About a year and a half ago I had my total thyroid removed due to cancer. They put me on just synthroid and I felt awful for a full year. About six months ago I started taking T3 as well, and I feel much better. But, I still don't feel right....as well as having numerous odd problems I've never had before (such as canker sores and heartburn). I've read about how synthroid doesn't really replace everything the thyroid produces, and I'm guessing the same can be said for T3.
My question is, do I need to be taking one of the "natural" supplements like Armor, and is it still the best one?
Last edited by proeliator; 04-21-2008 at 05:22 PM.
Good question! I have used both synthetic T3 (cytomel) and natural in the form of Armour. I currently am using armour for my T3 because it is less costly than cytomel on my insurance plan. I have not felt any difference between the two medications in the right dosages. For me it is more important to get the correct dosage of both T4 and T3. You may need to experiment a bit (with doctor supervision) until you get just the right amount and combination of each hormone supplement. For me getting the ratio right for my individual needs of T4:T3 was the key to feeling my best. I had a partial thyroidectomy a little over 5 years ago. Like you I was on synthroid only, for about 3 years, and not feeling as good as I thought I chould. Though I did like my original thyroid doctor; I decided to find another doctor who was willng to experiment a bit more. I was fortunate and found a terrific endo. who was willing to go the distance with me to get just to the right dosage of meds. That took about another 18 months. I finally settled in to 50mcg. synthroid and 90 mcg of Armour last fall and have felt pretty good ever since. (knock on wood...that it continues!)
Good luck to you in your process too. There is little way of knowing what is best for you until you try different meds and see how you feel. Unfortunately for us thyroid patients trial and error seems to be the only sure thing to finding the best for each of us.
Last edited by Red Maple; 04-21-2008 at 05:53 PM.
Reason: disfunctional keyboarding symdrome
How much t3 are you taking? I learned that your T3 has an optimal range which means that they will allow your numbers to hit a certain point where it is safe for the cancer to not recur, and for me I was allowed to add two more cytomel to my synthroid dose of .88 which put me at 15 mg of cytomel. I was doing very well on that until they adjusted my adrenal medicine, and I am out of whack again, but no brain fog and for the most part can't complain.
It takes A LONG TIME FOR THEM TO GET IT RIGHT.
Be patient and find a doctor who is willing to work with you.
I appreciate all the responses. I'm actually on a pretty stiff dose of both synthroid and T3, as I'm a large, younger guy with no thyroid. I did in fact read the transplant thread, and in my own studies have found there is a huge problem with labs reading great but patients feeling lousey in dealing with thyroid issues. My main thought was that there was "something" that I was not getting out of the synthetic t4 and t3 that I would get out of a natural product like armor or naturthroid. Sounds like I should probably try that route.
Proeliator, in all sencerity, best of luck to you as you head out on this thyroid supplementation journey. For most of us who have been through it, it has been a very rocky road. For me, it has been a pretty successful road however, but a long one. The natural route of Armour (or others similar) just may be what you need to feel great. Bottom line though is NEVER give up until you are satisfied that you are as well as you can be.
You may never be the same again as you were before the thyroidectomy, but you CAN and SHOULD be feeling well. I do not feel as I did before, I do get tired easier, and need to make sure I get enough stretching exercise or I get muscle aches. However, with a few lifestyle changes, I am very healthy, lead a very normal life, continue my hobbies, and maintain a very active full life with little or no difficutly from my thryoid problems.
Keep us posted to your progress. Hopefully we'll see you around the board with great news about your health!
Just another thought. Sometimes you need to mix and match. My Aunt B1.. I have four aunts, my mom, two cousins, a great aunt.. and more with thyroid issues.. had to mix and match to feel right. She couldn't do pure Armour.. it was too much T3.. she couldn't do pure synthroid.. not enough T3.. tried cytomel and that was a waking horror trip.. so She ended up on 75 mcgs of synthroid and 1 grain of armour. This is perfect for her. Occasional she has to add a quarter to half a grain of Armour depending on stress but her optimal maintanence is 75/1.
You have to try it all and watch your levels and keep note of your symptoms. Good luck in your pursuit of optimal thyroid replacement.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
I appreciate all the positive words and advice! Yes, I'm thinking the route I want to try is a mix of synthroid and armor. Now I just have to find a doc who is willing to work with me. I really liked my original endocrinologist but he was all about prescribing "only" synthroid. Western medicine can be amazingly narrow minded. Anyways, I'll give updates down the road with what works (or doesn't) just to have it in the ol' database. Thanks again.
Last edited by proeliator; 04-23-2008 at 11:48 AM.