Thyroid Disorders Community
Armour Thyroid or Other Natural
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to thyroid issues, goiter, Graves disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, metabolism, parathyroid, pituitary gland, thyroiditis, and thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

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Armour Thyroid or Other Natural

I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  My doctor says that she does write for natural thyroid medications.  I have taken Synthroid and for many years and with Cytomel added a couple of  years ago.  I just don't feel like I am where I could be.  My TSH is at the very lowest point and sometimes  under.  My Free T3 and Free T4 are both always on the low side.  I have this horrible rash on my legs called pretibial myxedema.  They had to cut a chunk out my leg for a biopsy.

Anyway my question is which natural thyroid medication do you all prefer.  I know that they changed the Armour a number of years ago and a lot of people did not have the same reaction to it.  Any recommedations would be appreciated.  I am going on Monday to have my new numbers drawn and then they will start the new medications.  

Here were my last numbers. Doctor does not always do a Free T3 unless I ask for it.  This time I am asking for TSH, Free T3 and Free T4, Reverse T3, Ferritin, B12, Folate, Vitamin D3, and sex hormones.  Please let me know if I forgot something.


11/19/2012

TSH      0.99        0.35-5.5
Free T4  0.89       0.9-1.8

7/30/012

TSH   013             0.35-5.5
Free T4  0.94        0.9-1.8

3/19/2012

TSH   1.69            0.35-5.5
Free T4  1.25        0.9-1.8
Free T3    2.4             2.3-4.2
19 Comments Post a Comment
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1756321_tn?1377771734
My pretibal myxedema showed up with hashitoxicosis (lasted two months) and vanished a year later.

"Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) is a type of antibody (immunoglobulin) measured from drawn blood. TSIs can bind to tissues in the eyeballs and beneath the skin and contribute to the development of exophthalmos (bulging eyes) and pretibial myxedema (skin thickening on the front of the lower legs)."

I had no success with natural desiccated personally. My hypothyroid symptoms worsened rather drastically and i'm still dealing with breathing difficulties (one of my hypothyroid symptoms). I'm back on eutroxsig (T4 synthetic) again after a week trials of Armour (this is the only natural compounded product available in Australia). I believe i have reverse T3 issues but i have yet to have this tested.
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1273125_tn?1365081126
Thanks for your response Red.  I will see if I can have a TSI test as well.  I have asked for the reverse T3 we will see if she is going to do it or not.  Hope your breathing gets better soon.  I have to get my leg rashes fixes up so I can go get a pedicure! :)
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798555_tn?1292791151
Yes Armour and nature throid brand were reformulated and work best if chewed and disolved in the cheek of the mouth now. Fact.

The newer Acella NP Thyroid made in USA is like the old Armour (Canadian Erfa is too).  You almost have to go to the pharmacy (personal presence make it hard to say no) and wait till they find it in the computer (after they said they never heard of it !!). Its under any one part of its long name. All the big pharmas can order it, but not many stock it yet.
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Avatar_m_tn
What medication dosages and how are you taking them (what time of day) currently.  You said you take both a T4 and T3.

It is quite common for anyone taking a medicine with T3 in it to totally suppress TSH.  So I would as almost a rule ignore TSH since you are taking a T3 medication and are considering switching to NDT which also has a significant T3 component.

I think it borders on malpractice for a Dr who is treating and prescribing a T3 medication to not be testing for FT3!

My first impression is that you are simply under-medicated. but we really need more info.  the latest labs you want will help with that.

Many people have found the rule of thumb is that they need BOTH of the following to be true.

1) FT4 to be in the middle of the range (50%) or more

AND- that means in addition to

2) FT3 to be in the UPPER 1/3 of the range (66.7%)

as you stated you are well below those ranges which is why I tend to think you are just simply under-medicated.

If you are not having adverse reactions to the two medications you are taking, my first recommendation would be that you ask for a bump up in medication dosage. I would personally start with a bump in T4 medication and wait 6 weeks and re-test and see what happened to the levels and how the conversion may be working.

I have absolutely no problem with NDT.  But if you are already on a medication protocol with both T4 and T3 you may want to stay with that as it may be less adjustment to your body than switching completely to NDT.  At least give a dosage increase a chance to get you on the road to recovery. If that fails, you can always switch to NDT.

The advantage of taking both a T4 and a separate T3 medication is that you can control EACH of them independently. With NDT you only get what ratio comes in the pill. And in some cased people still may need to add a T3 or a T4 synthetic to get them to their proper balance.

But the key is to get whatever combination works FOR YOU!
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1273125_tn?1365081126
Great answers and very helpful.  I go on Monday to get my blood drawn.  It will be Wednesday or Thursday before I have anything.  I have been on the same dosage of synthroid almost the entire time 125 mcg taken when I open my eyes in the morning.  The T3 I take 20 in the morning and 20 in the afternoon.  That is 8 pills a day or T3.  

It seems to me that life goes on and you slip into a hole without even knowing it.  All of a sudden it is hard to get up in the morning, and do your housework etc.  You almost don't even notice until something happens and you say oh yeah I have those symptoms again.  

I have read many good reviews on natural thyroid and would really like to give it a try.  

Moose I have looked up Acella NP and it is covered under my insurance so hopefully a pharmacy would have them.  I use Kroger so I will call to see what they offer.  It is actually very inexpensive.

Thank you ladies for all of your feedback.  I will let you know my numbers when I get them back.  
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1273125_tn?1365081126
I am sorry I said thanks ladies without thinking that with the names it is hard to determine gender.  So I hope to not have offended anyone.  I went back to edit and it would not let me.  ;)
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I talked to my pharmacist who sounded rather shocked i was taking 120mg (almost 2 grains) of Armour and my hypothyroid symptoms were worsening drastically. There are no noted potency issues.

I have some major absorption issues if i can't dissolve two little capsules! I might try the Armour powder in water but i want to be breathing a whole lot better before trying out that experiment! Eutroxsig dissolves just by looking at it really LOL. My toenails are still showing silver glitter from my pedicure! :)
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I just read that Armour (compounded form) 65mg (1 grain) is equivalent to 100mcg of T4 and 25mcg of T3.  I went from 50mcg T4 to almost 200mcg T4/50mcg T3 and my hypo symptoms worsened. Crazy.
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4939681_tn?1361302899
I too feel worse since starting natural thyroid!  Thought it would be my magic pill!  Guess my problems aren't just my thyroid, like my endos have been saying all along.  Getting ready to start LDN and started drinking ozone water yesterday.  So far I've noticed a little improvement with the ozone water.  Have you looked into ozone?
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I'm getting ready to pull my hair out! :P  I've been on spring water or rain water since the local government decided to add fluoride to the water supply in my city. No question spring or rain water is better than tap water so i won't be going back to tap water even if the city council does remove the fluoride (under debate this month). Reader poll 71% against adding fluoride to the water. We were not consulted!
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4939681_tn?1361302899
Tell me about it!  Only I'm afraid to pull what little I have left out!  LOL. I was back in the ER 2 days ago my hands turned really blue, I got full body tremors and then fainted.  So embarrassing!  Especially when the ER doc says, you're young, you're healthy and besides your low normal WBC you're CBC looks great!  His suggestion "Stand up slower."  Good call, doc!  All my problems should just melt away if I stand up slower.  We are in the hands of morons.  
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1756321_tn?1377771734
We are in the hands of morons. LOL! That is hilarious! I am the person who avoids the emergency dept. like the plague even with all my conditions that were emergency worthy.  My mother thinks i'm crazy. I know i am. :)
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798555_tn?1292791151
We are all different when it comes to thyroid meds. I will say that it sometimes takes 3 months for the body to adjust to dessicated. And then you still make fine personal adjustments till about 6 months.

Around 3 months was when I could tell I obviously felt better. I, like some others, am investigating other possibilities for my remain symptoms. Some people do feel 100% better, but you wont find them here that much. No one hangs out here to say they feel great, why would they?
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Avatar_m_tn
One grain of Armour is the equivalent of somewhere between 75 and 100 mcg of T4, depending on your assumption of the potency of T3 compared to T4.  One grain of Armour contains 39 mcg of T4 and 9 mcg of T3.  If you assume 4:1 for T3 to T4, then the one grain would be equiv. to 75 mcg of T4.  If you assume a ratio of 6:1, then the one grain would be equivalent to about 100 mcg of T4.  

So, your dosage of 200 mcg of T4 is supposedly equivalent to somewhere between 2 and 2.6 grains of Armour.  But that is true only if your body is adequately converting the T4 to T3, which is frequently not the case.  The best way to assess the adequacy of your meds is from symptoms, and also the ratio of Free T3 to Reverse T3.  This ratio is reported to be the best measure of tissue thyroid levels.
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I'll test for free T3 and reverse T3 and check the ratio. My endo told me he could check if i had elevated RT3 without testing RT3 but my latest TSH, free T4 and free T3 are classic hyperthyroid labs. I'd be interested in how the endo works that out. :)
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1202943_tn?1347844252
Looks like you are under medicated with that very low FT3.  I was taking synthroid and cytomel and saw improvements after switching to Armour thyroid.  Even if you can't switch to NDT, I would ask for adjustment of your meds.

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1202943_tn?1347844252
I found out I had High Reverse T3 before making that switch to armour.  Reducing the amount of T4 helped correct this problem.  Also, since starting T3 meds my TSH is always suppressed.
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1273125_tn?1365081126
Thanks Erica.  I am going tomorrow for my bloodwork.  I have requested all the recommended tests.  My doctor has agreed to let me try out natural thyroid.  I will give it a few months and see how it works.
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1273125_tn?1365081126
Moose you are so right about that.  This is the first place I came when I was first fighting for someone to recognize that I was indeed hypothyroid.  Once I felt better I have been away for a very long time.  Now that I feel bad I am back again.  So it goes...

I should be starting on natural thyroid meds by the end of the week.  I plan to give it a good long time to see how well it works for me.  Once I get my bloodwork back from the doctor I will be back for help figuring out the reverse T3, etc.  

Thanks for  your help.
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