Synthroid and Armour thyroid

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by florenceb, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. florenceb

    florenceb New Member

    Hello. I don't mean to intrude here. I am usually on the Depression and or Chronic Fatigue Boards. After weeks of research I was ASTONISHED at the info concerning thyroid medicines. I never investigated a thyroid connection to my low energy becuz my sister takes Synthroid and she says it does nothing for her energy. Well, I have found SO much input from women who rave about Armour thyroid as opposed to Synthoid. I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence or repeat what you have already heard but,in case you aren't already aware: Synthroid is synthetic T4 only medicine. Armour thyroid is Natural T4 and T3. There are 2 excellent sites:yahoo group: natural armour thyroid AND alt thyroid support. These sites are overwhelmingly filled with people who have had better results from Armour OR Synthroid with Cytomel (synthetic T3)- than with synthroid alone. Perhaps it would help with your energy issues. Please research your thyroid medicines and be aware of your thyoid levels and tests. For YEARS, I was told by many drs that my "levels" were fine. I have always complained of fatigue yet was treated for depression. Such a waste of time, and money. Perhaps I can HELP just 1 person feel better..........
  2. Queen_R

    Queen_R New Member

    I have a suspicion that my fibromyalgia is really hypothyroidism ever since, like you, I began researching the connection on the 'Net. I have had all the thyroid tests done (numerous times through the years, I might add), and they always came back normal. Yet my hands and feet are perpetually low, I have chronically low body temperature (under 97 degrees), and I have no energy, plus the fibro pain, headches, etc., and this has been going on for TWENTY-ONE years (since I was 12 years old). (Only diagnosed with fibro four years ago, since which time I have been prescribed numerous useless antidepressants.) Anyhow, I began treating myself recently with Armour because I have been unable to find a physician who will prescribe it for me. I don't feel comfortable doing this on my own, but I have to say, for the first time in 21 years, I finally feel NORMAL, strong, and pain-free on this Armour stuff. What do you think I should do? How can I find a doctor in my area who will treat a normal-blood-level fibro patient with thyroid hormones even though the blood tests say "normal"? To clarify, my TSH is 2.30, while the endocrinologists seem to consider anything between 5.0 and .5 normal, I think.
  3. florenceb

    florenceb New Member

    At the risk of repeating what you may already know:Until Nov. 2002 the American Assoc. of Clinical Endocrinologists recommended scale for TSH was .05-5.0 The new guidelines as of 2003 are TSH 0.3-3.04.

    There is alot of info about a depression/thyroid connection on Dr Bob's Psycho Babble web site. There ARE a few people who post there with FM. There is a consolodated place within the site with thyroid info. Dr. Alan Cohen (neurologist & psychiatrist) says most patients with fatigue, anergia, and depression need TSH levels in the lower zone 1.0 or less!

    I saw a useless endocrin.last week (I was sceptical cuz the secy said he "didn't believe in Armour thyroid") I will never go back to him again for many reasons. BUT he DID admit that people with depression do seem to benefit from a lower TSH level.

    Have you read about measuring the freeT3 and free T4 levels as opposed to the "regular" T3 and T4. I suggest you check this out. I see many, many people self-medicating with Armour usually becuz it is not readily available in Britain, Canada, or Austrralia. BUT, I did read a post from an American whose Armour order was confiscated by Customs. The FDA/USA rule is: it is ILLEGAL to import a drug that is available in the USA. (Is that not crazy?)

    If the Armour is helping, I would not feel guilty! I felt guilty years ago for buying aspirin with codeine in it up in Canada where it is available over the counter. I had horrible menstrual migraines!

    Many women have suggested calling different pharmacies in your area and asking the names of the drs who DO prescribe Armour. I am very fortunate becuz both my ob/gyn AND my psychiatrist had NO problem with it. In fact, my psych has had chronic sinus problems since the birth of her third child and when she told me she takes Synthroid: she copied down the thyroid web sites that I had written in my notes!

    I have REALLY tried to find a DOWN side to Armour but it is almost impossible! Some people are worried becuz the word is getting out about how much better it is compared to Synthroid: and it is in short supply in a few places. YET, I distinctly remember a near panic in the drug store when people came to pick up Synthroid and it was not available becuz the batch was recalled by the FDA!

    Did I help at all? I sure hope you get this message. I often hear people complain that their levels are within limits (even with Armour) but their symptoms still exist. That is my case. But I KNOW that I need to be patient and gradually up the dose. I did it too fast and got a rapid heart beat for a few days. But since starting Armour: for the first time in 30 yrs, my feet are not cold.

    Let me know how you are doing. Do you take your temp? Most think that is the best indicator.
  4. tootie2

    tootie2 New Member

    I do have thyroid problems and I do not know or did not quiet understand how you take synthroid.Are giving this to yourself because you think you have thyroid problems,but the Dr.s tell you other wise.If I were you I would find a qualified Dr to see,someone is mis- leading you.You do know this med.is a synthetic to give you a false metabalism and taking it and not getting the right levels can kill you,literally.It will give you congestive heart problems and is not a drug to play with or so I have been told by both my Dr. and my endo Dr as well.When you said one of your Dr.s ask for sights to go to about thyroid or snythroid I nearly dropped my tongue,what Dr.would confer with a patient.Please research this more or find you a thyroid support group.Sounds as though you may be playing with fire self medicating yourself.
    Tootie2
  5. florenceb

    florenceb New Member

    Armour thyroid is a PRESCRIPTION drug made from dessicated pig thyroid. It is not "natural" or considered "synthetic. Synthroid T4 IS considered synthetic. Cytomel (T3) is also SYNTHETIC. According to Dr. Elizabeth Vliet in her book (Screaming to be Heard: Hormone Connections Women Suspect and Drs Continue to Ignore) Cytomel T3 has a STRONG potential to cause heart arythmias and even cardiac arrest. T3 ALONE would be more dangerous than Synthroid or Armour. This is becuz T3 is short acting: it enters the blood stream and reaches peak levels within 1-3 hrs. This is probably why my GREAT p-doc says she has never prescribed Cytomel (T3) and why I called several drug stores and could not find any that carried it in stock.
    If you start Armour (T3 and T4) at a VERY low dose it is considered relatively safe, even for the elderly BUT please verify this. The Forest Lab which makes Armour has all the drug insert info on line. It can take months to ramp up to the right dose. How much are you taking? 15 or 30 mgs is considered a low starting dose.... There are holistic drs that prescribe Armour; perhaps you can find one in your area; they might be more willing to treat your symptoms instead of being overly concerned with your numbers.
    I think you are on the right track if you are feeling BETTER! Keep us posted!
  6. helpeachother

    helpeachother New Member

    Hi, My doctor who is an expert on CFS/FM says that he has found that with CFS "normal" or "near-normal" thyroid blood test readings don't mean a lot, but uses a combination of both the Synthroid & Armour Thyroid to treat (the pain) and in this case also severe inflammation of the thyroid itself. He does various personal trials over time to determine which doses of which rxs are the best. Good Luck