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  • Amour thyroid adverse reaction

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    Old 07-11-2007, 03:09 PM   #1
    Daisy1
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    Exclamation Amour thyroid adverse reaction

    I am new to the hypothyroid world and now very frightened. I was placed on Armour thyroid about 4 weeks ago and graduated from 1/4 grain to 1 full grain with seemingly no adverse affects at first. I seemed to do alright for about a week on the full grain and then 3 days ago I started to have severe sleep problems, severe anxiety attacks and extreme nausea, shaking, tingling in hands and feet. I took the medication in the morning on an empty stomach yesterday after being awake for hours and fighting the nausea and shaking. After making it through the day with some trembling and nausea and difficulty eating, I went to my doctor who said my tests from last week showed a low/normal for T4 and and low TSH... so all was normal. Since my symptoms seemed to reflect too much thryoid, we would decrease the dose to 3/4 grain.

    I made it through the evening and then at 10:15 or so began feeling extreme anxiety, nausea, bowel activity and shaking again. (I hadn't taken any thyroid since morning.) I was awake for hours fighting the symptoms until I finally passed out with the aid of benedryl. I asked my doctor if I could just not take it at all today... which she agreed... and am struggling from shaky feelings and nausea throughout the day.

    When I started on the medication my tests showed a low/normal T4 but a very high level of TSH and I was exhibiting low thyroid exaustion. I am very sensitive to any oral medications though, and had a similar reaction to oral estrogen/progesterone a few years ago after 2 weeks of taking it. It took me months to recover from that experience. I feel too overwhelmed to go through this again!

    Did we do the right thing by taking me off completely? The doctor says that my thyroid was harmed by a virus I had in the spring, but still may recover. At this point I am afraid to try the medication again... as something has been overdriving my system. Even on the Armour thyroid I was still exhausted in the afternoon and evening.

    Help!

    Frightened and very sensitive patient in OR.

     
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    Old 07-11-2007, 07:52 PM   #2
    Red Maple
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    Re: Amour thyroid adverse reaction

    There are several different kinds of thyroid supplements. Maybe Armour just isn't the right one for you. The test that needs to be done to know if you require a medication such as Armour, is an FT3 blood test. You do not mention an FT3 test in your post.

    Without getting too techinical, (I am sure there are others on this board that can tell you exactly in medical terns and more accurately than my explaination), but the thyroid gland itself primarily produces the T4 hormone. The body then converts the T4 to the more active thyroid hormone, T3, in the quantity needed by each individual person. The most common form of thyroid treatment is with a T4 medication, such as synthroid or levoxyo, relying on the body to do the conversion in the right amount to T3.

    If the body does not convert the T4 hormone properly, the person ends up short on the T3 hormone that it needs to function. Some people's body's do not convert the T4 to T3 properly and a medication to supplement both hormones is necessary. Armour is a combination medication that contains both T4 and T3. Without an FT3 blood test, you, nor your doctor, will know if you indeed need the supplementary T3 contained in the Armour. You may be someone who needs a 'T4 only' medication such as synthroid or levoxyl. My blood work shows that I need supplemental T3, however the ratio of T4 to T3 in Armour is not right for me, and I experience adverse symptoms such as you have described in your post. Thus my doctor has prescribed separate medications to get a better ratio for my body. I take 100 mcg of synthroid (T4 only med) and 7.5 mcg of cytomel (T3 only med) thus giving me a more customized ratio. The drawback to this is that two medications becomes quite expensive rather than just taking a combination med. The costs for me are a bit over $75 a month for thyroid meds. I pay the costs gladly as I feel best at this dosage. For many others though, the combination of T4 and T3 in Armour is best.

    If I were you, I'd make certain that an FT4 AND an FT3 blood test have been done to make certain you have the right thyroid medication in the right dosages. There are also may here who are really experts, and can give an interpretation of your lab work if you post the results of each of your thyroid blood tests along with the labs "normal" ranges.

    Based on the symptoms you are having, I would guess you are currently over medicated on the Armour. At the very least, you climbed from 1/4 grain to one grain much too quickly to allow your body time to adjust and heal. Most doctors begin thyroid treatment with a low dose, then take labs 6-8 weeks later, then adjust the dosage accordingly and again repeat the labs 6-8 weeks later. This method will slowly build up to just the right dose for the individual patient. This way the body is given the chance to also heal the person titrates up on the dosage.

    It sounds like your doctor is very willing to be flexible in your medication and dosages. It's great that she is willing to also medicate according to your symptoms and reactions to thse medications as well as the lab results. Many people here on this board have experienced thyroid doctors who will go on the lab reports only, with little flexibility from strictly using the blood work results to medicate. It is very common to have trouble at first to get to the right dosage and type of thyroid meds. Unfortunately it's a trial and error process to find just what's right for you individually.

    Good Luck and keep us posted to your progress!

    Last edited by Red Maple; 07-11-2007 at 08:26 PM. Reason: dreaded typo disease

     
    Old 07-12-2007, 04:30 PM   #3
    GCC
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    Re: Amour thyroid adverse reaction

    I think the Armour dose was increased to quickly.
    __________________
    25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

     
    Old 07-12-2007, 10:17 PM   #4
    wdiguy
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    Re: Amour thyroid adverse reaction

    Mfuller,


    I went through the same reaction and I believe my armour was increased to quickly. I am currently not taking it cause as soon as I jumped back on it my symptoms similar to urs came back. My levels show I need thyroid meds but can even handle a low does of armour. I ordered a 24 hr saliva test for my adrenals to see if thats why its happening.

     
    Old 07-13-2007, 05:40 AM   #5
    GCC
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    It was adrenal insufficiency with me.

    When I started on Armour Thyroid , I felt fine at first and then felt hyper (even on a low dose). It was NOT the Armour, that made me feel that way , it was due to adrenal insufficiency.

    I started treating the adrenal insuffieicney and that made all the difference! I am really feeling so much better on Armour than I was on Synthroid. I had to search out a doctor who whould use it. It was so worth the effort to feel so much better.
    __________________
    25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

     
    Old 07-13-2007, 05:55 AM   #6
    boata
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    Re: Amour thyroid adverse reaction

    What you have posted is classic signs of adrenal problems. If you go to the Armour website it states that adrenals should be tested before beginning treatment - just so a person doesn't go through exactly what you are going through.

     
    Old 07-15-2007, 03:25 PM   #7
    Daisy1
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    Unhappy Re: Amour thyroid adverse reaction

    Thank you all so much for your feedback and help. I had come to the same conclusion regarding my adrenals through some research of my own... I just so wish that I had done the research before I went on the medication at all. I had the same reaction 2 years ago from going on bioidentical estrogen and progesterone when the tests/symptoms showed that I needed it. It was a nightmare recovering... it took several months. I really don't feel up to that kind of recovery again...

    I have a hypoglycemia problem that seems to be a part of a very low insulin level - this is the symptom that is the most difficult to get under control after my system crashes like this.

    I so appreciate the wisdom and advice on the possibility of other thyroid hormones... but my husband and I are very afraid to try anything at this point. I love my doctor... but I see that we definitely did this way too fast for me to benefit successfully from it.

    The shakiness and over-anxious feelings are still there, as well as other hormone balances and stomach issues.... I want to pull out of this!!!

    Thanks again...

     
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