Discussions that mention synthroid

Thyroid Disorders board


What dose of Synthroid or other T4 were you taking? A half grain of Armour is only equivalent to between 37-50 mcgs of T4. One grain = about 74-100 mcgs. So is it possible you are now taking a dose smaller than what you took before? That could cause a crash. When switching from a T4 product to T4/T3, it's safest to take an equivalent very slightly smaller than the previous T4, in order to compensate for the 'rush' that T3 can give. But after a short adjustment period, it can be upped to the previous equilavent.

Second, free T4 and free T3 must be monitored when Armour is the prescribed med. If your doctor is only monitoring your TSH and total T4, she can't have a clue about what your thyroid levels really are, and so is only guessing like I am about what's causing your problem. Likewise, without labs, you really can't know if you were overmedicated, either - based only on symptoms - because so many hypo/hyper symptoms cross over from one condition to the other.

Based on your labs after 6 weeks, a dose increase was justified. If I you want a guess, I'd guess you're still undermedicated, because after 5 years, you were probably taking far more than 75 mcgs T4, weren't you?
Hi, Midwest. Thanks for your reply.

I was on 0.075 for the first year; 0.088 for the next four years (Synthroid at first, then Levoxyl for most of that time). I really felt "OK" until my last two children (I have four, ages 1-8). I mean, I have struggled with depression and hypoglycemia, but as far as having the other typical hypo symptoms--that all stayed under control.

So, I went from 0.088 of Levoxyl straight to 1/2 grain of Armour. When she checked my blood at 6 weeks, that's when she upped it to 1 grain.

I wasn't having the anxiety on the 1/2 grain, but I was having the severe depression and brain fog.

The week on the 1 grain was pure hell with anxiety and muscle/joint pain and suicidal thoughts.

The day off the Armour a couple of days ago really felt good. I didn't even want to take the 1/2 grain again last night because I was scared the same symptoms would return and they have.

I've been looking at Dr. Kenneth Blanchard's writings today. If I'm reading right, he says that the T3 in Armour may be too much for some people; that the ratio is too high (seems like there's a lot of posts on this board about this also).

All I know is that I'm not taking the Armour again until I find some answers. This is worse than before. :-(

Christy

P.S. Perhaps I should mention that I'm also having trouble with low cortisol and progesterone. Had saliva tests run about 5 weeks ago with these results:

Estradiol 2.2 (1.0-5.0)
Progesterone 25 (100-600)
Ratio: Pg/E2 11 (50-200)
Testosterone 28 (20-50)
DHEAS 11.7 (3-10)

Cortisol Morning 2.5 (3-8)
Cortisol Noon 1.8 (2-4)
Cortisol Evening 1.4 (1-2)
Cortisol Night 0.7 (0.5-1.5)
I will throw this out there and risk getting flamed. But many doctors do not prescribe Armour except under extreme duress. The Armour thyroid is known to vary in T3 and T4 levels from batch to batch making it difficult to successfully stabilize many people's horomones.

Even though I'm not hypo yet, my endo feels I'm heading that way with what appears to him to be early onset of Hashis. But I asked him about Armour in advance and this was his feedback. He simply feels there are better ways of regulating human thyroid, and only resorts to Armour after exhausting them.

FWIW



Quote from ChristyE:
Hi, Midwest. Thanks for your reply.

I was on 0.075 for the first year; 0.088 for the next four years (Synthroid at first, then Levoxyl for most of that time). I really felt "OK" until my last two children (I have four, ages 1-8). I mean, I have struggled with depression and hypoglycemia, but as far as having the other typical hypo symptoms--that all stayed under control.

So, I went from 0.088 of Levoxyl straight to 1/2 grain of Armour. When she checked my blood at 6 weeks, that's when she upped it to 1 grain.

I wasn't having the anxiety on the 1/2 grain, but I was having the severe depression and brain fog.

The week on the 1 grain was pure hell with anxiety and muscle/joint pain and suicidal thoughts.

The day off the Armour a couple of days ago really felt good. I didn't even want to take the 1/2 grain again last night because I was scared the same symptoms would return and they have.

I've been looking at Dr. Kenneth Blanchard's writings today. If I'm reading right, he says that the T3 in Armour may be too much for some people; that the ratio is too high (seems like there's a lot of posts on this board about this also).

All I know is that I'm not taking the Armour again until I find some answers. This is worse than before. :-(

Christy

P.S. Perhaps I should mention that I'm also having trouble with low cortisol and progesterone. Had saliva tests run about 5 weeks ago with these results:

Estradiol 2.2 (1.0-5.0)
Progesterone 25 (100-600)
Ratio: Pg/E2 11 (50-200)
Testosterone 28 (20-50)
DHEAS 11.7 (3-10)

Cortisol Morning 2.5 (3-8)
Cortisol Noon 1.8 (2-4)
Cortisol Evening 1.4 (1-2)
Cortisol Night 0.7 (0.5-1.5)
Christy,

No prob. I'm not a message board hound like I used to be, LOL, but I'll drop back by from time to time with an update. Just heard back from my doc's office about my numbers and such so am about to post a new message.

The thing that happened with me was that I had been on Synthroid or Levoxyl for years, had no idea what my TSH's were, nothing. The surgeon who did my surgery (when I was 17 years old) told me I needed to take as much hormone as possible because I had had a tumor in addition to multiple nodules and he didn't want it growing back. I didn't really understand WHY I REALLY needed to pills or what disease I really had. In my early 20's I quit taking pills completely. New city/state, no doc, no insurance, you know. I got really sick. I went to see some dufus ENT who told me none of my symptoms were due to thyroid and I'd gained a bunch of weight only because I was eating too much. Thyroid can't cause weight gain. (Sure!!!) After having Hashi for about 11 years I finally did some research, called that ENT and got my actual numbers. He'd been keeping me at 4-6 TSH. Agggh! I went to an naturopath and got on Armour.

I was on 3- 3 1/2 grains. The first 2 years or so were pretty stable. But then, like I said, it was WILD swings. My endo at the time (who I'd been referred to by the naturopath) didn't have a clue. We thought maybe I was eating too much soy. Cut out soy. Nope, not that. Maybe there was too much moisture getting into my pills. Added a silica packet. Nope, not that. Had I developed an allergy to porcine thyroid???? Who knows! But I was sooooo tired of feeling VERY hypo (muscle twitches, severe fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, etc) that I asked to just please put me back on Levoxyl.

I have to say that when I first went on Armour, after we found the right dose, I was amazed. I felt ALIVE for the first time in years! I'll post more in a new msg about Cytomel :-)

Definitely try Armour, though. Give it a chance if it seems to make you feel better. Most people don't seem to have the probs I had with it. Don't know why!

:-)
Debbie
Hashi for 16+ years
Quote from fromos5:
I went on Armour several years ago and at first it was wonderful. Then I crashed, just like you. But then for over 2 years my TSH stayed fairly stable, I felt more human and I was finally able to lose weight.

But then... everything went nuts. On the same dose I would go TSH 0.3 to 23.5 and back and forth. One time I'd be at 1, two months later at 15. We'd adjust, it would go wild, we'd adjust again I'd go hyper or hypo. It became such a pain in the butt to me that I finally said, "Fine. Put me back on Levoxyl." That was last April.

Unfortunately I had a really bad endo last year who then refused to give me more than 175mcg of Levoxyl even though my TSH wouldn't come down under 6 on that dose (pre-Armour I was on 225mcg). Beeeyatch. BUT... I will say, despite one year of being stuck at 6 and feeling a tad hypo... it stayed right around there. No weird swings back and forth. That made me suspect that maybe, after all, all the criticisms of Armour not being the same from one batch to the next may really be true. Hated to say it, hated to go back to synthetics, but Armour sucked for me by that point.

Last week saw "new" GOOD endo (who is my old one from years ago who knows what the heck is going on!) and she saw my numbers from January and immediately said we've got to up my dose UP and my TSH down "under 1"! Yay! She wants to give me Cytomel! Willingly! Without me even asking for it! Hallelujah! (Will start new dose this coming week, after we see new labs).

She asked me if I wanted to try Armour again. I said NO. I'd rather stick with Levoxyl + Cytomel. A bit more expensive for co-pays, but Armour was just too up and down for me.

Debbie
Hashi for 17 years



Hi Debbie:)

I first started on synthroid and didn't feel any better on it, so I switched to Armour. My doctor said he doesn't like Armour, but would let me try it since I asked. I was fine for 2 months, then about 2 weeks ago I crashed big time. TSH is 12.45 and my T3 is high too. I am hurting all over, especially in my legs and I have NO energy what so ever. I hate that feeling. I tried to clean up my house the other day and couldn't finish it. This is weird for me because once I start, I don't stop. I had to mentally talk myself out of cleaning, LOL.

Anyway, my doctor upped my dose of Armour to 60mg a day. One in the morning and one in the evening. Well, I had trouble sleeping and I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin and this was only the third or forth day of the upped dose. The nurse there told me that it couldn't be the medicine, but I know my body and I knew it was. I'm very sensitive to medication. So, she talked to the doctor and he told me to half the evening pill. It's been about a week and I'm still feeling miserable. Still hurting all over and I have brain fog so bad. Do you get that too?

I talked to my doctor about cytomel and he said that he didn't like that one either. I'm not sure why. Did the Levoxyl work good for you? And, why do you have to mix Levoxyl with Cytomel? I just need more information because I am so tired of feeling like this. Know what I mean?

P.S.-Sorry so long.

Chantel
Quote from bulldog101598:
I will throw this out there and risk getting flamed. But many doctors do not prescribe Armour except under extreme duress. The Armour thyroid is known to vary in T3 and T4 levels from batch to batch making it difficult to successfully stabilize many people's horomones.

Even though I'm not hypo yet, my endo feels I'm heading that way with what appears to him to be early onset of Hashis. But I asked him about Armour in advance and this was his feedback. He simply feels there are better ways of regulating human thyroid, and only resorts to Armour after exhausting them.
Interesting ideas, BD. You choose to trust your doctor, which is all well and good. The thing is though, you have just been diagnosed, and you aren't being treated yet. I must respectfully say, you just don't know yet. It might be better for you to never say never, because you don't know yet what will work for you when you need it.

The notion that Armour isn't stabile is a mistaken holdover from the 1940s, when Synthroid launched its sales campaign to establish itself as the drug of choice for hypoT. If your doctor chooses to adhere to that idea, he certainly isn't alone; but the fact is, in the history of the FDA recall system, Armour has never been recalled, but Synthroid, Levoxyl... maybe all of the T4 drugs... are regularly recalled - to this day - for potency issues.

Meep and Tree Frog are two of the most knowledgable and respected members the board has ever seen. Read the following thread where this issue is discussed in depth: [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=103316&[/url]

BTW, I've never heard the term "early onset Hashi's". Hashi's besets people of every age, so what does he mean by "early onset"?
Hi Chantel,

Levoxyl/levothroid/Synthroid (synthetic T4) has never really made me feel well, which is why I sought out Armour a few years back.

A normal thyroid produces both T4 (the storage form of thyroid hormone) and also T3 (the active form) in smaller quantities. The body can convert T4 into T3 in various tissue. Traditional T4-only therapy (just taking Levoxyl/Synthroid/generic) relies entirely on your body's ability to change T4 into T3. But the question is... if you don't need any T3 directly and your body can handle all the conversion and keep running properly, then why does a normal thyroid produce T3??? Because your body needs SOME direct T3. That's why. I just posted a message about what my doc said about T3: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=260313

Armour is natural thyroid from pigs (basically the same as ours), but its ratio of T3 to T4 is slightly higher than what the typical human needs. Most of us only need a tiny bit of T3 and so for some people Armour provides too much. (This wasn't my problem with it.) Cytomel is a synthetic form of T3. By adding Cytomel, a doc can fine-tune the ratio of T3 to T4 to get it closer to what a patient needs personally. Some people do great on Armour, some don't. According to my doc, some people can't seem to tolerate T3 at all. It's depends on your body and how much of what your body is producing naturally and how good your body is at converting T4 to T3.

It would seem to be most logical that those on low doses of T4 who still have glands that are working (like in early stages of Hashi) would be least likely to need T3 since their gland is still producing some itself. Those who have had their thyroids destroyed (through treatment for Graves or after years of autoimmune destruction) or surgically removed I would think should absolutely be on some T3 since they have no other way of getting it except from the conversion process.

Debbie

Hashi for 16+ yrs /Partial Thyroidectomy 1989
Type 1 Diabetes (autoimmune - Insulin Dependent)