loss, that also deliver long-lasting results, such as exercise, approved supplements, and healthy eating, you will eventually start to come across certain techniques or products that may seem somewhat reckless, and even dangerous, in the quest for the ultimate figure.

Professional bodybuilders, athletes, and even regular gym goers have used various drugs, medications, and stimulants for decades to try and gain an advantage over their competitors and peers. Many of these products are legal, however, many have been banned in countries all over the globe, and others are misused and abused.

T3 supplements seem to fall into the latter category.

What Is T3?

Also known as triiodothyronine, T3 is one of two hormones produced by the Thyroid gland found just under the Adam’s apple along the front of the windpipe. In order for the Thyroid gland to produce this hormone, it must synthesis iodide that can only be absorbed and processed by the Thyroid gland.

What Does T3 Do? 

The Thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in the front of our necks. It stores and produces hormones that affect the function of virtually every organ in your body. T3 regulates your metabolic rate and is associated with modest changes in body weight and energy levels. Major targets of Thyroid hormone are the skeleton, the heart and the metabolic machinery of every cell.

What Is A T3 Supplement? 

As T3 medication is actually prescribed to treat an underactive Thyroid gland, it’s not a supplement, however, some people misuse the medication to increase weight loss and treat it as a supplement.

The medication itself is usually comprised of the active ingredient ‘Anhydrous levothyroxine sodium’ which is a manufactured form of the T3 and T4 hormone. Taking this medication will increase Thyroid activity which, in turn, will essentially produce the effect of an overactive Thyroid. This will increase not only your metabolic rate, but also your heart rate, circulatory system, respiratory system, and also every other aspect of your physiology.

What Are The Side Effects Of T3?

 Not only can this medication cause a wide range of known side effects, this could cause unique adverse unknown reactions in people with a healthy Thyroid.

The most common side effects of T3 are:

  • headache
  • flushing
  • high temperature, sweating
  • weight loss
  • tremor, restlessness, excitability, difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • increased pressure around the brain in children that is not caused by a tumour or other diseases (benign intracranial hypertension)
  • chest pain (angina), pounding, irregular or fast heartbeat
  • diarrhoea, vomiting
  • muscle cramps, muscle weakness,
  • deformity of the skull in infants caused by the early closure of joins in the skull bone (craniostenosis)
  • growth in children may slow or stop due to changes in bone growth
  • irregular periods
  • intolerance to heat
  • temporary hair loss in children

Do not take this medication if: 

  • are allergic to levothyroxine or to any of the other ingredients (see section 6).
  • suffer from an overactive Thyroid gland that produces too much Thyroid hormone (thyrotoxicosis)
  • have any condition that affects your adrenal glands (your doctor will be able to advise you if you are not sure)
  • If any of these apply to you, do not take this medicine and go back to your doctor to discuss your treatment.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Levothyroxine tablets if you:

  • have suffered with an under active Thyroid gland for a long time
  • suffer from heart problems including angina, coronary artery disease or high blood pressure.
  • are being treated for The dose of your anti-diabetic medicine may need to be changed as levothyroxine can raise blood sugar levels.
  • are over 50 years of age.

How Does T3 For Weight Loss Work?

The basic concept of taking T3 for weight loss is that it increases your metabolic rate, cardiovascular system, and almost every other aspect of your physiology so, in theory, this should also include an increased rate of fat burning.

It’s important to note that studies into this medication revolve around its efficient to treat an underactive Thyroid so just exactly how, and if, this can effectively help you lose weight is unclear.

What Is The Dosage Of T3 For Weight Loss?

Again, this is very unclear as it is used to increase the level of Thyroid hormones active in your body. The concept of Thyroid treatment for somebody with an underactive Thyroid is to prescribe them with enough of this medication to bring their Thyroid levels to match that of an average healthy person of a similar physiology.

Do I Need A Prescription To Buy T3?

This is usually a medication prescribed by a medical professional after undergoing extensive testing to identify the specific issue you have with your Thyroid. Whilst you can buy T3 “Supplements” online, they do not contain the same active ingredient as prescribed T3 medication so you cannot be sure what you will actually be talking, or the effect it will have on your body.

Can I Take T3 With Other Medication?

This is NOT recommended without consulting a trained medical practitioner.

Can I Take T3 With Other Supplements?

This is NOT recommended without consulting a trained medical practitioner.

Is It Safe To Take T3 For Weight Loss?

There is simply not enough research to confirm if this is a safe practice or not, however, if you consider what this medication actually does to your body, you are physically altering some very vital aspects of your physiology which could have serious consequences for your health, potentially even fatal when considering the impact on your cardiovascular system.

Does T3 Actually Work For Weight Loss? 

There is no research, clinical trials, or documented examples of whether taking T3 for weight loss actually works. Whilst it can result in weight reduction for patients with actual Thyroid issues, there are many other aspects of their physiology that need to be taken into account to explain why they have lost weight.

There is absolutely no guarantee that taking T3 for weight loss will deliver any results.

Have There Been Any Deaths Linked To T3?

There have not been any deaths specifically related to T3 medication or supplementation, however, there have been many deaths directly linked to fatal cardiac events as a result of Thyroid problems.

Altering the level of T3 hormones in your system to unnatural levels could potentially cause fatal cardiac events for the user.

Conclusion

There is a big difference between taking supplements such as protein powder, BCAA’s, multivitamins, pre-workout products and deciding to drastically alter your physiology and biological processes – with unknown consequences – for the sole purpose of weight loss.

It is extremely important to consider the short-term and long-term consequences of abusing medications for a specific purpose – such as weight loss – when they have been designed for the sole purpose of treating a serious medical condition.

T3 medication is formulated to increase metabolism and increase the body’s cardiovascular systems output, which in turn, will increase almost every other aspect of every biological process taking place within your body.

The human body is already designed to run at an optimal level in relation to a healthy, well-balanced diet and regular exercise. There are some great benefits to taking supplements and vitamins that can give your immune system a boost, and increase your overall health, but these products come with little to no risk to your short-term or long-term health.

There are much easier and safer ways to lose weight. There is also no telling what long-term damage you could be doing to your body by abusing such a medication and forcing your Thyroid gland to work overtime. The body can only take so much before it starts to react and those reactions could have serious health consequences, possibly even fatal.

If you really want to lose weight and benefit from long-lasting results without putting your health at risk, then the only methods you should be focusing your energy on are the tried and tested methods of dieting, and exercise.

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Fact Checked


This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified nutritionist, and only uses information from credible academic sources.