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armour thyroid and tsh
Does TSH register properly when taking Armour Thyroid.  My T3 and T4 levels are normal to low and my TSH shows that my gland is surpressed.  I was doing well when my doctor adjusted my T3 and T4 and never used TSH now all he does is TSH and nothing else.  Could TSH malfuntion when on Armour?  I do believe the TSH is a flawed test for thyroid anyway but someone has pushed this test as the norm.



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19 Answers
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393685 tn?1425816122
Not sure if you are understanding correctly - A TSH does not malfunction. - A pitutiary gland could - but in your case unlikely - next to impossible.

The TSH is always suppressed taking Armour. Usually you are near a hyper level on labs ( But NOT experiencing hyper symptoms) so really the TSH should not be the guide when on it.

As for the T3 and T4 labs ( which I hope you mean Free T3 and Free T4) Those may be the tell all for an Armour patients.

Almost all Armour patients will have a Free T3 level in the upper 1/3 lab references ranges - with a mid to low Free T4 score and feel wonderful.

If you doctor has swung to only reading the TSH as the "tell all" in your condition - you could be in for a long ride of symptoms again.



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393685 tn?1425816122
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Thank you for your reply.  It was very informative.  I wish I could find some printed literature to give to my doctor with this information since he is a GP he tells me this is not his expertise.  All the Endo's in my town will only use Synthyroid and I feel horrible on it.  I am sleeping all day now that he has reduced my Armour and my facial muscles have fallen and I look a lot like a bull dog.  My basal temp. is 96.2 my palms turn a bright red when I put water on them cold or hot, doesn't matter.  Can't find a doctor in SC so far.  If anyone knows of one, pass it on.  Thanks......
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393685 tn?1425816122
Check you PM messages - I'll send you some information - hopefully to include a doctor too.
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393685 tn?1425816122
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648987 tn?1231205477
Just saying hi and how I can sympathize with you. I am going through the exact same ordeal as you. I was near tears this week when the doc fianally gave in and raised my Armour from 75 to 90gr.  She made me feel like a total idiotic hypocondriac. I guess I won, but phew at what cost.

If you find any credible info regarding TSH and Armour dosing, please let me know. I have been searching and searching, but nothing concrete yet. My next round of labs will even be worse with my TSH, round 2.

Good luck and know you are not alone.
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648987 tn?1231205477
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My TSH is .011 which shows my gland is surpressed but my T4 is 6 on a scale of 5-12.5.  My T4 used to be 10.5 on that same scale and that is all I want my Dr. to do is get my T4 back up.  He used to be fine with that until and Endo. told him he only needed to do TSH.  I read something online yesterday that states you can't use TSH with Armour but am looking into that on the Armour website.  He will believe that if I can prove it to him.  The Endo.'s are locked into Synthyroid and TSH and beyond that they know nothing.  Read my reply from Stella5349 she is very informative....oh, I am on 165 mg. of Armour and want to get back up to 180mg. at least.
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648987 tn?1231205477
I wish my doc could visit with Stella5349. She is awesome.

Ya know, I work in a bank and dabble in IRA's. (not unlike my doc with thryroid). When a question comes up I am not clear on, I call the experts at Collin Fritz, my customers actually respect me for finding answers and not guessing with thier money.

Why do you suppose doctors don't consult with specialists around the world (it is so different with internet now), isn't there some doctor hotline or list of success with diseases. I know they don't have time to search, but seriously........wouldn't they have thier nurse do it or someone. My healing is her SUCCESS.  I don't get it.

I am going to keep searching for that info on Armour/TSH, it is vital, let you know what I find out. Nice visiting with you.
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648987 tn?1231205477
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I did a lot of research and took it into my doctor regarding TSH.  One from the head of the research dept. on Thyroid from Johns Hopkins, one from the head of the Fibromyalsia Research Institute.  Both said the TSH was not showing the whole picture of low thyroid.  That made him so confused that he called his Endo. friend that convinced him otherwise.  I feel he can not dispute Armour if they say it can't be used with Armour.  I live in the south and MUSC must not be teaching anything but Synthyroid and have convinced their drs. that is the standard.  I am so frustrated over  this thing.  They don't listen to their patients regarding this and I honestly believe I could fill a football stadium with people like me.....
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648987 tn?1231205477
That is just so discouraging and wrong. I do not know how to handle this. I have never felt so helpless.

One of my symptoms lately is my hands fall asleep at night, happened before when I was low on my FT4. The doc said I have carpul tunnel and it is not related to my thyroid, to come in and get checked for that. Guess it is better for her business to push more drugs or surgery on me than try a much simpler solution.

What will you do? What can you do now?  I admire your strength.
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393685 tn?1425816122
I found in my personal experience - that the TSH can be whatever it wants - Yet my symptoms are less noticable to vanished when my Free T3 is titering on the very top of the scale off the reference range.

I did find through personal experience - that when I went even beyond the highest Free T3 range - I did feel just a tad hyper and toned the meds down.

Stability with TSH and comparing your wellness ( being freed of Hypo symptoms)  is what you need to track - not the "actual number per say." After you get a solid hypo free situation and feel "right" for months - I then think knowing your TSH level is definately a plus for you.


Things can sway - for what ever reason - so once you feel great - and for a long time - A "good" blood check might be helpful so if you fall on the down slide again you can compare that to when you felt great - vs - what you feel like now.

As known - TSH is the pitutiary talking to the thyroid to produce hormone. It is not a control of thyroid hormones. T4 is the component to convert to T3.

T3 is what the cells need to promote well being.  

Watch the Free T3.
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648987 tn?1231205477
Hi there, you are so very busy on the board, when do you rest girl.

Thanks for the advice on keeping track of labs when I do feel great for a baseline. When I was on 90gr (upped from 60gr....too fast), T's were midpoint, I felt a little hyper, or was it still hypo. Anyway, she lowered back to 75gr and now T3 26% and T4 10%.

Upon begging and humiliating myself she upped back to 90gr, this time taking it more slower than necessary (7 weeks) and I pray this will be the right dose. Well it will be closer anyway, I may need another 15gr to kick all symptoms.

When people add T4 synthroid to Armour, doesn't that defeat the purpose of Armour, since it is T3 that does the healing. Woudn't the ideal solution be to keep adding 15gr. to optimum lab than stay on that dose for continued healing? I think that is what you mentioned.

  What if for whatever reason I can't tolerate this dose and know the lower one is too low, would adding T4 be the only route to go. I want Armour to work so bad, do not want to go back to synthroid ever again, was on it for 18 years.

Since my doc woudn't talk to me on the phone, I sent a letter for her to put in my file with current symptoms, thanking her for listening to my symptoms along with labs........killing her with kindness and setting 2009 goal with upper range T3 as she stated at our first visit. I don't know, thought a light bulb might go off for her. I keep trying.
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499534 tn?1328707778
There are endos that use Armour with synthroid....at an 80% / 20% ratio. Sometimes patients need more T4 than armour or thyrolar can offer....hence they use T4 med with it. No it won't defeat the purpose of Armour. Each person is different and you should be open to whatever is right for you and your doctor treating you, as long as it is helping you to feel better! :) :)
My suggestion would be to wait and see how you do with this increase....take it slow so you don't go hyper. As long as you can get your doctor to give you the increase....that is half the battle there. Staying undertreated on Armour happens a lot unless the doctors know how to treat according to Free T4 and Free T3 as mentioned above.
My doctor is learning to ask me how I feel even though the #'s might look okay. It has taken a little time for her to learn to trust my judgement calls and each visit is more and more productive. It took time before she would converse with me and listen.
How long have you started increase? Hang in there and take it slow....we want to see you feeling better too! :) :)
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Interesting observation regarding your hands falling asleep at night.  Mine used to do that until I got my thyroid up and now that he has lowered it they have begun to fall asleep again.  It wakes me up at night because my hand will be completely numb and often cold.  It definitly is related to Thyroid but probably has not been documented anywhere.  Have you ever read "Hypothyroidism" by Broda Barnes?  It is really informative if you can locate a copy.  I have located a Dr. in Ga that does the Broda Barnes method and I plan on calling today and ask some questions.   It will be a long drive to see him but may be worth it...
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648987 tn?1231205477
I love your calm non- threatening common
sense response. I have been a little obsessed. Thank you for all your time.

Think I need to take a little break from the board and let things happen.
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648987 tn?1231205477
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648987 tn?1231205477
yes I have heard of the broada barnes method. I need to look into that again. Yep, that old falling asleep hands is irritating.
Looks like you have another possibility to getting the care you so deserve......good luck with your journey in that.
Wishing you all the best.
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499534 tn?1328707778
We all get obsessed at times...lol....when you are desperate to feel better it is a normal response to become obsessed with finding answers. You can ask as many questions or post as many things as you like....that is why we are all here. We are here to support each other....build each other up....calm each other down when needed....and to just listen at times. You are not alone....we have all been there and feel for you!
Sometimes we all need to take a break for a couple of days, but don't stay away too long...we will miss you! :)
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648987 tn?1231205477
Thanks, I enjoy you all so much, I shall return.

p.s. Kitten in my picuture is named Dewey, any of you here about the famour Library cat in Spencer Iowa named Dewey, well........she was named after her.
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499534 tn?1328707778
What a sweet little baby!!! Gold and orange kittens are my favorite! Read your bio....what kind of dogs do you have? I am an extreme dog lover! I have an American Bulldog-120lb baby named Brutis Maximux! lol  I love him...he is my buddy! I will have to put up another photo of him. lol
After reading that you have had hypothyroidism for 20 yrs, I now understand even more so your anxiousness to learn and feel better. Hang in there and stay in touch with stella and I as you get through this increase. I go for bloodwork within the week again myself....I think I may have to increase again. It takes time and patience when switching over to Armour...I think that is why so many doctors let it go by the wayside....but we can do it!!!
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648987 tn?1231205477
Well, she is sweet when she sleeps......I wonder if sometimes she gets into my Armour as she flies from my desk to the table to dig in my plants and bites my feet.

120 lb.'s, are you serious, that is alot of dog to love. I will check out your pictures, his name says it all.

Jed is a visula, started out as a house dog, but quickly outgrew us and now lives outside with our 15yr old Ellie, we are not sure of her breed, she was dumped, and we were scared to death they were going to come back after her, we both love her, and has been the best hunting dog ever. She breaks my heart as she is so very old and athritic. She sleeps under a heat lamp. This winter has been tough on her.

I will be watching for your updates on your labs,you must be close to optimum. Crazy how we learn what our bodies need. What symptoms tell you time for an increase.
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I'm So confused with my numbers.

12-2011  =  TSH .005, T4 13.0, FT4 1.36, FT3 3.35, didn't have my T3 numbers= .150 levothyroxine

5-2012   =  TSH .01, T4 13.7, FT4 2.0, FT3 1.43, didn't have my T3 numbers=  .125 levothyroxine

3-2013  =  TSH .011 and FT4 1.6 no other test were done.  .125 Levothyroxine

My OBGYN told me that I'm taking in to much medication in.  and was concerned that I may have AF.  I'm very tired and palms of hands get really hot, feel hungry all the time, agitated and have put on weight, and feel a little depressed.  Can someone help me please.
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