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Old 07-31-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
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Need advice on where to start...

Hi there,

I found this board while researching a switch from Synthroid to Armour Thyroid, and I think you all might be able to help. Finding the information I need is either drinking from a firehose or finding a needle in a haystack, but I think this might be the place for the help I need.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 16, so I've been on Synthroid (and later levothyroxine) for over half my life now. I never thought to do anything differently, even though I have continued to show hypo symptoms that I simply ascribed to also being diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)--depression, weight gain, "brain fog", sluggishness/fatigue, aches, etc. As I'm learning more now about TSH, T3, T4, free T3/T4, etc., I'm realizing that I am likely not being optimally medicated and have underestimated the impact of thyroid problems on my overall health.

While my PCM was somewhat reluctant to switch to Armour because, as she admitted, she doesn't prescribe it often and is not as familiar with it as synthroid, she agreed to give it a shot. She just prescribed 120 mg of Armour to switch from 137 mcg of synthroid. She wants to check labs in 4-6 weeks. However, the only lab she checked last week for thyroid function was TSH, so I know I need to ask for additional labs: T4, T3, free T4, free T3... is that right? And is there an available chart to use as a reference for those values?

I also know that the reformulation of Armour a few years ago was widely HATED. Would I be better off switching to NatureThroid or Westhroid instead? I'd hate to have a lack of improvement be attributed to natural sources of hormone instead of just the wrong brand of dessicated thyroid.

If any of you have resources or recommendations about this, I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks so much.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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see how you do on amour. some do ok.. chew it up in the front teeth, then swallow.


you want free T3 and free t4. the lab results will have their ranges. you can share them when you get them.

hope the amour has you feeling better
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thank you for that info! Chew it up? I do recall seeing things about sublingually, which I never would have thought of. Just out of curiosity, why is it we should chew it up instead of either swallowing or taking it sublingually?
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:37 AM   #4
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Amour was reformulated. They took out some of the sugar and added more cellulose. many people have trouble digesting cellulose chewing it helps break it up.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:08 AM   #5
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Thank you, Ileen!

Would it be better to take half twice a day? I'm seeing some info on that and wondered what the experiences were here...
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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I prefer to split mine, but some prefer all at once. Dividing the dose mimics more of what our body does.

Having never been on any t3, that is a lot incoming at once but we are all different. make sure when you test, you wait 5hrs or so after taking your amour. While it makes no difference with just Synthroid, it does matter when taking T3.. you dont want to measure the spike. That too 'can' be an issue when taking a larger dose at one time.

Last edited by inatic; 08-01-2012 at 06:44 AM..
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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I realize the original post was some time ago.

Since then, my PCM sent me to an endocrinologist because my T4 and T3 were low, but the TSH wasn't really increasing the way it should have. I was hopeful for a bit, but quickly realized this guy is a very within-the-lines, freshly minted GP who specializes in endocrinology. He gave me the usual line about Armour being iffy, etc.

So, it now turns out my blood sugars are high (ugh) along with the other T4/T3/TSH issues. Most of them really won't look into adrenal issues, but he at least just did a low-dose ACTH stim test which turned out normal. I'm now being told to go off everything for 3 weeks to run the thyroid labs again.

Before I go through all this, I really want to find a doctor to manage this whom I TRUST. It seems many of us are having better success with OB/GYNs, so I'm not fixated on having an endocrinologist. I simply want someone to take a holistic approach, treat the WHOLE deal--PCOS, insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, depression--and be willing to think outside the box a bit.

BTW, unfortunately the potential docs listed on Mary Shomon's website are ones that are no longer accepting patients or who will not accept insurance. That rules them out for me, sadly, though I'd be willing to pay out of pocket for one or two consultations that could then be managed by my PCM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:15 PM   #8
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call compounding pharmacies
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:54 AM   #9
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inatic, that's an outstanding idea. Thank you!!
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