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Old 12-15-2004, 03:54 AM   #1
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Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

Hi,

Could you please tell me how long it took you to feel better after starting these meds? I'm doing miserably on my Synthroid and have an appointment with a new endo tomorrow. Hopefully, he will either add Cytomel to my regime or switch me to Armour. I've been out of work for a week and am very close to going out on Disability. I have a vacation coming up (it's a week and a half long), and I'm wondering if there's any possibility that I will be feeling better by the time my vacation is over.

Thanks,

LT

 
Old 12-15-2004, 07:48 AM   #2
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

I'm doing great on 2 grains of Armour, taken in split doses. You really need to start out slowly with Cytomel or Armour, so you body can adjust to the T3.

I've lost five pounds and am not starving!

 
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:09 AM   #3
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

The T3 in those products is short-acting. Some people feel the effect immediately, or within about a week.
But as levels fluctuate during the inevitable dose adjustment periods, it's possible to feel really well for a few days or weeks, then crash again. I don't want to discourage you, but getting this right takes patience and time for most people.

Just a word of advice. Ask for Armour right away. Only accept Cytomel if it's the only option he gives you. There are other, less well-understood, hormones in Armour which may play a role in how well it works for more people than the synthetic combinations.

 
Old 12-15-2004, 12:25 PM   #4
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

Thanks for your replies, Sillysundy and Midwest.

Midwest, I'll ask for Armour first. Do most people start off with just Armour and then add synthetic T4 later? I've read on this forum that many people take Armour with some form of added T4. I've been taking Synthroid (112 mcg) for so many years, and I'm concerned about my T4 dropping drastically with a low dose of Armour.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 07:37 AM   #5
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

Can you please tell me how someone might feel if they just began taking full dose Armour and not taking it slowly and gradually? I switched from Synthroid to Armour and I didn't do it slowly or gradually. I am not really feeling well. I feel heavy and tired.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 08:02 AM   #6
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

Did you go from the same dose when you switched? Usually you need to drop down a little when you switch to Armour from straight T4 (synthroid). The T3 in the Armour is much more powerful than T4 so the same dose of Synthroid and Armour can actually be higher in the Armour.

Are you splitting your dose or taking it all at once? If you went from a single dose of synthroid to a similar single dose of Armour then you might very well not feel well.

Nat
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Old 12-17-2004, 08:21 AM   #7
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

I was taking 125 of Synthroid and switched to one and a half grains of Armour, about two weeks ago.(one grain pill and a half a grain) My temperature did not rise until I began taking the one and a half grains, however, I did not feel well. My arm will tingle for a a few seconds throughout the day, and I would feel stressed and heavy. I thought I might be taking too much, so for the last few days I began taking just one pill. I started breaking the pill in half and taking the halves 10-12 hours apart. My temperature went down to 97, again, however, I am still not feeling well.

Thanks for any ideas and suggestions.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 08:24 AM   #8
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

I take generic synthroid and cytomel and it works well for me. Before, not taking cytomel, I was really still feeling poorly. It didn't take long after starting cytomel that I was feeling good again. I lost 16 lbs, which put me at 100 now, I am small only 5ft 1 inches so this is a ideal weight for me. I am not as tired as much as I used to be, but weekends I really need a nap. I never got to try Armour but hear many successes with it also. Good luck in finding the right meds for you!

 
Old 12-17-2004, 08:33 AM   #9
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

Quote:
Originally Posted by almondjoy
I was taking 125 of Synthroid and switched to one and a half grains of Armour, about two weeks ago.(one grain pill and a half a grain) My temperature did not rise until I began taking the one and a half grains, however, I did not feel well. My arm will tingle for a a few seconds throughout the day, and I would feel stressed and heavy. I thought I might be taking too much, so for the last few days I began taking just one pill. I started breaking the pill in half and taking the halves 10-12 hours apart. My temperature went down to 97, again, however, I am still not feeling well.

Thanks for any ideas and suggestions.
Yeah, going from 125mcg synthroid to 90mg of Armour would be too much, Almondjoy. The T4 in Armour would be equivalent of 57mcg, the T3 at 13.5mcg would be the equivalent of 67 to 121.5 mcg of T4 (T3 is 5 to 9 times stronger than T4). So thats equivalent to 124 to 178mcg of T4.

The 1 grain is more in line with the same dose of Synthroid you were on previously. Breaking it up is a good idea, but you're spreading it out too widely. T3 lasts about 8 hours, but can take 2 hours to peak, so you'd want to take the second dose about 6 hours after the first. It could be that you're taking that second dose too late in the day, which would mess with your sleep.

Are you taking the Armour well away from any food or supplements?
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:26 AM   #10
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

Yes, I am taking the medication without food and a time distance between food.
Is there an adjustment time for the addtional T-3 to the body, or is there an adjustment time for the T-3 and T-4 to work together. ( What I am asking is why do some people start taking the Armour in small dosage and increase over time?)
If 1 or 1 1/2 grains is too high for me, which is it I am getting too much of? The T-3 or T-4, or both? Or, do I just need an adjustment time and the 1-1 1/2 grains is accurate.

Thanks for your help.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 09:36 AM   #11
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

We start off taking smaller doses because too much too soon places stress on an already stressed body - as you found out Usually a week or two is enough to adjust to the dose, sometimes it's less.

We work our way up with thyroid hormones, whether we're taking natural desiccated thyroid (Armour, Thyroid, Natur-throid), Cytomel (synthetic T3) or Synthroid (or any of the other T4 meds). Armour advises starting with either 30mg or 15 mgs (1/2 or 1/4 grain) for two weeks then increasing every two weeks until you reach your optimal dose. T4 meds are the same, you start off low and work your way up, but more slowly because T4 takes longer to reach optimal levels (weeks for T4 as opposed to days for T3).

If 125mcg of synthroid was right for you then 1 grain is probably a little too low, 1 1/4 might be right. If at 125mcg of synthroid you didn't feel 'great' you might need the 1 1/2 grains, eventually.

It could be that you're getting too much of the T3, the ratio of T4:T3 in Armour is off (pigs have more T3 than humans do). Many of us end up having to drop our Armour down a little and add in some T4. Once you get your dose figured out you can check if your FT4 is OK and then decide from there.

Nat
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Old 12-17-2004, 10:07 AM   #12
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

OK...that's what I was thinking....I maybe be getting a bit too much T-3, too quickly. TSH tests say I was ok at 125 mcg of Synthroid but I have so many symptoms of low thryroid. Another doctor, different from the first, prescribed the Armour. She said take 1 grain. My symptoms continue, so I tried taking the 1 1/2 grains because I noticed the Armour reccomendation chart suggests 1 1/2 grains is place of 125 mcg of Synthroid. I have been experimenting with this new medication for about 2 weeks now.

Thanks for your help.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

Quote:
Originally Posted by almondjoy
TSH tests say I was ok at 125 mcg of Synthroid but I have so many symptoms of low thryroid. Another doctor, different from the first, prescribed the Armour.
Based on what your first doctor said to you, I'd stay with the new doctor. TSH has no bearing on your dose once you start meds - it's meaningless. You had the symptoms of low thyroid because your thyroid hormones were probably low (TSH is not a thyroid hormone). The new doc, who prescribed the Armour, probably has a better handle on thyroid.

Have you had your thyroid hormones tested lately? Your FT4 and FT3? These are what you use to determine your dose. You want those FTs in the upper 3rd of the lab ranges, until you get them to move up you wont feel better, regardless of what your TSH is (again, TSH = meaningless!)

Nat
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Old 12-17-2004, 12:29 PM   #14
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

I have taken thyroid medication since I was 16 and now I am in my 40s. I took 1 grain of Euthroid, daily, for years and years. Then a doctor changed my medication to Synthroid.The dosage was always .125 mcg. I took it for about 20 years. The last time I had my lab work done, the doctor( I moved to another state) only did a TSH test and said my TSH level was fine and to keep taking the Synthroid, even though my hypo symptoms were increasing and becoming worse.(this doctor was young and very narrow minded) Then I went to another doctor and told her this story, and she looked at the lab results. She said to take 1 grain of Armour. She didn't tell me how, or to take it gradually. She just said take it.
Thankyou for reading this long story and thanks for any ideas and help.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 01:57 PM   #15
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Re: Question for people who are doing well on Armour and Cytomel

It's really sad how uneducated most doctors are about thyroid. If it weren't for the information and the helpful people here I'd probably have gone on thinking there really was nothing physically wrong with me - at the very least I woulnd't have had the strength of conviction to stick out the battle as long as it took to find help.

I've never heard of someone being on the same dose for that many years; usually adjustments are needed. I hope you get this figured out, almondjoy, and you start feeling better.

Hugs
Nat
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