I switched to Armour and have read I should have full adjusted to the med within 4 to 5 weeks. Does that sound right? I want to try and move my bloodwork up based on me feeling pretty bad since changing.
The half life of T3 is less than a day, so your blood levels of T3 should see the full effect of the Armour in a week. While symptoms tend to lag behind changes in blood levels of FT3, I would think that for purposes of just knowing if your FT3 level is in vicinity of where you need it, it shouldn't take more than a week or so. With the half life of T4 being approx. a week, with the dose changes you have made, for the FT4, I would give it about 4 weeks. So, no need to wait much longer.
It will be interesting to see what the doctor thinks. LOL You might help him to agree by explaining that you are suffering with the symptoms and want to make sure of your FT3 level without waiting so long.
So you say you have been feeling pretty badly since changing to Armour; hopefully, I am understanding that correctly. Fact is, everyone responds differently to different drugs. I did terrible on Synthroid and then on Synthroid/Cytomel combo, and I mean terrible. Upon switching to Armour, wow, it was like night and day and I felt better much quicker than 4-5 weeks. I believe my body was really in need of that direct shot of T3. Perhaps Armour is not your drug; hope that is not the case, but time will tell. Best to you...hope you feel better.
Thanks, I "think" I am happy with the switch overall. I have had lots of positive effects as well. I am just getting hit with that exhausted/depleted feeling. I don't if my dose needs adjusted or taking it twice a day instead of one will help. Part of the reason she switched me is because I logged and dieted for like 12 weeks, with cardio exercise 3 to 4 times a week and did not lose a single pound. Ever since my thyroid came out I have gained weight and then maintained while dieting. So, she thought maybe I my body would do better with natural hormone. I have lost weight the three weeks I have been on the armour. Granted, I am really doing the work calorie and exercise wise, but it might be helping and I am assuming it has. Also, my joint pain is MUCH better, if not pretty much gone. I know this is stupid and have no idea if it has anything to do with it, but even my libido is increased (:D). So, I am hoping it's just changing and needed to get things back to a good level.
As I read your post I was thinking that I hope your doctor does not determine medication dosage strictly by the reference ranges. The ranges are far too broad for that to work. A good thyroid doctor will treat a patient clinically by testing and adjusting Free T3 and Free T4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels. Symptom relief should be all important.
This link is to a letter written by a good thyroid doctor, for patients that he consults with from a distance. The letter is sent to the PCP of the patient to help guide treatment. I thought you might get some useful info from it.
Ralfina, you mentioned that you are taking Armour once a day instead of twice. Ok, this could definitely be a big factor in how you feel. When I first started the drug, no one said anything like the T3 has short half life and will wear off in 7-8 hours or so. Man, I could not figure out what was going on at that point. I would go super super tired, very cranky and very lethargic and depressed-ish. This would go on the rest of the day. Finally, I was advised to split the dose to make the T3 last all day; so I did. I am still trying to get it all right, but it was a big change for the better. Also, being very tired and depressed could be signs of too much medication, too. I know those are two of my most prevalent symptoms when I get too much from time to time.
grantj is right, Everyone that I have talked to on Armour does better splitting the Dose, I was just prescribed Armour 60mg and the Md directed once a day, but I split the 60 in two, I take 30 in the am an hour before food, and the other 30mg around 3:30 pm, and I do not get any crash symptoms later in the day. I think this would be worth a try for you also. Good Luck FTB4
There's a couple of things Armour ( all desiccated thyroid) patients find works well.
Splitting is usually the best way to take it spread out 4 to 6 hrs a day. When optimal levels are reached then some patients can take it all at once but that happens usually way down the road after your find the medication "sweet spot" to feeling good.
Since on that topic of finding the right dose, keep in mind Armour and the others are certainly a different form of medication. Its a combo T3/T4 med but in the natural desiccated there are more hormones involved that need adjustment periods. There is a higher equivelency of ratios from the pig-base hormone to human ratios. More so than a patient using a synthetic T3 med with a T4 also. Its found that on NDT Armour the body (thyroid) has a semi- kick/back period where close monitor of labs is needed for finding increases. You can find that testing even as close to 2 and 3 weeks could work well if your physician knows how to dose the Armour correctly. In the kick-back defination its best described as the med coming in and thyroid thyroid is "hungry" for the hormone and eats it up and wants more. Picture a starving person eating a steak. The thyroid being sick now getting in the NDT now after not having it is acting up telling your body "More Please!" but you aren't giving it more.
That is NOT to say that self increases is right either. Time on increases and proper doctor monitor with labs is so important to really get the best benefit of this treatment plan.
Another added plus to getting well would be to really concentrate on building your immune system. That's been weak too and the medication does nothing to really help that get back to life. Pretend you have a cold and listen to Grandma now. "Eat good and Take your Vitamins!"
A slow exercise routine is good. Not a marathon at all. Even simple strength building is wise during this phase.
Caution to speak to your doctor on would be to discuss your gluten and lactose intolarance levels. If this is a problem for you than the filler in Armour may be hard for you to process. A few alternatives to adjusting to it can help like acidophillus (yogurt) supplement and going gluten free could process the hormone (medication) better to really get in a more cellular level and do the job its intended to do better.
Also testing other levels with thyroid. Vit B - Vit D and RBC Magnesium to really keep thing tip-top for your medication to work optimally.
Thank you so much for the info!!! I really appreciate it.
The Doctor called me yesterday and wants me to start splitting the dose, she said if that don't start to help then to call her again. I am hoping it will do the trick. Since all my other symptoms are so great, I am hoping that is all it is.
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