Thyrosine, Free (FT4): 0.69 LO ( 0.83 - 1.62 ng/dL)
T3, Free (FT3): 2.7 ( 2.5 - 4.3 pg/mL)
Finally, after reading this site (a million thank you's) I learned which blood test to ask for. The doctor is willing to work with me which helps, as long as I keep learning and researching. I have had Hashimoto's for most of my life, untreated by untaught doctors.
This blood work was taken when I was taking 3 per day, I just increased the dose to 4.
Currently I am taking 4 pills a day of 60 mg Armour thyroid. (I take one every 4 hours or so, is this ok?)
My question is, as my results seem low, to get my numbers up, how quickly does one increase the amount they are taking?
I had started taking Armour 5 months ago, taking 2 per day, then after a month or two, increased by one, then another.
Is there is limit to how much thyroid a person can take?
Just wondered if any one had knowledge or experience regarding the length of time when increasing the dose.
When do I get my Free T4 and Free T3 tested again... in how much time?
Any information or suggestions would be appreciated, thank you.
Your treatment plan is unorthodox. It took me a while to analyze it, so sorry for the delay in answering.
Your dose is already pretty high. At 3 grains, you're already above the average for a full-replacement dose. I can't understand why your free T levels are as low as they are with a dose that high. Here's my guess, though. It's not necessary to multi-dose in a day as often as you are. My theory is that taking it so often might be conflicting with food, making absorption erratic. I take my natural thyroid only once a day, in the morning on an empty stomach. Some people do better taking it in a split dose twice a day, once in the a.m. and once mid-afternoon. To me, the fewer times I need to remember taking med in a day, the better. I've never heard of anyone successfully taking their NDT more than twice a day. So... That's the first thing I'd consider changing to see if levels would increase.
Is there a limit? Not technically. I know someone from the board who's taking 5 grains a day. (Although, I never met anyone who took more than that.) But generally-speaking, throwing more hormone at the problem without a thorough investigation of why it's needed doesn't really solve it.
There are those NDT proponents who say increases should be made fast, as fast as every two weeks. I don't personally know the merits or drawbacks of that. My MD increased my dose every 6-8 weeks, although he was willing to evaluate the need for it as early as 4 weeks. There was an extenuating circumstance to proceed slowly in my case. I think most MDs would proceed in a similar way.
Hope that helped, at least a little.
__________________ "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln
Thank you Midwest for taking the time to answer my questions. When you say taking the medication so often may conflict with food, you are right, there are times when I have forgotten one dose and take it after eating.
How much time before or after eating is best to take meds? Also, how far apart from med taking and drinking coffee? I really did not understand the importance of taking meds separate from food.
Here is more information about my case:
1)I wonder, I had been applying bioidentical hormones since April 2007. The base is soy, could soy interfere with my thyroid med? The hormones were in cream form and applied twice a day. This protocol included estrogen, which I also question as possibly interfering with my ability to absorb my thyroid med properly.
I am currently, slowly, reducing the amount of hormones each day and stopping this treatment. I am enduring any menopausal symptoms as I decrease. (I am also concerned that the soy is genetically modified which has problems all it's own.)
In your research and study of thyroid, have you ever come across these types of things that could interfere with my thyroid treatment? How can I learn what other items may interfere?
2) Previously to taking the Armour, the Dr. had me on Cytomel alone, 50 mg per day for almost one year. Could this have created an imbalance in my system and take more time to correct? My hair was falling out like crazy on Cytomel, as soon as I stopped it, the hair loss stopped. It was that fast.
When you say "evaluating the need for more thyroid", would the test always be the free T3 and free T4? (I have wasted so much money on tests that told me nothing)
To clarify, do you suggest I take 2 pills in the am and 2 in the pm?
I am grateful for any suggestions you can send my way, funny, I trust what people have to say in this forum more than my doctor.
I have been doing some research. Yes, I have been eating certain foods that are not suggested for those with thyroid problems. I am one who does vegetable juice fasts every couple of weeks, for a few days at a time. I do juice red kale and spinach which I find on the list of foods to avoid due to goitrogenic phytochemicals. (Not just a little, bunches of it) I ate many on the list raw in a salad.
I looked up vegetables high in calcium: collard greens, spinach and celery. I include these as well when I juice. (I am talking about bunches)
Could it be, if I paid adherence to staying away from certain foods that are not good for the thyroid, that might help as well?
I have a feeling I have been a little cavalier when it comes to eating when taking armour and when it comes to waiting to having coffee, because I use milk, and have had coffee right after taking the armour.
(When I think about slapping on that hormone cream, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, the Wiley Protocol, I think about all that soy going right into my system. I am sorry I used it for so long. After much research I realized I needed to stop using it.)