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First doctor visit, started on Armour
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First doctor visit, started on Armour

Finally went to an integrative doctor today and all went as expected. He prescribed the hormone I wanted, and, unlike my PCP, seems to want to treat my hypo by symptoms and all the associated things I read about here (yeast, adrenals and to my surprise, even progesterone).

He read the detailed medical history I took on my iPad, asked me the type of questions I read about here, and went on to prescribe Armour thyroid (30 MG) to be taken twice a day (breakfast and lunch - why so close?). He also said I should take Adren-All 2 times a day (which he sold to me), Nystatin 5000 twice a day as well for the yeast I believe, and also called a pharmacy to order progesterone for me to take from the 12th to 26th day of my menstrual cycle - all this after I said I usually have severe PMS and feel like my moods are controlled by my hormones.

A lot right? Is this a treatment that many people get? I asked him how does he know I have adrenal and yeast problems? He said: you told me. (by telling him I have constant carb and sweet cravings, I feel dizziness, etc). I almost felt like he prescribes the same thing for everyone, but maybe he is just used to these issues and knows what everyone specifically has when talking with them.

He then send me in his office to do several tests: heart and carotids sonogram, and a really weird exam that analyzes one's balance (they put a machine in your head that reads how your eyes follow lights projected on the wall). the same person also did a short carpal tunnel syndrome test (I had it diagnosed 5 years ago but it subsided when I lost weight).

That's a lot of medicine to get used to... I hope I am doing the right thing. I went immediately to the pharmacy and started with Armour at lunch. I want so desperately to have energy again. I know the other medicines are short term, and thyroid hormone I will take forever. Does this treatment makes sense or seems like a bit much?

He did not order blood work, he said "not yet" although I don't have a FT4 AND FT3 in the same lab. I guess he'll do it when I come back in 3 weeks... or perhaps in 6 weeks or so when my 3rd visits comes up? I asked about the saliva test he said not yet as it's very expensive.

I am happy though as it seems to want to take care of the person as a whole. A woman that went in before me said she was taking Armour but she's sensitive to medicine and it didn't work for her (nausea etc) and he changed it to compounded natural that is slowly released throughout the day. it seems to show he is open minded and watches symptoms.

btw, he said there's no problem whatsoever in taking Melatonin 3 MG to sleep, but that the progesterone will help me even more.

Questions:

1) Does his whole treatment seem reasonable? I am surprised he prescribed so many things without more tests...

2) What does Armour 30 MG mean - how much T4 and how much T3 there is on it?
I bet he'll raise this dose correct? Why did he prescribe to have it at breakfast AND lunch? seems so close... why not let's say breakfast and dinner?

3) I don't understand why the body goes crazy like this with all this. are all these things connected? If I treat all the related things once, they won't come back shortly?

4) Classical question: how long will it typically take for Armour to work for a) brain fog b) fatigue

Thanks and sorry for the enormous post. Hope it can help someone.

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3 Comments Post a Comment
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2033435_tn?1329947108
p.s. do people still think the new Armour formula from 2009 doesn't work? or are people mostly still taking it and are well on it?
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1)  This is just my opinion as a fellow patient, you understand.  Prescribing meds without labs is questionable to me.  Yes, this should be symptom-driven treatment, but there's no point in burying your head in the sand, either.  Did you bring him labs that he went on?  The problem, to me, with the "shotgun approach" is twofold:  a) many of us had symptoms we thought were not related to thyroid that resolved on thyroid meds, so yours might resolve when levels are corrected, and b) it's going to be impossible, starting that many meds at the same time, to isolate effects of each.

2)  There are 19 mcg T4 and 4.5 mcg T3 in 30 mg Armour.  Dose often (almost always) has to be adjusted, but it's better to start out low and increase slowly to avoid swinging hyper.  If you take your second dose too late in the day, the T3 in the Armour can impact sleep.  You can experiment with the time that works best for you, but most people avoid taking it much after 3 pm (on a "normal" sleep schedule).  Some do late morning, some early afternoon.

3)  The "related things" may resolve without separate treatment once thyroid hormone levels are right.  Yes, they most likely are all connected.  Just starting out as you are, thyroid meds alone might solve all your problems.  If not, any lingering symptoms can be addressed separately once thyroid levels are right if that doesn't resolve them.

4)  Classical answer:  we're all different.  Part of that depends on how long you've been hypo, how close your doctor gets to your optimal dose on your initial dose, general health, etc, etc.  

p.s.  It's not that Armour doesn't work.  Many people who'd been on the old Armour with great success for years didn't react well at all to the reformulation.  People on the new formula, who never took the old, are still having success with it.
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2033435_tn?1329947108
goolarra, thank you so much for your response, really, really appreciate it. I had bad news at work yesterday so have to take care of issues but will be back to comment later.
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