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Old 07-19-2008, 09:50 AM   #1
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Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Hello all,

I'm relieved to find this board after doing a search for Armour. I have been taking Levothyroxine, 100mcg, since I was diagnosed with Hypo, in 2005 one year after the birth of my daughter. My TSH was a little over 13 at the time of diagnoses. I have also been dealing with PCOS since puberty.

Over the last year my health has been going downhill. I am depressed all the time. my hair comes out in handfulls, my scalp is very visible in front, my ears ring cosntantly, always have clear fluid behind my ears, have sinus headaches weekly, have lost interest in everything because I don't feel good, weight is going up steadily (212lbs.), cholesterol is 237, the fatigue is the worst part. There are days I'm so tired I think I won't be here tomorrow, that I must be dying.

I'm about to be 44 in a few days and I feel 104. My four year old daughter deserves an active, happy mother. Sometimes I just want to sit and cry because I feel so bad and sometimes I do just that.

Until 2003 I was nothing like what I just described to you. I was energetic, had many hobbies, loved life, couldn't wait to do new things. Now I have no interest in anything.

My ob/gyn found my hypo on a routine visit/bloodwork, then sent me to an endo. She was a nut who needed to retire. She's probably in her mid 60's, overly dramatic, always running late and treated me like I wasn't important. She wanted me to sit down, shut up, let her write her little notes, tell me what I needed and then get out and move on to the next patient, regardless of what I wanted to ask. She's the only endo within a reasonable range of 50 miles from me.

I was literally afraid to ask her anything. I've ony seen her three times during last year like, every 3 or 4 months. The last time I saw her I asked her why my hair was falling out so bad. She sighed and rolled her eyes like a teenager who's tired of listening to their parents. She told me she would print out a the phases of a hair follicle.

When it came time for me to go back in March of this year, when the receptionist called to confirm my appointment that was made months ago, I just cancelled and told her I would let her know when I could come.

Meantime, I see a nurse practitioner for just general health issues that I have really been pleased with over the years. She really listens and tries to get to the root of the problem. Since it was time for a thyroid check, I asked her if she could handle that for me now and she said yes. When my bloodwork came back my TSH was 1.67 from taking Levo. She said that was good. I asked her if she would out me on Armour so I could just see if it would be the miracle drug for me that it is for some. She said she had continued patients on Armour that came to her with it but she'd never converted someone from the Synthroid or synthetic to the natural Armour but that she would do that.

It took two and a half weeks for the combination of my lab work to get back and her to call in the prescription. During that time I wasn't taking anything. I didn't want to refill my levo if I was going to be changing meds, so I waited.

When it finally got called in, the pharmacy called me with questions. They said I had been taking 100 mcg of Levo and she prescribed 100 mg (I guess that would be two grains?) of Armour. The pharmacy said Armour doesn't come in that amount, 100 mg. They called her and I ended up with 90 mg or 1 and 1/2 grains. The pharmacy said I was taking a 'middle of the road' dosage of Levo, so I would need a 'middle of the road dosage' of Armour, which was 90mg.

Okay, so I started taking 90mg of Armour on the first day, which was on the 8th, last week. Until Sunday I felt better than usual. I was happy, laughing, felt giddy at times, didn't feel negative at all. My husband could tell a difference in me. Then Sunday morning my back started hurting and by Tuesday morning I had horrible cramps and my period, extremely heavy. I had strange chills. On the outside of my body my skin felt chilly but on the inside I felt hot. I couldn't cover up to get warm because I was too hot. In the morning I would wake up with just my neck feeling sweaty and clammy and I was also extremely tired especially at night. I was also nervous feeling. I would get a little dull pain in my thyroid area too every once in a while. I didn't notice any heart rhythm problems because that's what I was looking for to know if I was getting too much Armour.

I took my temp during the chills thinking I had fever and it was 98.2F during the day. Another time it was 97.7F. This past Tuesday was one week on Armour at 90mg. Today is Saturday. I haven't taken the Armour today or yesterday and I have been gradually feeling better.

I'm sorry this is so long but I really need help. I don't know where else to turn. I need my life back, my daughter needs her mother and my husband needs the woman that he married 22 years ago. I'm sitting here in tears not knowing what to do. My husband's business has fallen off with the economy and I need to go to work.

I tried to work last year in a preschool where my daughter could go at a discount as long as I worked there. I couldn't physically keep up with everything. I was exhausted, mentally and physically, at the end of the day. I eventually had to quit. My daughter lost the best thing for her (she's an only child and is very social) and I lost a great opportunity doing something I've wanted to do for years, teach.

Should I cut the Armour in half and take that for a while? Nobody told me how to take it, whether it's best to cut in half and take it in the morning and evening or that I should start over at a lower dose.

Should I forget about the Armour and just go back to Levo and get the Synthroid (maybe it would be better?) instead of the generic since my TSH was at least normal?

I wanted to Armour to work so badly. I have no quality of life anymore.

The worst of all is my husband, who doesn't understand what has happened to the 'love of his life'.I am depressed, anxious, with anxiety attacks occasionally. I'v gainged a lot of weight. I have no sex drive. When we talk about it he says, 'you werent' always like this'. All I can say is, 'I know and I'm sorry'.

Please, tell me what works for this horrible thing known as hypothyroidism.

Desperate for my life back in Louisiana ,
Lisa

 
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:37 AM   #2
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Lisa,

Unfortunately , your story is NOT unusual!!

Give the Armour more time to work (and learn more about it), becuase your NOT doing it right yet.

We will help you.

Also, get this book:
"Stop The Thyroid Madness". This will help you so much!! It helped me switch from Synthroid (after 25 + years) to Armour.


You will eventually likely need MORE than 1.5 grains a day, but don't worry about that right now.

Some quick points:


-Take the Armour twice a day (half the dose first thing in the morning &the
2nd half about 4-6 hours later). You can use small sizzors to cut in half or a pill splitter to cut your pills in half.

-Don't swallow it, take it sublingually (under your tongue, its absorbed directly into your bloodstream via the veins under your tongue). This is a much better way to take it!


They should NOT use the TSH to dose your Armour. On Armour the TSH will get supressed to a very low number. That is no problem (unless your doctor continues to use the TSH ).

The FREE T4 & FREE T3 levels are the blood test they need to use. Optimal for those levels is in the middle to UPPER part of the 'norma range'.

If you feel like your on too much (have hyper symptoms) on a low dose of Armour....it likely due to adrenal insufficiency.
If that happens, you can decrease the dose for a short time and slowly increase it again.

Get that book, it will clearly tell you the difference between adrenal insufficiency and taking too much.
Keep in mind that most people need between 2 & 3 grains a day of Armour (some people even more). 60 mg = 1 grain.

Do you have any specific questions?
__________________
25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

After you have been on the Armour about 6 weeks , it will be time for more blood test.

Remember, that on Armour, the TSH shouold be very LOW.

On the day of lab test...have the blood drawn early in the day and do NOT take the Armour until AFTER they draw the blood.

They must test the FREE T4 & FREE T3 (make sure both of those are FREE, it must say the word free to be free).
-
Always get copies of all your lab reoprts. Do NOT settle for being told what your levels are. Get COPIES.


You also need to have these test too:
-Ferritin (ferritin = iron stores and is NOT the same as any other iron test. You can have a 'normal' CBC & 'normal' hemoglobin - and still have a very low ferritin level. Low ferritin will inerfere with the thyriod hormones in Armour working well and can cause fatigue and hair loss. Get your ferritin tested - this is very important. Optimal ferritin is between 70-90 - although the lab reports will call as low as 10 'normal', that is WAY too low).

-B12 :this of often too low for thyroid patients & is seldom tested. Get the copy of the lab reports too, because you need optimal levels for this too.


-Vit D :same, seldom tested but often too low. Compare this number to optimal ranges too.


Your NP will likely NOT know any of the above things.
The most important thing for her to know is the part about NOT using the TSH as a guide to dose the Armour.
__________________
25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

Last edited by GCC; 07-19-2008 at 10:51 AM.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 11:10 AM   #4
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Hi Lisa
I too am from Louisiana, north part. Where are you?
I too am having a hard time right now, and my husband too does not seem to understand. Thinks if I just get up and out and do something I will feel better, Yeah right! I know he means well, but I just don't have the energy.Don't know what I should do, as my antibodies are raging but levels still normal. Free t4 low normal. I also have thyroid nodules that I need to suppress, but I am afraid anything I take will only make hyper symptoms and anxiety I already have worse. I am a basket case today. Hurt my neck last Sunday and on top of that pain I have the "thyroiditis anxiety and depression".

I am having severe pill taking anxiety I guess. I react strongly to meds and I guess I will have to start out slow and see what happens. I am scheduled for another ultrasound soon for nodules, and doctor is going to be real aggravated if I have not taken meds. The palpatations I sometimes get scare the mess out of me though.
Mattie

 
Old 07-19-2008, 11:18 AM   #5
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Lisa I forgot to add that I feel for you and know what you are going through, I too saw and endo like that in Louisiana about 50 miles from me too. Rude and condescending. I did not go back to her. Antibodies through the roof then. She made me feel like I was a nut case and suggested I see a psychiatrist. Work can be physically and mentally exhausting and I hope you soon get to where you can do it again. Each day continues to be a struggle for me.
Mattie

 
Old 07-19-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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sue1234 HB User
Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

First of all, I'm sorry you're feeling so bad! I am not an expert on Armour, but I think 90 of Armour is more than 100 of Levo. I think you are "overdosed" on what your body was used to. I would see if I could back up to maybe, 60 of Armour, and then work your way higher. I'm glad you have someone who is willing to prescribel and work with you on it. By the way, I'm from southwest Louisiana, what area are you from?

 
Old 07-19-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

I did look up the conversion chart and, yes, levo. 100 is equal to Armour 60. That's probably why you feel so bad, you've been taking an amount equal to levo. 150!

 
Old 07-19-2008, 02:33 PM   #8
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Okay, I've ordered the book you suggested ( removed )

As for questions.......
Why did just my neck sweat during the night?
Why did my thyroid area ache some while I was taking the Armour right before I stopped?
Are those signs of too much Armour?

Thank you so much for your reply. It brought tears to my eyes for someone to actually care and want to help.

I'm sure I'll have more questions after I get the book.

Lisa

Last edited by moderator2; 07-20-2008 at 07:27 AM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s) - sells books

 
Old 07-19-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

If you want to use a smaller dose and then increase your level, just do as I said in my earlier post.....cut the tablet into half.

Take it sublingually, twice a day (cut the half into half---put one of the halves under your tongue first thing in the morning & the other about 4-6 hours later).

Get a pill splitter from the drugstore.


My last dose of Synthroid 2 years ago was 100 of Synthroid.


I take 2 & 1/4th grains a day of Armour now; split into 2 doses & sublingually.

Don't stay at that low dose too long, slowly increase your dose.
Most people end up taking between 2 & 3 grains a day.


Best of luck!
: )
__________________
25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

Last edited by GCC; 07-19-2008 at 02:54 PM.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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lacalla HB User
Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattie75 View Post
Hi Lisa
I too am from Louisiana, north part. Where are you?
I too am having a hard time right now, and my husband too does not seem to understand. Thinks if I just get up and out and do something I will feel better, Yeah right! I know he means well, but I just don't have the energy.Don't know what I should do, as my antibodies are raging but levels still normal. Free t4 low normal. I also have thyroid nodules that I need to suppress, but I am afraid anything I take will only make hyper symptoms and anxiety I already have worse. I am a basket case today. Hurt my neck last Sunday and on top of that pain I have the "thyroiditis anxiety and depression".

I am having severe pill taking anxiety I guess. I react strongly to meds and I guess I will have to start out slow and see what happens. I am scheduled for another ultrasound soon for nodules, and doctor is going to be real aggravated if I have not taken meds. The palpatations I sometimes get scare the mess out of me though.
Mattie

Hi Mattie!,

I'm from the Farmerville area. I went to an endo in West Monroe.
My husband is the same way! 'Go outside, walk up the road, get your heart rate up, sweat a little'. That makes me feel.... lazy and I'm not.

At the time I was going to the endo, I didn't know about antibodies or any of that stuff. I wonder if she would have tested me for that and if I had them would she have told me or thought I didn't need to know?

What causes the nodules and what is thyroiditis? I've just been sitting back and riding on the Levo since 2005, until I started going downhill in September of last year. There's a lot more to all of this than just taking a little pill and forgetting about it.

I have horrible anxiety that to my husband are unrealistic things that will likely never happen. I worry about everything.....since 2003. Something happened, changed in that year and I haven't been the same since.

Lisa

 
Old 07-19-2008, 02:55 PM   #11
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattie75 View Post
Lisa I forgot to add that I feel for you and know what you are going through, I too saw and endo like that in Louisiana about 50 miles from me too. Rude and condescending. I did not go back to her. Antibodies through the roof then. She made me feel like I was a nut case and suggested I see a psychiatrist. Work can be physically and mentally exhausting and I hope you soon get to where you can do it again. Each day continues to be a struggle for me.
Mattie
Mattie,

Oh my! You think it was the same one. LOL! Wouldn't THAT be something! What are the chances of that?!

Lisa

 
Old 07-19-2008, 02:59 PM   #12
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Lisa, all that worring and anxity is due to a conbination of low FREE T3 and adrenal insufficiency.

The adrenal glands try to compensate whey your thyroid levels are too low.

The adrenals get pooped and then secrete too little when you need more & secrete too much when you need less.


The adrenal gland hormones are the 'fight or flight hormones". If they are constantly too high or too low at the wrong times, it makes you feel just as you described.

Excessive worry about the craziest things!

Hormones control everything!
__________________
25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 03:02 PM   #13
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCC View Post
If you want to use a smaller dose and then increase your level, just do as I said in my earlier post.....cut the tablet into half.

Take it sublingually, twice a day (cut the half into half---put one of the halves under your tongue first thing in the morning & the other about 4-6 hours later).

Get a pill splitter from the drugstore.


My last dose of Synthroid 2 years ago was 100 of Synthroid.


I take 2 & 1/4th grains a day of Armour now; split into 2 doses & sublingually.

Don't stay at that low dose too long, slowly increase your dose.
Most people end up taking between 2 & 3 grains a day.


Best of luck!
: )

After all those years on Synthroid how do you feel now on the Armour? What do your labs look like, TSH, FT3, etc.


I'm going to start back on it tomorrow morning.


Thanks again,
Lisa

 
Old 07-19-2008, 03:13 PM   #14
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

It's all making sense now but it didn't until I came here. I did the test ( removed ) with the flashlight to the side of the eye. I also watched the video to see what it looked like first. My pupil does the same thing, just not quite as bad as that one. My pupil doesn't stay dilated. It flutters between larger and smaller.

When I am having a lot of anxious thougts about those things that may never happen, sometimes my heart will skip on beat or I'll get uncontrollable butterflies in my stomach. I hate that because it just gets worse and snowballs until I am a wreck.

Thanks again GCC

Lisa

Last edited by moderator2; 07-19-2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s) - sells books

 
Old 07-19-2008, 03:26 PM   #15
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Re: Need help with Armour dosage, please....

For the first 10 - 15 years on Synthrod (1981- 1993) my TSH was too high and both my FREE T's were too low. I now have copies of all my old medical records!

Every so often, I would complain how tired I was most of the time & they would do test and re-adjust the dose.


I didn't know any better! I trusted my doctor was doing all he should do.

The the last 13 years or so (1993-2006), my Synthroid was increased so that my TSh was lower, around 1.0 (I started seeing an endo- this was when they started saying the TSH should be lower than peviously thought.AND...

My FREE T4 was very high, BUT my FREE T3 was STILL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RANGE. (I got all those medical records too).

I kept going back and complaining of fatigue, etc too . My Harvard educated doctor would just shrugg his shoulders! I bet he heard complaints all day long from his thyriod /Synthroid patients about how tired they were & he shurgged his shoulders all day long! I remember he had Synthroid brand posters all over his office.


Then I read the book "Stop The Thyrod Madness" and wanted to try Armour. I found a doctor who would use it by asking the pharmacyst to give me the names of any doctors who prescribe it.

Currently...

The last time I had my TSH tested it was very low, about 0.01 (I don't test my TSH anymore).

My FREE T4 is in the middle to upper part of the 'nornal range'
My FREE T3 is in the middle to upper part of the 'normal range'.

I am due for more labs and will have blood test Monday morning.

I feel so much better on Armour! It took a long time for me to make the switch; my adrenals were in really bad shape!

My children are currently 19, 16 & 14.
I spent a large part of their childhood feeling lousy!
You don't have to do that!!!
__________________
25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

 
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