Many people don’t fully realize how bad they are feeling until they get better with the Wilson’s T3 protocol. As a few doctors’ patients have put it, “Now I remember what it feels like to be normal!” You can click here to read more about the results of the WT3 protocol.
Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome appears to be due to a bogging down of the thyroid system due to impaired T4 to T3 conversion. Under conditions of stress, the cells of the body convert less T4 into the active T3. T4 is shunted toward Reverse T3 which is inactive. Research shows that T4 and RT3 can speed up the destruction of the enzyme that converts T4 to T3. This can help perpetuate the problem indefinitely. Even though T4 is the source of T3, if it’s not being converted well it can actually be a significant hindrance! This partly explains why some people don’t do well on levothyroxine (eg. Synthroid) because when patients have WTS the levothyroxine can sometimes make them feel worse.
Wilson’s T3 protocol is aimed at depleting T4 and RT3 levels in the tissues of the body, for a time, hopefully allowing the converting enzyme to come back up to normal. This is accomplished by reducing TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). TSH is reduced by giving patients straight T3 directly.
For a quick overview of the Simplified T3 Protocol here’s a handout and some T3 tutorial videos. The Simplified T3 Protocol is based on pulse rate while the original protocol described in the free online Doctors’ Manual described below is based on body temperature.
When patients are given T3 only, their bodies sense that they are getting enough thyroid stimulation so they reduce their own production of thyroid hormones.
The purpose of the treatment is not so much to give patients’ thyroid glands a rest (although that does happen), as it is to clear T4 and RT3 out of the tissues so that their thyroid hormone pathways can get cleared out and reset. This appears to be what enables the patients’ thyroid systems to function well on their own again. Wilson’s T3 therapy does not need to be taken for life, rather usually only a few weeks or months. Another common feature of T3 therapy involves cycling the patient on and off T3 therapy. There’s something about weaning a patient off T3 and starting it again that often helps them break through periods of stagnation in their treatment progress (possibly by reducing resistance to T3 therapy).
Fortunately, if the T3 therapy is given properly, patients can often feel terrifically well even while their thyroid systems are on the way to recovery! The keys to the WT3 protocol are:
- The right kind of T3 medicine
- Given in the right way
- To provide a normal and steady body temperature during treatment so the patients can feel better with minimal side effects if any.
“The right kind of thyroid medicine” means that T3 is best tolerated when well-prepared with a sustained release agent. The T3 is compounded (made by pharmacists) into capsules that are designed to be taken twice a day, every 12 hours, very much on time (not even a few minutes late). The T3 capsules must be prescribed by a doctor.
“Given in the right way” means that if Wilson’s Temperature Treatment is not done properly patients can waste a lot of time and money (on visits and medicine) without even knowing it. We use the term Wilson’s T3 protocol or WT3 protocol to distinguish our protocol from other ways doctors give T3 medicine.
Since Dr. Wilson began emphasizing the importance of T3 medicine over T4 more than 25 years ago, many doctors have started using T3 only. However, achieving the benefits of T3 therapy is not just a matter of taking T3, but a matter of taking T3 properly. It’s like driving a car. To get where you want to go, it’s not just a matter of getting in the car and driving, but you must make the correct turns, at the correct times, and under the correct circumstances.
A lot of mistakes, frustration, guess work, worrying and perhaps even severe side effects can usually be easily avoided with good information.
You can make sure that you and your doctor are doing the treatment properly by making sure it adheres to the T3 treatment principles explained in Chapter 5 of Dr. Wilson’s book: Evidence-based Approach to Restoring Thyroid Health (a Doctor’s Manual is also available here online for free). Education is the key. Reading the Doctor’s Manual will enable you and your doctor to get the best results and quickest response at the least expense, by doing the treatment right the first time. It can’t be done well by guessing. Here’s a handy Patient Orientation Sheet for the original WT3 Protocol.
Just one area of ignorance could cost you a couple of months of medicine, money, and progress. And there are dozens of important principles and aspects you and your doctor need to know. The Wilson’s T3 protocol is simple and very easy to understand as laid out step-by-step in the Doctor’s Manual, but if you don’t know how to do it, you don’t know how to do it.
“I have seen many patients treated by doctors for Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome with poor results. Often, it appears that these patients have been treated with T3 in a way that doesn’t seem fully logical. The approach taken doesn’t seem to reflect an understanding of known thyroid physiology and/or the principles outlined in the Doctor’s Manual. In my experience, the results people experience clearly depend on the way the T3 is used.
Dr. Stephen Leighton
As with any treatment approach, there are some things that can go wrong. There are 4 components involved in the Wilson’s T3 protocol:
- The Treatment
Unfavorable things can happen in any one of these components.
- Patients might not take the treatment seriously, or may not have the ability to do the treatment carefully
- Doctors may say they know how to treat Wilsons Temperature Syndrome, but their treatment may not go along with known thyroid physiology or the treatment principles fully explained in the Doctor’s Manual.
- Pharmacists may not mix the medicine well enough
- And even if everyone does the treatment very well, patients can still sometimes have complaints
For example, the point of treatment is to improve the temperature and metabolism, so it’s normal for the heart rate to increase. However, it is prudent to not let it increase too much. Care should be taken not to allow the pulse rate to remain above 100 beats/minute, or more than about 20 beats / minute faster than before treatment. This should be considered a side effect and managed accordingly.
In addition, if patients don’t respond very well to the treatment they may have some other underlying problems. For example, if patients don’t tolerate the T3 therapy well, some doctors see that as a sign that the patient may need some adrenal support.
T3 is a powerful hormone. It can do a powerful amount of good when used properly, and a powerful amount of harm if used carelessly. It’s not candy and it’s not like any other thyroid medicine. It’s the active form. That changes everything. When used carefully and wisely it can be extremely well tolerated and can make all the difference in the world.