I'm going to go ahead and get my referral to an endo doc tomorrow for adrenal testing. I've been on 195mg of Armour for about a month now(from 180mg). Didn't really help much upping the dose. I feel just a little shaky like I did whenever they upped my T4 meds, and no real improvement. I was hoping for a little more energy/stamina. I am still enternally grateful that I have pretty much lost all hypo symtoms except the tired. My question is: It ususally takes one to two months to see an endo here. I would like to lower my Armour a little and add Cytomel since I am a lousy converter and seem to kind of tox out on the T4. How much should I lower it and how much Cytomel should I take. I will be trying to talk my regular MD into this and he's not familiar with either drug. He's been pretty good about letting me try stuff though and I'm hoping he'll do this if I can tell him about dosing. Also, how do you say Cytomel(is it sitoemel?). Thanks, IWL
What were your last FT3 and FT4 tests? It might help to post those to get a good answer to one of your questions about the Armour and whether Cytomel might help. Actually if you're pushing towards the top edges, the fatigue might point to other problems, such as adrenal problems or nutritional deficiencies, or you might just plain need some time to let your body work.
Sky...I am close to the top edges of FT3-3.7(2.3-4.2) and of FT4-1.2(0.8-1.6), with a tsh of .32(.40-3.). I upped the Armour another 15mg after that, I was thinking it was a month ago, but it was actually on 8-22, so I guess that's more like 2 weeks. After about a week, my hands started shaking. When I was on 150mg I still had more hypo symptoms, upping to 180mg got rid of the rest of the aches, intestinal monsters, but still tired. I've been taking alot of stuff recommeneded for adrenals because I was unsuccessfully treated hypo for so long. As low as my body temp was and as much adrenalin that my body was pumping out when I was on T4 only tells me that I don't convert much. I am being greedy I guess. Since I have awhile before I see the endo doc(and who knows if they'll help me), I just wanted to try a little more T3, and a little less T4, but don't know the amounts. I am taking about 20 different vitamins and minerals and a few other things(since May), so I don't think I have a vitamin deficiency. I am my own science experiment and my gut feeling tells me my T3 needs to be a little higher and my T4 a little lower. Thanks, IWL
Sky...I took 25mg of dhea for a week. Made me have my period 2 weeks early and my face broke out for the first time in my life. I also read something about it can possibly put a woman into menopause. I am 50, but want to put that off as long as possible because my mom had breast cancer. I am relatively sure I will take HRT in spite of what has been said about it because of sex drive, keeping womanly, etc. But I want to wait as long as possible to start. I have no symptoms of menopause that I know of and my mom was 64 when she went through it!!! I did try the dhea one more time a few weeks later to see if it was a coincidence and it did that same thing. The way I understand it from what I've read, the pregnenolone and progesterone cream I'm using helps my body make it's own dhea. Is that true? I'm taking an adrenal boost and licorice root that is supposed to help the adrenals too? Even though I know my adrenals have been through hell, can't they gradually get better on their own? I did up my Armour way too fast. I went from .112 & .125mcg of Levoxyl(alternating) to 60mg of Armour for 2 days. When my head didn't spin around and fall off, I upped it to 90mg for about 12 days, then 120 for about a week then 150 and 180 at 1 week intervals. First two weeks I felt soooo much better, and body temp almost got to normal, then crashed a little, upped it everytime I felt like I was going backwards. Before I started Armour I felt like constant adrenalin rushes and my resting pulse was over 100, pulse went to 70 after about a week, then started creeping back up, went back down each time I upped my dose, till the increase to 180mg. It's at 85ish now, which is still better than the 3 1/2 years I spent at 100-140, full time!! But 70 to 75 felt so good. I finally figured out after tons of research that the reason I had so many hyper symptoms with my hypo was that my poor adrenals were trying to run my body. You know the sad thing is, of all the drs. I saw, I told each one the same thing. That it felt like adrenalin, fight or flight, almost running over a dog, etc. That should have told them at the very least that I had an adrenal problem, but no one ever heard me. My regular MD has told me he will do the adrenal testing if I want, but admits he doesn't know how to read them and would rather an endo doc do it. He is referring me for an 8:00 a.m cortisol and that other one that is ASTH? or something like that. He has promised me he will refer me to a woman endo who is very good and does prescribe Armour. He has let me experiment with dose because although I just started seeing him, I've known him for years, oh and I begged. Sorry to go on so long. So what I should do if he agrees to the Cytomel is drop to 150mg w/ 5 of Cytomel? Oh, one other question. I was put on prednisone last year for an allergy/asthma thing and I had a horrible reaction to it. Is cortisol like prednisone? Thanks, IWL
Iwannalife....I am 51, and started having hotflashes about 6 months ago. I had 3 an hour, 24 hours a day. Then I started the Atkins diet and the flashes stopped within a week....and I haven't had one since. It's been almost 4 months that I started Atkins. I lost 24 pounds the first 2 1/2 months and have now slackened a little in that I've added fresh fruit to my diet, but still no processed foods to speak of, and only natural sugar. I still have not had any menopause symptoms, so I do believe that our diet has alot to do with making things easier for us. It's so much easier to just eat healthy rather than take HRT and risk some serious side affects!
Sleep well - there's people out there willing to die tonight so that you can wake up safely tomorrow.
You might want to try 7-keto DHEA instead. This supposedly has less of the masculine oriented symptoms for a woman - i.e. less chance to convert into testosterone and more chance to convert into estrogens.
As far as HRT goes, all the news and stuff is related to the synthetic lab-produced stuff the doctors like and not any other options. Especially, I think this is related to the stuff like Premarin - they do natural estrogen, but then synthetic progesterone (it's called progestin). This is the question, not the pure natural HRT, which is what you want and shouldn't insist on anything less.
Pregnenolone should convert into DHEA if you need it, the question is this is done by your adrenal cortex and if it's not working right, then you won't be able to convert it. The adrenal testing will be useful to determine this.
The adrenals are like the thyroid, if the glands themselves are damaged then you will need to consider the supplementation. I don't know about the things in the quotes that well as to what they will do for you. And the other test is ACTH - they inject you with ACTH, which is a hormone for adrenals like TSH is for thyroid and then they measure your cortisol for two or three periods to see if it increases.
If you're taking 180mg of Armour, if you want to drop the T4 content and get the same T3 content, you want 150mg of Armour and 5mcg of Cytomel - of course you'll lose the 15mcg of T4 and the T3 that converts to.
Prednisone is a synthetic analog to cortisol, that's stronger and longer lasting. If you consider supplementation though it's done through hydrocortisone (brand name Cortef) or cortisone acetate, though sometime Prednisone is used, but in much smaller quantities than generally used. How much prednisone were you on? Generally the recommended daily dosage is around 5mg or so.
Hope this answers some of your questions at least.
Originally posted by Iwannalife: I'm taking an adrenal boost and licorice root that is supposed to help the adrenals too?
Sky...So the 7-Keto dhea won't cause menopause? The prednisone that I took briefly was the kind you start at 1 for a day then 2 for 2 days, etc., don't remember the strength, but I was already having high resting pulse and it sent it up to over 150, so I am kind of nervous about anything similar. My dr. did refer me to the endo doc, appt. isn't until Oct. He wouldn't give me any Cytomel and I guess I don't blame him since he isn't familiar with it. His nurse said she was surprised I had talked him into the Armour. So I guess I just wait. I'm okay, but am eager to get back to working out and getting un-fat. I can walk for fairly long distances, but can't run yet like I used to. Still that's pretty good for someone who had to lay down after I took a shower up til 2 months ago. Diet wise, I still haven't gotten very good. I don't have an appetite and have a tough time eating healthy stuff when I'm not hungry anyway. I know I am very lucky to be so improved in 2 months, but yes I still want it all. IWL P.S. I lowered my Armour back to 180 since I have to wait so long to see if that helped with the shaky hands.
[This message has been edited by Iwannalife (edited 09-08-2003).]
Sorry to hear that you are not doing as well as you would have liked by now... been there for sure. For me the addition of cytomel was not an exact science... the theory of take out such and such t4 and add such and such t3 did not work for me since my body so desperately needed that t3. Most people need something like a 4 to 1 ratio(something like that) of t4/t3.
You can try and reduce the armour by 60mg and add 5mcg cytomel slowly to see how you do. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you do not add the cytomel quickly within the first 2 weeks of stopping armour... your metabolism runs on the t4 for about that time before your level drops when you stop taking it.
When I lowered my armour I waited 2days before increasing the cytomel. This was an experimental process in my case.
Have you had a free or even total t3 done?
Adding the cytomel to the armour made a world of difference for me.
Thanks Daldre, After being sick for 3 1/2 years and improving so much in 2 months, I'm not really whining, just eager. My FT3 last month was 3.7(2.3-4.2), but I really am convinced I don't do much with T4 so I want the T3 as high as I can get it within range. Since my dr. won't okay the cytomel, I guess it will just be a little longer before I can try tweaking a little more. I'm hoping the endo doc who is doing my adrenal testing will give me the cytomel. If not, they sell it in Mexico without an rx(I'm kidding, I think). LOL, IWL
I'm not sure about it causing menopause, but generally the 7-keto DHEA is preferred for women because it's supposedly less likely to convert into testosterone than the regular DHEA is. I don't know if that's what the problem was you were running into or not, but if wierd things happen you are likely on too high of a dosage. Sometimes 25mg doesn't work, but 5 or 10mg will.
Prednisone is much stronger on a person's system than hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate is, so you might be able to do well in supplementing on again a smaller amount to start just to see how things go. Of course, the caveat is to find out if this stuff is even a good idea for you (if you even need it).
Originally posted by Iwannalife: Sky...So the 7-Keto dhea won't cause menopause? The prednisone that I took briefly was the kind you start at 1 for a day then 2 for 2 days, etc., don't remember the strength, but I was already having high resting pulse and it sent it up to over 150, so I am kind of nervous about anything similar.