Anyone with this experience?
I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto's about 3 years ago. Over the last 3 years I have been unsuccessfully been trying to become optimized. I have used a combination of levoxyl and cytomel and I am now trying armor.
It seems that in order for my ft3 and ft4 to start getting into a decent range my tsp has to go out of range low. My current doctor is concerned about the low tsh and cut my armour does from 120 to 90.
I am still experiencing hypothyroid symptoms and and constantly exhausted. I am really starting to wonder about adrenals. I'm wondering if low cortisol could be contributing to this.
Does anyone else experience this?
Armour does drive the TSH down low...and if the doctor isn't 'well versed' in using it...they might just go just by the TSH. Most of the Armour docs I've seen don't worry about that.
They do, however, want you to split the dosage (just for example..I take 180mg...and I take 90 in the am, and then 90mg. about six hours later). Also...a lot of doctors tell you to NOT take the Armour dosage before testing....but MY doctors (all five that I have been too, they are all 'thyroid only doctors' with one being an endo) want me to take my split dose, then have my blood tested at the five hour after mark (why? Because T3 is what drives the TSH down, and is the active thyroid hormone....if you don't TAKE it, than you are not testing any T3...why do a FT3 to test..um..nothing?) If my FT3 is high in range at the five hour mark, that is an indication that I am getting 'too much' and for a long time a doctor who tested me with NO Armour/T3 in my bloodstream made the mistake of letting me continue with such a high T3 that I now have osteopenia.
You need to be looking at more likely 'things' that would make you not 'tolerate' incoming T3. And TSH is NOT one of them...if your doc is going by TSH...then you are a disadvantage.
You should, however, be tested for ferritin (storage iron, not under 70 is good), iron, and Vitamin D3.
But if your FT3 isn't 'into a decent range' and you didn't take ANY...than you aren't testing anything. KWIM? If you are taking all that Armour at once...that could also drive TSH down even 'lower'.
For an example, my TSH is .34 this last time. My doctor knows T3 in Armour drives that down...so then he looks at my FT4 (which was just under the midway of lab range mark, where it should be on Armour) and my FT3 (I had taken half my daily dosage at this lab draw in order to show where my T3 IS at the 'downside of peak') was around 3/4 of it's range....which is where I feel well.
If you are showing signs of being 'hyper' than you will have many loose stools a day, shaking hands when held in front of you, etc. In older patients, too much T3...but not enough to cause these symptoms, can be hard on the bones....thus..I am post meno, and my doctor wants to also do a DEXA and check D3 and also make sure my T3 is not climbing over range at the 'peak' in my body.
Hope that helps.
Thank you! I have never had hyper symptoms. My free t4 was 1.04 (.81-1.77) and free t3 3.2 (2.0 - 4.4) My tsh was .006. So the doctor lowered my from 120 to 90. I do split the armour. I do take prescription vitamin d. 20,000 every other week. My vitamin d was 45.6.
I'm still exhausted all of the time. My nails are horrible and have lots of other hypo symptoms. Just wondering if adrenals are playing into it.
I had an endo that wasn't too concerned about tsh but he would not prescribe armour or nature thyroid. I was on levoxyl and cytomel and still didn't feel very well.
I actually made an appointment with another doctor for April 4 so hopefully i can address some additional things. I read some things on Dr Rinds sight regarding the thyroid scale that made me think I should have a cortisol test.
If you do have an adrenal cortex test, I would suggest you just order (or have doctor order...most will NOT) a 4x in one day salivary test. I had to go off hormones before this test.
Also...your nails and other symptoms..and exhaustion are a telling sign of flagging iron levels...and mostly storage iron (that's ferritin), so I'd have that done first IMHO.
I don't know your other hormone status, but most doctors will work with thyroid hormones and test your sex hormones...you could also be low in progesterone (progesterone is the first hormone to 'slide away' as we go into perimenopause..and women with hypothyroidism may go menopausal early...) or estradiol or testosterone.
As a rule, most doctors won't give adrenal cortisol anyway...and generally just do a one time morning blood draw to 'see if they are low'...and end up catching 'only' the patients who have pronounced adrenal problems (Cushings, etc.) not just 'low adrenals'. And giving T3 then going 'mostly by TSH' will exacerbate these symptopms.
I will tell you that since the Armour formula 'changed' with added cellulose, chewing down on my Armour releases it better for me, but that my doctor and myself noted that my TSH is 'even lower' on it. I also feel MUCH MUCH better taking DAILY Vitamin D3 not a 'every other week' regimen...how do you know if it doesn't 'run out' by halfway through the second week? It was with me... :)
I hope you get to find 'your sweet spot' with the thyroid...I know I didn't feel any energy, or 'well' until ALL my hormones were assessed and the ones I was low in were brought up to speed...which means it's then a 'back and forth' game...as your sex hormones are brought up, they bind the thyroid hormone, so then you bring that up and so forth.
I'm almost really happy with being older and not having to have all that going on all the time :) But 'exhausted all of the time' is generally an iron/pernicious anemia or low storage iron complaint with hypothyroidism...but about one in every 160 will have a little bit low adrenal in the am until the iron is fixed too.
Lots of docs will just check 'hemoglobin' and iron binding instead of doing a ferritin test. So, maybe actually request the ferritin test. BTW...your FT's were where MY doctor would want them to be for 'me'...when the Armour was lowered.
When my D3 was really low a few years ago (I'd asked to have it tested), I was at 19 w/a range of 30-100 at the time. Now this lab's range is slightly different, 25-79 which I thought was odd. Anyway, my doctor told me to take 1000 iu D3 2x/day and split it up because it doesn't last all day. It took 3 months to get me from 19 to 32 with the 30-100 range at the time.
My best friend was so low a couple of years ago (2, yes Two, with the same range) that she takes a 5000 iu D3 2x/day to this day to keep her levels up.
Thank you Lokarbiebarbie! I will definitely ask for a ferritin test. I had asked a doctor but I think she did other iron tests and not ferritin. Progersterone could be an issue too. I am 48 and feeling hormonal stuff going on too. I know the doctor that I am going to see does use bioidenticals so we'll see about that.
I have been kind of chewing up the Armour too.
I just have never felt more than the initial improvement that I had when I fist went on thyroid replacement.
Some other reasons I wonder about cortisol is the hair on my arms and legs has pretty much stopped growing. I guess that could be thyroid too.I also have bad water retention and muscle issues.
My D3 was around 23 I think when I was first diagnosed with hashimoto's. I actually meant to say I take 20,000 every week. I have wondered about taking it weekly instead of daily. I will ask about that too.
Thank you both!
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