Hi. My wife takes Armour. She had all the symtoms of hypothyroidism for years. The doctors kept telling her she was fine. She eventually had half of her thyroid out due to a huge tumor (benign). She finally had a P.A. prescribe levothyroxine which helped all her syptoms: sleepy, constipation, dry skin, hair falling out. The medicine helped. About two years later she insisted with a bit of a fight with doctor to let her try Armour. All of her symtoms have disappeared. For HER Armour is better. Levothyroxine supplies T4 and your body must be able to convert it to T3. Armour has both. Go to the Armour web site. They have good info under facts etc. There is an awesome article at http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/mercola.htm The doctor in the article is very informative.
I want to thanks for replying with such helpful info re your wife. I have also read that people who start on on say sythroid may still have some symptoms but after switching to Armour they lose all symptoms. I would like to try Armour 1st. I hope my Endo is cooperative about it...
Anyone else on Armour????? Or been on it ? Or switched from it to sythroid Levrox. etc...
I took Armour and it was terrible for me. It has a very unnatural amount of T3 in it and I got horrible headaches from it.
The ratio is 4:1 of T4 to T3.
You can read about it here: http://www.altsupportthyroid.org/dt.php
so 30 mg Armour is 24 t4, 6 mg t3
60 mg Armour is 48 t4, 12 t3
90 mg Armour is 72 t4, 18 t3
As you can see....18 mgs is a lot of t3. Most people who take Cytomel dont take anymore that 10 mg with their T4 medication.
I was fine on the introductory dose of 30 mg of Armour, but once my TSH got higher and I needed to increase the meds, the worse I felt because of all the t3.
Just wanted to throw out another opinion. Armour CAN AND DOES work well for some people. But there are also other people just like me who cant tolerate it. Ill never take it again. It made me feel terrible.
One more thought about pros and cons: If you opt for levothyroxine and your endocrinologist strongly favors Synthroid, be suspicious about whether he or she has been overly influenced by the drug marketing racket. Levothyroxine is an exception to the general rule that generic drugs are every bit as good as brand-name versions. It is important to take one of the recognized brands of levothyroxine (and to get the same brand every time a prescription is refilled).
Synthroid is no better than the others, however, unless it happens to be the brand that a particular person gets along with the best. Some of us seem to have hypersensitive systems where thyroid drugs are concerned, and I have heard of people who switched from one brand to another and felt better. The most usual switch seems to be AWAY from Synthroid, however. In addition, Synthroid seems slightly more likely than the other brands to cause a noticeable amount of hair loss in the early months of taking it.
I was delighted for you when I read your report of an absolutely flawless scar line. Having read your account of your unusually hair-raising time of it in surgery, I think that if anyone deserves to have some part of the overall process go unusually well, it is you! Will your broken tooth be easy to repair...I hope?
Thats what I love about this site...you throw out a line and with in a few hours the fish (answers) you want are jumpin in the boat!!!! Thanks everybody for your info, I did check out the web sites mentioned and have a greater knowledge and a bit more confedence in my drug choices, It beats reading the PDR too. Thanks all/ anyone else want to add more comments/experiences???
I have just one more comment, Lisa: Good luck!!! Of course, you are opening the way for good luck by educating yourself and doing your own thinking, which is an excellent way to get the best care possible. As happened with your scar line, though, may all the parts of the process over which you have no control go very, very smoothly for you.
Mavs3982's is far from the only person who has tried Armour and felt much worse, not better. Although there are people who do feel better after making the switch from levothyroxine to Armour, you might consider a "starter strategy" of taking levothyroxine initially while keeping Armour on your list of alternative strategies for the future. Anywhere from a few weeks to a year from now, when it seems that levothyroxine has done everything for you that it can do, you may feel well enough that you do not need an alternative strategy. The one entirely noncontroversial statement I can make is that there is no way to know in advance.
Although my endocrinologist is perhaps unusual in being open to prescribing Armour, I have shied away from it for the following reasons:
1) As pointed out, there is a serious imbalance of T4 and T3 in Armour.
2) If I want to take supplemental T3 as well as T4, which is an option my endocrinologist and I are discussing, I can take Cytomel. It is looking as if 75 mg. of T4 in pill form will be about right for me. If I decide to try taking Cytomel, my endocrinologist wants me to split a 5 mg. tablet in half. Compare that to the ratios that Mavs3982 shows you for different doses of Armour and you will see what we both mean about the imbalance. The inner consequences for you of an imbalance are potentially not minor.
3) Both levothyroxine and Cytomel are "synthetic" in the sense of being manufactured in a laboratory. In regard to the chemical structure of a medication, my bodily systems neither know nor care whether the pills I swallow came from desiccated pig parts or from a laboratory process.
4) "Natural" is not inherently good. Remember that the hemlock given to Socrates was entirely natural. So is the toxin that causes botulism.
5) In addition, "natural" in the case of Armour means that it is difficult for the manufacturer to ensure equal potency from one batch of pills to the next. The manufacturer assures us consumers that they go to great pains to ensure equal potency, but a person might reasonably wonder about whether they completely succeed.
Equal potency is not a problem with a brand name of levothyroxine that is reasonably fresh (which it should be in any reputable pharmacy) and that you store within a fairly narrow temperature range (59 to 77 degrees Farenheit, which was challenging for me in my always-too-warm apartment, until I discovered the wonderful gadget called a wine cooler). During the first four months of adjusting to levothyroxine, I had a roller-coaster pattern of ups and downs in my symptoms. My endocrinologist says that he sees about two patients a year who follow that sort of adjustment pattern. It was crazy-making enough without wondering whether I was getting the same amount of T4 in every pill I took.
When my endocrinologist first mentioned Armour and I said that the idea of taking something "natural" had no appeal for me, he replied that if you look at the way Armour is manufactured, it actually is not natural at all. Food for thought....
That was the thing. I thought Armour would be better just because it was natural. I didn't research it as well as I should have before I took the medicine.
The other thing that is interesting is prior to starting Armour, I had my Thyroid Peroixidase Antibodies tested nad Thyroglobulin Antibodies tested. I didn't have any at the time I started Armour.
Now....I was on Armour for about a year and I began to have more problems in Nov of last year because my TSH got high. We ran antibodies and they came back totally abnormal. More than likely, this has something to due w/ my immune system and thyroid disease, however, some people think that thoses who take Armour DEVELOP ANTIBODIES because it is made from a pig gland and the body can view Armour as an invader and "attack" your thyroid. It is just something my doc mentioned and it makes sense. There is no way to find out but your body could react to Armour as if it is something foreign.
Wow, that is a sobering thought that Armour might actually cause antibodies. It is another reason to think twice about taking it.
I can understand why someone would favor Armour because it seems natural; the idea that natural is better is such an appealing idea. It is interesting how many flaws the idea turns out to have, though, when it is examined closely. In my younger days, I did not realize this at all. It is something I have learned over time.
Your posts have been good ones, too, Mavs, and I am sure it has helped Lisa to have every variety of fish come jumping out of the water after she threw out a line! This forum really is a priceless resource.
Whoa now that info on the antibodies was pricless as I had Hasi's pre-TT so that means the antibodies are there already and I never gave thought to the idea that they might react to the Armour as an invader thyroid, Things that make you go Ummmm! You two have been so helpful, I am really blessed by so much experience here...Ok so Jen your on Levo, and Mavs you take Synthroid, do either of you use Cytomel and have either of you tried the Thymoral (this has the T3T4 combo in one pill)?
I have never taken Armour. I have MVP and I am a vegetarian, but here is my four cents worth of gathered information.
Some people develop TED - Thyroid Eye Disease, when they take animal-based extracts such as Armour, because the immune system react to foreign proteins found in glandular extracts. Synthetic meds. doesn't cause this probelm.
"Armour Thyroid tablets should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease and it may increase the symptoms of diabetes, mellitus, diabetes inspidus or adrenal insufficiency".
Thanks to for your contribution. I am pretty sure I will steer away from the Armour now. I think the autoimmune/ antibody aspect of my disease is a strong enough reason to avoid it. What replacment therapy are you using? You didnt mention in your post. Again I ask all of you if any one is using the combo drug Thymoral that has T3T4. or Levo/Synthroid with Cytomel??? Thanks again for all your help!
Thank you for the compliment about our postings! All of us "fish" who leaped out of the water when you threw out a line have wanted sincerely to help, I know, so I am delighted to know that we have succeeded.
I am sorry, though, to have been sluggish with a reply to your question. Before I answer your question, I want to say that you put it so well when you said, "Things that make you go Ummmm!"
Actually, let me explain my answer before I provide it. I have been taking Levothroid since mid-September. It was a scary moment when I began taking medication for my mild case of hypothyroidism. A year ago at this time, my one and only medical problem was a steadily worsening problem with sleep disturbances that formerly were completely "cured" by HRT. When I was diagnosed in June with hypothyroidism, the question was whether my thyroid gland was contributing to my problems with sleep. The worrisome alternative was that I had two conflicting problems going on at the same time...a thyroid gland that was not keeping up with its workload and a sleep-disturbance problem that would be worsened if I started taking thyroid medication.
Then my choice about taking or not taking levothyroxine was taken away, in a sense, as my thyroid gland's struggles began to produce some of hypothyroidism's familiar and highly vexing symptoms. Five months later, I am relieved to say that the drug has done nothing but good things for me. Wow, does it have an impact, though. Every time a dosage increase has seemed warranted, it has been my choice to limit the increase to 12.5 mcg. Even that small an increase (half of the weakest dose manufactured) sends my blood pressure soaring, gives me a rapid heartbeat, and causes my rosacea (skin condition) to flare. Then within a few days, blood pressure, pulse, bright red ears, and burning eyes all begin to simmer down again.
At my current dosage level of 75 mcg., I am tantalizingly close to feeling as well as I did a year ago. I also have seen thought-provoking evidence that my thyroid gland indeed has been contributing to my sleep disturbances, which seems a little contradictory but also makes sense mechanically, since the thyroid gland helps regulate serotonin.
It is too soon, however, to say that my endocrinologist and I have figured out the ideal levothyroxine dose for me. As he put it very well the last time I saw him, the process of finding the right dose of levothyroxine is very much like the process of turning a luxury liner around. Inevitably, it is a slow and cumbersome process requiring a lot of maneuvering.
I have a really super-guy of an endocrinologist, by the way. He was happy to assign the roles in our relationship in the way I wanted them to be assigned. I am the symptomatology record-keeper and accurate reporter, and I also am the chief decision-maker. He is the expert thinker and advisor. Neither of us has any interest in being a dictator.
I do state my preferences, and he has been supportive of each one of them. Early on, I told him that I strongly preferred to work on one area at a time with one specialist at a time. Eventually, I may need to see a neurologist and consider taking a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor to boost my night-time level of serotonin. I know that my endocrinologist would refer me in a minute if I wanted to see a sleep-specialist neurologist now, but he said he thought I was making good sense when I said, "Let's fix the thyroid problem first and then see where I am."
The question of taking Cytomel is a subcategory of this general idea, I think. The last time I saw my endocrinologist was the first time he mentioned Cytomel. It came up in our discussion sort of incidentally. He said that he has become a fan of combination therapy simply because he has found that many patients feel a shade better on a combination regimen. (He would be the first to confirm, however, that research findings are mixed, with some people apparently feeling worse when they take Cytomel, not better.) When I see him again in three weeks, I am going to say that having thought a lot about Cytomel, I may be interested in experimenting with taking it, but not yet.
Here is my thinking, just in case it is helpful to you as you do your own thinking. During the first three and a half months of taking levothyroxine, I steadily felt better overall, but believe me, "better" was an average! From one day to the next, my thyroid-related symptoms went up and down like a slowly moving roller coaster. During my crummiest days--and some of them were pretty crummy--it would have added to the emotional strain if I had been taking Cytomel. I would have wondered how I would be feeling if I were not taking Cytomel--would I feel better, or would I feel even crummier still?
Just after the first of the year, I went up the dosage scale from 50 mcg. of levothyroxine to 62.5. I had a slightly higher level of well-being than before, and I also had a stable level of well-being for the first time. Now that I am taking 75 mcg., the stability is even more so, but I still have an occasional Bad Thyroid day. I know that my endocrinologist will not be surprised to hear that, since as he said, the process I am going through is like trying to turn a luxury liner around.
Before I consider adding another drug to my daily routine, I would like to feel that I have gained as much well-being and as much stability as possible from levothyroxine alone. This is what I plan to tell my endocrinologist when I see him three weeks from now. I will be interested to see whether he again thinks that I am making good sense. It seems to me that it cuts down on potential confusion about what is causing what if I am dealing with one drug at a time. This might be doubly true with T3, which leaves the body much more quickly than T4 does (and I mean MUCH more), making it much more difficult for someone to find a good T3 medication routine (is my impression). In addition, I share Mavs' viewpoint. I think I would want to know if my free T3 level was poor, excellent, or somewhere in between before deciding that taking Cytomel makes sense.
There is SO much complexity involved--this is the thyroid-related fact that has had the greatest influence on my thinking. Only during my last visit with my endocrinologist did I realize that getting my TSH level down to a comfortable level is only one goal. Being sure that free T4 is up to a comfortable level is another goal. Once those two goals are met, if I am feeling reasonably well at that point, then I expect to have questions about the risk of upsetting the balance by taking supplemental T3 and also about whether there really would be any value added if I took T3. My difficult-to-treat sleep disturbances might be a reason to experiment with T3, but I am moving slowly and cautiously in this area of decision-making.
If I do eventually decide to try supplemental T3, I am sure that it will be in a separate pill (Cytomel) and not a switch to the combination pill. Actually, when I think about it, I wonder why anyone would bother to manufacture a combination pill with a fixed ratio of T4 and T3. Maybe there are people who so hate taking two pills (or who are so forgetful) that having a single pill is a help? Surely anyone who could take a combination pill would have hypothyroidism that was easy to treat, meaning that the person would feel reasonably well whether or not dosage levels were exact. I think I have proven myself not to be in that category at all! I would bet the cost of my next office visit to my endocrinologist that he would say I am reading his mind correctly: He would want to be able to balance the T4 and T3 I was taking exactly, which would mean separate pills. Then with me, there probably will be a time-of-day question, in that I sleep better if I take my levothyroxine dose late in the day.
One last comment: To be honest, I have not found it at all easy to take one drug at a time, to increase the dosage a baby step at a time, and then to wait a reasonable length of time before doing anything more. A running joke with myself and with friends is that when I was newly diagnosed and started to read about hypothyroidism, every time I read information about treatment with levothyroxine, the word "patience" seemed to be mentioned prominently. It did not mean much to me at the time, but wow, do I understand now! Every time I feel my patience slipping, though, I remember the principle "haste makes waste." Knowing that something such as cardiovascular health might get wasted by poor decisions or a lack of patience has helped me slow down and wait patiently, even though I often have had to twist my own arm to wring the patience out of myself.
I will keep you updated in regard to Cytomel and decision-making. For the moment, I am glad if we fellow forum members have helped you "prep" for your Monday endo visit. May the discussion go well (according to YOUR definition!).
Funny how those kinds of questions end up having a simple answer...to keep the natural from being overertly to T3 the just make the Snythic match...smart marketing actually/ I really don't trust pharmaceuticals did you know it means Sorcery in greek "Pharmakia" hahahaha I really don't trust them tho / thanks guys
I am having a TT next Monday and I will be starting Synthroid. I will definitely let you know how it goes. :)
Some people do great on Armour, others dont. I think it's like that with all products. You just have to get the information first, evaluate and decide if it's a good fit for you. For example, I have Interstitial Cystitis (bladder problem) and I take 25 mg of Elavil for pain. I have zero problems with Elavil. Didnt gain weight, none of the side effects. But if you search the internet, some people swear that Elavil is the devil. I took a chance and it worked for me.
It sounds like you thought this out and that is great. Whehter or not you decide to take or not take Armour, I wish you the best! :)
One more comment about the combination pill: Mavs pointed out that it has the same high ratio of T3 to T4 that Armour has, which seems like meaningful information to me. Although my endocrinologist has seen many patients feel better when taking T3 as well as T4, it was clear to me in what he said that he would want to be sure I was taking a very small T3 dose.
Over time, from the amount of information that I have been able to absorb at the layperson's level, I have come to think that we "hypo" patients need to be highly aware of the major areas of vulnerability that GravesLady mentioned in one of her posts: the cardiovascular system and the risk of developing Type II diabetes that virtually anyone has in the industrialized part of the world. Even if I could take a combination pill and feel as right as rain on it, I would be highly concerned about whether an undesirable T4/T3 ratio might be having bad effects inside me that would not become apparent until a few more years down the road.
Interesting that the Thyrolar is the same ratio as Armour...I wonder why they set the T3 so high since it is clearly the prob in Armour for most people....At any rate thanks again for all the superb info. My best friend had a TT last year and is using Snythroid 100mg and uses the cytomel every other day (not sure the Mg.) She has had a year to tweek it and says this works best for her but she also does 200mg of Snythroid on sat. & sun. only. I thought this odd but she says it is working extremly well so even if unconventional she is pleased. Any body else heard of this kind of dosing???
My Endo seems to be very willing to listen and is not the "Power Tripper" doctor like so many I work with at the Hospital. She lets her degree be her ego which is nice for me.
I will and do challange any and all decisions regarding my health. I want to get back to my life and my job.
Nursing is funny in that you don't pay much attention to meds or illnesses outside of your own box. I work with bone and joint replacments which focuses on pain pumps with MS & or delauded...vicodan and toradol...some IV meds and thats pretty much it so when I am forced to learn new things I have to have all the perspectives so I can judge acurately myself. Thats why I am so geeked about this site...nothing better then the geunia pigs (myself included) to ask all questions too. Am I right??? Thanks again all your insights are priceless!!!!
I agree with you, Lisa, about Thyrolar. Since the optimal ratio is known, it seems odd that anyone would manufacture a combination pill with an obviously out-of-proportion T3. Oh, well, I would prefer the flexibility (and therefore the ability to try for exactitude) of separate medications no matter what. I can swallow twice rather than once; no big deal. ;o)
Your best friend's regimen is very interesting. I could imagine that taking 200 mcg. on two days of the week only could be okay. Her endocrinologist okayed this, I am assuming, and I also assuming, if she is good friends with you, that she has the sort of endocrinologist who is open to trying something unusual and also to communicating openly.
I am so glad that YOU have a good, non-"Power Tripper" endocrinologist. Having been a nurse's aide, I know that if you need medical help in an area that is outside your own "box," it can be about as difficult to find a good physician/partner as it is for a layperson to find one. Patients with your style and mine (meaning: we can and do challenge any and all decisions about our health, because after all, we have to live with the consequences) get the best outcomes, but it is not always easy to find a doc who will work with us rather than butting heads with us.
As for self-education, I am exactly like you. I have to have all the perspectives before I can judge for myself. For this reason, I am geeked about this site, too!! I think that all of us are pretty good about realizing our limitations as laypeople, but we have picked up useful insights along the way. It is wonderful to look through a set of comments and have a variety of perspectives laid out for you. As you said, it sure beats reading the PDR!
I will indeed keep you posted on Cytomel and how my and my endo's thinking about it unfolds. In the meantime: Take care.
No, I had no idea of the meaning of "pharmaceutical." Sorcery, eh? It really fits. The drug industry in America is such a racket. A patient support forum focused on nothing but pharmaceuticals and their manufacturers would get a lot of traffic, I would bet.
I have been recently diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's) and have been prescribed Levothyroxine -25mcg. I have a family history of Hypo (mom and sisters- about 12yrs). First of all wanted to say- thanks for all the information....i found out more here than from my endo or primary physician. Both told me nothing about the side effects of taking this drug. I had read in another forum where someone had jaw pain - clamping of the jaw and I had the same when I started this almost 2 weeks ago. Since the last 2 days this feeling has gotten better and am able to open my mouth with less discomfort. Also had read that there are several foods one should avoid when taking Levo. Any ideas on this? What else should I be on the look out for in terms of effects- i still feel extremely cold all the time. Thanks for all the info. - AnSi
what great great info - I've tried them all over 6years - my eyesight went from 20/25 to 20/45 in one year after brilliant endo overdosed me on Levoxyl - then 2 years later another endo did same thing and I had double vision for 2 weeks until I cut dose down myself - loved Armour - felt like a teenager again but it only lasted few weeks and then I went hyper - t4 to t3 is too hi for me - did the levoxyl/cytomel deal too - I had to cut cytomel into 1/4 of 5mcg - still too much for me - I ended up way over - tried Synthroid too - old endo he & other docs @ symposium one wkend did test - synthroid in water dissolves to slowly therefore doesn't absorb in stomach but in intestine - dont know if its true - but I hate synthroid due to lawsuit of overchargeing, monolpolizing etc anyway I still would like to try compounding pharmacy to see if proper ratio t4/t3 is solution for me - will mention to my current doc as she is open minded - I say this over & over like a broken record - but if you feel crappy @ recommended dose and test results say youre fine and youre not - see if you feel better on less - took me 6years to realize we cycle hi even though were hypo - anyway good luck in your search for right brand/amount - I tried comb levoxyl w/ supplement Armour - too much for me - funny thing is my t3 is always a little too low and t4 okay @ low end of range with around a 10tsh best for me - sounds crazy but we all find our own best fit - too bad we cant just convince our bodies to quit cycling hi/lo - have heard stem cell research holds best promise for immune system diseases - I keep hoping cause wow would it be great to cure this lupus, ms, diabetes etc !!!!!
I am a 33 yr old female that has battled her thyroid for about 5 years now. Started out hyper, heart rate 140 on a good day and all of the other symptoms that come along with it. I had radioactive iodine I-131 to zap it. My thyroid then plunged. Started taking synthroid. Dr kept uping the dosage until I was taking 300mcg a day. (I started out by taking 15 pills a day combo of thryoid, heart, depression/anxiety) She finally decided that the medicine wasn't being absorbed into my body. I don't see how it would...the diahrrea was so intense that I don't know why I'm still alive! Anyway, she eventually put me on the levothyroxine injections. I had to get 2 shots every other day. It was a comfort for me knowing that the medicine was actually reaching my system. After a while on the shots my levels were normal. This was the first time in over 4 years I had heard this. All of a sudden the shots are out of stock indefinately. I got put pack on synthroid for 3 months with the same results. I have now started this armour. I feel a lil better. I am noticing changes a little each day.
Please let me know if any of you are having as good of luck as me and how you are coping.
Yes, started Armour 3 weeks ago, best thing I've done since hypo. diagnosis 6 months ago - thyroxine seemed to make all my symptoms worse!
Wish I had switched sooner, listened to my doctor for too long!
Armour has helped me so much, I no longer am fatigued! I have so much energy and I have the Stop The Thyroid Madness Group on Yahoo to Thank! They helped me find the proper treatment, doctors and support for my hypothyroidism. I was persistent and stood my ground and was able to get a good endo to listen to me and give me Armour! I did not like the fact that Synthroid tends to break down bones.
Good luck to all.
I love this site. Am going to an endo tomorrow after being treated for hypo (now hoshimotos for about 2 yrs. any main questions or guidelines to ask? will ask about Armour, cuz still am exhausted all of the time.
I've been on thyroid hormones for at least 50 years and over the years different types have been tried, such as Synthroid, Euthroid etc. Since my problem is one of conversion I haven't done well on the synthetics at all and some of the symptoms worsened and to that edema was added.
For the past few decades I have been on Armour thyroid and never had another symptom of hypothyroidism. My highest dose at one time was 4 grains (240 mg), but over the years this was steadily adjusted down and now at the age of 85 years the optimum dose is 75 mg.
I would like to add that my health is nothing short of perfect and I have still lots of energy, which enables me to still do all of my own housework, drive for very long distances, etc., etc.
The medical community has always been hostile to anything natural and right now there seems to be a conspiracy going on between MD's and pharmacies, who are using the fact that Forster Labs is retooling right now and there are some delays in getting some of the higher strength tablets refilled, to try and push their synthetics down our throat. Armour thyroid is NOT out of production and by the end of the year Forster should be in full production again.
I categorically refuse to take synthetics, which will result in health problems, which are now nonexistent. If all else would fail I would stop taking any kind of hormones and try homeopathic tablets or drops.
This also may result in some health problems, but at least I would not get into the situation where more and more medications would be added to try and combat negative symptoms of a medication I know does not agree with me.
Does anyone think it is coincidence that the synthetics are so much more expensive than Armour?
The Armour ratio of T4 and T3 works well for some people because some people's bodies don't break down T4 as it should be broken down. If they're getting loads of T4 but their body can't produce T3 from it, then they are lacking in T3 no matter how much synthroid they are given.
There are also amounts of T1 and T2 in Armour which, although most are destroyed by digestion, some is better than none if you are not breaking down hormones correctly to get what you need.
People who are able break down T4 into T3 get all they need from the T4, and don't need as much supplemented in their daily medicine. Armour/Thyrolar wouldn't be the best choice for them.
I've taken Armour for seven years now, after five years of Synthroid hell. I now have no hypo symptoms and can actually live my life. I owe it to a wise doctor that prescribed the proper medication for the way my body works.
Some people do great on T4 so they think that it is the best option for everyone. I disagree with most of the posts at the beginning of this thread.
If you don't do well on Armour, then by all means, don't take it, but please don't discount its value to others with fewer choices.
wow......glad to hear some words from other side... i agree with firecracker, that Armour is work for some people while, Synthroid is work for the others. my biggest problem with Synthroid is that i am losing more hair and my condition seem to be unstable most of the time, over a year, i increased from 25 to 100. i can thinking of switching to Armour, heard that less people have the hair loss issue there, and it seems like, it's easier to adjust the dose without having dramatic up and down on Armour.
best wishes to friends here, no matter which medication you are on, as far as it works for you.
I found this thread is being brought up many times throughout my time here at MH and I read it and never respond because it is so old I assume will go away.
BUT to the posters EmpaJenny and MAVs (who I do not see post much anymore since one other member was told to leave.)
Their facts on Armour are completely untrue and one sided.
Yes this med is derived from pig glands yes there is a bit more T3.
In the cardio field many surgeons use pig arteries for heart surgeries. I recall a pigs heart used once on an open heart patient surgery are these people dead -- NO
This is the problem with one sided people and their demented idea that "only" one medicine exsists for all. Well ladies - WAKE UP!!
80% (PROVEN) of thyroid patients experience a symptom free life being on Armour while a ratio of over 40% of people on Synthroid still feel bad. FACT!!
Now it is up to the patient to decided. First this medicine has been around for almost 100 years. It was the frug of choice prior to Abbott Labs Synthroid claims.
There is proven facts Synthroid has been recalled more often than Armour due to inconsistancies of dosages and bad fillers etc. We just don't hear about that. Why? Money..... BIG $$$$$.
Did you know dozens of doctors were interviewed on thyroid cases and were asked what medicine they would take if need be --- GUESS WHAT - they picked the dessicated pig gland - Armour.
Now I will not push and advocant off their Synthroid if it is working for them - I commend them they feel better and I am happy for them. Same with Cytomel.
Don't punish a suffering patient though that is on Synthroid and is still sick. Stop scaring these people that Armour is bad.. It's NOT and it was the best thing that happen to my life after I got this disease.
Ignorant - didn't your mother teach you posters above that if you don't have nothing good to say ( or know what the he// you are talking about) Don't say nothing at all!
Also - no body can say they are synthetic free in these days. Pain killers - jiuce - toothpaste - some food and other things all have synthetics in them - so it is impossible to stand tall and say you are synthetic free. If you take an Tylenol you are taking synthetics!
Do what workd for you - if it's not working try something else. Don't believe an ignorant person with no facts behing their statements that something is bad when they do not know.
It is a choice for life and nobody wins if these comments and lies continue about Armour.
BRAVO Stella!! By the way I think that empajenny worked for a pharmaceutical co from reading her posts...lol...nope i was wrong she was a nurse's aide.
TED is caused by the antibodies from graves and even hashi's. It causes inflammation of the optical nerves.....not from Armour....haha!
Oh my.....synthetics work for some and armour works for others. But to bash something you know nothing about??? I myself have taken synthroid for 2 1/2 yrs and switched to armour. I can make a non-biased opinion and an educated opinion because I have done both routes as well as Stella has too.
You're right! It is a very old post. I just ran across it while I was googling Armour for other information. I had to comment! I wanted to make sure that anyone who is just learning about their options didn't take the oldest posts as gospel. I wish the posts were organized most recent on top!
To All - I know a lot of people are pushing Armour and the people who don't need it are getting sick of hearing about it, but it is Heaven Sent for some of us who needed to search further than levothyroxine for treatment.
It took me YEARS to find out about this disease, and to find out the reasons Armour works so well for me. I missed most of my children's younger years because I didn't feel well enough to function. If I can save one person a few years of searching by sharing about Armour, I will be happy!
Best wishes to all!
P.S. I have Hashi's and belong to several forum groups and patient groups.
I have never heard of Armour CAUSING antibodies. When you have Hashimotos, your antibodies naturally increase and decrease depending on the phase and severity of the attack.
Synthroid is not working for me. I am trying armour in a month or so. My hypo symptoms are much much worse now.!!!!!!!! But like stella said, listen to your bodies, if synthroid isn't working there are many more out there so try them. Demand to your doctors that hey my body doesn't like this!!!! Sorry im venting:)
Hi there to anyone that has taken Armour.. I have been on a compounded desiccated thyroid medication for 4 weeks after being on synthroid for 14 years. My tests on synthroid were actually perfect free t4 free t3 and Tsh , however all hypo systems were still present and morning temp was 96.2 to 97.2. After 4 weeks on the natural desiccated my thyroid tests went a bit whacky tsh went to 20 from .68. I know this shows I need more meds as this has been explained, and I have excellent pharmacists and doctors working with me( I was taking 75mg or 1 1/4 grains) now upped to 90mg or 1 1/2 grains. The thing is, I really feel no better at all, probably more tired than before, and dryer skin, and breakouts that I have never had. I am not giving up. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this when they were tweeking their doses. My dose while I was on synthroid was .0125mg, which was equilivant to my starting dose on the desiccated thyroid(which is the same basically as Armour). I live In Canada. Mayabe someone has some insight. I know there could be adrenal issues, however that would be my next step in testing. Thanks
I was diagnosed with hashi's 3 years after my son was born, after 3 years of complete exhaustion. Since then, about 5 years now, been to endo's and reg. docs and finally found one who will work with my symptoms. Problem is, we just can't find the right meds or amount to regulate my thyroid. Lots of hair loss and irregulare periods - low blood suger. I am happy with Armour, but my doc wants to try Synthroid/Cytomel combo again (that was dissasterous when we tried it 3 to 4 year ago!). I don't know what to think. Any ideas?
I would tell your dr no way...why make the same mistake twice? Have you had your adrenals checked?
Same think with Mayan above from Canada....it is important to have adrenals checked if you are getting worse or not getting better at all.
Are both of you taking b vitamins and vit c several times a day?
There is a better link here called those of us on armour #2 which will show you recently active posters that take armour. Join us.... :)
I am hypho- and was on synthroid for about 8 years, for the past three years complained to my female family doctor (thinking as a woman she would be understanding) that I did not think the synthroid was working as i was SO FATIGUED all the time. At times I felt I could not even compose thoughts clearly. She said you just need to lose weight....I found a new male D.O who specializes in natural treatment. When he did an extensive hormone panel he discovered that T4 was not breaking down... He put me on Armour three months ago and I have a whole new life!! Tons of energy, focused thoughts and truly can accomplish projects now. I never felt this good on Synthroid. The only thing I have noticed is aching in my inner thighs...?? Has anyone else noticed this side effect??
Thank you so much for your responses! I am definitely not going back to taking synthroid. I just told the doc I would think about it. For now we are just adjusting my dose a small amount and testing again in a month. I will check out the armour#2 link. I have never had my adrenals checked out. I keep meaning to buy b vitamins, selenium and flaxseed every time I go out, then I forget. I think I need that in addition to my multis. I have read that things (thyroid & menstrual) can go way out of whack if you aren't getting enough vitamins for support. The big problem is getting my thyroid to stop fluctuating....and I am sure you've all experienced the hair loss and other trials associated with thyroid swings. I try to take it in stride now, since I know what's going on, but it gets tiring. My son, especially, is getting the short end of the stick. We try to do quiet activities together since I don't usually feel up to running around with him. :-)
Just make sure that you divide them in half. I take one in morning and one later at night. Its a long process. But you can increase 1/4 after your body gets used to it. yes your other hormones will go out of wack. So make sure that you get a good multivitiamin that has a strong b complex already in them and take your c's as well. I have been lazy that is probably why im swinging!
How To Monitor Your Treatment With Natural Hormone Therapy.
After proper diagnosis of hypothyroidism (click here for article), the next issue is with what substance to treat.
Should You Use Synthetic Hormones?
The traditional approach is to use synthetic hormones like Synthroid/ Levoxyl/Levothroid (levothyroxine). These products only contain T4 hormone, they have no T3.
When a patient attempts to ask their physician for the natural hormone they are usually ridiculed and made to feel stupid that they would request an inferior hormone product.
The common argument the physicians give is that the synthetic provides steady hormone levels. What the doctors tend to overlook is that the vast majority of people can not convert the T4 to the active form of thyroid which is T3. This is easy to cofirm by measuring the free hormone levels, but virtually none of the doctors use these tests.
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Armour Thyroid -- The Natural Alternative
When one has low T3 levels, which are typical with synthetic hormone use, the brain does not work properly. It is important to use a preparation with T3 because T3 does 90% of the work of the thyroid in the body. So one should use a combination of T4 and T3 which compensates for the inability to convert T4 to T3. Armour thyroid is desiccated thyroid and has both T3 and T4
A 1999 study published in one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that the natural hormone product, such as Armour, was far better at controlling the brain problems commonly found in hypothyroidism. Nearly all natural medicine doctors tend to use Armour thyroid which is a mixture of mono and di-iodothryonine and T3 and T4, the entire range of thyroid hormones.
Armour Thyroid Dosing -- TWICE a day.
The most common starting dose for patients with hypothyroidism is Armour thyroid, 90 mg which is cut in half with a razor blade and half is ideally taken twice a day, 10 to 20 minutes before breakfast and dinner. If you have trouble remember taking them, then take the entire dose before breakfast. It is also ideal to chew the tablet before swallowing. Taking it after meals also helps to reduce volatility of the blood-level of T3. If the patient has any problem breaking or cutting the pill, they should purchase a pill-cutter at the pharmacy. The TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 are then repeated in one month and the dose is adjusted.
Taking the Armour thyroid twice a day overcomes traditional medicine's major objection and resistance to using natural thyroid preparations - its variability in its blood-levels. Most doctors using Armour thyroid are not aware that Armour thyroid should be used twice daily and NOT once a day. The major reason is that the T3 component has such a short half life and needs to be taken twice daily to achieve consistent blood levels.
Dose Adjustments With Lab Monitoring
Once on hormone replacement, the dose should be increased until the TSH falls below 0.4. Then one needs to optimize the 2 thyroid hormones by using the Free T4 and Free T3 levels.
The Free T3 and Free T4 are used to monitor the treatment. They should be above the median (middle) but below the upper end of the laboratory normal reference range. The goal for healthy young adults would be to have numbers close to the upper part of the range, and for cardiac and/or elderly patients, the numbers should be in the middle of its range.
The Free T3 and Free T4 levels should be checked every month and the hormone therapy readjusted until the FT3 and FT4 levels are in the therapeutic range described. Once a theraputic range is acheived the levels should be checked at least once a year. A small number of large, overweight, thyroid-resistant women may need 6-8 grains of Armour Thyroid or the equivalent of thyroxine per day (counting 0.1mg of T4 as 1 grain of Armour Thyroid).
For those people who are already on once daily Armour thyroid should split their doses immediately and take half after breakfast and half after dinner. Since the only change will be in the FT3 level, which has a short half-life, the serum FT4 and FT3 levels (and TSH, if indicated) can be measured 48-72 hrs after the splitting of the doses if the patient had been on the hormone for 4-6 weeks before the splitting of the doses. This is because the Free T4 hormone is the one that takes a number of weeks to build up to its steady-state serum-level.
Symptoms of Excessive Thyroid Hormone
There are frequently only temporary during the adaptation stage. The symptoms may include: palpitations
feeling hot and sweaty
What To Do If You Can Not Tolerate Armour Thyroid or Want To Continue Synthetic Hormones
My experience is that well over 90% of people do much better on Armour thyroid. However, there are a small number of people who do not tolerate it. This is most frequently done with Armour thyroid. However, Cytomel, which is T3 only, can be used in combination with one of the T4 only synthetic preparations mentioned above. It is important to recognize that T3 should always be prescribed twice daily due to its shorter half life. This is typically after breakfast AND supper for compliance reasons.
If you are currently taking Synthroid (thyroxine), your Free T4 level is usually at or above the high end of its normal range and your Free T3 level is usually below. In this situation, one may then add 5-12.5 mcg Cytomel (pure-T3) after breakfast and supper daily, rather than Armour Thyroid or Thyrolar (synthetic T4/T3 combo).
Once or twice daily dosing one can then optimize both the T4 and T3 levels, with whatever thyroid preparation is required. This is not possible in most hypothyroid patients with T4 only preparations.
People Who Should Not Take Cytomel
The only exception to pursue optimization of the T3 level without using Armour thyroid is in severe acute cardio-pulmonary conditions, such as congestive heart failure, when the metabolic slowing effect of a low FT3 level can actually be life-saving. However, the vast majority of hypothyroid patients do not have this problem.
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If you are interested in a more comprehensive articles directed towards health care professionals click here.
Click here to read my interview with Mary Shomon, the Thyroid guide from About.com.
Has anyone noticed if Armour seems to help more with people dx with hashimoto? I was dx in 2006 with hashimoto thyroiditis I went hyper for a few months and was very sick then my thyroid went back to normal until July of this year. I had pain in my neck that went to my ear and what really scared me is it went to my eye. I went to the eye doctor and had a ct of the orbits and was found to have mild thyroid eye disease. My endo the started me out on 25mg of synthroid. My energy is returning but my hair is still falling out. I did ask him if he prescribed Armour and he does but he was afraid I would go hyper on Armour and It might mess with my eyes? At least I know he will prescribe Armour so I am keeping that in the back of my mind in case synthroid does not work. I'm glad I found you guys! I am learning alot!
Thanks Stella for the clarification! I was worried and scared about reading some of those posts. I have had hypothyroidism for years. First on Synthroid with occasional increases, then Levotho.... and several increases, now Armour with a few increases but just had the anitbodies test done this year and have Hashi's.
My new doctor is homeopathic and put me on the Armour and discovered the Hashi's. No one tested for that in the earlier years.
You mentioned that Armour does NOT cause the high antibodies. Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering if that is why I have it now and if I should go back to the other brands. I have felt the best on Armour for the last 2 years.
Please explain how you can go from Hypo to Hashi's on meds and why if you can.
no armour does not cause high antibodies. I would not switch. Give your armour sometime to work. Your body needs to adjust. armour has done great for my mood. I just need an increase on it. hold on before you switch.:) hashimotos is caused by long term hypothyroid left untreated. The hyper that you feel is only temporary. go to the above page and look:)
Thanks for the heads up on the adrenals, that will be my next set of tests. I think I am still a bit low on the desiccated thyroid (90mg) I was doing fairly well for about the first 10 days, then I crashed. Went right back to square one. I just had the tests done on the 22 so will see what the results are. I am getting it from a compounding pharmacy, so I only take it once a day, they say it is timed released, so it is not necessary to split the dose.
I was put on the generic form of Synthroid last July, 2008 and immediately I developed intense itching on the palms of both hands and inbetween the fingers. I've scratched to point of making myself bleed. I told the Dr. about it and she switched me to the real Synthroid 75 mcg and told me to see how I do on that. After taking it for 3 weeks, I did not see any improvement and the itching continued to drive me insane. She has now put me on Armour Thyroid 60 mg. I just started on this today. I've been reading here and was getting scared about the side effects of Armour, but after seeing that some people have done very well on it, I want to stick to this. My question is: Has anyone ever had their hands break out in a rash due to Synthroid? I've even got a rash now started on my upper thigh. I am hoping that Armour would stop this.
Could someone give me some advice? Also, why are there warnings about the heart when taking thyroid medications? I don't want to be taking something that might damage my heart. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.
I have diabetes and after taking Armour for less than a week, my blood sugars have went sky high! Has anyone here experienced this and if so, what did you do? My Dr. says to keep on with it and watch my diet. My numbers have never been this high and I'm really confused about what to do.
Also, if I go back to taking the Synthroid, is the rash and itching I have a serious side effect, indicating that something could go wrong because I'm allergic to it? Or will my body finally adjust and the itching will stop? I'm torn between trying Synthroid again because I didn't notice a rise in my blood sugars while taking it. Can anybody here give me some advice?
There are fillers in all medication - only different ones with different meds. I have read many patients do have breakouts on Synthroid or ?? I developed a pimply rash on my arms and legs while I was on it - Since I have taken Armour I know longer have that rash. It was speculated - with no allergy testing that I had issues with the Red Dye in the tablet and since I was allergic to penicillin and red Kool-Aid as a child - they support that being my problem when taking it.
Rest assured - you should be fine on the Armour taken correctly. All homones drugs need supervision when starting it to make sure the patient responds properly. Key is taking it the right way to get the most benefit.
Had you put on any (possible excessive) weight since your thyroid problems started? Weight could be an issue that the pancreas is not regulating the insulin. Diet is very important to hypo's along with cardio support and exercise. Cholestrol levels will increase in most patients too. Along with blood pressure if the hormone is not leveled out for what your body needs. I have read and told by my doctor that the Free T3 in the system may not be right in situations like this and must be corrected to get the levels back in control.
What are your sugar levels now?
CynnieB - I'd like to make a gentle correction on your comment about Hashi's becoming an issue with hypothyroidism. That in fact is not correct - the conditions are two different situations - but yet they can accompany each other.
Hashimoto is an autoimmune disease that antibodies attack the gland to "cause" hypothyroidism.
In strictly hypothyroid patients this antibody attack is not an issue and the gland itself is not functioning for some reason. This is why a specific TPOab test is required to determine Hashimoto.
Meds will not cause antibodies to attack just for additional clarification.
Managing thyroid medication regarldess what med you are on requires a slow approach. It is not as simple as some doctors explain it to me as "taking a pill for the rest of your life and that's it".
It is a constant balance until you are regulated and if you approach it with that sense of understanding you can balance Hashimoto - or Hypothyroidism very well.
YOU all are amazing. I can not believe how much info is shared on this site/... Thank you.. I do have a qustion regading Amour. I have just started taking it after being off of all thyroid meds for 2 yrs. I used to take Adderol XR but my doc insisted that I try the Amounr instead to see if I felt better and expereinced all the good benifits that the Amour is to help with. For the most part, no Adderol and only 1 grain of Amour seems to be giving me all the things i need so I dont need Adderol, as much or maybe only a few times a month. Howvever, everything I read, Armour makes you loose weight as I am going into my w 2nd month on Amour it feels like my body is loosing muscle and gaining Body fat. Weight is the same, but body fat seems more in places i have not ever had , tummy, back, etc. Is this normal, can anyone tell me if this has happened to them and if so any suggestions...
Ten years ago I hurt all over. I was tired, allergies, overweight, constitpated, dry hair and skin, depressed, and went to my local "small town" doc. I started with the allergy shots, discovering that steroids stopped allergies and pain. But the side effects were awful. Doc sent me to a reumatologist. 13 drugs, 2 years wasted. I ended up on Methodone to control my pain. Tried the Fybromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and finally, a doctor discovered Hashimotos. I took a compounded time-release drug of pure T3. It was pretty good, I lost 40 pounds and was able to finally go back to work 3 days a week. None of it was covered by my insurance so I came back to my "small town" doc with tons of blood tests and diagnosis information, determined to treat my problem within the terms of my insurance coverage. I started on Cytomel, and tried to duplicate the previous clinic dosage. I felt really wired, reved up and kind of high, plus I could not sleep. My TSH got really low. I stopped the Cytomel abruptly. My next TSH was so high that the doc freaked. So we went to Levothyrox. Now I am gaining weight., He says my dose is too low, give it time and increase the dose. I will discuss Armour on my next visit because it might be the right thing for my system. I hope it can it be the cure for pain and fatigue. Keep the faith, ladies... we can get well.
Hi Brian....welcome. If you would like to read up and see all of us here on armour, search for the thread named "those of us on armour #2" It will give you a bunch of diff peoples perspectives on how they are doing on armour. So far it has been great for me. Also, at the top of this page you will see a section called health pages....click on that and go to armour information pages and read that. At the bottom is a link to take you to the actual prescribing information page....very important.....it explains proper dosaging and increases and when to test. It is different than synthetics. Increases and testing is done more often. Look forward to hearing how you do!! :)
I have been on Armour for over 5 years now. Before that I was on Levoxyl & Cytomel, and just Levoxyl alone. On Levoxyl none of my symptoms went away. When I added Cytomel, about 75% of my symptoms went away. I did the Levoxyl/Cytomel protocol for 2 years, then wondered if I could feel even better, so I switched to Armour. 95% of my symptoms are gone.
Most people feel better on Armour because they are poor converters of T4 to T3. Then are some however who convert fine and T4 is sufficient. I think people should stay on the medication they are started on for at least 6 months to a year to give it a chance. If after getting their TSH around 1.0, they do not feel better then its time to investigate a medication like Armour.
The disadvantage to Armour is finding a doctor who knows how to adjust the dosage. If its adjusted by TSH then the person is usualy still going to have a few symptoms. When adjusted by the free t4 and free t3, there can be a huge improvement.
I should have read further before replying to you. Most people do not have a problem with the ratio of T4 to T3. The reason is T3 is the active hormone and in most cases the person is a poor converter of T4 to T3. This is why they feel good on Armour. For those that cannot tolerate the T3 to T4 ratio, the doctor will order a little bit of T4 to bring the ratio down.
bsquared20, make sure the Armour gets adjusted bt free t4 and free t3, not by TSH. While the TSH test works fine to adjust the dosage of T4 (Synthroid) It does not work well for adjustin the dosage of Armour.
There is a huge difference between the T3 in Armour and Cytomel. I know of many people who had heart palps with the Cytomel and did fine on the Armour. Cytomel needs to be added at a very small dose, roughly 5-10% of the T4 dose. When I was on it, I was only on 5 mcg and that dosage was fine. It made a huge difference over T4 alone for me, but I feel even better now I'm on Armour.
I just started Armour last week. I did not respond well to Synthroid as I am gluten intolerant and depending upon the lot, synthorid can contain gluten in the inactive ingredients. I already feel better as I am getting my energy level back. This is a very helpful site.
I have been on Synthroid for 12 years. Doctor found a nodule on my thyroid and decided to put me on Synthroid. The nodule did not stop growing so I had 1/2 of thyroid removed 5 years ago. I seem to have almost all of the symptons listed as side effects for Synthroid. My daughter said her boss is taking Armour and that was the first I'd heard of Armour. I currently take .25 mcg of Synthroid but from some of the info I've read on this site - it seems Armour might be the better choice for me. I do not understand the TSH 4 & 3. Can you give me some info on that. I have a doctor's appt. this afternoon and plan to discuss the Armour with her. One thing that really scares me is the eye problem that someone has experienced from being on Armour. I was diagnosed last year with dry eyes and don't know how this might be affected if I should choose to make the change. Any ideas??? Thank you.
What eye problem with Armour - there is no such problem being on this med. If you speaking of TED ( Bugging eyes) That requires your body to be producing TSI antibodies associated with Graves and not too much thyroid medication.
Before I go into a huge post making assumptions - can you fill me in on your symptoms and lab ranges at this time? I just am not good at guessing these things lately
If you wish open a new post too - there you may get a bunch of answers too.
I'm hypothyroid and had been taking Levoxyl for over a year. I'm on the right TSH and T4 level, and I don't feel shortness of breath when walking up a flight of stairs as soon as I started treatment; however, I'm still fatigued and experiencing brain fog all the time and worse I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. So, I spoke with my PC provider and asked if I could take Armour. He agreed. I started taking starting it on the 27th of October and I developed severe/killer headaches and pressure in my eyes and ears. I hardly ever get a headache in my life ever! I stopped taking it for a week and took my leftover levoxyl meds til they were gone. The headaches, eyes and earaches disappeared.
Then restarted on Armour this past Saturday - same thing - I have headaches (not as severe), eye and earaches, then I checked my blood pressure - it's normal, but my pulse is considerably lower. I'm also having difficulty breathing and my blood pressure monitor detected irregular heart beat. This scares me.
Tomorrow, I'll call my PC provider to put me back on Levoxyl. I think I'm one of the small percentage of people who CANNOT tolerate Armour.
I have been on Armour for over a year with great results. The Dr. who discovered the TSH imbalance recommended it, as he had been on it himself for 10 years, after which his thyroid started functioning again. He said that with Synthroid, there was no chance of my thyroid starting to function again--that Syntroid completely takes its place. I asked my family M.D. about Armour, and he said, "It's old-fashioned; I woudn't even know how to prescribe it" and said that Synthroid is what I wanted to go on. In this day of individuals taking charge of their own health, I went back to the Dr. who diagnosed hypothyroidism; and even though he's 300 miles away, he took charge of my prescription. I had been having trouble losing weight prior to that, even having gone back to Weight Watchers. Almost immediately after starting on Armour twice a day, I started losing that weight and have maintained it for this entire past year. I have none of the Armour symptoms in the other posts, but I also take a host of vitamins and minerals and am under the advisement of a nutritionist (Ph.D.) regarding other supplements to address a few other health concerns. I'm 56, and I feel great! Do the research. If you go to Mary Shoman's thyroid site and sign up for those newsletters, you will learn a lot about hypo- and hyperthyroidism. Consult with a dr. who is open-minded about all of the thyroid meds. Then, decide for yourself what's best for you! It's different for everyone.
I was on 50mcg of Levoxyl (brand name) and for Armour it's 30mg. I know it's the right conversion, but I may just be too sensitive to Armour. I forgot to post that my stomach is always hurting ever since I started it. I didn't get to call my doctor today, so I decided to split the pill. Same difference. It's frustrating. You said the headache will go away in 2 weeks. Did you mean you had it too? What else did you feel when you first started? I'm baffled why it seems I'm the only one of the few who is reacting bad to it and every one else swear it's the greates thyroid drug on earth.
I gained about 35 lbs for being hypo and not exercising regularly + eating out every day when I used to work in the last 2.5 years. I, too, am having a hard time losing weight while on Levoxy that's why I asked to be switched to Armour. I've been killing myself at the gym 45min - 1hr cardio (Heart rate: 140-170 bpm) + I lift weight every single day since July 08 and I lost only 3 lbs and 1/2 an inch. From the looks of it, if I stop now I'll never know if Armour will help me with my weight problem.
When should I say enough? Should I keep taking Armour for another week and a half before I call it quits? I mean just to see if all the achy feelings will go away.
I have been taking Armour thyroid for over a year. When I first asked to switch I was extrememly ill still with servere hypothyroid symptoms.
Yes at the beginning I had the headache almost constantly ( due to increases of the med) They were not "Killer" headaches - just naggers.
Those have subsided within the last 2 months for me now that I have been on a pretty stable amount of it to relieve all my symptoms
I had horrible stomach upset and acid reflex when I first started. Prior to even taking it I had that - which I am convinced was partly hypothyroisim in general. The condition itself slow the body's ability to function at the speed it really should - so I think the hypothyroid condition was more the problem than the meds.
This situation took the longest to go away. I still suffer bouts of mild acid - but my diet and supplements have changed too - so I believe my body is still going through the healing process.
I felt a tightness in my left arm - neck and chest wall until the stability of Armour meds was achieved. At the beginning I was scared that maybe I have been so hypothyroid for so long that my heart was getting damaged - but it wasn't. That's gone too.
I din't want to quit Armour even with these side effects - but I wanted to see if I could rid myself of them too. I tried taking the meds as suggested by other Armour users.
First I divided my doses - I was on 60mg to start - so I split that up with 15mg at 7am - 30mgs at 9am and the other 15 at noon. That was great for me!
When I took more than 15 first in the am I was jittery - edgy- very nervous energy. Slowing that down to a smaller dosage put me at even keel.
Also due to the severe stomach upset I didn't want my gut to produce the meds and distribute it. My raw gut couldn't handle doing anything like that. So I read you can take it sublingually or orally. i.e. you place the tablet under your tongue, or between your gums and inner cheek. It is absorbed by the millions of capillaries that line your inner mouth – taking the hormones straight to your blood, bypassing the stomach and liver processing.
That was a blessing for me when I started taking it that way. My belly thanked me :)
You are very close to the right conversion from Levo to Armour. That's good - but you do have the option to start lower due to the T3 in Armour and "build" up.
There is a 15mg tablet available. You may want to call the doctor and ask to get that.
You can split those into halves and take 4 halves throughout the day. = 30mg total daily.
I think because you need to build up to using Armour - tiny dosages will be helpful for you.
Time and baby steps is key - we can't expect our body now dependant on hormones to just accept this treatment right away.
I came across this line while trying to figure out if my thyroid problems are at the root of my lack of energy and lack of focus. I had my thyroid removed about 4 years ago (hypo and thought to be cancer, but was not). I have been on Levoxyl 112 mcg for the last year or so. Doc says my levels are perfect, but I feel tired and depressed most of the time.
I am wondering if Armour could work for someone who has no thyroid.
I posted in Oct. regarding having been on Armour successfully for a year. Just last week, my Dr. advised me to chew the meds twice a day (I take 2 30-mg. tabs twice daily)--once with breakfast and again with dinner; as it provides better assimilation of the T3 and T4. Prior to that, he had me taking it on an empty stomach before breakfast and before dinner. Just an FYI.
I had my thyroid removed in 2005...multinodular goiter, stayed on Synthroid afterward at my endo's recommendation, but felt bad, hair falling out, depressed, brain fogged bad... just couldn't get feeling good. Asked by primary care doctor in 2007 if I could try Armour and she was willing. Started at 1 grain (60mg) and slowly increased by half grain intervals to 3.5 grains. I was still feeling dragged out no energy and had to practically beg her to up me to 4 grains. That seemed to be the threshold for me; I'm finally starting to feel better. My hair has stopped falling out, I can work all day without feeling like I've been run over by a tractor, and I don't feel so stupid. I had some heart palpitations but found that was caused by the caffein I had been using for energy... cut out the coffee and cola and now have regular heart beat. I take 2 grains morning and 2 grains mid-day, sublingually. I will never go back to synthetic! And by the way, dosage is very individual. I am a 57 year old female, 5 ft 10 in tall, 250 lbs with shoulders like a linebacker. Encourage your doctor to dose you by how you feel, not so much your test results.
I have Hashimoto's. I've had it for decades and went undiagnosed for many many years. I had all the symptoms and went to four different doctors and they all said nothing was wrong with me. I got so bad I could no longer function and was bedridden and couldn't work. Then I had massive headaches and my boyfriend took me to a neurologist thinking I had a brain tumor. I had an MRI and blood work done. The neurologist said my brain looked "beautiful" and nothing was wrong, but that my blood work came back and said I have Hashimoto's. The neurologist referred me to a thyroid doctor. The thyroid doctor put me on Synthroid and it didn't work and I still had horrible hypo symptoms and could not function. I left that doctor and went to another doctor and he tried several types of thyroid medications on me for a course of three years. None of them worked for me and I still could not function enough to work. I left that doctor and went to another doctor and he put me on Armour Thyroid. I have been a little bit better (I can get out of bed now) but still not good. I still have lots of problems. I'm now on 4 grains of Armour Thyroid. I still have dry skin, my heels are cracked, my hair continues to fall out, I have brain fog and short term memory loss, alternate between being cold and having sweats, can't sleep and only sleep about three hours a night, alternate between constipation and diarrhea, I suddenly have very bad acne that started about a year ago and white thick course hair is growing all over my chin and neck (which looks horrible on a woman), the hair that hasn't fallen out of my head has turned from my natural red hair to a combination of gray and snow white and has changed textured where it is very course, dry and wiry. My periods stopped and then I developed tumors in my uterus and had my uterus removed. Then I developed Glaucoma and have to take medicated eye drops. I developed very high blood pressure 200 over 110 and am on three blood pressure medications to get it to go down to 140 over 90 and it won't go lower than that which is still too high. My cholesterol jumped to 300 and I am on cholesterol lowering medication and it's not helping my triglycerides which are off the chart high. Just had a mammogram and they found a lump in my breast so now I have to go to a breast cancer center. I also gained 100 pounds in three months even though I have not changed the way I eat or my exercise level. My face and neck have blown up like a balloon and I don't even look like the same person I used to be. I also developed a hump on the back of my neck. All the excess weight has gone to my middle and I have no waist any more. I am exhausted all the time but do have enough energy to get out of bed, but not enough energy to make it all the way through the day. The worst of all this is the depression. My depression is so horrible and I have awful crying jags that last all day long. Armour has not helped me with any of this nor have any of the other thyroid medications. I know that you all aren't doctors, but does anyone have any idea what is going on with me? My doctor has no idea and has no idea what to do about it.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I am in chronic pain and every joint in my body aches. Pain medication does not help me. It hurts to walk, sit, stand, walk up stairs, open a jar, use scissors, basically doing anything hurts. I also suffer from severe leg cramps and cannot sleep well because of that. If I sit too long my legs cramp up, if I walk for more than a few minutes my legs cramp up. I have no idea if this has anything to do with my thyroid or the medication I'm on. All the stuff I listed above with my first post, I have no idea if it's from my thyroid or the Armour Thyroid I'm on or if there is some other disease(s) that are going on with me and I just wish I had answers. I just want to feel like my old self again. It's been so long, I almost can't remember what it feels like to feel good and healthy.
You sound like you have Cushings syndrome - please look it up. You have every symptom and by the way, it is an adrenal disease. Please go see a doctor immediately and have him check your adrenal function for excess cortisol levels.
I am in the process of moving and have lost my lab work papers (house is in a mess...boxes everywhere). I do remember my TSH was very low last time...0.02, but I don't remember what my T4, T3, etc. was.
Yes, I think my problems right now are related to something wrong with my adrenal glands. I checked out both Cushings and PCOS and have symptoms of both. I have a doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks and will print out info on both Cushings and PCOS and take it to my doctor.
I need some advice, please.... I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's in Aug of 08- but suffered with it for 10 months prior to diagnosis. I had first been diagnosed with Hypo ten years prior. I have been on synthroid the entire time of my treatment. I currently take 150mcg's daily. Although I feel I am reaching or near my correct dosage, I still have hypo symptoms- I am extremly cold, fatigued, I cannot lose weight, I feel "foggy"- and I want my life back. Today, my acupuncturist's assistant insisted that I go on Armour- and I am VERY reluctant to do so. I am feeling better than I have ever felt and to mess with my dosage seems like I would be betraying my body. It has been a hell of a climb to get to this point. Also, I am terrified that I might upset my Endo- and she is one of the best in the state. I cannot afford to lose the one person who has helped me so much. Furthermore, I have a history of heart disease in my family. Am I right to conclude that Armour can affect my heart? I'm only 27- I do not want to add heart trouble to the list of things going wrong with my body. I don't know what to do at this point. Too many cooks in the kitchen is a recipe for disaster. I know the acupuncture is needed- but i want her assistant to back off. How do I politely tell her thanks but no thanks?
Also, I know I have adrenal fatigue- actually it is more like adrenal exhaustion..... I know this because I actually felt my adrenals fire and fire today- overreacting and my body having absolutley no idea how to compensate for this occurance.... How do I get my adrenaline glands healthy and keep them that way?
Lastly, I would like to try a Synthroid/Cytomel combo. I think this would be the best way to finally get healthy.... what are your thoughts?
Sometimes I feel like I am the only person batteling this disease... I am so young, I worry about what my quality of life will be in 10, 20 years... Although my diagnosis could be worse, it is awful to know that a major organ in my body does not work like it should.... I would gladly walk away from this disease if I could. I am desperate to be healthy again....
I had horrible problems on Synthroid. The hypo symptoms never went away even though my doctor said I was in the "correct" range. I got the book, "Living Well with Hypothyroidism" by Mary Shomon and it saved my life. I too have Hashimoto's. After reading her book I decided to try Armour. I asked my doctor for Armour and he REFUSED to give it to me saying it wasn't as good as Synthroid. I argued with him telling him that Synthroid isn't helping my symptoms. I asked him as my doctor wasn't it his job to make me feel better and if so, then why wouldn't he want to try whatever he could to make me feel better...like trying Armour. He still refused and said I didn't know what I was talking about. I was so angry I fired him as my doctor and I walked out of his office never to return. I went to www.thyroid-info.com and found a doctor on their list who would prescribe Armour for me. I have been on Armour now for over three years and it has made a world of difference for me. All my hypo symptoms are gone!
Read Mary Shomon's book. In it she talks about all the different types of thyroid medications including Cytomel. Cytomel is an artificial T3. Some folks do fine on that with Synthroid and some still don't. I think the reason some don't is because they are only getting T4 and T3 with the Synthroid/Cytomel combo. Armour has all the other hormones that our thyroid gland would normally produce such as T1 and T2 and I think that is the difference between feeling well and not feeling well. Granted the medical community still does not know what T1 and T2 (and all the other T-hormones) do, but our bodies produce it and if our bodies don't need it, our bodies wouldn't produce it. Nature hates waste. I think trying to duplicate what the human body does naturally is best and the best way to do that is taking a natural thyroid hormone replacement like Armour. There are other brands of natural thyroid hormone (Westhroid and Naturethroid) but Armour seems to be the most popular.
And no...Armour will not harm your heart. Go to the Armour Thyroid web site and check out the medication for yourself at: www.armourthyroid.com
Another option is to go on Thyrolar which is an artificial combo of T4 and T3. The problem with Thyrolar is it has to be kept refrigerated and that may be a problem if you travel a lot.
The problem with asking your doctor for T3 be it Cytomel, Thyrolar or Armour is that most conventional doctors are trained in med school to think the human body only needs T4 found in Synthroid so most doctors will refuse to give you Cytomel, Thyrolar or Armour. Many doctors have never heard that some people's bodies have a difficult time converting T4 to the active hormone T3 and that's why when a person is in the "normal" range and still has hypo symptoms. Lab tests show how much of the T4 is floating around in you, but they don't show how well your body is using the T4 and converting it to T3. All the cells in your body need T3 to function properly. If you are still feeling horrible on a T4 only thyroid medication like Synthroid, it's because your cells are being starved for T3 and your body just isn't converting the T4 to T3. My former doctor thought I was nuts when I told him all this. I even took documentation to show him and he REFUSED to look at it. That's why I left him and found another doctor who was familiar with the conversion problem of T4 to T3.
You may have a difficult time getting your doctor to prescribe Cytomel. Most med schools don't even teach doctors now days about any type of thyroid hormone replacement but Synthroid. Many doctors have never heard of Cytomel, Armour, Westhroid or Naturethroid. My G.P. who is a resident at a major medical teaching university and hospital (Not my Endo, I go to both a G.P. and an Endo.) has never heard of Armour. I had to educate my G.P. about Armour. He couldn't understand why he had never even heard of it and why it wasn't on his list of pharmaceuticals that the medical university and hospital provided. If your Endo refuses to prescribe Cytomel for you, don't be afraid to leave her and find another doctor. Your doctor is not God. Doctor's are supposed to work for us to make us better and if they don't you fire them like you would any employee who doesn't do their job. There are many good Endo doctors out there that are willing to listen to you and will believe you when you say you don't feel well on just Synthroid. So if you can't get Cytomel or another T3 thyroid medication from your Endo, it's time to shop around for a new Endo.
Good luck Megan. And please read Mary Shomon's book, "Living Well with Hypothyroidism". This book will enlighten you and give you more info about your disease than you can imagine. You'll know more than most doctors once you read this book. And don't be afraid of the book. It's easy reading, written for the everyday person and is not difficult, hard or boring. It was written by an everyday woman (wife and mother) who had all the horrible ups and downs of being hypo and really suffered so she knows what she's talking about. She is an amazing woman who was able to buck the system and educated herself about the disease. You can read about Mary Shomon's credentials at: http://thyroid.about.com/mbiopage.htm. You can find her book used at Amazon.com really cheap like for about $7.00.
I hope that once you get on a T3, be it Cytomel, Thyrolar or Armour, that you will come back to this message board and let us all know how you are doing.
My wife was diagnosed with hashimoto 3 months ago. Her TSH level was 68 last checked. Does anyone else have levels this high?
We are thinking about starting treatment (after low glycemic dietary approach did not work) with Armour medication primarily because it may be easier eventually to stop treatment than it is with synthetic.
Has anyone successfully ended treatment with Armour?
Really hope you'll feel better... I am only in the process of finding out what is 'wrong' with me. So far, only diagnosis is 'hypothyroidism' but I'll have to get "everything" checked including adrenals and all other hormones (progesterone, testosterone, etc.) I do agree with an earlier post where some mentions trying only one thing at a time so you know what is affecting what. My situation is so dire, I have to try two things at a time and so I am using a progestrone cream that has helped me for over 8 years with my PMS and endometriosis and I am on my fourth day of Armour for my hypo diagnosis. I have been depressed for years and had all the other 'classic' symptoms so I am getting a full panel of T's tested (Total and Free T3 and Total and Free T4 and TSH) but I'm suffering so much from the apathy and depression that my NMD started me on the Armour so I could try to see if it would help me. The good thing is that if I do need it, it'll help me and I don't have to wait the 10 days for the test results to get back... If I don't need it, my starting dose of 1 grain won't harm me. I do take my Armour sublinguilly (sp?) which is under my tongue, because it seems to absorb bettter into my system. When I took it on an empty stomach, I noticed no change whatsoever. I'm still demotivated, hands are cold, of course my nails and hair need time to grow, but I'm hopeful.
I wanted to tell you that since you have a good relationship with your endo, perhaps you could ask about the pros/cons of armour since your symptoms haven't completely disappeared. That might be a good segue to get them to talk it over with you at least. If they are closed to the idea of Armour, you'll be able to find out. If they will not prescribe it at all to you, maybe you can find an NMD that will work together with you and your endo doc.
ANY thyroid med CAN CAN CAN affect your heart so whomever you find that is willing to try you on Armour should be aware of your heart history AND be aware of your body's response to the Synthroid. However, since you have successfully tolerated the synthroid, you may do just fine on the Armour. Remember, Synthroid has only T4 so your body & heart may not have much of a response if your'e not converting the T4 to T3. Since Armour has T3 in it, your body/heart may respond DIFFERENTLY so you'll want someone that will wallk hand in hand with you through the process so you can safely see if Armour will work better for your system.
For adrenal info see: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/
As for the acupuncturist's assistant, you can say that you really appreciate the suggestion and are in the process of researching the benefits and risks. That should be the end of the story for any pushiness. Sounds like they only want to help, but that's the approach I'd take. Besides, let them know you have a family history of heart issues and that you really need to take the time to become informed before making a possible switch from the Synthroid to Armour.
Also, if it helps for finding an NMD to work with, I did this post on www.medications.com:
I did for a post/blog on this site for Gardisil (which I will NOT be giving to my teen daughter): The Gardisil may have something to do with your daughters symptoms, I would look for an NMD that would be willing to evaluate your daughter further, not just look at "normal ranges" on lab reports and say "all is well." A good NMD will take labs into consideration, of course, but really seek to find the source of the symptoms. Check your state Board of Naturopathic MDs to see what NMDs are currently licensed and practicing near you. NMDs can have the same "bedside manner" issues as allopathic MDs (arrogance, too busy to listen, etc.) so try to "interview" some before making a final selection on who to bring your daughter to. It may take a 2-4 weeks or so to find someone you feel comfortable with, but its worth it in the end. When calling NMD offices, ask if they do FREE consultations (usually 15-20 minutes). If they do, take advantage and get an appt asap. Be sure to have all questions and any medical files with you ready to go so you maximize the free appt. If they do not offer free consults, try to research the doc to find out as much as you can and find out their fee structure. Sometimes the fee structure is great, but the info on the doc is so sparse that, without the free consult, I would vote no and screen them out. I recently found a good doc with a good fee structure and can hopefully get some of the money back via Out of Netwk insurance filing. NMDs are known for wanting to find the source of symptoms and seeking to identify any relationships to symptoms rather than bandaiding the symptoms independently...
Please also get your Vit D level checked out. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's nearly 3 years ago and felt terrible on the synthetic medication they prescribed me since. I have recently been diagnosed with Vit D deficiency and low Calcium and have started on 1000 iu D3. Since then, my nails have started to grow and my depression has gone. My Endo said Vit D is really important in stabilising the thyroid gland. I have also started on Armour as the synthetic drugs did nothing for me and made me feel like death. So far so good but I notice the website I buy my Armour from is out of stock (Inhouse Pharmacy). I have ordered Naturethroid instead - is this the same as Armour? I have to buy Armour as I live in the UK and no doctor will prescribe it for me.
I have been on a long journey to find out why I have been sick, in pain, and exhausted since I was 17. I am currently 31, a wife and mother of 2.
I have been diagnosed with: Fibromyalgia, PCOS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Carpel Tunnel Sydrome, Fibrocystic Breast Disease, Multiple Dermatitis issues, Depression, Neuralgia, Chronic Fatigue and I am sure some others that I am not remembering.
The last Rheumatologist I went to told me that I was there for drugs (I didn't ask for any), that he wouldn't not sign my disability papers (I hadn't filed) and that I was "FAT" which he wrote on a dry erase board in four inch letters and circled three times. He also asked me if I had even graduated high school (college) and if my husband had a job and was fat too. He said I had depression and just needed an SSRI.
I left there sobbing. My husband wanted to go back there and punch him out.
I have been accused of drug seeking, depression, and just being a bored housewife. I was made to take a battery of Hep tests everywhere I went because I have tattoos.. I am a body piercer. All my tats are from VERY CLEAN shops where they use autoclaves and sterilized EVERYTHING. Needless to say they were negative.
My old Primary Care was the one who found the PCOS but didn't know anything furthur about it and refered me to a university clinic that I never was accepted to.
MY BREAKTHROUGH came when I was referred to a PC who the girls in my office were seeing for weight loss. In desperation I made an appt with her.
We talked for awhile and she told me she knew exactly what was wrong with me - but was going to do a battery of testing - blood and saliva and see me back in a month. She assured me that she knew I was sick and suffering and was so sorry no one had been able to help me before.
My tests showed abnormally low progesterone and dhea. I had low vitamin D and virtually no vitamin B. She prescribed me bioidentical hormones and sent me to a compounding pharm in my town who is GREAT and charges me next to nothing.
Last month I went in and told her I had spent a week in bed - i just couldn't get up- and she ordered more tests. She said it sounded like my thyroid. Now, on the first battery of testing my thyroid panel was fine ( every thyroid testing every done on me has been normal) which we were both suprised about since both my mom, grandma and g-grandma had some form of thyroid issue.
But, when I went back today - guess what- I have hypothyroidism!
I start on 30 mg Armour (1/2) gr tomorrot and my progesterone was upped do 150 when I told her I could feel it wearing off during the evening.
I am overweight and she did prescribe me something to help me lose weight and is slowly weaning me off the pain pills I have had to take for years just to perform routine daily activities and make it to work.
Also, my daughter who is 12 got her test results today and her PCOS numbers are way worse than mine. I guess we will be checking her thyroid regularly as well. When I told her no more sugar she sobbed like a baby because she is exhausted and that is where she gets all of her energy from.
Anyhow, sorry to go on and on. Thanks- any advice or comments would be great. I am so glad this forum exists!! :)
In November 2004 I had gastric bypass. I lost a total of 80 lbs. In July of 2005 I went to the doctor because of the heavy bleeding in my perods and persistent spotting in between. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto disease. I was on synthroid since September of 2005. Since being on synthroid I have gained 30 lbs, have hair loss, dry skin, constipation, and had to take iron for severe anemia. I finally asked my doctor almost 2 month ago if I could change to Armour. So far so good. I believe I have slowly started to lose some weight (4-6 lbs) and am no longer feeling constant constipation. I am not too sure yet about the other symptoms yet. I really think if you don't feel good on what you are taking you HAVE to ask them to change you. I have been told over and over to ask your doctor to go more by how you are feeling and not just by the labs. Hope this helps someone and I hope Armour keeps helping me. Thanks
Mother in law has been on Armour for 40 years. She has no problems and refuses when they try to put her on synthroid. I love that woman. She is getting very frustrated by the fact that I have yet to find a dr that will even prescribe Armour thyroid. When the rumors started going around again last fall about Armour being discontinued, I emailed Forrest Pharm. A very nice man returned my email almost immediately and advised of the re-tooling of his plant. He advised that if my mother in law was getting to where she needed to have more meds, to have the pharmecy contact him and he'd see that she'd get a drop-shipment asap. He never once bashed the competition and I have given that opportunity to do so as I'm thinking the competition doesn't hesitate to do so. That part is just my opinion. I could be wrong. I guess. I was once. : ) : ) : P
I need help. I feel I am allergic to my thyroid meds. I can not tolerate any synthetic meds. When I began armour it was a miracle. But now the allergic reactions are coming back. I can not breathe. I have shortness of breath. I am taking 90 mg. My blood work says it it the right dose. Why can't I breathe? If I stop the meds my shortness if breath disappears within a day or two.
When I was 16 I got radiation treatment for acne. That is why my thyroid function is depressed. I am 57 and have been on thyroid meds since I was 35. I quit taking thyroid for 5 years because of the allergic breathing issues and after going in for a physical I was put on a heart moniter. My doctor said I would be dead in 5 years if I kept refusing to take my thyroid meds. I am sitting here typing and I can hardly breathe. I just keep sucking air. I am trying to take xanax to keep from stopping my meds but that certainly isn't the long term answer...Are there any alternatives???
I just read Dr. Blanchard's book and he talked about allergies to meds... if you are truly allergic- there are meds that most people are less allergic to and compound pharmacies can make your med and thus "remove" the allergen
I take Armour and have problems with my eyes and tightness in the chest, but it's still better than what I felt with synthetics. So you are saying we can have our thyroid meds compounded to remove something is making us allergic? I take it we need to be tested for this allergy, but would the endocinologist do it or our regular doctor?
.4 to 4.5 is the range that is considered normal for tsh the lower end .4 means that you re at the high limit of thyroid meds. I just found out that my tsh is .4, so with my history of being so sensitive to thyroid meds I beleive this tightness in my chest is due to that number......I have stopped my thyroid because I can't literally breathe and will try to get my tsh to 4.5 or even a little higher.....it takes a long time to reduce thyroid levels in your stystem I stopped taking armour 7 days ago and the intensity is decreasing but my tightness and anxiety levels are still intolerable......I am hoping to resume armour in 5 to 7 days but reduce my original dosage 0f 90....I will begin with 60 and maybe end up with 75....I am so glad to hear from someone else who experiences the tightness in the chest......it is a horrible feeling....especially because you know you need thyroid meds but the meds create chaos in your body.....most doctors dimiss me as crazy......and as far as sythetic thyroids are concerned I can't even look at them let alone put one in my mouth
My doctor said that my thyroid meds could not possibly make me ill although synthetics caused my blood pressure to spike in the 200s/100s. This ended immediately upon switching to Armour. But now I'm having other symptoms. Called a pharmacy yesterday to inquire about compounding a thyroid med to remove substances that could cause an allergic reaction. Waiting to hear back from them.
You aren't crazy, doctors just don't want to hear that something is difficult and no main stream.
I take Armour after many years on Synthroid. I had to switch endos because my old endo refused to let me even try it. Synthroid was just not working for me. I looked for an endo that would be willing to let me try it and found one. I wasn't even sure that it would work for me because of all the bad things I read about it, I just wanted to try it and any doctor that doesn't work with you on that is not a good doctor. It has made a big difference. For those hypothyroid people where their bodies can't convert the T4 that Synthroid puts in your body (probably because it is a synthetic T4) Armour is the solution. And if you have allergy issues with the fillers that Armour uses there's always Nature-Throid. It is just like Armour but the fillers are hypoallergenic. Synthroid is a structurally changed T4 hormone. They had to alter it to be able to patent it. The structural change done to it is bad for your body. I saw a picture of the molecular structure of a natural one and the Syntrhoid one and they are different. And with that change they are introducing who knows what in your body.
I just want to mention that the company that makes Armour changed the formula and alot of people are getting bad side effects from the new formula. There is another thyroid medicine that works as good as the old armour formula it is called Naturethroid, please try it if the old formula worked good for you but the new formula is not working.
I am also on Armour and while not 100% yet but I have lost the constipation which is a huge relief.
I do feel I have more energy then before could still use tons more.
And I had horrible hair loss on levo and hives.
I am glad to have armour and would suggest to try it if it does not work with your body then try another.
I am also one who has PCOS and Fibrocystic Breasts, and adreanal fatigue, seveare lower back problems and take bio progesterone, hydrocortizone, and 3 grains armour.
Biggest improvement with the progesterone is the headaches I used to get daily they are no longer a problem.
And the hydrocortizone seems to help with the fatigue but has a very short life about 3 1/2 hours before I am dragging.
I am an active 46yr old single father who has been taking Levothyroxine (.175Mg) for the last six plus years. There has been a significant weight gain from the point my thyroid was removed to date. I went from 185 pounds to over 225 while still playing hockey several times a week. After extensive exercise and dieting I have only managed to drop down to my current weight of 212 pounds.
The thyroid was removed aprox 1 yr after a divorce. Six years later I find myself still depressed and just can't seem to get out of the funk. Recently my doctor prescribed 180 Mg of Armour and I am hoping this will help. I can't thank all of you enough for your contributions in that I have attributed a lot of my symptoms to hockey. I am one of those people who, prior to this condition, went to the doctor for stitches or broken bones mostly. I passed off a lot of what I now realize are symptoms of hypo as consequences of my still playing hockey at my age. I grew up playing and just love the sport so don't want to give it up just yet.
Tomorrow I start the Armour and am anxiously waiting to see if the aches and pains along with the headaches improves. Was also surprised to see that memory loss could be attributed to all of this and not my age! Sure am hoping that improves as well.
My question is this. I had Hodgkins lymphoma back in the 90's and my spleen was removed. The chemo and radiation cured the cancer but the radiation is what they say caused my Thyroid to go bad. I am wondering what Armour may do to my immune system? Also has anyone had any positive results in their work out program after switching to Armour? I have no problem making my ice time most of the time but it is VERY difficult to get motivated to hit the weights and stationary. Any thoughts on any of this would be greatly appreciated.
I had RAI on my thyroid gland 20years ago. I have Graves. The Radiation you had I'm sure put your thyroid gland to rest. Anyway, my body reacted horrible with armour....BUT I loved the way I felt. My body rejected it and I developed Sjogrens and Thyroid eye disease from taking it....or that's what I believe. I would always recommend TRYING out natural!! I wish I could take armour. I wish your luck,,,,,,,but I think this is your answer!! Be well.
Surprising to see all of these posts with so many of the common syptoms of gluten intolerance, including thyroid problems, aches and pains of all kinds, adrenal issues, and the list goes on...but no one has mentioned gluten intolerance or celiacs. I have removed gluten from my diet over the past few months and have already felt much better. I'm 57 and was beginning to think I was developing arthritis in my wrists, elbows, back and legs. I also had arm muscle weakness and pain if I lifted anything at all. I had stomach issues, and I now believe that the adrenal issues I had discovered through saliva testing may have been the result of gluten intolerance. Look into gluten intolerance and you may discover that the pain, fatigue, thyroid, adrenal and all other hormnal imbalances could actually be the product of allergy to this protein that is in many of the processed foods we eat. While I first thought my problems were the result of hormonal imbalance, now I think the first culprit is this allergy, which stresses the adrenals, and in turn affects many other bodily processes. I'm still working on the adrenals and thyroid...just saw a new doctor who did blood work and didn't find any thyroid imbalance there...but based on my symptoms she has prescribed Armour at the very smallest amount 3 x a week which I will start tomorrow. I'm also trying to nourish my adrenals back to health using high potency vitamin C by Dr. Joseph Wilson, adrenal specialist. Not saying this is everyone's problem, but certainly something to look into. In fact in my reading I saw information that a large percentage of Hashimoto's sufferers are gluten intolerant or Celiacs. I don't really mind not eating any bread, sweets, etc. Much healthier to eat natural fresh foods anyway. It is a huge adjustment for most people, but I have already had success, and it is far better to be able to feel good than to enjoy those foods. No more pain in my arms, wrists, or extremities. Just wish I could lose about 12 pounds that have appeared over the past year without cause at all. Hoping to lose that if I can get the thyroid and adrenals working properly again. Thanks and all the best to you...
Actually gluten intolerance and Celiac disease has been covered here so much this summer that some were told to post it on the alternative therapies board. So, yes, we know about it. It affects some but not all. Thanks for sharing
."but based on my symptoms she has prescribed Armour at the very smallest amount 3 x a week which I will start tomorrow."
- you have got to be kidding.!!? Armour, like all dessicated meds, has T3 in it. T3 is the active hormone which is reponsible for alertness. You can only take T3 everyday unless you want to feel like Superman one day and sleep all day next - that is how you will feel. This doctor doesn't understand T3 hormone.
That said, why are you taking Armour if your thyroid is fine ? Did you get your FT3 and FT4 levels checked? TSH is just a 'messenger' hormone, that test alone is not adequate.
Help!! My 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with hypothyroidism almost 2 years ago. She was put on Levothyroxine. She was put on antidepressants soon after along with an antipsychotic medication. I was told that depression comes along with hypothyroidism. I didn't know until today (after reading an article on a web site) that it could be caused by the Levothyroxine. Any information would be so helpful. Thank you
I have to say I am really impressed with this site - to find others with thyroid problems makes me feel less isolated, it seems thyroid disorders are a mystery to many many doctors out there. I have some concerns and i hope that some of you here will be able to help me.
First off, I live in the UK, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last February 2011 and prescribed Levothyroxine 50mcg initially. I really was in a bad way - I had put on weight and had every symptom of hypothyroidism. My GP slowly increased the dosage up to 200mcg and I felt great for all of 3 weeks then BANG, my symptoms came back with a vengeance. Initially my TSH was 35, I can't remember my T4. The GP did another blood test and TSH was 0.67 and T4 13. I told her I was feeling unwell again and was in so much pain I was crying - even turning over in bed was hurting me. She refused to refer me to an endocrinologist as she said my levels were within normal limits - I had no idea really what normal meant and what my results meant.
My husband was getting cheesed off and so took me to Germany (he is German and has a colleague who is an endocrinologist). There I was given an ultrasound of the thyroid, T4 and T3 were measured along with anti-TPO and anti TG as well as cortisol levels. The ultra sound showed my thyroid gland was barely visible because I had autoimmune disorder - Hashimotos. He explained that no amount of T4 would do me any good and the initial 'good' feeling that I had was probably just like a car being jump started, running for a short while then unable to go on as there was no fuel - T3. Anti-TG was 576 - normal he said is between 0 to 40. Free T4 was 3.3 ng/dl and free T3 was 14 pg/ml, cortisol was normal at 19 U/ml and anti TPO normal at 16 U/ml. He said I was hyperthyroid and was probably due to medication and told me to stop for 2 weeks and he put me on Armour 1 grain to begin with. Because he is in Germany, I can't pop over to see him for a blood test each month until I am stable so I had my bloods taken a week ago by the GP here and the results came back as TSH 0.05, T3 6.3 and T4 9.0. Can anyone tell me what this means? Am I still hyper? My GP said in the UK it is not standard practice to test for T3 because there is no need!!!! I have to get the Armour from Germany and she said it is unlicensed here in the UK and not safe. I know that is nonsense - it is safe and I know it is safe as I used it and felt better than I did on Levothyroxine......I will NEVER go back to Levo as I lost so much hair, even more than I had before I started Levo.
I don't understand my lab results and my GP is not playing ball because she feels I am going over her head by being seen by an endo in Germany!!! What am I supposed to do when here in the UK, she wouldn't refer me to an endo and the only treatment available is T4???
Also, my weight has increased even on Armour and in total, from February this year until now I have gained 13kg!!!!!!! For me this is a huge amount as I normally weigh 54kg - I have always been slim. I'm so depressed now as my clothes don't fit me, my GP can't offer help and I feel in the dark. My husband is impatient with me as he can't understand why I feel unwell when I have medication and says if I am hyper, I wouldn't be getting so fat!!!!! That really hurts to be called fat especially from my husband.
Can anyone here help me understand the lab results and try to shed some light on why I am putting on weight the way I am? I am VERY careful with my diet now and do something I have never done before and that is count the calories and record everything I eat and drink and I walk between an hour and a half to 2 hours every day so I just don't get it! I feel hypo - skin is dry and flaky, hair is brittle, I have no va va voom and just can't be bothered to do anything and live in my pj's. I go out for the hour and a half to 2 hours with my dog - if it wasn't for him I wouldn't bother at all I guess so thanks to him for getting me out. I don't dress, just slip my jacket over my pj's and throw sunglasses on to hide my puffy tired eyes...........I don't want anti-depressants, I just want my thyroid to stabilise.
Sorry for being such a moan but I have no one else to communicate with - my GP thinks I am a pain in the proverbial and hubby says I have tablets to take so take them and shut up. Nice huh?
Four months ago my new DO put me on Armour- 1 grain 1X in the am.
She said my thyroid was borderline. I didn't have any symptoms of hypo.
She use the TSH level to diagnose and said the FT3 and FT4 tests were not necessary. Here are my symptoms now:
- numbness in my arms, feet and fingers
- bottom of my feet are very sore no matter what shoe I wear
- muscle ache in the elbows, fingers
- hot, which comes on after I take the Armour and leaves hours later (these are not hot flashes)
- weight gain
When I saw her last week she wanted to pump me full of more estrogen and testos. pellets which I declined because of the way they made my breasts swell up and tender for 2 weeks, lose of hair, facial hair growth. I went back on Vivelle-dot patch and test. cream.
I feel miserable. I'm exhausted, depressed, muscle aches, wake up with my arm and fingers numb.
She really did not know what to do with me and suggested the synthetic T4 drug. I left discouraged and with the same dose of 1 grain of Armour a day.
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Colletegirl, I have had these symptoms except being hot. See if your GP can up your Armour to 2 grains and see if that helps. If your thyroid is shot and not working you need around 2 grains to get to feeling normal, some need 3 grains or more but 2 is a general start. Take 1 grain in the morning before you eat and 1 grain in the afternoon before dinner. See if that helps you, provided your doctor agrees.
That is what I did and I feel much better and all the symptoms are gone. The hot feeling might be in conjunction with a women's issue flaring up when taking Armour and possibly start using a natural progesterone cream will help tremendously with that!
Also insist on taking a Free T3 and Free T4 test and not the usual TSH test. When taking Armour, TSH tests can show normal on a lower dose when really it is still too low. A Free T3 and Free T4 test will show the better range to which your Armour dose needs to be. Your GP then puts your Armour in the good range for the Free T3 and Free T4 tests. Hope that helps!
I have been seeing a Nurse Practioner that prescribes on the natural level. I saw her 3 months ago and the blood tests really scared me. My TSH is .048, T4 Free .67, Triiodothyronine Free 1.9 and reverse T 166. Currently, I take 240 mg a day of armour thyroid, that was upped by 60mg when I saw her last. She was surprised that I had no weight loss and didn't feel jittery. My Cholesterol and triglycerides are also high.
I am thinking that I need to go to an endo to have my pituitary looked into. I read last night that a common cause of hypopituitarism is a head injury. I had a severe head injury and hit the back of my head on a cement floor. As a result, I lost my sense of smell. I cannot smell anything. Reading this concerned me very much, so today I mad an appt. with an endo dr. for next week. Any thoughts would be helpful.
You've attached this post to a very old thread. If you will please re-post under your own name by clicking on the orange Post a Question at the top, then it will be much more noticeable and get more response.
I was on Synthroid for almost 3 years, and constantly told my doctor that I felt like total crap, and the anxiety was also disturbing. The dr also tried adding cytomel and that gave me EXTREME HEADACHES!. After I could not stand the way I felt anymore, and knowing I had to be on something as I lost my thyroid to cancer, I wanted to try the natural alternative--ARMOUR..and I can tell you...that within 2 days....2 DAYS!!! I felt totally different. The sad part is I do believe that the synthroid killed my kidneys to a point that they are now operating at 50 percent. I am going through testing right now and all the journals tell you that synthroid ends up in your kidneys. Does anyone out there know of anyone else who has had issues with kidneys and synthroid??
I'm not sure if it was Synthroid or not, but since my bout with RAI therapy in 2008 with the subsequent trial and error of thryoid meds, which included Synthroid, a CT scan found a mass on my left kidney and I had to have cryosurgery. There are also other spots in my kidneys that have the potential of growing as well. I was on and off Synthroid in 2010 and finally stopped it due to side effects.
My doc decided to put me on Armour for low thyroid but after about 3 weeks I noticed something very wrong was going on with me. I was getting upset easly and was always angry. Everyday I cryed and felt hopeless and sooooo depresed it was so horrible because I would get into arguments with my teenage son and my husband and everyone around me, at some point i felt so disconected from my body I wanted to die. So I went to my doctor and we decided to stop the medication he told me that this was the cause of my sympthoms. I got home and started searching diffrent websites and found out that Armour can elevate your adrenaline. I think mine was up high. I want to start taking iodine potasium it used to workfor me. Good luck!
Armour has T3 in it, like any brand of natural thyroid replacement medicine. T3 has a much more noticeable effect on energy than T4 and can take months (not three weeks) for the body to adjust to this difference. If to high a starting dose is administered, a temporary medicine induced hypErthyroid state may occur, not elevated adrenaline from the adrenal glands. This confuses people even though they are two different energy hormones.
If anything, adrenal gland fatigue is thought to be more easily noticed when natural thyroid meds are used due to the increased stress on the adrenals. Thyroid and adrenals work in tandem in stressful situations, if one is weak the other may follow. With adrenal fatigue, one can have extreme difficulty in stressful situations. With this condition, the fatigued adrenals need to be addressed and are usually treated in a holistic manner.
I liked armour the only issue is that they are in short supply alot as well as the doses can change from mmonth to month as it's more natural. My doc switched me to levothroxine I hate it I feel like im going crazy more tiered and just feel like im off going to have to find something different. any ideas
Armour is no longer in short supply. There are other alternatives for a combo T4/T3 NDT med. Those are Nature-Throid and Erfa, which comes from Canada. I think the issue of inconsistency is propaganda put out by the Pharmaceutical companies that sell T4 meds. I have never noticed anything I could relate to inconsistency.
I am not on Armour but my brother is. His endocrinologist decided to change him to it from synthroid b/c it makes the T4. So, when I was diagnosed I asked my doctor about the Armour and she wasn't really thrilled about it. When I asked why she said, "B/c it's not FDA regulated and is considered an herbal. " She didn't feel there had been enough testing done on it. IDK, but I do know that the Levothyroxine is working for me. 75 mcg. and my numbers are 1.75.
I'd say that your doctor is either not well informed about Armour, or she has bought into the "T4 only" position of the AACE and ATA and others. You mentioned that the Levo is working for you. Is that based on how you feel (no symptoms) or on the TSH test? Were other thyroid related tests done for you, like Free T3 and Free T4? If so, would you please post those results and their reference ranges shown on the lab report so that we can see what levels are working for you.
If you haven't been tested for Free T3 and Free T4 (not the same as Total T3 and Total T4), then you should request that the Frees be done each time you go in for testing. Those tests are much more reliable and reveal much more about thyroid status than TSH.
i live in North Alabama. can anyone help me find a doctor who will prescribe Armour? I have mild heart palpitations & wish they would go away. I am on 75mcg Synthroid & take 2.5 mcg cytomel in morning. please help me
NORTH ALABAMA looking for a doctor who will treat with armour thyroid. can anyone help me please! I am having mild PVC's (heart palpitations). Taking synthroid 75 mcg & cytomel 2.5 mcg. please help. i am hypothyroid. My tsh is 1.5 dont know the others. i am hypo not hyper...So why heart palpitations!! have had stress test showed my heart was good so IDK
PM gimel about a doctor in your area. He keeps a list of doctors recommended by thyroid patients.
Heart palps are a very common symptom of hypO.
You have attached your comment to this thread that is very old and very long (slow loading). It would be best if you went to the top of the page, hit the "Post a Question" button and started your own new thread. That way, we can address your individual concerns.
From FDA files-read all of it, here is an excerpt:
It is evident from this more recent data that there is a trend of potency loss in levothyroxine sodium products, with some formulations showing potency amounts approaching 90 percent of labeled potency by the established expiration date. Although all approved levothyroxine sodium products meet the current potency specifications, the stability data provided to the Agency revealed that the potency of several of these products declines rapidly over the labeled shelf life, representing variable stability patterns and resulting in varied shelf lives. This variability is reflected in expiration dating periods that establish shelf life that vary between these products—from a minimum of 8 months to a maximum of 24 months. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm161266.htm
I need a good endocrinologist that takes Medicare/Medicaid if there is such a thing. I have "Peripheral Tissue Thyroid Hormone Resistance" it may be partial, I don't know. The Scary part is I had to figure it out for myself in order to save my life. Now I need someone who can help me manage it. I did well for 4 years, but had a sudden turn for the worse after a stay in a Nursing Home for a broken hip. I am currently on the starting dose (125mcg) of Liothyronine (T3) for this disorder and I need to go up. I live in Western WA.
This thread is so old, it's unlikely you will get a response on it. It would be much better if you start a new thread of your own, with your location as part of the title.
You can start a new thread, by clicking on the orange "Post a Question" button at the top of this page, type in your question, then click the green "Post a Comment" button at the bottom. When you post a new thread, be sure to include actual thyroid hormone levels, along with reference ranges. Hopefully, you are getting FT3 and FT4, along with your TSH. Do you know if you have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?
I've never heard of a "starting dose" of 125 mcg of T3 medication.
Most helpful! I have the exact same problem - low thyroid & acid reflex. Recently started Armour, yet troubling my tummy & making me feel worse (yet better in some ways). Gonna try your method of dividing doses and putting under tongue - great expectations!
IT TOOK ME YEARS, TO GET ARMOUR THYROID AGAIN. BUT, I AM DOING BETTER NOW THAT I GOT BACK ON IT. GONE IS THE "FOG", AND THE TIREDNESS FEELING I HAD, MY SKIN IS CHANGINE FRO DRY TO NORMAL. AND MY FEET AREN'T COLD ANY MORE. I FEEL LIKE A HUMAN AGAIN! THAT WAS IN 2 WEEKS, I'M SO AMASED!!
I switched from acella 90mg NP thyroid.to armour 120 which was too high.anyway my breasts grew 2 inches while taking it anyway I'm trying half to 60mg now of armour to see how that goes.I have a lot of anger issues anyone else have these symptoms
I was just wondering if the thyrostim helped you? I am desperate and there has been much debate between my endo saying my thyroid is fine and my nutritionist saying it is not. My T3 is low and I suffer from all the symptoms with no other reasons found by doctors as to why. I am desperate to lead a normal active life but I am scared to take thyrostim in the event I don't have a full blown low thyroid problem. I don't want to make it worse. Any information would be so appreciated.
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