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Low TSH, low normal free T4 on Armour?
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Low TSH, low normal free T4 on Armour?

I've been on Armour Thyroid for five years. I had awful textbook hypothyroid symptoms for years before that, though my tests kept coming back in the 'normal' range. I finally got a diagnosis of Hashimoto's after I had a positive test for the antibodies. I started on Synthroid (forgot the dose) with little improvement and finally got back to near-normal on 120 mcg of Armour. My lab tests continued to come back normalish/occasionally a little high (I don't recall the details) but since my symptoms were pretty good with no hyper feelings, my doctor continued the Armour.

I changed jobs and moved to California recently, and went to a Kaiser endo for a refill of my Armour. She was horrible, didn't listen, and insisted that since my tests were in the normal range that I didn't need any supplementation and now I don't have any at all. I am supposed to come back in December (this was the day before yesterday, I cried all the way home.)

Now I got my copy of the tests she ordered--Free T4 and TSH. No thyroid antibodies test and no Free T3 test. I did have to pee in a  bottle for 24 hours to measure my cortisol, something I have not done before and the results are not yet in.

My free T4 was 0.79 (Kaiser's low flag is 0.70) and my TSH is 0.34 (low flag is 0.40)

If I'm oversupplemented with the Armour (as insisted the Dr who had never seen me, and was not interested in my history or current return of symptoms) then the low TSH backs that up. However, I was *ON* supplementation at the time of the test, and my free T4 is *barely* normal. Isn't that a contradiction?
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97953_tn?1193367871
Your labs are entirely consistent with being on Armour.  I would have simply refilled the meds unless there is more to the story...
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Absolutely appalling! Can't you find another Doctor, she's not even listening to you. Your labs look quite goo to me on 2 grains of Armour but more importantly is how you feel. But to leave you without any medication at all it is disgraceful. Suggest you buy Armour over the internet to tide you over so that you're symptoms do not return. I wish you all the best.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your replies.

There really isn't any more to the story. I've had positive antibodies tests, and I've had a goiter (it went away) and I felt fine for a long time on the same dose of medicine. I have continued to have 2xyear or so episodes of hair fallout and I have a hard time keeping weight off, but at least I didn't need to sleep 10 hours a night and have a nap, too. But I am feeling like I am slowing down again.

This is my month for open enrollment, does anyone know any Pacificare doctors in North LA county? :(
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I am Uk based so I don't know the Docs but please ask the question here...they are very helpful...In the meantime again I would suggest you buy Armour on the net...

www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/community/
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Avatar_n_tn
I think you mentioned you are in N. LA County?  Check the website www.healthcheckusa.com and see if there's a location near you and you can order your own tests.

For example, you can order thyroid antibody testing for $60, Thyroid Panel II (consisting of FT3, FT4, and TSH) for $75, or the VIP Plus II testing which is a whole bunch of tests including ferritin, and the Thyroid Panel II for $125.

That doesn't necessarily help you find a doctor but you can at least have a starting point for your levels and for you to do some research...
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Avatar_n_tn
Kaiser's horrible! Hypo-t runs in my family. My sister has all the symptoms but, unfortunately, she has Kaiser and they won't treat her. They didn't even want to test her. She had to fight just to get a TSH test. The truth is Kaiser is cheap. They don't want to diagnose you with anything because they don't want to have to pay for your treatment. It wouldn't surprise me that they would actually resort to UNdiagnosing you. They just want to call you "well" so they can quit paying for meds and labs. Seriously, I've known people with Kaiser for years and they have had nothing but trouble. I'd do all I could to get a different insurance company. If that's not possible then pay out of pocket for the doctor you like, if necessary. You can't let Kaiser's crappy system ruin your life.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't think this is the right subject but I have a question, does anyone know what a normal dosage would be when first starting Armour? I just started it almost 2 weeks ago 1/4 gr. 2 x a day. I haven't noticed any changes at all. Is this too low or do I just need to be patient?
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A related discussion, Armour and Low T4 was started.
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Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
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