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.
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....
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.
Crossing my fingers on your behalf,