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Old 01-04-2008, 09:25 AM   #121
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Minny, I'm not a THYCA patient, but (because of my autoimmune diseases) I stay very suppressed (meaning my FT4 is above midway of range, and my FT3 is at top of range, I won't go into my TSH because it's completely meaningless..it tells what my pituitary is doing, not what my thyroid hormones are doing

We need to keep in mind that Armour is totally different action than synthetics. It takes TIME (half life of T4 is six WEEKS, so adding every two means that eventually you're going to feel badly...cuz it just isn't 'catching up' and you end up with a 'glut' of T4 all at once).

My online contact/friend decided that she'd get Armour Thyroid (and even the patients in the UK can't get it, how in the world could a person in the US get 'real' thyroid from there??!!) through another country/source and start taking it, raising the dosage every two weeks...she went into thyroid storm in the sixth week (I do believe she was up to 4 grains) and her blood pressure bottomed out and they couldn't save her.

I've been hyPER before...cuz of med increases...and it's not pleasant...people 'think' they will lose weight and can work harder, stay up longer, have increased energy, but when the symptoms of hyper come on...it takes two to three weeks to go back down (remember that half life)...and having diarhhea for two to three weeks, weak thigh muscles, palpitations, increases and decreases in blood pressure, emotionally drained, headaches, body aches, etc. ...I can't tell which way until I see my Free T's...I've been hypo and 'thought' I was hyper and vice versa.

Armour is a prescribed DRUG, which is FDA approved, it is NOT an herb, or a supplement, Minny you can probably pretty much tell when you are 'over the edge' after being on synthetics, but lately I've been having people email me asking where they can 'get some Armour'...without a doc's Rx....just really dangerous...scares me.

Pam
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:10 AM   #122
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Pam,
I'm still following this thread and the thyroid thread b/c I'm in process with my doc on what's what. I just wanted to thank you for your very serious admonishment about the fact that this is SERIOUS stuff...may all of us heed this warning...I've had 2 visits with my doc who is trying to stabilize my progesterone while monitoring thyroid b/c of the binding issue. I, of course, want everything yesterday! But these health issues take time. She's on top of it and I feel like I can discuss things with her. I just hope those who are struggling really find the right doc relationship.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:37 AM   #123
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Wow, dooy, you're GORGEOUS!!!

And thanks...I'm not trying to 'get on' anyone, or step on toes....it IS serious...and this is precisely why it's so difficult to even GET care for thyroid and endocrine disease...doctors have had patients double their meds to try and achieve weightloss, and it leaves every doctor open to lawsuits because of patient negligence. Back in the 1940's, patients were actually prescribed thyroid meds as weight loss aids...and many ended up in hospitals with psychosis (yes, thyroid hormones have much to do with your psychological machinations), with heart attacks, arrythmias, etc.

I try and teach people that thyroid hormone is NOT for weightloss...it just 'evens the playing field' for we who have Hashimoto's and other hypothyroid diseases...we still have to work out, eat well/right, and work hard at losing the weight and becoming healthy.

Also a warning to others about procuring hormones from other countries: RARELY is Armour actually 'Armour'....it's usually just dried thyroid gland from COWS, leaving you open to Mad Cow. I wouldn't take the chance. And I care enough about EVERYONE and don't want YOU to take the chance either.

I don't give 'medical advice/dosing advice'...I'm an advocate..that means I work WITH the patient to get good care from a LICENSED physician should their test results and symptoms warrant that.

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Old 01-05-2008, 10:39 AM   #124
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Pam, can you give me your opinion of this, please?

Quote:
Hashimoto's basically calls into question all other thyroid test.
With Hash's, the as it comes and goes, you thyroid is first " asleep"
and then going like it running a marathon. The only way to properly
treat it is to push your TSH into suppression. When the thyroid is
active, the antibodies will attack the thyroid. Sometimes, you can
put your thyroid to sleep for a while, and it will let the antibodies
go away.

It will have to be trial and error. If your antibodies go away, you
would be OK. If they do not, you will have to 'care for it' for the
rest of you life. The antibodies will ultimately completely destroy
your thyroid.
This was posted to me on the Ohio Thyroid Yahoo list. I'm not making much sense of it.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:18 AM   #125
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Hi there!

Pam thanks for your devotion in helping others with the complexity in understanding the functions and or mechanisms involving our thyroid hormones.

Thank you for your feedback. I have reduced my medication back down to 2 grains per day, splitting the dose into two. I still take 1 grain in the morning and 1 grain at 2:30pm. My headaches are subsiding, which tells me I was taking too much hormone right now. (Headaches were my only side effect)

Even though I do feel a bit more sluggish on the 2 grains, I can deal with it knowing I won't have the headache. I know this transition in figuring out Ones dose can be time consuming not too mention frustrating.

In any event, I have done a lot of reading on this subject and bought this great book Thyroid Power. After much research, I have found that Iron, and B6 and B12 are very important components in thyroid hormone absorption.

I am always low on iron, not to mention the B6 and 12 aspect. Therefore, I've gone out and purchased a liquid form of Iron with B6 and B12. I've also found that placing the pill between your inner bottom lip and your bottom gum is the best possible way the medication can enter the bloodstream without losing too much due to stomach acid and or content. I'm hoping this will help in my absorption, thus giving me the full effects of the hormone replacement.

Also, because calcium is so important to the function of the parathyroid, (Which sits behind the thyroid) and after my surgery I am very much lacking in calcium, (Tingling hands and feet) I now take my multi-vitamin before bed giving plenty of time between the 2:30pm Armour dose and Calcium dose. ( I read one must take these two at least 4 hours apart from each other).

On a good note, I now have both my sisters taking a better look at their thyroid medication and understanding their side affects. I think I now have them paying closer attention to their medication doses and signs their bodies are showing.

Can I also make a statement regarding buying thyroid medication over the internet and from another country. In doing all this research I found many sites where one can buy just about any type of medication over the internet from another country without a proper script. IMHO - this type of purchase can be irresponsible to ones own health. Others could also be affected as a result, if Gd forbid something serious might happen.

Don't get me wrong - there are many people who purchase much needed medication from Canada at a much needed reduced rate. But let's understand, those who do, have the know how from their doctors and have a understanding of the medication they need.

My mother has been on thyroid replacement medication since she was 12. She is now 72 - meaning she had taken this medication while she was pregnant with all her children. I would really encourage anyone who is taking any type of medication including that of thyroid replacement and pregnant at the same time - to have or get the care of a physician.

Again, thank you for your feedback, and thanks for having this blog. Please take care of yourselves.
Minny
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:06 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locarb4me View Post
Pam, can you give me your opinion of this, please?



This was posted to me on the Ohio Thyroid Yahoo list. I'm not making much sense of it.
After the antibodies 'go away' the thyroid is a shrivelles up walnut on the ultrasound screen. If you HAVE the antibodies you have Hashimoto's there is no cure. And TSH means squat (as we all know now...well, we with docs who do FT4, FT3, obviously whoever wrote that doesn't have that type of doctor yet)

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Old 01-05-2008, 09:11 PM   #127
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Minny, I have only one parathyroid and must take MEGA doses of calcium (and it's the type that is like the calcitrol contained in Armour)...boy do I know the 'tingling in the extremities' symptom! I had tumors on my parathyroids (this is how the whole thing started, actually, lol) at 32 yrs. old and had to have three of the parathyroids removed. The ENT who did the surgery did a great job, but he sucks at thyroid care (told me as long as my TSH was under 10, I'd be 'fine' and he only gives Synthroid at 100mg....as if we are all cut with a cookie cutter, lol).

Purchasing HORMONES from other countries is different than buying other types of medications...most foreign countries offer only bovine thyroid (dessicated)...and that's just not safe anymore in the world the way it is.

Hmm..if your Mom started on thyroid hormone at 12, and she's 72 now, that means that the only thing available when she started was Armour Thyroid. So...she never was 'switched' over to synthetics?

Pam
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:35 PM   #128
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Hi Pam,

Yes my mother was switched over to Synthroid I think when she was in her 50's. She too, had a terrible reaction. Like me, she went crazy, nuts and very upsetting. She switched doctors claiming "that doctor that switched her medication tried to kill her."

Please tell me more about your calcium pills. I remember having to take these gigantic calcium pills in the hospital and wanting to gag. I know my levels are still low because the tingling will happen when water hits my hands. ( I don't know what water has to do with any of this)

I read this info from Stop the Thyroid Madness: THYROID-S is from Sriprasit Pharma Co., Ltd. in Thailand (sister company of Sriprasit Dispensary R.O.P.) Advertising states that Sriprasit Pharma is “a leading importer of pharmaceutical products, and has been a GMP and ISO 9002-certified manufacturer of pharmaceutical products.” Patients report they are quite pleased with this product.

This is the only Armour look-a-like generic I have seen on the web. I assume if one is buying Armour in another country - it's probably not Armour, but another look-a-like that could be something else altogether. Canada even has their own Armour look-a-like. Here is the web site to check out. Really informative. Erfa | Thyroid (Desiccated Thyroid) in Canada

IMOH - It is wise to get the care of a doctor - we do know our own bodies better than anyone else, however, we need the help and guidance of those more educated then us when it comes to medicine. Another good reason why boards like this exist.

Please take care of yourself,
~Minny
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:38 PM   #129
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Hey everybody! I said I'd be back when the doc re-did my tests.


Free Testosterone 3.9 Normal range 1.1 - 6.3 (Doc is hoping this goes up when I remember to use it every day. )

Progesterone 20 Normal range < 10

DHEA 57 Normal range 20-157 (He increased my dose of this)

Estradiol 1.8 Normal range <1.5

Vitamin D 27.8 Normal range 32 - 100 (Doc increased my dose by five times)

Thyroid:

Free T4 2.7 Normal range .61 - 1.76 (Doc actually increased my dose based on my continued brain fog)

TSH 000.4 Normal range .350 - 5.50 (Normal docs would have a fit! Mine says it means nothing)

Free T3 7.4 Normal 2.3 - 4.2 (Doc says this is fine. I need a lot of T3. I'm not a converter, so the extra T4 won't increase this.)

My fasting insulin was good 17.9, normal range 0 - 29.1. If I'd get off my butt an exercise, this would go down. My total cholesterol was 170, and we're happy with that, but the ratio of HDL/LDL could be improved with exercise.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:45 AM   #130
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Where's the RT3? I cannot have my T3 above range that high or I'm in trouble with almost the same symptoms as not having enough. So, when you are above range in FT3, you want to make sure it's not just converting to reverse T3. Most of us want our T3 high, but T4 certainly not over range. (you may not convert, but you almost never want the FT4 above the FT3, ...the human thyroid does about midway of range FT4 and even at top of range FT3).

Are you taking progesterone?? and/or estradiol, cuz the progesterone is 'high ish' but it doesn't oppose the estradiol. (I won't 'comment' on taking DHEA in women...I think we can take it all day long, but all we're really doing is paying for it). If you need testosterone, take testosterone. DHEA works halfway decent for women in their early 30's.

Pam

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Old 02-03-2008, 09:25 AM   #131
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Pam, I don't know if he tested RT3 this time. He tested it the first time, so it would make sense to do it again. I'll look at the lab sheet again.

I'm taking estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone in the form of creams. He ordered me a stronger estradiol to use to try and bring that up. I hope it doesn't start making my face break out.

I had never heard of taking DHEA, and had no idea what it's all about.

ETA: I am feeling much better since I first started seeing him. Getting on a fibromyalgia medication that works made a huge difference. I can sleep again because I'm not in pain all the time. I did have a bad night last night, but it's not foolproof. Pain does break through on occasion. In addition to Lyrica, I'm using a supplement called CORvalenM, which is supposed to be helpful in treating fibromyalgia.

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Old 02-03-2008, 03:28 PM   #132
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The fibro meds might be binding the T3 and RT3 would 'explain' it is all. If you feel ok, than fine, but inability to sleep is usually 'too high' estradiol with unbalanced 'too low' progesterone. And you might have a 'fine line' with what's 'too much' Armour and too little (I'm weird that way, if I do 3 grains I'm good...suppressed like you with TSH, but lower FT4...if I do 3 1/4 grain, I'm DOOMED...cuz my FT4 is way too high, and I can't sleep well, I feel dull, and get bone/muscles aches, etc.).

I think you are finally 'replaced' but could probably start working towards 'balance' now...and it's a 'fine tuning' process. Start dabbling now with lowering/upping certain things based on test results and how YOU feel.

Pam

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:52 AM   #133
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Pam, what do you know about cortisol replacement therapy and Hashi's etc?

I just got a call from the hormone center and my tests came back that I need cortisol. She is talking a dose at 4 pm each day with a meal. (I haven't gotten the prescription yet or the meds...Just checking it out now)
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:40 AM   #134
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The adrenals make cortisol. When the adrenals don't work/fatigued/just plain exhausted, you must replace the cortisol they would make (people with low adrenals must get the adrenals adjusted FIRST, BEFORE they can benefit from thyroid hormone). So, you are taking Cortef 4x a day. Many docs won't replace with Cortef (they try to give prednisone, or Medrol, etc....the standard treatment is with CORTEF) and many docs won't address/treat adrenals at all, so you are, indeed, lucky.

Pam
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:22 PM   #135
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Yes, they said they are calling in a scrip for Cortef. I guess it's good news then! One more paving block in the road back to better health for me then.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:06 AM   #136
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I'm not going to suggest that adrenal care will 'fix' the thyroid, but you are heading in the right direction now. You should start feeling calmer, and better soon. Do yourself a favor...start keeping a 'notebook' or file...with comments on different symptoms, etc., how you feel, and what happens with the doc. Keep all your labs, etc. too. Sometimes really 'subtle' changes and additions will do the most, you'll be amazed a couple years down the road when you refer back to your notes.

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Old 02-09-2008, 08:44 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstickpam107 View Post
I'm not going to suggest that adrenal care will 'fix' the thyroid, but you are heading in the right direction now. You should start feeling calmer, and better soon. Do yourself a favor...start keeping a 'notebook' or file...with comments on different symptoms, etc., how you feel, and what happens with the doc. Keep all your labs, etc. too. Sometimes really 'subtle' changes and additions will do the most, you'll be amazed a couple years down the road when you refer back to your notes.

Pam
I know this was in response to another poster, but I think this is an excellent idea, and something that I need to start. Thanks, Pam!!!
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:31 PM   #138
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Yvw Beth. Yeah, I look back in my 'diaries' for about ten years ago and I was a MESS! It's great to know that even though I'm older, I'm feeling better than I did ten years ago.

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Old 02-18-2008, 07:14 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstickpam107 View Post
I'm not going to suggest that adrenal care will 'fix' the thyroid, but you are heading in the right direction now. You should start feeling calmer, and better soon. Do yourself a favor...start keeping a 'notebook' or file...with comments on different symptoms, etc., how you feel, and what happens with the doc. Keep all your labs, etc. too. Sometimes really 'subtle' changes and additions will do the most, you'll be amazed a couple years down the road when you refer back to your notes.

Pam
Had to stop the Cortef.

It's tearing my stomach up. I had the worst case of heartburn type pain yesterday and last night that I've just about ever had. I saw my regular doctor today and she said to stop it. She wasn't even too happy that the other doctor put me on it, really.

I did get a bunch of labs done today. Soon I will know where my A1C, thyroid, iron, cholesterol and fasting insulin are. Should be interesting!
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:47 PM   #140
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Did someone say they knew a good Dr. in Westchester, PA? I need one close to this area. Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:45 AM   #141
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Ah, the 'hunt' for a good doctor. First, try the docfinder at ArmourThyroid . Then, join your Yahoo state thyroid support group.

I lived in PA/OH area for years and there's not a whole lot available there, I'm sorry to say. But most of us end up travelling a ways to find a good thyroid doc, if you find one really near you, than congratulations. Let me find you the patient recommended list. (And pay attention to if they recommend cuz the doc 'listens to me' OR if it's cuz the doc 'does FT's and gives Armour (Cytomel and T4').

Seriously, some patients think if the doctor LISTENS to you, then he/she is wonderful. Listening to the patient is fine, as long as the doc is giving you the right treatment and testing and is open to being a partner in your care.

Pennsylvania Top Doctors -- Best Thyroid Doctors in the World as Nominated by Patients, from Mary Shomon

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Old 03-14-2008, 06:29 PM   #142
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The problem is I have been 3 of the Dr's on their list in a 50 mile radius and they didn't even know the correct test to give me for after thyroid cancer care {I still have alot of problems} and I didn't even see them but they had scheduled me with their assistants without even tellling me. These were Endo Dr's who even knew I also had diabetes & high blood pressure, etc. I did request the Dr's to be present but NO they weren't. Oh to much stuff to mention. I have a full time job and no support at home so maybe I better start hunting Dr's again as if my cancer comes back how would they know as I am mostly ignored and was for over 13 yrs. which caused the problem to start. Dr's close to home I fear not and I have been doing alot of research for over 2 yrs. I just thought I saw were someone listed a Westchester, PA Dr. My search goes on but I can travel to Delaware, NJ or NY is anyone knows a really good Dr. Thanks for any advice or help. I do know alot but just to much to list and I get da at times.
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:01 AM   #143
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NJ and NY are usually even worse (I grew up in New York).

Yes, just because a patient 'recommends' a doc doesn't mean they are good. I was also very frustrated living in PA. Want to travel to Indiana?? My doc is one of the very best. I know four patients who are being treated with Armour Thyroid here:

Holistic Doctors on the Main Line of Philadelphia Located in Narberth, Montgomery County, PA - OMT, Acupuncutre, Chelation, Swdeish Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Facial Rejuvenation, Chelation Therapy, Nutrition and Preventive Family Alternative M

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Old 04-06-2008, 10:10 PM   #144
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:44 AM   #145
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The problem is I have been 3 of the Dr's on their list in a 50 mile radius and they didn't even know the correct test to give me for after thyroid cancer care {I still have alot of problems} and I didn't even see them but they had scheduled me with their assistants without even tellling me. These were Endo Dr's who even knew I also had diabetes & high blood pressure, etc. I did request the Dr's to be present but NO they weren't. Oh to much stuff to mention. I have a full time job and no support at home so maybe I better start hunting Dr's again as if my cancer comes back how would they know as I am mostly ignored and was for over 13 yrs. which caused the problem to start. Dr's close to home I fear not and I have been doing alot of research for over 2 yrs. I just thought I saw were someone listed a Westchester, PA Dr. My search goes on but I can travel to Delaware, NJ or NY is anyone knows a really good Dr. Thanks for any advice or help. I do know alot but just to much to list and I get da at times.
You, above anyone, need adequate treatment (as you already know). Here is a list of top docs for thyroid disease (some better for hyPER, some better for hyPO). Remember, these are patient recommended (meaning SOME are recommended for just 'this doctor listened to me' and not much else...I'm not paying for 'listening', I'm paying for treatment of my condition). IMHO, the doc's recommended for doing Free T4, Free T3 and antibody testing and who Rx. Armour (which suppresses the TSH almost immediately and raises the FT3, a great combo for those who've had cancer). And those who 'go by how I feel and use of FT testing'.

Here's the list for 'everywhere': (AND HEY..you folks who HAVE a good doc, if he/she isn't listed, then write and have them listed!!!):

Thyroid Top Doctors -- Best Thyroid Doctors in the World as Nominated by Patients, from Patient Advocate Mary Shomon

Pam
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:52 PM   #146
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Thanks for the website Pam!
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:46 PM   #147
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You are welcome. Oh, and here's another (I know the 'editor' of this one online...she's a wonderful resource...this site comes on a little 'strong' but I think presents a valid argument for ALWAYS being medicated with T3 as well as T4):

Stop The Thyroid Madness Index Page

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Old 04-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #148
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wow! another terrific website! Thanks Pam!
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:15 AM   #149
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Armour vs Synthroid

I am a 33-year old woman who has been on Levothyroxine 146 mcg for about a year (originally started at 75 mcg) and have seen some changes, but not all. I orignally went to the doctor because I was suffering from severe thirst and it was only after he ran some tests that my thyroid problem was diagnosed. He naturally assumed that the thirst was due to diabetes, but oddly enough when I began treatment the thirst symptoms went away as long as the thyroid medications was over 100 mcg. I also stopped feeling rundown. My levels are close to normal, but not quite there yet. However, I have not lost a pound. NOT ONE. I eat healthy, run 3 miles every other day and yoga in between (not the puny yoga-the hardcore kind). I don't understand it. Any normal person would have lost the weight, but I am struggling and working so hard with no results. Is armour so different that I should see some change and if so what other changes besides weight loss can i expect? I am, beyond, frustrated.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:29 AM   #150
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chileanchick, those are great questions. First of all you might be 'missing T3' because you are taking T4 ONLY. Many of us who are hypothyroid need additional T3, either getting it from synthetic (many docs know how to add Cytomel to the T4 and adjust) or switching to Armour.

So, the way to tell if you are missing T3 and not converting well would be to have a Free T4 and Free T3 tests. TSH 'is missing the boat' if that's the only test you get.

Changes beyond weightloss/body sculpting changes, you'd not have brainfog, have more active energy, mood would be lighter, not as much depression from getting needed T3. It's just that T3 is necessary for feeling like YOU again. T4 will help stop the symptoms, but T3 puts you much closer to how the thyroid is supposed to work if yours did work anymore.

ETA: Have you seen the site Stop the Thyroid Madness - The truth about thyroid and thyroid treatment ? They explain it in depth.

Pam
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