It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Thyroid Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Reply Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-06-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Greeley, CO, United States
Posts: 20
Stufftie HB User
Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

Hello, I am hypothyroid and have been on levothyroxine since June 2012.
So, after months of fibromyalgia type pains and my primary refusing to try a new thyroid medication I finally got a rheumatologist to let me try Armour, after utterly failing the tender point exam..WOO HOO! (Months of other type testing for MS, pinched nerves, gamma of blood work, etc.)
He admitted not knowing a lot about thyroid issues and suggested that I stop the medication completely, TSH levels were 5.170 before T4 replacement. I am reluctant to stop the medication - hence the push for Armour.
Anyways, I picked up Armour and noticed that he prescribed 30 mg. I am currently on 25 mcg levothyroxine.
From what I read I plan on cutting the pill in half....but still wonder if I am doing the right thing? I will give it the 8 weeks and take the whole pill if needed.

Symptoms: Severe muscle cramps in arms and legs. Knots in muscles. Severe stabbing pains all over body. Cold hands and feet. Tired.
Levels while on levothyroxine:
TSH 1.030
T4 Free .82

Does this sound right? Did any of your muscle pains go away after trying T3? Tired of being pushed from specialist to specialist without finding anything wrong.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Mexico, USA
Posts: 193
ABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB User
Re: Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

Hi Stufftie ~

Congrats for "utterly failing" the tender point test for Fibro! So many Hypo symptoms masquerade as other maladies.

The rheumy likely suggested you stop the Levo because your TSH is "perfectly normal".

From the looks of your lab results, I would say you are under medicated. 25mcg Levothyroxine is rarely a therapeutic dose. Your FT4 seems pretty low in the average lab range. It is helpful to post the labs ranges along with your results.

Did you request a switch to Armor because you are still having symptoms (muscle aches, tired...) ? I have no experience with Armor or any T3 med, but it could be that you simply need a higher dose of Levo. I personally would like to have my Free T3 tested before switching to Armor. Your body may convert T4 to T3 just fine - you just need more T4. Sorry, I'm not versed in the dose conversions for T4 vs Armor.

I finally learned in my thyroid journey when I start having leg pain it is my signal that a dose increase is needed. This happened (again) a couple of months ago, so my doctor increased my Levo and WOW. Within a couple of weeks my legs were hurting less. By the 4 week mark no more aching muscles.

Good luck with whichever med you decide to take. Hopefully you can work with your doctor to properly test your Free T4 &T3 to adjust your dose accordingly instead of basing it on TSH level. Most feel best with their Free T4 around 70% in the lab range.

Best wishes

 
Reply With Quote
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-07-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Greeley, CO, United States
Posts: 20
Stufftie HB User
Re: Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

Thank you so much for your reply! Initially the pain did start in my legs. I was still feeling terrible and I kept asking my primary to either up or change my meds. She would only reply that "TSH is within range" That is when the expensive testing for other issues came about with all results being normal.
I will have to keep the cramp leg issue in mind if the up and change in T4/T3 resolves this!! Being extremely optimisitc and yes, all my eggs are in this basket!

I am in the process of finding a new primary and I can only hope he/she will be more open to my suggestions i.e. a full thyroid panel not just TSH. The free T4 testing came from the neurologist. I would LOVE to know the T3.

"Most feel best with their Free T4 around 70% in the lab range."
I am so not a number person, could you tell me how I would figure this. The lab range was 0.76 - 1.46 with my T4F .82 TSH 1.03

I did split the 30 mg Armor in half this morning then I read your post and went ahead with the other half. I am excited to feel the results, but patient enough to know that these things take time

I will be so angry if these last eight painfully miserable months was due to under treated thyroid! Especially with all the initial arguing with my primary that the T4 replacement was not enough. I loved how she tells me she doesn't know why I feel so bad....cuz her other patients had worse test results. Someone tell my body, because it didn't get your memo.

I became so beaten down and frustrated enough to believe that this was fibromyalgia. That there was no medical reason for my whole body aches, stabbing pains, exhaustion, and painful muscle cramps.

It's been wonderful hearing your thoughts and experience! Thanks a bunch!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 09:47 AM   #4
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: thyroidtrouble
Posts: 324
azuree HB Userazuree HB Userazuree HB Userazuree HB Userazuree HB Userazuree HB Userazuree HB User
Re: Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

Stuffie-

I have hashi's and have been on synthroid, cytomel, and armour and synthroid combo. I am now on the combo. So I have experience with these drugs and for me these drugs all feel different in my body.

As to your pains, prior to treatment I had body pains. Today I do not. But, I am not sure what helped me to get rid of those pains as I treated 3 conditions at the same time.

My three conditions were 1. hypothyroid 2. vitamin d deficiency and 2. low ferritin (iron stores).

So as you are now being treated for hypo and still having pains I would check out the other two ares. Do you know your vitamin d level ? This is usually indicated on lab tests as 25- OH. And, ferritin is the test to determine your iron stores. If either of these is low you need to supplement to get them up. And, usually it takes at least 3 months to get either of these up , because you are testing stored levels. Also practitioners may think your numbers are ok if they are merely in range---but there are many practitioners who think that is not so. Anyway, if you have your numbers on these other two tests, why don't you post them with your lab ranges.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 09:51 AM   #5
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 157
telus HB Usertelus HB Usertelus HB Usertelus HB Usertelus HB Usertelus HB Usertelus HB Usertelus HB Usertelus HB User
Re: Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

Stufftie Feb 7, 2013

For targets for labs, my philosophy has been to target the numbers that people with normal thyroids have. Once your labs get to that level, then stop raising your dose and wait a good long time to give your meds a chance to work, and to make sure everything else is up to par in your body. I think only if your symptoms persist after doing this, should you consider taking more medicine to raise your labs into the upper half levels.

Median values for females under age 60 years, with normal thyroids are:
TSH 1.3 - 1.4
FT4 1.04 - 1.1
FT3 2.8 - 2.9

I think it's good that you switched to Armour.

You were taking 25 mcg T4. Armour 30 mg is pretty small and contains 19 mcg T4 and 4.5 mcg T3. The usual start dose is 60 mg.

However when switching to Armour, you can get into problems if you ramp-up your doses too fast or too slow. So it is best if you have a doctor familiar with that. It does not sound like you do. Do check out this topic.

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to telus For This Useful Post:
Stufftie (02-08-2013)
Old 02-07-2013, 11:39 PM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Mexico, USA
Posts: 193
ABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB User
Re: Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

Hello Stufftie ~

Sorry for the delayed response, had to dig out my calculations for thyroid numbers. I have used your FT4 result of .82 and your labs range of .76-1.46 in the formula below.

To determine the percentage of your lab's range where your test result for FT4 or FT3 sits, use the following formula:

1. Subtract the bottom number of the range from the top
(1.46 - .76 = .70)
2. Subtract the bottom number of the range from your result
(.82 - .76 = .06)
3. Divide the result of calculation #2 by calculation #1
(.70 ÷ .06 = .086)
Then turn the result ( .086) into a percentage = 8.6%

Good grief - your FT4 is 8.6%. No wonder you are having symptoms! Most healthy people are at least at 50%. I feel good with mine at 86%. So everybody is different and has their own set point - the level at which you no longer have symptoms.. And BTW, my last TSH was .87. My doc believes my TSI antibodies keep my TSH low, so she adjusts my dose based on my Free T4 and symptoms. She doesn't regularly check FT3, I just add it to the lab slip myself for my own info.

Feel free to ask any other questions you think of - there are so many knowledgable people on this board to help you along. Unfortunately it is a painfully slow process to titrate up your optimal dose. Thyroid disease takes lots of patience, but so worth it.

Hang in there and please keep us updated on your progress.

Pam

Edit: I agree with everything Azuree said. Low Vitamin D and Iron are issues for many hypo's. Please get these checked if you already haven't.

Last edited by ABQpam; 02-07-2013 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Additional comment

 
Reply With Quote
The following user gives a hug of support to ABQpam:
Stufftie (02-08-2013)
Old 02-08-2013, 05:49 AM   #7
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Greeley, CO, United States
Posts: 20
Stufftie HB User
Re: Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

Thank you so much for that info!

I will hunt for a thyroid savvy primary doctor ASAP! I shouldn't have to try and do this on my own. But, I have been pushed from specialist to specialist for the last 9 months! Even had surgery for endometriosis because my primary thought it was sitting on my bundle of nerves and causing pain. (She had no explanation for the upper body pains)

The neurologist was surprised that my Vitamin D levels were good. My B12 level was 312 and she wants that around 800. So, we did B12 injections and I supplement. I have had a TON of blood work...

Seems as though the doctor's I have been to are aggressive looking at other scary reasons, but missed this one.

You have been so helpful and reassuring that I feel that I am now on the right track. I should have switched primary's at the beginning of this when she adamantly refused upping my medication or changing!

I cannot thank you enough!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Mexico, USA
Posts: 193
ABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB UserABQpam HB User
Re: Switching levothyroxine to armour for muscle pains

I'm always glad to help. . I would have never been properly diagnosed or treated had it not been for the wonderful supportive people on this board. They educated me, directed me and offered kind support when I became frustrated.

Unfortunately I had to take this into my own hands and ultimately had to leave my primary doctor of 17 years to get treatment. I am glad now that I made that hard decision. Hypothyroidism is ruining the lives of so many, yet it seems to be a struggle to find a good doctor who gets it. I went through 4 duds before I found my saving grace. Good luck!

I truly believe you need to get your FT4 to a much better level - then see what symptoms, if any, remain. I could give you a long laundry list of all the bizarre symptoms I was experiencing that have all but disappeared now that I am getting proper treatment. (Currently 75 mcg Levothyroxine).

Take care and keep us updated.

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ABQpam For This Useful Post:
Stufftie (02-08-2013)
Reply Reply




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:55 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.com™ All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!