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Armour what might be going on

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Old 01-07-2007, 09:15 AM   #1
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Location: Wichita Kansas
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Armour what might be going on

Just a question of why dr. has to keep changing my doses everytime i have a blood test with armour. Had TT 5/05 and was on synthroid for 5 months and couldn't handle it all so dr changed to armour. Have been on armour for 1 yr and doses have to be changed all the time any help with this would be great.

11/05-on 1 grain
TSH-5.7 {0.35-5.50}
FT4-1.15 {0.61-1.76}
FT3-4.2 {2.3-4.2}

1/06-went on 2 grains


5/06 went on 1 1/2 grains



9/06 having hyper symptoms went on 1 1/4 grains

11/06-went back on 1 1/2 grains
any help with this would be great thank you

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Old 01-07-2007, 10:45 AM   #2
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Re: Armour what might be going on

He keeps changing your dose because he may not understand which levels are most important. He may be dosing primarily according to your TSH only. But the FT4 and FT3 are most important.

I would say you were probably overmedicated on 2 grains. See how your FT3 was above its range? That's too high. But after you went down to 1.5 grains, the FT3 fell to a better level, and your FT4 was at a good place, too. It would have made more sense to leave you on that dose to see if it would eventually eliminate hypo symptoms without causing hyper ones. He didn't even check your FT3 in August, before dropping the dose again, which would have been vital to see if it might've again been too high and causing the hyper symptoms. The FT4 certainly shouldn't have been the reason; in fact, it likely never was, because it was always mid-range and not too high. At a couple of points, it might've even been too low.

When someone takes Armour, more often than not their TSH will be suppressed to near zero. But he probably thinks it means you're overmedicated. If he knew that TSH becomes suppressed on Armour, he wouldn't worry about TSH at all and would appropriately watch your FT4 and FT3. As long as they don't approach the very top of their normal ranges, and as long as you don't exhibit signs and symptoms of overmedication, than you aren't overmedicated... period.

My own TSH has been .01-.02 for over three years on Armour, but my FT4 and FT3 are well within range. I'm not overmedicated and feel perfectly fine. I'm fortunate to have an MD who knows how to treat correctly with Armour.

It takes time to get a dose correct. I hope you get there soon.

Last edited by midwest1; 01-07-2007 at 10:55 AM.

Old 01-07-2007, 04:04 PM   #3
Red Maple
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Re: Armour what might be going on

I agree with Midwest that your doctor is probably dosing you according to TSH rather than the frees. To my knowledge (and it is very limited..) most people on Armour feel good when the frees are mid-range to the upper third of the range, regardless of where the TSH is.

I am more successful with a synthyroid/cytomel combination than Armour, so I am a bit confused also, Midwest is the very best for advice about Armour so maybe she can jump back in with further explaination of my "analysis" (don't I sound official...?!) Your starting point of 11/05, the TSH was high, FT4 was about mid-range, and FT3 was at the very top of the range. As a result of these labs, you started on 1 grain. On 1/06 you took labs again, TSH went higher, FT4 and FT3 were very low in range and thus meds were increased to 2 grains. The labs on 5/06 indicated that the FT4 stayed about mid, but the FT3 at 4.4 indicates overmedication on the 2 grains and thus dropped the dosage to 1 1/2 grains.

I agree with Midwest, that according to the labs, the best dosage you have had is at 1 1/2 grains, as the FT4 is pretty close to mid-range, and FT3 almost right on at mid-range. Dropping down to 1 1/4 grains put your FT4 below mid-range again and there is no FT3 to go on. Most recently you went back to 1 1/2 grains. Hopefully you will settle there.

The big question though is HOW DO YOU FEEL at each of these dosages? You do not mention in your post what your symptoms are. Do you remember what symptoms you were having or how you felt at each of these doses? Which dosage did you feel the best? Your symptoms usually are the most important element in finding the right medication and dosage.

We are not lab reports, but human beings. It seems that the biggest critizism we have of MD's is that they dose only from the lab reports and not how we feel or what symptoms we are having. IMO, in trying to stabalize on meds., I'd go by how I feel on a dosage, and the lab reports will probably fall into line too.

Good luck to you. Keep us posted to your progress.

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