Discussions that mention synthroid

Thyroid Disorders board

I'm going to request Armour when I go in for my physical in about two months, so am also wondering about side effects. I've been on Synthroid since the early 90's and have yet to feel 100%. I'm fed up with it and eager to try something that might actually work. I do know that they have to start you on on the very lowest dosage. I've also heard it called grains. They start you out on 1/2 a grain, then gradually go to 1 grain, etc... From what I've read, seldom does anyone go over 3 grains. Does anyone here think this is accurate? (I think too much Armour will get the same result as too much of any thyroid hormone, increased sweating, heart rate, nervousness, etc....)

Marilyn :)
I had been on levoxyl/synthroid/etc for over 10 years before going on Armour. I remember that I was amazed at how much better I felt. It was like waking up... my brain worked, I had more energy, I felt so different! And this happened nearly immediately, within the first week. Weird things happened, though too, like starting my period mid-cycle. But I had no real problems. Been on Armour now (3 to 3 1/2 grains... for some reason I just need this much) for about 3 years and have had to fight 2 different endos (when I switched docs) to keep me on Armour. I won :-)

Miller01 - When synthetic thyroid became available, there was basically a smear campaign against Armour saying it was hard to regulate the dose, it was expensive and there was a risk of disease from the pig thyroid that the Armour came from. None of this was true, but Synthroid did a brillant job in their marketing. I just read that we spend over 600 million dollars a year on thyroid meds and if everyone took Armour, it would be 284 million(I think). Anyway, your Dr. was normally taught that the synthetic thyroid is the best way to go, when actually Armour works better on alot of people, but Synthroid is better for some. You need T3 to live. Some people don't convert the T4 only meds well and so need the T3 and T4 meds. Get ready to say good-bye to your "brain fog". :)
FWIW Marilyn, I'm terrified of starting new drugs because I have a ton of allergies and have had a lot of nasty drug reactions over the years. Armour has given me no problems, and after 6 weeks, I'm seeing improvement that I didn't see on Synthroid.
Hi miller...

Why fight with docs? I've been through hell with bad ENT's keeping my TSH at 5 and telling me it's all in my head. I've had docs tell me they don't like prescribing particular medications even though they're the ones I do best on. (Many docs don't do enough research on their own, many docs are rewarded by drug co's for giving certain prescriptions, many docs are just as suseptible as the rest of the public to advertising by big pharma corps... so they'll prescribe whatever's advertised the most, whoever gives them the most pretty pens and cups and brochures.) Doctors are paid by me (& my insurance co) to HELP me take care of me. They are hired by me. And if I don't get the care I want (which is to be as healthy as possible & feel as good as possible), I'll take my body (& business) somewhere else. Just like I would take my car to whichever mechanic seems to really listen, work WITH me and actually fix my car.

Many endocrinologists don't want to prescribe Armour because they have been taught (based on old info from the 70's) that Armour isn't reliable enough. There's a huge smear campaign against it. Why? For one thing, natural drugs like Armour are cheaper. It's much nicer for the drug companies to tout their synthetic drugs as FAR superior and therefore get 2 prescriptions purchased for a T4 and a T3. Armour is much cheaper than taking Synthroid & Cytomel. The docs issues are not about the T3, since now they're finally recognizing that many thyroid patients NEED T3. Their reluctance to prescribe it is due to it's image of inferiority. I had been doing GREAT on Armour and yet both new endo's I went to see (due to changing jobs & therefore insurance companies & docs) were against it for no real good reason. I asked. They couldn't give me a real reason because they had no real experience with patients on it. I convinced them to let me stay on it and then... voila... they see my numbers and agree that it's no problem for me to be on it. So I've had "I don't prescribe Armour" endos prescribing Armour and being happy with the results :-)

Not that Armour is great for everyone. The T4/T3 ratio is a little high for some people and it really is best for them to stay on a synthetic T4. But I have no functioning thyroid anymore and need full replacement and I feel 100x better on Armour than I did on Synthroid. And so, yes, I will fight docs to stay on what has turned my life around.

You asked about danger from T3. If you're getting too much, yes, that's a potential disaster. My T3 and Free T3 levels have remained in the normal range and we keep my TSH around 1, so no, I have no problems with the T3 in Armour. For some reason my body doesn't seem to be very efficient in making its own T3 from T4 so the higher level of T3 is just what I need.