Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

armour vs synthroid/cytomel

Ok I am wondering which route to go after RAI.Armour or Synthroid/Cytomel combo.I am leaning to the armour.1 pill vs 2.Itis closest to our own thyroid hormones.
I had bad experience with synthroid but that was mostly because they gave me too much.Cytomel has been ok except for the excessive bm's(previous IBS was totally thyroid induced)

But all the websites I have been to about armour sound almost too good to be true.So I know yall will give me the skinny.

Thanks, Venora
22 Responses
Avatar universal
Its a matter of choice, and, type of thyroid condition as well as other health issues. If there is no conversion problem, a very rare condition, then there should be no need for the extra T-3 in Armour or Cytomel.

Some people develop TED 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.
There can be problems using Armour or cytomel (T3) if you have heart issues which has to do with the life span and action of this particular chemical. It has a very short biological life compared to T4, and is also the form of thyroid hormone immediately used by cells. The T4 is continuously converted into T3 in the body as the body needs it. When you swallow a pill with T3 in it (whether it is Armour or cytomel) you are providing a spike of hormone that will be immediately used in cell metabolic functions. It could be that your body does not need the T3 at that point in time, but it gets it anyway. It is difficult, then, to provide enough of a constant of the hormoen, in the background, to avoid ups and downs. In someone with a any type heart issue, these ups and downs and create problems.

In an overall  test, there was little to no evidence that a combination of T3 added to thyroxine provided therapeutic benefit. Additional randomized control trials of L-thyroxine alone vs. thyroxine plus T3 did not show any clinical benefit of T3 supplementation, Treatment of hypothyroidism with excess T3 has potential risks.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, states:
"Combined Thyroxine/Liothyronine Treatment, T-4 and T-3, Does Not Improve Well-Being, Quality of Life, or Cognitive Function Compared to Thyroxine Alone".

Avatar universal
The use of Armour vs Synthroid or Synthroid/Cytomel combination depends on the individual that is taking the medicine. Most patients only need Synthroid since the body converts T4 to T3. In some cases, like myself, Synthroid/Cytomel combination works the best since I'm having a hard time with the conversion. When I spoke with my endo regarding Armour, he wasn't against taking it, however, he stated that in his experience Armour was harder to regulate and that we should give Synthroid/Cytomel a try first because of the many dosage variations available. Personally, I think it's a matter of trying the simplest first (Synthroid) and if that doesn't work then try the next available alternative.
Avatar universal
Thank yall I knew graveslady would have the 411.

Love Venora
Avatar universal
Visit the "stopthethyroidmadness' web page.  It has a lot of comparisons, and user experience information.
Avatar universal
The best drug is the drug which safely makes you feel your best. And there's no predetermined formula to tell which drug will be the best for you, until you try them all, find optimal doses, and see how you do over time.

Synthroid , Unithroid, Levoxyl and Levothroid thyroid hormone medications are not a chemical meant to trick our system in any way.  It is not toxic like other medications since it is made the same as our naturally occurring thyroid hormone.

T3: is no "magic" pill that will necessarily make you feel better. For some T-3 might work while others T-3 might not. I have heard of persons having to go off of it after a period of time because it was creating heart issues. Plus ending up with the same symptom as the reason for going on T-3.
Some people can not tolerate the smallest dose of T3, even cutting the smallest dose in half and developing some heart issues. When going off the T3, the heart issues went away and they felt better and felt good on T4 alone.

Armour:  Pork allergies  may make this supplement problematic for some. There are some patients and practitioners who are also concerned about these products due to fears of prion-related diseases such as Mad Cow Disease, despite manufacturer assurances that these products are safe.

Influx of T3 (Armour has a 4:1 ratio of T4 to T3 while the human body is more like 9:1) will accelerate  heart rate and cause defibrillation (excuse spelling). It's not the Armour per se -it's the T3.  
Armour Thyroid will initially make people feel better, but over time, the level of tissue t3 builds up and then you feel bad again. Because the proportions in Armour are approx 80% T4 and 20% T3, does not match the body's natural state, which is approx. 98% T4 and 2 % T3. T3 levels get too high, and then you feel bad again. So when starting Armour it is possible to have a few good weeks of feel good, then then for it to seem to wear off.  Usually the reason is that the initial boost is from the T3 addition, but then the crash is because the T3/T4 ratio is not optimum for your body.

I have read, taking T3 in pill form is like swallowing uppers because there's a immediate rush, and then a quick down-turn  and it can have serious, adverse health consequences. I heard it called cocane of thyroid drugs.

Here is smothing else to consider if lactose:
Synthetic T4 - Eltroxin, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Oroxine, Synthroid, UnithroidMost brands: contain lactose as a filler.   Levothroid and Levoxyl do not.

Synthetic T3 - Cytomel, Tertroxin, Cynomel : Contains lactose as a filler

Synthetic T4/T3 - Thyrolar:  Contains lactose as a filler
Desiccated thyroid - Armour, Thyroid, Derived from pigs:
Doesn't contain lactose.

I suggest going to Government sites and/or thyroid orginartions and medical association for your information.  Below are just some sites.

British Thyroid Foundation  http://www.btf-thyroid.org/index.htm

American Thyroid Associatrion http://www.thyroid.org/patients/faqs/hormonetreatment.html

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, history of:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiccated_thyroid_extract

All Thyroid  http://www.tsh.org/disorders/hypothyroidism/bestrxhypo.html

Dr. Koop http://www.drkoop.com/ency/93/guides/000038_7_4.html

Thyroid Federation International http://www.thyroid-fed.org/publications/neweng.html

My Thyroid http://www.mythyroid.com/optimalthyroid.html

The Journal of linical Endocrinology & Metabloism  http://jcem.endojournals.org:80/cgi/content/abstract/88/10/4543

Good Luck
Avatar universal
Synthyroid cytomel vs armour, It is all trial and error. I have been on synthroid for 15 plus years and have been fine just adjusting doses here and there,now after turning 44 my hormones are changing . I now take synthroid 125mcg and 12.5 mg of cytomel in the afternoons. The combination works best for me, Armour made me gain weight. Every BODY is different. I also added progesterone cream and testosterone cream compounded at the pharmacy where I work to meet my hormone needs, by zrt testing,\
Avatar universal
By Mel44

Again it all is trial and error and depends on the person. You can experiment and find what works for you.
What works for me, probably will not work for you.
Sounds like GraveLady has her knowledge down pat.
I know I have read many thyroid books and there are manys different cases.
Avatar universal
By Mel44
Yes taking large doses of cytomel might be like taking uppers but not small doses.
Body builders take high doses like 100mg plus twice a day , that might be a high.
I take 12.5 mg of cytomel and it does not give me a high.
Before you judge , again every BODY is different.
393685 tn?1425816122
"I have read, taking T3 in pill form is like swallowing uppers because there's a immediate rush, and then a quick down-turn  and it can have serious, adverse health consequences. I heard it called cocane of thyroid drugs."


This quote above is insane. There is no such data that T3 ( ARMOUR) can be referenced like that above.
393685 tn?1425816122

I'll give you the skinny - on a personal note.

"For me" -- going on Armour was a life saver. I got my head back and my life.

It's all about how YOU do and being able to find the right treatment for YOU.
Avatar universal
Weren't you the person who attacked me (very viciously I might add) in a posting here for having RAI?
Maybe I have the wrong person but dont think so.
Your posting caused so much upset that you was banned from here for a while.
Personally...I think each to their own.
Whatever gives you quality of life.

Copy and paste is a great tool lol.
393685 tn?1425816122
My Dear friend Deb..

I love ya 2 pieces......

She got you too hey??

I had my ups and down w/ her too.
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