Jamin - Question about Armour Thyroid

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by gb66, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. gb66

    gb66 Active Member

    I know you've probably answered these questions a lot but my mind is in a muddle right now. I have a pres. for synthroid and I know you take armour and had problems with synthroid.

    I don't have even a basic understanding of thyroid issues and the more I read the more confused I am. Could you explain some things to me, if you don't mind?

    My thyroid test said it was over 5.0 and I don't know what that means. The only info the doctor gave me was that I had low thyroid and needed medicine for it and a pres. for synthroid which I haven't filled yet.

    Any and all info you can give me or steer me to will be very appreciated. I know it's hypothyroidism but I don't understand the numbers and don't know what to look for on lab test results. Help! GB66
  2. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    over 5 means TSH lab....which is HypoT...

    But, a "smart MD" will check T4 and T3 labs and go from
    their, it's my impression those conventional MD's. don't
    do that testing....so if that's all the help you have from your
    MD, then I hope the Syn will help...

    I see only integrative MD's for my health and so happy
    to have these type MD's who go the extra miles to get to
    the root of health issues...

    Armour and othe dessicated meds are far more superior
    for our thyroid health but if you don't have a doc who
    prescribes Armour then you can't go that route....so good
    luck on the Syn...some folks claim they do good with it.
  3. gb66

    gb66 Active Member

    Thanks for your reply. There was a t4 on my lab report. I'll have to look it up. I was wondering what the 5 means though. Is that an overall number? We don't have intergraative doctors in my area. I'd love to go to one since I have so many medicine reactions and so many other problems.

    I may try an endocrinologist. Everything is going downhill lately, diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol in addition to cfs/fm and oa.

    I got a form letter from my doctor a few days ago and she's leaving private practice in two weeks so I'm going to have to start all over. Having the right doctor can make all the difference in the world I'd imagine. This one doesn't explain, just tells me what to do. GB66

    P.S. I'm going to call her and ask if she'll prescribe armour. My pharmacy carries it.[This Message was Edited on 03/05/2013]
  4. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    all your thryoid numbers....with the ranges of each
    Tsh, T3 and T4..... I don't know what the 5 could mean...

    We all need to learn to read our labs and ask questions, so many docs just brush us off saying oh you are normal....I got that mantra for 10 yrs then I got to work on my health.

    Some conventionl docs will end up giving Cytomel which is T3 along with Syn since their patients don't do good on T4 only, their bodies don't convert....I went that route early on...but got off and found Armour is best for me, one tab and know that one has to dose up, can't stay at the same dose forever.....

    I know ladies on Syn and their dose was never changed...very sad....a friend has cold hands all the time, I tell her it's your thyroid.....

    She's too old to want to make any changes now...so she just goes on. Most of these ladies with Syn are in HMO's and these are all conventional MD's.....
  5. LadyCarol

    LadyCarol Member

    gb66, the link below provides the information you need.

    You really do need blood test results for TSH, T4 and T3 as a minimum test set to allow a better assessment of your thyroid condition.

    http://thyroid.about.com/library/howto/htthyroid-test.htm
  6. gb66

    gb66 Active Member

    Thank you for the link. I'm looking at my lab report and the TSH is 5.780: The range is 0.358 to 3.740. The Free T4 is 1.07. The range is 0.76 to 1.46. There is no T3 on the report. GB66
    [This Message was Edited on 03/05/2013]
  7. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    The 5 you mentioned, is actually closer to 6 on the TSH....which is definitely HypoT....

    I don't know what else to say, not being a doc for sure, so I guess you might just have to go with the Syn and if you still feel badly along the way, ask about T3 help in the form of Cytomel.... or if you can just get the doc to start with Armour 30mg which is 1/2grain to start and go from there...I started at 30mg back in 2002...and felt a pickup in my being in a couple days, the long time depression lifted,,,,

    Just reading my journal as I journaled everything on my thyroid mess....I learned how to up my dose on my own, slowly going up 1/4 grain every couple weeks...etc...I just broke the tab in half and went that way....

    But this is how I did it, not recommending it to you or anyone, but many on a thyroid board I'm a member of have learned to up their dose....one would be at the doc's office all the time and then one can't convince docs what to do, they keep doing numbers....grrrrrrrrrr This thyroid work. jam
  8. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    you may do OK with Syn...hard to say for sure...just cause it didn't work for me, it may for you.

    If your doc won't work with Armour you may have to go with Syn....just keep in mind all the info on adding T3 if you need to and one can always go to Armour if you push for it.

    Also remember before there were labs, which I believe came into play in the mid 70's...maybe the same time zone Syn arrived on the scene, docs gave patients Armour with NO LABS....they worked with patients' symptoms and not numbers. [This Message was Edited on 03/05/2013]
  9. gb66

    gb66 Active Member

    I really appreciate all the help and moral support. I was feeling a lot of confusion but it's starting to make sense now. If I understand this correctly, the Armour has both T3 & T4. The Synthroid has only T4?

    I wonder why they didn't test me for T3. I don't seem to have any of the symptoms of hypothyroid, or if I do, I can't tell them from the CFS stuff. I'm always dreadfully tired but this has been going on for over 30 years. I don't notice much more fatigue right now, maybe a little.

    I have had some thinning of my hair in the last year or so and am concerned about that. I don't ever feel cold, if anything, I'm turning the AC so low my husband is freezing. I don't know of any other thyroid symptoms.

    I could have never been diagnosed by symptoms alone. It's a good thing they have lab tests now. I was reading some stuff online about a change in the Armour in 2009 causing lots of people to complain of return of symptoms.

    Do you know if that has been corrected? I am going to call my doctor and ask for a prescription for armour. It seems to be better. I read that there was a sublingual form also. Which do you take? I have a lot of digestive problems so I thought that might be best. GB66
  10. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    seem to have HypoT symptoms...you have no pain and fatigue? Good chance you needed thyroid support yrs ago, you've gone this long without it and you just think it's your normal body....

    Yes, Armour has T4, T3, T1, T2 and Calcintonin for bone health in it...Syn is known to cause bone loss.

    Armour has changed the fillers, some don't like and use NT another dessicated thryoid med, but I do OK with Armour, miss the original formula, but companies do what they do...

    I chew my Armour up, this recommended as best for absorption. Chew it up and drink some water....

    Again that 6 on TSH is a sign of HypoT...

    So many with depression, pain, fatigue, weakness, hair loss, cold/hot extremeties, cholesterol issues, diabetes issues, and MORE are in need of Thyroid support..... There are 69 some symptoms of low thyroid function...sleep being in there too, and you have major sleep issues, right. jam

    Get Mary Shomon's "bible" on Living Well With Hypothyrodism...this is my saving book when I got on my path in 2001....actually I was on my path in 1991, but knew nothing and took those G.D. A/D's for depression...it was thyroid all along....I talked about my story so much here over the years.
  11. LadyCarol

    LadyCarol Member

    gb, re:"I wonder why they didn't test me for T3." - in a word "cost".

    In your case "as jam has pointed out" the high TSH value suggests Hypothyroidism. However, before starting any med treatment they should really ascertain your T3 values to confirm Hypothyroidism; also the test values act as a useful baseline for future references.

    It's definitely worth consulting with your doctor about the test findings. Also note the onset of Hypothyroidism tends to cause subtle changes to a person’s health over (often) a significant period of time, but those changes tend to compound the longer the condition remains untreated.

    If you & your doctor decide you require treatment then start on as low a dose of med as possible, and then if required increase the dosage slowly as there is less chance of getting an adverse reaction and it gives your body time to adjust to the addition of a thyroid medication.
  12. gb66

    gb66 Active Member

    I will ask for the T3 when I go back next time. I don't know how long my thyroid has been low but it's just been showing up in the last 2 years on lab tests. Thanks for the reply. I'll let you know how this progresses. GB66
  13. gb66

    gb66 Active Member

    Yes, that 6 TSH is way too high. I looked back at lab reports from about 5 years ago and my level was about 2 or 3. Since then they've changed the "rules" and want it to be under 3 instead of 5. I would have been on thyroid med back then if they were going by the new standard.

    I've had lots of pain and fatigue but this has been going on for many, many years. Long before my thyroid was low. I've had it checked over the years and until the last 5 or so, it's been very good.

    I had a sudden onset viral-like illness hit me in 1978 and my life has never been the same. It has destroyed my health in spite of many doctors and tests. The bottom line is always that it must be CFS/ME and FM because they can't find any other cause for the multiple symptoms. All are listed in the CFS criteria.

    It's only recently (last 3 or so years) that I've developed the thyroid, diabetes 2, and high cholesterol problems. I feel like I'm falling apart. GB66