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Mary Shomon

The Desiccated Thyroid Controversy: Why Endocrinologists Don't Like Armour Thyroid

By January 27, 2009

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If you're not familiar with desiccated thyroid, here's a quick rundown. Desiccated (dried) thyroid is a thyroid hormone replacement drug, prepared from the thyroid gland from pigs -- also known as "porcine thyroid." Some of the brand names including Armour Thyroid, Nature-throid, and Westhroid. Desiccated thyroid is a prescription drug, and it's regulated by the FDA. It has been on the market and safely used for more than 100 years. Until synthetic thyroxine (also known generically as levothyroxine, with brand names including Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Levothroid) was introduced in the 50s, desiccated thyroid was the only thyroid hormone replacement medication.

When synthetic thyroxine was introduced, there was a great deal of hoopla about how modern it was, compared to "old-fashioned" desiccated thyroid -- and many doctors switched patients over to the synthetic medication, and never looked back. Meanwhile, synthetic thyroid -- namely Synthroid -- became a hugely profitable mainstay for the various drug companies that have owned the rights to Synthroid over the years, which have included Boots, BASF, and now, Abbott Labs.

All along, Synthroid has been sponsor of medical meetings, golf outings, symposia, research grants, and speakers' fees, and is the chief provider of lunches at medical offices, patient literature, pens, pads, mugs, and other freebies, giveaways, and marketing items for decades.

We now have several generations of doctors who have been trained to believe that synthetic thyroxine -- and specifically Synthroid -- is the only thyroid replacement medication available or worth using. They simply don't know anything else. They don't know that treating and managing patients with hypothyroidism using desiccated thyroid is not especially difficult, because they've never done it, and all they've heard is negative things -- mainly from sales representatives for synthetic drugs. They hear ridiculous rumors on a regular basis -- spread by drug reps for competitive levothyroxine drugs -- that desiccated thyroid is going off the market. And they believe those rumors.

In the 1980s and 1990s, however, Armour started to make a resurgence, as interest in natural medicine was on the rise, and as patients who weren't feeling well on synthetic thyroid medication became more empowered and knowledgeable. Patients learned that there were options -- among them, desiccated thyroid like Armour, and by then, brands including Nature-throid and Westhroid.

Yes, desiccated thyroid drugs have had a resurgence -- but let's be clear: several million prescriptions a year are written for desiccated thyroid, compared to more than 30 million prescriptions a year for levothyroxine. But frustrated patients who don't feel well, coming to sites like this one, reading my books and those of some innovative practitioners, and talking to other patients, are learning that they have options besides Synthroid/levothyroxine -- and namely that some patients feel better on desiccated thyroid medication.

Over at the Endocrine Today blog, endocrinologist and osteopath Thomas Repas, DO, FACP, FACE, CDE, has done a three-part article on "Desiccated thyroid in the management of hypothyroidism," from his perspective as an endocrinologist.

It's an interesting analysis, because it will give you a pretty clear idea of how most endocrinologists view desiccated thyroid drugs like Armour, and why they are so frequently opposed -- often adamantly -- to use of these drugs. (This is in comparison to holistic, integrative MDs, who often prefer use of desiccated thyroid, because they find it works better for some -- or even most -- of their patients.)

Dr. Repas starts out by saying that he, like his peers in endocrinology, doesn't use desiccated thyroid, because "I believe that desiccated thyroid is antiquated therapy and should no longer be used."

He also claims that endocrinologists don't use Armour because of an "unacceptable level of variability batch to batch, often resulting in unacceptable variation in thyroid-stimulating hormone." Noting that levothyroxine also has variability from brand to brand, he states, "if we consider slight variation between various levothyroxine products to be clinically important, then the much larger variation within desiccated thyroid preparations is unacceptable."

In Part III, Dr. Repas climbs high up in his ivory tower to declare that while most people would not dream of "directing a cardiologist how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a cardiac arrest...otherwise reasonable people have no hesitation trying to 'teach' me about the thyroid." He then argues that the desire to be listened to, interest in natural approaches are driving the interest in natural desiccated thyroid.

Dr. Repas says his opposition to desiccated thyroid is based in science, but he fails to mention that there are no double-blind, peer-reviewed, double-blind studies that compare levothyroxine to desiccated thyroid in terms of effectiveness at resolving patient symptoms. So while he claims to rely on science, the fact is, the science doesn't exist to bolster his arguments that levothyroxine is superior to desiccated thyroid in resolving symptoms.

In fact, Dr. Repas himself admits, in the comments section of Part I:

For the record, my greatest concern with desiccated thyroid (or levothyroxine or T3) is when they prescribed in a manner that results in long-term exogenous hyperthyroidism. If a patient is not hyperthyroid and they are doing better on one product vs. another, it is very hard to argue against that.
He also concludes Part III with a truly ambiguous comment:
Finally, last week I saw a woman who had been on desiccated thyroid for decades. I explained that we now prefer levothyroxine instead of desiccated thyroid. I also quickly pointed out that her thyroid-stimulating hormone has been perfect, between 0.7 mIU/L and 1.0 mIU/L over the last several years. She had no symptoms; it was difficult for me to argue with success. After discussing and asking her what she wanted to do, she left my office still on desiccated thyroid.
It is not difficult to maintain patients on desiccated thyroid without overdosing them into hyperthyroidism. If that is his greatest concern, why would he not be willing to try desiccated thyroid in patients who don't feel well on levothyroxine. He is, after all, a trained endocrinologist with expertise at titrating doses, and keeping a patient "euthyroid" -- in the normal range -- should be simple. Especially when he sees, as he mentions, that some patients are maintained perfectly on desiccated thyroid, for decades.

As you'll see in the three articles, there are a number of comments left by patients who are enraged by Dr. Repas' article, and understandably so. On the one hand, Dr. Repas is trying to explain why he doesn't believe in Armour Thyroid, calling use of it unscientific, and claiming that fans of it are engaging in magical thinking. But without real science to support his claims, and negating the factual experience of hundreds and thousands of thyroid patients, he is showing that he is engaged in magical thinking. After all, where is the evidence that TSH detects all thyroid problems (especially when after six years, they are still arguing over what that normal TSH range is, leaving millions of patients in a non-diagnosis/non-treatment limbo!) and that levothyroxine resolves all thyroid symptoms.

At the same time, Dr. Repas also admits, from a practical standpoint, that his primary concern is overdosing a patient to hyperthyroidism on any thyroid drug -- not just desiccated thyroid. And he also admits that if a patient can be properly managed on desiccated thyroid -- and "properly managed" in his view means maintaining a TSH level in an optimal range -- then he doesn't see a reason to "argue with success."

So he won't start new patients on desiccated thyroid -- even if they ask. If an existing patient who is on levothyroxine but not feeling well asks to switch to desiccated thyroid, he won't do it. But if a patient is already on it and doing well, he won't "argue with success" and will continue to prescribe the desiccated thyroid for him or her? Where is the "science" in that approach?

In some ways, let's admit it -- Dr. Repas is more open-minded than some endocrinologists. There are some who simply will not have as patients anyone on a T3 drug or desiccated thyroid. They will refuse to see -- or fire -- patients who don't follow their direction. But Dr. Repas is also fairly representative of the narrow-minded perspective that we see amongst endocrinologists in general. Their primary concern is the "TSH normal range" -- and their treatment goal is to get patients into the normal range. Symptom resolution appears to be irrelevant, and takes a back seat to numbers management.

Are you a thyroid patient who wants to try Armour? You'll probably need to leave your endocrinologist behind, and find an integrative MD or holistic practitioner who really understands thyroid issues and is versed in use of desiccated thyroid. For more advice, read:

Photo: clipart.com
Comments
January 30, 2009 at 4:55 am
(1) Joanna says:

Armour thyroid is not available on prescription in the UK and it was a battle for me with my endocrynologist to go on anything else. . This lead me to seek out Mr Gordon Skinner who has successfully treated me with Armour Thyroid for three years much to my NHS endocrynologists disgust I believe. You would think that the patients wellbeing would come first rather than a Consultants ego wouldnt you!

January 30, 2009 at 6:16 am
(2) David M. Odom, MD says:

“Dessicated thyroid” is a derogatory term. I use “Thyroid USP”, a much more correct way to describe this highly processed, consistent, and stable product.
Using the term “dessicated” buys into the idea of leaning the fresh pig gland over a bucket at the slaughter house and poking out little chunks with a cookie cutter. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
Since levothyroxine has to be wet to be formed into tablets, cannot we also refer to it as “dessicated”?

May 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm
(3) B DOLLENS says:

I AM IN HOUSTON, TEXAS (KATY, TX.) AND AM INTERESTED IF YOU ARE AVAILABLE HERE OR DO YOU KNOW A DR. WHO IS RELIABLE HERE FOR HASHIMOTOS THYROIDITIS HYPOTHYROIDISM (HIDDEN THYROID HORMONE DYSFUNCTION) AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDRONE ?? I HAVE MEDICARE/MEDICAID.

January 30, 2009 at 7:03 am
(4) Katie says:

Mary,
I want to thank you so much for your site and all of the information provided here! After 2 years of not knowing why I was not feeling well and continuously gaining weight my massage therapist had a fabulous suggestion! She did some reflexology on me and suggested that I get my thyroid checked. I went to a spa and tennis camp in Utah where I had a full blood work up done and worked with Dr. Reynolds there. Sure enough my TSH came back at 7.1 He prescribed enough Armour Thyroid for me to last 4 months and suggested I find a Dr. at home that would also prescribe it. I asked and what if they won’t? He told me to find another! Well I wish I had listened to him! In April my new primary Dr. persuaded me that Armour was old fashioned and that I should try Synthroid. I agreed. Between April and September I gained 20lbs.! That was with June and July being on an exercise schedule of 6x a week and no less than 2-5hrs a day!!! Yes, 2-5hrs. I contributed all my aches and pains to the exercise and could not understand where this weight was coming from.

While at the US Open I met a woman who works for your site About.com and I told her I had been reading some information from you. She agreed with how knowledgable you are and said that I should dig in further to see if I could figure out my problems. My primary sent me off to an Endo. The Endo refused to put me on the Armour as well. I topped out at 201lbs. before I said ENOUGH! In early November. I went to Endo for my next appointment and told her I took myself off Synthroid. She was not happy. I told her I wanted to take Armour and I refused Synthroid. The reluctantly agreed. Within one month at my next visit I was down 6 lbs. and the aches were GONE! She was very dismissive that it had anything to do with the Armour as she also has me on Phentarmine and said that was why I lost. Not so. I was on Phentarmine since August and no difference in weight. I didn’t argue as I was feeling much better. I am now down 15 lbs. and feeling like I am on the road to recovery. It is so upsetting to me that these Dr. just do not listen to their patients. I am concerned now though (I cancelled my last appt.) because she has me on 60mg which doesn’t seem to be an extremely high dose and she was already talking at last appointment that she was going to be reducing the dose in the near future. I am in the progress of looking for a new doc in my area who will listen and look at more than blood tests. Thanks for your wonderful site and helping me to dig in to stick up for myself and my body!!!

January 30, 2009 at 7:59 am
(5) curt says:

This is more about the T3/T4 controversy but here goes.

It took about 8 months to get me stabalized on synthroid after the I131 treatment for Graves disease. Finally most of my symptoms disappeared, in fact all of them but spopradic muscle cramps. My endocrinologist said not to blame the thyroid for everything and eventually I decided to get a 2nd opinion. I asked around and got a new endocrinologist who said that for full replacement T3 is often needed as well. She started me on cytomel as well as synthroid. The very first thing that happened was I threw my back out, which she belated told me often happens to her patients when they start cytomel. Soon after I noticed that I did seem to feel a little better. However not that much better and I also got a lot spacier and had more trouble with math. Since I’m an architect and have to do a fair amount of math for structural designs this was a problem. After a few months I decided the straight synthroid was better as the muscle pains didn’t decrease over the long run but the spaciness did.

She brought up the idea of Armour thyroid but said that although some of her patients swear by it, that in her opinion it is due to the fact that as a natural product it’s strength varies a bit more than sythroid and that the feeling of well being is mostly a buzz due to occaisional increases in T3. Since my experience with cytomel was not good I elected not to try it.

I see a shrink also. He’s pretty into alternative stuff and open minded. He said that he has heard from others of his patients that the cytomel made them feel spacy.

At this point no one seems to know where the muscle cramps come from although there is general agreement that some are due to osteoarthritis. I am left with the thought that no matter what we do that taking a pill every day just isn’t going to work as well as my bodies own mechanisms. But maybein the spring I’ll give Armour a try just to see if anything changes.
Curt

May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm
(6) Jean Kern says:

I am 83 years old. Have been taking thyroid medication since 10 years old. I am sure I took Armour way back before the 1950′s. At that time I had difficulty with my emotions not understanding what was going on with the switch in medication. Now back on Armour for many years. I weigh 90 lbs, 5 ft. tall. Have never weighted over 96 lbs average. I have never had difficulty in asking for Armour from regular GP’s, have not seen an endocrinologist. I am saddened to read of all the difficulty in finding a doctor who will listen to their patients.
I advise try Armour you will be surprised to see the results. It is inexpensive in comparison to many medications today.
Jean

January 30, 2009 at 8:09 am
(7) Emma says:

Looking at “more than blood tests” is SO SO IMPORTANT. I, too, spent years after total thyroidectomy, with a series of doctors who believed that only Levoxythyrine worked. I felt like total crap, my weight went from my natural 130 lbs to 212 lbs. When I first heard about Armour, I was already 10+ years in treatment, and it hadn’t been mentioned by a single doctor. I found it on this website, and after researching more on the internet, I took that information to my doctor at the time. She told me that “it was old medicine, and she wasn’t comfortable” with it. Needless to say. it’s the last time I saw her. Now, I’ve read that some of the comments state that the users are on 60mg doses, which their doctors think is high. I’m on 4 times that and finally feel somewhat normal. I’ve lost more than half the weight and it has stayed off. (The balance I’m still working on… what doctors don’t take into consideration is the depression that goes along with improper thyroid dosing, leading to all sorts of maladies including a lifetime of extra weight.) My blood tests look high or low, depending on the test and what “normal” is supposed to be. No one agrees on this.

January 30, 2009 at 8:17 am
(8) Emma says:

As to the strength of natural tyhroid hormone replacement… all of the research that I’ve done over the years, that’s not linked to an endocrinologist’s opinion, says that, in part due to the FDA regulations, the dessicated thyroid drugs are MORE stable and reliable and vary less in strength from batch to batch than the synthetic ones. More, not less. They are far closer in range than synthroid or levoxythyrine.

Last month, my doctor abruptly closed his practice, citing rising costs and insurance premiums, pretty much left all of his patients hanging. I am left without an good endocrinologist. There are two others in my area (near Atlantic City, NJ), but I’ve seen one, and he and the other do not follow the same mindset as to natural replacement therapy. I’m looking for a new doctor with the same attitude that I have… ask the patient, don’t just rely on “the numbers.” Anyone out there know a good doc?

January 30, 2009 at 9:01 am
(9) Janice says:

After five years of feeling awful, and still having hypothyroid symptoms even though taking both Synthroid and Cytomel, I went to Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta, and they put me on Armour Thyroid. I cannot tell you what a difference it has made. I’ve lost 30 lbs in 5 months, and I feel like a new person. My endocronologist would not even budge when I asked about Armour, and would just say that I needed Weight Watchers to control my weight. I am so grateful for Armour Thyroid.

January 30, 2009 at 9:39 am
(10) Anne says:

I’ve been on Armour Thyroid since 1994. I was first placed on Synthroid in 1992, but my TSH levels were never consistent. I tried to get my PCP to change me over to a natural thyroid but she would not do it. I then went to a member of ACAM who place me on Armour.
When we moved to a new city, I decided to let an endocrinologist manage my Hashimotos. She had no problem with me using Armour and for three years things were fine.
Then, on my last visit there, she told me she was discharging any of her patients that would not change from Armour to one of the synthetic drugs without T3. She stated that they (the college of endocrinologists) believed that the T3 in the drug was such an excitant for the heart that idiopathic heart disease might result years after use. I asked for research reports, but was told there were none. I have left this doctor and my current PCP is continuing to prescribe Armour for me.
I would love to hear if Mary Shimon has any comments about this.

January 30, 2009 at 10:12 am
(11) Marilyn says:

I have had terrible dealings with family medicine physicians and endocrinolgists in Cincinnati. The physicians were insulting and abusive. I was reminded that they were the doctor and I had to listen to them.. I was even told I was a “high maintenance fibromyalgia patient” which I am not. It later turned out I had a year long infection (entercoccus and staphococcus in my bladder) from my hospitalization. This was from having thyroid storm/thyroidtoxicosis following my thyroid ablated I was placed on Synthroid and I was very hypothyroid and very ill. I begged to be taken off and placed on Armour because I wasn’t feelin well and had researched that Synthorid is chemically corn based. I am allergic to corn… I was so ill on a business trip in San Deigo I located a Dr Ian Moore, Nauthopathic Center of San Deigo who trained as an MD and DO specialized in thyroid he gave me a thorough exam and lab work and placed me on Armour. In a few weeks I was rebounding and feel I am now on the road to recovery. This physician not only listens but researches and is partner in having a patient quality health and living.

January 30, 2009 at 11:05 am
(12) EGK says:

My nurse practitioner is very supportive and started out with Armor. It did help, but I wasn’t quite right.

After a year, she felt I should switch to Levothyroxine. I do feel better on this new med, but she is still concerned about my “conversion” so perhaps she will add something else.

Just throwing this out there, Armor didn’t seem to be the best for me….keep trying!

January 30, 2009 at 11:10 am
(13) kevin says:

My very excellent endocrinologist told me she doesn’t like to use Armour because the ratio of T3:T4 is too high – apparently pigs have more circulating T3 than humans. This seemed logical to me. She said when she does use it she adds a bit of synthetic T4 to even out the ratio a bit. She said she was happy to let her patients try Armour or one of the natural brands.

January 30, 2009 at 11:27 am
(14) Steve says:

Synthroid ruined my health.

I wouldn’t take it at gunpoint.

Doctors are easy to fire.

Just get a good one.

January 30, 2009 at 11:47 am
(15) dan says:

i have been taking levathriosin for many years and still felt tarible then i ask my dr. to put me on armour and he said know problem , after hearing all of your comments on how your dr. would not give you armour i was vary pleased.it’s been about 2 weeks now and i am feeling a little better , i will check back with all of you shortly , i want to thank everyone so much , it’s nice to have this kind of support.

January 30, 2009 at 11:57 am
(16) linda says:

thanks so much for your website!

January 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm
(17) Ed Arnold says:

One of the main reasons doctors don’t like T3 is that almost all of them are ignorant of the “Reverse T3 Dominance” syndrome (also known as “Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome” in the USA). If they were not ignorant of this syndrome, they would undoubtedly understand why some patients require T3 to feel well, and why T4 therapy can actually make things WORSE for some patients.

January 30, 2009 at 12:45 pm
(18) Fran says:

I took synthroid for years and felt awful. Several years ago, after finding Mary’s site, which educated and inspired me, I found a wonderful Endocrinologist who would prescribe Armour to supplement the Synthroid, I have felt great the many years since then. I am 79 years old. I feel grateful for this site and to have such an Endo. This same Endo will not prescribe Armour for my husband, who suffers arrhythmia, because it might aggrevate his condition, though she does give him Cytomel. He feels well on it.

January 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm
(19) Tracy says:

I have been on Synthroid, Armour & various other generic synthetics over the last 19 years. My physician was the one suggesting the switch because none of them seemed to be doing the job! I am also an insulin dependent diabetic – thyroid function really affects how well your insuling works. So with an mis-functioning thyroid gland & diabetes I was about ready to shoot myself!!! I took myself off all thyroid medication for 3 months, had all of the blood tests run AGAIN & started with a generic synthetic. Then had thyroid levels checked every 30 days for 6 months. Finally I had some success!!!

I have continued on the synthetic since & have done well. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! I am a proponent of what ever works for you is what you should do. I had a reaction to pork insulin prior to Humulin. Since Armour & naturals are from pigs, it could be that my body is just sensitive to that.

Thanks so much to everyone who has shared their story! It’s great to know you are not alone.

Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

January 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm
(20) Linda says:

Read my comment on Endocrine.com, in reply to this doctor’s article. I was on synthroid for over 20 years–ugh!
Linda

January 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm
(21) Erin says:

This is a response to Emma. I have to take 135 mg. of Armour every day, and it has gone up as high as 180 mg. I am sure that everyone out there knows that the signs of lower than optimal dosage are very noticeable when they occur. My endocrinologist pays attention to my feelings, I keep a record of symptoms, work out three to four times a week, eat no more than 1800 calories a day, mostly meat, fruit, veggies (but I still eat pizza and mexican food occasionally). It is hard to maintain your determination when half of the people out there including doctors think you are whack. Forget them. Listen to your body, fight the good fight.
As to doctors, Emma, doesn’t this site have the recommended docs from all the states still? If not, check out the online professional organizations for alternative and homeopathic/naturopathic docs and also osteopaths. Good luck. Do not give up.

January 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm
(22) Alison Wolfson says:

I read on a naturopath’s website (in Australia) that if you have Hashimoto’s then it is not recommended to take Armour or any of the other natural thyroid treatments, as it could worsen your body’s autoimmune response. I would appreciate any comments on this, as I would prefer to go the natural route.

January 30, 2009 at 8:10 pm
(23) Michele says:

I am pretty sure this was my old endo (the beard is throwing me as he doesn’t look the same). He took me off of Armour also and when I called to complain about my continuing symptoms the nurse told me to contact my GP about postpartum depression. He left my practice but that was okay as I had already decided to fire him.

January 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm
(24) Sage says:

Leave it to me to be different. I’ve been on levoxyl for about 7 years now. We suspect that I went undiagnosed hypothyroid for many many years–perhaps my entire life (since my mother also had hypothyroidism). I asked my Stanford based endocrinologist if I could try cytomel. She permitted me to try it. After only two days on it along with the levoxyl, I was in bed so ill, I stopped. That was several years ago. I live in a different part of the country now. After not being satisfied for a number of reasons with the first MD I went to, I am now trying a new MD who also partners with an ND/DC (Naturopath who is also a Chiropractor). Both of these docs are suggesting to me to switch to Armour Thyroid to see if I might feel better and reduce my huge list of symptoms (including gaining more than 100% of my body weight–that now puts me in a category of being morbidly obese). Well, after two days of Armour, I started to “crash” and feel very ill again. So I switched back to my levoxyl. I want to try the Armour Thyroid again for a longer period of time to see if my body and brain will adapt. I have to wait until I have a stretch of time to “put up with” the huge shift it will put my body (and brain) through. I admit to being anxious about even trying a third time. Has any one else out there felt suddenly and desperately ill (fatigue “crash,” vertigo/dizziness, achy all over, brain-fog, etc.) when shifting from one thyroid replacement therapy to another? Did you get past it after a long enough period of time? How long did it take? Has anyone else out there felt ill when taking cytomel or Armour or any of the replacement therapies with the T3 in it?
Leave it to me to be different from everyone else. I’m desperate to feel like my old (younger) self, and feel I may never be again.

January 30, 2009 at 8:32 pm
(25) DebbV says:

I’ve been on Armour for about 3 years with mixed results. But here’s my numbers for the past 20 months. May-2008..TSH..1.006 Free T3..4.8 Free T4..1.22. Doc chgd Armour presc from 90mg to 60mg..Aug-2008 TSH..1.77 Free T3..5.0 Free T4..1.13. Doc added 25 mcg Levothyroxin (Levoxyl) to the 60 mg or Armour..Jan-2009 TSH..2.696 Free T3…2.7 and Free T4..1.20…Feel much better…less depression and anxiety..sleeping better by taking meds before bed. But weight still a terrible issue. It’s the one thing that won’t budge unless I get radical w/dieting.

January 30, 2009 at 8:38 pm
(26) Brenda Lyle says:

I’ve been reading the comments about the different medications for hypothyroidism. Let me tell you my story. My thyroid gland stopped functioning when I was 5 years old due to a severe sore throat. It went unchecked for 6 years. Finally, my doctor sent me to the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA for tests. I went home two weeks later with my first container of Armour Thyroid pills. I was on Armour until I was in my 20′s. Then my doctor started putting me on Levoxyl or Levothyroxine. I’m now 54. I don’t have any problems with my medication. My hair doesn’t fall out, my weight is stable. I feel fine. I guess every person’s story is different. What works for one person might not work for someone else. The only thing I really hate about having Hypothyroidism is that my voice seems to get deeper all the time. I suppose there’s nothing that can be done about that.

January 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm
(27) Sage says:

Response to DebbV: Interesting that the doc put you on a lower dose of both thyroid replacement therapies concurrently. I may ask this new MD about that. Perhaps I won’t “crash” so hard or get so ill if I do a more gradual transition from levoxyl to armour… Thanks for the info. Thank you to everyone for sharing their stories. Clearly, we are all very individual in how we response to the various replacements.

January 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm
(28) Sage says:

I have to ask Ed Arnold, since I too am ignorant of what is “Reverse T3 Dominance” syndrome (also known as “Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome” in the USA). What is this?

January 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm
(29) stan says:

Interesting discussion. Two years ago I saw an endocrinologist at the Mayo clinic because of strange neurological side effects that only started after I got my TSH up into the normal range. I asked about the option of T3 replacement since I had (and continue to have) so many problems with synthroid and levoxyl.

For what it’s worth, his reponse was that patients generally feel better on T3 replacement initially, but then they end up feeling worse due to titration problems. At least he admitted that much.

January 30, 2009 at 9:31 pm
(30) Mary K says:

I was on Synthroid for many, many years with no problems and then all of a sudden, it just seemed like it went haywire. My TSH kept going from one extreme to the other. The Dr. kept changing dosages back and forth and nothing worked. I wasn’t happy with the endocrinologist I had, but the one I have now was willing to try Armour when I asked him about it. That has straightened me right out. The levels have been right on for a couple of years now. I am so happy I switched doctors and meds!

January 31, 2009 at 12:19 am
(31) rcp says:

Mary, thanks for noting Dr. Repas’s comments. I sincerely hope the patients’ comments to him get wide circulation in the endocrinologist community. As a clinician who has treated many patients who have hypothyroidism, let me note that there is no reason not to mix Synthroid (T4) with Cytomel (T3) or with Thyroid USP/ “Armour” (T3&T4) — as long as one is following Free T3, Free T4, and TSH — adjusting the doses until both FT3 and FT4 are in the upper halves of their ranges and TSH is close to the bottom end of its range. I repeat, one can mix “Armour” with additional T4 or T3 as the need is indicated by testing and symptoms. Treatment does not have to be “either-or”; it can quite rationally be “both”.

January 31, 2009 at 2:58 am
(32) Lynn M. says:

This comment is directed particularly to Sage. T3 is fast-acting with a half-life of hours (the actual number varies from one expert to another), whereas T4 (levothyroxine)has a half-life of at least 2 weeks. The significance of that is that T4-only meds can be taken once a day, but anything with T3 in it needs to be taken in small doses throughout the day. Given your history of difficulty with a T3 med, I would suggest initially dividing up your total daily dose by 4, and taking it 4 times a day. After a successful adjustment period, you could try 3 times a day. At a minimum, anything with T3 in it should be taken at least twice a day. Doctors don’t seem to tell patients this.

Your difficulty with T3 containing hormones may be because your adrenals aren’t functioning well. Good adrenal function is needed to get the thyroid hormone out of the bloodstream and into the cells. Without sufficient cortisol, the thyroid hormone stays and builds up in your blood and can lead to hyperthyroid symptoms, even though you might be hypothyroid at the cellular level. If you haven’t been tested, consider getting your adrenal functioning tested – and hopefully with saliva or 24 hr urine tests, not blood tests. Many people cannot tolerate anything with T3 in it until they are sufficiently supported with cortisol initially.

January 31, 2009 at 5:14 am
(33) Kate Brady says:

To Joanna in the UK. YES Arnmour Thyroid IS AVAILABLE ON THE NHS. I saw Dr Skinner because I wanted to try Armour, paid for it myself for a while then spoke to my local PCT and I’ve had it on prescription for over three years now as they ahd heard GOOD THINGS ABOUT IT. Go back and tell your GP. I live in Northamptonshire by the way. My GP after listening to me prescribed it for another patient who could not believe how well she felt after years of misery. All on the NHS Kate

January 31, 2009 at 9:38 am
(34) Beverly says:

I am astounded that the medical field has been purchased lock, stock and barrel. But we shouldn’t be surprised its just more blatant now. Pens, posters, conferences, money and trips is the payola for one-brand physician’s office.

Pharmaceuticals provide a lot of so-called “generic” information sheets to patients – If it were subject to the strict advertising rules of other advertising seen in any magazine – These sponsored info sheets should carry the disclaimer – Advertising Supplement – because that is what they are. Abbott and other pharmas sponsor the information that of course leads to their medication as the sole and only medication for treatment. Alternatives or other brands do not exist in these information sheets that doctors are stocked up on. And the doctors do not disclose the source, they’re too busy getting booked on the trips afterall.

This is a clear conflict of interest in unbiased patient care, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for a doctor’s office to have a plaque that says: Sponsored by Abbott Pharmaceuticals which is legally what any other paid-advertising is bound to do.

January 31, 2009 at 1:16 pm
(35) Debbie says:

A few months ago my Doctor told me that the maker of my Armour Thyroid was discontinuing the drug so I was going to have to start taking synthetic meds…As I was filling the new perscription, I was telling the pharmacy tech how after 7 years I had to change because of what the doctor said. She immediatly told me that that was NOT TRUE!! They just quit making it in my dosage grain. Needless to say, I am still on Armour Thyroid, I just take 4 instead of 2.

January 31, 2009 at 1:34 pm
(36) Sage says:

Thank you, Lynn M. Great info! My ND has been wanting me to do the saliva tests, adrenal function tests, etc. It takes some planning out the day on a schedule which has been hard for me to manage. But I see now I must make it a priority and get it done. I may be contributing to my own suffering by not getting those tests completed. Your explanation about how T3 works faster than T4 makes sense as to why I am having such a bad reaction by taking a larger dose only once per day.
I’ve also been googling this reverse T3 syndrome thing and finding some good info there too. I will ask both the MD and the ND (they work together in the same office–and I’m asking them to coordinate my care and treatment) about testing the Reverse T3 (R-T3). They are already testing TSH, Free T3 and Free T4. The ND suspects I may have problems with adrenal function and or R-T3. After doing all this reading and “chatting” with you all, I realize there is more that needs to be done. Maybe there is hope for me to get better, more optimal treatment and to feel healthier again. I think I had given up, and become agoraphobic with no hope or help in sight. I see that is not necessarily true. I’ve suffered and checked out of life so long. WOW! It would be nice not to be suffering. I would love to check back into life and participate again as I used to. Thank you for giving me some hope and homework to attend to!

January 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm
(37) DAve says:

I dont want to get into a debate because people know what is best for their body, but many people myself included take T3 once a day.
It is true that it is only active in your blood for 2-4 hours, however the metabolic effects of it last for about 24 hours. Read the insert on Cytomel.
I agree with Dr.Lowe that we do not even really need T4. Armour (thyroid USP) is the best choice.
From many many hours of research, if you are a person that has not benifited from Armour, you need to look into several factors.
Including Candida, Adrenal Fatigue, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Food Allergies, Sex hormone imbalances, low vitmin/minerals, etc.
Sorry to completly go off subject, but there is no reason for a person to be prescribed a T4 only medication and then dosed by the TSH.

January 31, 2009 at 6:21 pm
(38) sharon greenlaw says:

I too was on levothyroxine for 20 foggy years.
I almost doubled my weight and couldn’t get out of my own way. I finally found a good Dr. who was willing to listen. She supplemented my synthetic with natural thyroid and the difference was amazing. I lost my doctor when she transfered but my new doctor sent me to a specialist and I am now on natural thyroid only. Everyone is different but this is the best I’ve felt in 20 years.

January 31, 2009 at 6:51 pm
(39) nutralady2001 says:

To Alison Wolfson I have Hashimoto’s Disease and have used Armour for 3 years now after being on Oroxine (T4) for 10 years with on problems whatsoever.I live in Australia and believe I know the website you are referring to.I take enough to suppress the TSH and get my FT3 towards the top of the range

February 1, 2009 at 12:47 am
(40) Donna says:

Mary, I love this column and I have learned so much about thyroid conditions and treatments, but I have to tell you that natural thyroid medication does not work for everyone. I know most people who read this column have Hashimoto’s Disease or just a plain old underactive thyroid and I can understand how Armour or any of the other natural options would be better suited for those particular problems. But, in my case, I had nodules that were growing out of control and had my left lobe removed. I’ve tried synthetic and natural medications and, for me, synthetic works best. In fact, I had a very scary experience with Armour. Because Armour and other natural medications have naturally occurring T3, I discovered quickly that I do not have a T3 deficiency and that too much T3 in your system affects your heart rhythm. Even though I was on the correct dosage according to my T4 requirments, the T3 was too much and it affected my heart enough for an EKG to pick up and abnormality and I was sent straight to a cardiologist. This happened when I was only 38 years old. I am 41 now. Fortunately, my doctor is patient with me and works with me to determine what’s best for me and what makes me feel the best. Now that I’ve gone through my experiment with Armour, there is not doubt that synthetic levothyroxine is best for me.

I think you are doing a wonderful thing by working so hard to keep all of us thyroid patients informed, but people need to know there is a danger that Armour or other T3 containing medication can affect your heart in a negative way.

February 1, 2009 at 11:22 am
(41) organicmaven says:

I will share my own personal experience, strength, and hope.

I have been on Armour thyroid since 1995, when my thyroid stopped working, due to a cyst that formed on it as part of a throat infection. My family history includes an intolerance for shellfish (my mother), and a goiter (her mother).

My osteopath correctly diagnosed me and put me on Armour from the beginning, and it changed my life for the better. He never suggested a synthetic, and he never will.

It seems clear to me that the medical profession has been “bought” by the drug industry in this instance. Shame on them! No one should be deprived of medicine that works for them because of someone else’s greed, or worse, ignorance because of greed. All thyroid sufferers should support having access to the medicine that works for them. If needed, we must organize to have Armour thyroid (and other non-synthetics) protected legally. Those who currently do well on synthetics cannot guarantee that they always will do so. We must protect all options for all thyroid sufferers. Forgive me if I sound like a community organizer!

Over the past nearly 15 years, I have periodically had my levels checked, and my dosage adjusted. I currently take 60 mg (1 gr) per day. I had been taking twice that, but the blood work and occasional symptoms suggested my levels had become “too high”. I feel very, very good these days.

I heartily recommend to the person in Atlantic City who was asking for a referral to consider Dr. Richard Menashe (osteopath and chiropracter) in Edison, NJ. I feel he is the best in the area.

Thank you for an informative discussion.

February 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm
(42) Sue says:

Joanne from England PLEASE contact me. I’d love to find out how to meet Dr Skinner.

February 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm
(43) MARSHA says:

I HAVE been on Armour Thyroid now for about 4 years and before this I was on Synthroid 2mg for many years. MY doctor switched drugs because he didn’t think Synthroid was working.
Seriously, I felt better on it than I DO on the Armour. Everything from more energy to less leg cramps/charlie horses…
After reading what all of you have to say?
I think I am going to look into this a bit more..And by the way, I live in San Diego ..
Trying to get Armour? NOT easy.. I usually have to get the lower doses and take two since trying to find 120mg is getting more difficult every month..

February 2, 2009 at 8:46 pm
(44) Hope says:

I was on synthroid for over a year and never really noticed a difference…then something changed. I ran out of my calcium. I nor my dr had heard that calcium makes synthroid ineffective. It does speak to that on the forms that you get from your pharmacist, but as I was having no problems, I did not go looking. When I took my synthroid without calcium, I suddenly could not breath, my heart started racing. My dr has come as close as he ever has to basically yelling, stating that I cannot be allergic to synthroid as it is human thyroid. A complete match. I went to a second dr and she said the same thing, so I have since stopped taking my thyroid medicine. Recently, a new dr for me asked, why didn’t we trying something else…so in a couple of weeks, I get to start all over again, but hopefully with someone more open minded. He’s also talking about scans and ultrasounds, that is a first for me, that a dr wants to actually look at my thyroid. I’m nervous, but hopeful.

February 3, 2009 at 7:39 am
(45) Niki Milligan says:

I have been on thyroxine for 9 years, and have never felt right since my thyroid packed up.
In the UK there is nothing used but generic thyroxine – every single prescription I get a different brand of thyroxine – thats 4 different generic brands every year!
The only time I started to feel any way normal (libido, regular periods, etc.) was when I was on Armour, but during the shambles Armour made of things last year I couldn’t buy any anywhere in the world and returned to my generic thyroxine :(

The ONLY thing I didn’t like about Armour was that I tended to ‘spike’ about 2 hours after taking it (pounding heart etc.).
Is it possible to combine thyroxine and armour to lessen the T3 hit (I was splitting my dose over morning afternoon and evening and still had a hit every time!)?
If anyone can advise on a mix n match approach I would REALLY appreciate it :)

February 3, 2009 at 11:34 pm
(46) Cindy in PA says:

I felt no better after over a year of synthroid, even though my numbers were in the “normal” range. I was tired, my periods were a nightmare, my skin and scalp were constnatly itchy, I was foggy and moody and would have hypoglycemic events. I felt like crap. After research, I asked my endocrinologist to let me give Armour a try. He refused. I explained my reasoning and he still refused. So I fired him. I went to my family doctor, a DO, and asked him to prescribe Armour. He said he never had prescribed Armour and asked me why I wanted it. I gave him my reasons in under 2 minutes. He listened, REALLY listened… then he sat quietly for a minute, looked at me, and said “OK. Let me get the PDR so I can see the prescribing dosages.” I’ve been on 30 of Armour for the last 14 months. I started out at 15, and asked him to up it to 30 after 6 months. Again he asked me why, and I explained that I had given the drug enough time and still didn’t feel as I should. He listened, REALLY listened, then upped the prescription. I’m thinking of asking for an increase to 45 at my next appointment. (It’s been 8 months). My doctor has me get my bloodwork, and it’s still within normal ranges, but he has agreed to let me play a role in how my body will be treated. Most importantly, he has agreed with me to treat the symptoms, not the lab numbers.

February 4, 2009 at 7:44 am
(47) Laura says:

This is for Sage. I agree totally with the poster who advised you to check your adrenal function. Years of stress totally exhausted my adrenals, and the adrenals and thyroid are partners in so much. When I first started taking thyroid medication, like you, I felt much worse. I even developed hypothyroid symptoms like floaters and palpitations that I never had before taking the ‘cure’! Then I started having weird neurological problems. I couldn’t get any doctors to help let alone take me seriously. I heard of the adrenal connection but didn’t know what to do about it – any suggestions to take extra cortisol scared me, as if I was having so much trouble with the thyroid pills, why wouldn’t I assume that the cortisol would wreck me as well! And I was hanging on by a thread… I couldn’t take the risk of feeling worse. Finally a friend I met on the internet recommended me to read James Wilson’s book “Adrenal Fatigue’. I recognised myself on every page. I ordered my own adrenal function saliva test (I live in the UK) and sure enough my adrenal function was flat.
I started some of the protocols and after a looong time, i.e. 4 or 5 months, my latest saliva test shows improvement. Also my neurological symptoms are much better, which seems to confirm what the poster suggested to you, because I am wondering if they weren’t caused by circulating hormone in the blood that nevertheless never made it into my cells.
At the moment I do feel better, but maybe I’d feel even better with a temporary course of cortisol supplementation to strenghthen my adrenals! This might indeed have been my answer all along, and I was just too scared too try it. I wish you luck – and I sure do hope you can find a good doctor to guide you through it.

February 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm
(48) Marie says:

I am interested in switching from Synthroid to the Armour thyroid medicine, but the one question that most worries me I have never even seen raised: In using a gland from an animal to make the medicine, do the manufacturers simply work as an adjunct to the typical, factory-type food business–with all its unhealthy treatment of the animals and resulting potential problems–or are they using glands from animals raised humanely, healthily, etc. And if the latter, is that certified in some way? Otherwise, I would be somewhat worried about Mad Cow Disease type problems…

May 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm
(49) Sheryl Woodruff says:

Can someone tell me what they think about mixing Armour Thryoid with Synthroid? I was on Synthroid for 14 years and long story short, I was having the SAME symptons that I originally suffered the last few years, so my Doc agreed to try Armour. Now on this since
2-4-2009 and it is helping A LOT. However, lately I have been a lot more tired and gaining a little weight!! I wondered if I could use BOTH Armour and Synthroid?? What do you think?? I will ask my Doc too…but I thought I would ask you all too??
Thanks!!

July 17, 2009 at 5:42 am
(50) vickierose says:

Wonderful website.

After being on synthroid for 25 years or more I seem to have developed symptoms again, especially fogginess. Today I managed to persuade my doctor to prescribe dessicated thryoid and expected to get the Armour brand. Unfortunately this is not available in Canada. Does anyone know of another reputable brand available in Canada please?

July 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm
(51) Rekabla says:

Laura and/or Stan – please describe the neurological problems. I’ve been on Armour only a little over a month and feel better overall except I have palps & headaches should I not take meds timely. Also, I had a very scary experience while driving – it suddenly felt as though I got off a merrygoround. My vision was affected. It only happened once but it scared me.

August 19, 2009 at 12:54 am
(52) amanda says:

for the person wondering about ‘armour’ in Canada, you can get dessicated thyroid in Canada, it is marketed under the name ‘thyroi’ made by Erfa.
http://www.thyroid.erfa.net/

August 20, 2009 at 8:21 am
(53) dottie says:

i take 150 levothyroxin daily and now my chiropractor just gave me adreanal dessicated pills. Is this too many medicines for my throyoid?? And is it safe? thanking you in advance..

June 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm
(54) Brooke says:

James Wilson’s book on Adrenal Fatigue saved my life as well as my thyroid. I know everyones’ story is different, but I can’t say how much eating well and avoiding “adrenal” stressors like caffine has helped improved my well being. I do believe synthroid has done wonders for people, but there is that small group that has trouble with conversion. I found out about 4 months of taking synthyroid that there has to be something else wrong. Blood work look normal, still felt terrible. My doctor didn’t believe me so I went online at my university and read medical journals. If you think you may have an issue with conversion – the British medical journal did articles a few years back. I printed them out and handed them to my doctor – he switched me and I never looked back.

July 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm
(55) Beth M. says:

“Armour because of an “unacceptable level of variability batch to batch, often resulting in unacceptable variation in thyroid-stimulating hormone.”

Really? The good doctor needs to review the stats more closely – I can’t think of a less stable thyroid medication than Synthroid! That thing is always changing, different fillers, unstable amts of medication that vary per batch…. hmmm.

I haven’t been prescribed dessicated thyroid since the 1980′s… but I can add that I felt better much faster on that than I do on synthetics, which seem to take longer to have an effect.

January 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm
(56) Lori says:

I had a total thyroidectomy in 2007 due to multiple goiters. Hashimoto’s diagnosed. Originally put on Armour Thyroid, felt no side effects. Had to change doc’s and that one refused Armour Thyroid and put me on Synthroid (did terrible), then was put on Levoxyl (did even worse). Synthetic HR’s increase my anxiety, heart palpitations, and worsen tremors. I was given so many stories about Armour Thyroid not being made/available, I decided to call the manufacturer only to find that the stories are not true. I finally took myself off of Levoxyl and told my husband dying would be less painful. My doctor finally agreed to put me on Armour, but had to state that it is not the recommended medication. CRAZY! I am already feeling a TON better and could kick myself in the butt for allowing doctors to tell me, what works for me. TAKE A ROLE IN YOUR OWN CARE. IF YOUR DOC DOESN’T LET YOU, THEN FIRE HIM!

February 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm
(57) Bettymay Smith says:

I’ve been diagnosed hypothyroid for 31 years, and likely was deficient fifteen years earlier. Synthroid just didn’t cut it, in-so-far as alleviation of symptoms and lack of side effects. Dessicated Thyroid works in the human system deficient in thyroid,and compensates for the weakness in our own thyroid glands cause by some contamination or deficiency in our environment that results in every second woman you talk to being deficient. It supports my system and is invisible in side-effects. The last few years I’ve noticed it sometimes smells, and I am saddened that the animals used to produce this important medication are abused, treated with degradation, as are animals and nature as a whole. Even humans, by the pharmaceutical companies and their effect on our natural world. Pee me a river of toxic chemicals. Kill us all.

February 27, 2011 at 8:42 am
(58) Janet Scharf says:

I was on Synthroid for years and never felt well. I told my doctor, “something is wrong, I don’t feel like me”. I also told him my metabolism wasn’t working – he did blood work and looking at the results, he said, “you’re right Janet, your metabolism isn’t working it’s at zero”. And then he promptly changed the subject. I have put on a lot of weight, have suffered with hair loss, no eyebrows, tingling sensations in both my feet, am exhausted, cannot sleep and when I do fall asleep I wake up constantly. My skin is dry, my hair is brittle, my nails break. Finally I convinced my doctor (another province) to put me on dessicated thyroid. She started me out on the lowest dose possible and I am now on 90 mg BUT I am beginning to feel better – my hair feels different, healthier. I am a long way from feeling more like my old self, but I am confident that I am finally on the road to feeling better. What doctors seem to forget is that synthetic thyroid replacement is NOT working. Only the numbers look good – the patient feels awful. The sales people representing synthetic replacement are doing their job wonderfully. But our doctors aren’t putting their patients first. Shame on them.

April 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm
(59) Chris says:

My dog has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism…Does anyone know if dessicated Thryoid meds work for dogs? His vet won’t prescribe the Armour — only Thyrotabs which is just another brand of Levothyroxine. My dog is 13 years old and I don’t want him on any harsh drugs. Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

May 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm
(60) Kate barham says:

Hi. I’m on levothyroxine 125mcg but still feel foggy, worn out, have alopecia and am always cold. They upped the dose and I had tremors and felt heart fluttery and had insomnia. Do you think armor is worth a try and if so can you get it in the uk?

June 20, 2011 at 7:35 am
(61) Paul says:

Hi, I am very interested to know if I could use a natural thyroid replacement.
I had a total Thyroidectomy 2 years following follicular cancer (T4, N1). The mainstay of any prevention now is to ensure my TSH levels are almost unrecordable.
At 225mcg per day, my TSH is 1.4 against a target of 0.05, however I show signs of Thyrotoxicosis through strong palpitations and jerking / twitching facial muscles. At a small reduction to 200mcg per day, my TSH rockets to 10.6!
My endo is struggling to find an acceptable balance and is not prepared to even discuss dessicated thyroid therapy. Can anyone offer any advice?
Thanks

June 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm
(62) jkenneymjr says:

I seem to have run out of space in the previous comment and want to add this:

What is prime in thyroid treatment is finding the right physician. One has to be determined in this and some decision made as how strong the desire is for optimum health.

Don’t be one of the horror cases cited by Dr. Barnes and Shallenberger. Don’t continue to be maltreated by thyroid-dumb-a** doctor.

Dr. Barnes passed away in 1988 and his book was published in 1976 – it remains essential.

jkenneymjr

July 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm
(63) georjia says:

I have been on Armour Thyroid for the past 12 years and doing well. My Endo Dr. keeps close tabs and all is fine. I have Hashimotos. When I started out on Synthroid I had a problem with my own body converting some T3 from the Synthroid T4. Armour has both and when I was on synthroid I would lose my eyelashes even though my T4 was ok. I do not have that problem on Armour.

I remember my Endo Dr. even put my on a combo of synthroid and cytomel but I would have a hard time getting too much T3 all the time, so the Armour has been better even though it too has some adjusting every once in a while.

Hope this helps someone.

Georjia

July 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm
(64) Randel says:

I have been on levo-thyroxine since I have been 14 yrs old which I am now 32. My weight continues to fluctuate and I still seem very tired and no energy. I have had my thyroid levels monitored and my PCP placed me on 300mg of levothyroxine one day and then 150 mg of levothyroxine the next day. This still doesn’t seem to be helping. Does anybody know if the Armour thyroid provides you with energy?Also does it help in controlling your weight issues also?

August 18, 2011 at 11:18 am
(65) Dan says:

I was treated for hyperthyroidism when i was 24. My Dr. never prescribed anything for the resulting hypothyroidism. I am now on 300mcg and my TSH and T3, T4 are all low.
should I try Armour or cytomel to try to correct this?

September 4, 2011 at 8:36 am
(66) lora says:

I live in Montreal, Canada. I just had a very unsettling visit with my endo. I asked him about dessicated thyroid and he refused that med. I have been on synthroid with him for a yr. now. He says that my weight gain is not the thyroid and that I should push myself away from the table. I exercise daily (winter snowshoeing) walking and hiking in the summer. I was hyperthyroid over 30 yrs. ago after the birth of my first child. My most recent TSH was 3.9 and the one before that 4.9. He reluctantly renewed the synthroid med. I have put on about 40 lbs. and eat only 1300 calories a day. Help!! Does anyone know a Dr. in Montreal region that would prescribe the dessicated thyroid. Thyroid issues are rampant on both sides of my family. The TSH normal level here is 5. Thanks.

September 18, 2011 at 11:01 pm
(67) Me says:

I think people should just take whichever thyroid medication works for them. I tried Armour and had an absolutely horrible reaction to it. I have no idea what is in it that my body doesn’t like, but I can’t take it at all. I’m on Synthroid/Cytomel now and doing fine. I think people are being too one sided about dessicated vs synthetic. I should be what-my-body-likes vs. what-my-body-doesn’t-like. Oh well, I think it’s great that dessicated works so well for some people. To each his/her own.

November 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm
(68) Dr. Lichi says:

As a physician these are my recommendations to all patients
independently of illness or form of treatment
1 A descent doctor treats human beings, NOT numbers.
If you don’t feel well, but the blood work value is
“within normal limits” SPEAK your mind. Have the Doctor
listen to you.

2 One patient’s illness is not equal to the next patient’s illness
even when the diagnosis is the same; i.e. simply because
medication A works for one parent doesn’t mean it will work
for the next. In this case If Armor works for you
it’s not a given it will work for your relative or
friend. Yet, have your Doctor discuss all your
options with you, including side effects, risks
and benefits.

3 Last but not least never be afraid to get a second
opinion.

November 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm
(69) theresa says:

I live in Vancouver BC Canada and am so grateful for the many progressive thinking medical practitioners. My doctor of Traditional Chinese medicine/Acupuncturist suggested I take dessicated Thyroid when I shared my blood work results. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and my numbers were off the chart. I went back to my GP and stated that I wanted to take Dessicated Thyroid. For a moment she questioned me, then looked it up in her prescription book and I have been taking it for three years. I have had to tweak the dosage a few times in the first year, but am happy to report I have been taking 90mgs every day and am stable. I have recently noticed my memory really fading these last six months, but don’t know if that’s normal aging (I am 49), pre menopausal or thyroid related.

It pains me to read about the close mindedness that doctors portray to their patients.

November 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm
(70) Diane Woodman says:

I began Thyroid by Erfa six months ago, after being on Eltroxin for 30 years. The new version of eltroxin made me cough, a LOT…so I begged my doctor to let me switch to ‘Thyroid’. He fought me for over a year, saying “the synthetic ones are better”. Finally, after trying unsuccessfully to treat this strange persistent cough with other meds, he switched me to the porcine thyroid.
But getting the dosage right was difficult. For 5 weeks I felt like my hypothyroidism came back with a vengeance: tired all the time, could hardly lift my legs to walk, arms to do anything; brain fog. So… I began on my own to take an extra half pill every afternoon. Finally blood tests showed that my dosage was too low, and my doc prescribed for me an extra half pill. So now I’ve been taking 90 mgs per day. BUT: lately I have been feeling dizzy almost every day. I won’t see my doc again for 8 more days.

Sure is scary, but it’s nice, ever so nice to have finally stopped coughing!

January 20, 2012 at 4:53 am
(71) Ginger Flores says:

I too had the “brain fog” for many years, suffered a lot! Had all the symptoms and was diagnosed with hashimotos disease. It took me 9 years to find a doctor who would help me. Dr. Odom was worth every dollar I spent on him! But…now…I can’t afford him and have since moved away from his area I have been without my Armour thyroid since 2009. He had me balanced on 8 grains a day. I felt NORMAL! Since 2009 I’ve gain over 60lbs feel terrible. Now that we’re in a new area and am on the states hmo I had my first appointment with a new endocrinologist jan.13, 2012 and she was very forceful that my thyroid was in the normal range and she w only prescribes levothyroxine (Synthroid®) but since the test results said I was normal she wouldn’t even give me the levothyroxine (Synthroid®)!I told her I wanted to go back on the Armour she said she wouldn’t allow that! what? I blew a gasket!!! It worked for 9 years and you wont prescribe it for me?

January 20, 2012 at 4:55 am
(72) ginger flores says:

continue from b4 post…. NO way she said! But we can radiate the goiters on your thyroid or take it out by surgery! I ask why she wouldn’t prescribe the Armour she said it kills the thyroid….okay am I not seeing things clearly here or what???? You’ll kill my thyroid with radiation, take it out and you say Armour is bad because it’ll kill my thyroid! But I felt perfect on Armour, she said hands down she won’t prescribe it because it’s bad! Come on DOCTORS!!! Don’t you think if it works don’t screw with it?!! I really need to find a pharmacy here in Oregon that has a supply of it and my PCP said he’ll prescribe it but I’ll have to pay for it instead of the state medical.

January 20, 2012 at 5:00 am
(73) Ginger Flores says:

We’ve been told here in Oregon it has been banned, discontinued…But I think it’s because there’s no money in it for the pharmacies! I’ll just have to keep searching for the real stuff that worked! Oh, by the way the endo-doc said that I had an auto immune disorder and thats why I have 3 goiters on my thyroid! Now…when I was on the Armour they remained small in size and wasn’t much of a bother, now since I haven’t had the Armour for almost 4 yrs they’ve double in size making it difficult to swallow. She discredited my Life Enhancement Doctor and said he was a quack! If she was in my shoe’s and suffered for many years and then found someone who “FIXED” me she’d be sing his praises too but these new young doctors are conditioned by the manufacturers of these meds and therefore become IGNORANT sad to say. Okay that’s my rant, but really…if ANYONE knows where I can get Armour thyroid let me know! Email me but please don’t spam. gingerflores@ymail.com just mention you read the post from mary shamon @about.com. Thanks for you help!

February 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm
(74) adam says:

Hi, first I wanna congratulate you for the excellent info on this site! Im a person who has regularly had elevated tsh for years but has not been treated, well actually i was offered synthroid but didnt want it due to what ive read. Now Im interested in trying armour for sure but I have a few questions. first concern, my most recent lab showed elevated tsh but normal levels of both free t3 and free t4. now for the record ive always been struggling with depression and being overweight most of my life. so would someone like me with high tsh and symptoms be a good candidate for armour even with normal free t3 and 4 levels??
also ive read posts online about armour being reformulated or something recently?? supposedly there are some people saying its no longer effective for them? is this just more rumors being spread by levothyroxine drug reps??

March 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(75) S Vasey says:

I was on Levothyroxine. I felt OK for a while. Recently I was unable to walk and felt horrible. My Dr switched med from Levothyroxine to Armour Thyroid, 5 days ago. So far I am feeling better but we will see how it goes. I will try to remember to post again about 1 month from now how I feel and what my levels are. I sure hope and pray this helps.

April 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm
(76) T.O.A. says:

After 6 years on synthetic hell, I did some research and told my doctor to put me on Armour. What a difference! I immediately started feeling better and now my levels are normal for the first time ever! I feel like a normal human being again. My energy is great and I have lost 20 lbs. I will never go back to Synthetic!

April 28, 2012 at 12:00 am
(77) Deric says:

I have read all the comments here and I just wanted to say. I think Chris Rock said it best when he said ‘Doctors don’t cure people, they treat diseases. If they cured everybody they would go out of business.’

What does it say about us as human beings when the people who are supposed to help us, keep us ignorant, and watch us suffer just to gain a few more dollars?

May 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm
(78) lilly says:

I need a Dr who will prescribe Armour in chicago. If anyone knows of one please share.

May 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm
(79) Dana says:

I second Lilly’s request. I am looking for a good doctor in the Chicago/Joliet area that is willing to prescribe a natural thyroid. I have been to a few endocrinologists and they all think I am crazy when I ask to try a dessicated thryoid. I have been hypo for the last six years and have never felt well since starting Levoxyl and Cytomel. Always, always tired and very foggy thinking among other annoying syptoms. At this point, I am will traveling to So. Wisconsin or Western Indiana as well. Any suggestions??

May 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm
(80) Jane says:

I would like to know where I can find a doctor that would prescribe Armour in Bloomington, Il. area. I have been on synthyroid for 15 years and never felt great and now feeling worse and gaining weight. Doctor says thyroid test are fine. I’m not happy with that answer and would like to change medicine but can’t find anyone that will

May 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(81) Kat Parker says:

I have been on Armour (3.5 grains) and started a 1/4 dosage (of 25 mcg.) of T3 with it. I felt o.k. but symptoms not resolved. High and rapid heartbeat. Found a book called “Recovering with T3″ by Paul Robinson and am going to try T3 only therapy. Hard to let go of something that works “OK” because I will have to experience symptoms again in order to clear T4 out of my system. Everyone IS different. Mr. Robinson was on T4 for years and got worse. I’ve got to keep trying and I think my doctor will help me.

May 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm
(82) Jennifer says:

I would like to add to the seemingly endless list of those whose lives have been changed by Armour Thyroid. Once my hypothyroidism was discovered, I was placed on Synthroid and subsequently Levoxyl. I had horrible results. Everytime they raised the dose, the worse I felt. I gained weight, my hair was falling out, I was having to keep my feet in hot water buckets because nothing would warm them up, and I couldn’t get pregnant. I met a wonderful endocrinologist who I explained this to. She prescribed armour. It saved my life. Within 4 months I was pregnant, and my symptoms had all resolved. I’m no longer the person who is always freezing in the room. I have energy and I feel normal. What a sad world we live in when financial incentives take precedence over the wellness and health of patients. Take what works for you and if your doctor won’t prescribe what works for you, (not what brings them perks), FIRE them. In my opinion, they are breaking their Hippocratic oath by refusing to give their patience the care they require. Not all people do well on synthetics or T4 alone. Health is not a once size fits all.

May 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm
(83) Lori Battey says:

Does anyone know a doctor in southern Minnesota that will put me on Armour.My doctor won’t. I have been on Levothyroxin for over 5 years which they up it every year, right know I’m at 125 mg. My body doesn’t feel right I have gained 70lb. in the last 5 years, very tired all the time, body hurts, mostly my legs with summer here very depressed about all the weight I have gained.I thought about weening myself off the Levothroxin but some of my friends that are RNs told me not to because it will cause more damage.. Does anyone knows what happens if I would ween myself off the medication? I’m 42 and feel a lot older.Please help I want to enjoy life again.
.

June 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm
(84) Barbara says:

Response to Betty:

I live in the Southwest suburbs of Minneapolis and can recommend a medical doctor Jane Nolting-Brown at Fairview Clinic, Eden Prairie, MN who works with patients by prescribing synthetics and/or Armour depending on their preference. Phone: (952) 826-6500

August 15, 2012 at 11:29 am
(85) Pam says:

I have been on dessicated pig thyroid hormone for 10 years and absolutely felt great up until the latter part of this past June (2012). I am stiff as a board when I get out of bed, sore and sluggish each day until around 1:00 or 2:00 pm. I had my blood levels checked last week and am waiting on a call about my labs. I’ll be anxious to find out what is going on. Anyone else having the same symptoms?

August 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm
(86) JMM says:

Thank you everyone for your comments. I was just diagnosed with Hypothyroidism last week. I’m female, 26 years old, and nervous about what to expect next. I noticed I had been steadily gaining weight over the past 3 years, despite my steady activity level and diet. Even after radical dieting and daily exercising, I was still gaining weight, losing more hair, and feeling extremely tired. I joined a weight-loss clinic to get my weight under control and they ran a blood test. The physician told me I had an abnormal thyroid and recommended that I see my primary car doctor before proceeding with the weight loss program. My primary care doctor ran her own set of blood tests also found the same thyroid results. After reading everyone’s comments, I am better prepared to meet with my doctor in my follow-up appt. next week (regarding the results from the ultrasound of my throat). I’ve learned through everyone’s comments that I’m my own advocate when it comes to my health. If I don’t feel comfortable continuing treating this disorder with my primary care doctor, I would want to see a thyroid specialist. Does anyone know a thyroid specialist in the Northern Virginia region? Is Armour available in Virginia? Again, thank you so much for all of your comments.

August 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm
(87) Even says:

Hi, I have just found this site today and I want to thank everyone who has shared. It is so refreshing to know that I am not going crazy, in response to some of the comments that I have read. First I took myself off Synthryoid, I got mad at my doctor and told him that he needed to start telling me about the side effects. Two years went by and I ended up with my eyelashes broken off and was losing hair, along with all the problems that come with having Hypothryoid. When his daughter came on board she has a masters on Natural Cures and he handed me over to her. I too had loss of memory, cramps on my legs, always tired and unable to lose weight. I joined Weight Watcher and they kept looking at me as to why I haven’t lost any weight. So I quit, Stacey started doing some lab work and getting me on Nature Thyroid which worked like a charm. But since my doctor retired, and Stacey moved to another state, I was back to square 1. I live in San Antonio,Texas and I go to a place here called Cost Plus and they directed me to my new doctor. Dr. Esquivel and when I met him, the first thing he did was listen to me and then he went over what he thinks we should do first. He did a hair test and that told him a lot and what else that was going on with me. He put me on Armor and it has been great but through another Blood test he could tell that I was still tired.

August 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(88) Even says:

You see even though I have been on Armor and I do feel better, I was still losing a lot strength. I am taking good quality multi- vitamins, minerals, ect., but I am still tired. My Dr mention to me that I should be tested for Sleep Apnea, and it turns out that I have had it for the last 15 years. So basically I have not slep in a very long time, and now I know that I am not crazy. Even though I am Hypothryoid,I have check my Adrenal, T3, &T4, I am doing everything right by checking on them and seeing someone who believes in Natural Cures. I sleep with my mask on everynight now and I have lost a little bit and fit into some clothes that I have not been able to wear. It feels strange to get some sleep, but I am happy because I am taking care of my body by doing everything naturally, and now I am sleeping better.

I am writing to those who are doing everything right and still something is amiss. Well your insurance should cover the sleep study test for you. I received my referral from my dentist. This could be something else for you to check into, my body has slowly stopped hurting, I am thinking better instead of having a fogging mind. I hope my information will help someone, I have been reading on health for over 20 yrs and I still have so much more to learn, but when it comes to my health I will do all the learning I can. I too have firer a lot of doctors thinking that they know what is best for me without having to listen to me. I am 54 yrs old and for the first time I am thinking, losing a little (yea!) and getting some sleep.

September 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm
(89) S wootten says:

I was on thyroxin a few years and felt very ill I was then put on armour thyroid and felt so well what a relief to find an answers now my doctor is stopping g armour and putting me back on thyroxin which I have refused they said armour is. It reliable and to expensive so stoping it do you know why or if they can legally stop this treatment many thanks

October 2, 2012 at 11:13 am
(90) apzc says:

Interesting website. I was on Armour for years. Started with 15 mg and worked up to 150 mg. At first, I felt great but as time went on, I needed more and more and was not feeling as good. I started getting vertigo, which I never attributed to Armour until I read a post on this site. I am now on Synthroid, putting on weight despite exercising but the vertigo subsided after 15 months. I am not sure where I go from here. Everyone is different so it is important to keep a log of symptoms everyday.

October 2, 2012 at 11:25 am
(91) Christina says:

I was on synthetic thyroid and was having heart palpatations and an increase in my thyroid symptoms. My doctor did a study for 3 months in which I was tested on the synthetic thyroid, then I went off of it for 60 days, then I went on Armour thyroid and was retested after being on it for 30 days. My initial results on synthetic thyroid were imbalanced. With NO thyroid my test results were completely off kilter and I felt horrible. Once on the Armour thyroid, my tests came back into the normal range, and I have been on it ever since. My heart palpatations ceased within a couple days of stopping the synthetic thyroid! I was also checked by a cardiologist, and he summised it was a side effect of the synthetic thyroid. My mother couldn’t take synthetic thyroid either, that’s why my doctor decided to perform this study. I’m so thankful she did!

October 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm
(92) Marilyn LaPorte says:

I took Synthroid for 17 years and two years ago I switched to Armour Thyroid and never looked back. My doctor is not an integrative doctor and does not prescribe Armour but agreed to give me a name of a compounding pharmacy near me so I could get it. My insurance does not cover it. It’s only about $30 a bottle so I’m not concerned. I am very grateful that my doctor was willing to bend even though she does not believe in it herself. She does have to write the prescription for it though. I feel much better on Armour and will never be talked into going back to Synthroid.

October 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm
(93) Diane Marie says:

Over three-and-a-half years ago, Forrest Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Armour Thyroid, changed their formulation … and they refused to change it back. Back then, thousands of Armour users got on this website and other sites to say they were getting their signs and symptoms back.

Seems all the education about how Armour Thyroid is no longer as bioavailable as before, has been forgotten.

Nature Throid (and others) are a superior dessicated pig’s thyroid product because it’s more bioavailable to the body.

Pooh on Armour.

October 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm
(94) Myra Healey says:

My PCP will not take care of my hypothyroidism, she says I am high risk as it is not controlled that good and she knows nothing about it, she will not order me any armour and I cannot find any doctor around me who presccribes it. Does anyone know what I can do.

Myra

October 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm
(95) Tammie says:

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (graves disease) about 13 yrs ago. My first doctor listened to me and would go by my bloodwork AND my symptoms for my dosage. I had an episode in 2009 where my body and my head felt so heavy I couldn’t move. I was dizzy, had memory loss, fogginess, extremely tired and pain in my face/head. After that, my doctor strictly went by my labwork and once my levels were normal again he decided it was depression. I fired him and found another dr that sent me for test that I really didn’t need because after my first dr put me on depression meds I started having stomach issues. He left the practice so I went to an Internal Medicine dr who also strictly went by my labwork. At my 6 wk checkup I told him I still didn’t feel good and he said “if you would exercise more then maybe you would feel better”. Needless to say I walked out with my records in hand. Then I found a PCP who finally decided to listen to me. He put me on Armour Thyroid and I felt fine at first then I had another episode of not being able to walk or move. When I went to see my dr he only tested me for anemia. He didn’t bother testing my thyroid levels. Well, I found out I was anemic so he put me on iron. My legs were cramping so he put me on meds for restless legs syndrome. About 2 months later I had the same episode but worse. I had shortness of breath, memory loss, aches/pains all over, couldn’t move, headaches, loss of vision and chest tightness. I went to a Hemotologist who confirmed I am not anemic but my TSH level was 24.4. Yes…no typo here! I am going to a new dr but can’t get in to see her until December. Has anyone else ever experienced episodes like I described? Also, does anyone have any advice on how I can get my dr to listen to my symptoms and not just go by my labwork?

October 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm
(96) Kelli says:

All I can say is I am so thankful that my doctor is willing to prescribe Armour. I had been on Synthroid for 15 years and I thought it was doing pretty good at treating my hypothyroidism. Most of my symptoms were kept under control with tweaks to my dosages here and there over the years. Then suddenly 9 months ago my TSH went through the roof, I had severe anxiety, my hair was falling out, I was freezing on the hottest Virginia summer days, I had no memory and all I wanted to do was sleep. Over those 9 months, my Synthroid dosage was increased from .150 up to .300 (pretty high for a 118 pound person) but my TSH levels just kept getting worse and I could barely function. My doctor was about to give up and send me to a gastro specialist thinking that I must have absorption issues. That didn’t make any sense because other meds I take absorb just fine so I asked him to try another drug. He didn’t have a problem giving me Armour but he didn’t think it would be any kind of solution. He prescribed 120MG twice a day and one month later my TSH was at the best level in the 15 years I had been treated, it went from 50 down to .6 in a month’s time. Even better is how I feel now, I didn’t realize that a person is supposed to feel this good because I don’t recall ever feeling so great in my adult life. My mind is sharp, I feel mentally and physically healthy, I have energy and I just feel amazing, never did I feel this wonderful while on Synthroid. My endo seems pleased but is stumped on what exactly happened. I am not sure why synthroid stopped working completely for me but it was definitely a blessing!

October 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm
(97) Terrence says:

It wasn’t reported here that the FDA ruled against Levothyroxin Sodium as unreliable. Just an fyi. You can find that in Dr. David Brownsteins book Overcoming Thyroid Disease.

October 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm
(98) Victoria says:

I had to press my doctor to test my Free T3 (but he did when I asked). When repeated tested showed that the levothyroxine I took wasn’t getting my Free T3 any higher, he was going to prescribe Cytomel. This is a huge thing because no many doctors won’t touch T3 meds.

I turned down the Cytomel and asked for natural thyroid. The ONLY reason was cost. Cytomel costs more than natural thyroid.

I currently take natural desiccated thyroid plus levothyroxine and am feeling pretty good.

October 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm
(99) anahata says:

i’m so happy that my doctor is willing to give me dessicated thyroid. he said that many of his patients are switching over and it works well.

October 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm
(100) Veronica says:

Hi everybody!!
I´m from Argentina, I have Subclinical Hipothyroidism ( 6.5 ) and will begin treatment within the next 15 days with levothyroxin.
I got pretty scared of what many of you wrote about sinthetic Levothyroxin.
By the way, I ´ve read many articles that suggest that alternative treattment for the disease ( chinese medicine,a herbal plant call maca as well etc ) are scientifically not recommended and that can produce severe collateral effectos on the long run.
IS REALLY SINTHETIC LEVOTHYROXINE THAT BAD ?
Dear Mary, I would appreciate your comment so very much!!!

November 21, 2012 at 11:56 am
(101) Linda says:

I had a my thyroid removed because of a goiter and nodules. I have for the pass two years used synthroid. Upping the dosage lowering the dosage until my T3/T4 and TSh came back with norms. I lived over the past year in a fog. They then wanted to do another surgery on my for my spine c4/c5 micro. During my examination they said they notice a heart palpitation. Off to the heart doctor I went. He did an xray, holter moniter and wanted me to start taking a heart pill. I explained to him that what he was hearing had never been there before. That since my thyroid operation my heart constantly raced and I could feel it when sleeping. I also told him about how tired I was, the fog, the breathliness etc. He wanted me to take a pill. I decided that I needed to get to the bottom of the problem and not just take another pill. I made an appointment for the DO for the same week. I explained everything to him. Asked for Armour and I am now using that. Two days after that I felt like me. After a year of not being able to even want to do anything but sleep all day and yell at eveyone I am finially me again. And the weight is finially moving off from the 20 pounds of inactivity caused by the synthroid medicine.

December 1, 2012 at 2:00 am
(102) Tammy says:

Anyone know a dr in Georgia who will prescribe Armour? I have been on synthroid for years and every year it gets worse and reading all of this on this site I’m now convinced that it has to be the synthroid please help I’m living in a night mare!!!

December 13, 2012 at 4:54 am
(103) Cynthia says:

I have successfully used Armour for many years after being on synthroid and not being happy with it. I have just moved to England, where my new doctor says Armour is not available……is this true?

December 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm
(104) BJP says:

I want to add a comment, I am a health practioner who prescribes the Dessicated and the Synthetic thyroid for many years ( 20 years). This site has a strong bias and fails to inform people that each is an individual and the response varies. I have people on both, and we have moved between each based on patient responses…. interestingly I have found more people doing better on the Synthetic, but a smaller amount who end up preferring the dessicated.

Do not take the stand that one is good and one is evil, you are doing a disservice to the people who come across your site. A more balance view will give you more credibility

December 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm
(105) Mary M says:

BRILLIANT concise, logical, and well-done. Thanks for an important article on this subject.

January 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm
(106) Richard says:

I noticed Dr. Repas’ statement on establishing optimal thyroid levels. However, as a professor (who teaches many of the health sciences) I’ve known a number of students who were hypothyroid (academic issues go along with it). I know of none that were treated optimally. They all displayed continued signs of hypothyroidism. In one case I saw the lab values – low normal – but no increase in dose was given to make it more optimal. This appears to be defensive medicine. One of the big problems is that the default for normal is 5% of the population – the lower 2.5% are hypothyroid and their higher 2.5% hyperthyroid. When you have a disease as widespread as hypothyroidism that type of definition assures that patients in need will not receive treatment and also that treatment may be the best. Only recently have they even started to address this.

February 5, 2013 at 9:45 pm
(107) Amy says:

I have been on Synthroid for 7 years now after having Graves disease. My TSH always leads the Dr. to believe that I am still hypothyroid and each time she would increase my dose I felt worse, even though my numbers were in the ‘normal’ range. I take 125mcg daily and a 1/4 of a 25 mcg pill every 3rd day. Sounds crazy but the 125 is not enough and the 137 is too much. The doc listens to me and understands that my ‘normal’ is not in the range of normal. I still don’t feel 100% though, wish I had more energy, didn’t get tired so easily and could lose the extra weight I’ve gained. My grandmother had Graves disease and after going into remission from taking anti thyroid medication she was put on Armour thyroid, she did well on it, never complained of aches and pains and didn’t gain weight. Part of me feels that this could be because her thyroid still functioned, just was hypo after the treatment and didn’t take a high dose of Armour, whereas mine is basically dead. Makes me want to try the Armour though, I would give just about anything to feel normal again.

February 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm
(108) Carol says:

I recently visited my new endo in Burlington, Vt, and told her that i did not feel well on levothyroxine, she, without me asking her, offered Armour. I accepted the prescription. I hope this works. I have spoke to people that swear by the drug and will take nothing else. Thanks for the article, I feel alot better reading this!

February 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm
(109) Bunny N says:

I’m so pleased to have found this site! It was mentioned in an old article by Dr. Mercola. I was started on some natural stuff back when I was 13, about 52 years ago. I figure it was Armour. It helped immensely. Over the years and due to moves, I ended up taking nothing. Then at age 42 or so, a different doctor checked my T levels because of symptoms: foggy brain, forgetfulness, weight gain, tiredness. I was put on 5 mcg. of Synthroid and have been on it ever since. However, my dose is now 75 mcg.! Obviously, it’s getting worse over time. My ability to feel awake and remember things is shot. I’ve been checked for Alzheimer’s Disease and it isn’t that. I’m hoping the doctor I see now will be willing to let me try the Armour again.

February 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm
(110) Edie T. says:

I am 78 years old and have taken Armour thyroid since I was 8. At one point a dr switched me to sythroid. I can’t even remember what my symptoms were, but I know I did not likei it! I complained and was put back on Armour. My lab tests have been stable for years. I take 120 mcg daily. I had a wonderful endochronologist at Kaiser North who actually increased it to this dosage. Now my prescription is routinely renewed by my family practice dr. I do get lab tests every couple of years.

February 23, 2013 at 7:42 am
(111) caroline says:

I was diagnosed with low thyroid function and a goiter. I took Armour thyoid for a couple of years but it didn’t seem to help. I had a test to try and work out why my thyroid was low and discovered that I had a build up of heavy metals in my body. I had treatment to clear out the heavy metals and my thyroid function has improved

February 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm
(112) KC says:

Carol from VT. I am very interested in hearing how the Armour works for you and hope you give us an update as I too am not feeling well (I feel like a slug among other complaints) and have an appointment coming up in March with my endo and really want to discuss trying the Armour. Not sure how receptive she will be but I feel as though I can approach the subject without a problem with her. I was diagnosed hypo in ’03 and I currently take Synthroid 100mg. daily.

February 25, 2013 at 9:34 am
(113) Marc Owens says:

Marc from Birmingham Al-
Mary this was a great article.
Carol and others- I can tell you to keep searching for a doctor that will prescribe Armour if you are not feeling well on synthetic. I has hyperthyroidism in 2009 and RAI to cure it then went on synthroid after 3 months. A lot of people were telling me how much better I’d feel but I never did. My wife knew of a sleep Dr that had an an interest in the link between sleep science and endocrine problems. He is Dr Doeckle here in Bham and when I went to see him he spent 2 hours with me. The first thing he told me was “the people that do well on synthroid never seek me out. It’s the people that don’t do well that need me. If you want something different you have come to the right place.” I felt like that guy on the toyota commercial- oh what a feeling. I wanted to jump up and down. So after me telling my regular endo doc that I had irregularity, foggy thinking, constant cold hands and feet, irratibility( just ask my wife), and extreme exhaustion for 2 YEARS I fired my regular endo doc.
After 2 weeks on Armour I feel markedly better. Most of my other symptoms have disappeared. My new doc has been in the endo treating business for 30 years. He said all of the new endo docs look at blood numbers and treat based on that regardless of what the patient feels.
I go back for follow up in 4 weeks and will repost.
Never give up if you feel bad on synthetic. Results and a standard cannot be based on a few people that do well on synthetic. Everyone is different.
Good luck and don’t give up!

March 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm
(114) charlene says:

I take levothyroxine and feel like a new person. I have never taken anything else. I guess it all depends on each person.

March 20, 2013 at 10:39 pm
(115) Robin A says:

I started on Amour about 3 weeks ago. At 50, after most of my life (all?) suffering with symptoms of low thyroid, I begged my doctor to let me try a thyroid drug. My blood work had always come back low normal so this took convincing. After 3 weeks here’s what I can tell you: I am no better for taking the Amour and may be worse. My hot flashes are more frequent and worse in intensity, and here’s one – anyone else notice this – my vision is blurred, almost like I imagine someone who has cataracts. I never before had bad vision. Now I’m thinking, what is this doing to my eyes? Also, my limb strength is reduced (arms/legs). I’m stopping using it.

March 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm
(116) Sandra Compton says:

I was on Armour thyroid for years doing great.i switched to my husbands doctor who put me on Synthroid,I was fine at first but then fibromyalgia symptoms came back within two weeks.The doctor said maybe too high of a dose,I said give me natural thyroid and he would not.I went to another doctor,now back on Armour w/none of painful symptoms.Is fibromyalgia hypothyroidism connected or is it the synthetic thyroid?I have had hypo for 20+ years. Hope this was helpful (Dr.Theadore Cole is my doctor an alternitive specialist). Syntyroid was prescribed at onset of hypo diagnosis,I had all kinds o side effects including new diagnosis Fibromyalgia!

April 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm
(117) Gregpeg says:

How about synthroid usually causes high blood pressure. I have a aortic anurysim and can not have my blood pressure raised and I’ve be thyroid symptomatic for years but my TSH was 4.5 then a couple years later is up to 7 now. The first thing my DR was going to put me on was low dose synthroid. I said can I try armour instead? He said may I ask why? I said well I’ve seen where synthroid raises your blood pressure and also read where armour normalizes your blood pressure. If its low it raises it and if its high it lowers it. He said well there is a following out there that swear by it so ill start you out at 30 mcg of it then.
I’ve been on that for 5 weeks with no real help except for the first couple days. I just need to convince him now to get me up to at least 6 times the dose. This could take a couple years. Geezupeazoo

April 24, 2013 at 1:04 am
(118) Luz Maria says:

I have just been notified by my pharmacy that levoxyl has been recalled and will be unavailable for at least a year or more. How can these companies do this to people? I have hashimotos thyroiditis and have done well on levoxyl for the past three years and now I am reluctant to change to synthroid which is what my doctor is recommending I do. I cannot take generics as I had a terrible reaction to levothyroxine in the past. I tried armor 3+ years ago and it didn’t seem to work but now I wonder if I should give it anther try? Any advice would be appreciated.

April 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm
(119) Jill Bobbitt says:

The first day I ever took Synthroid I thought that medication was going to kill me as I immediately developed chest pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, palpitations, nausea and anxiety. My doctor lowered the does and I forced myself to continue taking it for about 1 and 1/2 years despite the fact that everyday I was on it felt terribly sick because of it. In the first month of taking Synthroid I gained 10 pounds (mostly water in my feet), my hair starting falling out in huge amounts, my skin and nails became so dry and brittle. Isn’t Synthroid supposed to decrease your weight, and improve your hair, skin and nails??? I guess my body was just intolerant to the medication and I felt like it was toxic in my system so I weaned my self off of the drug and refused to take it any further. I asked my doctor what other form I could try for my hypothyroidism and the told me “there is no other medication for that”. A friend of mine told me about Armour Thyroid so I started researching the internet about it and demanded my physician put me on it. He said “oh you found out about that medication huh?” Today I took my first dose of it and I am praying that it helps me lower my TSH level which is now at 6.6. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm
(120) misterbill says:

Contradictory symptoms. My love, my wife, has had RAI. There is a very small portion of her thyroid left. Her endo said that no one should ever have more than one RAI as they cause great harm. She will not try another RAI. Debbie has Graves, She has had 4 eye surgeries and her left eye has migrated back to the left each time and she needs another,

What is the sense of another if Graves causes the problem–we need to cure or control the Graves!

Next, her labs (TSH 20) at endo, turned out to be 7.4 at annual tests with GP, (diffeent lab??), showing lab results not always accurate. Endo says she is hypo. She weighs 97 lbs, used to weigh 118 lbs. Hyperactive, go, go, go all day until she lies down and falls asleep. (No wonder after the strenuous day!)

Endo will not prescribe dessicated, has not tried cytomel. I do not know what to do. I have read so much about thyroid that my head is spinning.

At my wit’s end, but I cannot give up to help my sweetheart. I believe it could be another gland pitu or hyopthal, but I am no longer sure what endo did or did not test. Se is our 2nd endo after 6 years with first.

Having her go through annual with GP. 7.4 TSH, 227 Cholesterol , though I doubt thyroid impacted by high cholesterol.

Live in Atlanta are . any help, suggestions, direction is welcomed.

April 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(121) misterbill says:

Hope I do not double post!!

Contradictory symptoms. My love, my wife, has had RAI. There is a very small portion of her thyroid left. Her endo said that no one should ever have more than one RAI as they cause great harm. She will not try another RAI. Debbie has Graves, She has had 4 eye surgeries and her left eye has migrated back to the left each time and she needs another,

What is the sense of another if Graves causes the problem–we need to cure or control the Graves!

Next, her labs (TSH 20) at endo, turned out to be 7.4 at annual tests with GP, (diffeent lab??), showing lab results not always accurate. Endo says she is hypo. She weighs 97 lbs, used to weigh 118 lbs. Hyperactive, go, go, go all day until she lies down and falls asleep. (No wonder after the strenuous day!)

Endo will not prescribe dessicated, has not tried cytomel. I do not know what to do. I have read so much about thyroid that my head is spinning.

At my wit’s end, but I cannot give up to help my sweetheart. I believe it could be another gland pitu or hyopthal, but I am no longer sure what endo did or did not test. Se is our 2nd endo after 6 years with first.

Having her go through annual with GP. 7.4 TSH, 227 Cholesterol , though I doubt thyroid impacted by high cholesterol.

Live in Atlanta are . any help, suggestions, direction is welcomed.

May 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm
(122) Jsun says:

I’m really confused. I have been on levoxyl for 15 years (I’m 31 now) and for the past six years I’ve had really weird neurological symptoms, mostly fasciculations and muscle fatigue. I can’t work out without my arms and legs pretty much shutting down for a few hours. I have recently stopped taking levoxyl because of the shortage, and my doctor started me on synthroid. But since I switched medicines, I started doing some internet searching, and that’s how I found out about T3, Armour, porcine treatment, etc. I never even knew this stuff existed. However my doctor told me to be wary of all the misinformation online, which I’m well aware is out there. I just don’t know what to do. I’m pretty skeptical of the online things, but if a different treatment can get rid of my crazy neuro symptoms I want to try it. Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms? Anyone else trying different treatments since the levoxyl shortage? I tend to trust doctors more than so called “experts” online, but it’s hard to ignore all the stories of people saying that they felt better once they defied their doctors orders. Not sure what to do.

May 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm
(123) Bkgma says:

Thank goodness for this site. I had a meltdown today. I have been on synthroid for probably 6 years. At first it seemed to help immensely. I’ve had one dosage adjustment. About two years ago the bottom fell out. Weight gain although I was exercising and on a 1200 calorie a day diet, dry skin especially on my legs (so bad that people have asked me if I had a disease), extreme fatigue, aches, pains, no energy (I haven’t felt this exhausted since I had mono). I went to dr on Monday and she did lab tests and the came back “within normal ranges”. Then I lost it—-I know how I feel and how I should feel and THIS IS NOT IT!!!! I am so angry. The doc was quite smug when she told me everything was “normal” and perhaps I needed counseling. Calling another doc tomorrow that might believe that “normal” isn’t always normal for everyone and that I feel like crud and I am an individual and a whole person rather than just lab results. BTW–. My level came back at 4.8…..I

May 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm
(124) J says:

I went through the horror of Graves’ Disease for years-had my second RAI done about three months ago. That one seemed to have done the trick-my TSH rang up as 87 just a month after treatment.

I’m on 112mg of levothyroxine and I feel terrible. My throat hurts. I get dizzy. I live most days in a fog. I still tremor, I have hot and cold flashes. I get anxious easily. I get blood work done in a couple weeks to see where I’m at now, but what do I do if I’m still severely under active? Do I ask for a switch in meds? Do I just have to wait for the current med to kick in more since my TSH was extremely under active? I’m so sick of feeling terrible. I can’t function most days, and being a parent, I want to actually spend time with my little one.

May 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm
(125) Susan D says:

So, I’m 5 months into Levoxyl treatment for Hashi’s. Endo says my conversion rate is over 200%, but my T4 number has barely moved. .8 to .9 in 5 months! Can’t lose weight for anything. Cut out gluten and sugar….not getting ready to cut out dairy too. If I even think about eating anything off my “list”, I gain weight rapidly. Desperately trying to lose weight and feel better.

I do notice each time she increases my dose of Levoxyl, my heart races after about 10 days into the new dosage. Then it settles down. (started me at .25, now only at .88. Slowly increasing me due to heart racing.

I do see a Naturopath for my back/neck. She had me do a saliva test and it shows my Cortisol levels are high and stay high all day.

Any advice on if a switch to Armour would be a good idea? Someone was saying something about too much T3 in your system can cause heart issues/arrythmias. So, I don’t want to push my luck, but trying to figure out if I am better off listening to my Naturopath and switch to Armour…..or keep the vigil up and eventually I will see some positive changes??? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

June 4, 2013 at 10:34 am
(126) Lynne says:

i couldn’t read through ALL the comments here, so hope i’m not being redundant. would like to be corrected if i am wrong, but doesn’t desiccated thyroid actually encourage the thyroid gland to produce it’s own hormones in a balanced way, rather than replacing the hormone like synthetics do?

and secondly, for my vegetarian friends, is the pig killed specifically to produce the porcine derived meds, or is it instead a beneficial byproduct?

thank you!
lynne

June 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm
(127) Ann says:

I was diagnosed with low thyroid and was put on Syntroid but still had low thyroid symptoms. I listened to a radio program where the doctor explained why Armour thyroid was better & how Synthroid did not actually help with all aspects of low thyroid including depression which I had suffered from. I convinced a doctor to prescribe Armour Thyroid and I definately felt better for the several years I was on it. then I was told the factory had had a fire and it was not available and got prescribed levoxyl (which I think is the same as Synthroid). I kept checking for months to see if I could get Armour Thyroid again. life became overwhelming and I procrastinated, but now I realize that all my new symptoms (fibromyalgia) may actually be a result of getting off Armour Thyroid&getting on Levoxyl or there may be some correlation. I still have a lot of symptoms while taking it. Loss of eyebrows, sensitivity to cold, difficulty losing weight, plus all the fibromyalgia symptoms. For some stupid reason, I didn’t put two and two together and realize that my fibromyalgia symptoms probably slowly started after getting off of Armour Thyroid.
After reading some of your posts, I snapped as to the possible correlation. I decided to see what alternative medicines, including dessicated thyroid is available and if I can get my doctor to prescribe, I talked to my pharmacist and they said they do have Armour Thyroid again. I’m thrilled to hear. I am on medication for fibromyalgia, but not sure if it really helps, and one of which I do not like the side effects, but if switching back to Armour thyroid can even possibly make a difference, it certainly be worth a try. I will be thrilled to see if getting back on Armour thyroid helps with my fibromyalgia symptoms. I will keep yall posted as to how things work out.

June 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm
(128) LeeAnn says:

I have read many of the comments on this page and am more convinced than before that this is an epidemic and most MD’s are ill-equipped to deal with it. My chiro/nutritionist recommended this book, which I am currently reading: Dr. Mark Starr’s “Hypothroidism Type 2, The Epidemic”. I’m only half way through the book and am ready to storm the gates of my endo’s office and demand Armour or else I will find a new doctor! My heart breaks as I read so many of these comments. I, too, have suffered much in this process, the most hurtful being the feeling that you are mocked, ridiculed and dismissed by the very person you are trusting AND paying to help you! It is helpful hearing of the struggles of others that validate my own frustrations and concerns. However, my greatest concern after reading what I have of Dr. Starr’s book is not for my self, but for my children. If you choose to read it (it’s a $10 download on Amazon for Kindle and an easy read, except where it gets very technical about biochemistry, etc), you will understand what I mean. I must not give up for their sake!! I pray THIS will be the answer. Godspeed to all in our quest for wellness.

June 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm
(129) DAVENE TANKSLEY says:

MY GYNACOLOGIST JUST SWITCHED ME TO ARMOUR THYROID. I HAVE BEEN ON SYNTHROID FOR YEARS. MY BLOOD TEST SHOWED MY THYROID WAS LOW AND I NEEDED TO BE ON MEDS. I CALLED & EXPLAINED I WAS ON MEDS, SO HE SUGGESTED I SWITCH. I CALLED MY PCP TO REPORT THE CHANGE IN MEDICATION AND HE SAID I HAD BETTER ASK MY ENDOCRINOLOGIST BEFORE SWITCHING. YES, I AM CONFUSED. I HAVE TAKEN A NUMBER OF PRESCRIBED MEDS OVER THE YEARS THAT THEY HAVE REMOVED FROM THE MARKET. I WAS STILL TAKING LIPITOR WHEN THEY CAME OUT WITH THE NEWS IT CAN CAUSE TYPE 2 DIABETES. BEEN ON IT FOR YEARS, NOW I AM DIABETIC ON JANUMET. WAS ON VICTOZA & ACTOS. USE TO TAKE PROPULSID & ESTRATEST WHICH ARE OFF THE MARKET. ARE THE DRS. TRYING TO HELP US OR KILL US? I PREFER THE NATURAL CHOICE, SO I WILL TRY THE ARMOUR THYROID AND SEE IF I FEEL BETTER. QUESTION: DID IT INCREASE YOUR APPETITE??

June 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm
(130) Maryland says:

I am glad to hear there is some hope. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in my early 20′s and have been on Levothyroxine at least 12 years. I can’t say I’ve really felt well since the diagnosis and weight gain. The last 2 years have been ridiculous and finally I decided I need to seek more help. I have been working with my nurse practitioner for the last few months and though TSH levels are normals she agrees I my body is not! I started Armour this morning…..so thanks so much for the hope that better days are coming!

July 11, 2013 at 9:37 am
(131) Kay says:

After 8 years of tolerable to failed Synthroid treatment I just switched to Armour. I have always had trouble adjusting doses of Thyroid medication. I could not take the generic forms as the inconsistence dosage would cause radical mood and energy level fluctuations. Believe me not a pretty picture. This means that I have always ponied up the cash, a dollar a day, to pay for the name brand formulas. Even with this cash I have doubled my dose over the last year and barely moved my TSH levels. This is not a problem of improperly taken medication. I am an RN and I am very well aware of how and when this prescription must be taken.
I was really scared to try anything new due to bad experiences with generics but the “good drug” just wasn’t working. So I decided to give it a try and spend the money. To my surprise, I found that Armour was less expensive. I have also been feeling better that I have in years. I should have tried this years and years ago. I just wish that the politics of medication money had not gotten in the way of my good health. I’m am so glad I tried it.

July 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm
(132) Shell says:

My husband has Hashimotos. His PC put him on levothyroxine. She continued to up the dose, he is now up to 150mg, Since she has done this he has excessive sweating all the time. We went to the endo and in a 5 minute visit, he siad to stay on the drug and come back in 2 months. Today I went with him and told this doctor that hi sweats continued and I wanted him off that drug. he said it was the ONLY drug for his Hashimotos. I was furious that he would think us to be that stupid. he said he was ordering blood work to see if the amounts of the drug in his system were too high. I came home and called a Dr. of Naturpath.. She said that levothyroxine is not the best drug for many people. We have an appointment next week. I am sure she will take him off this horrible drug and he can feel normal again. Why do these doctors feel they are God and are so closed mind to other treatments? Its terrible how they treat patients…..

July 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm
(133) Robert M. Campbell says:

Hello everyone…and thanks for sharing your stories. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos back in May. My original Endocrinologist was much like the other poster’s Endocrinologists. Arrogant and would NOT listen to me. His attitude was that my resistance to synthroid was unfounded..”all in my head” …”you need to be on anti depressants or anti anxiety meds.” What a crock. It seems that if they are thrown a curve ball (not a cut & dried EASY case) they use that line..”it’s all in your head” I changed Doctors and THAT’S when I got the Hashimoto’s diagnosis. I’ve found personally…that Armour Thyroid works BETTER for me. Not perfect…but better. Like many of you…I’ve been reading online for hours on this subject and found out MORE than some of my Doctors are either willing to say or possibly understand. Thyroid issues affect your nervous system among many other things…so that IDIOT Dr. telling me I should be on anti depressants instead of realizing that my thyroid was the culprit is depressing! It boggles the mind. MY PC Doctor thank god is the type of Doctor who LISTENS. You need to have a Doctor who listens.
Good Luck everyone!!
Bob

August 6, 2013 at 11:47 am
(134) Robert Seidner says:

Just read Dr. Hotze”s book; he has a clinic in Katy, Texas, outside Houston or go to his website to obtain information about his Wellness program….fruit of a vast experience….”thinking outside the box” with outstanding results

August 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm
(135) J to the G says:

hello 104) Tammy says:

Try Georgia Hormones on Milton Pkwy in Alpharetta

August 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm
(136) Ray says:

I have been using levothyroxine but it is causing diarrhea so am hoping switching to Armour will stop that cycle.

I am attempting to educate my Doctor, so sent him the link to this article.

August 17, 2013 at 4:20 am
(137) Millicent Owen says:

I have been doing very well on armour and don’t want to change, but my doctor says it is now on the dangerous list and if he is caught prescribing it he could be fined and lose his license.
Is this a true statement? I am now on Nature Throid but I don’t see any results like I did with the armour.

September 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm
(138) Kavi says:

Can anyone please suggest who could prescribe armour thyroid in NJ?

thanks so much !

September 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm
(139) Jane says:

You don’t need a prescription to buy dessicated thyroid, except for the Armour product. I buy mine from Nutri-Meds. I also ordered my own thyroid panel and did my own math to diagnose my hypothyroidism. The medical profession proved useless; glanced at my TSH level and pronounced me normal. One week of taking dessicated thyroid has proven the medical profession incompetent!!!!

September 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm
(140) Deal up avidly says:

<b>hypo<b>

They say my thyroid is in a jam,
but they won’t let me have any ham
’cause FDA’s deepthroating Abbott’s c*ck.
I don’t know what to say as the words
in my throat feel they’ve lost their say.
Kaiser can shove all their broccoli up their arse…
With a complimentary wheat cracker to boot.

——–

Recently diagnosed hypo. t4 normal. they won’t check t3 or for antibodies.
Jan tsh was 30. May tsh 11. Sep tsh is 33.

I’m refusing synthetic as the problems with syn. eventually led to my eldest brother’s death. May have to file complaint with state health board in order to get my hmo to prescribe it.

September 21, 2013 at 11:04 am
(141) Deanna Rothwell says:

Thank you for this article. I have been struggling for 11 years with endocrine problems and have brought several glands into balance but the Pituitary and Thyroid have been dragging me down and more down
bringing many more symptoms that make me feel like everything in my body is falling apart. I have not used prescriptions for many years and very seldom have any need to go to a doctor. I have been a fanatic about using only natural things – but now I realize I have got to surrender to using some type of drugs for these two glands. As I have been searching diligently a friend just happened to give me two weeks supply of Armour Thyroid. This is an answer I am seeding I am sure of it – don’t know yet about the pituitary response but if I take some pressure off of that gland perhaps it will come along to where I can function better. Thank YOU.

September 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm
(142) Kesha says:

My Endo put me on liothyronine starting with 5mcg for the first week. After increasing to 10 mcg after the first week I broke out in hives EVERYWHERE! However, she has offered to let me try Armour Thyroid which will hopefully give me the results I am looking for without the negative side effects! I need relief from this gained weight, achy joints, fatigue, etc. She also has me taking prescription iron supplement and 50,000 units of Vitamin D per week.

September 27, 2013 at 3:55 am
(143) SteveC says:

It’s been 3 weeks since I started ARMOUR and I’m MISERABLE!!!
(1 grain 60 mg)
I’m HYPO – hashimoto’s.
You’re probably thinking, it’s only 3 weeks, give it time.
But there hasn’t been even the slightest sign of improvement.
My symptoms are as if i’m taking nothing at all!!!!
I decided to try Armour, since it had so many “good reviews”. But later I noticed all the good reviews were from BEFORE they changed their formula ( around 2011).
It makes sense! Why would a Pharmaceutical company want to deal with something natural that actually might help people?
FOR YOUR INFO: These are the ingredients added in ARMOUR – calcium stearate, dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate and opadry white – Do your own research, you’ll see that most of these additives are bad for your health.
I’ll find someone who slaughters pigs, buy the thyroid from them and dry it myself!!!
It’s been done for over 100 years.
Got nothing to Lose!!!

Best wishes to You all.

September 28, 2013 at 9:19 pm
(144) Deal up avidly says:

@Steve C. I’ll be starting Armour shortly. I had misery just trying to convince my docs I want the natural. Since the reformulation, you need to chew the bloody things first, then wait 30 minutes to an hour before eating/drinking, this “frees” the stuff that works.

This was done (the reformulation) to turn people away from Armour. Yes, it is insidious to think “why” a recall would take place for a mythical “smell” in the bottles from the pharmacies. But we are only pigs for the slaughter of big pharma.

Every time I take an Armour (Or WP Thyroid) in the future, I’ll envision an Edno Doc crying about not getting a free trip to a convention somewhere on my dime.

One more note Steve…If you have Hashimoto’s you MUST get your diet together FIRST. No Soy. No Gluten. No Foolin. It’s no fun, but it will make the rebalance of your thyroid go much easier with the new Meds.

October 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm
(145) Ren says:

Since you’re limiting me to just 2000 characters, I’m emailing this to you…

October 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm
(146) Adam says:

Well, I have been on Armour for over a year after being on levo for 5 years. I feel horrible all the time, like someone sitting on my chest and I can’t get a good breath. When i stopped..it got a little better. I little different in dosage to some is not a big deal but I prefer to know exactly what is going into me and how much. Lets not even get started on what the pigs might be eating. That goes into you too. Do the pigs get hormones? Maybe decades ago it was ok but these days…no way. i am switching back.

October 14, 2013 at 11:59 am
(147) Scotia Colleen says:

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 1996 and put on Synthroid. I was next put on Levoxyl via another doctor.

I’ve asked my dr to put me on Armour to which he has repeatedly refused. My dr has used the standard talking points that may be provided by big Pharma!

When i became adamant that I’m feeling horrrible on the Levothyroxine as Levoxyl was pulled off the market this year he referred me to an endo. I saw the endo last Friday and when I told him why i was there, elaborated on my brain fog, sudden weight gain, tiredness, hair loss he said your labs look great! I asked if he’d please listen to me instead of looking at lab results. Although I did better on Levoxyl I was far from being vibrantly healthy. The endo wanted to put me on Synthroid to which I refused.

We had a tense dialogue and at one point he threatened to throw me out of his office! The endo demanded I tell him what my belief systems are and he offered one option would be to put me on Cytomel and some other generic drug that I’m unfamiliar with. I told him I’d much prefer to try Armour as it has both T3 & T4 as well as T1 & T2. The Endo tried to talk me out of it saying it was disgusting that it comes from a dessicated porcine. When the guy threatened me I said look this is demeaning to make me beg but if i have to I will.

The Endo to his credit did apologize as we got off on the wrong foot and he did order Armour 60 mg with labs that day to get a baseline and I see him again in 2 months.

I hope and pray that I come into a financial windfall in the meantime so I can go see a naturpathic doctor! I can only tell you the difference is like night and day as the brain fog is gone, when I wake up in the a.m. i actually want to get out of bed. I have far more energy than before as well I feel almost euphoric! I think he could have put me on a higher dosage but he expressed concern over heart palpitations.

October 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm
(148) Eustacia says:

How many times have the synthetic thyroid medications been recalled compared to the natural one being recalled?

October 30, 2013 at 11:00 am
(149) Kathy D says:

For years I struggled to get my thyroid under control until I was diagnosed with celiac disease. For those who don’t know celiac disease is an extreme intolerance to gluten. Studies indicate that the those with hypothyroidism have a higher tendency to also have celiac disease. Oe of the biggest problems with levothyroxine is the manufacturers do not guaranty that their medications in gluten free but Armour is gluten free. However after finally getting my thyroid under control with levothyroxine, I still did not feel well, exhibiting some thyroid symptoms, such as what is commonly referred to as “brain fog”. Lucky for me I have an open minded doctor, an internist, that I can talk with. He agreed to switch me to Armour and after a little over a year the results have been tremendous. I no longer need blood pressure medication, my thyroid numbers are well within the normal range, and minor arthritis inflammation is gone. I recently started taking a probiotic and have experienced even better results, better able to control my weight and am steadily losing, increased energy levels and cognitive abilities.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story. I hope anyone experiencing thyroid symptoms on levothyroxine, finds a doctor who will allow them to try Armour or one of the other brands.

October 31, 2013 at 11:25 am
(150) Diane says:

Mary, I subscribe to your newsletter and have obtained invaluable information from it. I was having some problems feeling well ( I have had 7 different Drs in 15 years, one who was excellent, but unfortunately left private practice, the second I am still seeing, the others were like Tony Weetman!!!) While it has taken me 15 years to become somewhat normal, I am still not there, The endo I am seeing now put me on Armour about six months ago, it was not good I had heart palpitations, shortness of breath and several other side effects. which caused me to become Hyperthroid, Needless to say I am back on Synthroid and Cytomel. The symptoms of the Armour are gone, but not the hypothyroid symptoms. She also put me on a lower dosage of Synthroid, because my TSH #’s were what she considered to low, and she was worried about osteoporosis and heart problems, T3, T4 are in good range. When she gets the numbers for TSH “normal” I feel horrible, tired, foggy etc, etc. Hopefully someday I will find a Dr. who will listen!!!!!!! I was on 75mg Snythroid and 10 mg Cytomel (2x a day).She dropped the Snythroid to 50mg.

November 14, 2013 at 1:22 am
(151) Lee says:

I have been on thyroid medication since 1981. postings here
very interesting for many reasons. Various symptoms help me
realize that the thyroid makes other things go wacky. Spiking blood pressure , vertigo, lightheadedness ,thinning hair, aching
bones, brittle nails, hot & cold sensitivity, brain fog , high cholesterol.–wacky immune system & low white blood count, weight gain & insomnia. I believe they all are the result of my hypothyroidism & resulting medications.

I tbelieve there is no one answer for all. We are all different &
react differently My medication has been tweaked–, my numbers have gone from perfect to abnormal My RX’s changed & added. I can truly say the worst I ever felt was just prior to diagnosis.

Began with real hormone /Thyrolar. then Synthroid &
eventually Synthroid & Cytomel. Synthroid alone combo pill was not right. Once Cytomel was added that seemed to fix things. Iimportant to know how to take the pill– 1 full hour before eating or 2 hrs after
eating. And yes, it does affect tests results. My dr. doesn’t change the RX every time results change. We keep it the same & next time numbers are perfect. Have your tests taken each time at the same
time of day.

Treating hypothyroidism is not an exact
science & you have to constantly tweak things. Many RX’s
have too many side effects. Weigh the alternative. Keep looking for the right doctor & combo of
medications that are right for you & no one else.

Thanks you the posts — Many symptoms we are all experiencing has helped me to understand that they are all thyroid & thyroid medication related.

November 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm
(152) Kelly Monahan says:

While I always prefer natural treatments, this one did not work for me. I was put on both armour and nature thyroid. I have an under active thyroid and Hashimoto’s. While I was taking armour, I went from under to over active and ended up with a thyroid storm. I then went on Nature thyroid. It too made my heart race. I will also add that I have mitral valve prolapse and SVT. Before looking into any thyroid treatment, your doctor must be aware of all of your medical conditions. Certain medications impact and severly worsen others. My holistic doctor and I did not know I had mitral valve prolapse or svt otherwise he wouldn’t have prescribed natural treatments for me.

November 23, 2013 at 5:45 am
(153) MaryEllenKelly says:

I am looking for a Doctor on LongIsland,N.Y. U.S.A. who would prescribe Armour !

November 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm
(154) Kate says:

It seems that the Armour Thyroid recipe has changed again as it did a
few years ago. It was denied by Forest Lab front people, but when I
spoke with a chemist there, he said theta yes, the formula had been
improved a bit.

Some time after that Armour was unavailable for months. It finally
returned in its original state.

Has anyone else noticed a change?

December 3, 2013 at 7:06 am
(155) Nancy says:

If you want to find a Dr that will write an Rx for armour, just call your Pharmacy. They will be able to tell you what Drs are writing.

That’s what I ended up doing after months of being denied by many drs. I wish I had thought of it sooner!

December 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm
(156) Jacki says:

I was recently dx’d with hypopituitarism by my general practitioner. Instead of sending me to a specialist, he rx’d Armour Thyroid, which I found off because my TSH is at 0.67 putting me near hyperthyroidism, not hypo. I do have low levels of T3, which is what he was looking at. I took the medication for about four days and it made me feel, just weird. I couldn’t describe the side effects if I had to, except for an odd taste in my mouth. Should someone in my situation be taking 15mg of Armour?

December 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm
(157) Marian Martins says:

I am a thyroid patient, I had a total thyroidectomy this past August. I was placed on Synthroid before and after my surgery, I started to gain weight, developed aches in my joints, headaches, unable to exercise ….
I started my own crusade and came across your site, I want to say thank you so much for the information on your website armed me to go back to my wonderful Endocrinologist who placed me on Armor Thyroid. I will be back I a few weeks to post my findings but I believe some patients like me need both the T3/T4 to survive! I live in Suwanee ga and are glad to share my do tors information with anyone that needs it, she is phenomenal.

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm
(158) Ted says:

Was on Synthroid for 1 year and gained about 20 pounds plus didn’t feel any better. A friend of mine had told me about Armour and so I specifically asked my family doctor (not endocrinologist) to switch me over. She did her own research which backed up my own and switched me. Did blood tests for each month for 3 months to be sure my levels were correct, then tests every other month, and now I’m down to twice a year tests. Have lost all the excess weight, feel much more lively, and in general just feel “good”.

Once your Endo. has determined your type of thyroid disease I personally found two different family physicians that were more than willing to “take over” treatment of my hypothyroidism. In fact it was one of them who found the trouble to begin with and then referred me to the specialist. If your Endo. won’t cooperate in prescribing you Armour if that’s what you want to try, don’t give up!! DO make sure to get blood tests after any switch to be sure levels are where they’re supposed to be.

Happy Armour user for life!!

January 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm
(159) Daleen Thomas says:

I just have to say, that I have been on Armour Thyroid for many years. I had went to my doctor a few years back and he refused to let me stay on it. He switched me over to Synthroid and then on to levethyroxine. Needless to say, years later I packed on the pounds and felt crappy. I went back and asked if I could get put back on Armour and he said he didn’t feel comfortable with such old medicine’s as they just weren’t regulated enough. I left and went and saw another physician. She did what I asked and agreed that I needed to be on Armour Thyroid, because of my T-3 and T-4 levels. I am back down 60 pounds and have energy again. People need to listen to their own bodies. Not all meds work for every person. Do your research people. It makes a difference.

January 14, 2014 at 11:48 am
(160) Surodeep says:

I am from India and want to switch over to armour from synthetic thyroxine tablets. Can you help me get armour in India?

January 14, 2014 at 11:42 pm
(161) Barbara Blyth says:

I moved to the USA 17 years ago. I came from England where I was on ArmorThyroid medication. I was well and suffered no symptoms.
I was prescribed synthroid in the USA. Over the next years to this day I have suffered terribly with many severe symptoms. Hundreds of Dr visits and mismanagement of health problems ….some so severe that at one time I nearly lost my life. I have had a hysterectomy after suffering for 4 years with fibroid tumors and the list goes on. Including a break down of a marriage of 25 years. I have only just found TODAY a doctors assistant that seems to hear my voice. She will prescribe Armor thyroid to me. I have had enough of the neglect, lies and wrongful treatment of thyroid sufferers. I can not wait for the day when I feel well and can start to enjoy my life. I feel terribly cheated out of what was supposed to be a new start in the USA…shame on you people who lie and cheat people out of wellness

January 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm
(162) Terri D. says:

I’m a vegetarian. I will not go near porcine thyroid. I have no reason to kill pigs when Unithroid works perfectly fine for me.

February 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm
(163) Dinah says:

My doctor put me on Armour after a lot of encouragement from me after 2 years. It did not work for me – heart palps, hair loss, weight gain etc. Good luck to those of you who can tolerate it. I am going on Levoxyl, which by the way has just come back on the market after 1 year. Wish me luck.

February 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm
(164) James says:

My wife has Hashimotos, and has been on Synthroid for years. She has been wanting to try desiccated thyroid for a long time now, but after a dozen phone calls to doctors all around Chicago, and unable to find anyone in our radius to prescribe her Armor (or the like), the cover-up is clearly exposed, doctors pretty much do whatever the pharmas tell them to. We’re not giving up; one receptionist even made fun of my wife over the phone and dismissed her by saying they only prescribe Synthroid as a rule, suggesting that anything else is below their standard; well, we’ll continue looking.

February 18, 2014 at 11:44 am
(165) Enid says:

Where does the dessicated thyroid come from? Is it from pigs that are raised in a natural, free range state, without antibiotics, hormones and on a healthy organic diet? Or is it from pigs from industrialized pig farms—full of fake fat, antibiotics, pesticides and who are cooped up in pens most of their life??

February 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm
(166) Jennifer says:

More of a question really, a doctor prescribed levothyroxing for hypothyroid and after dibilitating side effects and getting extremely sick, a second opinion with an endocrinologyst show I had NO issues with my thyroid at all. The previous doctor had based this need for drugs souly on the TSH levels being slightly elevated. The T4 and T3 were 100% normal. People tell me I have grounds for a malpractive suite based on her not only prescribing this so freely but when I called with side effects she said “sorry there is nothing I can do, don’t stop taking it though.”

March 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm
(167) Liz says:

Is there an alternative to the porcine desiccated thyroid and synthyroid?
I don’t eat pork and I want to do something natural.

March 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm
(168) andrea rickmon says:

Hi everyone. Please help. Need Doctor near Joliet Illinois who prescribes Armour. Things are getting so bad and I have a 6 month old.

Anyone in Illinois???????????????

desperate in Joliet,
Andrea

March 10, 2014 at 1:25 am
(169) Sandra says:

Liz – I found a dessicated bovine supplement as I am allergic to pork.

March 17, 2014 at 12:08 pm
(170) Mia says:

Anyone know of a doctor in Salt Lake City? I saw a comment about a spa/tennis club – what is that? Where is it?

A little off topic but I’m also researching SolloPelle therapy which works with hormones.

Can’t find a doctor that will listen to me either and I’m not sure which health issue I have that requires attention first. It may be if I choose the correct one it will remedy the second.

Just curious. What a great place to find good information. Thank you everyone for sharing.

March 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm
(171) John says:

I started using NDT 5 weeks ago, I feel so much better, my Tummy issues are gone all my bloods are fantastic,the best they have ever been. No headaches and energy has returned. If I have any concerns its I have actually lost weight, now that might seem crazy with Hashies but I have since taking it I have lost approx 5kg’s Im a decent size bloke 180cm now 86kgs so not overly worried. But I would like to know if this is something that can happen.

March 28, 2014 at 7:13 am
(172) margot says:

I am on synthroid right now. Could someone please tell me what the benefits are of switching to armour thyroid?

March 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm
(173) BeverlyL says:

Since starting on Levothyroxine in 1997, my hair thinned, I could no longer get a good night’s sleep, I just didn’t feel well, and I gained 60 pounds. I watch my diet, and remain active. I’ve now been on Armour for two months. I am sleeping soundly once again. I have more energy. I’m feeling great! The only problem is Armour is not covered by my insurance. This is crazy. I’m trying to get my physician to request an exception.

April 11, 2014 at 12:27 am
(174) Tracy says:

I have been on Armour for many years with a practically suppressed TSH and my thyroid levels of Free T3 and free T4 at mid normal range. My new doctor tells me that I am at risk of atrial fibrillation. After not checking my heart and not checking my pulse, he sent me to another doctor who lowered my dose of which I agreed to see if my TSH could come up some. My t4 and t3 crashed as did I and my TSH BARELY CAME UP! Anyone know the reason? I went up a little on dose and feel better but curious if some thing else is going on. Why won’t my TSH come up? I wonder if TSH lab normals should be adjusted again.

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