I'm starting Armour as soon as my naturopath gets the shipment, which is taking longer than we had anticipated.
I've been on 62.5mcg levoxyl for months, tried a bump up to 75mcg and started getting nasty symptoms after a few weeks, so back down to 62.5mcg.
I'm going straight to 1/2 grain/30mg of Armour once a day. Does this sound reasonable?
I'm scared mostly of having a hyper response to the T3 component. Actually "scared" isn't the right word. "Terrified" would fit better. I've already had past experiences of the shakes and heart palps/tachycardia, muscle spasms, and I don't want to re-live them for even a second. I was thinking maybe for the first few days i would let the armour only partially dissolve sublingually. Impossible to get an accurate dose on that, but I'd rather start slowly. I'm not going to ask my naturopath to order the 15 grain at this point, as it will surely delay the start due to the slow shipping.
The Stop the Thyroid Maddness book suggests beginning with 60 mg/1 grain and increase by 1/2 grain 1 to 2 weeks later and then continue to gradually increase in this manner, however i'm not sure if this applies to your situation given your previous reaction to T3.
1 grain of Armour contains 38 mg of T4 and 9 mg of T3.
Being "terrified" of a "hyper response" to T3 sets you up to actually get a hyper response, Scoot. If you can prepare your head to the possibility that it could happen, but that it won't kill you if it does, could make the transition a lot easier. Mind over matter, eh?
May I ask your age? If you are under 60 and have an otherwise strong, healthy heart, you should not be so afraid of a few extra bumps and thumps. If you can learn to ignore those for a while, you should eventually get used to having that T3 in your system, and you will live happily ever after with your T3. You should also remember that feeling hyper does not mean you have become hyper from elevated free Ts.
Get yourself a good pill cutter from the drugstore and split those 30s for a couple of weeks, to give yourself a chance to more slowly adjust. When you go back for your blood level check, make sure to let your doc know that you took only 15 mgs at the beginning, because your levels may be lower than they would be if you took 30 mgs the whole time.
Just as an aside... I hate to see folks taking what they read in any one book as gospel. I have disagreements with several of the "facts" I've seen quoted from this one. I would caution people not to believe everything they read and assume that the "facts" apply to every single patient.
Midwest--I totally agree on your suggestions for splitting the pills AND for not reading some things and thinking they are the exact truth for everyone.
Scoot--I am in the same boat, as I was on Unithroid 112 and about 1/4 gr. of a T4/T3 combo, and got prescribed Armour 1 1/2 gr. I had already looked at the conversion chart, and that was about right. BUT, I am sensitive to T3 also, many times tried, so I cut my pill by a third, so hoping I was getting about 1 grain. It made my heart race and somewhat short of breath, but not much else(no panicky feeling). I posted yesterday to ask anyone that knew if these feelings were temporary and would go away, but nobody responded. I haven't had much luck in people talking back with me lately!?!
midwest - i'm 40 years old. no heart troubles. i hear what you're saying. i'm trying very hard to mentally prepare for this, and reminding myself that they won't kill me, and that i might actually feel better rather quickly. i just want to make sure i dont start high, i'd rather start low. i wasnt sure if the hormones in Armour were equally scattered throughout their pills, plus the pharmacist said they're really small, so i wasnt sure if cutting them (i do have a cutter) would be effective. i haven't seen what they look like myself yet. i like what you recommended and i'll probably do that at least for the first few days to see how i respond.
i dont take any one single book as gospel. i think its probably better to read several books and look for the common denominators, and then find what works best for your particular body. that being said, the **** book cossette refers to does sound good. i wish my library had a copy. i wouldnt start on the dose they recommend though. it sounds too high for me.
thanks sue - i think you should bump your original message. sorry you're not getting as much feedback lately. i've experienced the same thing for whatever reason. maybe i'll have an answer for you soon if my naturopath gets in the Armour shipment this week.
Scoot, I had a really rough time switching from synthroid to meds with T3. The first time I tried Armour it did not work at all, and I became really sick. Midwest is right though, that it most likely will not "kill" you; but be aware of symptoms etc. that could be a signal to sensitivity to T3 and talk to your doctor about what to expect. Also, my best advise is to keep in close contact with your doctor until you are comfortable with the dosage and your reaction to it.
Straight Armour did not work for me, I need a combination of Armour and Synthroid to get just the right balance of T4 and T3. It did take a long time for me, but in the end I feel so much better now for the addition of T3 than I did on T4 only. Hang in there, there are lots of people here who can give great advice and help. 'Midwest' is a pro at knowing Armour and T3 reactions. She helped me when I was going through my rough times, even when I my posts in reply to her were cranky as I was not feeling so good! Remember though, your best advise is what your own body is telling you, listen to it, and eventually you will find just the right place you need to be. Who knows, you might just feel great from the very beginning of making the switch to Armour.
I believe we wrote a few weeks ago - answering each other's posts. So you are still waiting to start on Armour? I think I told you my whole story about being on Armour for 40 years - then having problems with heart palpitations and ending up being switched to Synthroid which I felt like I was dead, doctor added Cytomel which helped some but hard to regulate. Right now I am going to a holistic type woman doctor who works on balancing all the hormones - she is trying me on Naturethroid which is the same as Armour. I started with 60 mg for one week, then she told me to increase to 60 in the morning and 30 in the afternoon for 4 days, then try 60 and 60 - morning and afternoon. The first week I still felt bad as I have been for months on end - adding the 30 didn't cause any problems. Now I am trying 60 and 60 for 5 days -feel a little better - but feel a bit heart racy -have to report to doctor soon. Just have to hang in there - keep us posted.
hi liz - yes, that was us talking before. my naturopath expected the shipment last week but it didn't happen, so i'm still waiting to start. i'm glad you're feeling a little better. that could be a sign you're heading the right way. if you don't feel worse and you don't feel as bad as a week ago, thats good. i hope the racy heart is just a transitional thing.
red maple- thanks. i was going to ask the board if ever a synthetic is mixed with armour. so you answered that for me. i'm definitely going to be listening to my body. i'm anxious about this switch and trying to keep that under control or i'll be in trouble. i've felt poorly for so long that i'm hoping i at least don't feel worse.
How long have you been suffering with thyroid problems - how did it start? This episode has been 8 months for me and seems like forever. It definitely changes the quality of life and I feel makes me feel like I am no longer myself. My problem I think is sensitivity to T3 - I had it with Cytomel and think I might be having it with this - but trying to give it a while longer to report more accurately to the doctor.
I know Armour is having supply problems and other issues right now - not sure what is happening. Some people seem to be able to get it and other not. Certain doses aren't being manufactured until Oct 08. You may have read about it - it is even on their website. That is why I am trying Naturethroid. It is same except really a hypoallergenic (sp?) version. I understand being anxious - I am anxious because I hate the thought of changing again to something else. What are you on now? Anyway, do keep us posted.
early 2005 is when problems seemed to surface suddenly although i'm sure it came on slowly- dizziness, losing my hair, poor sleep, exhausted after eating, tachycardia/palps, forgetful, felt like i was going crazy, out of breath climbing a few stairs. what eventually got me diagnosed was 2 trips to the ER after i had two panic attacks (i thought i was really dying). someone in the ER had the good sense to test my thyroid levels and that was when i found out. my symptoms had gone on for nearly 10 months before diagnosed.
since oct 2005 i've been on synthetics of varying strengths, seen a few idiot endos plus a couple specialists to rule out other associated problems. i'm worlds better than i was before diagnosis but except for the brief moments of "hey i actually felt ok for 10 minutes", overall things are not right. hobbling out of bed in the morning because my feet are stiff and tingly, stiff joints, dry eyes, i cry at the drop of a hat, etc.
i give you credit for hanging in there with the naturethroid. i cant tolerate racy heart -it just freaks me out. i had a hyperactive thyroid as a child and i think i associate the adult racy heart feeling with that as an old, unpleasant and scary feeling of being 10 years old and scared to bits, feeling my heart was going to burst.
i just saw the armour site with the notice of the backorder. my naturopath didnt' say that was the reason for the delay, so hopefully she is right. maybe we know something she doesnt.
right now i'm on 62.5mcg levoxyl. a recent increase to 75mcg proved to be too much. my theory is that was too much t4 while i still dont produce enough t3.
Sue and Scoot..................I got my Armour in 15 mcg pills, started out at 45mcg and increase by 1/4 of a 15mcg pill at a time [every 10 days to two weeks] or I would have hyper symptoms. I am now, and have been for some time, at 75 mcg. and don't have any hyper symptoms or palps and my blood pressure is down. If you are sensitive to t3 sometimes you have to increase in very minute amts. I am going to increase again as soon as I get my next labs.
Scoot............If you cut your pills and they are not exactly in half or if you are afraid there might be more hormone in one half than the other just use a 7-day pill box and put them in the compartment in the order you cut them and it won't make any difference. Or if you split yours in 1/2 and take half in morning and other half in evening just take each half of same pill in morning and evening and it won't even matter if they are not exactly cut in half. I have even used a single edged razor blade to cut mine.
i just want to confirm - when you say you increased by taking 1/4 of a 15mcg, you mean you actually broke the 15mcg tablet into 4 pieces? then you took one of those quarters a day along with your 45mcg? do i have that correct?
Shmily--that sounds like me! Today I'm going back to my usual T4, but biting a piece of my Armour to go with it(probably 10 mcg worth). It seems to do o.k. that way. When I took about 1 whole grain of Armour yesterday(no T4), it seemed like too much--it makes me short of breath. That's why the today I did the usual T4 and bite of Armour.
I guess I'm like that, and just have to work my way up. I have to admit my brain feels WONDERFUL today! Just wish the body would follow!
Scoot..................That is the way I did it. If you cut the tiny pill in 1/4's and put them in your 7-day pill organizer, you're getting exactly 1 pill every 4 days so if they are not cut exactly it makes no difference. When I was on 1 grain, I would try to increase by 1/2 a 15 mcg tablet and on about the 2nd or 3rd day I could fill myself getting hyper. I went up 30 mcg in about a 2 1/2 mo. period and never had one hyper day.
Sue...............how much T4 and Armour are you taking now and what are your ft's. I first started with 3/4 grain Armour+12 1/2 mcg Levoxyl...........then gradually decreased my Levoxyl at the same time gradually increasing Armour until I was taking 1 grain Armour only....then gradually increased Armour from there until I got to 1 1/2 grains. My last labs about 4 mo ago showed my FT4 at exactly midrange and FT3 near the bottom of range. My TSH was .10 and Dr. A wanted to decrease meds back to 1 grain. No way, this didn't may any sense at all. I remember how I felt at that level, almost an invalid. I had enough prescription left so I didn't have to decrease.So I have waited this long to see if my TSH will come up so I can get a prescription for an increase. I feel better, but not there yet.
My chest x-ray when I got my mammagram showed enlarged heart CT ratio 0.56 [would like to know if that is very much], but I have read that if you are standing too close to x-ray screen this can happen. I also know that being hypo for a long time can cause it. Mammagram last yr. didn't show it. And when I increased my meds by 1/2 gr. my shortness of breath got so much better.