[FONT=Century Gothic]I have been on Levoxyl for a year and was taking 137 mcgs. It wasn't doing much (I still had rhino like dry skin, thin hair and nails and weight gain) so I went to see a new endocrinologist in town. I asked about taking Armour and he said "sure!". He started me off on 2 grains. I have a little headache for about 4 hours after taking it and I think I read where this could be from the T3 being "available" right away and some people do better splitting the dose- 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 at night. The tablet is not scored so that would be hard to do. Also, the pharmacist told me that Levoxyl should be taken on an empty stomach. What about Armour? It would be hard to take two doses a day on an empty stomach. One dose a day would be OK. I am also scared about the dose of this. It seems high. I started taking it on Saturday 2/5/05. No problems yet. The endo said that he started me a "little low" on the Armour as there is not an exact comparison dose to the Levoxyl and he said that it was better to start on the low side and adjust up. Any suggestions?
According to everything I've read, your two grains is slightly higher than your 137 mcgs.
The Armour website has a conversion chart that is a little 'tighter' than the one on a commercial site [which I can't name] that is more realistic.
The approximate conversion is on the commercial site is: 1 1/2 grains, containing 57 mcg T4 + 13.5 mcg T3, equivalent to 111-150 mcg of T4 2 grains, containing 76 mcg T4 and 18 mcg T3, equivalent to 148-200 mcg
(T3 is approximately 4 times more potent than T4. So, if you multiply the above amounts of T3 by 4, then add the T4, you will arrive at the lower of the two equivalencies named.)
The reason I prefer the above guide is because most people have some degree of T4/T3 conversion problem, or they have some cellular resistance which makes a slightly higher dose necessary. The Armour site presumes perfect conversion and no resistance, so in an ideal world, those dosages would be fine... but in reality, they usually aren't.
It seems that your new doc has prescribed slightly higher... not lower... and you may or may not have problems with this. If you have any 'hyper' signs, (the headache may be one) you probably should report it and ask for a temporary decrease... stress "temporary". You don't want him thinking you're resistant to his willingness to prescribe enough for you to achieve wellness!
Edited to address the twice-a-day dose question ~ I don't find it necessary to take my Armour twice a day. I don't have the "rush" that some people have, and I don't have a dip in energy in the afternoon. My advice is to take it just once to see if it works for you... If you temporarily lower your dose and work up to a higher one gradually, you might not have the headache.
An empty stomach is better for taking thyroid meds; that's precisely why I didn't want to go the two-dose route.
Maybe someone who takes a split dose will give you hints on how to go about it.
When I was taking natural hormones (Thyroid in Canada) I found, like midwest, that I could take it all at once, instead of split w/o little issues. I actually prefered it this way; less of a hassel.
The one thing I started doing that really made this a lot easier was taking the thyroid hormones sublingually - disovling them under my tongue. This way I could take my supplements and eat within 30 minutes. Doing it this way really made life a lot easier - it's also a way I can ensure I'm getting all my dose (there's no worry it's competing with anything in my stomach for absorption).
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
Just my two cents. I know you are already past this point but I figured you may want to change things up a bit if you hit a snag along the way.
I had a very hard time with just cold-turkey change over. In the end, I was much worse off, and lost my place with the baseline. In order to avoid this I would recommend, a slow change out. Take a little less t4...and add in a little armour. You can do an adjustment stepping gradually into more armour every two weeks or so. I would do 1/4 changes at a time. YES....you can divide the grains into quarters...you just have to be careful. You can go for a TSH/free's test every four weeks to confirm. In the end, you may find you will keep some straight t4 along with your Armour. The t3 in the armour often outpaces the t4 and the person gets hyper symtoms over time. Porcine extract is also considered in some camps to be the wrong ratio compared to humans.
Just something for you back pocket!
If I had this information 11 long months ago I might still be human.