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Armour vs Synthroid


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Old 10-19-2003, 04:19 AM   #1
italungrl
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Post Armour vs Synthroid

Someone please explain the difference I know one is a synthetic and the other isnt but do you have to be Hyper to take the Armour? Are side effects lower How do you fit into that category as opposed to Synthroid?

 
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Old 10-19-2003, 06:04 AM   #2
girlygirly
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Armour is a hypothyroid med. There are no known side effects of Armour. Armour contains T3, T4, as well as T1 and T2. I just switched from Synthroid to Armour. Since switching I have stopped losing as much hair as I did on Synthroid. I am even back to losing weight. Doctors prescribe Synthroid and other T-4 drugs for 2 reasons. 1.) Drug companies very persuavely visit doctors to influence them, they offer incentives such as paid trips to great locals for continuing ed classes and various other perks. Much of the info many med docs have on T4 drugs is from what the pharmacy salepeople tell them. Students in med school are not taught very much on the thyroid so they rely on the drug companies to fill them in many of the times.
2) The second reason is that drug companies tell doctors lies about Armours effectiveness to discourage them from prescribing it. They say that there are potency problems, which in fact may have been true years ago, but not now. You will see recalls on the T4 drugs fairly often. On this site I have heard that a doctor actually refers to it as vodoo. That to me is very sad and ignorant.

As you will see there are many people here on Armour who praise it, I am one of them. There is a big difference in how I feel with Armour. Thank God for this site so I could learn about Armour.

I also want to point out that everyone has different needs, so just because something works for one person it doesn't mean it will work great for another. You need to look at your symptoms, if you have total relief then stick with what works. Do not settle.

Good Luck!

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Please pardon any typo...obviously it is because I'm hypo!

 
Old 10-19-2003, 12:17 PM   #3
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girlygirly,

Well said! I am such an Armour fan, although my Dr,"s have asked me if I wanted to try Synthroid, I just say "NO".



 
Old 10-19-2003, 12:55 PM   #4
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Here is a short list of some of the common thyroid meds. I'm no authority, so this may need some correction from others here:

Armour: Dessicated pig thyroid, contains T4, T3, T2, T1, possibly the closest to what the human thyroid produces, except for the ratio of T4 to T3 may be high for some people.

Synthroid: Synthetic, T4 only.

Levoxyl: Synthetic, T4 only.

Cytomel: Synthetic, T3 only.

Unithroid: Synthetic, T4 only.

Many people feel perfectly normal taking synthetic T4 med only. I know several of them - very fortunate people indeed.

Some people do better on one med versus another due to the different non-active ingredients.

And many people do better taking a combination of T4 and T3, either synthetic T4 plus Cytomel (T3), or getting this combination by taking only Armour.

Another thought is that although is seems medical science recognizes the role of T4 and T3, the role of T1 and T2 (and others?) are not fully known. It could be, we find out later that these play important roles.

Another approach is to take Armour, for the benefits that should seem clear from the above, but a smaller dose, and add some synthetic T4 med to that, to get a T4:T3 ratio similar to what the human thyroid produces.

This later aproach is what I am to discuss with my new Doc in a week. I know some of his patients, to whom he has prescribed a T4/T3 combination, so he's at least open to that.

Now, I should say that most of the above is meerly repeating what I have read on this and other sites, and in books on the subject. There are others here, who know far more than I on this subject. I just have some time on my hands today, and trying to give a little back to this site, that has helped me so much. Hope this helps you.
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Old 10-19-2003, 12:55 PM   #5
italungrl
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I think some of the side effects from the synthroid are worse than the actual Hypo symptoms Im going to give it another month on this higher dose to see, I mean how do you know where the symptoms are coming from not enough meds? or side effects.. Actually i felt tired before all this started thats was it now with in a couple days of the synthroid I started having weird things happen of course no Dr. is gonna talk trash about Synthroid when they get so many perks..

 
Old 10-20-2003, 01:25 AM   #6
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you could be tipping over into hypo ... about a month ago now, my endo prescribed 125mcg synthroid (at my request) because i didn't feel that the 112mcg dose was doing it (it wasn't) ... a week ago i began to get all these weird symptoms, including nausea, heat intolerance, lightheadedness ...

i skipped my synthroid thursday nite, had little or no nausea friday, took the 112 on friday nite and saturday, and have just taken my sunday dose ... the heat intolerance and lightheadedness are much improved too ...

i know some doctors are jerks, but i really wish we weren't so ready to knock the entire medical community ... advances in medecine are being made at an accelerating pace, enough to make your head spin, and that's a GOOD thing, but please give doctors a chance to catch up ... add to that the boomers, the oldest of whom are beginning to acquire some serious medical attention, are demanding medical help, and you have a recipe for disaster ...

i also wish we (society) weren't so paranoid and willing to think the worst of doctors who prescribe, for example, only synthroid/cytomel ... there's a theory that viruses might be passed in dessicated pig (remember mad cow? [or mad pig, i guess] THIS IS AN APPARENTLY FAILED ATTEMPT AT HUMOUR ) ... it could happen both here and in the US as long as we continue to feed protein to animals that are supposed to graze, and god-knows-what to pigs, and that's not counting the hormones that are given to ALL animals ...

i've never taken "thyroid", as armour is called here, not for any of the above reasons, but i want to try get settled on a synthroid/cytomel regime, and if that doesn't work, i'll try armour ... but there might be moral reasons why some doctors won't try you on armour -- why don't you ask?

as many of you know who read this board, i've had my own horrendous experience w/doctors, but there are many good ones, in fact i'd venture to say that there are more good than even mediocre .. please -- try to give them a break, and the benefit of the doubt ...

jb



[This message has been edited by jinglebts (edited 10-20-2003).]
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Old 10-20-2003, 04:33 AM   #7
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Armour thyroid comes from the glands of USDA inspected and approved GRAIN FED pigs. Mad cow is a disease that animals get when they are fed meats. There is no danger of catching mad cow from Armour. That is pure hogwash(get it, hogs, pigs????) Seriously though, this is one of the rumours that doctors spread about Armour to scare patients away from it. I am not down on all doctors, but in this last year I have seen alot of incompetance that scares me. I find it very unnerving that many of us here know more than the specialists about our thyroid disorder. Think about that, a novice knows more than an expert. What is that all about?It is what it is.

The only products that someone should be concerned with is the OTC glandular products as many of them come from parts of Europe where there has been mad cow disease, and the products are unregulated.

------------------
Please pardon any typo...obviously it is because I'm hypo!

[This message has been edited by girlygirly (edited 10-20-2003).]

[This message has been edited by girlygirly (edited 10-20-2003).]

 
Old 10-20-2003, 05:07 AM   #8
italungrl
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Must agree with you girly girly on the aspect people knowing more Its because of extensive research, sleepless nights,I have become more educated on this subject from the above and reading from the board, I have a bachelors in business I shouldnt have to be so well up to date on Thyroid thats the Dr's job yet they shake their heads and offer anti depressants, spare me....

 
Old 10-20-2003, 10:38 AM   #9
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for heaven's sake, don't get your knickers in a twist ...

i did not say that one could get mad cow disease from armour, and if you've heard such a rumour, i'll be the first to dispute it (are doctors really spreading the rumour that you can get mad cow disease from armour? how ignorant!! )... what i AM saying is that even if these pigs are grain fed, what about the hormones? and anyway, it's YOUR decision, not mine, whether to take armour or not; and as i also said, i wouldn't be averse to taking it if this regimen doesn't work ...

i've always been afraid of my T3 getting too high, because when it does, the cytomel makes me aphasic so prefer to control the amount of T3 i take (if you want to think i become aphasic because it's synthetic, i can't help you there) ...

also, another frequent poster (wish i could recall who it was) -- if you look thru' the posts for the past couple of weeks, you'll find it) who said she couldn't take armour because it threw her T4/T3 balance out of whack ...

i have nothing personal against taking armour, and you seem to be approaching the subject like i have; i'm only saying that armour isn't for everyone ... that's ALL ... i didn't even say it's not for me, should i get to that point ...

i often wish more people wouuld read past the first page of this board: they might find that these topics have been discussed with people who have far more experience with it than i ...

http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/blob_fire.gif what i WAS trying to emphasise was that the medical community shouldn't be slammed as much as it has been -- my GP has a wonderfully open mind, and i've occasionally printed off research from the 'net and on one occasion, he agreed with it toute suite and gave it to the other doctors in his clinic so they'd know how to fill out a stupid revenue canada disability form (question: can your patient feed him/herself? taken literally, i don't qualify (my GP said "no"); taken to mean "can your patient look in the fridge, make a list, get into the car, go to the grocery store, negotiate the miles of crowded aisles, lug the stuff back to the car, drive home, lug the stuff into the house, put it away, and prepare a dinner?" -- i DO qualify -- fortunately i happened upon a judgement, revenue canada having declined to accept the signed form, in which <someone> v. revenue canada won the case FOR, and was granted the $1000 deduction; i called the lawyer, he called back, said i should refer my GP to him if he had any further questions, i printed off another couple of documents to back up the argument ... and he read them and said, "now THIS is the kind of stuff that helps me!"

my GP is very busy, he works in a clinic, and he doesn't have the time, so the more you can do for yourself the better, and there's SO much info' on the 'net now ... and i'm happy to help him out ...

he's not perfect (failed to conect the dots for 9 months on hypo -- just treated the symptoms, and he's one of those who unfortunately does that -- on the other hand, i can't blame him too much because i'm taking seizure and stroke meds, digestive and acid reducer meds, and he DID refer me to a neuropharmcologist), and my my endo-from-hell thought i was nuts BUT did all the right tests, so...

all i'm saying is, you're getting all excited about something i didn't say, and seem to have missed what i thought was my main point about doctor bashing ...

sorry if i wasn't clear on that ...

FAUGH! i hate this disease!

jb

there's an interesting book called "thyroid balance" by glenn rothman.

http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/confused.gif and you didn't answer my real concern for YOU: you may be tipping into hyper, yadda yadda, and taking less synthroid worked for me ...

[This message has been edited by jinglebts (edited 10-20-2003).]

[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 10-20-2003).]
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Old 10-20-2003, 04:01 PM   #10
girlygirly
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Knickers in a twist? That's a good one!! I'll have to remember to use it! Pretty funny. It gave me some comic relief. Seriously, we need to agree to disagree.

BTW, it's not very fair to change the post that we responded to, it makes those of us who responded to it look crazy (maybe we are, but now we look even crazier!!)Hee,Hee! Jinglebts, have a nice evening. I know I will, I'm going to watch Fear Factor (the only reality show I can watch), I love the part when they have eat all of the gross things!(I usually have a snack when they get to that part.)Hee,Hee!My fiance can't stand to watch so it makes me laugh all the more harder! It is truely amazing what some people will do for money.

Good Nite!

------------------
Please pardon any typo...obviously it is because I'm hypo!

 
Old 10-21-2003, 07:16 AM   #11
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I am new to this board, but not new to boards, and certainly not new to Hypo. I am hypo for 15 years and I have been through hell and backwith many different doctors. I don't think that they are "bad" doctors, I think that they are ignorant and misinformed. The endocrine system is the most complicated in the body. GP's just don't have the expertise that they need to treat our problems. The Endocrinologists are expert at Diabetes(sp?). The problem with us is that we don't die from our desease, or at least not usually. GirlyGirly is right! Our doctors are being educated by sales reps. I don't know about the rest of you, but I went for five years undiagnosed. By the time they put me on Synthroid, it was a God send. Synthroid, compared to nothing, was wonderful. The problem is I didn't know that it could be any better. Our doctors are judging our outcome by tests. If the medication brings the right results on the tests then it is good. That is all they know to do. There are no side effects to Armour. This is the thing that blew me away. The way I approached the Armour issue was to try to research why I shouldn't take Armour. To this day I have found nothing. And considering that Armour was the only treatment for the first half of the 20th century, there should be plenty of documentation about the down side or the problems. Well, there isn't. The only resonable caution that I have found is a heart condition. The t3 is so efficiently and quickly absorbed in the gut that it does cause spike and if you have a heart condition there could be consequences. We need all of the thyroid hormones, not just t4. T4 will get the resluts that they want on tests, but it doesn't do what your natural heathly thryroid would do. Armour does. We can't trust our doctors, but not because they are bad, because they just don't know. Every doctor that I have been too, will not accept my overwieght is due to my endrocrine problem. I was flat out told that my Thyroid was under control and that I don't have that as an excuse. Well, so far on Armour, not on a correct dose, I have lost 15 lbs. What I eat for the first time in 15 years makes a difference. My doctor is still working with a tsh high of 5.5. If she gets me below that then she stops. She won't consider that 4,3, 2, might be a better place for my tsh. A friend of my who doesnot have a thyroid problem was just checked. Her tsh is 1.81. Now that is a normal tsh! In a week or two I will be doing battle with my doctor again, about where my tsh should be. My previous battles where about Armour. She has never had a patient on Armour and knows nothing about it. My last tsh was 9.33 and she wanted to increase my dose to 100mgs from 90mgs. She didn't know that it doesn't come that way. She called 9.33 a little high. I have been taking 135mgs and feel really good. My hair, my nails, my brain fog, my general sense of well being improve every day, not to mention the wieght loss. And joint aches!!!! They just went away! I suspect that my tsh is probably around 5. I will fight this battle with my doctor and I will try a lower tsh one way or another. I don't want to have to change doctors, but I will if I have to. I have had so many doctors over the years that my expectation is that if I do change I will just be doing battle with someone else. But, it is all the same battle. I had a tsh of 28 and felt better than I had in years. I believe that people who try Armour and have a "bad" experience, are experiencing the transition. All of the synthetics are poorly absorbed in the gut and take a long time to convert and be used. So, when you change to Armour you are almost double dosing for a few weeks. The synthetics are still in your system, the Armour is used quickly. If you stay with it for a least 3 weeks, you will get through the adjustment period and really be able to see the difference. I think we need t4, t3, t2 and t1. If my body produced it to begin with, I will assume I need it. Don't for get that we live in a capitalistic structure. Money comes first! Synthroid was developed and the whole medical community was re-educated by a sales strategy. If you want to prove this to yourself. Ask your doctors why they don't prescribe Armour. You will get: not recommended by the FDA and it is an antiquated medication . Things that make no medical sense what so ever. I read in a medical paper that : Only people who have taken Armour for a long time and are doing well should take Armour. That is the most riduculous statement that I have ever heard. How did they start taking it and be on it for a long time, if they didn't start taking it in the first place???? It scares me that this can happen in our medical community. If it can happen with Armour and Synthroid it can happen with other things. Money and medicine just are not good bedfellows.

[This message has been edited by pip48a (edited 10-21-2003).]

 
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