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Armour thyroid 90 mg -HELP, VERY TIRED!
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Armour thyroid 90 mg -HELP, VERY TIRED!

Dear Doctor/Forum,

I was dx'd with Hashimoto's on my 40s B-day, and placed on Synthroid. Did not do well on it, and decided to switch to armour. I am currently on 90 mg on Armour a day, and my TSH is going up and down all the time. I cruising around TSH 4.0 all the time, and cannot go beoyng 2.0.. My doctor has increased the dose only once, went from 60 mg to 90 mg. My hands are cold and needles in fingertips all the time, I cannot use my fingertips for fine movements.. Terrible.
I am TIRED all the time, if I could , I would sleep ALL DAY LONG...

Any thoughts? Do I need other supplements or do I need to up my Armour level?

Please, help me - I am desperate.
Thank you.
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40 Comments Post a Comment
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499534_tn?1328707778
If you have hashi's, your tsh should be suppressed to a .50-1.0. You are going to continue to have symptoms until you get it down and stay optimum for a while. what was your free t4 and free t3 results?
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393685_tn?1325870933
How long have you been taking the Armour ?

If you remained a long time in a hypo state your adrenals could be giving you some trouble and then Armour will not work the way it should.

Exactly what kind of blood work have you had done?

This would be proper testing for both thyroid and adrenal fatigue

Go have a TSH - free t3 and free t4 test - if you had that please post the labs

I would suggest a 24 hr saliva test but many office will not do them. You may have to just get the blood draw for cortisol and ACTH test.

A vit B test would be helpful too.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear all,

My free T3 and free T4 were within nornal limits. My endo is always doing these labs once I am in office.. The only problem I had is TSH levels.

Here is the answers to the above questions,

1. I was placed on Armour in February 2008 - 60 mg /daily. The initial TSH prior to Armour was  4.37. ( I was a year on Synthroid 0.75 with some complications...)

2. Two TSH readings after initiation of Armour were 4.1 and 2.9. I stay on Armour Feb. to June, on the same dose of 60 mg /daily. On my 3d reading, TSH CAME UP to 4.1!!!
I see, she kept me 5 months on 60 mg daily, that was , may be , too long - and she did not increase the dose as she should ...

3. I was increased to 90 mg /daily in August, and in a little over month, my TSH came DOWN to 1.6 as of 09/13!!!

4. My Free T3 and free T4 are ok and I  never had any problems with their levels...
Always ok.

5. My late afternoon serum cortisol level is fine. I did not have the saliva test for cortisol or Adrenal check..

6. My antibodies levels on the initial "thyroid" work up were over 600....

7. My BIGGEST 2 problems with Hashi are:
    **** brain fogg and forgerfulness, I am mentally slaggush and slow.

   ***  my fingertips are PAINFUL and numb ALL the time. I cannot perform a simple function of writing or holding the pen... I am SO disable...

My phisical revealed NO other abnormal lab values. Just reccurent allergies , seasonal.

Any more thoughts...

Thanks, everyone for your input.
PS. My brain and hands need big help :)

    


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393685_tn?1325870933
NO your TSH is not what should be the base line for your treatment you are doing.

your FREE T3  is the most important test to read right now. Normal MAY NOT be normal

If you take a look at all the reseach on taking Armour you will know the level of your FREE t3 usually is HIGHER - Your FREE T4 is moderately in between and the TSH is lower.

If your FREE T3 is "normal???????" then it's not normal for you and needs to be upped.

I also have Hashi's and symptom free and have been for 4 mths. My FT3 is over the top in ranges - I have a low TSH ( Which means nothing)

You being way undertreated and your doctor is not increasing you appropriately the way Armour needs to be. Basically your wasting your time and money. and may need to start all over.

This is how dosing works for Armour.

You start at - let's say your amount - 60 mg
TWO WEEKS later up are upped an extra 15mg
TWO WEEKS again upped 15mg

test. ALL YOUR FREE'S AND TSH.

Then stay on 90mg for two to three weeks
up again 15mg
two more weeks another up 15mg

You will stop increases when your symptoms leave and hypo Hashi is not a burden to you any longer.

I think your symptoms may start to disappear after the 120mg 2 week trial but I would bet you will continue increase possibly up to 3 or more grains.

Only way to know for sure is small med increases and symptom decreases.
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Avatar_n_tn
You may want to try supplementing with selenium and a low dose of natural vitamin E and C. They work synergistically.
Selenium will suppress TPO antibodies but do nothing for Thryoglobulin antibodies.
Hey, one outta two aint bad.

Don't go over 400 mcgs. Most of our food crops are grown in selenium rich soils here in the states, Carolinas being the exception. So if you eat a lot of produce and are getting it in your multi, further supplementation will not be needed.

Aside from that Fish oil (for DHA and EPA) or flaxseed oils (ALA) will help with mood. These Omega 3s are essential to maintain well being. I like the refridgerated oils as they quickly go rancid at room temps.

Good luck.
Healing from Hashi's in a process, not a destination.
: )
Mzzchief
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393685_tn?1325870933
I still think you should be increasing as I suggested prior above. You were on 60mg too long and that may have you all over the place. now you at 90mg and still brain fog is there. I really think another 15 to 30mgs may help you

The only thing I may be able to compare your ache of your hands and fingers are inflammation.

Many hypo/Hashi patients are magnesium deficient so you may want to consider a mag citrate supplement to see if that relieves the pain. No more than 300mgs

Selenium that I know if is beneficial if you need further assistance to convert your T4 hormone into T3.

I would need to actually see the Free T3 T4 labs to even suggest this may help - but many here take selenium.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you, Guys, for all your postings,
I do appreciate your input. I will defenately look for supplements in the store.
I would like to know how I can improve my FT3? I will post the next time all my labs from last endo visit... Sorry, I am at work now..

So, what would I do for my FT3? Cytomel supplement?
Please, advice.
I ejnoy reading everyone's responses, as this means a lot for my health.
Thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
BTW,

My endo PA thinks that the problems with my TSH up and down is related to Armour medication itself, she stated that "  I , probably, had a BAD  medication lot # and the Armour ks known to be different from lot to lot ( I guess from bottle to bottle). She told me that Armour is NOT stable medication and all endo docs prefer Synthroid and other "synthetic" meds. I have seen only once my endo DOC since I started going to endocrine people, and this PA has only the scattered info on meds. Seems to be this way, anyway..
PS. I have also requested to write me a note for my work . I work with cancer patients and some of them going through radiation therapy - I have requested to make a note for my manager so I don't have to deal with radiation patients after they receive it - she refused to do so, stating " it is safe for my thyroid...
I was so upset, and told her this is not right.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am new to this community and I too have been on the thyroid rollercoaster.  I have been reading your story.  This is what I have learned:

Armour is all natural, and derived from animals, so it will difffer slightly from bottle to bottle..it is my understanding that is short lasting meaning you have to take it a few times a day, and works directly with the T3

Synthryoid is directly for the T4 readings.  These reads take over 6 weeks to change in the blood, therefore it is a long working.  Levothyroxin (levothyroxine) is the generic form of Synthyroid.

Cytomel is the synthetic /generic form of Armour and....

they do make custom pills of Synthyroid and cytomel together if the doctor prescribes it.

I hope this helps
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Avatar_n_tn
One more thing I thought of that you could do.  I do this when I am not doing well.  I amke this special soup.

Brown one chopped onion in olive oil, add in chopped carrots and celery, and ground turkey meat, cook til browned.

Add in 8 or more cups of water, and enough iodized salt to taste.  Add in brown rice, or chopped up potatoes.  Cook til soft.

Add in lots of fresh chopped parsely.  At the time of serving sprinkle on ground flax seeds, a sheet of chopped up seaweed (the stuff they use to make sushi rolls), and salsa if you are feeling like you need some spice.

This stuff fires me up, so do not eat it at dinner just lunch and breakfast.  I love it.  It is so rich in iodine and it helps the thyroid. The flax seeds are rich omega 3 &6.

Stay away from spinach in large amounts, and pears.
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393685_tn?1325870933
Bluntly the information on inconsistant lot@'s is absolutely false. I'd like to the the actuatly documentation on these finding.

If we want to debate on the Armour inconsistancies - vs Synthroid recalls your will find Abbott Labs having more situations than Armour.

Raeffaela - your PA is narrow minded and listen to gossiped rumors.

Armour is an extremly reliable thyroid medication. Is has a direct T3 and that is very helpful in people with hypothyroidism symptoms.

In order to boost the FT3 you need increases as I said - There may be a chance you are pooling the t3 and your doctor can run a reverse T3 is find that out.



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213044_tn?1236531060
Cytomel is synthetic T3.

Levothyroxine, Synthroid, Levoxyl, etc. are all similar forms of synthetic T4. Levothyroxine is the generic, and most doctors do not like to perscribe a generic thyroid medication, for good reasons.

Armour is a natural form of hormones in a combination of T4 and T3.

Anyone with thyroid problems should not ingest large ammounts of iodine unless the doctor perscribes it. The iodine will affect your hormone levels temporarily, and that is what you do not want. You want your hormones to be as stable as possible, not shooting up whenever you have a kelp snack.

It may make you feel better for a little while, but in the long run it is not good.

A magnesium supplement may be helpful, but you should be tested before taking supplements. If you start taking magnesium and you do not need it, you can make yourself sick.

None of this addresses the original post, but it may be helfull anyway.
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Avatar_n_tn
HI, everyone,

My labs AS OF   08/05

Thyroid Peroxidase Ab 580.0

Thyroglobylin Antibody  32.5

T4, Free 0.98

TSH 4.13

Thiiodotothyronine, Free   2.9 - I think, this is T3, Free


On 09/13 my TSH is 1.6. And this are all labs I have so far.

I am on 90 mg of armour at this time.

Thanks, again everyone for your input!!!


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499534_tn?1328707778
Yup you need an increase. Your T3 level is still quite low, tsh is too high, and T4 is very low. I think I would ask for a reverse T3 test to see if you are pooling. You definately need an increase though. Your TSH needs to be about a .50 to get optimum with the hashi's. This is why you are still so sick. You need to up by a 1/4 grain weekly until you feel good without the hyper symptoms. Blood work with Armour should be done every 4 weeks.
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393685_tn?1325870933
and your last testing did not even include a free T3 test which is extremely beneficial taking Armour - and I believe any thyroid med for that reason./
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213044_tn?1236531060
Those are her labs of 8/05.

The triiodotothyronine, free is a Free T3. Without the lab ranges it is a little hard to guess, but I would agree the Free T3 was probably low on that test.

Her TSH is now 1.6

It's not clear that she needs an increase. Is there a doctor in the house? Did someone just start perscribing a higher dose of drugs? Who issued a perscription pad?

Who's taking responsibility when someone becomes overmedicated?
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314892_tn?1264627503
I also thought the TSH of 1.6 was the most current lab. Personally, I would want an increase, but I would want my doctor to concur.

I agree that a free t3 and free t4 is needed as well with the Armour.

We can't tell someone what dose to take. We can suggest and have the person run that by the doctor.

One should never self-medicate.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear ALL,
Hi, AR- 10
You are confusing me... Are you asking me if I have a doctor. I am sorry, I did not understand your posting,
Of course, I have a doctor, otherwise, I would not take Armour.

The rx was written on the pad from the endo PA that I see since February of 2008.
The initial dose was 60 mg , and recently increased to 90.

My last lab was done by the friend that works in the lab, and I have asked her to run just TSH, since this was done " under the table.."  The first lab results are from my official PA, and it was done in August, so TSH 4.1 and the rest of the labs are from August month 2008. The vewy RECENT TSH is 1.6 was done by my friend, and this was NOT an official order from MD. I just asked her to do me a favor to see where am I standing at this time - 09/13.
My next OFFICIAL appt with PA is in October, I believe the end of the month.

So, there is a doctor in the house,and yes, there is a presciption and all that comes with it... This is all I have so far. Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Can someone, please, post on what is the BEST possible lab results/numbers for Hashi - patient?
Just wondering. Thanks a lot :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Also , what is pooling????
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314892_tn?1264627503
With Hashi or any hypothyroidism, the best TSH is 0.5-2.0 according to the ATA. :

http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Hypothyroidism%20_web_booklet.pdf

see page 18 in particular
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213044_tn?1236531060
I was not questioning whether or not you were seeing a doctor. I can tell by your tests that you are seeing a doctor.

I am just a little shocked that we are now telling each other how much perscription drugs to take. You should discuss dosage changes with your doctor.

We are here to offer support and suggestions. Share knowledge and new developments. Not tell people to up their perscription drugs without seeing a doctor about it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear AR-10,
Thank you for all posting.. That was the reason I was posting my response - I did not know if this was related to me or just a general statement. I do appreciate your input to any of my postings. Thank you, kindly.
PS. I would be scarry to take anything on my own. But I would not be surprized if many people out there are lonely and without any health insurance that DO order and medicate themselves to best of their abilities and finances..
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Avatar_n_tn
There are two questions I wanted to ask, one of them is  posted.

- What is pooling

- I have up-coming appt with weight management center. Obviously, they going to suggest and prescribe me some appetite suppresants. How do , guys, feel about it? As long as I am within my " medicaly suggested" lab levels, can I take phentermine or meridia? The last one ( Meridia)  was offered to me by my primary care provier sometimes ago, but I have refused due to the VERY FIRST  TSH levels of  > 8.0
Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
are you in generic armour or the actual armour brand, i was on generic armour and my tsh went up and down, but once my dr. checked brand medically necessary it has stayed at 3.1 for a while
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Avatar_n_tn
I am on Armour Thyroid, I guess the brand name by Forest Pharm.
I believe this is a brand name Armour. Correct me if I am wrong.
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213044_tn?1236531060
There is a topic about pooling going on now.
A little long, but good.

Armour is a good name brand drug.

I don't know what to tell you about the other drugs you mentioned. I'm not sure if they would conflict with your thyroid condition and medication or not.

I hope you get your levels to a good place soon.
I hope I do, too.  :o)  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you, AR,

I will check out the topic tomorrow.
Yes, I hope I can get as close to be "normal" as it is possible while having Hashi.
None of my family members that I am aware of having this problem. No one has hypothyroidism. It is very frustrative, I am glad to have more people with the same problem. My weight is also a biggest problem - I have gained about 25-30 pounds since became diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease.
Hope, we all get to feel better soon :) Thanks for support.
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393685_tn?1325870933
Pooling is where the T3 hormone becomes stored. Sometimes the T4 will convert into T3 and just sit there instead of the body using it up for it's purpose.

Armour has direct T3. it does not require a full conversion as a T4 med only does. The pooling can happen with both medications. Either by T4 meds converting into T3 and sits - or with direct T3.

It is a fact and my doctor discusses this with me regularly that Armour requires small increase dosages due to this direct T3 to reach optimal levels and to eliminate symptoms. And because of that direct T3 - the patient must be given small amounts for them to adjust with follow up testing and "discussions" on how they have been feeling during the increases.

If you are following the process of small increased dosages and still experiencing symptoms then additional testing should be done.

Obviously you were not in this type of treatment because you were on 60mg of Armour for a long time without any increases. If you remain hypo ( as your TSH says in numbers were ) for long periods of time - other glands (adrenals) are demanded to work harder and then they can fall short of working properly too.

A 24 hr saliva test is usually the best test if you are still symptomatic to check for cortisol levels- checking to see if there may be an adrenal problem. It also is very helpful finding out if there are other issues going on too.

If a problem is found with the adrenals - a back off of Armour is needed and a therapy plan should be put in place to repair the adrenals first before continuing the Armour increases. Once the adrenals are in balance the increase of Armour begins again to see if you levels become optimal for you.

I feel appetite suppressants are not a the way to go right now - If your Hashi is still out of whack and you are still in a hypo state with symptoms - adding this could interfer with understanding the real issues. I think you would need further testing maybe a Vit B panel or other tests first. And most definately you must get back in check with the levels of hormones that is right for you before you see any changes in weight naturally.

If your exhausted by a daily routine - taking app supps will only exhaust you more and push the glands to worker harder ---- then to rest and repair the condition. They will not concentrate on the weight issues per say - they will cover up the problems the other glands are having and will not increase metobolism

I was mentally absorbed with my weight gain and no matter what I did while I was still not in a Free T3 range for my body - I continued to pack on weight - I followed a doctor's 800 calorie diet and still weighed in 10 pounds more after 6 weeks of trying and I was exhausted.

Again I will state here  - I am at a TSH level that my body works best for me. I am now finally losing weight and I do not have the symptoms of Hashi - hypo and have not for over 6 mths. I still swing a bit during my cycle times - but I find that being normal for a 40ish yr old women entering menopause.

My TSH and Free T3 level now would be challenged here as being in a hyper state - but I experience no symptoms - I am losing weight and I followed the proper increase levels - after repairing my adrenals to achieve that.

Kitty's reference range is exactly where you should look to start. She stated the range of where most patients feel at their best. But sometimes being in those ranges - some patients still feel the need to WANT to feel even better. Sometimes finding your EXACT TSH and  Free T3 number - ( with little wiggle room) is best.

Armour - working with your doctor can give you that benefit. If you begin to see that you feel best on (example) 90mg most of the time - but sometimes 75 is better at a given time of the month or even 120 mg- then you and your doctor can discuss this and be able to be flexible with your meds to adjust when you know you need to do that.  The direct T3 flexibility is key to rid symptoms. The is the way Armour has worked for decades.

Try to stay on track on not only getting a TSH ran but also at every testing time - get the Free T3 and a Free T4 test. This shows exactly the whole story on what is going on with your medication and your ability to track you symptoms. Keep a log handy and write down you labs and symptoms at the time of the lab and get to know what levels start to help rid your symptoms  Since you are Hashi's - keeping track of your TPO is important too.

I hope you feel better. It takes time but many here can offer support to you. See if you doctor will read up on the Armour and use it in it's most efficient way to finally get you better and feeling healthy- there are many sites available for you to take to your doctor and talk over with them.


.


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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Stella,
I learn every day as I go..
But how many endo docs titrate Armour the way you have described?
My endo sees me every 2 months, and it is interesting that it should be done every 2 weeks.. I would like to do that , yet, I wish my PA/others doctors are willing to increase armour from 90 to 120 even at 1.6 TSH.
Do you know that current "normal" ranges for TSH were increased to 4.1 ( I believe, I am correct). This was related to me on my last endo visit.
I hate to be treated as number and not a symptom..
THanks for reply.
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Avatar_m_tn
It would be great if doctors started treating patients' symptoms and not just prescribing med. to adjust their TSH level to get it within the so called "normal" range.  Unfortunately there are far too many doctors who are still in the latter mode.  You may need to start searching for the right kind of doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am one of those people who cannot handle T4. Not in synthroid, Not in Armor.

After TEN YEARS OF THIS MADNESS I switched to T3 only therapy.

Immediately the sickness, the seasick, the buzzing went away. Suddenly poof I was normal and not falling over at work.

My thesis... in some people, as the liver gets sicker and sicker (or as you gain weight) your ability to manage T4 gets worse and worse and worse. It matters not if you use armor (which is MOSTLY T4) or synthroid (even worse)

search for "T3 only therapy"
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Avatar_m_tn
Cytomel is NOT Armour.  Where on Earth did you get that information.  Cytomel is strictly T3.  Armour is T1, T2, T3 and T4 from a pig!
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Avatar_m_tn
No one if referring to you.
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649848_tn?1357751184
This is an extremely old thread; none of the previous posters are active on the forum anymore, so I'm sure no one will respond to your comments.
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Avatar_m_tn
http://www.mercola.com/article/hypothyroid/treatment.htm
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Avatar_m_tn
http://www.mercola.com/article/hypothyroid/treatment.htm
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Avatar_f_tn
My levels were all normal except for total 3.  That number is 424 so my doctor has increased my 30mg dose to 60mg.  I'm confused though because doesn't the T3 mean I already have too much thyroid?  My TSH is at .89 on my current dose and most importantly, I feel good!
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Avatar_f_tn
My levels were all normal except for total 3.  That number is 424 so my doctor has increased my 30mg dose to 60mg.  I'm confused though because doesn't the T3 mean I already have too much thyroid?  My TSH is at .89 on my current dose and most importantly, I feel good!
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Avatar_m_tn
Since test results and reference ranges vary from lab to lab, you always need to compare results to their range.  So, please post your thyroid related test results and reference ranges shown on the lab report.  

Was the cause for you needing thyroid meds identified?  Do you have test results and their ranges from before starting the thyroid med?  If so, please post those as well.  

Be aware that for the future, it would be best to request testing for Free T3 and Free T4, rather than Totals.  Only the Free portions of Totals are biologically active and therefore more important to know.
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