Armour vs. Thyrolar-why would naturopath want to switch?
I'm back after a visit to the MD/Naturopath that my dr who has been treating my hypo referred me to. Well this lady doesn't have any bedside manner, but I can tell she is smart. She was actually quiet for an extended period, tapping her clipboard, obvious that she was actually thinking about my treatment. Not often have I seen a dr actually think things through during an appt. Yes some sarcasm there!
I explained to her how my TSH is now slightly hyper, while Free T3 & 4 are middle of normal range yet I started having hypo symptoms again after several months of feeling better. She said I am not converting T3 to T4 is why I show low TSH but still feel hypo. Also says my adrenals are near crashing. She recommended that I switch from 2 grains of Armour to 1 grain Thyrolar-not sure why. She said Thyrolar is as natural as Armour after I told her I didn't want synthetics. She also prescribed 2 supplements for adrenal support, 3 for thyroid support. Plus natural estrogen for my periomenopausal symptoms I am refusing to take because my other dr has already proven to herself as well as me that my estrogen is normal and when it is increased and my androgens lowered I get major PMS-y & depressed. (long story)
The Thyrolar is $10 a month more in co-pay than the Armour. Yes I know that's no biggie, but I can barely afford the copays on all my allergy and asthma meds. Plus the supplements she wants me to take are of course not covered by insurance and cost $200 a month! Anyone got that kind of spare change lying around? I sure don't! I told her and she said well you aren't going to get better unless you take this!!
I'm really stressed tonight trying to figure out what is right thing to do. Should I just stay on Armour and take some of the supplements? I have appt next week with a nurse practioner that I have talked to before that also thought I have a T3 convertion problem and two days later I have appt with the dr in that same office that has been treating my hypo. Should I keep those appts? And is it ridiculous to see both of them in same week? I was just thinking of getting each of their opinions on what is wrong. Is this going overboard?
Angela, I'll be interested to hear replies on this one. Thyrolar is a synthetic drug, so is not "just the same as Armour". The ratio of T3 to T4 in each drug looks about the same, so I'm trying to figure out why it will help. It seems like adding some extra T3(Cytomel) to the mix would achieve more, or since your free T3 and T4 are mid range, bump the Armour up a little and see how you feel. Did you have your labs done before you took any meds for the day? Are the supplements she gave you for your adrenals prescription or are you buying them from her? The adrenal support is a good idea, but I shopped around for the vitamins and other things. Got a good deal at GNC cause I bought alot at once(don't know if the store's name is allowed or not, we'll see). Anyway, I would talk to the dr. and nurse practitioner. So is the ND's natural estrogen replacement soy? Just curious.
Try not to stress so much. I know how it feels to feel horrible, but there is a cure for this. Take care. IWL
I didn't feel 100% on armour all by itself either. After many many adjustments and alot of trial and error I reached my max dose of armour and am I also take cytomel..
2.5 grains armour and 130mcg of cytomel. It seems that is what my body needed to get well.
Regarding the estrogen..... Remember, when your thyroid is adjusted to an appropriate level the female hormones usually straighten out on their own.
I had low estradiol in the beginning but now everything is back to normal.
Originally posted by Iwannalife: It seems like adding some extra T3(Cytomel) to the mix would achieve more, or since your free T3 and T4 are mid range, bump the Armour up a little and see how you feel. Did you have your labs done before you took any meds for the day? Are the supplements she gave you for your adrenals prescription or are you buying them from her? So is the ND's natural estrogen replacement soy? Just curious.
IWL- You know I have wondered myself if adding a little Cytomel in might help. I mentioned that and Meeps said adding extra T4 instead might help. So I tried to get my dr to give me 2 1/2 gr Armour or some Unithroid. She said "no, no, no!" She said she didn't want to hurt me by making me become hyper. Then she went on that something else must be wrong if I am still tired and having the knot in throat feeling. She advised getting my throat scoped despite my insisting the tender feeling is in thyroid area and not my throat.
The supplements are sold at the compounding pharmacy. The ones that I bought are Meda-Stim & GTA Forte II made by Biotics Research and Adreset by Metagenics. I didn't get the Biotics Research ADHS because I get stomach upset from one of the ingredients and Estrolactins because I don't want to take any estrogen or prolactins!!!! The estrogens must be soy because ingredients list isoflavones... so that is another name for soy right? The last test showed my estrogens and prolactins are normal, so I don't want to increase them. Prolactins were tested because I have had breast discharge for past 8 yrs. Recently had the fluid tested and it is colostrum despite fact I have never been pregnant. Heck I don't want to make it worse with more prolactins. I'm certain soy baby formula is reason I had precocious puberty at age 4. I hate the #*$# stuff!!
Oh- and yes I did have the thyroid labs done 12 hrs after having taken my Armour so tests should be accurate. BTW-the antibodies test came up negative which surprised me.
PS: As I was leaving the ND, she came back out and shaking her finger at me ordered me to not consume any wheat or dairy. I've had 3 rounds of allergy testing in my life and never have shown allergic to either. I eat little wheat as I am on low carb diet. I have lactose intolerance, so discontinued dairy for awhile. Then I started craving milk, started drinking the lactose free kind one glass in evenings and it makes me feel better.
I'm more inclined to follow what my body says than what dr says. I remember right before I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia I was craving sunflower seeds and all sorts of nuts. I was thinking "am I turning into a bird here?" Turns out nuts and seeds are part of a hypoglycemic diet.
Angela, Yes the "natural estrogen" is soy. You're right to stay away from that. I'm not sure why she's so worried about making you hyper and hurting you. It will only hurt you if you stay hyper for long periods of time. I'm sure some people would disagree, but I felt better hyper than hypo. Having learned that the TSH can do some major fluctuating, I would get your free T3 and T4 a little higher than mid-range and see if you improve. I'm following most of Dr. Lam's protocol for adrenal fatigue because I've been hypo for so long. Most ND's tell you to stay away from milk products, although I can now tolerate them, since my hypo intestines have been cured. I had allergy testing and am allergic to soy, canola(rapeseed) and eggs. The first two are fairly toxic to alot of people. I use progesterone cream because for the first time in my life(and I'm old ), I started having uncomfortable periods. I had a horrible lactic acid builup in all my muscles. I wonder if there's any connection with that and your breast discharge? I got the lump in my throat kind of sore in the thyroid area when I changed to Armour(and I don't have a thyroid!!). I'm not sure why drs. are always trying to make symtoms be something other than thyroid, but it's so common. Anyway, I'm a big believer in taking what you can use from a doctor and also going with your gut feelings. I was very compliant for a long time and got worse everyday. Find someone who will listen to you and work with you. IWL P.S. They scoped my throat too a couple of years ago, didn't find a problem..hmmm...funny.
[This message has been edited by Iwannalife (edited 08-16-2003).]
Originally posted by AngelaA: She recommended that I switch from 2 grains of Armour to 1 grain Thyrolar-not sure why. She said Thyrolar is as natural as Armour after I told her I didn't want synthetics.
Your doctor flat out lied to you. Thyrolar is an entirely synthetic T3 and T4 combo med. In addition, it is not as stable as Armour and must be refrigerated to maintain its potency (the manufacturer suggests not leaving them out of the fridge for more than a week). So, in addition to switching you to a synthetic med against your wishes and increasing the copay you have to pay, your doc has added the inconvenience of having to worry about how and where you store your meds, now.
On the subject of the supplements, it sounds like this doc has an agenda to secure an additional source of income by selling supplements that are probably way overpriced. Why line this doctor's pockets, when you are being lied to to start out with?
Getting multiple opinions can be eye-opening, or it can be frustrating, depending on the opinions you get. I think it is worth the possibility that one of them might notice something that the others missed, but that has to be your choice.
If you have a T4-->T3 conversion problem, you may be Selenium deficient. Try adding some Selenium to your supplements, if you haven't already. Don't exceed 200mcg a day, though.
I have never heard of a T3-->T4 conversion problem. Why? Because converting that direction isn't done, to my knowledge. You may have more T3 than T4 because you are taking a med that is a bit heavy on T3 for humans. In that case, dropping about half of your Armour and adding the equivalent abount of synthetic T4 will often be very close to what a healthy thyroid gland produces. You may have to tweak from there, but it is a good start. In your case try replacing 1 grain of Armour with a 75mcg Unithroid (or Levoxyl, Synthroid, Levothroid, as you or your doctor prefer...)
[This message has been edited by Meep (edited 08-16-2003).]
I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV...
When exactly is this needed? I'm Hypo/Hash but my numbers are always under control(and have been for about 8 years) by taking a raw thyroid tissue supplement (non-prescription). How would one know if they were in need of selenium?